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Michael Stapelberg

Blog Posts tagged debian ATOM feed for posts tagged debian

I became a Debian Developer in 2012.


  • Debian Code Search now offers an OpenAPI-based API! Various developers have created ad-hoc client libraries based on how the web interface works. The goal of offering an OpenAPI-based API is to provide developers with automatically generated client libraries for a large number of programming languages, that target a stable interface independent of the web interface’s implementation details. Read more →


  • In distri, packages (e.g. emacs) are hermetic. By hermetic, I mean that the dependencies a package uses (e.g. libusb) don’t change, even when newer versions are installed. For example, if package libusb-amd64-1.0.22-7 is available at build time, the package will always use that same version, even after the newer libusb-amd64-1. Read more →

  • I just released a new version of distri. The focus of this release lies on: a better developer experience, allowing users to debug any installed package without extra setup steps performance improvements in all areas (starting programs, building distri packages, generating distri images) Read more →


  • In case you are not yet familiar with why an initramfs (or initrd, or initial ramdisk) is typically used when starting Linux, let me quote the wikipedia definition: “[…] initrd is a scheme for loading a temporary root file system into memory, which may be used as part of the Linux startup process […] to make preparations before the real root file system can be mounted. Read more →




  • Hooks are an extension feature provided by all package managers that are used in larger Linux distributions. For example, Debian uses apt, which has various maintainer scripts. Fedora uses rpm, which has scriptlets. Different package managers use different names for the concept, but all of them offer package maintainers the ability to run arbitrary code during package installation and upgrades. Read more →


  • In the i3 projects, we have always tried hard to avoid optional dependencies. There are a number of reasons behind it, and as I have recently encountered some of the downsides of optional dependencies firsthand, I summarized my thoughts in this article. Read more →


  • This post is hard to write, both in the emotional sense but also in the “I would have written a shorter letter, but I didn’t have the time” sense. Hence, please assume the best of intentions when reading it—it is not my intention to make anyone feel bad about their contributions, but rather to provide some insight into why my frustration level ultimately exceeded the threshold. Read more →


  • Motivation I have recently been looking into speeding up Debian Code Search. As a quick reminder, search engines answer queries by consulting an inverted index: a map from term to documents containing that term (called a “posting list”). See the Debian Code Search Bachelor Thesis (PDF) for a lot more details. Read more →

  • Recently, a user reported that they don’t see window titles in i3 when running i3 on a Raspberry Pi with Debian. I copied the latest Raspberry Pi Debian image onto an SD card, booted it, and was able to reproduce the issue. Read more →


  • This is taken care of: Gunnar Wolf has taken on maintenance of the Raspberry Pi image. Thank you! (Cross-posting this message I sent to pkg-raspi-maintainers for broader visibility.) I started building Raspberry Pi images because I thought there should be an easy, official way to install Debian on the Raspberry Pi. Read more →


  • dput-ng ≥ 1.16 contains two usability changes which make uploading easier: When no arguments are specified, dput-ng auto-selects the most recent .changes file (with confirmation). Instead of erroring out when detecting an unsigned .changes file, debsign(1) is invoked to sign the . Read more →

  • I have heard a number of times that sbuild is too hard to get started with, and hence people don’t use it. To reduce hurdles from using/contributing to Debian, I wanted to make sbuild easier to set up. sbuild ≥ 0. Read more →


  • I previously wrote about my Debian buster preview image for the Raspberry Pi 3. Now, I’m publishing an updated version, containing the following changes: WiFi works out of the box. Use e.g. ip link set dev wlan0 up, and iwlist wlan0 scan. Read more →

  • If you want to follow along at home, clone this repository: % GBP_CONF_FILES=:debian/gbp.conf gbp clone Now, in the golang-github-go-macaron-inject directory, I’m aware of three ways to obtain an orig tarball (please correct me if there are more): Run gbp buildpackage, creating an orig tarball from git (upstream/0. Read more →



  • On 2017-01-18, I announced that had been modernized. Let me catch you up on a few things which happened in the meantime: Debian experimental was added to I was surprised to learn that adding experimental only required 52MB of disk usage. Read more →


