Filip Chabik

DevOps Engineer, Husband & Dad.

Gentoo: 2021 in retrospect & happy new year 2022 →

Gentoo news delivers:

The number of commits to the main ::gentoo repository has once more clearly grown in 2021, from 104507 to 126920, i.e., by 21%. While the number of commits by external contributors, 11775, has remained roughly constant, this number now distributes across 435 unique external authors compared to 391 last year. We may have recruited some of the top contributors. ;)

That is wonderful to read. Even though I’m not a day to day user, I root for Gentoo and its longevity. It’s one of these distributions I hope will last forever and will never lose its spirit.

Musl: Stage 3 tarballs for the alternative libc musl are now built using the main Gentoo repository only and have been published for several more arches and configurations. Work is ongoing to import more musl-related fixes and support patches from the musl overlay, with the objective that musl-based installations eventually work out-of-the-box in Gentoo.

I must admit — I don’t really care what kind of underlying libc library is in use. I think Alpine was either first or one of the first distributions that adopted musl support. Either way, it’s nice to see first-class support for it in Gentoo though.

Python: In the meantime the default Python version in Gentoo has reached Python 3.9. Additionally we have also Python 3.10 available stable, which means we’re fully up to date with upstream, and our Python has gained support for link-time and profile-guided optimization (LTO and PGO) during compilation.

In my experience Python always had top-notch support in Gentoo, but damn, this looks really nice, the team responsible for this is crushing it! 👌🏻

PPC64: The PowerPC profiles and downloads have seen significant updates and enhancements. Several new ppc64 little-endian profiles (desktop, Gnome, …) have been added to the Gentoo repository. Our weekly updated downloads now include little-endian stages optimized for the POWER9 CPU series, and big- and little-endian hardened musl stage files.

It’s been a while since I touched any PowerPC — I really wish I had some box with this architecture to give Gentoo a spin on it 🚀

Overall, incredibly good year for the Gentoo Project. I wish it all the best in 2022 and will keep on rooting in the meantime 🙌🏻

There’s much more quality info in the linked post, be sure to check it out.

Slackware 15.0 →

Slackware Release Announcement:

Well folks, in spite of the dire predictions of YouTube pundits, this morning the Slackhog emerged from its development den, did not see its shadow, and Slackware 15.0 has been officially released - another six weeks (or years) of the development treadmill averted.

It’s always a big deal when the oldest Linux distribution — turns 30 years old this year — has a new release. Especially after six years of development. So, what’s new?

We adopted PAM (finally) […] We switched from ConsoleKit2 to elogind […] We added support for PipeWire as an alternate to PulseAudio, and for Wayland sessions in addition to X11. Dropped Qt4 and moved entirely to Qt5. Brought in Rust and Python 3 […] We’ve upgraded to two of the finest desktop environments available today: Xfce 4.16 […] and the KDE Plasma 5 graphical workspaces environment, version 5.23.5 […] This also supports running under Wayland or X11.

These are some huge changes and yet Slackware remains true to its spirit: mostly command-line based, lightweight, without package manager that handles dependencies. For me though this one seems the most exciting and I definitely will need to give it a spin:

For the first time ever we have included a “make_world.sh” script that allows automatically rebuilding the entire operating system from source.

That is indeed a wonderful addition. It reminds me of building FreeBSD from source or rebuilding world on Gentoo. Very neat.

With all that said, I have a hard time finding use case for this distribution these days. It’s been my very first distro that my whole interest in Linux and, much much later, career was bootstrapped with. But I don’t use Linux on desktop since 2014, on servers at work it’s usually Ubuntu and on side projects it would either be FreeBSD, Gentoo or Debian. I’m not even sure I would want to run Slack on a server but I’m not ruling it out. Guess desktop use case would be the best fit here.

Either way, it’s a great joy to see a new Slackware release 🎉

The Beatles: Get Back →

Simon Collison:

You can’t move for long and winding pieces about Get Back. Some writers focus on a person or myth, while others use it to justify their dogma. Me? I’m just a massive fan and have to write about it.

I wrote about my own experience with the series briefly on the Now page, but I figured it deserves more to be said about it. I found Simon’s review best of many I’ve read in the past two months. It’s like the world re-discovered The Beatles. So many people in my circles were talking and writing about it that it’s hard to count.

From my early childhood I’ve been conditioned by my older brother to listen to the Fab Four. We both remained fans for life. The delight with the Jackson’s documentary is hard to describe. Seeing Beatles in their creative process, so vulnerable and, at the same time, in such an amazing quality that it’s bonkers to realise this material is over fifty-three years old.

