Paul's Blog Entries for March 2006

Wednesday 1st March 2006

Local Packages

  • Updated sendmail to include the latest rawhide updates


Posted off our family's seasoncard applications. The deadline for renewing at the same price as last season (£460 in the East Stand) is Friday. It seems to be getting earlier each year; I recall that before the move to the City of Manchester Stadium, the deadline for reduced-price season tickets was always 31st March.

Thursday 2nd March 2006

Local Packages

Fedora Extras

  • Finally closed the perl-Crypt-DSA ticket, which could be built for Fedora Extras 4 following the successful rebuild of its dependency perl-Convert-PEM

Friday 3rd March 2006

Local Packages

  • I noticed another bugfix had been applied to the rawhide dovecot package. Looking at the patch for the bugfix, I noticed another bug - the code for SQLite library detection (admittedly stolen from the existing MySQL library detection code in the same script) was detecting the SQLite libraries and headers correctly but then setting the variables MYSQL_INCLUDE and MYSQL_LIBDIR rather than SQLITE_INCLUDE and SQLITE_LIBDIR. Clearly a cut-and-paste error. I updated the bug report and will look forward to seeing another rawhide update soon. In the meantime, I fixed the original problem properly and built some updated packages.

  • Updated perl-Module-Build to 0.2612.

  • New package perl-ExtUtils-CBuilder imported from Fedora Extras for older distributions.

Fedora Extras

  • Submitted perl-Net-SSH-Perl, perl-Crypt-RSA, and perl-Crypt-Primes for review. That leaves only perl-Quota as an unsatisfied dependency for ldap-account-manager, and I'll need to turn on filesystem quotas somewhere to test that prior to submission.

Saturday 4th March 2006


We had a bit of snow overnight, which is quite rare here in Sale. Most of it had melted away by the afternoon, but Bingning went out in the morning with Leon for a piccy.


Sunday 5th March 2006


Woeful display from City against Sunderland (the first 15 minutes excepted), yet still a win. You can see why the Black Cats are headed for a record low points total. Very impressed with Georgios Samaras though; apart from the two well-taken goals, his vision and passing were outstanding. I'm looking forward to seeing him develop as a player.

Monday 6th March 2006


There was a call for documentation on fedora-extras-list, and someone thoughtfully came up with a couple of sample wiki pages, including trac. Looking at that page, it occurred to me that trac could be just what we needed at work for issue tracking. I spent a couple of hours setting it up and it does indeed seem to be liked by the people that matter. A nice package. I shall look forward to version 0.10, which will have InterWiki support.

Tuesday 7th March 2006

Internet Outage

A major outage this morning as my ISP struggles to integrate the network of another ISP it recently acquired. I really miss the Internet when I can't get at it!

Local Packages

  • Updated gtkwave to 1.3.86; for reasons as yet unknown, both the source and binary packages are significantly bigger than the last release.

Fedora Extras

  • Updated gtkwave to 1.3.86

Thursday 9th March 2006

Local Packages

  • Updated libidn to 0.6.3

  • Updated perl-Net-Server to 0.91

  • Updated perl-Test-File to 1.14


Leon's weaning is progressing well. On Tuesday he had a double helping of baby rice with apple purée, which he seemed to enjoy, though he frowned a bit when given the last bit of the purée 'neat' before requesting another spoonful. Today he had some pear purée with his rice, and he seemed to enjoy that even more.

Friday 10th March 2006

Local Packages

I've spent a couple of days working on a company-wide addressbook using LDAP. The various mail clients in use can't agree on the LDAP attributes to use for snail-mail addresses, so I wanted to use something cross-platform that people could use to maintain and use contacts in a useful way.

The best candidate appeared to be ConTagged, which is a PHP web application supporting a company-wide addressbook and also a private addressbook for each user. Unfortunately it's taken a fair bit of hacking to make it work with PHP5 and LDAP-over-SSL, but I'm there now. I'm going to use it at home too, obviously!

Saturday 11th March 2006


Planted the early potatoes on Bay 6: 2.5Kg Arran Pilot (42 potatoes) at the Carrington Lane end, and 2.5Kg Lady Christl (48 potatoes) at the Glebelands Road end.

