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Sergio Meneses: System 76 Stickers at the UbunconLatinAmerica 2014

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 2014-08-13 15:18

If you want to have the most beautiful stickers in your laptop , this is the opportunity!

You can find the amazing System76 Stickers at the Ubuconla2014 for free!!!! :D

System76 Stickers

Thanks to System76 for this amazing gift!


Si te gusta tener hermosos stickers en tu laptop, esta es tu oportunidad!

Ronnie Tucker: GUN Linux: On the range with TrackingPoint’s new AR-15s

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 2014-08-13 09:00

Since first running into TrackingPoint at CES 2013, we’ve kept tabs on the Austin-based company and its Linux-powered rifles, which it collectively calls “Precision Guided Firearms,” or PGFs. We got to spend a few hours on the range with TrackingPoint’s first round of near-production bolt-action weapons last March, when my photojournalist buddy Steven Michael nailed a target at 1,008 yards—about 0.91 kilometers—on his first try, in spite of never having fired a rifle before.

A lot of things have changed in the past year for TrackingPoint. The company relocated its headquarters from within Austin to the suburb community of Pflugerville, constructed an enormous manufacturing and testing lab to scale up PGF production, shed some 30 employees (including CEO Jason Schauble and VP Brett Boyd, the latter of whom oversaw our range visit in 2013), and underwent a $29 million Series D round of financing. It also sold as many PGFs as it could make, according to Oren Schauble, TrackingPoint’s director of marketing and brother of former CEO Jason Schauble.


Submitted by:Lee Hutchinson

David Tomaschik: DEF CON 22 Recap

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 2014-08-13 05:45

I'm back and recovering with typical post-con fatigue. This year, I made several mistakes, not the least of which was trying to do BSides, Black Hat, and DEF CON. Given the overlapping schedules and the events occurring outside the conferences, this left me really drained, not to mention spending more time transiting between the events than I'd like.

BSides Las Vegas

B-Sides was a blast, but I spent most of the time I was there playing in the Pros vs Joes CTF run by Dichotomy. This is a particularly nice Capture the Flag competition, since it's based on defending (and attacking) "real world" networks, rather than the typical Jeopardy-style "crack this binary" competitions. Most of the problems seen in the real world aren't, in fact, 0-day produced by talented hackers, but in fact configuration weaknesses, outdated software, and insecure practices exploited by script kiddies. PvJ forces you to consider how to harden a "corporate" environment while still providing the same services. You get a Cisco ASA as your firewall, and can reconfigure services as needed to establish your perimeter and secure your systems. On Day 2, you also get to see just how good you are at breaking in, and just how good (or bad) your opponents are at securing their network.

Black Hat

There were a couple of interesting talks to see at Black Hat, but some of the ones that I hoped would be more ground breaking seemed to just scratch the surface and didn't provide enough depth. (Or working demos! I'm looking at you, USB firmware!) The Black Hat business hall was an incredible letdown, as basically none of the booths had anyone with technical depth for discussion, but just had sales people who wanted to sell things that probably don't work anyway. [Cynical mode off.]

In all honesty, Black Hat continues to be a venue for government & corporate security managers, and consultants and contractors that work for those entities. There's absolutely nothing community about it, but so long as you go in with that expectation, you won't be disappointed by that.


So much to do, so little time! Every year, I'm plagued by the same problem: which of the 7 amazing things going on right now do I want to do? This year, the problem got even more complicated for me due to an event run by my employer.

The badge was, as usual, pretty awesome, thanks to 1o57's work. Apparently he even worked on it during his honeymoon, so a big thanks to @NelleBot for not yelling at him too much, so we all got to play with some awesome hardware. Once again, the badge features a Parallax Propeller chip, which is sortof unfortunate, as the toolkit for it is closed-source and Linux is not a first-class citizen. Between that & time constraints, I didn't spend any time working on the badge challenge, but maybe I'll play around with it some now that I'm home. I believe I've spotted (and heard of) an IR transmitter/receiver pair, similar to the DC20 badge. I also have some IR LEDs and receivers at home, so I wonder if they're in a similar range. Maybe I'll break out a Digispark as an IR transceiver to play around with.

