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Wednesday, January 27th, 2016
10:02 pm
Can a processes survive after shutdown?
I had a process in a "uninterruptible sleep" state. Trying to kill it is, unsurprisingly, unhelpful. All the literature on the subject will say that it cannot be killed, and they're right. It's called "uninterruptible" for a reason. An uninterruptable process is in a system call that cannot be interrupted by a signal (such as a SIGKILL, SIGTERM etc).

These typically arise when the kernel needs to do something that could take "a while", and that certainly was the case in this particular situation (a user filled a disk partition and NFS lost its head, but that's for another post). Uniterruptible sleeps are actually very useful; they're needed when a process reads/writes to disk for example.

More at:
Can a processes survive after shutdown? | Lev Lafayette
Monday, September 28th, 2015
8:56 am
Configure CentOS 7 as a Web Server
Setup Apache Web Server on CentOS 7 with MariDB, PHP and phpMyAdmin

  • Install Apache Web server

  • Configure Firewall

  • Install MariaDB

  • Install PHP

  • Install phpMyAdmin

Friday, September 18th, 2015
9:42 am
Get the hell off Apache OpenOffice, it’s insecure & not worked on any more. Go to LibreOffice.
Originally posted by reddragdiva at Get the hell off Apache OpenOffice, it’s insecure & not worked on any more. Go to LibreOffice.

you know OpenOffice, right? free substitute for Microsoft Office which is basically just as good, but free.

well, it's not as good. and is in fact actively dangerous to use.

the security hole: HWP files can be exploited and pwn your PC. obscure minor format, no problem ... except that if you get a HWP file with a .DOC extension - say, what appears to be a MS Word file emailed you by anyone - you can get pwned by that.

they've known about this since april 2015 and haven't fixed it. they have distributed over 8 million known-vulnerable copies of AOO since 27 april. (and the 143 million vulnerable before that.)

the fix is, literally, remove one file from the installer. they haven't got it together to do this in five months.

tell everyone you know. tell your writer friends. tell anyone you see running OpenOffice. get LibreOffice, it also originated in OpenOffice but is actually developed and they show the slightest sign of caring about their end users. LO 5.0 is really very nice. much faster to use than 4.4 too.

so what's going on here:

  • Sun Microsystems (mild yay) ran OpenOffice from 2000 to 2010. it was imperfect, but it was good enough and free and open-source. it accumulated one heck of a famous brand name. (“we need an office program” “how about that openoffice thing”)
  • Oracle (boo hiss!) bought Sun in early 2010. OpenOffice development stopped as they reassigned developers.
  • a bunch of non-Sun/Oracle developers went "bugger this" and forked it ('cos it was open source) in late 2010. thus, LibreOffice, which immediately became stupidly better.
  • Oracle had a snit and shoved the corpse of OpenOffice at the Apache Foundation in mid-2011 at the behest of IBM, who wanted to do it their way.
  • Apache OpenOffice had nothing worth the trouble, but got downloads because of the famous "OpenOffice" brand name.
  • IBM gave up in late 2013. since then, AOO has literally been sixteen ex-Sun devs squatting the name and doing bugger-all with it. their reasons are unclear.
  • they insist they still have a product, even though what they've actually achieved has been to put over eight million downloads that they knew were vulnerable on people's PCs. possibly your PC.
  • instead of fixing it, by removing one file from the installer, they post excuses for not doing stuff.

(if this sounds like a fascinating tale, feel free to check the extensively-cited history sections of the OpenOffice.org, LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice articles on wikipedia, which i mostly researched and wrote.)

Apache OpenOffice's lack of developers since IBM gave up is extensively documented. many have expressed concerns over the BLATANT SECURITY HOLE. in late august a Red Hat developer posted an open letter urging them to just give up the pretense and redirect the end users (that's you) to LibreOffice. this had wide impact, and quite a pile of others concurred that they need to stop making life actively worse for the end users. the AOO people posted numerous comments making excuses ... but they still distribute their known dangerous software and just won't lift a finger to fix it.

tl;dr: get the hell off OpenOffice, get everyone you know the hell off OpenOffice. get LibreOffice, it is strictly superior in literally every dimension, and they actually give a damn about you the user and fix the security holes.

this text is CC-0 public domain. please spread far and wide.

This entry was originally posted at DreamWidth and has comment count unavailable comments. You can comment there using your LiveJournal name via OpenID.

Monday, September 7th, 2015
9:59 pm
Why is expansion faster than direct parsing in for loops?
Because existing knowledge is faster than research I thought I'd ask the question here.

time for i in {1..1000}; do echo "I hate Windows 10"; done
real 0m0.021s
user 0m0.011s
sys 0m0.006s

time for i in 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24... etc 996 997 998 999 1000; do echo "I hate Windows 10"; done
real 0m0.161s
user 0m0.125s
sys 0m0.012s

To generate the numbers in the second example
printf "%d " {1..1000}
Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014
3:39 pm
OpenMS - LC/MS data management and analyses
OpenMS 1.11.1 has been recently packaged on Fedora. It can be installed by a simple

# yum install openms openms-tools

For info about this software, please read documentation page and report a bug if something is wrong at installation time or by working with it.
Wednesday, November 12th, 2014
11:15 am
A full and frank discussion topic: systemd
I love this...

