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Update 2011-08-06: BackupPC has been removed from the repo. A newer release is available in lucid-backports.

BackupPC 3.2.0 is now in the repository for both Ubuntu Lucid and Hardy. The Lucid version is taken directly from Debian sid. The Hardy version is backported from the same package, with edits to make the graphs’ fonts work (older rrdtool on hardy) and depend on samba-common instead of samba-common-bin (changed after hardy).

This version fixes the “Download Zip archive” issue in Ubuntu lucid. You no longer have to manually install an older Archive::Zip Perl module.

It’s also got a shiny new favicon, courtesy yours truly. That was a hard 10 minutes’ work with GIMP, right there. Astute readers of changelogs may believe that the developers didn’t use the favicon I submitted. But according to md5sum they did, and that is awesome.

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We run several virtual machine host servers on a network with multiple VLANs. The virtual machines are members of different VLANs, but are not themselves aware of the VLAN. This is how we did it.

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Until last week I still ran Kubuntu 8.04 (Ubuntu with KDE) on my personal desktop. We also use this on all our corporate desktops, and my wife’s PC at home. I wanted to wait for KDE 4 to mature a bit more before upgrading, so intrepid wasn’t an option.

I waited 4 months after the release of jaunty, so the problems should be either documented or resolved, and the release notes didn’t mention anything that seemed too serious. So I decided to give it a test.

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Dirty sshfs hack: smount

I love SSHFS. I manage a lot of machines, and I very often want to do something like this:

diff root@server1:/etc/randomrcfile root@server2:/etc/randomrcfile

There are ways to do this with Kompare (a KDE diff app) and the fish:// Kioslave, but not on the command line. SSHFS makes it easy:

mkdir /tmp/server1 /tmp/server2
sshfs root@server1:/ /tmp/server1/
sshfs root@server2:/ /tmp/server2/
diff /tmp/server1/etc/randomrcfile /tmp/server2/etc/randomrcfile

I do this so often that I’ve written my own script to handle this for me, smount. Copy it somewhere in your path, remove the extension (or don’t, as you prefer), and optionally make a copy or symlink called “sumount”. Now you can rapidly mount and unmount multiple hosts.

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Finally, finally, FINALLY! The Sun Java plugin now works on Firefox amd64 in native 64-bit. It has already been included in Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty, but the packages work just fine on Hardy as well, and probably on Intrepid.

Just download and install the Jaunty versions of sun-java6-bin, sun-java6-jre, sun-java6-fonts, and sun-java6-plugin. Install them, and remove the old icedtea plugin if you have it:

sudo dpkg -i sun-java6-bin_6-13-1_amd64.deb sun-java6-fonts_6-13-1_all.deb sun-java6-jre_6-13-1_all.deb sun-java6-plugin_6-13-1_amd64.deb
sudo apt-get remove --purge icedtea-gcjwebplugin

Then restart Firefox and Sun java will load natively 64-bit. Check it:

tyler@baal:~$ java -version

java version "1.6.0_13"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.6.0_13-b03)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 11.3-b02, mixed mode)

I’ve included them in the repository.

Update 2009-07-16: A more recent version is now available in the hardy-updates repository. I have removed the above copy from my repo. Intrepid users should upgrade to jaunty anyway, but can still download packages directly.

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There is a bug in the version of wine supplied with Ubuntu Hardy. This causes the version of Internet Explorer installed with ies4linux to hang when loading sites via HTTPS. I use IE for a few sites written back in the dark ages, and for testing a site’s layout before publication.

Aside: tolaris.com’s neat new automagically expanding header images look terrible in IE 5/6. I have no intention of fixing this. If you’re reading my site, you probably know better than to use IE for everyday browsing.

In October I recompiled wine from the Hardy source packages with the proposed bug fix. But I never announced it. If you missed that, you can find it in the repository.

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KGTK is a wrapper utility that allows GTK applications to use the native KDE file open/save dialogs. I cannot stand the GTK/Gnome dialogs, and I this helps apps like Firefox maintain a consistent appearance with KDE.

I’ve packaged the latest release, 0.10.0, for Ubuntu Hardy amd64 and i386. It is available in my repository now. Source packages are provided, so any other Debian-based distro or architecture should be able to build it.

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