Thursday night was theSummit, an annual fundraiser run by Vegas 2.0 to raise money for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. It's an incredible event, with lots of great people in attendance, and a good opportunity to meet many of the BSides and DEF CON speakers. The fact that there's a raffle, auction, and open bar is just the icing on the cake. (Donating to the EFF makes it such a good cause that I wouldn't miss it for anything!) As you can see at the top, the VIP badge for theSummit was pretty awesome. I love the LED shining through the acrylic to make the text glow.

I was really happy to see the Crypto & Privacy village, and even though I only got a little time there, it was great to see that playing more of a role at DEF CON. I attended the OpenPGP keysigning on Friday, but didn't make it back for Saturday's. They also seemed to have some good introductory crypto talks, and it'll be interesting to see how that evolves over the next year.

Despite losing a lot of time to a work event and teaching at the R00tz Asylum, I managed to play in Capture the Packet with another member of DC404 (my DEF CON group from when I lived in Atlanta) and we won the round, qualifying for the finals. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to make it to the finals due to his flight arrangements, so another DC404 member (and current coworker) stepped in, and we managed a 2nd place overall finish, which I was extremely happy with. (Not that a black badge wouldn't have been cool... There's always next year.)

Of course, work events aren't so bad when they come with this view. We took some interesting people on a little trip around the High Roller, the tallest Ferris Wheel in the world, right off the strip! It was incredible to get to talk with some of them, and the view didn't hurt things either.

If you haven't heard, this was the final year at the Rio. It's time to pack our bags and head across the freeway to Paris. And Bally's. That's right, it's going to take 2 hotels to contain all the hackers. Apparently we'll have room blocks at several more of the area hotels. Makes sense given this year's reported 16,000 attendance.

Harald Sitter: Phonon + GStreamer + VLC 4.8 Beta

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-08-12 21:58

Today in Randa: Phonon 4.8 Beta got released, making the GStreamer backend use the GStreamer1 API and improving robustness in all parts of Phonon.

Phonon is a most excellent multimedia library for Qt.

For more information on this new beta releae head on over to our releases page.

New Phonon GStreamer maintainer Daniel Vrátil is a close friend of Konqi! Picture kindly provided by Martin Klapetek. Also, no dragons were harmed in the making of this picture (we think).

The Fridge: Ubuntu Global Jam 14.10

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-08-12 17:33

With the timing getting a bit tight and no serious objections against the suggested dates, we’d like to plan the next Ubuntu Global Jam for

UGJ 14.10: 12-14 September 2014

To get the planning going, we’d like to invite all available LoCo enthusiasts, LoCo contacts and LoCo Council to join us for a

Planning hangout
Thursday 14th Aug, 14 UTC

You are all invited, we’ll get everyone on the hangout who wants to participate.

If you’re new to the party, have a look at for some reading.

Originally posted to the loco-contacts mailing list on Tue Aug 12 14:01:17 UTC 2014 by Daniel Holbach

Ubuntu Kernel Team: Kernel Team Meeting Minutes – August 12, 2014

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-08-12 17:13
Meeting Minutes

IRC Log of the meeting.

Meeting minutes.


