dimanche, avril 7 2013

Migrating picture tags from KPhotoAlbum to digiKam (or others) through IPTC

I've occasionally used KPhotoAlbum for a few years and eventually added many tags to the pictures.

But I've decided I wanted to try other tools, and digiKam seems to be the best option from the many reviews I've read.

Still, there's apparently no automatic feature to import into digiKam the tags set in KPhotoAlbum.

Fortunately, some smart people have implemented Perl tools allowing to overcome this issue.

The process involves modifying the pictures to save the tags inside the files, using the IPTC standard. Then, digiKam will be able to load the tags from the modified files.

Here's a copy of the (translated) kphotoalbum2iptc.pl script (the original as in french) I copied from this blog post (in french too).

I've been able to generate .deb packages for the required 2 perl libs dependencies using the method described in the referenced post , with : dh-make-perl  --build --cpan Image::Kimdaba and dh-make-perl  --build --cpan Image::IPTCInfo

Thanks to Pierre Doucet and Bruno Adele for sharing this. Hope this helps.

vendredi, novembre 9 2012

Using a DreamPlug with Debian as an IPv4/IPv6 router for a home LAN behind a FreeBox

The goal of this article is to describe the setup I've made for my home LAN behind a FreeBox (French ISP Free.fr).

Lire la suite...

jeudi, juin 16 2011

Debian business card made with GLabels

Unfortunately, GLabels is currently unmaintained. Still, it's a very convenient tool, IMHO to print DIY business cards.

Here's my glabels business card file, for those interested to borrow and reuse it.

mardi, mars 29 2011

New GPG key

I have generated a new GPG key (4096R/7C5BB6A5) for the needs of my application as Debian Developer. Therefore, the old key (1024D/B4C5F37F) will soon be retired.

If you happen to meet me, I'd be glad to have my public key signed again by you.

Here's a copy of the new public key, and one signed with the old.

As usual, you may download it from keyservers with something like (for instance on keys.gnupg.net):

gpg --keyserver your-preferred-key-server --recv-key 7C5BB6A5

Update: I've added a transition document here.

samedi, novembre 7 2009

How to disable buggy trackstick for an Inspiron 4000 in Ubuntu 2009.10

I own an old Dell Inspiron 4000 laptop whose trackstick / trackpoint (the blue little joystick in the middle of the keyboard) has become really annoying : typing on the keyboard, or even touching the surface of the laptop generate parasite movements of the pointer.

I've looked for a way to disable it, and found one way using hal (since X is auto-configured in Ubuntu now), by adding the following file as /etc/hal/fdi/policy/10-disabletrackstick.fdi :

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<deviceinfo version="0.2">
     <match key="info.product" contains="TPPS/2 IBM TrackPoint">
       <remove key="input.x11_driver"/>

Thanks to this post by Brice Goglin for he hint on how to disable a device.

samedi, mars 28 2009

Proper power management on Asus P4B266 mainboard

I've had difficulties with power management on my P4B266 mainboard (yes, pretty old but still works).

Here are a couple tweaks I've done (which work with Debian lenny) :

  1. passing acpi=force to the kernel to enable acpi
  2. tweaking the HAL suspend quirks (see bellow) in /usr/share/hal/fdi/information/10freedesktop/20-video-quirk-pm-asus.fdi
  3. tweaking s2ram's options with S2RAM_OPTS="-f -a 3" in /etc/pm/config.d/defaults
Here's the patch on /usr/share/hal/fdi/information/10freedesktop/20-video-quirk-pm-asus.fdi for hal to be used by pm-utils :
--- /usr/share/hal/fdi/information/10freedesktop/20-video-quirk-pm-asus.fdi.orig    2009-03-28 19:29:39.000000000 +0100
+++ /usr/share/hal/fdi/information/10freedesktop/20-video-quirk-pm-asus.fdi    2009-03-28 19:29:44.000000000 +0100
@@ -108,5 +108,12 @@
       <merge key="power_management.quirk.none" type="bool">true</merge>
+    <match key="system.firmware.version" prefix="ASUS P4B266 ACPI BIOS Revision">
+      <match key="system.firmware.version" contains=" 1010">
+    <merge key="power_management.quirk.s3_bios" type="bool">true</merge>
+    <merge key="power_management.quirk.s3_mode" type="bool">true</merge>
+      </match>
+    </match>

samedi, février 28 2009

/me's Debian Maintainer (DM)

Thanks to the good fellows, I've been advocated and accepted as Debian Maintainer.

