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Alan Pope: Running Core Apps on the Desktop

Planet HantsLUG - Fri, 21/03/2014 - 13:20

One of the (many) challenges with creating a new mobile platform is that of bootstrapping app developers. The Ubuntu SDK – based on well known tools like Qt & QtCreator and supporting HTML5, C++ & GL – we can run our applications both on mobile devices and standard Ubuntu desktops.

With our convergence plans being a core component of Ubuntu over the coming releases, we can take advantage of this when testing mobile apps.

Developers can create & users can test applications without having to commit funds to a dedicated Ubuntu mobile device. Of course in the future Ubuntu mobile devices will be ubiquitous but for now we can support those users, testers and developers right now to use Ubuntu mobile apps on the desktop.

So with the Core Apps Hack Days just around the corner, now is a great time to install the core apps on your desktop and help test them, file bugs and contribute patches!

For users of Ubuntu 13.10 and Trusty (14.04) we have a Core Apps Daily PPA which has builds of all the core apps. Installing them is a cinch on 13.10 and 14.04 via the PPA & touch-coreapps metapackage:-

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-touch-coreapps-drivers/daily
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install touch-coreapps

Note: This has been tested on 13.10 and 14.04 but not on previous releases.

If you later wish to remove them simply use sudo ppa-purge ppa:ubuntu-touch-coreapps-drivers/daily or just sudo apt-get autoremove touch-coreapps.

Once installed you should see icons for all the core apps in your dash

We welcome constructive feedback and bug reports about all aspects of the Core Apps. You can find us in #ubuntu-app-devel on freenode and details of where to file bugs can be found on the Core Apps wiki pages.

You can get started with developing apps on Ubuntu via the SDK, the documentation for which is at developer.ubuntu.com.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

March 2014 Core Apps Hack Days!

Planet SurreyLUG - Fri, 21/03/2014 - 12:26

Hack Days are back!

On March 25th – 27th 2014 from 09:00 – 21:00U UTC we’re having another round of Core Apps Hack Days as we Sprint towards the final Ubuntu 14.04 release in April.

This time we’re concentrating our focus on 6 main apps, but we welcome new contributions to all the core apps. We’re identifying all the bite-size bugs which would be ideal for new developers, and we have some more chunky work for more experienced developers looking for more of a challenge. Getting involved is really easy and it’s fun and friendly.

Music & Reminders will be the focus on Tuesday 25th.

  

Clock & Calendar on Wednesday 26th.

  

Weather & Calculator on Thursday 27th.

  

That said, we don’t want to limit contributions to just those days, and of course welcome community developers getting involved at any time of day or night!

We’ve detailed on the HackDays wiki page how you can get involved and all the other details. Head over there for more information.

David, Michael & myself will be around on IRC in #ubuntu-app-devel as always to co-ordinate and run the Hack Days. We’ll also be able to test on multiple mobile devices as well as desktops and laptops. We can review code and get completed work landed into trunk and on devices promptly. We’ll also have and other Core Apps community & Canonical platform developers around to consult and mentor where required.

If you’ve ever considered developing on Ubuntu, but not got around to it, now is a great time to join. There’s plenty to do for people of all levels, developing Free Software for a very wide audience. Join us and lets make the Core Apps rock!

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Alan Pope: March 2014 Core Apps Hack Days!

Planet HantsLUG - Fri, 21/03/2014 - 12:26

Hack Days are back!

On March 25th – 27th 2014 from 09:00 – 21:00U UTC we’re having another round of Core Apps Hack Days as we Sprint towards the final Ubuntu 14.04 release in April.

This time we’re concentrating our focus on 6 main apps, but we welcome new contributions to all the core apps. We’re identifying all the bite-size bugs which would be ideal for new developers, and we have some more chunky work for more experienced developers looking for more of a challenge. Getting involved is really easy and it’s fun and friendly.

Music & Reminders will be the focus on Tuesday 25th.

  

Clock & Calendar on Wednesday 26th.

  

Weather & Calculator on Thursday 27th.

  

That said, we don’t want to limit contributions to just those days, and of course welcome community developers getting involved at any time of day or night!

We’ve detailed on the HackDays wiki page how you can get involved and all the other details. Head over there for more information.

David, Michael & myself will be around on IRC in #ubuntu-app-devel as always to co-ordinate and run the Hack Days. We’ll also be able to test on multiple mobile devices as well as desktops and laptops. We can review code and get completed work landed into trunk and on devices promptly. We’ll also have and other Core Apps community & Canonical platform developers around to consult and mentor where required.

If you’ve ever considered developing on Ubuntu, but not got around to it, now is a great time to join. There’s plenty to do for people of all levels, developing Free Software for a very wide audience. Join us and lets make the Core Apps rock!

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Debian Bits: Debian Project Leader elections 2014

Planet HantsLUG - Fri, 21/03/2014 - 00:00

It's again that time of the year for the Debian Project: the elections of its Project Leader! Starting on March 31st, and during the following two weeks, the Debian Developers will vote to choose the person who will guide the project for one year.

