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News and scripts for Free and Open Source software.

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Tuesday, June 2 2009

Zenoss as a replacement for Nagios

At work, i'm responsible of maintaining something like 60 desktop computers up and running. To keep track of their state, I use Nagios. It's not a bad tool, but its interface is ugly and quite unintuitive, and it lacks some features.

Last month, a new version of Zenoss was released. Zenoss is a full monitoring suite based on SNMP. It is rumored to scale well, track the hosts' states with more accuracy and be visually more appealing. It looked like a nice alternative, so I tried to set it up to replace Nagios.

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Sunday, March 29 2009

Setting up a Jabber server for office use

When you're working, instant messaging can both be a bliss and a nightmare. Your employer (and maybe even you) might not like to see you getting distracted by your friends when you are supposed to do actual work. On the other hand, it is often useful to be able to contact a colleague to send him some text without resorting to emails.

The solution would be to set up a IM server at the office. Jabber looks like a viable solution. It is an open standard, has a lot of clients for various platforms, supports offline messaging, file transfers (actual support depends on the client), avatars, connection encryption (client to server and end-to-end depending on the client)...

A Jabber server can be deployed on any network without the need for an Internet connection so it's perfect for a private office network where sensitive data might be transferred.

Here's how to install one on a Debian box...

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Monday, February 16 2009

Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 released

It took a while, but Debian Lenny has been released on valentine's day (go figure).

If you're using the stable branch, this means a lot of updated software is available, like Iceweasel/Firefox 3.0 (instead of 2.0), Gimp 2.4 (instead of 2.2) or the OpenJDK. If you're using the testing branch (now named Squeeze), you'll soon have access to VLC 0.9 and Pidgin 2.5 (with support for "new" MSNP features), both of which are currently in experimental.

Tuesday, February 10 2009


The FOSDEM 2009 took place this week-end and, like every year since 2003, I attended for a day (I just realised I've been there since the second big edition). So here's my insight on the Sunday.

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Monday, November 17 2008

Java API Browser

Ever thought the Java API was really useful but a hell to search through? Well, I do. Frames are awful, searching for a given class is a pain when its name is repeated in other classes, you can't search with regular expressions, etc...

That's why I decided to implement my own API browser, compatible with nearly all available Javadoc (as long as it was built with javadoc, that is).

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Monday, November 10 2008

A GUI to select boot OS with GRUB

When I first installed Linux, I was using the (default) setup, i.e. KDE and LILO. What I thought was nice was to be able to select on which OS I would boot next time with a handy menu.

When I switched to Debian / Xfce4 / GRUB, I noticed that this was no longer possible. From what I read on the forums at the time, I was stuck with the default option no matter what...

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Thursday, August 21 2008

Transparently unmount FUSE using fish

If you're using SSHFS - a FUSE client to mount remote directories with SSH - you've most likely hit the point where you could mount directories as a user, but could not unmount them with your favorite mountpoint manager (GNOME, xfce4-mount-plugin, etc). You maybe also discovered that, as root, you could unmount them but that running umount /mnt/foo as a user would fail with the following message : mount disagrees with the fstab.

The problem comes from the fact that, while mount can mount fuse systems, umount cannot unmount them since the entry in /etc/mtab doesn't match the one you entered in your fstab. You should instead use fusermount -u /mnt/foo. Thing is: that command is longer to type, and having only one way to unmount file systems would be much better. Well, that's exactly what your shell was made for !

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Saturday, August 16 2008

Debian's 15th anniversary

Today is Debian's 15th anniversary. If you need an excuse to party with geeks, it might be the one. If you don't plan to party with geeks, I suggest you find something else.

Anyway, happy birthday to one of the oldest distributions around.

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