Now I only need to take more time to work on Debian ;-)

mardi, février 10 2009

(Importé blog pro) UDD, SWIM, Flossmetrics : facts databases about libre software distributions… going Semantic ?

I’ve attended the recent FOSDEM 2009 (great as always), where a number of presentations triggered a lot of my interest.

First @DebianRoom where Lucas presented UDD, the Universal Debian Database. This database groups facts about the Debian project, to ease the creation of queries on what’s happening in the Distribution. This is for instance very helpful for QA tasks, like counting bugs with certain characteristics, or comparing packages in various ways.
Note that a complementary presentation by Enrico was very interesting, on DDE : Debian Data Export, showing ways to offer services to query UDD.

Another presentation, @CrossDesktopRoom introduced the Flossmetrics database, which is collected out of many libre software projects, by extracting contents of the project data from the hosting forges. Very much interesting, in particular since the data becomes available, and a large number of projects allow researchers to compare them in many ways.

Maybe Flossmetrics could benefit from data coming from the Debian UDD… or vice versa ? I think contacts have been taken to think about potential future interchange between the 2.

A general criticism I could make on these two databases is that their schema (the tables & columns layout, as well as the eventual relations), and the code of the data “harvesters” is the only way to understand the real meaning of these data. There’s not so much semantics. Sometimes for known reasons, because, as explained by the UDD developers, there’s actually much incoherence in some of the Debian tools already, and it still it happens to deliver ;)

I’m thinking of a way to produce similar databases of facts (results of queries on these) with Semantic Web standards, to try and convey some bits of commonly agreed semantics, hence fostering interoperability of these databases, and maybe allow comparison of facts relating to different projects.

It happens that Mandriva, as a followup of the Nepomuk project is indeed trying to setup such a database (called SWIM at the moment) with the use of RDF ontologies, to store facts and annotations about its distribution (more details here). In the HELIOS project, we’ll certainly try and investigate the use of such techniques to try and manipulate such data, like bugs for instance.

I’m thinking about providing an access to UDD with the use of a SWIM-like service, so maybe we can imagine things like more linking of facts about packages, people, bugs and such between Mandriva and Debian, for instance.

Note that at the FOSDEM there were also interesting presentations relating to these kinds of semantic techniques, both relating to outcomes of the Nepomuk project : one about the integration of KDE 4.2 in Debian, where tools like Soprano were mentioned, and another about Tracker in Gnome (which I haven’t attended) about the same kind of techno on the Gnome side.

The future seems semantic, somehow… and we have then a lot of work ahead of us. More to come.

lundi, février 9 2009

Applying as a Debian Maintainer

I've been doing lots of Debian related things, and even took care of some packaging tasks. Nothing really fancy, and noticeable until recent contributions to bts-link, maybe ;)

I've been thinking about becoming more involved in the project for quite some time, but I'm still a bit reluctant to becoming a Debian Developer, since I'm not so sure I could be a "good citizen" with respect to voting the resolutions, or participating in all the debates on debian-devel... more or less disgusted by the political/social/flaming nature of some of the developments :-/

Still, I hope I can be a bit more seriously involved in the project, mainly at a technical level. So here's my application as a Debian Maintainer. I hope I get good advocates ;)

jeudi, février 5 2009

(Importé blog pro) Introduction to bts-link slides

bts-link is a very useful tool which helps keep track of bug status changes when a Debian bug has been marked as linked to another bug in an other (upstream) bugtracker.

I’ve prepared some slides of introduction for our partners in Helios to introduce them to that tool :

These slides can also be found on the helios site (ODP source).

Also, I’ve started contributing to bts-link in the frame of our work on Helios, and I’m glad my contributions have been integrated, although learning git in the way was kind of a pain ;)

More details about bts-link at : http://bts-link.alioth.debian.org/

jeudi, août 28 2008

Amanda backups to VFAT partition on external (USB) drive on Debian

I have setup a mini-PC on which I have installed my network backup infrastructure, using Amanda.

In this post, I try to summarize some useful options and links... to be improved, of course : comments most welcome.

Lire la suite...

samedi, août 23 2008

Debian on Zonbu mini PC

I had bought a Zonbu mini-pC and had barely used it until recently. I have started over, and decided to install a Debian lenny distro over it.

