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dimanche, décembre 29 2013

Touchpad side scrolling enabling in gnome flashback

For whatever reason, the touchpad right edge would no longer allow me to do scrolling (like the usual middle wheel on the mouse) under the gnome flashback session in Debian testing.

Here's a way to make it work : .

This post provides a more elaborate script : reusing an example script (in Debian, in /usr/share/doc/gnome-settings-daemon/examples/, but attention: it may be invoked twice, if like on my system, once for an "AlpsPS/2 ALPS GlidePoint" and then for a "PS/2 Mouse", but resetting the VertEdgeScroll to 0 in between.

So the script looks like that on my system, now :

 if [ "$device" = "AlpsPS/2 ALPS GlidePoint" -o "$device" = "PS/2 Mouse" ]; then
        synclient VertEdgeScroll=1

I guess there's some kind of a bug here... but the gnome session is a hell when needing to spot the culprit package to report to, so for once, I'll let reportbug quiet.

Hope this helps

Update: this unfortunately doesn't seem to work on initial session start :-/

lundi, octobre 28 2013

Closed my LinkedIn account

I've just closed my LinkedIn account, in reaction to the recent announcements on their ill behaviour re. their user's data (in particular emails).

Even if I didn't allow my mail to ever pass through their servers, I think I've been their product long enough.

If I ever am looking for a job in the future, I do hope that my track record in various code repositories will speak better than my resume in LinkedIn database.

From time to time I've had the need to check on someone's profile there... but I guess I'll have to do without it.

I shall update my WebID in the next days, to complement the move ;-)

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) 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.

mercredi, janvier 16 2013

Scheduling appointments with capture template from org-agenda view

I've been frustrated by my inability to schedule appointments directly from the org-agenda view, for quite some time, but I think I've found a way.

If like me you're using org-mode to manage your appointments, you're probably using SCHEDULED TODO items that can be entered in your system using org-capture templates.

A typical scenario is I'm asked by a colleague (face to face or on the phone) when I'm available to schedule a meeting or some other activity. I'm then firing an agenda view, and browse through the dates available... then agreeing on an empty slot, I'm capturing the meeting... but then I have to C-c C-s to add the SCHEDULED marker and set the correct date, although I was previously on that exact date in the org-agenda view :-/

The solution seems to be with the 'k c' command, i.e. the capture org-agenda-action in the agenda view. From the docs :

k runs the command org-agenda-action, which is an interactive compiled
c     Call `org-capture' with cursor date as the default date

Exactly what I need : it will prompt me for a capture template, which I just have to set to a template containing "SCHEDULED: %t".

Excerpt from my .emacs :

'(org-capture-templates (quote (("t" "Todo" entry (file+headline "~/org/" "TACHES") "* TODO %^{Brief description} %^g
    Added: %U
%a") ("n" "Notes" entry (file+datetree "~/org/") "* %^{topic} %T %^g
%a") ("d" "Scheduled appointment" entry (file+headline "~/org/" "TACHES") "* TODO %^{Brief description} %^g

Tadaaa ! it works :-)

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

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.

lundi, mai 23 2011

I'm now a Debian Developer

As of today, I'm now

I've been a Debian contributor (more recently as Debian Maintainer) for quite a while, and after a few months of procedures, I've now been accepted as a registered Debian Developer, i.e. a Debian project's member.

Thanks for all the good folks that have helped me doing so, by advocating, reviewing my application, or just inspiring me ;)

Now, that's not an achievement, just a start, and I hope I'll be able to help improve Debian a bit.

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

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

Update: I've added a transition document here.

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>

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, 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, 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 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, 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 ;)