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Michael Stapelberg

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2015 › December

  • I’m happily using Prometheus for monitoring and alerting since about a year. Regardless of the monitoring system, one problem that I was uncertain of how to solve it in a good way used to be meta-monitoring: if you have a monitoring system, how do you know that the monitoring system itself is running? Read more →

2015 › October

  • When uploading a new library package which changes its API/behavior in a subtle way, typically you will only hear about the downstream breakage after you’ve uploaded the new library package (via bug reports telling you that your package FTBFS, fails to build from source). Read more →

2015 › July

  • Recently, the pkg-go team has been quite busy, uploading dozens of Go library packages in order to be able to package gcsfuse (a user-space file system for interacting with Google Cloud Storage) and InfluxDB (an open-source distributed time series database). Read more →

  • I have been using a Dell UP2414Q monitor for a little over a year now. The Dell UP2414Q was the first commercially available display that qualified as what Apple calls a Retina Display, meaning it has such a high resolution that you cannot see the individual pixels in normal viewing distance. Read more →

2014 › December

  • It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve launched Debian Code Search Instant, so people have had the chance to use it for a while and that gives me plenty of data points to look at :-). For every query, I log the search term itself as well as the duration the query took to execute. Read more →

  • For the last few months, I have been working on a new version of Debian Code Search, and today it’s going live! I call it Debian Code Search Instant, for multiple reasons, see below. A lot faster The new Debian Code Search is still hosted by Rackspace (thank you! Read more →

2014 › November

  • I’ve been working on a significant rearchitecture of Debian Code Search during the last few months (off and on, as time permits). This will enable us to provide a couple of features that have been often requested but were not possible with the old architecture, such as grouping search results by Debian source package (#1 feature request) and performing queries that take a longer time than the default execution limit of a minute (#2 feature request). Read more →

2014 › September

  • Ever since I moved to Zürich, I wanted to get a fiber internet connection. I’ve lived with a 6 Mbps DSL line at my parent’s place for about 10 years, so I was looking forward to a lot more Megabits and a lot less latency. Read more →

2014 › August

  • I run multiple web services, mostly related to All of them use PostgreSQL as their database, so the data that is stored in that PostgreSQL database is pretty important to me and the users of these services. Since a while now, I have been thinking about storing that data in a more reliable way. Read more →

  • I immediately ordered a fiber7 internet connection once it became available, and I’ve been connected since a few weeks. They offer a 1 Gbps symmetrical fiber connection, with native (static) IPv6 and no traffic limit — for 65 CHF per month (about 54 €). Read more →

2014 › July

  • In my flat, I have a printed QR code which contains the WiFi credentials. You can scan it with your Smartphone (provided you have a barcode scanner installed) and then connect to the WiFi network. For notebook computers, this doesn’t work so well. Read more →

2014 › May

  • I’ve been travelling a bit to foreign countries lately and noticed that all of the places I’ve stayed at (low to medium price range hotels) have one thing in common: their WiFi is absolutely horrible. Even worse, it seems like the more money you pay, the more horrible the WiFi gets. Read more →

2014 › February

  • Thomas Habets has blogged about using your TPM (Trusted Platform Module) for SSH authentication a few weeks ago. We worked together to get his package simple-tpm-pk11 into Debian, and it has just arrived in unstable :-). Using simple-tpm-pk11, you can let your TPM generate a key, which you then can use for SSH authentication. Read more →

2014 › January

  • The original firmware for the qnap TS-119P2+ supports Wake-On-LAN, meaning you can power down your Network Storage (NAS) when you don’t need it and you can easily wake it up by sending it a magic ethernet packet. This is an awesome feature when you are not at home all the time (say, you have a day job) and want to conserve some power without giving up on convenience. Read more →

  • In my last article, I wrote about my experiences with my new SuperMicro server, and a big part of that article was about the Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) which is included in the SuperMicro X9SCL-F mainboard I bought. In that previous article, I already suggested that the code quality of the IPMI firmware is questionable at best, and this article is in part proof and in part mitigation :-). Read more →

