UNIX Diary - Psychology, Philosophy, and Licenses

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josuah
Long time nixers
(08-04-2017, 08:30 AM)jkl Wrote: Next step: an actual Unix. ;->

I thought you meant something like UNIX V10.
jkl
Long time nixers
Unix v10 never really existed.
evbo
Members
Dear UNIX Diary,

The great BSD experiment has ended. Not so much out of desire, but more that The Spousal Unit returns today from her 2 week trip to visit family and I will have no free time to mess around with computer tweaking for a while. I've decided to move my main workstation back to Void Linux, as FreeBSD does not do everything I need. That does not mean I didn't enjoy my time with FreeBSD, quite the opposite. It's a fantastic system and I applaud it for what it does.

However, I will be keeping OpenBSD on my Thinkpad. The laptop is only used during travel, and I have always had it setup as a heavily customized secure system. OpenBSD's focus on security lets me build exactly what I want: A hardened mobile system that runs ssh, mutt, and Firefox. Plus it's just fun to use.

I may very well rebuild my home firewall with OpenBSD as I really like pf, so much so that I'd be willing to move from iptables.
robotchaos
Long time nixers
Dear UNIX Diary,

Just like the venerable evbo before me, I too have concluded my journey with FreeBSD, at least as a daily driver. I have recently been enjoying the freedom that the 'nix' package manager has afforded me, and the isolation of build dependencies so have been toying more with development as a direct result. I also taken back up my custom dwm/st environment and have been loving it. I gave them up for a while to pursue ease-of-use that full DE's provide, such as MATE and XFCE. But as handy as they may be, they are a distraction from the true greatness that is UNIX. I plan to use FreeBSD as my server though, so will continue the journey there. More to follow.
nas
Registered
Dear UNIX Diary,

Today, I finally managed to switch to windowchef. It was a big leap for me since I installed it on my work laptop. I came from AwesomeWM but I want something more minimal. Something that /I/ created. That's why I wanted to switch to something less[er].

Also, I've wrote my own udev monitor hot plug script so that my monitor is set up when I plug it. That was something I tried to do before but always failed.

PS: Thanks to dkeg, tudurom and z3bra for sharing what they have. I've learned so much from them.
Tmplt
Long time nixers
Dear UNIX diary,

Today, I began my move (for real) over to (neo)mutt.

As long as I can remember, I've always used Thunderbird when it comes to email. And while it works, it requires a mouse, and keeps forgetting that I don't want HTML when I'm composing my mails.

As it turned out, I already had some almost-finished dotfiles for mutt, just not with valid account credentials.

At present I use a single account. I sync mail with mbsync and send them with msmtp. Passwords are stored with pass, so I may need to enter the related gpg-passphrase to sync. Not that much of a hassle, but I've been thinking about having that key unlocked whenever I'm at the computer — which is whenever the system isn't locked with i3lock.



Oh, and also: I (impulse-)bought a new mechanical keyboard. Since every article and post mentioning it only praises it, I gambled and ordered a Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional 2.

It is very comfortable to write on, and I defenitely prefer the sound of topre over Cherry MX Blues. The control button is also in a much more ergonomic position. And since the board has the american layout, I decided to try it out, which not only made it easier to write C-like code (having no modifier for the semi-colon is surprisingly nice), but also forced me to set a compose key. It's much faster to tap '-' thrice to get the em-dash rather than copying the chracter from Wikipedia...
xero
Long time nixers
(12-07-2017, 02:00 AM)Tmplt Wrote: ...It's much faster to tap '-' thrice to get the em-dash rather than copying the chracter from Wikipedia...

:help digraphs
venam
Administrators
Dear UNIX diary,

The more I learn, the less clunky decisions and the unexpected surprise me.

I've finished, after 5 months (?) of hiatus, that last podcast episode about data storage. I've been thinking about this for a while and I noticed that whatever interaction with information we do, especially if it's on the hardware, the OS, the programs, the architecture, all of them want to cache and buffer to avoid going down the bottleneck and slow speed hole. I've watched a series about how reddit scaled with time ( https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL...J2lZFL35wP ) and this again shows how scaling could be summed up as adding more caching mechanisms.

