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22 May, 2015


A good question is why do you want to sync a folder on your Raspberry Pi with a cloud service. The answer is little complicated. It's a subproject that I'm working on right now. I want to upload some data I'll create on a Raspberry Pi (with limited size of SD card). The uploaded data will be saved on other computer and the SD will be clear again to create new data.

The cloud service I prefer is always ownCloud.
Here I used http://www.copy.com. It provides 15GB of disk but you can increase it.

First of all download the file

wget http://copy.com/install/linux/Copy.tgz

Then extract it

tar xzvf Copy* copy/armv6h/

This will create a folder called “copy,” and in it there will be three sub-folders: “armv6h,” “x86,” and “x86_64.” The first one contains the Copy client binaries for the Raspberry Pi, the second contains the Copy client for 32-bit Linux on a PC, and the third the same client but for 64-bit Linux PCs.

cd /copy/armv6h

Now there are 2 ways of using copy. The CopyCmd tool and CopyConsole.


List of the directories
./CopyCmd Cloud -username=user@gmail.com -password='mypass' ls

Upload all content of local /home/user/directory/ to remote /directory
./CopyCmd Cloud -username=user@gmail.com -password='mypass' put -r /home/user/directory/ /directory


The CopyConsole tool keeps a folder on your Raspberry Pi synchronized with the data on Copy.com.
The sync app runs in the background and is started like this:

./CopyConsole -daemon -username=user@gmail.com -password='mypass' -root=/home/user/directory

This will sync the local /home/user/directory to copy.com. If you delete something from there, it'll delete from local folder as well.

Remeber to run this command everytime you restart your pi. It's better to run it manually because there is username and password that are personal (unless you created an account just for your raspberry pi).


Raspberry Pi is a quite slow ARM board, compared to other boards. Even if you compare Raspberry Pi B+ against Raspberry Pi 2. So maybe one of the best use of RasPi is to make it seedbox. Let's say you're at the office and a friend tells you to test a distro. You can login to your home Raspberry Pi seedbox and add the torrent file there.

Here I will show you how to setup Transmission, vftpd and suggestions for Android programs.
First of all, download and create the openSUSE SD card (resize your SD card to full size or you can mount the extra size as extra partition. Since it's not something important, then you can use full size of your SD card).
Then setup the dynamic dns service (see previous posts).
Finally set a static IP (to use it with port forward of your router).


First install transmission:
$ zypper in transmission transmission-daemon

Create 2 folders for incomplete torrents and completed torrents:
$ mkdir -p /torrents/incomplete && mkdir /torrents/complete

Configure proper permissions for transmission:
$ chgrp transmission /torrents/incomplete
$ chgrp transmission /torrents/complete
$ chmod 770 /torrents/incomplete
$ chmod 777 /torrents/complete

Now edit transmission settings.json file using:
$ cp /var/lib/transmission/.config/transmission/settings.json /var/lib/transmission/.config/transmission/settings.json.old
$ rm /var/lib/transmission/.config/transmission/settings.json


$ nano /var/lib/transmission/.config/transmission/settings.json

Here is the content of your file:
"alt-speed-down": 50,
"alt-speed-enabled": false,
"alt-speed-time-begin": 540,
"alt-speed-time-day": 127,
"alt-speed-time-enabled": false,
"alt-speed-time-end": 1020,
"alt-speed-up": 50,
"bind-address-ipv4": "",
"bind-address-ipv6": "::",
"blocklist-enabled": false,
"blocklist-url": "http://www.example.com/blocklist",
"cache-size-mb": 4,
"dht-enabled": false,
"download-dir": "/torrents/complete",
"download-limit": 100,
"download-limit-enabled": 0,
"download-queue-enabled": true,
"download-queue-size": 5,
"encryption": 1,
"idle-seeding-limit": 30,
"idle-seeding-limit-enabled": false,
"incomplete-dir": "/torrents/incomplete",
"incomplete-dir-enabled": true,
"lpd-enabled": false,
"max-peers-global": 200,
"message-level": 2,
"peer-congestion-algorithm": "",
"peer-limit-global": 91,
"peer-limit-per-torrent": 150,
"peer-port": 51413,
"peer-port-random-high": 65535,
"peer-port-random-low": 49152,
"peer-port-random-on-start": false,
"peer-socket-tos": "default",
"pex-enabled": false,
"port-forwarding-enabled": true,
"preallocation": 1,
"prefetch-enabled": 1,
"queue-stalled-enabled": true,
"queue-stalled-minutes": 30,
"ratio-limit": 2,
"ratio-limit-enabled": false,
"rename-partial-files": true,
"rpc-authentication-required": true,
"rpc-bind-address": "",
"rpc-enabled": true,
"rpc-password": "{2dc2c41724aab07ccc301e97f56360cb35f8ba1fGVVrdHDX",
"rpc-port": 9091,
"rpc-url": "/transmission/",
"rpc-username": "transmission",
"rpc-whitelist": "*.*.*.*",
"rpc-whitelist-enabled": false,
"scrape-paused-torrents-enabled": true,
"script-torrent-done-enabled": false,
"script-torrent-done-filename": "",
"seed-queue-enabled": false,
"seed-queue-size": 10,
"speed-limit-down": 250,
"speed-limit-down-enabled": true,
"speed-limit-up": 0,
"speed-limit-up-enabled": true,
"start-added-torrents": true,
"trash-original-torrent-files": false,
"umask": 18,
"upload-limit": 100,
"upload-limit-enabled": 0,
"upload-slots-per-torrent": 14,
"utp-enabled": true

