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Trying CentOS

Well, I got sick of the fe­do­ra up­grade tread­mil­l.

Al­though I have a num­ber of things help­ing me in the soft­ware man­age­ment fron­t, hav­ing to up­grade the OS in all my cus­tomers ev­ery 18 months or so is just bor­ing.

Since they don't need cut­ting edge soft­ware at al­l, it just was­n't worth it. Be­ing a cheap guy, switch­ing to Nov­ell or RHEL was not worth it, ei­ther.

So, I checked Cen­tOS 4. A nice bor­ing stodgy RHEL repack­ag­ing. I have been us­ing it in se­lect­ed en­vi­ron­ments (in­clud­ing my home box) for a co0u­ple of week­s.

It's re­al­ly not ter­ri­ble.

Ok, the de­fault ker­nel it ships is ter­ri­ble. Al­most no pe­riph­er­als work with it, and hot­plug is bro­ken like all hel­l, but I just got atrp­m's FC3 ker­nel and all is fine.

The oth­er main prob­lems are:

  • There are not enough pack­­age sources yet

  • I can't find a de­­cent APT for it. So I am us­ing YUM.

Well, YUM re­al­ly hurts it.

  • For some rea­­son, I can't re­­move soft­­ware when I am of­f­­line. It hangs.

  • It's sloooooooow. Damn slow. In­­­cred­i­bly slow. Makes APT look fast slow! Af­ter I added a few ex­­tra re­­pos, it takes about 3 min­utes for "yum search pyxm­l"

But hey, it's not all that bad if you have the time. And for the re­al work, my box­es use cus­tom-­pack­aged stuff any­way. I just need­ed some­thing that was­n't go­ing to bite me lat­er.

And since I am read­just­ing my life to spend more time at home, I do have the time.

On oth­er news, I had to re­in­stall PyD­S, of course. So, I de­cid­ed to treat my own box the same way I treat my clients' and for­bid my­self from in­stalling non-­pack­aged soft­ware.

So, I pack­aged it. Mind you, that's on an ar­gen­tini­an ca­ble­modem, so don't ex­pect any kind of speed. And it won't be there for long.

Any re­quired pack­ages not in that place are avail­able in the dis­tro, or in dag or in karan

Sometimes things just click

I have been writ­ing we­b-based in­ter­faces for ap­pli­ca­tions for about 5 years. Noth­ing pub­lic, noth­ing very in­ter­est­ing, just tiny front ends for cus­tom tools in clients' in­stal­la­tion­s.

And I have hat­ed ev­ery minute of it. PHP hurt­s, Twist­ed hurt­s, mod­_python hurt­s...

For a cou­ple of months I have been us­ing Cher­ryPy and I fi­nal­ly am hav­ing fun do­ing it.

And af­ter I fig­ured out how to do AJAX us­ing it, it's even more fun ( be­cause the apps in­ter­ac­tion mod­el is not to­tal­ly brain­dead :-)

I don't ex­pect it to be as fun as PyQt/PyKDE, but it's to­tal­ly not aw­ful. I sup­pose the same epiphany comes to peo­ple when they use rails or some oth­er de­cen­t, pro­duc­tive, fun frame­work.

All in al­l, I could get used to this.

Simple password validation

I am writ­ing a sort of we­b-based ad­min tool for a clien­t, and I had this prob­lem: How do you val­i­date a sys­tem us­er from a scrip­t?

Well, this is how:

def validPass(name,password):
     p=os.popen('/usr/bin/checkpassword-pam -s login -- /bin/true 3<&0','w')
     s='%s\000%s\000xxx\000'%(name,password)
     p.write(s)
     r=p.close()
     if r==None: #Success
             return True
     else:
             return False

Just get check­pass­word-­pam from some­where.

Or, if you use some oth­er sort of au­then­ti­ca­tion scheme, some oth­er check­pass­word. They are meant for qmail, but they are very handy :-)

Impudent abuse of copy&paste

I of­ten check on the com­ments for the longer ar­ti­cles I write.

Since most of those are of a tech­ni­cal na­ture of­ten I find some­one post­ing a ques­tion, even years af­ter the ar­ti­cle was post­ed (thank google for that), and I like to an­swer them.

So, I check on my Lin­ux Boot­ing Process Un­veiled ar­ti­cle, and I find this:

This ar­ti­cle is post­ed on this site as well, and in its en­tire­ty:

http://www.­sec­tion6.net/help/lin­ux­boot.php post­ed by Joshua Pur­cell at 2005-03-14 16:14:41.492867-06

And guess what? It is! Thanks Joshua!

Ok, it's not just a copy. For in­stance, he re­moved the joke at the be­gin­ning, and man­aged to mis­spell init­tab in a ti­tle (as IN­NITAB).

I am not against copy­ing con­tent from my site. In fac­t, it says right here at the right side that you can. As long as you do the fol­low­ing:

  • Keep my name on it

  • If you change con­­tents, clear­­ly say so

  • Link back at me.

These guys at Sec­tion 6, specif­i­cal­ly TBo­nius de­cid­ed to do the fol­low­ing:

  • Re­­place my name with his alias. They even say all their con­­tent is (c) no­­body. Well, not quite al­l, guys!.

  • Ed­it and not mark it

  • Not link back

I would con­tact them ex­cept that:

  • They pro­­vide no easy way to do so

  • This does­n't look like a hon­est mis­­­take (like some vi­et­­namese site did), be­­cause of the ed­it­ing.

So... what­ev­er dudes. I can write ar­ti­cles like this in a cou­ple of hours, while hang­over. Nice that you find it worth steal­ing (bad­ly) down to the foot­notes!. But hey, that's just lame. Or, as you may un­der­stand bet­ter:

Sec­tion6 1z 7h3 5ux0rz!

Change of plans

Well, uCrux is not for me.

The main prob­lem is what lead me to it in the first place, uClibc.

Sad­ly, I can­not rec­om­mend it ex­cept for em­bed­ded de­vices. It has some prob­lems build­ing or link­ing spe­cif­ic soft­ware, but that's not it. The prob­lem is there is no up­grade route.

Since it prom­ises to break bi­na­ry com­pat­i­bil­i­ty ev­ery ver­sion, you have to re­build the world to, for ex­am­ple, see if a bug is fixed in lat­est snap­shot.

So, back to glibc, at least for a while.

And, since I de­cid­ed to switch to glibc, why not look at Crux's child, Arch? It's down­load­ing now.


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