debian

Drupal.org Offline / Donations Requested

The Drupal website has been down for two days now. They haven't received a response from support and hence cannot fix it (sounds familiar to me).

On the long run, Drupal will migrate to the Open Source Lab (OSL) which offers lots of services and already hosts many popular Open Source projects like Mozilla, Apache, and Debian.

To be able to do this, they need a new server (free rack space and bandwidth are provided by OSL) for which they are seeking donations now.
It's also planned to create a non-profit organization which will hold the funds, so the donations will be tax-deductible...

bb Update

bb screenshot
bb screenshotI uploaded an updated bb Debian package today, which fixes a few bugs:

  • The first one is an FTBFS bug (Fails To Build From Source) with gcc 3.4 and gcc 4.0. Thanks to Karl Chen for the patch.
  • The next one fixes the build dependencies of the package, as the aalib library used by bb was renamed to libaa in Debian.
  • Finally, I moved bb from /usr/bin to /usr/games, where it fits in better in my and other people's opinion.

For those of you who don't know bb: It is a pure text-mode demo (think demoscene) with fancy visual effects and music. Although quite old (ca. 1997) it is still quite impressive and well worth watching.

My VServer Still Down

More than two weeks ago I blogged about my server being down. After multiple emails, phone calls, and even a fax trying to reach the support team, the server is still dead. But at least I know (a little bit) more now.

The Good
I managed to get someone from support on the phone and he fixed the system at least so far that I could ssh to it again. I was able to pull a complete backup of the system, including a database dump.
That means that Unmaintained Free Software and all other sites hosted on the server will eventually return, no data will be lost.

The Bad
After I created the backup, I wanted to reinstall the whole system and then install the backup to restore all services. As it turned out, the (automatic) reboot- and reinstall-script they use is obviously broken, I cannot reach the server anymore after I initated the reinstall. This is probably something more serious, as other people seem to be affected, too.

The Ugly
I have not the slightest idea what the hell happened on the server. There was something really, really strange going on. An example:

# ls -l /usr/bin/traceroute
-rw-rw---- 1 mysql mysql 310872 Jun 21 03:21 traceroute

Why the hell is traceroute not executable and belongs to user/group mysql? There are several other anomalies there: /usr/share/doc/apt is not a directory as it is supposed to be, but a Perl script. /usr/bin/id is a directory. Multiple system tools (awk, sed, ...) are not executable and partly directories with strange stuff in them. What gives?

One possible explanation is that the server was hacked and some rootkit wrecked havoc on the server. After a quick glance at the logs, I couldn't find any hints for a successful breakin, though. Another possibility is that the hard drive simply died and/or the filesystem was (heavily) corrupted. I don't know...

Has anybody ever seen something like this? Please enlighten me what could have happened...

apt-listchanges / apt-listbugs

Two very handy scripts for your Debian boxes:

  • apt-listchanges shows you the changelog of packages you're about to install or upgrade. This allows you to abort the installation if you don't like some of the changes.
  • apt-listbugs shows you a list of open bugs against the package(s) you're about to install. It does this by querying the Debian bug tracking system at runtime and displaying the results. You may abort the installation / upgrade if there's a grave bug which would break your system.

Both tools are very useful and can save your ass. Use them.

My Wesnoth Replays Online [Update]

Wesnoth screenshot

Battle for Wesnoth seems to become a real threat for the Debian project. More and more Debian developers get sucked into the world of elves, dwaves, orcs, zombies and mages — and only few return...

On a related note: I uploaded my Wesnoth game replays (210 KB) for everyone to enjoy. I'm currently playing the Heir To The Throne campaign and finished 16 of 26 levels so far.

For those of you who want to save the money they usually spend in the cinema — grab some beer and watch Wesnoth replays with your friends ;-)

Update 2006-06-01: Added link to the canonical location of my replays. I now provide replays for the complete Heir to the throne campaign, others will follow.

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