I’m a Beatles-head →

Dave Winer:

It’s looking like 2022 is shaping up to be the year of the Beatles for me. Get Back was really a transformative event.

It remains to be seen what’s the shape of 2022 gonna be, but I think some bits and pieces we are gathering of this notion already.

THE BEATLES: GET BACK-THE ROOFTOP PERFORMANCE →

…has been announced:

The Beatles famously staged their final live performance on the rooftop of their Apple Corps headquarters in London’s Savile Row. This Sunday’s 53rd anniversary will be celebrated with an exciting slate of special releases, events and announcements, with The Beatles leading the charge. For the first time, the complete audio for the band’s legendary rooftop performance has been mixed in stereo and Dolby Atmos by Giles Martin and Sam Okell.

And you can listen to it already on Apple Music or Spotify etc. It’s incredible, the full audio recording in such a great quality. But that’s not all — be sure the check rest of story linked above. For me, I’m still hoping that the video recording of the full concert will be available to stream from somewhere later this year:

This Sunday, January 30, the 53rd anniversary of The Beatles’ rooftop performance, Disney/Apple Corps Ltd./WingNut will present a special screening event exclusively at IMAX theaters in the US and UK of “The Beatles: Get Back-The Rooftop Concert.” The 60-minute feature presents The Beatles’ complete rooftop performance following a brief introduction. The special event screenings will begin with an exclusive filmmaker Q&A at 12pm PST / 3pm EST / 8pm GMT.

I’ll leave you with the following quote:

It’s a wonderful time to be a Beatles fan, as the world shares in the celebration of the band’s innovative and inspiring creativity captured so vividly in January 1969.

Indeed it is 😊

AdGuard Home v0.107.0 →

From the release notes:

We’ve had some big AdGuard Home updates in the past, but this one is to top them all. It’s been brewing for almost eight months! 🙀 So no wonder there’s heaps upon heaps of new features, improvements, bugfixes, and other changes. We’d better start listing them ASAP, or else we’ll be risking missing the New Year’s fireworks 🎆 🥂

Changelog is indeed impressive. AdGuard Home has been serving me as a local DNS for quite some time now. I initially chose it because it supported FreeBSD out of the box as opposed to Pi-hole. This release introduces support for OpenBSD as well, though tagged experimental for now.

$dnsrewrite rules and other DNS rewrites will now be applied even when protection is disabled (#1558)

Another popular demand. This change only makes sense, as DNS rewrites often carry a different purpose than simply blocking ads or trackers. You still can disable them by opening the admin panel, going to Settings → General settings, and removing the check mark from the Block domains using filters and hosts files box.

I think this one is the top feature for me in this release – it bit me way too many times when I turned off protection and all of my local rewrites got lost along with it. Overall – amazing release after several months of development, betas and RCs. Respect 🤜🏻🤛🏻

PPAs Updates

BCC & libbpf

Latest versions of BCC (v0.22.0) and libbpf (v0.5.0) are now available from the bpftrace PPA1 for bionic, focal and hirsute:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:hadret/bpftrace
sudo apt update
sudo apt install bpftrace bpfcc-tools libbpf

Right now bionic builds of bpftrace are still done using LLVM9 which means that they are still affected by the Accessing pointers broken on LLVM <12 bug. I did however port LLVM12 to Launchpad and was able to build bpftrace for bionic with it. Fixed version will require some additional dependencies though and I had no time yet for proper testing.

Additionally all the latest builds are now also available for arm64 architecture.

NGINX Extended

Latest builds in stable for bionic, focal and hirsute followed the tracks of official Ubuntu builds and dropped Lua module:

Remove the Lua modules from NGINX (Server Team Decision) - future support for Lua module now requires resty-core from OpenResty, meaning that if we want to continue to support the Lua module, we have to start becoming OpenResty - users should just use OpenResty at this point for Lua.

The package naming has been aligned with latest, upcoming changes as seen in Debian: nginx-full has been dropped and nginx-extras should now be used for installing all available modules:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:hadret/nginx
sudo apt update
sudo apt install nginx-extras

Mainline has finally been updated to follow 1.21.x branch, builds for bionic, focal and hirsute are up for the taking:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:hadret/nginx-mainline
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt install nginx-extras

Here as well arm64 builds are now available – also from the Docker hub:2

docker run hadret/nginx-extended:latest

Test all the things

Finally, I published my docker-compose setup for quick testing for the packages I build for the PPA. Be sure to check it out on GitHub: docker-compose-tests.

  1. Also from the bpfcc and libbpf dedicated PPAs. 

  2. Both stable and mainline are now provided.