20140812 Meeting Agenda

Release Metrics and Incoming Bugs

Release metrics and incoming bug data can be reviewed at the following link:


Status: Utopic Development Kernel

The Utopic kernel has been rebased to v3.16 final and uploaded to the
archive, ie. linux-3.13.0-7.12. Please test and let us know your
Important upcoming dates:
Thurs Aug 21 – Utopic Feature Freeze (~1 week away)
Thurs Sep 25 – Utopic Final Beta (~6 weeks away)

Status: CVE’s

The current CVE status can be reviewed at the following link:

Status: Stable, Security, and Bugfix Kernel Updates – Trusty/Saucy/Precise/Lucid


cycle: 08-Aug through 29-Aug
08-Aug Last day for kernel commits for this cycle
10-Aug – 16-Aug Kernel prep week.
17-Aug – 23-Aug Bug verification & Regression testing.
24-Aug – 29-Aug Regression testing & Release to -updates.

cycle: 29-Aug through 29-Aug
29-Aug Last day for kernel commits for this cycle
31-Sep – 06-Sep Kernel prep week.
07-Sep – 13-Sep Bug verification & Regression testing.
14-Sep – 20-Sep Regression testing & Release to -updates.

Status for the main kernels, until today (Aug. 12):

  • Lucid – Kernels being prep’d
  • Precise – Kernels being prep’d
  • Trusty – Kernels being prep’d

    Current opened tracking bugs details:


    For SRUs, SRU report is a good source of information:


Open Discussion or Questions? Raise your hand to be recognized

No open discussion.

Elizabeth K. Joseph: Fosscon 2014

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-08-12 16:43

Flying off to a conference on the other side of the country 2 weeks after having my gallbladder removed may not have been one of the wisest decisions of my life, but I am very glad I went. Thankfully MJ had planned on coming along to this event anyway, so I had companionship… and someone to carry the luggage :)

This was Fosscon‘s 5th year, 4th in Philadelphia and the 3rd one I’ve been able to attend. I was delighted this year to have my employer, HP, sponsor the conference at a level that gave us a booth and track room. Throughout the day I was attending talks, giving my own and chatting with people at the HP booth about the work we’re doing in OpenStack and opportunities for people who are looking to work with open source technologies.

The day started off with a keynote by Corey Quinn titled “We are not special snowflakes” which stressed the importance of friendliness and good collaboration skills in technical candidates.

I, for one, am delighted to see us as an industry moving away from BOFHs and kudos for antisocial behavior. I may not be a social butterfly, but I value the work of my peers and strive to be someone people enjoy working with.

After the keynote I did a talk about having a career in FOSS. I was able to tell stories about my own work and experiences and those of some of my colleagues. I talked about my current role at HP and spent a fair amount of time giving participation examples related to my work on Xubuntu. I must really enjoy this topic, because I didn’t manage to leave time for questions! Fortunately I think I made up for it in some great chats with other attendees throughout the day.

My slides from the talk are available here: FOSSCON-2014-FOSS_career.pdf

Some other resources related to my talk:

During the conference I always was able to visit with my friends at the Ubuntu booth. They had brought along a couple copies of The Official Ubuntu Book, 8th Edition for me to sign (hooray!) and then sell to conference attendees. I brought along my Ubuntu tablet which they were able to have at the booth, and which MJ grabbed from me during a session when someone asked to see a demo.

After lunch I went to see Charlie Reisinger’s “Lessons From Open Source Schoolhouse” where he talked about the Ubuntu deployments in his school district. I’ve been in contact with Charlie for quite some time now since the work we do with Partimus also puts us in schools, but he’s been able to achieve some pretty exceptional success in his district. It was a great pleasure to finally meet him in person and his talk was very inspiring.

I’ve been worried for quite some time that children growing up today will only have access to tablets and smart phones that I classify as “read only devices.” I think back to when I first started playing with computers and the passion for them grew out of the ability to tinker and discover, if my only exposure had been a tablet I don’t think I’d be where I am today. Charlie’s talk went in a similar direction, particularly as he revealed that he controversially allows students to have administrative (sudo) access on the Ubuntu laptops! The students feel trusted, empowered and in the time the program has been going on, he’s been able to put together a team of student apprentices who are great at working with the software and can help train other students, and teachers too.

It was also interesting to learn that after the district got so much press the students began engaging people in online communities.

