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UIF bug: Caused by flawed IPv6 DNS resolving in Perl's NetAddr::IP

TL;DR; If you use NetAddr::IP->new6() for resolving DNS names to IPv6 addresses, the addresses returned by NetAddr::IP are not what you might expect. See below for details.

Issue #2 in UIF

Over the last couple of days, I tried to figure out the cause of a weird issue observed in UIF (Universal Internet Firewall [1], a nice Perl tool for setting up ip(6)tables based Firewalls).

Already a long time ago, I stumbled over a weird DNS resolving issue of DNS names to IPv6 addresses in UIF that I reported as issue #2 [2] against upstream UIF back then.

I happen to be co-author of UIF. So, I felt very ashamed all the time for not fixing the issue any sooner.

As many of us DDs try to get our packages into shape before the next Debian release these days, I find myself doing the same. I started investigating the underlying cause of issue #2 in UIF a couple of days ago.

Issue #119858 on CPAN

Today, I figured out that the Perl code in UIF is not causing the observed phenomenon. The same behaviour is reproducible with a minimal and pure NetAddr::IP based Perl script (reported as Debian bug #851388 [2].

[Arctica Project] Release of nx-libs (version 3.5.99.3)

Introduction

NX is a software suite which implements very efficient compression of the X11 protocol. This increases performance when using X applications over a network, especially a slow one.

NX (v3) has been originally developed by NoMachine and has been Free Software ever since. Since NoMachine obsoleted NX (v3) some time back in 2013/2014, the maintenance has been continued by a versatile group of developers. The work on NX (v3) is being continued under the project name "nx-libs".

Release Announcement

On Monday, Dec 19th, version 3.5.99.3 of nx-libs has been released [1].

This release brings another major backport of libNX_X11 (to the status of X.org's libX11 1.6.4, i.e. latest HEAD) and also a major backport of the xtrans library (status of latest HEAD at X.org, as well). This big chunk of work has again been performed by Ulrich Sibiller. Thanks for your work on this.

This release is also the first version of nx-libs (v3) that has dropped nxcompext as shared library. We discovered that shipping nxcompext as shared library is a big design flaw as it has to be built against header files private to the Xserver (namely, dix.h). Conclusively, code from nxcompext was moved into the nxagent DDX [2].

Furthermore, we worked again and again on cleaning up the code base.

Free Your Phone, Free Yourself, Get Sponsored for your Work

TL;DR; This is a call to every FLOSS developer interested in working towards Free Software driven mobile phones, esp. targetting the Fairphone 2. If your only show stopper is lack of development hardware or lack of financial support, please go on reading below.

As I see it, the Fairphone 2 will be (or already is) the FLOSS community platform on the mobile devices market. Regularly, I get new notice about people working on this or that OS port to the FP2 hardware platform. The combination of a hardware-wise sustainably maintained mobile phone platform and a Free (or sort-of-Free) operating system being ported to it, makes the Fairphone 2 a really attractive device.

Personally, I run Sailfish OS on my Fairphone 2. Some weeks ago, I got contacted by one of my sponsors letting me know that he got involved in setting up an initiative that works on porting the Ubuntu Table/Phone OS to FP2. That very project is in need of more developers.

Please Welcome D0n1elT to the FLOSS World

TL;DR;

If you run a FLOSS development project and you notice D0n1elT appearing on your IRC channel, please give him a warm welcome. D0n1elT is a young man highly talented in various FLOSS related topics already. He probably needs some guidance at the beginning and I hope he won't be too shy to ask for it. But you can be sure: your channel has been joined by someone you should consider as a future resource.

The Long Story

During the last two weeks I had the great pleasure of supervising a fine young man (very young, still, indeed) in all sorts of IT topics. This young man turned out to be so skilled and interested in various FLOSS related areas, I really want to introduce him to all of you.

The young man's real name is Daniel Teichmann. On IRC he may appear under his nick: D0n1elT. His GnuPG Fingerprint is: 6C6E 7F8F F7E8 B22E FC76 E9F7 8A79 028F DA56 7C6C.

Daniel goes to a local school here in Nothern Germany, near where I live. He attends the 9th grade at his school, and as common for students of his age and grade, practical training was scheduled for the last two weeks.

Daniel had originally applied for practical training at some other business near his place of living (which is quite far off from the school, actually). However, that company cancelled his training position two work days before the training was supposed to start. Daniel's teacher rang me up and asked for help. He advertised Daniel as someone who is far advanced in IT topics compared to his co-students.

Debian Edu development sprint in Oslo from Nov 25th - Nov 27th 2016

For those of you, who already thought about joining us in Oslo for our Debian Edu sprint, here comes your short reminder for signing up on this wiki page and then book your travel.

For those of you, who have learned about our upcoming sprint just now, feel heartily invited to meet and join the Debian Edu team (and friends) in Oslo. Check with your family and friends, if they may let you go. Do that now, put your name onto our wiki page and and book your journey.

Those of you, who cannot travel to Oslo, but feel like being interested in Debian and educational topics around Free Software, put a note into your calendar, so you don't forget to join us on IRC over that weekend (and any other time if you like): #debian-edu on irc.debian.org.

Looking forward to meeting you at end of November,
Mike (aka sunweaver)

[Arctica Project] Release of nx-libs (version 3.5.99.2)

Introduction

NX is a software suite which implements very efficient compression of the X11 protocol. This increases performance when using X applications over a network, especially a slow one.