The installation went quite well, but requires the use of a bootable USB key Debian installer (see reference here and here). I had to use the syslinux of testing or it wouldn't work. The BIOS had to be configured appropriately : "Hit Delete on boot to enter BIOS. Enable Port 64/60 Emulation and disable BIOS EHCI Hand-Off in the USB configuration menu to boot from a USB hard drive."

Warning : this article is a work in progress : I noted various bits elsewhere and need to complete the reference info (URLs), and other missing bits. But still, I hope it's useful.

Once installed, several things need to be tweaked to get it fully operational :

  • Wifi : I have the version with a mini-PCI internal wifi card, which is uses VT6655 Via chipset. There are several possibilities to use it with GNU/Linux, although all are using proprietary software :
    • using the Via windows driver over ndiswrapper : the windows driver, over ndiswrapper, seems to work fine, even with WPA2. Note that there is an archive with an auto-extractor for Linux providing drivers pre-compiled for various distributions in the Viaarena download section under the Linux category... but it's rather old. I preferred to install the recent ndiswrapper provided in Debian lenny, and download the most recent Windows XP driver from viaarena (on a side note, to extract it I had to use wine, to get access to the @@C:\windows\vnDrvBas@@ that it tries to extract).
    • compiling a Linux driver provided by Via : the (proprietary) driver (version '' - 08 August 2008'') compiles nicely for Lenny for 2.6.25-2-486 but I experienced a really SLOW connection with my FreeBox over WPA2, when I tried it... so will prefer the other solution :(
  • Video driver for X : the embedded video card from Via works with default generic vesa X driver, but I installed the openchrome X-server video driver available in lenny, and it works fine. Note that you need to configure an additional option to use software pointer (SWCursor true option in xorg.conf).
  • RNG : Using the embedded Random Number Generator (RNG). The CPU provides the padlock RNG, so I suppose it's better to use it by loading the kernel module padlock (in /etc/modules) (see reference here)
  • CPU frequency scaling : one of the advantages of such a mini-pC is the green orientation : using less power, etc. As the processor supports frequency changes, why not use it (although it is discussed if it has an impact on power saving, heat dissipation, etc.) ? There is a e_powersaver cpufreq module for the Linux kernel (again in /etc/modules) which makes it work with powernowd for instance (see reference here).


  • Sensors : TBD

Note also that I found out that the hardware I bought from Zonbu actually seems to be a MSTI eBox 4854 system.

dimanche, mai 18 2008

Déclaration d'impôts sous Debian testing : difficultés mais contournement trouvé

J'ai essayé de télédéclarer mes impôts sur le revenu depuis ma Debian (testing) avec iceweazel (plugin Java Sun du paquet sun-java5-plugin).

Tou allait bien jusqu'à la phase finale de signature, où j'obtenais des erreurs de ce genre (dans la console Java) :

java.lang.UnsatisfiedLinkError: Expecting an absolute path of the library: local/.TaoUSign/libjsec.so
        at java.lang.Runtime.load0(Runtime.java:767)
        at java.lang.System.load(System.java:1005)
        at com.dictao.plfm.a.b(Unknown Source)
        at signview.b(Unknown Source)
        at signview.start(Unknown Source)
        at sun.applet.AppletPanel.run(AppletPanel.java:465)
        at java.lang.Thread.run(Thread.java:619)

Le problème apparemment, c'est que :

$ ldd ~/local/.TaoUSign/libjsec.so 
	linux-gate.so.1 =>  (0xffffe000)
	libnspr4.so => /usr/lib/libnspr4.so (0xb7f14000)
	libpthread.so.0 => /lib/i686/cmov/libpthread.so.0 (0xb7efc000)
	libnss3.so => not found
	libdl.so.2 => /lib/i686/cmov/libdl.so.2 (0xb7ef7000)
	libm.so.6 => /lib/i686/cmov/libm.so.6 (0xb7ed2000)
	libc.so.6 => /lib/i686/cmov/libc.so.6 (0xb7d84000)
	/lib/ld-linux.so.2 (0x80000000)

Mais j'ai trouvé le contournement suivant pour que ça passe (après avoir complètement quitté iceweasel) : lancer iceweasel depuis le répertoire contenant libnss3.so, avec LD_LIBRARY_PATH positionnée à "." :

$ cd /usr/lib/iceweasel/
$ LD_LIBRARY_PATH=. iceweasel

Et voilà, ça marche mieux.

dimanche, avril 6 2008

Using Iomega Home network Disk Drive 500 GB with GNU/Linux (Debian testing)

I have purchased a Iomega Home network hard drive 500 GB, to use it as a NAS.