Fosscon talks aren’t recorded, but check out Charlie’s TEDx Lancaster talk to get a taste of the key points about student freedom and the apprentice program he covered: Enabling students in a digital age: Charlie Reisinger at TEDxLancaster

GitHub for Penn Manor School District here:

The last talk I went to of the day was by Robinson Tryon on “LibreOffice Tools and Tricks For Making Your Work Easier” where I was delighted to see how far they’ve come with the Android/iOS Impress remote and work being done in the space of editing PDFs, including the development of Hybrid PDFs which can be opened by LibreOffice for editing or a PDF viewer and contain full versions of both documents. I also didn’t realized that LibreOffice retained any of the command line tools, so it was pretty cool to learn about soffice --headless --convert to do CLI-based conversions of files.

Huge thanks to the volunteers who make Fosscon happen. The Franklin Institute was a great venue and aside from the one room downstairs, I think the layout worked out well for us. Booths were in common spaces that attendees congregated in, and I was even able to meet some tech folks who were just at the museum and happened upon us, which was a lot of fun.

More photos from the event here:

Kubuntu: KDE Applications and Development Platform 4.13.3

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-08-12 13:48

Packages for the release of KDE SC 4.13.3 are available for Kubuntu 14.04LTS. You will recieve them from the regular update channel.

Bugs in the packaging should be reported on Launchpad. Bugs in the software to KDE.

Dustin Kirkland: Learn Byobu in 10 minutes while listening to Mozart

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-08-12 12:44
If you're interested in learning how to more effectively use your terminal as your integrated devops environment, consider taking 10 minutes and watching this video while enjoying the finale of Mozart's Symphony No. 40Allegro Assai (part of which is rumored to have inspired Beethoven's 5th).

I'm often asked for a quick-start guide, to using Byobu effectively.  This wiki page is a decent start, as is the manpage, and the various links on the upstream website.  But it seems that some of the past screencast videos have had the longest lasting impressions to Byobu users over the years.
I was on a long, international flight from Munich to Newark this past Saturday with a bit of time on my hands, and I cobbled together this instructional video.    That recent international trip to Nuremberg inspired me to rediscover Mozart, and I particularly like this piece, which Mozart wrote in 1788, but sadly never heard performed.  You can hear it now, and learn how to be more efficient in command line environments along the way :-)


Benjamin Kerensa: UbuConLA: Firefox OS on show in Cartagena

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-08-12 09:30

If you are attending UbuConLA I would strongly encourage you to check out the talks on Firefox OS and Webmaker. In addition to the talks, there will also be a Firefox OS workshop where attendees can go more hands on.

When the organizers of UbuConLA reached out to me several months ago, I knew we really had to have a Mozilla presence at this event so that Ubuntu Users who are already using Firefox as their browser of choice could learn about other initiatives like Firefox OS and Webmaker.

People in Latin America always have had a very strong ethos in terms of their support and use of Free Software and we have an amazingly vibrant community there in Columbia.

So if you will be anywhere near Universidad Tecnológica De Bolívar in Catagena, Columbia, please go see the talks and learn why Firefox OS is the mobile platform that makes the open web a first class citizen.

Learn how you can build apps and test them in Firefox on Ubuntu! A big thanks to Guillermo Movia for helping us get some speakers lined up here! I really look forward to seeing some awesome Firefox OS apps getting published as a result of our presence at UbuConLA as I am sure the developers will love what Firefox OS has to offer.


Feliz Conferencia!

Ronnie Tucker: Peppermint OS 5: Light, Refreshing Linux

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-08-12 08:00

The Peppermint OS is built around a concept that may be unique among desktop environments. It is a hybrid of traditional Linux desktop applications and cloud-based apps.

Using the Ice technology in the Peppermint OS is much like launching an app on an Android phone or tablet. For example, I can launch Google Docs, Gmail, Twitter, Yahoo Mail, YouTube, Pandora or Facebook as if they were self-contained apps on a mobile device — but these pseudo apps never need updating. Ice easily creates a menu entry to launch any website or application as if it were installed.