I'll keep this in mind from now on.
Houseoftea
Long time nixers
Dear UNIX diary,

I am in the process of beating my macbook pro into a usable linux laptop. I say beating because the hardware seems to have a mind of it's own. Last week I was battling the high pixel density of the macbook pro retina displays, it turns out that x assumes 96x96 dpi, while my macbook had closer to 227x227, because of this everything on screen appeared microscopic. The arch wiki (no joke) recommends a magnifying glass during the installation. I got it fixed after x is started but when I log into tty everything is still tiny- that's something I still need to fix.

Today - I had just written a lengthy .xbindkeysrc to make all the special buttons on the keyboard work.
"echo 100 > /sys/class/leds/smc\:\kbd_backlight\brightness", turns on the keyboard backlight for example.

So I had just gotten all of these annoying little flimsy keys working when I notice that the tilda key (which I cannot type right now) does not work. When I used the hid-apple patch for the keyboard, my hotkeys stopped working.

I should have bought a thinkpad.
rocx
Members
(04-01-2018, 08:40 PM)Houseoftea Wrote: I should have bought a thinkpad.

got a thinkpad, can confirm you should of had. not to mention potentially a lot cheaper than a macbook. hope is not lost on you yet young padawan.
Tmplt
Long time nixers
Dear UNIX diary, today I installed NixOS on my laptop.

Having run Arch Linux for quite some time I couldn't shake the feeling of probable inconvenience; if any of my systems, for whatever reason, decided to kick the bucket it would take a long time setting everything up again. While I have my dotfiles in a repo my system-wide configurations are not backup up anywhere, and having a seperate repo for those, or even merging them with my current repo never felt like the right way. Keeping tabs on what programs I wanted installed was also a challange. While I kept a dedicated file for it in my dotfiles, I always forgot to update it.

So yeah, atomic updates, Nix-expressions for everything, etc. made NixOS too attractive. For `/home/*` I use home-manager. Stumbled upon a bug which I submitted last night and it got fixed today; I think I'll keep using it. The disto has turned my knowledge upside-down somewhat, though. I was trying to compile bookwyrm only for cmake to complain that it couldn't find curl. Compiling in a `nix-shell -p cmake`, however, fixed that issue; I'll dedicate a day to documentation, methinks. In any case, I look forward to when I can deploy it on my desktop later this year.

In other news, I flipped the spacebar on my HHKB upside-down; it truly is as good as they say.

PS: I want to thank neeasade again for his dotfiles, which nixos configs I've used as base for my installation.
jkl
Long time nixers
(21-01-2018, 10:02 PM)Tmplt Wrote: So yeah, atomic updates, Nix-expressions for everything, etc. made NixOS too attractive.

I admit that I was tempted to give it a try because of these reasons, but NixOS has systemd and I did not want to share the negative experiences of other people. I wonder if the reliability is good enough though.
Tmplt
Long time nixers
(22-01-2018, 08:14 AM)jkl Wrote: I wonder if the reliability is good enough though.
Thus far I've not have had to invoke systemd manually. It remains to be seen if I must do that when I deploy on my desktop, though. I'll be a happy man if everything systemd can be taken care of automagically in the background; it has been a bit of a nuisance on my Arch installation.

On the other hand bookwyrm now segfaults on NixOS when loading Python modules, but this is probably because something I've done wrong.
mrtn
Members
Dear Unix diary.

In a moment of what-the-fuck i decided to nuke my notebooks arch install to go on a distrohopping spree. I'm pretty sure it was a dumb idea, because i've not yet found anything that felt _right_.... I'll propably install arch again after a few weeks. Although i'm intrigued by Tmplts praise of nixos. Or should i give one of the bsd's a spin? damn.

Decisions, decisions...
jkl
Long time nixers
Yes, you should give one of the BSDs a spin. :)
jkl
Long time nixers
Dear UNIX diary,

as I do not want to talk about Linux all the time, it is time to get back to why we are all here.

