Posts Tagged ‘foss’

Conference Report – Flock 2014

August 13, 2014 Leave a comment

This years Flock conference was held at Prague, czech republic. This was my first trip to the Europe. I needed a Visa for this trip unlike my American friends. I got the visa in the last minute from the Consulate of czech republic, Los Angeles. The Visa officer needed an insurance of minimum 50000 Euro with Medical reparation and Evacuation converge.  My company Yahoo was able to get that sorted in time.  I attended lot of talks and workshops at Flock. I took notes on some of the sessions i attended. Here is my conference report

Status of COPR build service – by Miroslav suchy

COPR is an automatic build system to build rpms. COPR allows users to select
Arch and system (target) , accepts src.rpm from the user and generates binary
rpms in the backend and creates repo as well.

Unlike koji COPR doesn’t need a ‘fas’ account to build rpms. Technically any one
can build rpms on COPR.

Due to public nature of COPR it uses Virtual Machines to build rpms. A virtual machine
is setup and mock is used inside the VM to build the rpm.

COPR currently runs on openstack. There are 1381 projects, 25k builds, 250 G of data,
and 1 TB/month data transfered in COPR as we speak. Koji/OBS was evaluated to use in
COPR but the decided against it for some reasons. OBS signing daemon might be used
with COPR to sign rpms in future.

* Mock is kind of slow, there is a GSOC project to speed it up using LVM snapshots *
* Radek Holy is working on docker for rpm builds *

It is important to note that redhat software collections are built on COPR. There
is a jenkins plugin available for COPR which lets users to trigger COPR builds
from jenkins. There is a copr-cli available to builds.

ARM architecture support, package signing are in future TODO.

Here is the video of the talk



UEFI – The great satan and you – by Adam


I am a fan of UEFI. I have been closely following UEFI development and support in Linux for a while. If you do not know about UEFI, Adam Williamson has an impressive write up about it at

Adam started with what is UEFI and then moved on to explain how older BIOS works. Adam’s talk focused on Desktop machines

How BIOS work?

– Boots the 1st sector of disk
– Chainloading
– The bootloader is sneaked in between MBR and the partition


– Defines an EFI executable format.
– EFI executable is copied into FAT filesystem and the firmware can read it
– UEFI boot manager is used to change the boot order and EFI variables.
– There is a fallback path if the EFI executable is not found on the specified path
– Supports BIOS mode named CSM. CSM is going away soon.

Adam proposed following tests to tell if your machine is UEFI?

– Machine is Windows 8 pre-installed. Then it is must have UEFI in it.
– The “firmware” has mouse support then it is UEFI (BIOS can’t do that sh*t)

Adam showed some screenshots of crazy UEFI firmware UI implementations that makes identifying it more difficult for the user.

While multibooting adam asked the users to install both OS in same mode. Mixing BIOS (CSM) and UEFI is discouraged and unsupported in Fedora.

Adam then proposed following special commands to write a USB stick with EFI support

– dd: use dd on usb sticks
– livecd-iso-to-disk: pass –efi –format -reset-mbr
– liveusb-creator: might work
– DO NOT use Unetbootin

Adam then revealed that, Peter Jones and Matthew Garret lobbied Microsoft to enable option to disable secure boot. They even have weekly calls. The engagement with microsoft has been very professional. Microsoft takes UEFI signing seriously.

I asked peter about completely removing microsoft key from the firmware. He said it is a “bad” idea because ROM based firmwares won’t load and they are signed by the Microsoft key. He also mentioned that there is a complex workaround to this problem. The workaround is generating the hash of the firmware and adding it to the shim whitelist.

Here is the video of the talk


Fast OS Deployment with Anaconda – By Arun S A G (me)


I presented and showed a demo on how to deploy operating systems fast on bare metal
machines. The entire talk was well received by the anaconda team.

The demo showed installations of a  Fedora 21 (pre release) VM which took 2 minutes
to complete.  Most of the audience were pleasantly surprised.

  • There were some interesting thoughts and area for improvements came out of this talk
  •  RedHat developer proposed me to make use of the cloud kickstart file which has very minimal set of package
  • Peter Jones suggested that anaconda can/should be modified to produce tarballs as one of the build targets (anaconda right now supports iso targets)
  • Most of the installation time was spent on generating ramdisk. So peter suggested we should pre-generate the ramdisk and include it in the tarball.
  • rpmdb cache needs to be removed from the tarball.
  • Adam williamson asked me to share some sample kick-start files from work so that we can well test different use cases before releasing anaconda.
  • Automating the biosboot partition during the installation process was discussed

Here is the video of my talk

Overall it was a wonderful conference.  Thanks Yahoo and RedHat for sponsoring my travel and accommodation. It was good to see lot of volunteers again and i had a good time in Prague, Czech republic. I am looking forward to Flock 2015

Categories: conference, fedora, foss, fun Tags: , , ,

python-requests package update

April 1, 2012 1 comment

The newest version of python-requests now supports python 3. The python 3 version of requests is available as python3-requests package. Thanks Rex Dieter for the patch . I have also decided to maintain python-requests for EL6, i have pushed the latest version 0.11.1 to EL6.