Also moved some of the Achillia from Bay 5 to the "flower bay", turning those that remained over to compost.

Monday 13th March 2006

Thunderbird and LDAP

Got an LDAP-based address book up and running at work, using ConTagged as mentioned on Friday as the contact editor. It turns out that Thunderbird only uses the first value for the mail attribute returned from the LDAP server and ignores any others, which is rather unfortunate. In order to ensure that the "business" address is always the lucky winner of the email address lottery (no, not a 419 scam), we've implemented a workaround of having the "business" email address written with the localpart starting with a capital letter and all other email addresses written with lowercase localparts. This takes advantage of the reality that virtually all email systems have case-insensitive localparts even though they don't need to, and that OpenLDAP returns attributes sorted by value, so the uppercase addresses are always first. It doesn't help Thunderbird users that want to know the "other" addresses though.

Tuesday 14th March 2006

Thunderbird and LDAP

Added a comment on Bugzilla about the issue with Thunderbird and multiple mail attributes on LDAP servers that I mentioned yesterday.

Local Packages

  • Updated perl-ExtUtils-CBuilder to 0.16

  • Updated pptpconfig to the 20060222 release, and uploaded the packages to sourceforge too

Thursday 16th March 2006

Local Packages

  • Updated perl-ExtUtils-CBuilder to 0.17

Friday 17th March 2006

Local Packages

  • dkms updated to 2.0.10; sourceforge poptop release updated too

Saturday 18th March 2006


Wholesale team changes for the Wigan game; I wasn't really surprised that there were changes, but the number of changes was more than I was expecting. Given that the full-strength team only just overcame an under-strength Wigan in the FA Cup, I didn't expect much from what was basically a reserve team against a full-strength Wigan. And so it proved. Wigan didn't have to exert themselves much to earn their win (which ends a great run of home wins), though Trevor Sinclair missed a great opportunity late on (again).

Monday 20th March 2006

Fedora Extras

Local Packages

  • Updated curl to 7.15.3

  • Updated perl-MIME-tools to 5.420

  • Updated proftpd to 1.3.0 RC5

I also tweaked my repo-building script to create a repo for Fedora Core 5, which is due to be released later this afternoon. There are only generic packages in there for now; the main package population will have to wait until I have a FC5 box up and running.

Tuesday 21st March 2006


The FA Cup was rather an anti-climax. The players, most of whom had been rested against Wigan, appeared to be very nervous and just couldn't get it together. The Hammers passed the ball far better than we did, didn't do stupid things like trying to dribble out of defence and taking a swipe at an opponent, and in general deserved their win. Good luck to them.

Fedora Core 5

Updated my daytime desktop box to Fedora Core 5. Issues noticed so far:

  • Installer is slower than previous releases
  • fscontext mount option for vfat partition seems to upset mount

  • authconfig is broken, though there appears to be an update for this already

  • Can't seem to get the UK English spelling dictionary activated in Thunderbird

Wednesday 22nd March 2006

Local Packages

  • Built most of the distribution-specific packages for Fedora Core 5
  • Tidied up perl-Sendmail-AccessDB to match current perl spec template

  • Updated perl-HTTP-Size to 0.92, fixing CPAN RT#18272, which I raised yesterday

  • Tidied up perl-HTML-Tidy to match current perl spec template, and added patch to get the test suite to run against a recent libtidy (CPAN RT#14668 raised)

  • perl-Test-File tweaked to build on Fedora Core 5; it doesn't need patching on this platform because Test::Builder and Test::Simple are the recent versions upstream requires

Thursday 23rd March 2006

Local Packages

  • Updated sendmail to 8.13.6 (this is a security update)

  • Updated perl-Net-Server to 0.92

  • Rebuilt the FC5-compatible curl and bittorrent packages for all the other distributions

Fedora Core 5

Updated my home desktop box to Fedora Core 5. Again it was a long process compared with previous updates, but since it's not a frequent operation I'm not too worried about that. It does beg the question though of how long it will take on my poor old AMD K6-200 box that I use as the file and print server.