This innovative approach puts the latest release of Peppermint OS 5, which appeared in late June, well ahead of the computing curve. It brings cloud apps to the Linux desktop with the ease and flexibility of a Chromebook. It marries that concept to the traditional idea of having installed software that runs without cloud interaction.


Submitted by: Jack M. Germain

The Fridge: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 378

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-08-12 01:51

Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter. This is issue #378 for the week August 4 – 10, 2014, and the full version is available here.

In this issue we cover:

The issue of The Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter is brought to you by:

  • Elizabeth K. Joseph
  • Jose Antonio Rey
  • And many others

If you have a story idea for the Weekly Newsletter, join the Ubuntu News Team mailing list and submit it. Ideas can also be added to the wiki!

Except where otherwise noted, content in this issue is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License BY SA Creative Commons License

Adam Stokes: Containerize juju’s local provider

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-08-11 23:05
Current approach

Juju’s existing providers(except manual) do not allow you to containerize the bootstrap node. However, in the manual provider this is possible using something like this in your environments.yaml file and setting the boostrap-host appropriately:

## manual: type: manual # bootstrap-host holds the host name of the machine where the # bootstrap machine agent will be bootstrap-host: # bootstrap-user specifies the user to authenticate as when # connecting to the bootstrap machine. If defaults to # the current user. # bootstrap-user: joebloggs # storage-listen-ip specifies the IP address that the # bootstrap machine's Juju storage server will listen # on. By default, storage will be served on all # network interfaces. # storage-listen-ip: # storage-port specifes the TCP port that the # bootstrap machine's Juju storage server will listen # on. It defaults to 8040 # storage-port: 8040

Cool, that will allow me to bootstrap juju on something other than my host machine. But, that machine needs to be configured appropriately for a non-interactive deployment (setting ssh keys, passwordless sudo, etc).

A different approach

In my particular case we wanted our Openstack Installer to be fully containerized from juju bootstrap to deploying of compute nodes. In order to achieve this we need to configure an existing container to be our bootstrap agent and still allow for our mixture of kvm/lxc environments for use within the Openstack deployment.


Create a container named joojoo that will be used as our Juju bootstrap agent:

ubuntu@fluffy:~$ sudo lxc-create -t ubuntu -n joojoo

Update the container’s lxcbr0 to be on its own network:

ubuntu@fluffy:~$ cat <<-EOF | sudo tee /var/lib/lxc/joojoo/rootfs/etc/default/lxc-net USE_LXC_BRIDGE="true" LXC_BRIDGE="lxcbr0" LXC_ADDR="" LXC_NETMASK="" LXC_NETWORK="" LXC_DHCP_RANGE="," LXC_DHCP_MAX="253" EOF

Create the necessary character files for kvm support within lxc via mknod, also persist them through reboots.

ubuntu@fluffy:~$ cat <<-EOF | sudo tee /var/lib/lxc/joojoo/rootfs/etc/rc.local #!/bin/sh mkdir -p /dev/net || true mknod /dev/kvm c 10 232 mknod /dev/net/tun c 10 200 exit 0 EOF

Start the container

ubuntu@fluffy:~$ sudo lxc-start -n joojoo -d

Pre-install libvirt and uvtools

ubuntu@fluffy:~$ sudo lxc-attach -n joojoo -- apt-get update ubuntu@fluffy:~$ sudo lxc-attach -n joojoo -- apt-get install -qyf \ libvirt-bin uvtool uvtool-libvirt software-properties-common

Make sure our ubuntu user has the correct libvirtd group associated

ubuntu@fluffy:~$ sudo lxc-attach -n joojoo -- usermod -a -G libvirtd ubuntu Now that you have a containerized environment ready for Juju, lets test!

The LXC container should now be ready for a juju deployment. Lets use our Openstack Cloud Installer to test this setup. I want to make sure everything deploys into its appropriate containers/kvm instances and that I can still access the Horizon dashboard to deploy a compute instance.