Username: transmission
Password: transmission
Port: 9091

Start and enable the service.

$ systemctl start transmission-daemon
$ systemctl enable transmission-daemon

You're done. All you have to do is to open your browser to http://RASPI.IP.ADDRESS:9091/ and use the login/password (default for above config transmission/transmission)


Let's say that the file is i your pi disk. You're not at home. How can you check it? Maybe the easiest way is to setup an FTP server. Maybe the best program is vsftpd. You can install it:

zypper in ftp vsftpd

Create a folder for ftp users (if it's not there).

mkdir /srv/ftp

Create a group called

Michal Čihař: Weblate 2.3

08:00 UTC


Weblate 2.3 has been released today. It comes with better features for project owners, better file formats support and more configuration options for users.

Full list of changes for 2.3:

  • Dropped support for Django 1.6 and South migrations.
  • Support for adding new translations when using Java Property files
  • Allow to accept suggestion without editing.
  • Improved support for Google OAuth2.
  • Added support for Microsoft .resx files.
  • Tuned default robots.txt to disallow big crawling of translations.
  • Simplified workflow for accepting suggestions.
  • Added project owners who always receive important notifications.
  • Allow to disable editing of monolingual template.
  • More detailed repository status view.
  • Direct link for editing template when changing translation.
  • Allow to add more permissions to project owners.
  • Allow to show secondary language in zen mode.
  • Support for hiding source string in favor of secondary language.

You can find more information about Weblate on http://weblate.org, the code is hosted on Github. If you are curious how it looks, you can try it out on demo server. You can login there with demo account using demo password or register your own user.

Weblate is also being used https://hosted.weblate.org/ as official translating service for phpMyAdmin, Gammu, Weblate itself and other projects.

If you are free software project which would like to use Weblate, I'm happy to help you with set up or even host Weblate for you.

Further development of Weblate would not be possible without people providing donations, thanks to everybody who have helped so far!

PS: The roadmap for next release is just being prepared, you can influence this by expressing support for individual issues either by comments or by providing bounty for them.

Filed under: English phpMyAdmin SUSE Weblate | 0 comments

21 May, 2015


To set a static IP in Debian based distros is easy. Just change a file (/etc/network/interfaces).
In openSUSE is easier. Everything can be done under YaST.

1. Open YaST and go to Network Devices>Network Settings.

2. Then choose Statically Assigned IP Address (move with tab button and click on space button). Give the static IP you want (IP address needs to be in the same range as the router's) and as Subnet Mask, Press Next (press enter).

3. You'll see an overview of the ethernet card.

4. Go to Hostname/DNS and add Google's DNS servers (optional).

5. Next, go to Routing and add your router ip (usually

Now press OK, reboot and try to login again with SSH.


vector chameleonThe GCC 5 compiler is gradually making its way to be the default compiler for Tumbleweed, but until then, GCC4 is it. There is a blockage in the build caused by what some believe to be an issue with the signing key and libzypp.

For GCC 5 to move forward, it needs to pass openQA to build. Anyone willing to take a look at the code is more than welcome.

Many other items are being worked on in Tumbleweed and a new kernel is pending, but nothing is problematic and most of the items are easy fixes for the next snapshot, according to an update by Tumbleweed team.

