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pages tagged planet-debian

Hacking is Art


Secure USB boot with Debian

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 14:28:04 +0100

Foreword The moment you leave your laptop, say in a hotel room, you can no longer trust your system as it could have been modified while you were away. Think you are safe because you have a crypted disk? Well, if the boot partition is on the laptop itself, it can be manipulated and you will not notice because the boot partition can't be encrypted. The BIOS needs to access the MBR and boot loader and that loads the Linux kernel, all unencrypted. There has been some reports lately that the Linux cryptsetup is insecure because you can spawn a root shell by hitting the enter key for 70 seconds. This is not the real threat to your system, really. If someone has physical access to your hardware, he can get a root shell in less than a second by passing init=/bin/bash as parameter to the Linux kernel in the boot loader regardless if cryptsetup is used or not! The attacker can also use other ways like booting a live system from CD/USB etc. The real insecurity here is the unencrypted boot partition and not some script that gets executed from it. So how to prevent this physical access attack vector? Just keep reading this guide. This guide explains how to install Debian securely on your laptop with using an external USB boot disk, such as a standard USB memory stick. The disk inside the laptop should not contain your /boot partition since that is an easy target for manipulation. An attacker could for example change the boot scripts inside the initrd image to capture your passphrase of your crypted volume. With an USB boot partition, you can unplug the USB stick after the operating system has booted. Best practice here is to have the USB stick together with your bunch of keys. That way you will disconnect your USB stick early after the boot as finished so you can put it back into your pocket. Secure Hardware Assumptions We have to assume here that the hardware you are using to download and verify the install media is safe to use. Same applies with the hardware where you are doing the fresh Debian install. Say the hardware does not contain any malware in the form of code in EFI or other manipulation attempts that influence the behavior of the operating system we are going to install. Download Debian Install ISO Feel free to use any Debian mirror and install flavor. For this guide I am using the download mirror in Germany and the DVD install flavor. wget Verify hashsum of ISO file To know if the ISO file was downloaded without modification we have to check the hashsum of the file. The hashsum file can be found in the same directory as the ISO file on the download mirror. With hashsums if a single bit differs in the file, the resulting SHA512 sum will be completely different. Obtain the hashsum file using: wget Calculate a local hashsum from the downloaded ISO file: sha512sum debian-8.6.0-amd64-DVD-1.iso Now you need to compare the hashsum with that is in the SHA512SUMS file. Since the SHA512SUMS file contains the hashsums of all files that are in the same directory you need to find the right one first. grep can do this for you: grep debian-8.6.0-amd64-DVD-1.iso SHA512SUMS Both commands executed after each other should show following output: $ sha512sum debian-8.6.0-amd64-DVD-1.iso c3883edfc95e3b09152d46ce29a032eed1de71531549aee86bb98dab1528088a16f0b4d628aee8ac6cc420364e208d3d5e19d0dea3576f53b904c18e8f604d8c debian-8.6.0-amd64-DVD-1.iso $ grep debian-8.6.0-amd64-DVD-1.iso SHA512SUMS c3883edfc95e3b09152d46ce29a032eed1de71531549aee86bb98dab1528088a16f0b4d628aee8ac6cc420364e208d3d5e19d0dea3576f53b904c18e8f604d8c debian-8.6.0-amd64-DVD-1.iso As you can see the hashsum found in the SHA512SUMS file matches with the locally generated hashsum using the sha512sum command. At this point we are not finished yet. These 2 matching hashsums just means whatever was on the download server matches what we have received and stored locally on your disk. The ISO file and SHA512[...]

Debian 8 on Dell XPS 15

Sun, 16 Oct 2016 05:46:18 +0200

It was time for a new work laptop so I got a Dell XPS 15 9550. I wasn't planning to write a blog post of how to install Debian 8 "Jessie" on the laptop but since it wasn't just install and use, I will share what is needed to get the wifi and graphics card to work.

So first download the DVD-1 AMD64 image of Debian 8 from your favorite download mirror. The closest one for me is the Hong Kong mirror. You do not need to download the other DVDs, just the first one is sufficient. The netinstaller and CD images will not provide a good experience since they need a working network/internet connection. With the DVD image you can do a full default desktop install and most things will just work out-of-the-box.

