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Website refactor

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Hi all!

After struggling for a (very long) while with nanoc, I was able to make many small improvements to the site structure.
“Scripts” section has disappeared in favor of a more generic “Coding” one, divided by language.
Lots of cleanups went into JavaScript and CSS (which is now written in SASS).
Site layouting was changed to slim for better readability and maintainability (and less HTML-did-I-close-the-tag? headaches).
I pushed dfg2ext and mp3conv to github, rather than having them hang around on rsync. They lie there as an example of bash scripting rather than still-working scripts (seriously, don’t use them).

I am applying for becoming a Gentoo developer, and I am slowly testing packages and fixing clang bugs.

I will try to follow up this round of updates with some serious nanoc examples, as I find that the documentation online is somewhat scarce.
You will find them under the newly added “Guides” section, along with a new RAID1 guide for MD (mdadm).

In the meanwhile I also migrated my server to a much more powerful one, basically, everything doubled in the specs. I am partecipating in many BOINC projects now, compared to the 4-5 previous ones.

Fabio Scaccabarozzi

Two years later

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Hi all!

It’s been more than two years since the last post.
Some of you may have thought the project was dead. Well, it was in fact suspended.
There are multiple reasons, the top one being the lack of time to properly follow the project. It takes a while to build and mantain the releases and the process is not error-free at all (rather, quite the opposite). Furthermore, for some time the destiny of the Reiser4 patch has been uncertain: between March 2011 and November 2011 there were no updates on the only mailing list where the patch was published, and development seemed to have ceased.

In January 2013 I decided I would get back to my projects and commit to some more blogging.
I rented a new, more powerful server and dismissed the old one. To my astonishment the website would still perform in a sluggish manner. After some optimizations to the existing setup, all to no end, I figured I needed some other way to boost it. While working at my new job I discovered static website generation and the Bootstrap framework, so I made up from scratch this new website with nanoc and Bootstrap. Needless to say, the only performance limit now is the bandwidth of the reader. And that’s about how Drupal+PostgreSQL+PHP were thrown out the window.

As for the liveCD project, some really important news:

  • unless there is demand for the x86 build, from now on only the amd64 build will be released and updated: I can’t remember having booted a 32-bit only PC in the last 3 years, it has the same burden of the amd64 build, plus some drivers/packages occasionally won’t compile (requiring manual intervention at each build)
  • I reverted to building the stages with catalyst: metro simply doesn’t cope well with unstable gentoo, and I don’t have time to debug it
  • I reverted to arch + specific unmasks: easier to mantain, less packages failing for obscure reasons

And there goes the Changelog for this release (R2013-12-07):

  • 3.11.10 kernel + reiser4 patch
  • gcc-4.8.2
  • glibc 2.17
  • linux-headers 3.12
  • added ZFS filesystem support, ndiswrapper suspended/removed, gfs2-utils suspended

See the full Changelog for additional details.

Stay in tune for the new technical articles ;-)

Fabio Scaccabarozzi

New release: 2011-03-06

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Hi all!

The new release if finally out! It’s been almost an year since the latest release.
The long time since the last update brings some interesting news for you:

  • kernel with reiser4 patches
  • gcc-4.5.2, glibc-2.13-r1, linux-headers-
  • NTFS kernel module has been disabled in favor of external ntfs3g to avoid conflicts (ntfs3g has much much wider NTFS support than in-kernel module anyway)
  • everything is built from ~arch now. This is to avoid a lot of work in terms of troubleshooting. Building from arch and unmasking only certain packages means that some others, at some point, won’t build, thus requiring additional unmaskings in a never ending cycle.
  • everything is built using metro, thus the stages are compressed using xz-utils. The distributed stages are now built from ~arch, of course
  • the final strip phase has been disabled: this means that apart from /usr/portage and /usr/src you have now a fully working stage3 setup + additional goodies. The one I like most is having man pages available. Teorethically, you can also compile source files or entire packages directly from the liveCD. I haven’t tested this possibility though. This comes at the cost of about +100Mb for each CD, but I think it is a fair price.
  • the versioning has changed: now both liveCDs and stages are marked with the release date (no more unique 2008.0 naming)

Along with the new release I delivered some updates to the server:

  • (lighttpd + postgresql + drupal) instead of (apache2 + mysql + joomla)
  • kernel + grsecurity + ck2 patches
  • switched to hardened profile
  • migrated root filesystem to ext4
  • general configuration cleanups
  • packed old releases in in a unique 2Gb file. Nobody should be using these anymore. I strongly recommend to only use the latest release available.

Hoping that all of this will result in a more pleasant experience, I invite you to download and test the latest liveCDs, already available from the download page.

Cheers, Fabio Scaccabarozzi

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