Most of the work taking place these past few days have been bug fixes for the latest release of Plasma 5.3 and GNOME 3.16.2.

Other noteworthy items in the latest snapshot were updates to the libqt5 and LibreOffice. Python-keyring updated from 4.0 to 5.3 and there were some additional updates to YaST’s user experience and network.

20 May, 2015


Available in Czech Republic, too, 98 grams, and pretty cheap. On my Nokia n900, GSM parts died, and hacking cellphone you are using is a bad idea... So... what about Pixi? Underpowered hardware, but still more powerful than n900. Does firefox os support wifi tethering by default? Is it reasonably easy to hack? (I guess "apt-get install python would be too much to ask, but..) Other candidates are Jolla/Sailfish and Ubuntu Phone.


We've seen how to install no-ip.
Fortunately, there's not only this service but other services too. Just for reference, here are some (not only free):


Let's see one of them https://freedns.afraid.org. After you register, go to Dynamic DNS link (on the left top box-for members).
Add your host with type A and subdomain and domain what you like as host.

Now there's going to be a list of your host names. Right click on the Direct Link and copy the link. You should keep the alpha-numeric key. The address will be something like http://freedns.afraid.org/dynamic/update.php?[alpha-numeric-key]

Now it's time to install the client. I've found it from https://github.com/troglobit/inadyn.

1. First of all, install the needed programs to build the service.

zypper in gcc-c++ gcc git libopenssl-devel make nano

2. Then

mkdir inadyn

cd inadyn

3. Download the program from ftp://troglobit.com/inadyn/

and decompress it

tar xvfJ inadyn-1.99.9.tar.xz

4. Go to the directory

cd inadyn-1.99.9

5. Compile and install


make install

6. Create the confing file

nano /etc/inadyn.conf

with the following content

--username USERNAME
--password PASSWORD
--update_period 3600
--forced_update_period 14400
--alias HOSTNAME,alphanumeric key
--dyndns_system default@freedns.afraid.org

The bold words are the ones you should change. Remember the alphanumeric key is the one you got from right click on the Direct Link.

7. Start the client. Create the service file.

nano /usr/lib/systemd/system/inadyn.service

8. Add the following content.

Description=inadyn Dynamic DNS Update Client



9. Start the service

systemctl start inadyn.service

and enable the service

systemctl enable inadyn.service

10. Reboot and check if the service is running.

ps -A | grep inadyn

you should get results something like:

1526 ? 00:00:00 inadyn

19 May, 2015


We've seen how to install openSUSE image on the SD card.
Next step is to be sure that we can have access from outside our house (since most of the times, Raspberry Pi is located at home).
To do that we use Dynamic DNS services. A free service (so far) is No-IP. Most of the routers support it. You can use your router's service. But what if you want 2 different host names on the same IP? Let's say you have different ARM boards on the same router or you have a server etc.

1. First of all, install the needed programs to build the service (same as I did with ZNC)

zypper in gcc-c++ gcc git libopenssl-devel make nano

2. Then

mkdir noip

cd noip

3. Download the program

and decompress it

tar vzxf noip-duc-linux.tar.gz

4. Go to the directory

cd noip-2.1.9-1

5. Compile and install


make install

While it install’s the software you will prompted to enter the username & password. Once that is done it will ask you teh refresh interval … leave it.. to have the default value. You are required to answer some more questions … just ans NO an d you should be good to go.

6. Start the client


To check if the service is running, use the command:

/usr/local/bin/noip2 -S

and the results should be like

1 noip2 process active.

Process 1516, started as noip2, (version 2.1.9)
Using configuration from /usr/local/etc/no-ip2.conf
Last IP Address set EXTERNAL IP
configured for:
Updating every 30 minutes via /dev/eth0 with NAT enabled.

Auto start the client on reboot

But what if you reboot? You want to start the client everytime you reboot. This can be done with systemd.

1. Create the service file.

nano /usr/lib/systemd/system/noip.service

2. Add the following content.

Description=No-IP Dynamic DNS Update Client



3. Start the service

systemctl start noip.service

and enable the service

systemctl enable noip.service

18 May, 2015


Most of the projects around the Internet use Raspbian as main Raspberry Pi distro. Unfortunately, Raspbian doesn't work for me. Minibian worked for me. So I serched other distros. My favourite is Arch Linux because there are plenty of programs that I need for projects, but it needs some extra steps from terminal to create the SD.

