Welcome | Daniel Pocock

Recent blog entries

DebConf13 arrival

DebConf13 is about to get under way at Vaumarcus, Switzerland.

Bus stop

Swiss PostBus drops delegates at the entrance to Le Camp.

The ascent

Delegates get a feel for the Swiss landscape.

GSoC students progress

I've been lucky enough to be involved in a team mentoring two students contributing to Debian under the Google Summer of Code program this year. Both students have demonstrated a lot of enthusiasm and talent and have just passed their mid-term evaluations.

DebConf next week, free real-time communications session

DebConf13 is just about to get under way. While last year's event involved an exciting visit to Nicaragua, this year it is right here in Switzerland making it very convenient for many of those in the very populous community of free software enthusiasts across western Europe.

Effectively supporting virtual domains with Mailman

When I first decided to run my own list server, I was well aware of the popularity of Mailman but I was deterred from using it by the complexity of setting up virtual hosts. In particular, 99% of the software I use for servers is packaged. Whenever I choose a new piece of software, using something that is packaged and supported is high on my list of priorities. Mailman's distribution tarball and the packages built from it only have limited support for virtual hosting.

Switzerland's scariest railway (video)

Although promoted as a funicular railway, the Gelmerbahn funicular has the appearance of a giant roller coaster and all of the fun too.

Building existing autotools C/C++ projects on Android

I recently came across a requirement to build a project involving C++ code on Android. I've done this before with small C projects, for example, patching the JNI code in Lumicall.

Google supplies a toolchain dubbed the Native Development Kit (NDK) for Android. Using the NDK typically involves using it's custom build system, usually duplicating all Makefile content into a file called Android.mk in each subdirectory.

Some further observations on init replacement

My blog about replacements for SysV init received a significant number of comments Monday, revealing a solid base of community support for systemd. One reader was even generous enough to contribute a pull request fixing the reSIProcate package systemd artifact

Linux init-systems

Several value-added init systems have emerged in recent times. Most notably, Upstart has become the default on Ubuntu while systemd is now default in Fedora.

Let's not forget the crusade to move beyond traditional init was given a big boost back in 2005 by Sun's introduction of SMF on Solaris 10 some years before the main Linux solutions gained prominence.

Practical VPNs with strongSwan, Shorewall, Linux firewalls and OpenWRT routers

There is intense interest in communications privacy at the moment thanks to the Snowden scandal. Open source software has offered credible solutions for privacy and encryption for many years. Sadly, making these solutions work together is not always plug-and-play.

Using debcheckout to build strongSwan 5.0 on Debian wheezy

Normally most people try to use packages from a stable Linux distribution because of their convenience and security support. Sometimes it's necessary to use a newer version, I recently had to do this with strongSwan and I'm sharing the procedure for other people to try.