The only big issue I had was with lvm2 not recognising an old lvm1 volume group. More on that in Bug #186395.


Added Fedora Core 5 specific instructions to YumRepoFromImages.

Friday 24th March 2006

Fedora Extras

  • StevenPritchard kindly approved my smbldap-tools packages; I imported it into CVS, built it for rawhide and requested branches for FC-4 and FC-5

  • Raised Bug #186553 on FC5's yum, which doesn't seem to be honouring the <groupreq> clause in comps files

Local Packages

Trying mod_fastcgi on FC5, I got a lot of SELinux errors regarding execstack. I was able to use:

# execstack -s /usr/sbin/httpd

which fixed it, but it was rather surprising that this was needed. Other than that, it worked fine.

Saturday 25th March 2006


I detest cheating. And it's not just sour grapes; we were never going to beat Chelsea today and the handball probably didn't affect the result. I've seen our own players (e.g. David Sommeil) rolling about trying to get players sent off and I hate that too.

Fedora Core 5

Upgraded badby, our file and print server, an AMD K6-200 with 128M RAM, to Fedora Core 5. It took nine hours, which is actually less time than I expected! Works fine.

Sunday 26th March 2006

Start of British Summer Time means one less hour in bed :-(

It's Mother's Day so we went to visit my mum.

Monday 27th March 2006


Leon's growing quickly and will be too big for his car seat soon. Bought a Group 1-3 seat (Britax Evolva 123 Ultra), which will hopefully last many years.

Old Car Seat

New Car Seat




RahulSundaram linked to YumRepoFromImages from Bugs/FC5Common so it's getting quite a lot of hits. I updated it to include how to use CD ISO images in Fedora Core 5.

Updated the moin software to 1.5.3-rc1. Post-rpm-upgrade migration was as follows:

# cd /usr/lib/python2.4/site-packages/MoinMoin/script/old/migration
# runuser -s /bin/sh -c "python /usr/lib/python2.4/site-packages/MoinMoin/script/old/migration/ /var/www/tips/data" apache
1 data_dirs successfully migrated, 0 warnings, 0 errors.
# runuser -s /bin/sh -c "moin --config-dir=/var/www/tips/cgi-bin migration data" apache
Calling migration script for /var/www/tips/data, base revision 1050300
Returned. New rev is 1050301.
Calling migration script for /var/www/tips/data, base revision 1050301
Final mig script reached, migration is complete.

Local Packages

  • Updated perl-ExtUtils-CBuilder to 0.18

  • Updated perl-Net-Server to 0.93

  • I built a new moin package for 1.5.3-rc1 but I'm only putting the source package on the site for now so as not to mess up anyone's server if it's a mess

Fedora Core 5

Raised Bug #186915 regarding SELinux context mount options.

Tuesday 28th March 2006

Local Packages

  • Patched moin-theme-monobook to remove references to non-existent image files in the CSS, and to package user.gif, which is actually included upstream (as a GIF rather than the usual PNG)


Wednesday 29th March 2006

Car Repair

Had to have the reversing light switch replaced on the Focus. Evans Halshaw Ford Altrincham did this for us for £5.79 for the switch, £59.96 labour, plus £11.51 VAT, making a total of £77.26. What a bargain.

Fedora Extras

Reviewed perl-Text-CHM for Patrice Dumas.

Local Packages

  • Updated moin-theme-balanced to create subpackages for the orchard and kubuntu colour variations

  • Fixed broken symlink in moin-theme-mentalhealth subpackages

Thursday 30th March 2006

Local Packages

  • Updated dkms to 2.0.11

PPTP Project

  • Updated dkms to 2.0.11

  • Updated pptp-release in the PPTP Client yum repo to disable the repos by default as they're too slow and unreliable

Fedora Extras

Friday 31st March 2006


Made a start on Fc5SeLinuxQuickRef

PPTP Project

  • Made an x86_64 repo for Fedora Core 5, using the packages built on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3
  • Updated the pptpd spec file (major rewrite) and built packages for 1.3.0 (stable) and 1.3.1 (beta)

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