Among this year's candidates there is the current DPL, Lucas Nussbaum, who admits that "the workload involved in being the DPL is just huge," and motivates his nomination with the need for stability in the project in this release cycle, especially after the difficult decision about the default init system. In his platform, Lucas speaks of technical and social steps to improve the project: from reproducible builds for a more secure archive to a renewed effort to run Debian on new platforms (especially smartphone and tablets); from a more welcoming approach to prospective contributors to an easier collaboration with organizations.

The only other candidate left after Gergely Nagy withdrew his nomination, is former Release Manager Neil McGovern. Neil's platform focuses mainly on the need to "ensure that we cater to our users, and there's millions of them. From those running the latest software in unstable, to people who simply want a rock solid core release." In his opinion "the size of Debian is increasing, and will reach a point where we're unable to guarantee basic compatibility with other packages, or the length of time it takes to do so becomes exponentially longer, unless something changes." To fix this problem, Neil proposes the implementation of PPAs (Personal Package Archives), the modernisation of the current build and infrastructure system as well as generally supporting the various teams.

The campaigning period will last until March 30th: the candidates are already engaged in debates and discussions on the debian-vote mailing list where they'll reply to questions from users and contributors.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Steve Kemp: Time to mix things up again

Planet HantsLUG - Thu, 20/03/2014 - 12:19

I'm currently a contractor, working for/with Dyn, until April the 11th.

I need to decide what I'm doing next, if anything. In the meantime here are some diversions:

Some trivial security issues

I noticed and reported two more temporary-file issues insecure temporary file usage in apt-extracttemplates (apt), and libreadline6: Insecure use of temporary files - in _rl_trace.

Neither of those are particularly serious, but looking for them took a little time. I recently started re-auditing code, and decided to do three things:

  • Download the source code to every package installed upon this system.
  • Download the source code to all packages matching the pattern ^libpam-, and ^libruby-*.

I've not yet finished slogging through the code, but my expectation will be a few more issues. I'll guess 5-10, given my cynical nature.

NFS-work

I've been tasked with the job of setting up a small cluster running from a shared and writeable NFS-root.

This is a fun project which I've done before, PXE-booting a machine and telling it to mount a root filesystem over NFS is pretty straight-forward. The hard part is making that system writeable, such that you can boot and run "apt-get install XX". I've done it in the past using magic filesystems, or tmpfs. Either will work here, so I'm not going to dwell on it.

Another year

I had another birthday, so that was nice.

My wife took me to a water-park where we swam like fisheseses, and that tied in nicely with a recent visit to Deep Sea World, where we got to walk through a glass tunnel, beneath a pool FULL OF SHARKS, and other beasties.

Beyond that I received another Global Knife, which has now been bloodied, since I managed to slice my finger open chopping mushrooms on Friday. Oops. Currently I'm in that annoying state where I'm slowly getting used to typing with a plaster around the tip of my finger, but knowing that it'll have to come off again and I'll get confused again.

Linux Distribution

I absolutely did not start working on a "linux distribution", because that would be crazy. Do I look like a crazy-person?

All I did was play around with GNU Stow, and ponder the idea of using a minimal LibC and GNU Stow to organize things.

It went well, but the devil is always in the details.

I like the idea of a master-distribution which installs pam, ssh, etc, but then has derivitives for "This is a webserver", "This is a Ruby server", and "This is a database server".

Consider it like task-selection, but with higher ambition.

There's probably more I could say; a new kitchen sink (literally) and a new tap have made our kitchen nicer, I've made it past six months of regular gym-based workouts, and I didn't die when I went to the beach in the dark the other night, so that was nice.

Umm? Stuff?

Have a nice day. Thanks.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Debian Bits: Working in a possible LTS for Debian Squeeze

Planet HantsLUG - Thu, 20/03/2014 - 11:15

The Debian Security Team announced in the bits from their last meeting that they're considering to ask for the addition of a new suite to provide long term support (LTS) for Squeeze.

Quoting their announcement:

  • It needs to be pointed out that for this effort to be sustainable actual contributions by interested parties are required. squeeze-lts is not something that will magically fall from the sky. If you're dependent/interested in extended security support you should make an effort to contribute, either by contributing on your own or by paying a Debian developer/consultant to contribute for you. The security team itself is driving the effort, NOT doing it. Some team members will contribute to it individually, however.

  • Anyone interested in contributing, please get in touch with team@security.debian.org. We'll setup an initial coordination list with all interested parties. All policies / exact work will be sorted out there.

This means this is still not something settled and if you or your company is insterested in joining this effort, you should contact the security team ASAP. So they can see if there is enough people and resources to launch the LTS.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Dick Turpin: One of them days!

Planet WolvesLUG - Wed, 19/03/2014 - 11:15
I run an opt-in mailing list and send out something like 70+ PC's and laptops. As you'd expect there's a brief run down of CPU, Memory etc. So some bright spark sent me and email asking "Can you supply the generations of the CPU's and the CLOCK speeds of all the memory on every unit please."

Fook Off

I quoted (Actually I under-priced it tbh) to replace a screen on a laptop, inadvertently I was not making any money on the actual screen but at least was making money on the installation. Had an email. "Do you have a courier service? If I send it to you it will cost money and I would expect a discount on the price you quoted."

