Ian Murdock, R.I.P.

Ian Murdock

With a heavy heart Debian mourns the passing of Ian Murdock, stalwart proponent of Free Open Source Software, Father, Son, and the ‘ian’ in Debian.

Ian started the Debian project in August of 1993, releasing the first versions of Debian later that same year. Debian would go on to become the world’s Universal Operating System, running on everything from embedded devices to the space station.

His family has asked for privacy during this difficult time and we very much wish to respect that. Within our Debian and the larger Linux community condolences may be sent to in-memoriam-ian@debian.org where they will be kept and archived.

via →

Manually remove a broken package on Debian/Ubuntu

The other day, after a do-release-update on an Ubuntu box I had some issues with a package which told me:

Errors were encountered while processing:
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)

here’s how I solved:

mv /var/lib/dpkg/info/BROKEN-PACKAGE.* /tmp/
dpkg --remove --force-remove-reinstreq BROKEN-PACKAGE


Convince your company to contribute to Debian Long Term Support

The press picked up the recent press release about Debian LTS but mainly to mention the fact that it’s up and running. The call for help is almost never mentioned.

It’s a pity because while it’s up, it’s not really running satisfactorily yet. As of today (2014-06-19), 36 packages in squeeze need a security update, yet squeeze-lts has only seen 7 updates.

debian-lts-periodsAs usual what we lack is contributors doing the required work, but in this specific case, there’s a simple solution: pay people to do the required work. This extended support is mainly for the benefit of corporate users and if they see value in Debian LTS, it should not be too difficult to convince companies to support the project.

With some other Debian developers, we have gone out of our way to make it super easy for companies to support the Debian LTS project. We have created a service offer for Debian-using companies.

via Raphael Hertzog website…

The Debian Administrator’s Handbook

Written by two Debian developers — Raphaël Hertzog and Roland Mas — the Debian Administrator’s Handbook started as a translation of their French best-seller known as Cahier de l’admin Debian (published by Eyrolles).

It’s a fantastic resource for all users of a Debian-based distribution.

Accessible to all, this book teaches the essentials to anyone who wants to become an effective and independant Debian GNU/Linux administrator.

Given that traditional editors did not want to take the risk to make this translation, we decided to do the translation ourselves and to self-publish the result. After a successful crowdfunding campaign, we managed to complete this translation between December 2011 and May 2012.

To live up to our free software ideals, we wanted the book to be freely available (that is under the terms of a license compatible with the Debian Free Software Guidelines of course). There was a condition though: a liberation fund had to be completed to ensure we had a decent compensation for the work that the book represents. This fund reached its target of €25K in April 2012.

via The Debian Administrator’s Handbook.

Happy Birthday Debian!

via news.debian.net

Although I’ve never used Debian in a consistent way I think that every Free/Open Source Software user and developer should be happy about this birthday and hope that the project will last, strong, for many years to come!

Happy Birthday Debian Community!

July 2010: CentOS is now the most popular Linux distribution on web servers

CentOS is a well known Linux distribution with a strong focus on server machines rather than on desktop PCs. For the first time, CentOS is now leading the Linux distribution statistics on web servers with almost 30% of all Linux servers.



muCommander is a lightweight, cross-platform file manager with a dual-pane interface. It runs on any operating system with Java support (Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, *BSD, Solaris…).

µCommander 0.8.5 has just been released, download your copy right now and enjoy!

solutions of a Gnome desktop showing the contents of home folder

After a quite painful restore procedure of my files from a Fedora 12 reinstallation (I needed to clean up better before backup) I found my (Gnome) desktop showing the content of my home folder.

A quick Google search and I’ve found the solution:

nano ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs

Here you can modify various “line” and behaviours, the one we need the most is:


Cheers, kOoLiNuS!

Posted via web from take five

Bio-Linux: Ubuntu and bioinformatics

Hi! Today I’d like to spend some words on a particular Open Source project which aims to make know, test and finally use the available tools for molecolar biology, bio-technologies and bio-informatics in general. This world is overwhelmed by a number of “tools” divided in an ocean of productors, licences, repositories and kind of package (rpm, deb, Z, tar.gz, plain code…). Enter Bio-Linux.

The Bio-Linux project starts from a branch of UK’s NERC (National Environment Research Council) dealing with biology. This NEBC proudly has took in hand this shattered cosmo of open source software for bioinformatics under his own “umbrella” and then has gone further … has created a full GNU/Linux distribution, building over the solid core of Ubuntu (on it’s Long Term Support 8.04 release). Today Bio-Linux 5 is:

  • a LiveCD operating system;
  • a fully functional operating system running on desktop and servers alike;
  • a bioinformatics repository for Ubuntu

and all this is fully supported and given the news on the NEBC and NERC there’s money to guarrantee that for the expectable future. Personally at work I’ve had chance to appreciate this distro in all the flavours listed above and also as a VMware’s appliance.

If you’ve already running an Ubuntu 8.04 box in this wiki page you’ll find how-to add the biolinux repository to your sources.list. There it’s also stated that there’s some kind of compatibility with Debian and also with the latest 9.04 release, even if for a couple of software there are occasional bugs. But, on the workplace, expecially when the user has to USE his desktop and not work to make it run, Ubuntu 8.04 (with an updated copy of OpenOffice and a couple of backports) it THE way go, at least for me.

As a personal, final note, I must regret on the strickt control of the repository … I’ve witnessed a similar Biolinux project, focused on the RPM world being abandoned in 2007 supporting ancient distros like Fedora6 and RedHat 9 … I’d prefer a strong team in the Ubuntu (or $distro) community claiming “we will take care of all things bioinformatics, like it’s done for Compitz or other focused projects in the past. A change of menthality is needed so, when the Public Administration (or a private) invests on an open source technology the RoI must be seen in the product itself (and/or on how it facilitates works or makes you make more money increasing the productivity) and not in a self-owned fancy site claiming “I MADE IT, I AM BIG, GIMME MORE MONEY”. Don’t you think so?