  • As explained in more detail in my my last blog post, Rackspace is providing hosting for Debian Code Search. For those of you who don’t know, Rackspace is a cloud company that provides (among other services) a public cloud based on OpenStack. Read more →

  • Recently, together with a couple friends of mine, we rented a rack in a datacenter. Not just any datacenter, but that’s a story for another time ;-). Each participant can hang up a 1U server in that rack, so I needed to build one. Read more →

2013 › December

  • For a number of weeks now, I have been forwarding traffic being sent to to an instance of Debian Code Search running at Rackspace’s public cloud offering. I feel like it’s overdue to announce how they have been supporting the project and what that means. Read more →

  • CoreOS is a minimal operating system based on Linux, systemd and Docker. In this post I describe how I see CoreOS/Docker and how my first steps with it went. What is Docker and why is it a good idea? Finding the right words to describe all of this to someone who has not worked with any of it is hard, but let me try. Read more →

2013 › November

  • Richi’s post about the pdiff-by-default agony resonates with me a lot. On EVERY Debian installation I have ever done in the last few years, without any exceptions, I have turned off pdiffs. Even on all the oddball cases (Raspberry Pi, account on a remote machine, …) where I don’t run my install-configs script, I have ended up turning off pdiffs eventually, because it is just so insanely slow on modern internet connections. Read more →

  • Thanks to Axel Beckert (abe@), 12 people interested in Debian met last Tuesday in Zürich and celebrated the start of our monthly Debian meetup. New faces are always very welcome. If you live in Zürich, or if you’re visiting, please feel free to attend our meetup — no registration necessary. Read more →

2013 › October

  • Ideally, an internet connection would be perfectly stable, but since that is not always the case, a watchdog is the next best thing. In case you ever use your home machine(s) remotely, the use case should be clear: make sure the internet connection at home still works so that you can log in when travelling. Read more →

2013 › September

  • A couple of times now, I’ve had problems with my server. The earliest one was when a hard disk drive died. Then memory went bad and had to be replaced. Another example was when a power supply of another machine died and took out the whole rack. Read more →

2013 › August

  • During DebConf, Asheesh presented the idea of using git instead of the file system for storing the contents of Debian Code Search. The hope was that it would lead to fewer disk seeks and less data due to gits delta-encoding. Read more →

  • I gave two talks at this year’s DebConf, both about systemd. A huge thanks goes to the video team for their excellent work and putting up the videos that quickly! Find the recordings and slides here: Making your package work with systemd (508 MiB ogv) (Slides (≈ 230 KiB PDF)) systemd myths debunked! Read more →

  • I will arrive at DebConf 2013 on Sunday afternoon. In case you are interested in Go (the programming language), systemd, i3 or getting your package reviewed, please talk to me! :-) Looking forward to meeting many of you in real life. Read more →

2013 › July

  • Good news, everyone! dh-golang is now in Debian unstable. With this debhelper addon, packaging software written in Go is very simple. Have a look at the example/ directory in dh-golang to see how it is meant to be used. Essentially, export the DH_GOPKG variable containing the canonical upstream location of the package (e. Read more →

  • For some rather advanced isolation and automation work I am currently doing with Debian Code Search I needed to modify the ExecStart= line of a systemd service file programmatically. The recommended interface for programmatically querying service file properties is systemctl show -p ExecStart foo. Read more →

  • Posting this on behalf of a friend of mine in the hope that you can help: I’ve failed several times now to find a suitable WLAN USB dongle that works out of the box on Debian testing. Often manufacturers change the chipsets without changing the version numbers, the product pages are incomplete or even state wrong information. Read more →

  • As of today, systemd 204 is available in Debian experimental. If you are interested in systemd, please install it and report any issues to the BTS — merely reporting them on IRC is not sufficient, we need to have them in the BTS so we don’t forget about them. Read more →

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