30 April, 2006


Emergency fix: mindi-1.07-2

Two days after mindi-1.07 hit testing, we have a new user - yeeha.

But guess what - mindi crashes and burns. :-(


I must test purging and reinstalling before uploading.
I must test purging and reinstalling before uploading.
I must test purging and reinstalling before uploading.

Oh, well. Fixed in mindi-1.07-2 which is currently in incoming.

29 April, 2006


Mondo Rescue Debian RAID Progress

Sadly, RAID support in Mondo Rescue on Debian has been broken since the raidtools2 package was removed just before the sarge release.

I have finally started on getting things to work with mdadm (whilst retaining raidtools2 support to get this accepted upstream) and sent an initial patch to bug #325877.

Looks like it generally works, i.e. I have successfully restored a sid amd64 system with a RAID1 and a RAID0 array without manual intervention. However, there are some limitations that I'd like to overcome:
The main thing is inclusion in upstream, so I am now waiting for Bruno's verdict on the general approach...

28 April, 2006

Amaya -- I am very sorry to hear about your loss of Emacs.

Even more so, as Emacs and my cat shared the strong liking for bathtubs. I dread the day when my cat follows on the same path - at least she's already about 15 and so has lived her life. I think it's going to be a gourmet can of her favourite this weekend. Oh well...

17 April, 2006


mindi 1.07 & mondo-2.07 Packages

are available from the Debian unstable repository. It's i386 only atm, but amd64 is hopefully going to follow soon. In fact, I'm writing this from a restored amd64 installation.

The upstream ChangeLog can be seen here: http://www.mondorescue.org/.

The main Debian changes are:
There is still a handful of 64 bit related compiler warnings because the code wrongly assumes that pointers are 32 bit and can thus be cast to int that I am not sure about how to best fix:

newt-specific.c: In function 'popup_changelist_from_file': newt-specific.c:1651: warning: cast to pointer from integer of different size mondo-rstr-newt.c: In function 'redraw_filelist': mondo-rstr-newt.c:1007: warning: cast to pointer from integer of different size mondo-rstr-newt.c: In function 'edit_mountlist_entry': mondo-rstr-newt.c:1374: warning: cast from pointer to integer of different size mondo-rstr-newt.c: In function 'redraw_disklist': mondo-rstr-newt.c:2506: warning: cast to pointer from integer of different size mondo-rstr-newt.c: In function 'redraw_mountlist': mondo-rstr-newt.c:2538: warning: cast to pointer from integer of different size mondo-rstr-newt.c: In function 'redraw_unallocpartnslist': mondo-rstr-newt.c:2575: warning: cast to pointer from integer of different size mondo-rstr-newt.c: In function 'redraw_varslist': mondo-rstr-newt.c:2610: warning: cast to pointer from integer of different size

Other than that things have been tested successfully on amd64 with kernel 2.6.16-1-amd64-k8 using NFS as backup media and on i386 with kernel 2.6.16-1-k7-smp using both NFS and DVD as backup media.

With the etch freeze still some time away, I'll try to focus on the following issues in the given order:
  1. get RAID and LVM to work - this is by far the most important task and there are numerous bugs in BTS
  2. improve FHS and other compliance, in particular default the location of the scratch and tmp directories to something sane (cf. #312546) and move the location of floppy and ISO images away from /root and make it configurable (cf. #222065)
  3. fix things so that NTFS restore leaves Windows in a bootable state rather than requiring the workaround using gparted - this may require switching things from fdisk to parted which Bruno doesn't like much...
  4. IA64 support for mondo - depends largely on what happens upstream and probably also on whether I can get my hands on an Itanium box that I can actually reboot and restore...
  5. general clean-up and wishlist stuff
I think I'll be quite happy if 1. and 2. are done before etch freezes (and all new bugs are addressed as well). We'll see.

09 April, 2006


I am a Debian Developer!

Amazing stuff, after almost two years, I've become a Debian Developer! I've certainly learned a lot, met numerous nice people (mostly remotely unfortunately). My password is changed, my gpg key updated - so not long now, until I type the commands to make my first upload, undoubtedly with trembling fingers!

I'd like to thank all the people that were involved in making me a Debian Developer. Specifically, I'd like to thank H├ęctor for making me co-maintainer of mindi and mondo before I even knew what hit me, Ben for sponsoring me, Matthew for being my AM (We should play pool again one of these days!), and of course Amaya, who has helped in so many ways that I don't even know where to start, so I won't.

Thank you all!

04 April, 2006


I'm on Planet Debian!

Thanks to the indefatigable and ever helpful Amaya, I'm now on Planet Debian! Thank you also for your nice introduction, Amaya! :-)

Just to drop a few words about myself and what I do:

I am an expatriate German and have lived in lovely Sydney for almost seven years now. I work as an IT professional mainly programming and maintaining SAP systems.

I have been a Debian user for about a decade now and finally decided to become a maintainer almost two years ago when I started to get involved with the mindi and mondo packages that form the quite neat, flexible and versatile disaster recovery suite Mondo Rescue.

It turns out that I got sucked into Mondo Rescue upstream development reasonably heavily mainly because it is quite a low-level tool and thus needs reasonably extensive tweaking to get it to work properly on Debian (or any other distribution for that matter). Upstream (at the time) wasn't all too fond of Debian, but I was given CVS commit access pretty early on which suited my fine as I could commit my fixes directly upstream.

Since about half a year ago, upstream has become much more active, mainly thanks to Bruno Cornec (sorry no link), the new lead developer. So, hopefully for Etch, we will have a much cleaned-up codebase and fully operational RAID and LVM2 support! In the meantime, give Mondo Rescue a go - it is quite cool as it is right now! ;-)

Hopefully, there will be some time soon to look after a few more (maybe less demanding) packages and to get more involved in Debian in general. Oh, and hopefully I'll be a real Debian developer soon - DAM approval on 27 Mar looks promising - thanks, Joerg! ;-)

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