There have been problems to use it with my GNU/Linux Debian (testing) desktop, but I think I now can have a working setup, even if it's a bit of a hack.

The following informations were posted initially to http://www.iomegasupportforums.com/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?p=33985#33985 for the curious ones.

First I should say I upgraded the firmware (now I have K104.W11).

To check if the drive is accessible through SMB/CIFS :

# findsmb

-    STORAGE-3806   [WORKGROUP] [] []

... at least on my network, it's like that (you may not have the same output... it changed after I installed the most recent FW)

Now, to try and see the shares (here, I have a PUBLIC dir exported via SMB) :

# smbclient -N -L '//STORAGE-3806'
Domain=[WORKGROUP] OS=[] Server=[]

   Sharename       Type      Comment
   -             ---
   PUBLIC          Disk     
   IPC$            IPC       
Domain=[WORKGROUP] OS=[] Server=[]

   Server               Comment
   -            ---

   Workgroup            Master
   -            ---

Note that the -N flag is to disable password prompt for smbclient.

Attention : "Weak authentication" may be disabled for SMB clients in your Distro... as it is on mine (Debian testing).

So if you try the following command (or alike) and get an error with authentication, then there may be something to try.

Symptom :

# smbclient  -W WORKGROUP '//STORAGE-3806/PUBLIC'
Domain=[WORKGROUP] OS=[] Server=[]
Server requested LANMAN password (share-level security) but 'client use lanman auth' is disabled
tree connect failed: SUCCESS - 0

Workaround : So try copying /etc/samba/smb.conf (or similar, I'm on Debian) to for example /root/iomega-smb.conf, and add, in the [global] section these two lines (or changing existing lines) :

client plaintext auth = yes
client lanman auth = yes
client ntlmv2 auth = no

EDIT : client ntlmv2 auth = no seems necessary now too

Now smbclient -s iomega-smb.conf -W WORKGROUP '//STORAGE-3806/PUBLIC' will accept your password.

Also, as I've struggled with trying to access the drive in Nautilus using smb:// URI.

It wouldn't work on my Debian system since "weak" authentication was disabled in the samba default configuration file.

I've found a way to access it anyway : You first have to create a file named ~/.smb/smb.conf.append, and add the following inside it :


client plaintext auth = yes
client lanman auth = yes

Then you will be able to access it through URI like : smb://WORKGROUP:guest:xxxx@ in Nautilus (assuming you put your password instead of the xxxx) or smb://WORKGROUP:guest@, and answer the password prompt (which will be stored in the gnome keyring).

Cool... my NAS is usable at last.

Update 2008/04/13 :

I have tried to use it with a CIFS mounted filesystem on my desktop, and experienced a kernel oops with kernel 2.6.24 (Debian testing)... so had to revert back to 2.6.22 to be able to mount it. More details in Debian bug #463402.

Update 2008/05/24 :

Thanks to Daniel (see comments bellow), I have succesfully tried to use a FUSE-based mount tool named smbnetfs which helps mount the drive's shares in the filesystem (in userland) so that ordinary commands work. And being based on libsmb (like with Nautilus), it doesn't crash like the CIFS kernel driver. Note that you need to enable the ~/.smb/smb.conf.append settings (see above), and then you can mount a share by simply using (for instance):

$ mkdir ~/smb
$ smbnetfs ~/smb

And then you can access the drive's contents with something like :

$ ls ~/smb/myuser:mypassword@

Cute ! Now, let's see if it's stable and fast enough for making backups over it.

Update 2009/0302 : The CIFS bug has been fixed upstream (Kernel bug #10451) and the patch applies allright to Debian stable's kernel (more details at Debian bug #463402). No more kernel oops, now ! Cool. Will try to test perfs.

lundi, octobre 15 2007

Encore un logo debian détourné ?

Mais d'où vient ce logo


Plus d'infos ou (en noir et blanc).

Update 20071016 : bon, ben, les camarades de la CGT ont réagi promptement et retiré le logo "contrefait". Reste les camarades de coca-cola ;)

lundi, juin 25 2007

My kingdom for a Debian !

Martin and me at OSS2007 social event :

then :

vendredi, juin 15 2007

Debian water ? no : riverrock

I've found this water in Ireland (where I've been attending OSS2007), whose logo seems familiar, isn't it ?

Notice the TM sign... weird ?

Actually, it seems it's owned by Coca Cola somehow... even stranger ;)