So I confess that I made it - I installed a real UNIX on a server which is aimed to replace one of my BSD servers. (This is rather embarrassing after my previous post in this topic, I guess.) After struggling with FreeBSD's ethical mistakes and random port breakages for too long (I haven't been able to update sbcl for months, and having new incompatible features like port flavours added over night does not make me love it more than before), I had to make the decision:
  • The venerable OpenBSD? It would have been the easiest choice, but I want to run some databases on the new server and they were never OpenBSD's strong point. Also, the 6-month update cycle with no support for anything but running the full installer (with no ssh during most of the process) is annoying enough on one server, I did not want to double the time for it.
  • DragonFly BSD? Ha - I tried! But sbcl is one of the essential applications for me - and both pkg and DPorts failed to let me install it flawlessly. I could report that, but I honestly do not have enough urge to run DragonFly BSD by all means.
  • illumos (in its OmniOS flavour) - which, when equipped with Joyent's pkgsrc, works exactly as advertised for me.

So I'm one of those Solaris(ish) guys now. Wish me luck.
jkl
Long time nixers
Dear UNIX diary,

it took me eight years with various incarnations of vi and Emacs to finally understand the awesomeness that is Acme.

I seriously consider switching to it on my non-Windows desktops. (Sadly, the only way to make it work on Windows is via emulation. The WSL seems to work as advertised, but the requirement of using /mnt/c/... disturbs my workflow.) Windows will remain to be my Emacs machine for the time being.

I feel ashamed for not having tried it earlier and having thought that mouse chords suck. They actually don't. Brave new world.
z3bra
Grey Hair Nixers
Dear UNIX diary,

Today I start using my very own mail server.

This project has been in my head for years now, and it's finally there: my own self-hosted mail infra!
I used to be a happy mailoo.org user (a FOSS email plaftorm 100% French, cocorico!), but recently they started announcing the end of their project. Due to their lives changing (wife, kids, work, whatever) they can't run the service anymore.
No worries, they pass it on to a company (after a poll alomgst all users, thanks guys for caring!), to keep the service alive. The only change there: it is a company. Ads, paid services, and no more FOSS to run the platform.

What a good time to move on!

I bought a new .pw domain, and installed postfix + dovecot on my server. After some doc reading and a bit of tinkering, I can now send and receive emails with SSL turned on! The main providers (google, hotmail, ...) don't flag me as spam, and IMAPS works like a charm!
I can even create mail-list with mlmmj(8) for when I need to organise events with multiple people (birthday, holidays, ...).

All the emails are, of course, backed up and encrypted (thanks to tarsnap(8)). All I need now is a good spam filter (most likely spamassassin) and I'll do the switch for my main account!

For now, I'm slowly moving ”receive only" services to this new box, like news maillist, or notifications.

It feels good to do things on your own!
xero
Long time nixers
<i'm late on posting this>

dear unix diary,
we got new laptops at work. and i was forced to hand over my trusty old mac air running arch for a macbook pro (mbp13,1) with the latest osx. i'd not used osx in a very long time. i realized i didnt have my arch installer usb drive to work that day, and was going to have to use osx for at least a day. and after clicking around for a few minutes i was sickened by a myriad of things. my boss jokingly said: "i bet you can't make it a week before installing linux on that thing"

grrr... challenge accepted.

fast forward an entire month of osx. man. my hands hurt! even using my normal external ergo keyboard. being forced to use the mouse so much as a real pain. I HATE THIS UI. so much bloat. brew is the worst. why are there so many capitol letters in these path names (/Users/)? how can people say this "MORE UNIX THAN LOONIX?!?!" something something based on darwin.... RAWR!

needless to say i'm back on arch now, and i it's so0o0o0o0o0o0o much more /comfy/

trying new things *can* be fun, but not always.
venam
Administrators
Dear UNIX diary,

The last few months have been quite exciting when it comes to you.

We have quite a big project at my job and my knowledge of intricate topics in the Unix and Linux world has been useful. From writing helper shell scripts, to doing one liners to convert hundreds of certificates in different directories from one format to another, from discussing SE-Linux features and Linux internal auditd (auditing) system, to using Linux capabilities (CAP_*), to having fun with permissions and ACL, to helping coworkers with setting up their environment variables properly, to debugging shell startup issues (what files it's reading in which order), managing services with systemd or supervisord or whatnot custom, and much more.

