Report from the Bug Squashing Party in Salzburg

bsp_2012_salzburg photo from salzburg-cityguide.com, Copyright (C) Uwe Brandl

Participation and Results

From June 15-17th we held a Debian BugSquashingParty in Salzburg, hosted and sponsored by conova communications GmbH. It was a fun and busy weekend, with 15-17 people from 5 countries being around, mainly working on RC bugs in Testing/Unstable. Gerfried Fuchs (rhonda) also worked on triaging the impact of RC bugs on the version in Squeeze, while Peter Palfrader (weasel) took care of Tor related things and Debian sysadmin work, including starting on the new bugs and udd hosts. Phillip Hug (hug) worked on the debian.ch infrastructure. Together with Miroslav Suchý from Red Hat Bernd Zeimetz (bzed) worked on the packaging of the necessary libraries and daemons to add (basic) Spacewalk client support to Debian. As soon as the packages passed NEW and #677871 was applied (thanks to the APT guys for working on that already), managing Debian clients with Spacewalk should work out of the box. Of course we also had a little keysigning party :)

Statistics

  • about 68 bugs in unstable/testing were triaged/patched/fixed or at least pinged
  • 54 bugs were tagged to show if they affect Squeeze, several other bugs were pinged to retrieve necessary information or to trigger an update in the next stable pointrelease.
  • 5 packages were introduced into Debian (still in NEW, though) - the Spacewalk client related packages and libapache2-mod-auth-memcookie.

Accomodation

Thanks to Debian funds we were able to provide accomodation for four participants in the JUFA youth hostel in Salzburg. We had paid in advance for eight, but changing to rooms with a higher category for only 4 people would have been equally or more expensive.

Press/Media coverage

Additionally to being mentioned in the calendars on ProLinux and similar pages, we had some press coverage by the local newspaper and online magazines:

Fun facts

We consumed 2kg of Leberkas, a big plate of "Buchteln mit Vanillesosse", about 16000cm^2 of Pizza, about 80 litres of coke, juice, beer and wine and I guess we drank at least the same amount of water. We had coffee made of 1.5kg coffee beans and managed to empty the (formerly well filled) icemaker in the fridge. Also we had successful training sessions of a standard Debconf game (rules won't be explained here obviously). Maybe we even successfully spread the game to the employees of a commercial linux distribution ;)

bug squashing party in Salzburg

bsp_2012_salzburg

Just as a little reminder, the Bug Squashing Party in Salzburg will start in three days. We still have sponsored accomodation for

five four people left, so don't hesitate to come! Squashing as many RC bugs for Wheezy as possible is on the TODO list for the weekend! Also we'll work on making Debian a proper Spacewalk client. This might be a bit too late for Wheezy, but there will be backports :)

See YOU in Salzburg!

working on spacewalk support for and in debian

With the latest release of Spacewalk PostgreSQL seems to be supported properly - finally. Also there are efforts to support Debian as a client system. So I'm thinking about using the upcoming BugSquashingParty in Salzburg to

  • analyze the current support of Debian as a client in Spacewalk and maybe work on a better integration
  • finalize the packaging and upload the client packages which were prepared by Miroslav Suchý (I hope he will be able to join us!)
  • maybe work on packaging the server side of Spacewalk for Debian (Java is involved, so it would be great to have somebody form the Java team around!)

in the hope that you (yes, you!) are joining me! Please let me know if you are interested to work on Spacewalk related packages, even if you are not able to come to Salzburg.

nagios-plugins-contrib released

Nagios or Icinga users probably know the problem that neither the default plugin packages (nagios-plugins-basic and -standard) nor the few other plugin packages ship all the plugins you need to monitor your hardware and software properly. And unless you have puppet, cfengine or some other automation software, you probably just start searching plugins on Nagios Exchange, MonitoringExchange or some other machines you are monitoring already.

Your problem shall be solved! nagios-plugins-contrib passed NEW today. It is a collection of various useful plugins, maintained within the Debian Nagios Maintainer Group. So far it contains only 6 plugins (check_email_delivery, check_ipmi_sensor, check_lm_sensors, check_memcached, check_raid, check_rbl), but more are going to come.

check_lm_sensors in action

To have your favorite plugins added to the package we would like to encourage you to send pull requests, either using github, alioth or your personal repository. Please keep in mind that you'll be added to the Uploaders of the package automatically to ensure that you keep your plugin updated and in a good shape. See debian/README.source for some instructions on adding new plugins. Unmaintained plugins will be removed! Of course you can also submit bug reports to have a new plugin added, but you have to convince somebody to maintain it for you (or that he wants to use the plugin and needs to maintain it therefore :) ).

We might also also have a similar package in contrib as a lot of commonly used plugins require non-free software, so don't hesitate to prepare plugins for inclusion in such a package and let us know!

Suggestions and ideas for improvement are always welcome. And so is help to maintain the packages!

re-indenting files with vim

Sometimes projects with a long history of committers tend to collect various styles of indentation. Unfortunately not for all programming languages exist specialized tools like indent for C/C++, so we need to find a different way to mass-indent files properly. Using vim is one of them.

First you need to create a file (let's call it /tmp/indent.vim) including all the vim commands you want to run on your code. The following piece is a good start:


gg=G
:x!