Now you can do a regular install, no special procedure or anything will be needed. Depending on your desktop selection it will boot right into lovely GNOME3.

You will quickly notice that the wifi is not working out-of-the-box though. It is a Qualcomm Atheros QCA6174 and the Linux kernel version 3.16 shipped with Debian 8 does not support that wifi card. This card needs the ath10k_pci kernel module which is included in a newer Linux kernel package from the Debian backports archive. If you don't have the Dell docking station as neither I do, then there is no wired ethernet that you can use for getting a temporary Internet connection. So use a different computer with Internet access to download the following packages from the Debian backports archive manually and put them on a USB disk.

After that connect the USB disk to the new Dell laptop and mount the disk using the GNOME3 file browser (nautilus). It will mount the USB disk to /media/$your_username/$volume_name. Become root using sudo or su. Then install all downloaded package from USB with like this:

cd /media/$your_username/$volume_name
dpkg -i linux-base_*.deb
dpkg -i linux-image-4.7.0-0.bpo.1-amd64_*.deb
dpkg -i firmware-atheros_*.deb
dpkg -i firmware-misc-nonfree_*.deb
dpkg -i xserver-xorg-video-intel_*.deb

That's it. If dpkg finished without error message then you can reboot and your wifi and graphics card should just work! After reboot you can verify the wifi card is recognized by running "/sbin/iwconfig" and see if wlan0 shows up.

Have fun with your Dell XPS and Debian!

PS: if this does not work for you, leave a comment or write to meebey at meebey . net

Ethereum GPU Mining on Linux How-To

Sun, 07 Aug 2016 00:35:58 +0200

TL;DR Install/use Debian 8 or Ubuntu 16.04 then execute: sudo apt-get install software-properties-common sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ethereum/ethereum sudo sed 's/jessie/vivid/' -i /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ethereum-ethereum-*.list sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install ethereum ethminer geth account new # copy long character sequence within {}, that is your # if you lose the passphrase, you lose your coins! sudo apt-get install linux-headers-amd64 build-essential wget chmod +x sudo ./ ethminer -G -F --farm-recheck 200 echo done My Attention Span is > 60 seconds Ethereum is a crypto currency similar to Bitcoin as it is based on the blockchain technology. Ethereum is not yet another Bitcoin clone though, since it has an additional feature called Smart Contracts that makes it unique and very promising. I am not going into details how Ethereum works, you can get that into great detail on the Internet. This post is about Ethereum mining. Mining is how crypto coins are created. You need to spent computing time to get coins out. At the beginning CPU mining was sufficient, but as the Ethereum network difficulty has increased you need to use GPUs as they can calculate at a much higher hashrate than a general purpose CPU can do. About 2 months ago I bought a new gaming rig, with a Nvidia GTX 1070 so I can experience virtual-reality gaming with a HTC Vive at a great framerate. As it turns out modern graphics cards are very good at hashing so I gave it a spin. Initially I did this mining setup with Windows 10, as that is the operating system on my gaming rig. If you want to do Ethereum mining using your GPU, then you really want to use Linux. On Windows the GTX 1070 produced a hashrate of 6 MH/s (megahashes per second) while the same hardware does 25 MH/s on Linux. The hashrate multiplied by 4 by using Linux instead of Windows. Sounds good? Keep reading and follow this guide. You have to pick a Linux distro to use for mining. As I am a Debian developer, all my systems run Debian, which is what I am also using for this guide. The same procedure can be done for Ubuntu as it is similar enough. For other distros you have to substitute the steps yourself. So I assume you already have Debian 8 or Ubuntu 16.04 installed on your system. Install Ethereum Software First we need the geth tool which is the main Ethereum "client". Ethereum is really a peer-to-peer network, that means each node is a server and client at the same time. A node that contains the complete blockchain history in a database is called a full node. For this guide you don't need to run a full node, as mining pools do this for you. We still need geth to create the private key of your Ethereum wallet. Somewhere we have to receive the coins we are mining Add the Ethereum APT repository using these commands: sudo apt-get install software-properties-common sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ethereum/ethereum sudo apt-get update On Debian 8 (on Ubuntu you can skip this) you need to replace the repository name with this command: sudo sed 's/jessie/vivid/' -i /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ethereum-ethereum-*.list sudo apt-get update Install ethereum, ethminer and geth: sudo apt-get install ethereum ethminer geth Create Ethereum Wallet A wallet is where coins are "stored". They are not really stored in the wallet because the wallet is just a private key that nobody has. The balance of that wallet is visible to everyone using the blockchain database. And this is what full nodes do, they contain and distribute the database to all other peers. So this this command to create your first private key for your wallet: geth account new Be aware, that this passphrase protects the private key of your wallet. Anyone who has access to that file and knows your passphrase will have full co[...]