  • I previously wrote about my Debian stretch preview image for the Raspberry Pi 3. Now, I’m publishing an updated version, containing the following changes: A new version of the upstream firmware makes the Ethernet MAC address persist across reboots. Read more →


  • has been modernized! We have just launched a major update to our manpage repository. What used to be served via a CGI script is now a statically generated website, and therefore blazingly fast. While we were at it, we have restructured the paths so that we can serve all manpages, even those whose name conflicts with other binary packages (e. Read more →


  • The last couple of days, I worked on getting Debian to run on the Raspberry Pi 3. Thanks to the work of many talented people, the Linux kernel in version 4.8 is _almost_ ready to run on the Raspberry Pi 3. Read more →

  • Personally, I find the packaging tools which are available in Debian far too complex. To better understand the options we have, I created a diagram of tools which are frequently used, only covering the build step (i.e. no post-build quality assurance checks or packaging-time helpers): When I was first introduced to Debian packaging, people recommended I use pbuilder. Read more →


  • A while ago, it occurred to me that querying Debian Code Search seemed slow, which surprised me because I previously spent quite some effort on making it faster, see Debian Code Search Instant and Taming the latency tail for the most recent substantial architecture overhaul and related optimizations. Read more →


  • Recently, I was wondering why I was pushing off accepting contributions in Debian for longer than in other projects. It occurred to me that the effort to accept a contribution in Debian is way higher than in other FOSS projects. Read more →


  • 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 →



  • 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 →

  • 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 →


  • 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 →


  • 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 →



  • 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 →


  • Thanks to Axel Beckert ([email protected]), 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 →

  • 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 →


  • 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 →

  • 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 →

  • 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 →


  • This blog post is the second of a series of posts dealing with the results of the Debian systemd survey. I intend to give a presentation at DebConf 2013, too, so you could either read my posts, or watch the talk, or both :-). Read more →

  • This blog post is the third of a series of posts dealing with the results of the Debian systemd survey. I intend to give a presentation at DebConf 2013, too, so you could either read my posts, or watch the talk, or both :-). Read more →

  • The German computer magazine c't has covered Debsources in its most recent edition (c't 16/2013). In that article, they also state: Debsources integriert auch eine Code-Suche, allerdings werden lediglich die Quellen des Unstable-Zweigs durchsucht, der zirka ein Drittel des Quellcodes von Debsources ausmacht. Read more →

  • Sometimes, people show up in our IRC channel #debian-systemd or on our mailing list [email protected] and ask how they can help. This blog post answers that question. First of all, whatever you end up doing, please coordinate with us first! 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 →

  • 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 →

  • 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. Read more →



  • In the past, we have had multiple heated discussions involving systemd. We (the pkg-systemd-maintainers team) would like to better understand why some people dislike systemd. Therefore, we have created a survey, which you can find at Please only submit your feedback to the survey and not this thread, we are not particularly interested in yet another systemd discussion at this point. Read more →

  • Whenever I want to work on some package, I usually clone its git repository, make my changes, then push and upload the Debian package. I don’t keep those repositories around in order to avoid cruft and also to have a 100% clean, up-to-date setup whenever I start working on something. Read more →

  • A week ago, we started the Debian systemd survey. The goal was to figure out a few trends and answer the following two questions: Do our subjective impressions from the discussions on debian-devel reflect the general sentiment about systemd? Read more →


  • Previously, my workflow regarding replying to bugreports outside my own packages was very uncomfortable: I first downloaded the mbox archive from the BTS, then imported that in claws-mail, hit reply all, remove [email protected], add [email protected], then send the email. Therefore, I decided to hack up a little elisp function to automate this process for notmuch. Read more →

  • Recently, I was wondering how many Debian Developers are actively working on RC bugs in some way or another in the time period of the last release (squeeze) to now (shortly? before wheezy). I therefore grabbed the mailing list archives of [email protected] from gmane, used only those messages whose X-Debian-PR-Message header matches an RC bug (list retrieved from UDD) and then attributed the message counts to the appropriate Debian Developer. Read more →