NX (v3) has been originally developed by NoMachine and has been Free Software ever since. Since NoMachine obsoleted NX (v3) some time back in 2013/2014, the maintenance has been continued by a versatile group of developers. The work on NX (v3) is being continued under the project name "nx-libs".

Release Announcement

On Thursday, Oct 13th, version 3.5.99.2 of nx-libs has been released [1].

This release brings a major backport of libNX_X11 to the status of libX11 1.3.4 (as provided by X.org). On top of that, all CVE fixes provided for libX11 by the Debian X11 Strike Force and the Debian LTS team got cherry-picked to libNX_X11, too. This big chunk of work has been performed by Ulrich Sibiller and there is more to come. We currently have a pull request pending review that backports more commits from libX11 (bumping the status of libNX_X11 to the state of libX11 1.6.4, which is the current HEAD on the X.org Git site).

Another big clean-up performed by Ulrich is the split-up of XKB code which got symlinked between libNX_X11 and nx-X11/programs/Xserver.

Rocrail changed License to some dodgy non-free non-License

The Background Story

A year ago, or so, I took some time to search the internet for Free Software that can be used for controlling model railways via a computer. I was happy to find Rocrail [1] being one of only a few applications available on the market. And even more, I was very happy when I saw that it had been licensed under a Free Software license: GPL-3(+).

A month ago, or so, I collected my old Märklin (Digital) stuff from my parents' place and started looking into it again after +15 years, together with my little son.

Some weeks ago, I remembered Rocrail and thought... Hey, this software was GPLed code and absolutely suitable for uploading to Debian and/or Ubuntu. I searched for the Rocrail source code and figured out that it got hidden from the web some time in 2015 and that the license obviously has been changed to some non-free license (I could not figure out what license, though).

This made me very sad! I thought I had found a piece of software that might be interesting for testing with my model railway. Whenever I stumble over some nice piece of Free Software that I plan to use (or even only play with), I upload this to Debian as one of the first steps. However, I highly attempt to stay away from non-free sofware, so Rocrail has become a no-option for me back in 2015.

I should have moved on from here on...

Instead...

Proactively, I signed up with the Rocrail forum and asked the author(s) if they see any chance of re-licensing the Rocrail code under GPL (or any other FLOSS license) again [2]?

[Arctica Project] Release of nx-libs (version 3.5.99.1)

Introduction

NX is a software suite which implements very efficient compression of the X11 protocol. This increases performance when using X applications over a network, especially a slow one.

NX (v3) has been originally developed by NoMachine and has been Free Software ever since. Since NoMachine obsoleted NX (v3) some time back in 2013/2014, the maintenance has been continued by a versatile group of developers. The work on NX (v3) is being continued under the project name "nx-libs".

Release Announcement

On Tuesday, Sep 13th, version 3.5.99.1 of nx-libs has been released [1].

This release brings some code cleanups regarding displayed copyright information and an improvement when it comes to reconnecting to an already running session from an X11 server with a color depths setup that is different from the X11 server setup where the NX/X11 session was originally created on. Furthermore, an issue reported to the X2Go developers has been fixed that caused problems on Windows clients on copy+paste actions between the NX/X11 session and the underlying MS Windows system.

Debian's GTK-3+ v3.21 breaks Debian MATE 1.14

sunweaver sighs...

This short post is to inform all Debian MATE users that the recent GTK-3+ upload to Debian (GTK-3+ v3.21) broke most parts of the MATE 1.14 desktop environment as currently available in Debian testing (aka stretch). This raises some questions here on the MATE maintainers' side...

Questions

  1. Isn't GTK-3+ a shared library? This one was rhetorical... Yes, it is.

  2. One that breaks other application with every point release? Well, unfortunately, as experience over the past years has shown: Yes, this has happened several times, so far — and it happened again.

  3. Why is it that GTK-3+ uploads appear in Debian without going through a proper transition? This question is not rhetorical. If someone has an answer, please enlighten me.

Potential Counter Measures

For Debian MATE users running on Debian testing: This is untested, but it is quite likely that your MATE desktop environment will work again, once you have reverted your GTK-3+ library back to v3.20. For obtaining old Debian package versions, please visit the https://snapshots.debian.org site.

Prospective

The MATE 1.16 release is expected for Sep 20th, 2016. We will do our best to provide MATE 1.16 in Debian before this month is over. MATE 1.16 will again run smoothly (so I heard) on GTK-3+ 3.21.


light+love
sunweaver (who is already scared of the 3.22 GTK+ release, luckily the last development release of the GTK+ 3-series)

credential-sheets: User Account Credential Sheets Tool

Preface

This little piece of work has been pending on my todo list for about two years now. For our local school project "IT-Zukunft Schule" I wrote the little tool credential-sheets. It is a little Perl script that turns a series of import files (CSV format) as they have to be provided for user mass import into GOsa² (i.e. LDAP) into a series of A4 sheets with little cards on them, containing initial user credential information.

The upstream sources are on Github and I have just uploaded this little tool to Debian.

Introduction

After mass import of user accounts (e.g. into LDAP) most site administrators have to create information sheets (or snippets) containing those new credentials (like username, password, policy of usage, etc.).

With this tiny tool, providing these pieces of information to multiple users, becomes really simple.

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