Smuxi 1.0 "Finally" Release

Mon, 10 Aug 2015 11:44:10 +0200

RSS Atom Smuxi - IRC Client Smuxi 1.0 with message persistence, counters And here we go again! We're proud to announce the new version of Smuxi, release 1.0 "Finally". During the development, 20 bug reports and 10 feature requests in 285 commits were worked on. Finally 1.0 Smuxi is celebrating its 10th anniversary! 10 years ago, Mirco Bauer made the first commit to the Smuxi source code repository and is still very committed to it. He started the Gnosmirc project in 2005 when the only way a 24/7 "always-on" experience with IRC meant you had to use a console based IRC client like bitchx, irssi or epic combined with screen and SSH. This looks very practical at first and is a powerful Unix-ish way of accomplishing that job, but it has the big downside that it doesn't integrate with a desktop environment like GNOME. A bit later the Gnosmirc project was renamed to Smuxi when the new code architecture allowed other frontend implementations besides the GNOME one. The ncurses/STFL based text frontend was later implemented and is considered stable and useful enough for day to day use, but still has some rough edges. WinForms and WPF frontends also exist but need more work to reach a usable state. At this point Smuxi 1.0 contains all features that we could have imagined and even goes beyond with very advanced features like message patterns or language agnostic scripting. Changes since Smuxi 0.11 Message Persistence One of the biggest drawbacks of the IRC protocol ever was that messages can't be retrieved from the IRC server because the IRC server is simply relaying messages to the connected clients. So, if an IRC client is freshly started and connects it starts to receive new messages, but all message you had received before are no longer available. This always made IRC in a way "volatile" unlike other communication systems like email where messages are relayed and stored on the client side. One common approach for IRC clients is to store log files in a text file. This is a simple feature and gives the user the possibility to read older conversations. Smuxi also supports text file logging like other IRC clients but it has a big user experience drawback as you need to open the file from the disk outside of the IRC client. In Smuxi 1.0 messages sent and received are now stored on the disk in a way they can automatically be retrieved/loaded when you restart Smuxi. It is like you have never closed Smuxi! This feature was already available in Smuxi for some time as a technical preview and it used the Db4o object database, but we were never happy about the performance neither with the stability so it always stayed an optional feature you need to enable. This year we tried a new message buffer backend using the famous SQLite database and it works much faster and stable as a rock. So finally we can enable this feature by default because it just works and enhanced your experience. We hope you enjoy it. Documentation of how you can change Smuxi message buffer backend and behavior can be found here. For instructions how to convert your existing db4o history to SQLite can be found in the "smuxi-message-buffer tool" section. User Interface Enhancements Synced message markers: the position of of the seen/unseen messages marker is pushed to the smuxi-server and remembered when the frontend reconnects. (Sebastian Poeplau) Persistent message markers: the message marker position is also remembered across Smuxi(-server) restarts. Message Counter: in addition to the highlight counter next to a chat new/unseen messages are also counted. This makes it easy to identify chats with much traffic. Single application instance support. If you start Smuxi again from the menu it will bring the existing instance into the foreground. This makes the Ubuntu Messaging Menu much nicer. The command/message entry is alignment with the messages. (Lex Berezhny) Text Frontend Enhancements The console background color can now be configured using: /co[...]