  • RC bugs

    Tags: debian

    I recently worked on the following RC bugs: #696187 — squid-cgi: CVE-2012-5643: cachemgr.cgi denial of service NMUed the upstream patches after nearly 2 months of no maintainer reaction on the bugreport. #684645 — sendmail-bin: Order of fcntl and dotlock in maillock Read more →

  • RC bugs

    Tags: debian

    I recently worked on the following RC bugs: #696532 — isdnlog: /etc/isdn/isdnlog.isdnctrl0 is easily destroyed in squeeze to wheezy upgrade Pinged the maintainer about uploading a fix to unstable, too (was only fixed in experimental). #693208 — clang: unable to link trivial test program on armhf Read more →


  • I just uploaded wit-2.10a to Debian experimental (it has to pass the NEW queue first, though). WIT (Wiimms ISO Tools) is a set of command-line tools to manipulate Wii and GameCube ISO images and WBFS containers. It is useful (for me) to store backups of my Wii games on a USB hard disk drive. Read more →


  • Dear Lazyweb, I recently investigated #694670 - kscd does not play any CD — essentially, at least on my machine, phonon-based applications such as kscd won’t play Audio CDs when your CD drive is not called /dev/cdrom, but e. Read more →

  • RC bugs

    Tags: debian

    I recently worked on the following RC bugs: #694892 — tvtime: package installation creates /root/.tvtime Sent a patch which fixes the issue. Needs a second pair of eyes plus possibly an NMU. #684604 — eclipse-rcp: eclipse 3. Read more →

  • RC bugs

    Tags: debian

    I recently worked on the following RC bugs: #694976 — sigit: doesn't work on amd64 Filed a removal request. #694796 — kscd: crash with no optical drive Downgraded severity, it’s not RC. #672926 — oidentd: Missing dependency on net-tools Read more →

  • RC bugs

    Tags: debian

    I recently worked on the following RC bugs: #689769 — ample: ships a /var/run/ample folder: Policy 9.3.2 Uploaded a patched version to DELAYED/5. #694810 — plib: CVE-2012-4552 Provided a patch, asked for instructions from the security team. Read more →

  • RC bugs

    Tags: debian

    I recently worked on the following RC bugs: #669513 — gnat-4.4: FTBFS: unsatisfiable build-dependency Closed, no longer reproducible with the version in testing. #694810 — plib: CVE-2012-4552 Uploaded an NMU to unstable. #684130 — digikam: crash when starts Read more →


  • I hereby announce a new Debian project: Debian Code Search. Debian Code Search is a search engine for program source code within Debian. It allows you to search all ≈ 17000 source packages, containing 130 GiB of FLOSS source code (including Debian packaging) with regular expressions. Read more →

  • RC bugs

    Tags: debian

    I recently worked on the following RC bugs: #677861 — lftp: FTBFS[kfreebsd-i386]: error: conflicting declaration 'typedef __int32_t gl_intptr_t' I provided some analysis. By rebuilding lftp’s configure script with recent autotools, this should be fixed. #676229 — gnustep-make: should depend on a chosen version of gobjc, not just " Read more →


  • Hello Planet Debian. This post serves as a confirmation that my feed/blog setup is working. I am a DD since a few months and will blog occasionally about my Debian activities. Read more →

  • I recently worked on the following systemd-related issues: #686115 - CanReload is set to yes unconditionally for legacy SysV services I wrote a patch which uses a heuristic to figure out whether a SysV init script supports the reload option or not. Read more →

  • mbiebl has recently uploaded systemd 44-5 to Debian unstable. If you are already using systemd, you should definitely upgrade to this version, it fixes a lot of little annoyances. This is especially important if you are using libvirt >= 0. Read more →

  • RC bugs

    Tags: debian

    I recently worked on the following RC bugs: #691125 — ejabberd: package installation creates /root/.erlang.cookie I tracked down the cause of this and provided a patch. Now I also know how piuparts works in detail :-). #691180 — connman: Connman won't run due to missing libxtables. Read more →