First, ssh into your container, you can get the IP with the lxc-ls -f command:

ubuntu@fluffy:~$ sudo lxc-ls -f joojoo NAME STATE IPV4 IPV6 AUTOSTART ------------------------------------------- joojoo RUNNING - NO ubuntu@fluffy:~$ ssh ubuntu@

Within the container add our PPA and perform the installation:

ubuntu@joojoo:~$ sudo apt-add-repository ppa:cloud-installer/experimental ubuntu@joojoo:~$ sudo apt-add-repository ppa:juju/stable ubuntu@joojoo:~$ sudo apt update && sudo apt install cloud-installer ubuntu@joojoo:~$ sudo cloud-install

Note I’m using our experimental PPA for Openstack Cloud Installer which will be our next major release and will automate the previous steps for putting juju within a container.

This test I’m using the Single Install method, so select that and enter a Openstack password of your choice. Now sit back and wait for the installation to finish.


First we created a LXC container to be used as our entry point for juju to bootstrap itself too. This required some configuration changes to how the container will handle bridged connections along with making sure the character devices required by KVM are available.

Next we installed some pre-requisites for libvirt and uvtools.

From there we login to the newly created container, install, and run the Openstack Cloud Installer. This will install juju-core and lxc as dependencies along with automatically configuring lxc-net with our predefined lxc-net template, seen in the latest lxc-ls output (showing eth0, lxcbr0, and virbr0):

ubuntu@fluffy:~$ sudo lxc-ls -f NAME STATE IPV4 IPV6 AUTOSTART ------------------------------------------------------------------- joojoo RUNNING,, - NO

Once the installer is finished we verify that our LXC container was able to facilitate the deployment of services in both LXC (nested) and KVM (also nested within LXC).

It’s a long list so here is the pastebin. What you’ll notice is that all machines/services are now bound to the 10.0.4.x network which is what was defined in the lxc-net configuration above. We have KVM’s running within our host container which also houses containers for the Openstack deployment.

Just to give a more visual representation of the setup:

Baremetal Machine - LXC Container - Runs juju bootstrap agent - KVM (machine 1) - Houses a bunch of LXC's for the openstack services - KVM (machine 2) - Houses nova-compute - KVM (machine 3) - Houses quantum-gateway Why is this a good thing? ubuntu@fluffy:~$ sudo lxc-stop -n joojoo ubuntu@fluffy:~$ sudo lxc-destroy -n joojoo

And it’s like it never happened …


Thanks to a colleague, Robert Ayres, who provided the necessary information for getting KVM to run within an LXC container.

Costales: Destino Ubuconla 2014 - #0 Welcome on board!

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-08-11 18:17
Comienza uno de mis viajes más esperados... Next station: ¡Colombia! Además, con el honor de haber sido invitado por la Ubuconla para impartir un par de conferencias:
14 Agosto - 14:00: Cómo mantener un ordenador seguro15 Agosto - 9:00: Crear y distribuir webapps en UbuntuPor supuesto, servirá de excusa para conocer a personas tan interesantes como Sergio Meneses o José Luís Ahumada y disfrutaré con el incombustible Fernando Lanero a quien embauqué en esta aventura.

Destino: Ubuconla '14
Y tras meses esperando a que llegue la fecha, a falta de pocos días nos sorprende la huelga de pilotos de la aerolínea TAP, afectando sólo al día de nuestro vuelo :S

Ups! :SReprogramando la salida con TAP y un enlace con LAN, no nos queda otra que cancelar los billetes del ALSA y otro enlace de Avianca. Y tras largas gestiones y unos cuantos euros tirados a la basura, todo queda solucionado. En fin, pequeños gajes de viajar.