Smuxi 0.11 "Distractions" Release

Wed, 30 Apr 2014 14:28:35 +0200

RSS Atom Smuxi - IRC Client Smuxi 0.11 with multi identity support, message patterns, fixed Twitter and new website And here we go again! We're proud to announce the new version of Smuxi, release 0.11 "Distractions". During the development, 11 bug reports and 2 feature requests in 112 commits were worked on. Notable highlights in this release are: User Interface Enhancements The chat list can be shrunken. This is especially handy with XMPP/Jabber and long group chat identifiers. The highlight counter is now a separate column. This enhances the vertical alignment with other highlights and guarantees to be visible even if the chat name was truncated. Multi Identity Support Smuxi cares for user feedback. Multi identity support was the most voted feature and thus it has been implemented! Now you can please your schizo^Wdesire to use different nicks, users and real names depending on the server. Simply edit the server in preferences and change the details. Message Patterns Everybody knows text can be boring because it is all just text. Nothing can sidetrack you except reading that bare text. Text often has recurring patterns from which something useful and interactive can be created. For example, someone writes: Hey meebey, do you know RFC2812? RFCs are a recurring pattern with a distinct number behind it and are real references to something in the internet (collection of protocol specifications). So I would usually fire up a browser tab, copy/paste or type RFC2812 into my favorite search engine and click the first hit. Then I'd reply to the question afterwards. But with Smuxi's message patters, it turns RFC2812 into a link on which you can simply click to launch the relevant document. Wow this is very cool, but isn't this already happening with http URLs and email addresses? Exactly! Why shouldn't more information be used to create useful things from it? Smuxi message patterns allow you to define text patterns that are transformed into clickable links. This can be used for RFCs, CVEs, bug report numbers (#XXX), git commit hashes and much more. Make good use of your creativity! By default Smuxi comes with built-in message patterns for: URLs heuristic URLs (not starting with http:// etc) email addresses RFCs CVEs Debian Security Advisories (DSA) Many popular bug trackers (GNU, GCC, kernel, Launchpad, freedesktop, GNOME, KDE, Xfce, Debian, Redhat, Novell, Xamarin, openSUSE, Mozilla, Samba, SourceForge, CPAN, boost, Claws and Smuxi) If you know more general patterns useful for others, please submit them. For a full list of built-in message patterns or how to add your own patterns, head over to the message pattern documentation. Hooks Enhancements A bug was fixed that prevented hooks from issuing more than one command New hook points: engine/session/on-group-chat-person-added engine/session/on-group-chat-person-removed engine/session/on-group-chat-person-updated New hook variables: CMD CMD_PARAMETER CMD_CHARACTER PROTOCOL_MANAGER_PRESENCE_STATUS: Unknown, Offline, Online, Away Twitter Enhancements As of 14 Jan 2014, Twitter disallows unencrypted HTTP requests which broke Smuxi's Twitter support. Smuxi is now making exclusively encrypted requests (HTTPS) and thus works with Twitter again. JabbR (Beta) Enhancements Messages now raise Smuxi hooks The Validate certificate setting is now correctly honored. Updated Translations Smuxi should now be in your language, including: Initial complete Dutch (Jeroen Baten) Behind the Scenes New Smuxi git repository @ GNOME Cleaner XMPP code (Oliver Schneider) Smuxi's STFL text frontend is doing a graceful shutdown on quit (Calvin B)) New sexy website! We hope you like it Contributors Contributors to this release are the following people: Mirco Bauer (98 commits) Oliver Schneider (6 commits) Calvin B (6 commits) Andrés G. Aragoneses (1 commit) Jeroen Baten (translations) Thank you very much for your contributions [...]