Here we'll see how to create an SD card with openSUSE. There are plenty of information at the wiki page https://en.opensuse.org/HCL:Raspberry_Pi
. I'll collect the information I need for projects I'll write next.

I used 13.1 as distro because it's easier for me to resize the SD card.

1. Download the image (openSUSE-13.1-ARM-JeOS-raspberrypi.armv7l.raw.xz) from here:


decompress the image.

2. Find the device name of your card

cat /proc/partitions

usually it's going to be /dev/mmcblk0.

and create the card (as root)

sudo dd if=openSUSE-13.1*.raw.xz of=/dev/mmcblk0 bs=4M;sync

3. Since I didn't use a monitor (HDMI or DVI), I had to do some extra steps before boot my raspberry pi.

a. Delete the file /var/lib/YaST2/reconfig_system to start headless.
b. Resize the ext4 partition with Gparted.

4. When boot the Raspberry Pi, use the following

ssh root@IP

user: root
password: linux

Now the first command will be

zypper ref

and then update

zypper up

16 May, 2015

Michael Meeks: 2015-05-16 Saturday.

21:00 UTCmember

  • Up earlyish; helped N. with LibreOffice draw - building a maths board game; replaced tyre on her bike. Attacked M's computer - Mozilla reporting all certificates as invalid even for google: turned out the date was mis-set (surely easy to check and do better here ) - a horribly unhelpful error message though; tweaked.

Plasma 5.3

The latest and greatest desktop tech from the KDE community

At the time of writing this, the openQA servers were busily running tests and, by the time we publish this article, they should be done. What was being tested? A massive amount of changes, bringing not only the latest Plasma 5.3 and Applications 15.04.1 to Tumbleweed, but also marking the switch to Plasma 5 as the default desktop!

What’s new

You can find an overview of major changes in the announcement of KDE Plasma 5.3 and the announcement of KDE Applications 15.04 two weeks before that.

Some of the biggest improvements in Plasma Desktop include much improved power management and widget handling. New are a touchpad configuration module, Comic widget and some system monitoring applets and improvements to plasma widgets like Clipboard, Recent Documents.

There were improvements in no less than 109 of the KDE Applications and its underlying libraries over the last 4 months:

  • A highlight is KDE PIM, with almost 400 commits, mostly around stability, performance and preparation of a port to Qt 5.
  • The Print manager was improved
  • There have been the usual raft of changes to Marble
  • Kdenlive and Telepathy Chat have been added to the KDE Applications, introducing KAccounts, a centralized account handling
  • And there was a lot of porting activity of tools like Kompare, KCharselect and more.

The massive list of improvements to existing KDE applications are detailed on this page.

Of course, this is just a taste of the changes you will notice compared to Plasma 5.2 and the release of the KDE Applications from December last year. Those who have not had the pleasure of experimenting with Plasma 5 will be delighted with improvements all over this well-designed workspace. Ranging from smoother animations to smarter behavior permeating almost all aspects of handling day-to-day tasks, Plasma 5 offers a more modern and optimized experience.

Edit videos like a pro with Kdenlive!

Edit videos like a pro with Kdenlive!

Default to Plasma 5.3

The packages being made available today include a switch to Plasma 5 as default desktop. The openSUSE KDE team deems this release stable for day-to-day usage and a considerable step up from the Plasma 4.x series. While the KDE community continues to maintain the 4.x series for a few more months, by the end of this year, all efforts will be directed toward the Plasma 5 series. Applications are porting in a swift manner with even the KDE PIM team eyeballing a Frameworks 5 release around August and half of the KDE Applications are now Frameworks 5 based.

This move will have an impact on current Tumbleweed users! The patterns have changed, and if you have the KDE Applications pattern installed, it will begin to pull in the Frameworks 5 based applications. And of course, if you currently use the KDE workspace you will migrate from Plasma 4.11 to 5.3 – giving you the newest, latest and best of Desktop Linux!

Note that the first time you

15 May, 2015

Michael Meeks: 2015-05-15 Friday.

21:00 UTCmember

  • Mail chew; sync. with Niall; dish washer door catch spring broke; dis-assembled and adapted (a rather weaker one) from another spring. Project review call. Couple of bugs fixed in the evening & a hair cut.

14 May, 2015

Michael Meeks: 2015-05-14 Thursday

21:00 UTCmember

  • Into Cambridge, chat with Tim; paperwork; sync. with Tracie. Home early; bug fixing on the train.