But more seriously, this author has some sensible things to say.

So community? What are your thoughts on systemd?

PS: Livejournal made me your new community moderator as the last moderators ended up MIA. This will be a spam-free community.
Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014
10:29 pm
UK government adopts ODF/HTML/PDF
Pretty quiet around here.... But there's big news

The open standards selected for sharing and viewing government documents have been announced by the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude.

The standards set out the document file formats that are expected to be used across all government bodies. Government will begin using open formats that will ensure that citizens and people working in government can use the applications that best meet their needs when they are viewing or working on documents together.


The selected standards, which are compatible with commonly used document applications, are:

* PDF/A or HTML for viewing government documents
* Open Document Format (ODF) for sharing or collaborating on government documents

More at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/open-document-formats-selected-to-meet-user-needs

Arguments for decision here:

Monday, December 9th, 2013
1:40 am
какие сервисы актуальны для линуксовода от провайдера?
По мотивам своих хотелок написал открытое письмо к ISP на основе письма к очередному провайдеру в нашем микрорайоне предлагающему очередной вариант побыстрее и подешевле вот тут:

http://grey-olli.livejournal.com/782450.html (открытое письмо к провайдерам интернет в Москве [по мере получения комментариев пост будет обновляться]

Речь там идёт об услугах ценных, на мой взгляд, для гиков, врпрочем не только.

Хотел бы узнать Ваше мнение - насколько актуальны для Вас как IT специалистов те услуги, о которых я пишу как "killer feature" с моей точки зрения.

По возможности, просьба откоментировать у меня, врочем если Вам проще ответить тут - Ваше мнение я всё равно постараюсь отразить в своём открытом письме.

Там в том числе и про linux, хоть и совсем чуть-чуть, так что это не совсемм offtopic. ;)
Friday, August 16th, 2013
2:10 pm
Кто рубит в LUA?
Помогите спортировать программу под Linux:

Monday, June 10th, 2013
11:49 am
Is it possible to dynamically add a new back-end server to pound without restarting pound?
Anyone else use pound load balancer? I like it... but from my reading I can't find how to dynamically add a new back-end server without completely restarting pound ... which means downtime.

Thursday, August 8th, 2013
1:26 pm
Linux Challenge Question of the Day
Very often I'll set a environment variable before running a command.

For example,
$ sudo JAVA_HOME=/usr/java/default /usr/local/activemq/default/bin/activemq-admin query -QQueue="my.activemq.queue.whatever"

But I've noticed that if I set a variable and then call echo to show that variable echo returns nothing.
$ FOO=bar echo $FOO

(nothing was returned)

But I can export the variable and then call echo and it works:
$ export FOO=bar ; echo $FOO

Or if I set the varaible and then call "env" to check it I see the environment variable is set:
$ LALA=FUN env |grep LALA

So why can't I set the variable and then check it with echo like in the first example above?


I got my answer on facebook from Douglas Kilpatrick who wrote: because variable substitution is done before command parsing. So when the command gets run, it's already "FOO=bar echo ''"

Solution (provided by Douglas Kilpatrick):
$ FOO=baz eval 'echo $FOO'
Thursday, June 6th, 2013
11:50 am
How to log into a host via ssh and completely ignore host keys.
How to log into a host via ssh and completely ignore host keys.

[jackal@brads-mac]# ssh -o LogLevel=quiet -o UserKnownHostsFile=/dev/null -o StrictHostKeyChecking=no www.somehost.com date
Thu Jun 6 15:32:55 UTC 2013

How cool is that?

Completely ignores host keys. So you'll never see an error like this again:

[jackal@brads-mac]# ssh www.somehost.com
Someone could be eavesdropping on you right now (man-in-the-middle attack)!
It is also possible that the RSA host key has just been changed.
The fingerprint for the RSA key sent by the remote host is
Please contact your system administrator.
Add correct host key in /home/user/.ssh/known_hosts to get rid of this message.
Offending key in /home/user/.ssh/known_hosts:1
Password authentication is disabled to avoid man-in-the-middle attacks.
Agent forwarding is disabled to avoid man-in-the-middle attacks.
X11 forwarding is disabled to avoid man-in-the-middle attacks.
Permission denied (publickey,password,keyboard-interactive).

Now to make it permanent:  Add the following lines to the beginning of the SSH configuration file (~/.ssh/config).

Host *.somehost.com
  StrictHostKeyChecking no

You can ever remove your ~/.ssh/known_hosts file as it will no longer be needed or read anymore.
Friday, May 24th, 2013
7:42 am
Ubuntu aterm "Error opening file for reading: Permission denied"
Fresh install of Ubuntu 12.04.

