Nixers Conf 2020 [Recordings and Feedbacks] - Community & Forums Related Discussions

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venam
Administrators
Hello nixers,
We had a phenomenal time during the conference I hope you enjoyed it as
much as I did.

For those who didn't attend, I've updated the previous thread with a link of the recordings, which you can also find here:

For those who did attend, I'll be happy to hear your feedback on the
following points:
  • Did you find the talks interesting? What did you like about them?
  • In your opinion, was the conference well scheduled?
  • Was the conference too long?
  • Would you recommend the conference to friends?
  • Would you attend another conf if we organized one?
  • I know not everyone was happy with the conference software solution we've used, do you have any other to recommend?
  • Do you have any other comments?

As a bonus, here's the shared notes that a kind "anonymous" user left:

Code:
__    ALL HAIL GLENDA
      (   \
__   \  '\
(  "-_ \ .-'----._
'-_  "v"           "-
    "Y'                ".
     |                   |
     |        o     o   |
     |          .<>.   |
      \         "Ll"     |
       |                . '
       |                |
       (               /
      /'\           . \
      "--^--.__,\_)-'



Mort's thing about embedded data in C
=====================================

Printing a string (with puts()) maps the actual string in assembly code, then calls it directly by address. It means that the string itself is visible directly in the binary.

objcopy: take an input file and outputs an object file, that you can link in your binary. It's tied to GNU though…

Another option is to run "xxd" to output the hexa version of your file into a char array, and include it manually in your code. It's slow however.

mort wrote "strliteral" does the same, but doesn't output the bytes in hexadecimal, but as ASCII chars directly, which is apparently much faster. The string size, however, is limited.

Proposal: #embed "file"



Freem boots without disk
========================

(definitely french)

diskless boot ? no local storage at all, require a network link.

Usage:
    - Storage needs to be centralized
    - Automate system installations
    
The appliance will boot from the network by using a protocol named "PXE" (Pre-boot eXecution Environment).
There is no static IP required. It needs to get a network IP (DHCP or BOOTP), and have a way to fetch the "payload" (OS image). Two simple protocols are HTTP or TFTP.

The applicance firmware MUST be able to boot from network. All UEFI firmware have PXE support.

Freem's usage: test automatic debian installs, for a pet project (debian fork). Virtual machines boot from the net, and run their install script automatically.

DHCP server
    - VLAN ?
    - PXE image IP/path exposed in BOOTP range

TFTP server
    - tftpd, using default config
    - "secure" - LOL, you're a TFTP bro.
    - images in /src/tftp/pxe/netinsts/

needed folder: "pxelinux.cfg" require for BOOTP config. The config specified the kernel and inirtd path, with the full tftp:// URL, and optionally kernel parameters (eg, "nfsroot", "ip", …)

Freem uses NFS to provide the filesystem root, using a read-only NFS share (to prevent modification to the base rootfs).



Venam's take on name resolution
===============================

Focusing on end-user side.

A few languages don't use stdlib, there is no ONE TRUE WAY to resolve names. This is a mess.

Even POSIX has multiple ways to do it (gethostbyname(), getaddrinfo(), …)

The grandpa: resolver(3) and libbind (RFC based)
-> DNS network calls only

libc's gethostbyname() (obsolete, v4 only), getaddrinfo()
aaaaaand GNU's gethostbyname2() …
They rely on NSS (name service switch), which specifies all the places names can be found, and their order.

resolvconf(8), how to fuck up a static /etc/resolv.conf, systemd way.

A few processes can now cache DNS/hosts queries, thanks to NSS (eg, nscd).




Z3bra's idea on how to read mails
=================================

hint: don't.
z3bra
Grey Hair Nixers
I hate my stupid voice.
mort
Members
I fixed up my talk's video to remove the flash of white inbetween slides: https://s.mort.coffee/mort_embedding_dat..._fixed.mp4
phillbush
Long time nixers
(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: Did you find the talks interesting? What did you like about them?
Yes, they introduced topics that motivated me to dig into them.
Mort's talk taught me concepts that I didn't know and that will certainly improve my programming skills.
freem's talk introduced me to the topic that I have only heard about but never considered to research.
venam's talk coincided with the current topic of my uni's networking class! I liked it a lot, especially for pointing out how UNIX do stuff (something that my class doesn't do).
z3bra's talk was really interesting and motivated me to work harder on my email workflow.

(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: In your opinion, was the conference well scheduled?
Yes. Sunday is a good day, as most people don't have work.
We have people from all parts of the world, which makes scheduling an hour good for everybody something hard.
IIRC, it was Ramiferous who said that lives in Australia and that the conf would be 1AM for him.
Maybe next time we can research the forum users' local time zone and get a time that is not bad for anyone, idk...

(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: Was the conference too long?
I don't think so.
I think it had the right duration.
Not too short not too long.

(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: Would you recommend the conference to friends?
Yes.
I was afraid of posting the conf in some forums... maybe some troll there could get in and mess the conf up.