Mono 3.0 Preview Packages for Debian and Ubuntu

Wed, 31 Oct 2012 17:10:00 +0100

Just after the Mono 3.0 release was announced I started working on Debian packages and after a couple of days of hard work I already have some preview packages for you. The preview packages are currently limited to the AMD64 architecture but can be installed on Debian/Testing (Wheezy), Debian/Unstable (Sid) and Ubuntu/Quantal (12.10). After these preview packages have received some successful feedback (please leave feedback via comments!), I will upload them to Debian/Experimental. In case you are shocked why I have packages in just 8 days after the official Mono 3.0 release, there are 3 factors that play a big role: New packaging workflow Downstream patches are management in git branches Release Early, Release Often: I no longer port and test every patch very carefully (especially with architecture specific patches), instead I port them with my best knowledge and upload them to and/or Debian/Experimental and use that as test ground. If regressions happen, let them happen, and make further uploads to address them. New packaging style Starting with my Mono 2.10 packages, each library has it's own package, which simplifies packaging. Sponsored packaging As my employer needs Mono packages for an upcoming software project, I was granted to work on Mono packages in worktime. Install instructions OBLIGATORY WARNING: DO NOT USE THESE PREVIEW PACKAGES ON PRODUCTION SYSTEMS NOR BLAME ME IF YOUR MONO SOFTWARE NO LONGER WORKS! Add this line to your /etc/apt/sources.list file: deb / Now update the APT database and install mono-complete from that repository: apt-get update apt-get install mono-complete UPDATE: Some people reported issues with xsp4 on Mono 3.0 that look like this: An exception has occurred while generating HttpException page: System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object at System.Web.Util.HttpEncoder.GetCustomEncoderFromConfig () [0x00000] in :0 at System.Lazy`1[System.Web.Util.HttpEncoder].InitValue () [0x00000] in :0 I could track these issue down to an too old XSP version. The issue can be solved by building XSP from the git repository. This was also the reason I couldn't upload the preview packages to the official repositories. UPDATE2: I have updated the repository with Mono 3.0.6 packages. An upload to Debian/Experimental and Ubuntu/Raring will happen very soonish as promised. The final packages for official inclusion need updated copyright information and library versioning as defined in the Debian Policy and Debian CLI Policy. Have fun Mono 3.0.6ing! [...]

Smuxi 0.8.10 "Tracy" Release

Tue, 21 Aug 2012 23:36:05 +0200

RSS Atom Smuxi - IRC Client Smuxi 0.8.10 "Tracy" Release As longingly awaited I am very happy to announce Smuxi 0.8.10 codenamed "Tracy". During the development 8 bug reports and 15 feature requests in 136 commits were worked on making this release a major feature and minor bugfix release. Notable highlights in this release are: Integrated Spell Checking Everyone knows the "how do you spell that word again?" situation and either you don't care and send a possible typo or you go checking a dictionary which is kind of annoying. The good news is: with this release you no longer need to do that, as Smuxi includes automatic spell checking while you type messages. The bad news is that this feature is currently limited to Linux builds, and thus OSX and Windows build do not ship with it. The installers need to be extended and I haven't found pre-compiled OSX nor Windows binaries for the GTK+ spell checking library. Favicons for Server Tabs Distinguishing server tabs can be difficult, especially if you have plenty of them. All server tabs have the same icon so you need to search for the right name. I wondered why this issue doesn't happen so easily with a web browser which usually also has lots of tabs open. Besides the page name there is the favicon right in front. So why can't Smuxi make use of that simple but effective technology? Well, now it does! You connect to a known network, and Smuxi will download and show the favicon of the website. It just works and does everything in the background for you. Quick Join Bar One thing that makes IRC really difficult for new comers is the important IRC concept that channels are network specific. So what happens is people try to find / join the channel they are looking for but on the wrong network. They have to connect to the right server/network and then switch to the right tab, before they can join the channel (using the /join command or join dialog). The developers of Smuxi had a brainstorming session and came up with something that should be easy enough for anyone to use and finally solves the issue: the quick join bar. You know which channel you want to join and which network, you enter the channel name, select the network from the list and hit the "Join Chat" button and you are done. Now Smuxi will do just the right thing for you and connects to that network if needed, joins the channel if needed, or switches to the channel if you are already there! Click here for a screencast of the Quick Join Bar in action Indention of multi-line messages Messages on IRC and also Twitter are often longer than a single line in Smuxi can show, thus it has to be split into a second line or more. The issue here is that the continuation line looks cluttered because it doesn't align with the first line. Here you can see an example for this issue: Ewww, that looks ugly, doesn't it? I will make this one short, here is the cure with indented multi-line messages: Enhanced Text Frontend The text frontend which is still in alpha state has received the following enhancements: new /exit command, new /help command, regular and xterm window title, and, several fixed crashes. Enhanced Commands The /network command by default shows now all connected and also available networks: The /connect command now allows you to connect by network name like this: /connect freenode Updated Translations Portuguese (Pedro Ribeiro) Chinese Simp (Dean Lee) Danish (Joe Hansen) Swedish (Martin Bagge) Russian (Yuri Myasoedov) New Translations Croatian (Matias M) partially Polish (lukasznaw) Contributors Contributors to this release are the following people: Mirco Bauer (126 commits) Bianca Mix (translations) Dean Lee (translations) Joe Hansen (tra[...]

