Table of Contents

1 Home sweet home.

This site is my personal 'happy place'. It just started and I intend to use it as a notebook for all the interesting bits and pieces that are out there on the web. As you can see, there are two major areas most people would consider hardly related: Linux and Latin. Start with what ever you came here for, look around and have fun ;).

BTW: This site supports navigation by keyboard, similar to the info system. Press '?' or click on the little help link in the upper right corner to get a cheat-sheet. Sadly, the 'Back' functionality of your browser will most probably not work.

1.1 Latin

This is just the first quick start. I added some links I consider interesting at the moment. I will add short descriptions to the them later.

1.1.3 Write Latin

1.1.5 Listen to latin

1.2 Linux

This section contains nothing, yet.

1.2.1 Conkeror

1.2.2 Bash

1.2.3 Emacs

  • General
  • Orgmode
  • Gnus

1.3 NetBSD Diary

While I have been a happy Debian user for 10+ years, it is time to get at least some minimal understanding of how a NetBSD system works. Why NetBSD? I am glad you asked. As you probably know, sdf uses netbsd on its core machines. Months ago, I found a bug in a small package that interfered with emacs and made eshell unusable. I worked around it, and did some research on NetBSDs Bugtracker gnats, but without further knowledge of the packaging system, I did not feel competent to report the bug. As time went by, this issue came up time and again on bboard, sdfs internal bulletin board, each time I replied with my notes on the problem and asked to file a bug report. Of course, no one did. So, when it came up for probably the fifth time, I finally went ahead and filed the problem report, and they fixed it in no time. Awesome, I should've done that much earlier. So, here I am, I downloaded and burned the 6.1 iso, I have a free 100 GB partition on my desktop machine (Dell Dimension 5150), and no experience to start with.

1.3.1 Day 1 / 2013-07-13 Sat

  • Installation
    I never understood why people make such a fuzz about installers. Just watch any review of a GNU/Linux Distro on youtube and you will know what I mean. It is not like installing is a frequent task: Usually, it is done once and that's it. The NetBSD iso is 314 MB, pretty much like Debians NetInstall iso. The installer has a reputation for being fairly old school, and having my first debian install (potato) in mind (remember dselect?), it seemed prudent to have the documentation at hand. So, burned cd still in my drive, I restarted the machine. Of course, there had to be a bump, I didn't even make it to the installer:
    root on cd0a dumps on cd0b
    cd0(piixide0:0:0): Check Condition on CDB: 0x00 00 00 00 00 00
    Sensekey: Not Ready
    ASC/ASCQ: Medium Not Present
    vfs_mountroot: can't open root device
    cannot mount root, error = 19
    root device (default cd0a):

    Hmm, a problem with the cd. Corrupt iso? Something gone wrong while burning to disc?

    "root on cd0a dumps on cd0b", "Medium Not Present". Oh, I see: there are two dvd drives in this machine, the cd is obviously in drive cd0b, but the installer expects it to be in cd0a. Easy enough, cd goes in the other drive, reboot, and this time, the installer comes right up.

    Handling the installer posed no problem, everything just seemd to work so I had no need to consult the documentation at all, it was just pressing return most of the time.

    Last step: tell grub about the new system.

    menuentry "NetBSD"
      insmod utfs
      insmod ufs2
      set root='(hd0,4)'
      chainloader +1

    Update grub, reboot, and there it is. Select it, fingers crossed, and …

    error: file not found
    Press any key to continue ...

    Dang, what now? While I was pondering what went wrong, the screen changed and the system booted. After a few seconds, I see:

    NetBSD/i386 (daeomon) (console)

    Hui, success!

  • Welcome to NetBSD!

    What now? First things first, I will have to edit text files, so I will need an editor, and vi is not my first (second, third) choice. The installer mentioned pkgin for "yum/apt-get like" installation of software. I know apt-get, so after a quick glance at the man page, I try

    pkgin avail|grep ^emacs 

    and there it is. Let's install:

    pkgin install emacs24-nox11-24.3

    It downloads, it installs - ha, piece of cake! Let's start it:

    # emacs-24.3
    Memory fault (core dumped)

    Uhmm… That is not what I wanted. Let's try pkgin install nano. It installs, it runs. Okay, so this should work, I guess. Perhaps, the 24 package is damaged somehow, let's try 21:

    # pkgin install emacs21-nox11-21.4anb13
    # emacs-21.4
    Memory fault (core dumped)

    Grrr. What now? I refuse to move on without my favorite editor. I must be doing something wrong, but hey, let's try to compile it. After all, that is what BSDler prefer anyways, right? Looking at the pkgsrc-guide, this seems as easy as a

    # cd /usr/pkgsrc/editors/emacs24-nox11/&& make && make install

    so I try that.

    Output rushes by, this is actually fun to watch. I see emacs itself, but also gmake, perl, … boy, I wonder how long this is going to take?

    10 minutes in: It wouldn't have killed me to use vi for a while, would it?

    16 minutes in: Perl is done. Progess!

    40 minutes in: We are done. I saw some warnings, but I am glad everything just went on and it did not stop somewhere in the middle. I would've had no clue how to fix it. 40 minutes … installing emacs took twice the time installing the system from cd. Let's hope it works this time, fingers crossed, emacs-24.3 RET, and …

    phew, it works, I have an editor. That is enough fun for one day, time for a summary.

  • Summary

    Installing the system was painless and fast once I got to the installer. I will have to check the manual to find out if having to use the other cd drive to get to it is really intended behaviour; AFAIR, Debian installed just fine from both drives.

    Installing emacs was more puzzling. pkgin seems easy, but the binary just wouldn't run, I will have to look into that. On the positive side, that made me compile my first program with pkgsrc, which worked flawlessly. I seriously hope I won't have to compile everything, though; it is time consuming.

    What next?

    • Things to look into:
      • [ ] Fix Grub
      • [ ] Higher resolution on console
      • [ ] Why does the emacs binary not work?
      • [ ] Is that install problem a bug? If so, is there a report already?
      • [ ] configure wireless

    Time to read some docs ;)

1.3.2 Day 2

Preliminary notes:

menuentry "NetBSD"
  insmod chain
  set root='(hd0,4)'
  chainloader +1

is enough with grub 1.99.27 shipped in wheezy.

  • we want etckeeper before we start fiddling, so

pkgin install scmgit, no package for etckeeper, so we build it.

etckeeper init , nothing happens.

export ETCKEEPERCONFDIR="/usr/pkg/etc/etckeeper"

still nothing

does git work? git init in a temporary directory. -> Yes, it does. grumph No bugreport, Searching the web doesn't help, either… Bboard? Actually, let's try irc. Obviously, no one did use it. Or perhaps it wasn't smart enough a question. Next stop: HELPDESK on bboard.

Later … Seems like an easy to fix bug in the package: etckeeper is a shell script, works with dash as /bin/sh, but not with netbsds /bin/sh. (see unset line 19+20) Worth a pr I guess

  • wireless

setup seems easy: worked once out of 10 tries. Old and strange router here. possibly timeout issue. Can I increase it to more than 10 seconds?

Date: 2015-03-07T19:36+0000

Author: Memnon Anon

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