When I run aterm I get "Error opening file for reading: Permission denied"

ballison@ubuntu:~$ aterm
Error opening file for reading: Permission denied

When I run aterm under strace looking at only "open" system calls I get:

ballison@ubuntu:~$ strace -etrace=open aterm 2>&1 |grep "No such file"
open("/usr/share/X11/XKeysymDB", O_RDONLY) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
open("/home/ballison/.icons/default/cursors/xterm", O_RDONLY) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
open("/home/ballison/.icons/default/index.theme", O_RDONLY) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
open("/usr/share/icons/default/cursors/xterm", O_RDONLY) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
open("/usr/share/pixmaps/default/cursors/xterm", O_RDONLY) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
open("/home/ballison/.icons/DMZ-White/cursors/xterm", O_RDONLY) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
open("/home/ballison/.icons/DMZ-White/index.theme", O_RDONLY) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
open("/home/ballison/.icons/default/cursors/left_ptr", O_RDONLY) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
open("/home/ballison/.icons/default/index.theme", O_RDONLY) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
open("/usr/share/icons/default/cursors/left_ptr", O_RDONLY) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
open("/usr/share/pixmaps/default/cursors/left_ptr", O_RDONLY) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
open("/home/ballison/.icons/DMZ-White/cursors/left_ptr", O_RDONLY) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
open("/home/ballison/.icons/DMZ-White/index.theme", O_RDONLY) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
open("/home/ballison/.XCompose", O_RDONLY) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
Friday, October 26th, 2012
5:03 pm
X11 gui programming - suggestions please

I am working on a hobbyist project to generate a coded text file based on
user input.
I am using C++, and MVC design pattern(s). Have decided it will be licensed GPL v3.
For the GUI (view the user will interact with) I am researching gtk,
curses, and such, but never have used any of them before on a project.
Hoping my fellow Linux grp LJers might have ideas/suggestions based on your
experience doing GUI programming.
I dont' think I will need to draw graphics or images. At this stage I
expect my GUI would just need to view/display/intake keyboard text.

Btw, I asked my SGVLUGers, and Debian LJers, have the following as suggestions so far (in no particular order):

gtk + glade

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012
8:44 pm
netstat -L from freebsd under Linux
Is there a way to view queue length on listening socket under linux, the same way as netstat -L outputs for freebsd? I.e. you can see X/Y/Z in netstat -L output, but netstat under linux doesn't support -L flag.

upd: ss -l shows reqired Recv-Q Send-Q
Thursday, May 24th, 2012
4:31 pm
Saturday, April 21st, 2012
12:52 pm
Starting GUI Programs Remotely
To start up a program that uses X when logged in remotely (such as through ssh), you need to type this in from the remote login Bash shell:

export DISPLAY=:0

Then invoke the program the way you would locally from the shell.

Hint: Add that line to ~/.bashrc to have it happen automatically every time you log in.

I've been trying to figure this out for years (I think I asked here about it once and no one knew), so I thought I'd share.
Monday, April 16th, 2012
10:39 am
Getting a rolling screen while booting from arch linux installer
So, this problem is one that originally existed for me with the latest Ubuntu stable live CD. It did not happen with an old Live CD I had from 2007. I ended up trying the netboot install CD for Arch because I've been thinking of switching to this distro anyway, and when I saw the same problem happening I thought I'd come here. I gave this preamble because it might help point to where the issue is (something in more recent versions of the kernal maybe?)

So here's what happens. I boot from the 64 bit netinstall CD. It goes along the boot process fine until I get to:

Waiting for udev uevents to be processed

Note, I'm only pretty sure that's what it says, as I have to write it down from my own memory as the screen is unreadable after that point.

A bit after that the screen starts scrolling rapidly, like it's out of sync or something. I can't really read anything on the screen because it's scrolling so fast.

In terms of hardware I have an older 64 bit system, with a video card going to an analog TV (old style, not HD). I think I can get more hardware info from the install CD from the menu before it actually gets to booting up the system, if there is some sort of specific information that would help.

I've tried adding nomodeset, 1 and s to the kernel line (all separately), no effect.

Thanks in advance for all your help.

Edit: A friend of mine figured it out. I added vga=normal nomodeset to the end of the kernel boot line, and it worked from there.
Friday, April 13th, 2012
9:56 am
Removing files "under" a mounted directory
So, lets say you have a bunch of files in /home, in the root partition. Lets also say you have mounted another partition onto /home. Is there a way to get rid of all the files in /home on the root partition without having to unmount the other partition from /home?
Tuesday, February 28th, 2012
2:41 pm
linux & ssd
Dear Ubuntu Users,

Lately i did some research on what you should or could do in linux if your computer has one of those 'fancy' solid state disks. I found a lot of howto's and technical stuff.
Next step will be to filter the "stuff" and write down how and what i did, to (hopefully) tell Ubuntu on how
to communicate in a more 'friendly' way with sammy's ssd ;)
Note: sammy = Samsung NC10 netbook

Stay tuned, more to come soon!

I'm all ears and eyes for your comments, questions, opinions, whatever you want to say/know ;)

[This is a crosspost from my journal. Please comment in my journal only, that will be easier for me to manage ;) Thank you!]

Friendly Greetings, Guen

Current Mood: optimistic
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