Smuxi 0.8.9 "One Giant Leap" Release

Fri, 06 Jan 2012 19:55:01 +0100

RSS Atom Smuxi - IRC Client Smuxi 0.8.9 "One Giant Leap" Release Just in time for 2012 I am very pleased to announce Smuxi 0.8.9 codenamed "One Giant Leap". During the development 56 bug reports and 33 feature requests in 593 commits were worked on making this release a major milestone of the Smuxi project. At the Chaos Communication Congress (28C3) in Berlin I was doing the final development sprint to get 0.8.9 done, which was a very intensive and refreshing experience. Here are the highlights of this release: Development Builds / Rolling Releases After the 0.8 release it became clear that a continious and short development -> test cycle is important to keep the project going quickly. At some point I have received requests if the project is dead while it was more active than ever. The lack of new releases (for about 15 months) lead to this wrong impression. Thus Smuxi can be obtained from development builds now. This includes daily builds for Debian (Squeeze, Wheezy, Sid), Ubuntu (Lucid, Maverick, Natty, Oneiric, Precise) and Windows. Thanks goes to Hannes Tismer for providing the Windows autobuilder and to Canonical for the PPA autobuilder. We invite everyone to use these daily builds to keep track of the latest development of Smuxi. Issues and regressions are fixed in a very short period (usually the same day). Thanks to our users who ran development builds and reported issues which led to many bug fixes prior to this release. On the other hand one of my New Year's resolutions are to "release early, release often" So there should be no nerd left behind... Mac OS X support With the help of Steven McGrath (Steve[cug]) who created the initial Mac OS X installer for Smuxi we now have official support for Mac OS X. The download page contains the instructions how to obtain and install Smuxi on Mac OS X. This makes the 4th platform where Smuxi can be used on besides Windows, Linux and *BSD. For now Smuxi 0.8.9 doesn't feel as native as it could as it relies on the GTK+ port. We are looking into enhancing the experience though, just stay tuned. Chat History on Disk (Beta) The most exciting feature in this release I think are the "persistent message buffers". With this feature I could solve one of the biggest drawbacks IRC ever had: IRC does not retain any messages you have sent or received. All messages are only relayed to all users. The issue is that if you close your IRC client or even just leave a channel, all your received messages are gone. One workaround in most clients was to create text log files which then contains the chat history, but it is annoying and not user-friendly to open some text file somewhere from your disk to read the history outside of your IRC client. Now with Smuxi 0.8.9 you no longer have this issue, all chat history gets automatically written and read to a message database when you start Smuxi, join channels or open queries! As this feature is not fully stable yet it is not enabled by default. If you want to try it go to: File -> Preferences -> Interface and change "Persistency Type" from "Volatile" to "Persistent", hit OK and restart Smuxi. Now all messages are saved into the database and will automatically be shown. Click here for a screencast of this feature Jabber / XMPP Support (Beta) You probably have friends not on IRC and Twitter, say on Jabber, gTalk or Facebook? This is where the new XMPP engine of Smuxi comes into play. You can send and receive messages to/from them now! The implementation is far from complete, though. It has no buddy list for example and needs only to be treated as a technical preview of what will be coming in future Smuxi releases. Click here for a screencast of this feature Text Interface (Alpha) This is the first release that contains a t[...]

Amazon MP3 Downloader and 64-bit Linux

Mon, 25 Apr 2011 10:07:38 +0200

Last night I wanted to buy an album on Amazon and I couldn't do the checkout as the site required me to install the Amazon MP3 Downloader to make the purchase and download of the album. The downloader is not needed for a single song though, but buying each song separately would be more expensive and more work. The good news is that it automatically offered me packages for different Linux distros: Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora and OpenSUSE instead of telling me off for using Linux and leaving me behind with a Windows only download. But here comes the catch, all offered packages are only for the Intel 32-bit architecture.

Now this is a showstopper for me, as I am running an AMD64 Debian which is a 64-bit architecture. I first tried to download and run the 32-bit debian package nonetheless as there was some hope with the ia32-libs and ia32-libs-gtk package. But this was not working as the application needs gtkmm libraries like libglademm and bailed when I tried to run it. So I filed a wishlist bug report against ia32-libs-gtk for inclusion of gtkmm and possibly other needed libraries to run the Amazon MP3 downloader on AMD64.