13 May, 2015

Michael Meeks: 2015-05-13 Wednesday

21:00 UTCmember

  • Finally found my VclPtr horror by using a perl-script to process the gdb H/W watchpoint output; uncovered a rats-nest long overdue for fixing too - the power of applied prayer etc.
  • New washing machine arrived; another Hotpoint (now Whirlpool apparently), if it does another decade - will be happy. Set too cleaning the code / rats-nest out. Lunch.

12 May, 2015

Michael Meeks: 2015-05-12 Tuesday

21:00 UTCmember

  • Mail chew, chased horror VclPtr smart-ref. counting issue - 2700 acquire/releases - and some of them wrong, for just one object; very strange.
  • Partner call; Philippe call.


t-shirt-motivThe spirit of last month’s Hackweek is still alive and well and it’s about time we review some of the projects from openSUSE’s Hackweek.

The first project I want to highlight is the Google Hangouts killer – https://hackweek.suse.com/12/projects/832. This WebRTC-based video conferencing system is still in its early stages of development and there are tweaks being made to move the project forward. Unlike Google Hangouts’ 10 person limitation, the project currently dubbed Jangouts exceeds that capacity limit. During the testing, 18 people attended the 25-person room limitation of 25. The latest test even worked on a mobile device. If anyone want to get involved with this project, join the #jangouts channel on Freenode. Jangouts is hosted on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), but donations of servers to the openSUSE project are always welcomed. Just email me at ddemaio@suse.de if you are interest is donating a server with 100 gb or more of RAM to the openSUSE project.

jangouts1The next project to highlight is Group Refactoring of OSEM – https://hackweek.suse.com/12/projects/838. This project made a huge difference for the openSUSE Conference we had in The Hague last week. Not only did the community clean up the code, they new look and capabilities are making it easier to view and schedule tracks. Presentations and videos of the presentation can now be combined under the presenters proposal. The project can be found at https://github.com/openSUSE/osem.

Another project that was interesting to follow was Bare Metal OpenQA – https://hackweek.suse.com/12/projects/934 and More Bare Metal OpenQA – https://hackweek.suse.com/12/projects/896. Since OpenQA mostly runs on virtual machines, it can be difficult to find bugs triggered by real hardware. Interact with the HDMI, USB keyboard, CD-ROM and Remote Power Switching can be tough with automation, but where there is a will, there is a way. See the demo video and Code on a github branch.

Hackerspace was available for anyone who wanted to hack at SUSE locations in Nuremberg, Germany; Prague, Czech Republic; Provo, Utah (USA); Taipei, Taiwan; and Beijing, China. Some people did come to one of the locations, but most hackers participated remotely.

The “Black-on-Black” openSUSE Hackweek T-Shirt was a hit. We hope you got yours. Thank you to all who contributed.

Have a lot of fun.

vector chameleon


After recent porting python-gammu to Python 3, it was quite obvious to me that new release will have some problems. Fortunately they have proven to be rather cosmetic and no big bugs were found so far.

Anyway it's time to push the minor fixes to the users, so here comes python-gammu 2.2. As you can see, the changes are pretty small, but given that I don't expect much development in the future, it's good to release them early.

Filed under: English Gammu python-gammu SUSE Wammu | 0 comments


A couple of months ago, I was meeting colleagues of mine working on Docker and discussing about how much effort it would be to add support for it to SUSE OpenStack Cloud. It's been something that had been requested for a long time by quite a number of people and we never really had time to look into it. To find out how difficult it would be, I started looking at it on the evening; the README confirmed it shouldn't be too hard. But of course, we use Crowbar as our deployment framework, and the manual way of setting it up is not really something we'd want to recommend. Now would it be "not too hard" or just "easy"? There was only way to know that... And guess what happened next?

It took a couple of hours (and two patches) to get this working, including the time for packaging the missing dependencies and for testing. That's one of the nice things we benefit from using Crowbar: adding new features like this is relatively straight-forward, and so we can enable people to deploy a full cloud with all of these nice small features, without requiring them to learn about all the technologies and how to deploy them. Of course this was just a first pass (using the Juno code, btw).

