La Salle Debain

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Open Source @ Consolidated Braincells Inc.

About La Salle Debain

This is a weblog I'm keeping about my work on Debian and any other useful Debian related info I come across. It is not meant to compete with other news sources like Debian Weekly News or Debian Planet. Mostly it is just a way for me to classify and remember all the random bits of information that I have floating around me. I thought maybe by using a blog it could be of some use to others too. Btw. "I" refers to Jaldhar H. Vyas, Debian developer for over 5 years. If you want to know more about me, my home page is here.

The name? Debain is a very common misspelling of Debian and la salle de bains means bathroom in French.

If you have a comment to make on something you read here, feel free to write to me at

You can get an rss 0.91 feed of any page in the blog by appending ?flav=rss to the end of the URL.

Fri, 31 Jan 2003

Some new dovecot .debs

I did two new uploads in quick succession due to problems found by Sami Haatinen. Backports to woody can be found on the open source page.

posted at: 22:43 | #

Thu, 30 Jan 2003

I was sick

If you haven't seem much stuff here lately, it is because it has been really, really cold around here the past few days and I got sick. No fever or anything just felt really lethargic and slept a lot.

I'm slowly getting back up to speed with my Debian stuff. I did new releases of libmail-sendmail-perl and my unofficial pine packages Some of the webmin stuff too.

posted at: 12:40 | #

Debian number one in poll reports that Debian beat mandrake as best distro in their 2002 reader poll. They also have a short interview with Bdale.

posted at: 12:35 | #

Thu, 23 Jan 2003

Nicholas Petrely breaks Debian

Debian Weekly News had a pointer to an article in Linuxworld (the website not the expo) called Debian & carelessness mix well in which Nicholas Petreley woefully tells the tale of how he accidently deleted his /var partition. There is a happy ending though.

posted at: 03:25 | #

Tue, 21 Jan 2003

A Webmin Module For Exim

The only major service not covered by webmin is the Exim mail server. Luckily Alexandre Mathieu has created one. If he wants to become a Debian developer I'll sponsor his package or upload it myself.

posted at: 10:42 | #

Consolidated Braincells Inc. apt Repository Has Moved

If you had an apt source beginning with and you suddenly noticed you are getting 404s, please be advised you should be using:

deb woody/
deb-src woody/

for woody, and

deb sid/
deb-src sid/

for sid/sarge instead. This change actually happened a long time ago but there was a redirect in effect which I only removed yesterday.

posted at: 10:42 | #

Sat, 18 Jan 2003

Passwordless SSH

In debian-user, Jean-Marc Liotier offers the following recipe for logging in to a remote host via SSH without having to give a password.

# Local end :
cd ~/.ssh
# Enter an empty password when prompted by the following command
ssh-keygen -t dsa -f id_dsa
# Repeat last command for all remote ends
# Remote end
test -d .ssh || mkdir .ssh
chmod 700 ~/.ssh
cd ~/.ssh
touch authorized_keys2
cat >> authorized_keys2
chmod 640 authorized_keys2
rm -f
# Local end :
ssh -l user
# Look ma, no password !

posted at: 23:00 | #

I Was Interviewed About Debian Organization

Chip McCormick is a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at SUNY Albany. He is doing research in Sociology/Organizational Studies focused on the way that open source groups organize work. He interviewed me over the phone for about 2.5 hours today asking me about how Debian works and what I thought about it.

Personally, I'm amazed that Debian works at all!

posted at: 23:00 | #

Linux Journal Mentions My wdg-html-validator Package

Don Marti wrote an article called Fixing HTML with the WDG HTML Validator which says

...I installed it in minutes from the Debian packages

posted at: 23:00 | #

Thu, 16 Jan 2003

Run Unix Versions 5,6, And 7 on Linux

Images of UNIX versions 5, 6, and 7 have been debianized and can be run using a PDP-11 emulator such as the one in simh. The package names are pdp11-unix-v5, pdp11-unix-v6, and pdp11-unix-v7.

posted at: 23:00 | #

Wed, 15 Jan 2003

Introducing Debian GNU/Linux Flyer

Now FOP is working, I rewrote the flyer I had made for Linuxworld with OpenOffice, using DocBook XML and XSL-FO. The results are available here.

posted at: 23:00 | #


I did an NMU of FOP (Debian package: libfop-java) to bring it up to upstream version 20.4 and fix all the current bugs. It is actually usable now!

posted at: 23:00 | #

Mon, 13 Jan 2003

Presentation About Debconf

Mathew Palmer has some slides from a presentation he did about debconf.

posted at: 23:00 | #

Wed, 08 Jan 2003

Itsy Package Management System

Did you know the Linux distribution for Compaqs' iPAQ uses Debian packages and a stripped down version of dpkg called ipkg?

posted at: 23:00 | #

Tue, 07 Jan 2003

Living Up To The Linux Name

An Australian Newspaper 'The Age' has an Interview with Joey Schultze about Debian here.

posted at: 23:00 | #

Mon, 06 Jan 2003

GCC 3.2 Is Now The default Compiler In Unstable


posted at: 23:00 | #

Fri, 03 Jan 2003

Press Release About Our Support For Alphas and Sparcs

So Red Hat made an announcement that they were no longer going to support their distribution for Linux on sparcs and alphas. I thought this would be a golden opportunity for us to do some propoganda. After all the number of architectures we support is one of our main distinguishing features. Debian Press Officer Joey Schulze didn't think we should be doing that kind of thing. A flame war erupted as usual. It went off on an unrelated tangent as usual. We discovered I don't understand apostrophes. The press release eventually just fell by the wayside though Joey was kind enough to mention the topic in Debian Weekly News.

posted at: 23:00 | #

Thu, 02 Jan 2003

Plans For DebConf 3 Announced

Tollef Fog Heen announced plans for DebConf3 in a message to debian-devel-announce. He says:

...there will be a Debconf 3, this time again in
Europe, more exact Oslo, Norway.  The University of Oslo has kindly
enough offered to host Debconf 3.
The dates Debconf 3 will take place is July 18th to 20th 2003.
Housing is not ready yet, but I am working on getting a deal with a
mid-price-to-cheap hotel and having a Youth Hostel as an option for
those who want to go even cheaper.
New this year is Debcamp, an invention of Joey Hess.  Basically, it is
a few days before the conference itself starts where rooms and network
connectivity will be available, and we will have time to sit around,
discuss, hack, barbecue, go picnicing and have fun.
A preliminary website is online at ;
I will try to keep it up-to-date with regard to the status of the

posted at: 23:00 | #

Wed, 01 Jan 2003

Using The chroot Environments on Debian Machines

To use the chroot environments set up on the Debian machines run the dchroot program. In each chroot, there is a file /etc/debian_chroot, the contents of which will tell you which chroot you are in (see /etc/profile for an example of how to add this to your prompt).

posted at: 23:00 | #