Though it violates the updates policy, i have updated python-requests from 0.6.6 to 0.10.8 in Fedora 16 as python-requests is a fast moving young project.

All the packages should land in updates-testing in a few days. Please visit to learn more about the updates.

FUDCon Pune 2011

November 13, 2011 Leave a comment


My flight reached at Pune 15 minutes before the schedule.  Vaidik and I planned over IRC to share the cab from airport to the hotel.  His flight was 30 mins late. I was not able to reach his mobile phone even after his flight landed. We never seen each other before. Finally i noticed a guy with a ‘Drupal’ T-shirt, i decided to bite the bullet and asked him “Are you vaidik?” Fortunately the answer was a ‘Yes’. By the way vaidik helped us with the website.

While i  was waiting for Vaidik to book a cab,  I heard some one asking me “Are you going to FUDCon?”  that was .Srishti Sethi Gcompris contributor and GSOC student . Apparently she too identified us using our “Geeky” T-Shirts. We three ended up sharing the cab.

Moral : Wear a geeky T-shirt when you are going to a Technical conference.

Back in hotel i met Kushal, Praveen, Soumya aditya (my room mate)  and Jared.

Day 1:

We all had breakfast at the hotel and  hopped into a van to reach the FUDCon venue. We were welcomed by Amit, Shakthi, Rahul and others  Day 1 of FUDCon started with jared’s talk. He only used pictures in his presentation and did all the talking. His talk was thought provoking. After the keynote address  i went to speaker’s lounge to prepare for my afternoon workshop. I met Joerg  there. I introduced myself as  maintainer of sqlninja.  Joerg gave me commit access to security spin’s repository. I promised to help him with the future security spin releases..

In the afternoon, I did a workshop on “Practical GNU/Linux” for the students of college of engineering Pune. The workshop was inspired by Stanford’s open classroom session named “practical unix” I managed to pull most of crowd from auditorium’s to my workshop (evil grin). The slides are available here

Day 2:

After attending Harish’s talk on community,  I started my talk on Django. I explained folks on how to create web apps using Django using a simple blog application. The slides are available here. My talk was followed by rtnpro‘s “Testing Django apps” talk. He extended by blog application and added test cases to it. The code is available here . After the talk to our pleasant surprise some one from COEP approached us with half written Django app. We happily helped her fix the issue. In the afternoon i attened  jsmith’s “publican” talk and Srishti’s “cute hacks using pygoocanvas”.

In the evening we left for FUDPub. FUDPub was awesome , everything happened on  a roof top with DJ and dance.

Day 3: – Hackfest’s

Rahul  was late to the venue on Day 3 (FUDPub?). I introduced askbot on behalf of Rahul to the people and invited them to join our hackfest. Most of them joined us  were new to Django so we had to help them a bit. Then i started working on “Export questions and answers as pdf” feature of askbot. I ended up using “Reportlab” python library for pdf generation. A lot need to be done to complete this feature. I hope i can make most out of my upcoming weekends.

FUDcon was awesome, It was nice to see lot of people face to face.

I had lot of memorable moments at FUDCon, Rahul played a prank on how i stole  pair of  baby pink coloured slippers from srishti  🙂 (the baby pink slippers are now talk of  the town, read other’s blog posts ) The mini push up’s competition at FUDPub. Taste of my first  beer/cocktail  ( i have no plans to drink again ). I am sure events like FUDCon will  help bring people together and instrumental in creating a strong community. Thanks Red Hat for sponsoring my travel and accommodation .