But what I've been learning the most is a whole new level of patience, not only to sit down and debug for myself but also to teach others that might not be accustomed to the topics I'm referring to.

Another thing that is humbling is seeing one person on a Linux based system, another on Windows, and another on MacOs. Then seeing how to debug the exact same issue on all three systems, be it firewall rules, or management of services. This help appreciate the different approach to thinking that those systems employ.

Meanwhile I'm not doing much on the personal side of things other than the newsletter. Every week I spend around 5hours or more reading every entry I add in it, seeking joy and interesting topics on the web that I can share with the growing list of readers, around 246 so far. We are approaching the 100th issue, this week will be the 98th. This is a bit time consuming, however this has been a treat for so many and is forcing me to visit many ideas and concepts around Unix that I wouldn't have touched before.

The podcast is still lagging behind unfortunately, and the more I talk about this the more it's not moving forward. To say the truth I purposely push it in favor of the newsletter as I can't allocate time to both at the same time.

At home I've recently fixed a 2bwm bug that has been sitting there since the beginning apparently. I'm not sure why no one has been pinging me more often about those, or maybe they did and at the time I wasn't experienced or patient enough to go through the debugging session with them.

As I mentioned here somewhere it's soon my birthday and I've been looking into bluetooth earphone/earbuds. The main goal is to get two pairs so that I can sit in a café or any cacophonic place and be able to watch a movie with my significant other without being bothered by the cable length. Bluetooth seems like the growing trend, cables are disappearing in most new devices. I'm still not so accustomed to this but I've tested playing audio output through two audio devices on my personal machine, one bluetooth and the other normal jack heaphone, and it plays fine so I'm hopeful this setup is going to work properly.

I guess this summarizes what I've been doing with Unix.
Steph
Long time nixers
Dear UNIX diary,

I have been loving project euler. I can spend whole afternoons trying to solve problems in elegant ways with python.
I discovered it at a horrible time though, what with exams in math and chemistry looming.

Also. I have been trying to break into LaTeX and free myself from the chains of microsoft office once and for all, but am having trouble making the switch. WYSIWYG is a tough drug to kick when you've been raised on it.

Peace.
rocx
Members
(28-10-2018, 05:23 PM)Steph Wrote: Also. I have been trying to break into LaTeX and free myself from the chains of microsoft office once and for all, but am having trouble making the switch. WYSIWYG is a tough drug to kick when you've been raised on it.

WYSIWYG is a paradigm for quickly typesetting up something quick and dirty. There's no shame in liking it as it eliminates a lot of the tedium of writing a complex (La)TeX document for short papers. Though it's nice being able to still write with my text editor of choice...

Sticking with (La)TeX, you should give LyX a shot. It's what-you-see-is-what-you-mean and still renders a beautiful TeX document.
jkl
Long time nixers
Dear UNIX diary,

inspired by Steph's remark about Project Euler, I started diving into APL. I am sufficiently confused, but I like the relative terseness of the syntax. While I don't work as a mathematician, APL seems to be the missing link between bc/dc for simple calculations and Lisp for dynamic calculations based on user input. Hmm, lovely.
pranomostro
Long time nixers
Dear UNIX diary,

I really wanted to like plain TeX, but it does not even have listings built into it, so I often have to resort to using LaTeX, which is okay, but not really what I wanted. Having some acceptable math/programming typesetting that's not hundreds of megabytes big and actually readable (which singles out [gtn]roff, LaTeX and markdown) would be pretty nice.

Also, why is there no single-standing plain TeX distribution? Everything has been submerged undere TeXlive, which is kind disappointing.

Also,
Code:
wget -mpck --user-agent="" -e robots=off --wait 1 site.com
<3
anthk
Members
Dear UNIX diary,

I tried to setup a more UNIX-oriented desktop with modular tools under OpenBSD/CWM, so I switched to mail/nmh/fetchmail and local sendmail relay(1) as my main MUA/MTA. It works great so far, and upon setting ~/.maildelivery I don't need bogofilter.