So I bought the album using MusicLoad instead which simply puts all songs in a single archive on-the-fly and let me download that archive.

When I tweeted my frustration on Twitter I was hinted by Jo Shields and also by Gabriel Burt that there would have been a much simpler solution to this issue by using Banshee which includes an Amazon MP3 Store plugin:


This plugin allows you to log into your Amazon account browse their store like the regular Amazon store, plays the song samples directly, purchase songs, downloads the songs and imports them into Banshee's database so you can play them right away. And as if this wasn't good enough yet, with the the purchase of MP3 songs on Amazon using Banshee automatically makes a donation to the GNOME foundation.

As I am the only one who forgot or wasn't aware of this awesome solution this deserved some blogging.

Update: some people pointed out that clamz is also available to make MP3 purchases on Amazon.

The Big Split: Mono 2.10 Debian Packaging

Fri, 15 Apr 2011 01:00:30 +0200

Most probably haven't noticed yet but I finished the Mono 2.10.1 debian packaging effort of the past 3 months and uploaded it to Debian/Experimental. With Mono 2.10 I had to make the biggest changes in Mono packaging since the big Mono 2.0 upload. The runtime no longer supports the 1.0 and 2.0 runtime profile, instead it now supports the 2.0 and 4.0 runtime profile. This meant I had to drop all libmono1.0-cil packages and add libmono4.0-cil packages. This sounds like a lot of s/1.0/4.0/ work but it actually wasn't. Mono 2.10 ships a lot of new libraries over 2.6 and I had again to decide where they should go. "Where should this $library go?" I have been playing this game for the past 7 years maintaining Mono and I finally gave up on it... What, where, when, why? I could give now a 2 hours talk of the issues behind the current packaging approach (keeping the number of library packages low) but instead I will do something else. Please, just take a look at this picture for a second: If your browser crashed, your eyes hurt or your brain simply melted, I think you have got the idea. The Big Split The cure? cli-common-dev! This is a package that contains 2 extremely important debhelper packaging tools for packaging Mono/CLI related packages called dh_makeclilibs and dh_clideps. If you don't know these, they do exact the same thing as dh_makeshlibs and dh_shlibdeps do. dh_makeclilibs generates library dependency tracking information and dh_clideps consumes that information to automatically generate the package dependencies for you. So each library of the 4.0 runtime profile has now it's own package, simple as that, the rest does cli-common-dev for me and you. "Hey, that Mono packaging bastard is polluting the Debian archive because of his laziness!" No, I am not. This packaging change not only has the advantage of simplifying the packaging and with that bringing new Mono versions faster to you but also reduces the typical install size for applications as they will only pull in the really used libraries of Mono instead of groups of them. I don't have any numbers handy right now as none of the applications are built against Mono 2.10 (yet), but when the transition starts we will get numbers. New Features There is also a new SGen flavor of Mono available called mono-runtime-sgen which is no longer using the conservative non-generational Boehm's garbage collector but SGen which is a simple generational garbage collector with promising advantages. And here some more Mono 2.8/2.10 news from /usr/share/doc/mono-runtime/NEWS.Debian.gz: SGen Precise Stack Scanning Enhanced SIMD with new methods for Vector data type conversions and swapping elements in vectors ASP.NET MVC 3.0 (not included, only supported) The C# Interactive Shell can now be used as shebang: #!/usr/bin/csharp .NET 4.0 runtime C# 4.0 compiler ASP.NET 4.0 Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF) System.Data.Services.Client (OData) glib was replaced with eglib Removed .NET 1.1 runtime Architecture Regressions With the initial upload of Mono 2.10.1 to Debian/Experimental the architecture world broke apart and it regressed on all Mono architectures except for i386 and amd64 There is a reason it's called experimental isn't there? In mono 2.10.1-3 I could solve all regressions except for kfreebsd-* and armel. Jo Shields fixed the remaining regressions and the world started to look good again in mono 2.10.1-4! He also took care of mono-basic, mod-mono and xsp, but mod-mono and xsp are still waiting for the translation call deadline to pass by so they can also be uploaded to Debian/Experimental. Planned Transition As mentioned above, there will be a Mono 2.10 transition needed when the packages hit Debian/Unstable. There is no ETA yet on this when it will happen as I have to coordinate this with debian-release first. But [...]