(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: Would you attend another conf if we organized one?
Absolutely.

(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: I know not everyone was happy with the conference software solution we've used, do you have any other to recommend?
Do you have any other comments?
I liked bbb, I saw no problem in the software.
Just had to enable webrtc on my browser and (if I had to give a talk) enable the mic in my kernel.

(01-11-2020, 05:35 PM)z3bra Wrote: I hate my stupid voice.
I could understand you with no problem!
Something I noticed was that no speaker has English as native language, so all of them have some level of accent. Specially all the three francophone ones.
ekangmonyet
Registered
Lurked the whole conf, nothing constructive from me but I definitely enjoyed it.

(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: Did you find the talks interesting? What did you like about them?
I would take more time to consume them. Nothing in particular but I don't find anything that I don't like about =D

(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: In your opinion, was the conference well scheduled?
It's 10pm for me, quite perfect.

(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: Was the conference too long?
No

(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: Would you recommend the conference to friends?
Yes

(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: Would you attend another conf if we organized one?
Yes

(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: I know not everyone was happy with the conference software solution we've used, do you have any other to recommend?
Do you have any other comments?
No, BBB is perfect.
jkl
Long time nixers
The problem with conferences like these are the missing transcripts. I actually prefer to read.
(Only one of the reasons why I don’t attend actual conferences anymore either.)
jolia
Long time nixers
(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: Did you find the talks interesting? What did you like about them?
each talk had its own specificity regarding thechnology, that's what i liked. i learnt tons of stuff and liked be there with you guys
now i want to learn more and play with this embed code thanks to mort
setup a pxe environment to play with
get back hard to mutt, but i would have to pay for a premium protonmail account... or just setup my own email server
and finally dig (sorry for the joke) more into dns!
(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: In your opinion, was the conference well scheduled?
was perfect time for me!
(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: Was the conference too long?
i wouldn't say too long, especially for a first draft!
(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: Would you recommend the conference to friends?
ofc i would, i already did btw
(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: Would you attend another conf if we organized one?
obviously, and it motivated me to have a talk as well, but i would still have to work for it
(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: I know not everyone was happy with the conference software solution we've used, do you have any other to recommend?
bbb was cool, i didn't have anything to say
(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: Do you have any other comments?
i am already looking forward to the next conf! i think with the current situation, we will have a new one soon :D
opFez
Members
(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: Did you find the talks interesting? What did you like about them?
There were a lot of nice talks! I feel I learned a lot.

(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: In your opinion, was the conference well scheduled?
Yes, although the time was a bit misleading. But those things happen and it was nice that people got to say what they had planned.

(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: Was the conference too long?
I found it to be a nice length for a conf, but if we get more talks next year, I think it would be a problem if all of them had the length of the talks this year.

(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: Would you recommend the conference to friends?
I think the conference has a lot of good information for *nix enthusiasts, but isn't very approciable to a more n00b audience. Therefore, I would reccommend the conf if they were interested in *nix, absolutely.

(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: Would you attend another conf if we organized one?
Absolutely!

(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: I know not everyone was happy with the conference software solution we've used, do you have any other to recommend?
No, I thought bbb worked great.

Here's to 2021 being even better!
Dworin
Members
(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: Did you find the talks interesting? What did you like about them?
Yes, they were very diverse. The one I'm most immediately thinking to apply is the mail setup but I appreciate the other talks as well.
(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: In your opinion, was the conference well scheduled?
A Sunday evening 10PM, for me is ideal as I wouldn't be doing much at that time.
(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: Was the conference too long?
Definitely not. Four talks with no stress to finish on time makes it nice and relaxed. If, as opFez suggests, we get more talks offered next year, I think it might be an idea to split into short events of 4 talks each. It would kill the vibe if there's a moderator with a stopwatch.
(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: Would you recommend the conference to friends?
Yes, for sure.
(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: Would you attend another conf if we organized one?
I'm looking forward to it already.
(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: I know not everyone was happy with the conference software solution we've used, do you have any other to recommend?
I found BBB to be much snappier than google meet. And from their promotion video, I really like some of the classroom features (that we didn't use in the conf, though).
(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: Do you have any other comments?
Thanks for taking the initiative!
pyratebeard
Long time nixers
(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: Did you find the talks interesting? What did you like about them?
I found all the talks interesting. They were technical enough without being too complicated to follow, and the topics were good. Length of the talks was about right.

(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: In your opinion, was the conference well scheduled?
Yes, it is good to have a moderator keeping everything on track.

(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: Was the conference too long?
I do not think it was too long, but I would be happy for a longer conf if there were a couple more talks. The length of talks was nice, so even another two talks wouldn't have felt like things were dragging on.\

(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: Would you recommend the conference to friends?
Yes I would.

(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: Would you attend another conf if we organized one?
Certainly.

(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: I know not everyone was happy with the conference software solution we've used, do you have any other to recommend?
I thought BBB worked well enough, happy to stick with that.