El resumen perfecto del viaje de ida es:

Asturies ➠ Bilbao ✈ Lisboa ✈ São Paulo ✈ Bogotá ✈ Cartagena de Indias
42 Horas contínuas de bus + aeropuertos + aviones
Literalmente derrengaos
Y con sensación de Willy Fog...:PY un par de vuelos con las aerolíneas TAP y Avianca sirvieron para demostrar que Linux (una vez más) está en más sitios de los que pensamos ;)

Por fin en tierras colombianas, ¡Comienza la aventura! :D Pero eso será ya parte de otros posts.

Continúa leyendo más posts de este viaje.

Ubuntu Women: 2014 Leadership Poll Results

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-08-11 17:11

Polling has closed, and we are pleased to announce that the new leadership team for Ubuntu Women has been selected.

A. Mani, Svetlana Belkin, and Emma Marshall will be the leadership committee for the next two years!

Please join me in congratulating them and supporting them as we transition into this new term for the Ubuntu Women team!

Harald Sitter: Volume

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-08-11 14:27

Volume controls. Based on PulseAudio. For Plasma 5.

Built in Randa.

Ubuntu Scientists: Who We Are: Willem Ligtenberg,A Member

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-08-11 14:17

I am Willem Ligtenberg.
I have studied Biomedical Engineering and later specialized myself in bioinformatics, which is also
known as computational biology. More specifically, I specialized myself in biomodeling and bioinformatics.
During my PhD thesis I investigated the use of graph theoretic approaches in biology.
I used graph algorithms in combination with machine learning algorithms to reverse engineer gene regulatory networks. If you are interested you can have a
read here:

During this I used a lot of Python and a bit of R for the statistics. I also took a course on
biostatistics for PhD students and although the course was given using Statgraphics, I did using R.
Which the tutors thought was fine, but it was not their expertise. However, they did give me the
e-mail address of a collegue of theirs who used R as well.

Fast-forward a couple of years, and currently I am working as a consultant for Open Analytics
(, which is a company that helps with the data analysis from start to finish. As the name suggests
the company believes in openness and therefore focusses on the use of (fibre/libre) open source software (FLOSS).
The FLOSS aspect of the company was a big plus for me, since I have been using Ubuntu since Warty (2004).
For the data analysis part we mainly use R, but we will use other languages if they are more
appropriate. So I still get to use Python now and then.

I have written and contributed to a few R packages that are on Bioconductor: (reactome.db,
the a4 packages and MLP). I am currenty working on an Object Relational Mapper in R, which
I hope to publish soon. Feel free to reach out to me if you want to know more about data analysis
using open source software, specifically bioinformatics and databases.


Willem Ligtenberg

Filed under: Who We Are

Valorie Zimmerman: Randa Meetings sprint: KDE Frameworks Cookbook progress

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-08-11 14:06
We groaned and suffered with the up-and-down network, and had to abandon our plan to write and edit the book on Booki at Flossmanuals. So we began to create text files on Kate or Kwrite, but how to share our work?

The best answer seemed to be a git repository, and our success began there. Once created, we consulted again and again with the Frameworks developers in the room across the hall, and brainstormed and wrote, and even created new tools (Mirko). Our repo is here: kde:scratch/garg/book. If you want to see the live code examples, you will need this tool: .

I'm so happy with what we have so far! The texts are just great, and the code examples will be updated as they are updated in their repositories. So if people planning a booth at a Qt Contributor Conference, for instance, wanted to print up some copies of the book, it will be completely up-to-date. Our goal is committing every part of the book so that it can be auto-fetched for reading as an epub, pdf, text file or printed as a book.

It is a tremendous help to be in the same place. Thank you KDE community for sending me here, all the way from Seattle. Thank you for bringing all the other developers here as well. We are eating well, meeting, coding, writing, walking, drinking coffee and even some Free Beer, and sometimes sleeping too. Mario brings around a huge box of chocolate every night. We're all going to arrive home somewhat tired from working so hard, and somewhat fat from eating so well!

Paul Tagliamonte: DebConf 14

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-08-11 01:06

I’ll be giving a short talk on Debian and Docker!