Fast-forward a bit, and we decided to integrate this work. Since it was not a simple proof of concept anymore, we went ahead with some more serious testing. This resulted in us backporting patches for the Juno branch, but also making Nova behave a bit better since it wasn't aware of Docker as an hypervisor. This last point is a major problem if people want to use Docker as well as KVM, Xen, VMware or Hyper-V — the multi-hypervisor support is something that really matters to us, and this issue was actually the first one that got reported to us ;-) To validate all our work, we of course asked tempest to help us and the results are pretty good (we still have some failures, but they're related to missing features like volume support).

All in all, the integration went really smoothly :-)

Oh, I forgot to mention: there's also a docker plugin for heat. It's now available with our heat packages now in the Build Service as openstack-heat-plugin-heat_docker (Kilo, Juno); I haven't played with it yet, but this post should be a good start for anyone who's curious about this plugin.

11 May, 2015

Michael Meeks: 2015-05-11 Monday

21:00 UTCmember

  • Mail chew; 1:1's, poked at VclPtr issues. Lunch. Team call. Chat with Tim, more mail chew, another team call.

Pavel Machek: More SSD fun

13:17 UTC



This scheds some light on how tricky multi-level NAND drives are.



If you store SSDs at higher temperature than operating, bad things will happen... Like failure in less than a week. "Enterprise" SSDs are more sensitive to this (I always thought that "enterprise" is code word for "expensive", but apprently it has other implications, too).

Oh and that N900 modem problems... it seems it was not a battery. Moving SIM card to different phone to track it down...

10 May, 2015

Michael Meeks: 2015-05-10 Sunday

21:00 UTCmember

  • Up late with a head full of compressed fluff; in bed much of the morning, family off to church; deck-chair based slugging in the garden in the sun. Paddington movie with six small girls (Amie Jane & Sophie) in the late afternoon; stories, put people to bed.

  • Decay

    A beautiful, large, old house in downtown Xalapa, where patina is turning into ruin.

    Decayed door Decayed roof Floor tiles Door latch Decayed door

09 May, 2015

Michael Meeks: 2015-05-09 Saturday

21:00 UTCmember

  • Up late; not feeling ideal. Set too trying to buy a new washing machine to be delivered soon. All sites dedicated to this appear to miss the: "I want it soon" angle - "whatever it is I want it Monday" seems to me to be the primary buying criteria for replacing broken stuff; why do people carefully hide that data behind layers of web-fluff ? Finally ordered something.
  • Out to clean the church toilets - rota-fun; back and out to a Lode Chapel barbeque; put babes to bed.


If it does not work, open it and try to repair it.

If it works, and you are tired of killing working drives...

tar czv /data/$1 | aespipe > /mnt/$1.tgz.aes

...fill your harddrive with data you'd like to keep, and bury it in the woods on a moonless night.

On a unrelated note... it seems Nokia N900 does not have as many capacitors at it should have. If you battery is too old, it will be still good enough to power most functions, but not the GSM/SIM card parts, resulting in network errors, no calls possible, etc. Problem mysteriously goes away with newer battery...

some had already given up at this time...
The success rate is going up - where, at the first ownCloud workshop at the openSUSE conference, we had no successful installation, yesterday in Helsinki we reached a two-out-of-five. Both workshops had around 20 participants but usually people collaborated in groups of 3-5, following my guidelines on how to get ownCloud up and running on a Banana Pi development board.

Whoah, two out of five?

I admit it isn't easy and partially, that is intentional. The instructions in the document are sparse, especially for newbies - but even an experienced Arch'er threw his towel in the ring after almost three hours. Then again, what is a workshop for if not for enjoying the struggle of learning something new? And certainly everybody did that - struggle and learn new things.

The winning team still hard at work
The second team to get ownCloud running
Those who have any experience installing ownCloud know the difficulty can not be in ownCloud - and indeed, once you are set up with a running Banana Pi with SSH access, installing ownCloud is a matter of minutes. But getting there is no picnic! Why?

The hardest part by far is with the networking part of the workshop - the moment you've SSH'ed into the Banana Pi, 85% of the work is done. The challenge is significant - requiring not just Linux on the host laptop (yesterday, Ubuntu got 4 new users as neither Mac nor Windows were up to the task) but also handling stuff like tcpdump, Wireshark and a bunch of low-level command line tools like dd, mount, dpkg, ssh and so on. For most participants, the hardest challenges were:

  • Windows and Mac. I'm sure they are awesome operating systems, but something which is a few mouse clicks on a Linux system (sharing the wifi internet connection over a Ethernet cable with the Banana Pi) seems virtually impossible. On Linux, NetworkManager makes it as easy as creating a new wired connection, choosing "shared network" under the IPv4 tab and ticking the "this connection requires IPv4". Now, just enable this network after connecting the Pi and done. I have no experience with Windows or Mac whatsoever, but if nearly 15 IT students with internet access can't figure out how to make these operating systems do the same thing - I can only assume it is hard.
  • Command line familiarity. If you're new to Linux, an instruction like "mount the USB stick and copy over the data to the Pi" takes more than a few minutes and requires you to learn at least two new tools and looking through system logs. 
  • New tools. You'll be looking for alternatives to Linux commands like dd on Windows and Mac first, and once you've given up on your familiar platform you get to learn tools even most Linux users rarely need. 
  • Geeks. "Can't you do this easier with TCPDump?" "You can do this with the ip command too, you

08 May, 2015

Michael Meeks: 2015-05-08 Friday

21:00 UTCmember

  • Chased bugs & paperwork much of the day; accountants, Companies House, HMRC, etc. Took washing machine partially apart in the evening to diagnose horrendous racket; apparently bearings gone again; 1cm of play on the tub - irritating; only coaxed (almost exactly) another year of life out of the machine.
  • Yes Minister with the babes in the evening; J. out at a party; worked late - helped H. with her %ages.

07 May, 2015

Michael Meeks: 2015-05-07 Thursday

21:00 UTCmember

  • Lots of VclPtr bug fixing; hmm. 1:1 with Tim, ESC call.


A warm and green hello to all of the geekosphere!

Last month’s screenshot contest was a complete success! Our geeko friends submitted twice the usual amount of screenshots, sporting variying setups, environments and workflows. No two were alike! It was very refreshing to see how GNU/Linux desktops can be modified to suit everyone’s taste.After a week of polling, the results were as following:

Congratulations to our brother-in-green from Brazil, espigaum!

But we’re not stopping there! We’re continuing what is to become a nice tradition, I hope, with the May Madness screenshot contest. You’re welcome to post away to the offical forum thread of the contest. While you’re there, you’re welcome to brew a cup of your favorite beverage for yourself, and join the community hangout. It’s promised to be a treat ;)

Remember, there are two reward packs you can choose from, shoud you be voted to be the winner of the contest:

ScreenshotReward2 ScreenshotReward1





The stickers will magically appear in your home mailbox one day, making their way to your machine, so you can boast the geekoness all over the world!

Do join us, so we’re all guaranteed to …

…have a lot of fun!

06 May, 2015


We've seen how to gather some people and create a community (at least that's the quick tutorial how it worked for us in Greece).

The product is cool (any product) but here we have people. They should know WHY they join a community as volunteers. Is it because they want to help FLOSS to make the world a better place? Is it because it is Fun? Is it because they like the pros that open source provides? Is it because they like to help other people? Find out WHY people want to join-form a community.

The key to increase the number of the members is to attend to events. Here a quick tutorial how to do that. The best possible scenario is a developer to come to your booth and join the team. But this is 1% possible to happen (maybe less). Usually developers we're searching, they have their favorite distro/project and they don't change so easy.

The best thing is to join events where you can find end users (end users = users they're computer science students where they focus on windows, users that their computer being used for facebook/twitter/office suite). Why? Because those users can do some work that the developers hate. What's that?

0. Junior Jobs. Write a junior jobs list where someone can find exactly what to do and how to do it. The list could have the following.
1. Report bugs to bugzilla. So developers can fix it (of course developers have to be polite and help end users to provide possible broken data etc).
2. Documentation. Developers just hate to write documentation.
3. Translation. Usually developers use some "strange" language. So if someone asks you, please be polite and reply.
4. Promotion. Everyone call it marketing. The term marketing seems that the distro/project earns money out of promotion. Maybe the best term is engagement. This is needed because if it's the best distro/project among others, how more potential users will learn about it? And if it's the best, if no one uses it, then it's useless.

Usually end users join the community not because of the product but because of the people (remember to find your WHY people should join the community). They stay in the community ONLY because of the people. If he/she doesn't feel good, then he/she leaves. Unfortunately community is a number of volunteers. There's not someone that orders them to do something. If there's someone that will present the result of the community as his/hers, then people will leave and community terminates.
Sometimes, members expect something in return. If there's a company that supports your open source project, then maybe they expect material or money. It's not like that because as volunteer you're doing your hobby. If your hobby become your job later, that's the best for you.

So the question is how to keep the community

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