Fook Off
Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Convert OpenVPN ovpn files for use in network-manager

Planet SurreyLUG - Tue, 18/03/2014 - 19:41

Anyone who has enjoyed the dubious benefits of working with IPSEC will find OpenVPN a delight, but what do you do with your client.ovpn file once you have it?

If you spend most of your time in a terminal anyway, then I would suggest just putting all your client.ovpn files into ~/.openvpn, renaming them in some appropriate way, and then using them simply by typing:

$ sudo openvpn client.ovpn

If, on the other hand, you live in a more graphically orientated world, then you might like to integrate them into Network Manager. Sadly, the Import feature in Ubuntu does not work, at least in the versions of Ubuntu that I have used, and you have to make a few changes first.

Firstly, I would always create a hidden directory into which to store your client files:

$ mkdir ~/.openvpn $ cd ~/.openvpn $ mv ~/Downloads/client.ovpn ./

Secondly, you need to ensure that you have installed openvpn for network-manager:

$ sudo apt-get install network-manager-openvpn-gnome

Thirdly, we need to extract some data out of the client.ovpn, and for this I followed these instructions, which I include below in case of link breakage:

  1. Open client.ovpn in your favour text editor and copy the lines between the <ca> tags into a new file named client.ca.
  2. Remove <ca> section including tags.
  3. Now copy the lines between the <cert> tags into a new file named client.crt.
  4. Remove <cert> section including tags.
  5. Now copy the lines between <key> tags into a new file named client.key.
  6. Remove <key> section including tags.
  7. Now copy the lines between <tls-auth> tags into a new file named client.tls.
  8. Remove <tls-auth> section including tags.
  9. Remove the line “key-direction 1″.
  10. Insert the following text above the line # —–BEGIN RSA SIGNATURE—– :
ca client.ca cert client.crt key client.key tls-auth client.tls 1

Finally, save and close all the files and check that you now have all the above files sitting happily in your ~/.openvpn directory.

Go to Network Manager -> Edit Connections ->VPN and click Import, browse to the modified client.ovpn import that file.

Enter vpn username and password if prompted.

On the VPN page, select Advanced and on the General Tab, uncheck the first option, “Use custom gateway.


Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Steve Kemp: Sending commands to your running mail-client

Planet HantsLUG - Mon, 17/03/2014 - 12:10

So I wrote a mail client, and this morning I added the ability for it to receive input from a Unix domain socket.

In one terminal I have my email client open. In another I run:

lumailctl /tmp/foo.sock "open('/home/skx/Maildir/.livejournal.2014/');"

That opens the unix domain socket, and pipes the following command to it:

open('/home/skx/Maildir/.livejournal.2014/');

The mail client has already got the socket open, and the end result is that my mail client suddenly opens the specified mail folder, and redraws itself.

Neat.

The "open" function is obviously a lua function, which builds upon the lua primitives the client understands:

function open( folder ) clear_selected_folders() set_selected_folder(folder) index() end

Obviously this would be woefully insecure if it were released like this. Later I'll wire up some lua function to establish the socket, such that the user specifies where the socket is created (their home directory, ideally), and it doesn't run by default.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Meeting at "The Moon Under Water"

Wolverhampton LUG News - Mon, 17/03/2014 - 08:56


53-55 Lichfield St
Wolverhampton
West Midlands
WV1 1EQ

Eat, Drink and talk Linux

Event Date and Time:  Wed, 19/03/2014 - 19:30 - 23:00
Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Debian Bits: Video streams for the MiniDebConf 2014 Barcelona

Planet HantsLUG - Sat, 15/03/2014 - 12:10

This is just a quick note to tell you that the video stream of the Barcelona MiniDebConf will be available at the following URL:

http://bcn2014.video.debconf.org/

If you were not able to make it to Barcelona, now you can still follow from home!

May you have a productive and joyful MiniDebConf - and thanks for volunteering and talking if you do so! The MiniDebConf is what you make it.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Steve Kemp: So load-balancers are awesome

Planet HantsLUG - Fri, 14/03/2014 - 14:49

When I was recently talking about load-balancers, and automatically adding back-ends, not just removing bad ones that go offline, I obviously spent a while looking over some.

There are several dedicated load-balancers packaged for Debian GNU/Linux, including:

In addition to actual dedicated load-balancers there are things that can be coerced into running in that way: apache2, varnish, squid, nginx, & etc.

Of the load-balancers I was immediately drawn to both pen and pound, because they have command line tools ("penctl" and "poundctl" respectively) for adding/removing/updating the running configuration.

Pen I've been using for a couple of days now, and although it suffers from some security issues I'm confident they will be resolved in the near future. (#741370)

My only outstanding task is to juggle some hosts around and stress-test the pair of them a little more before deciding on a winner.

In other news I kinda regret the whole blogspam.net API. I'd have had a far simpler life if I'd just ran the damn thing as a DNSBL in the first place. (That's essentially how it operates on the whole anyway. Submit spammy comments for long enough and you're just blacklisted, thereafter.)

Categories: LUG Community Blogs
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