I’ll prepare some slides to give a brief talk about Debian and Docker, then open it up to have a normal session to talk over what Docker is and isn’t, and how we can use it in Debian better.

Hope to see y’all in Portland!

Stuart Langridge: Reverse SSH tunnels

Planet Ubuntu - Sun, 2014-08-10 22:49

My dad’s got a computer. Infrequently, it goes wrong and I need to fix it. Slightly more frequently, it doesn’t go wrong but it does something which is confusing, and I need to try to fix it until I realise what the confusing thing was and then either fix that or explain it. So, being able to connect to his machine is useful.

His ADSL router, from TalkTalk1, allows one to set up a port forward2 so that I can connect to his external IP and have that routed to port 22 on his machine, thus allowing me SSH access, and with SSH I can do everything else3. However, that router also controls the DHCP addresses for things on the network, and it does not always give the same address out to the same machine. So, every now and again, it’ll give his machine a different IP, and then the port forward stops working.4

So, after mithering about this a bit, Daviey Walker suggested5 that I use a reverse SSH tunnel. That is to say: I have his machine ssh into one of mine, and then port forward a port on my machine back along the SSH tunnel to port 22 on his machine, meaning that I can ssh into it and don’t have to care about IPs or anything.

This was a dead clever idea. It relies on me having a machine which is sshable from the outside world, but I do, so that’s OK.

Obviously, something needs to set the tunnel up. So, first I set things up so that his machine could ssh into mine with key authentication and without a password needed (see ssh-copy-id or a guide for that), and then I wrote this little script:

#!/bin/bash createTunnel() { date ssh -N -o BatchMode=yes -R 9102:localhost:22 mylogin@mysshablemachine if [[ $? -eq 0 ]]; then echo Tunnel created successfully else echo An error occurred creating a tunnel. RC was $? fi } /bin/pidof ssh > /dev/null if [[ $? -ne 0 ]]; then echo Creating new tunnel connection createTunnel fi

which creates this ssh tunnel connection. There’s a hack there: it assumes that if there’s an ssh process, it’s our ssh process. If you regularly ssh from the box you’re doing this on, you’ll want to do something cleverer. In this case I don’t, so I keep it easy. Couple of little tricks in the script: there’s a date command, so the output mentions when this happened, which is useful for the log file in the next bit (and this is also why the script generates no output if the tunnel is already up). Secondly, -o BatchMode=yes in the ssh options means that it’ll instantly fail if you haven’t got key auth set up right, rather than hanging forever waiting for a password, and it’ll send server keepalives every 300 seconds and kill the connection if they break, which means that if the connection hangs but doesn’t terminate, it’ll get terminated. This is what we want, because we want some monitoring process to restart the tunnel if it dies. There are all sorts of clever ways to do this: upstart, systemd, whatever6, but I just put this line in the crontab7:

*/1 * * * * /path/to/above/ >> /path/to/tunnel.log 2>&1

which just reruns the above script every minute and sticks any output into a logfile so if it’s not working I can, at a push, ask dad to read the logfile. Inefficient and low-budget, but it works. So once all this is set up, I can, from my sshable machine, do ssh -p 9012 dadlogin@localhost and I then get to log in to his machine. Then I can fix it. And never deal with his horrid router’s horrid web UI ever again.

  1. a Huawei HG533 with the most annoying web config UI I’ve ever seen ever, which gets even more annoying if you try and control it from curl because it’s all JavaScript-dependent. Why? You are a router, not gmail! Grrrr!
  2. hooray
  3. hooray
  4. Also, I really really don’t like static IPs, so I don’t want to configure it with one.
  5. that is, I was mithering about it. Not Daviey.
  6. not /etc/init.d though. This is a user-level process. It should not be being run by system-level stuff. System level belongs to apt.
  7. a file which defines jobs to be run at specific times; it’s like a super-techie Scheduled Tasks wizard, and it usefully will run things even when you’re not logged in. You can edit yours from the command line with crontab -e.


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