Categories: fedora, foss, Linux, workshop Tags: , , , ,

I am going to FUDCon Pune 2011

October 11, 2011 Leave a comment
Categories: conference, fedora, foss, fun, Linux Tags: , ,

New package: Sqlninja

September 4, 2011 Leave a comment

sqlninja – a candidate for Fedora security spin is now available in updates-testing repository

yum install –enablerepo=updates-testing sqlninja

The package currently does not include any payload binaries, they can be downloaded from

Categories: fedora, foss, fun, Linux, Packaging Tags: , , , ,

ArpON 2.6 and emacs-goodies 35.0 lands in rawhide

July 17, 2011 Leave a comment

ArpON is a tool that makes Arp Protocol secure by preventing MITM caused by Arp Cache poisoning. There is a new version of ArpON available at ArpON 2.6 has now landed in Fedora rawhide repository.

emacs-goodies  package consists of lot of useful Emacs addons . A new version of this package is available at The same will available in rawhide  shortly. I also updated emacs-goodies in F15 and F14 branches, that will be a bugfix update for existing  version 34.1.

Categories: fedora, foss, Linux, Packaging Tags: , , ,

Fedora 15 release event – Chennai

June 13, 2011 7 comments

I gave a presentation about Fedora 15 and its features at the monthly meet of Indian Linux Users GroupChennai. I started my presentation by answering the question “Why Fedora and Fedora project?”. Explained them about core foundations of Fedora project and other things at

Then i moved on to the new features in Lovelock. I picked up features Systemd and Gnome 3 and explained them elaborately.  I showed them the brand new gnome 3 desktop and informed them about what to expect and what not to expect from it. People were puzzled about the removal of poweroff/reboot/minimize button from the system menu and title bar. I showed them how they can bring back the poweroff/reboot/minimize buttons by installing gnome-shell extensions.

Finally i asked the audience to watch out for Fudcon:APAC, India as the Fedora Indian community is looking forward to conduct the conference later this year. Fedora 15 ISO’s, snacks and beverages were served in the end 🙂


Latex beamer source:

Categories: fedora, foss, Linux, talk Tags: , , ,

color-theme on EPEL

February 20, 2011 Comments off

Pushed emacs-color-theme for EPEL. I was able to test the EL5 build using centos 5 however i was unable to test the EL6 build as i don’t have RHEL6. i would appreciate if some one test the following scratch build on a EL6 machine I am not sure whether it will work. i used the same spec file which i have used for EL5.

On the other news cricscore-applet was updated to on all branches fixing a crash due to python API change.

Categories: emacs, fedora, foss, Linux, Packaging Tags: , ,

Behaviour of – Python

February 7, 2011 2 comments

I am playing around with python for a while. My code uses ConfigParser to parse a piece of configuration file. Now the documentation says accepts list of file names as an argument and tries to read them one by one and returns the list of files that are read successfully.This behaviour is helpful when you have multiple configuration files all across your system.

what the documentation doesn’t tell you is, which configuration file it will use for further processing in case of multiple successful reads. ConfigParser actually uses the last read file for further processing. So prioritize your  configuration files accordingly

import ConfigParser

config_parser = ConfigParser.ConfigParser()

filenames = [‘low_priority_file’,’medium_priority_file’,’high_priority_file’]

Categories: fedora, foss, fun, hack, python Tags: , ,

Fedora presence @ – day 1

December 16, 2010 Leave a comment

This is my first ever  My flight arrived at bangalore by 8.30 in the morning. It took me nearly 2 hrs to reach my hotel from the airport. Beware if you want to catch a flight you better prepare and go well ahead of the time ’cause bangalore’s traffic sucks. I met aditya, amit and shreyank at the hotel and we headed towards the venue.

Everything started an hour late. The first talk was about wikipedia. Danese cooper CTO of wikimedia foundation gave a talk on the technology that drives the world’s fifth largest website. Santhosh thottingal’s work on wiki2cd was appreciated  by the wikimedia team. wiki2cd helps in creating offline content out of wikipedia.After the talk we met rahul and got our Fedora t-shirts (yay!) .

In the afternoon aditya and i went into meego mini-conf sessions by Nokia. Nokia is really trying to push meego into the mainstream (Good luck Nokia). In the evening the keynote address was given by rahul. He talked on a topic named “Failures of Fedora and what we have learned from them”, he gave us insights into what red hat/community did wrong and what they learnt from it. It was an awesome talk. Some points from his talk includes merger of core/extras repositories into a single repo, opening up the infrastructure, focus on improving packaging quality/guidelines, the problems they faced with documentation(because of red hat’s initial stand on freeing up the documentation license) , the proposed removal of CLA, the new update policy etc.

Finally we Fedora folks including lennart poettering went into a bar/restaurant and had a very good dinner. Thanks to the community architecture team for everything. We spent lot of time talking about what could be done to improve the  project. Harish pillay joined us there later in the restaurant. He explained why LTSP in Fedora needs some love and how it is getting  distro centric. We came back to hotel by 11.30 PM.

More pictures at