If you want a suggestion maybe take a look at Jitsi as another solution. I use it with my LUG online meetups and it works well enough, it is also possible to selfhost it if we wanted to go down that route.

(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: Do you have any other comments?
I need to remember to bring more snacks to my desk...
eye
Members
such I shame I wasn't there. Would have loved to have seen the talks live. Thanks for the recordings, gonna here into them
Dworin
Members
z3bra, in your talk you show nearly all scripts and configs but I think you missed ~/.mutt/fmt.conf. Is it possible share that somewhere?
eye
Members
z3bra: for mailsearching: why not use notmuch?
s0kx
Members
(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: Did you find the talks interesting?
Yes I did. It was nice to have four really different talks.

(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: In your opinion, was the conference well scheduled?
14 utc is 16 in my local time so yes.

(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: Was the conference too long?
Nope.

(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: Would you recommend the conference to friends?
If I had *nix friends...

(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: Would you attend another conf if we organized one?
Definitely!

(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: I know not everyone was happy with the conference software solution we've used, do you have any other to recommend?
Personally I had no problems with this setup.
vain
Long time nixers
Finally got around to watching the recordings. Learned something from every single talk, so: Mission accomplished! :) I hope I can attend the next conf live.

(It's always a bit hard to understand non-native speakers, but as I'm not a native speaker myself, I can't blame anyone. Actually, that's what I like about this community: People from all around the globe, we "muddle through", and somehow we manage to understand each other. <3)

I feel the need to dig up some of my older Linux books and read up on YP (and NSS). I have always ignored that as best as I could. :)

freem, do you have any experience in using this? http://etherboot.org/wiki/removable#crea...loppy_disk I have an old machine with BIOS here, but no native PXE support in that BIOS. So I guess booting a little PXE stack from a floppy might be the only option.
freem
Members
@all, I have uploaded my slides here, LaTeX source code only though, you'll need to compile. The URI will be deleted sooner or later, though, because I need to clean that server installation (which is just a try for a setup and some scripts).

(03-11-2020, 04:43 PM)vain Wrote: freem, do you have any experience in using this? http://etherboot.org/wiki/removable#crea...loppy_disk I have an old machine with BIOS here, but no native PXE support in that BIOS. So I guess booting a little PXE stack from a floppy might be the only option.

Nope, sorry. I started playing with PXE (after years of being willing to, but never finding enough motivation to do so, like many here!) with modern hardware (iPXE through virtualbox and mano842 for the 1st try, adding beaglebone blacks installs on the 2nd try, and now only have the iPXE) which had built-in support for network booting.
For older systems that do *not* natively supports PXE, AFAIK, you either need to solder a ROM to add support to the NIC (or add a NIC with native support for PXE), flash the BIOS with a firmware that supports it, or rely on local storage for chainload (since it's what it really is). I guess the later solution (the floppy disk) is the easier, unfortunately.

(01-11-2020, 04:53 PM)venam Wrote: ...

Let me reply mail-like to the notes that speak about my talk, because it's far easier than bbcode for in-place comment.

> The appliance will boot from the network by using a protocol named "PXE" (Pre-boot eXecution Environment).

PXE is the specification, which requires a bunch of protocols (BOOTP and TFTP which are, AFAIK, simpler versions of the ones we all know). Some firmwares (modern ones, probably) also support DHCP and HTTP.

> - VLAN ?

Virtual lan, which is not a "real" VLAN (that term is used for level 2 switchs, I think, to make it explicit that a broadcast from some NICs won't propagate to others, between other things... that's something I still need to learn how to do).
I misused that term to make it explicit that I have 2 LANs: one which happens to be physical (it includes the internet router which do DHCP, the host of the virtual machines I use, and potentially many other systems) and a 2nd one which is hosted on a computer and can only communicate to the physical LAN through the host.
I should have done some graphics to help with that, but I got several hurry day because of real life, resulting in even less preparation that I would have done normally.
Sorry about that.

> - "secure" - LOL, you're a TFTP bro.

Indeed. But "secure" applies to the daemon. Basically, it means "chroot to the served directory" and is advised for both security and compat of some ROMs (according to manpage).

Hopefully I could clarify some points.


(03-11-2020, 04:43 PM)vain Wrote: freem, do you have any experience in using this? http://etherboot.org/wiki/removable#crea...loppy_disk I have an old machine with BIOS here, but no native PXE support in that BIOS. So I guess booting a little PXE stack from a floppy might be the only option.

Nope, sorry. I started playing with PXE (after years of being willing to, but never finding enough motivation to do so, like many here!) with modern hardware (iPXE through virtualbox and mano842 for the 1st try, adding beaglebone blacks installs on the 2nd try, and now only have the iPXE) which had built-in support for network booting.
For older systems that do *not* natively supports PXE, AFAIK, you either need to solder a ROM to add support to the NIC (or add a NIC with native support for PXE), flash the BIOS with a firmware that supports it, or rely on local storage for chainload (since it's what it really is). I guess the later solution (the floppy disk) is the easier, unfortunately.