My main IM client is now Bitlbee + IRSSI+fnotify.pl with a custom notifier with dunst a notify-send. No surprises, ultralightweight and the workflow is the same everywhere, no matter if I am at Freenode or at Telegram. Even DCC works.

Also, I switched to a pure monochrome XTerm envvar, (export TERM=xterm-old), with a black/white theme on everything, among a simple IRSSI theme. Nethack gets a bit more difficult, but it's still playable.

My phone and GF's instagram photos are both downloaded with gphoto and instalooper. No Digikam or any bloated suite, just run both from a script and the two folders will be in sync. I fire up sxiv(1) and everything is fine, right there. What I miss is a suckless-like tool in order to geotag my trekking routes and photos, so I am stuck with VikingGPS from now.

Finally, I've got loads of suckless tools to manage my life. I use spt(1) to create good habits and timewarrior/taskwarrior with a hook to the first so I can track the time spent on coding. I am currently learning Perl5 from the Oreilly CD Bookshelf and ANSI C from K&R. I skipped a few chapters because some fuctions already where on stdio.h and reimplementing them as an exercise got tedious.
pranomostro
Long time nixers
Dear unix diary,

I love spaced repetition now (quick side-note: gwerns site is amazing).
I use the quite nicely programmed fulgurate and am enjoying it hugely. It's not far away on the command line, and ~20min per day can be easily afforded.

I have started writing down both questions and predictions I have, and I think I have finally found a good for-me-universal format to store them in.
gaak
Members
(06-11-2018, 09:06 AM)pranomostro Wrote: Dear UNIX diary,

I really wanted to like plain TeX, but it does not even have listings built into it

Code:
\overfullrule=0pt                                              
\def\shellStyle{\tt\parskip=0pt}                              
\def\uncatcodespecials{\def\do##1{\catcode`##1=12 }\dospecials}
\catcode`\ =\active                                            
\catcode`\^^Z=\active                                          
\catcode`\^^M=\active%                                        
\def\shell{\bgroup\shellStyle%                                
\catcode`\^^M=\active \def^^M{\hfil\par}%                    
\uncatcodespecials%                                          
\gdef {\leavevmode\space}%                                    
\obeyspaces%                                                  
\def^^Z{\egroup}}%                                            
\catcode`\ =10                                                
\catcode`\^^M=5

Which allows listings in plain tex:
Code:
Server X was running slow, and swap was being used:
\shell
> vmstat 1
.... lots of stuff
^Z

Digging further...
josuah
Long time nixers
Dear Unix diary,

It have been a while, and what can I say, I, from my 25 years, to you who was kind of born in 1969!

Today I dedicate a word or two to a small-ish community that you probably do not know.

There are a lot of Unix user groups all around, and one of them is called *nixers. Resolve nixers.net through DNS to reach them.

I do not know what it does have different than the others, but to me, it has one merit: it gave me the taste of Unix systems before I started to learn it in class, and through the industry (the software, hosting, web, mail, and whatnot industry).

Getting this little preview made things a lot more interesting, and I can still remember those days where all I knew was Windows and Android. I am proud to say I am an Unix admin instead of using another adjective.

Because...

http://www.globalnerdy.com/wordpress/wp-...w-this.jpg
z3bra
Grey Hair Nixers
Dear Unix diary,

Today I set up a server for a small community in my town. This is an association to buy products (vegetables, honey, bread, …) by local producers. I've been part of it for 2 years already, but now they want to step up the game and use a dedicated software to manage it all, so I offered to host it myself !

It is java. Using tomcat. And an HSQL database. Yuck!

It still feels great to put a server up for something your care for though, and I'm proud that our local community now runs on OpenBSD using relayd and let's encrypt for added SSL security !
Nobody in the community care about what's under the hood though (they just want organic food, ha !), so I'm sharing that with you, because I though it was cool !
wolf
Members
Dear Unix diary,

Today I added desktop environment ( XFCE ) to my OpenBSD and did some tweaks ( wallpaper, composite, fonts, etcetera et al ) to make it look like a common workspace.

What a horrible feeling.