Now run vim on your source code files, using the created vim script file. The following example reindents all .php files in the current folder and subfolders


find . -name '*.php' -exec vim -s /tmp/indent.vim {} \;

If you don't like the result it might be that the indentation settings in you .vimrc don't suit your needs. Of course you are able to add other fancy vim commands to modify your files - like adding or modifying copyright headers.

debian buildds still fail on complex dependencies

Not only that it took 4 years to fix #403246 (sbuild dependancy resolution fails when b-dep on A | B ; A uninstallable), but our lovely Debian buildds still don't accept packages which use such a dependency due to running too old sbuild versions. Time to get rid of this annoying bug finally!

monitoring scientific atlanta cable modems with munin

Usually I like to monitor as much as possible. but unfortunately my cable provider does not allow to access the cable modem via SNMP, so I had to find a different way to retrieve at least some basic information. After a bit of googling I figured out how to access the web interface of the Scientific Atlanta modems. The model here is a EPC2203 - seems to work for various models, though. These modems do not only provide access to the traffic within the cable network on their internal networking port (ever tried tcpdump on that?), but they also have their own IP (192.168.100.1). To be able to access the modem you should add something like

post-up ip addr add 192.168.100.2/31 dev extern0 || true

to the configuration of the interface which is connected to the cable modem. Make sure you're not using the same network internally - or find a proper way to handle it. If you access http://192.168.100.1/ then, you'll be able to retrieve some basic information form the modem. If you google a bit longer, you might even be able to do more stuff!

But to monitor the power levels and signal-to-noise ratio, this is all we need. I'm using Munin usually, as the web interface is just much easier to setup than the collectd CGI (hint, hint!!). Drop the following two scripts into the Munin plugins folder. wget, sed and grep is all they need, so it should be easy to get them working.

cablemodem signalnoise.sh

#!/bin/sh

# Copyright (c) 2010 Bernd Zeimetz <bzed@debian.org>
#
# Permission to use, copy, modify, and/or distribute this software for any
# purpose with or without fee is hereby granted, provided that the above
# copyright notice and this permission notice appear in all copies.
#
# THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS" AND THE AUTHOR DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES
# WITH REGARD TO THIS SOFTWARE INCLUDING ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF
# MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHOR BE LIABLE FOR
# ANY SPECIAL, DIRECT, INDIRECT, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR ANY DAMAGES
# WHATSOEVER RESULTING FROM LOSS OF USE, DATA OR PROFITS, WHETHER IN AN
# ACTION OF CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE OR OTHER TORTIOUS ACTION, ARISING OUT OF
# OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OR PERFORMANCE OF THIS SOFTWARE.


PATH=/bin:/sbin:/usr/bin:/usr/sbin
export PATH

if [ "$1" = "config" ]; then
        echo graph_title cable modem signal to noise ratio
        echo 'graph_args --base 1000'
        echo 'graph_vlabel dB'
        echo 'graph_category network'
        echo 'graph_info This graph shows the signal to noise ratio of the Scientific-Atlanta cable modem.'
        echo "signalnoise.label ratio"
        echo "signalnoise.info Signal to noise ratio"
        echo 'signalnoise.draw LINE2'
        echo 'signalnoise.type GAUGE'
        exit 0
fi
wget -q -O - http://192.168.100.1/system.asp |\
     grep 'Signal to Noise' | \
     sed 's,.*&nbsp;,signalnoise.value ,;s, dB.*,,'

cablemodem powerlevel.sh

#!/bin/sh

# Copyright (c) 2010 Bernd Zeimetz <bzed@debian.org>
#
# Permission to use, copy, modify, and/or distribute this software for any
# purpose with or without fee is hereby granted, provided that the above
# copyright notice and this permission notice appear in all copies.
#
# THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS" AND THE AUTHOR DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES
# WITH REGARD TO THIS SOFTWARE INCLUDING ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF
# MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHOR BE LIABLE FOR
# ANY SPECIAL, DIRECT, INDIRECT, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR ANY DAMAGES
# WHATSOEVER RESULTING FROM LOSS OF USE, DATA OR PROFITS, WHETHER IN AN
# ACTION OF CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE OR OTHER TORTIOUS ACTION, ARISING OUT OF
# OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OR PERFORMANCE OF THIS SOFTWARE

PATH=/bin:/sbin:/usr/bin:/usr/sbin
export PATH

if [ "$1" = "config" ]; then
        echo graph_title cable modem power level
        echo 'graph_args --base 1000'
        echo 'graph_vlabel dBmV'
        echo 'graph_category network'
        echo 'graph_info This graph shows receive and transmit power levels of the Scientific-Atlanta cable modem.'
        echo "receive.label receive"
        echo "receive.info Receive power level"
        echo 'receive.draw LINE2'
        echo 'receive.type GAUGE'
        echo "transmit.label transmit"
        echo "transmit.info Transmit power level"
        echo "transmit.draw LINE2"
        echo "transmit.type GAUGE"
        exit 0
fi

wget -q -O - http://192.168.100.1/system.asp | grep dBmV | \
    sed -e 's,.*&nbsp;,,;s, dBmV.*,,' \
        -e '1s/^/receive.value /' \
        -e '2s/^/transmit.value /'

Munin plugin cablemodem powerlevel Munin plugin cablemodem signal noise ratio

Guess you can easily figure out when I had issues with my cable connection.