Posts for #Linux

The default behavior of Crostini’s Debian Stretch container is to use a curses-based pinentry. This behaves strangely, in two different ways:

  1. Inherently, it shows the semi-graphical pinentry dialog in the terminal that has last called gpg-connect-agent updatestartuptty /bye. You can do this in .bashrc or similar, but if your habit is (like mine) to run many different terminals at once, you would need to call this whenever focus changes – otherwise the pinentry dialog will invariably come up in a random terminal. Of course this might still be inconvenient if pinentry is triggered from a UI application instead of on the console.

  2. If the pinentry dialog comes up in a terminal other than the one where the gpg process originated, it doesn’t work correctly anyway – the dialog is drawn on screen, but the command prompt (or whatever is running) remains active in the background and grabs input. I didn’t investigate this any further.

This week was Basta week again. As usual, many thanks to all those who attended my workshop and my presentations! If you saw my Microservices talk, you may remember that two technical issues occurred during the talk. I was going to follow up here with explanations, but unfortunately it turned out that there is nothing more to say! I had trouble, in one of my demos, to talk to a service through a message queue, but that was only because I stupidly forgot to pass that service the configuration parameter to actually set it up correctly for the message queue (so it was talking to nothing at all!).

The other problem was that my demo app didn’t correctly update multiple concurrent windows when running on AWS, but I can’t reproduce that issue now and so it seems that the network connection was to blame after all. Here are the links where you can access my slides and samples:

Interesting announcement from Build: Developers can run Bash Shell and user-mode Ubuntu Linux binaries on Windows 10 So, what’s that all about? Things seem very unclear to me at the moment, but I have not had the time to read loads of posts that spring up here and there, or to determine whether some of them are less secretive than Scott’s post I linked to above. The promises are altogether a bit strange and conflicting. For instance, Scott says

This isn’t Bash or Ubuntu running in a VM. This is a real native Bash Linux binary running on Windows itself.

Weird behavior I just observed. I’m still fighting a hd crash I had last week in my file server and I’m now ready to set up a raid5 array on the machine. So I use this command to set the array up: mdadm --create --verbose /dev/md1 --level=5 --raid-devices=3 --auto=md /dev/sde1 /dev/sdf1 /dev/sdg1 For some weird reason, /proc/mdstat now tells me this:

md1 : active raid5 sdg1[3] sdf1[1] sde1[0]
626304 blocks level 5, 64k chunk, algorithm 2 [3/2] [UU_]
[=======>.............]  recovery = 39.5% (124680/313152) finish=0.1min speed=31170K/sec

Something I just stumbled upon. I was configuring Shorewall 4, and there’s a flag called DISABLE_IPV6 in shorewall.conf. Oh yeah, I thought, that makes sense – I don’t yes IPV6, so I’ll set that to Yes. Did so, and when I ran Shorewall it showed my lots of error messages like this:

FATAL: Module ip6_tables not found.
ip6tables v1.3.8: can't initialize ip6tables table `filter': iptables who? (do you need to insmod?)
Perhaps ip6tables or your kernel needs to be upgraded.

I was recently trying to find a solution for a problem with code pages in Zope, in conjunction with Structured Text. The basic problem, which is discussed all over the web, is this: the correct code page has to be configured in the running Zope instance to make STX work correctly with “non-US” ASCII characters. If this is not done, there’ll be problems with special formatting, because STX can’t find the borders of words correctly.

Example: *snídaně* should really appear as snídaně and **Frühstück** as Frühstück, they appear as snídaně and Frühstück, respectively. Or one of them would work, but not the other, because these two words need different code pages: snídaně needs ISO 8859-2 and Frühstück needs ISO 8859-1. The problem is that STX is dependent on the code page configured for the running Zope instance. As there can obviously be only one code page configured at a time, this is a problem when there are pages that need one code page and others that need another one. Two solutions seemed useful, but didn’t prove to really work in the end:

atsec information security says they have completed an evaluation of Novell/SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 (SLES 9) for IBM eServer based on the Common Criteria ISO standard (ISO15408), which will result in a certification for Evaluation Assurance Level 4+ (EAL4+). Read the original announcement here.

I just stumbled upon a very useful free tool that I didn’t know yet: Wink. Their own description from the website says:

Wink is a Tutorial and Presentation creation software, primarily aimed at creating tutorials on how to use software (like a tutor for MS-Word/Excel etc). Using Wink you can capture screenshots of your software, use images that you already have, type-in explanations for each step, create a navigation sequence complete with buttons, delays, titles etc and create a highly effective tutorial for your users.

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