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Ayatana Indicators

In the near future various upstream projects related to the Ubuntu desktop experience as we have known it so far may become only sporadically maintained or even fully unmaintained. Ubuntu will switch to the Gnome desktop environment with 18.04 LTS as its default desktop, maybe even earlier. The Application Indicators [1] brought into being by Canonical Ltd. will not be needed in Gnome (AFAIK) any more. We can expect the Application Indicator related projects become unmaintained upstream. (In fact I have recently been offered continuation of upstream maintenance of libdbusmenu).

Historical Background

This all started at Ubuntu Developer Summit 2012 when Canonical Ltd. announced Ubuntu to become the successor of Windows XP in business offices. The Unity Greeter received an Remote Login Service enhancement: since then it supports Remote Login to Windows Terminal Servers. The question came up, why Remote Login to Linux servers--maybe even Ubuntu machines--is not on the agenda. It turned out, that it wasn't even a discussable topic. At that time, I started looking into the Unity Greeter code, adding support for X2Go Logon into Unity Greeter. I never really stopped looking at the greeter code from time to time.

Since then, it turned into some sort of a hobby... While looking into the Unity Greeter code over the past years and actually forking Unity Greeter as Arctica Greeter [2] in September 2015, I also started looking into the Application Indicators concept just recently.

[Arctica Project] Release of nx-libs (version 3.5.99.7)

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 Friday, May 5th 2017, version 3.5.99.7 of nx-libs has been released [1].

Credits

A special thanks goes to Ulrich Sibiller for tracking down a regression bug that caused a tremendously slowed down keyboard input on high latency connections. Thanks for that!

Another thanks goes to the Debian project for indirectly providing us with so many build platforms. We are nearly at the point where nx-libs builds on all architectures supported by the Debian project. (Runtime stability is a completely different issue, we will get to this soon).

Changes between 3.5.99.6 and 3.5.99.7

  • Include Debian patches, re-introducing GNU/Hurd and GNU/kFreeBSD support. Thanks to various porters on #debian-ports and #debian-hurd for feedback (esp.

Joining "The Club" Tomorrow

After having waited for about four months, I received an official mail from office (at) ccc.de today, containing my personal chaos number and initial membership payment information and all...


              \o/    .oO( Yipppieehhh )


Money has immediately been transfered, so club joining should be complete by tomorrow.

Blogged by a highly delighted...
... sunweaver

Making Debian experimental's X2Go Server Packages available on Ubuntu, Mint and alike

Often I get asked: How can I test the latest nx-libs packages [1] with a stable version of X2Go Server [2] on non-Debian, but Debian-like systems (e.g. Ubuntu, Mint, etc.)?

This is quite easy, if you are not scared of building binary Debian packages from Debian source packages. Until X2Go Server (and NXv3) will be made available in Debian unstable, the brave testers should follow the below installation recipe.

Step 1: Add Debian experimental as Source Package Source

Add Debian experimental as source package provider (and immediately install the Debian Archive Keyring package):

$ echo "deb-src http://httpredir.debian.org/debian experimental main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/debian-experimental.list
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install debian-archive-keyring
$ sudo apt-get update

Step 2: Obtain Build Tools and Build Dependencies

When building software, you need to have some extra packages. Those packages will not be needed at runtime of the built piece of software, so you may want to take some notes on what extra packages get installed with the below step. If you plan rebuilding X2Go Server and NXv3 several times, then simply leave the build dependencies installed:

$ sudo apt-get build-dep nx-libs
$ sudo apt-get build-dep x2goserver

Step 3: Build NXv3 and X2Go Server from Source

Building NXv3 (aka nx-libs) takes a while, so it may be time to get some coffee now... The build process should not run as superuser root.

[Arctica Project] Release of nx-libs (version 3.5.99.6)

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 Friday, Apr 21st 2017, version 3.5.99.6 of nx-libs has been released [1].

As some of you might have noticed, the release announcements for 3.5.99.4 and 3.5.99.5 have never been posted / written, so this announcement lists changes introduced since 3.5.99.3.

Credits

There are alway many people to thank, so I won't mention all here. The person I need to mention here is Mihai Moldovan, though. He virtually is our QA manager, although not officially entitled. The feedback he gives on code reviews is sooo awesome!!! May you be available to our project for a long time.

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)

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