ccze: A robust, modular log coloriser
on 31.01.2007, 05:00
in packages-news
Debian Weekly News 2007/02
on 30.01.2007, 00:00
in weekly-news
agave: Design colour schemes the easy way
on 28.01.2007, 05:00
in packages-news
apt-file: search for files in packages, installed or not
on 24.01.2007, 05:00
in packages-news
Debian Weekly News 2007/01
on 23.01.2007, 00:00
in weekly-news
pypar2: a par2 graphical frontend
on 21.01.2007, 05:00
in packages-news
rlwrap: use readline’s line editing with all applications
on 17.01.2007, 05:00
in packages-news
mozart: The Mozart Programming System
on 14.01.2007, 05:00
in packages-news
gems: broadcast your terminal
on 10.01.2007, 05:00
in packages-news
Debian GNU/Linux 3.0 Woody Archived
on 09.01.2007, 13:16
in news
rlplot: high-quality scientific graphs made easy
on 07.01.2007, 05:00
in packages-news
sysrqd: small daemon to manage Linux SysRq over network
on 03.01.2007, 06:45
in packages-news

ccze: A robust, modular log coloriser

published on Wed Jan 31 05:00:41 2007 in packages-news

Entry submitted by arno. DPOTD needs your help, please contribute !

ccze is a log coloriser. It can parse log files, understand them (with regexes), and displays a nicely formatted output. It becomes easier to catch important information from a log file.

To cope with different kind of logs, ccze uses different plugins, each able to understand one type of file. Currently, ccze support 19 different plugins, such as exim, httpd, procmail, and much more. If a line is recognized by no plugin, a default parsing and coloration are available. You can also add support for a new type of file, by creating a plugin and copying it in /usr/lib/ccze, or $HOME/.ccze.

By default, ccze uses ncurses for output, but you can also display on standard output, or to format a report in html. Czze is based on colorizer, an older log coloriser. Actually, ccze was a rewrite in C language to make it faster (coloriser was written in perl language).

Related tools

Other log colorizer in Debian and Ubuntu include lwatch and loco. Loco is a nice tool, but only uses a generic parser. Therefore, output is sometimes less accurate than ccze. With lwatch, you can define your regexps in a configuration file. So, it’s more easy to add a new type of file. Lwatch reads data from named fifo, so it is not really suitable for use from the command line.

Target Users:

  • System administrators.
  • Users that watch their log regularly, and/or need to get a quick grasp of what’s going on their system.

Further reading:

Loganalysis.Org has online bibliography on logging and related topics. You can consult it at http://www.loganalysis.org/frames/left-navbar-library.html

Links:

Latest ccze release is available in both Debian and Ubuntu.

Debian Weekly News 2007/02

published on Tue Jan 30 00:00:00 2007 in weekly-news

Welcome to this year's 2nd issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. Anthony Towns was interviewed by Liz Tay on whether Dunc Tank was a failure or success. Joey Schulze reported that the alpha port has caught up and is fitter than before since it now has two working build daemon.

Dealing with personal Configuration and Data

Aigars Mahinovs proposed a standard for applications to organise data and configuration files stored in the user's home directory as an extension to the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard. It should first implemented in Debian and then passed upstream. Mark Hymers pointed out that the XDG Base Directory Specification from Waldo Bastian addresses configuration files already.

Social Committee for Debian?

Josip Rodin proposed to found a social committee that will deal with social problems within the Debian project, similar to the technical committee handling technical issues. It would have its own charter and would delegate communications coordinators to particular teams and mailing lists to observe and ensure that no complaints go unnoticed.

Request for Translation Updates

Javier Fernández-Sanguino Peña asked maintainers to take the chance to upload packages with only translation updates. Such modification have a good chance to be granted a freeze exception by the release team. Even after the NMU Campaign aimed to fix pending localisation bugs in the bug tracking system, there are still many packages with open bugs. Maintainers are encouraged to sent a message to debian-i18n asking for translation updates.

Debian-Installer Loader

Robert Millan announced the availability of a Debian-Installer Loader for win32. The program, inspired by Ubuntu's similar project, features 64-bit CPU auto-detection, download of kernel and initrd netboot images, and chain-loading into Debian-Installer via grub4dos. Graphical installations are supported as well. The frontend site goodbye-microsoft.com has been setup for advocacy purposes.

New UTF-8 Migration Wizard

Martin-Éric Racine announced that a new GTK2-based migration tool for UTF-8 has been uploaded into the unstable distribution. It allows an easy migration to UTF-8 for both locale settings and user file encodings. Martin-Éric Racine recently took over the development of this tool which was previously developed for Ubuntu.

Proposal for an official Screenshot Repository

Roberto C. Sanchez requested comments about the idea of having an official archive of screenshots that would allow users to browse through images of GUI packages, a service similar to packages.debian.org for descriptions. Nico Golde pointed a similar discussion in 2006.

Debian at the Chemnitzer Linux-Tage 2007

The Debian project will maintain a booth at the this years' Chemnitzer Linux-Tage taking place from March, 3rd to 4th at the Technical University of Chemnitz. Torsten Werner will give a talk about advanced Debian packaging and Jörg Jaspert will discuss virtualisation using Xen on Debian.

Debian Conference Deadline

Jörg Jaspert announced that participants need to register on Pentabarf until Wednesday January 31st, 2007 if they would like to apply for sponsored accommodation, food or travel, or if they are planning to submit a talk or event proposal. This years' Debian Conference will take place in Edinburgh from June 17th to 23rd, 2007.

Keeping virtual Disks clean

Aleksandr Koltsoff announced zerotools, a set of tools to aid keeping virtual disks clean by filling binary zero to those regions which are no longer in use. These tools should not be used to make data retrieval close to impossible. The author also noticed that no Debian packages were available. Amaya Rodrigo Sastre added information about zum, a similar tool that is part of perforate, a package maintained by her.

Updates during the Etch Life Cycle

Luis Matos proposed to add kernel updates on stable point releases in order to support more hardware and to keep using volatile and backports for other programs. Moritz Mühlenhoff added that there are plans for a second set of kernels (and probably X servers) nine months after the release of etch, which will also have security support. However, nothing is fixed yet, as the current focus is on getting etch ready for release.

Architecture Release Requirements?

Thomas Bushnell wondered why alpha is a release architecture since it doesn't fulfil the architecture requirements of having build daemon redundancy, since the main alpha machine has been offline for more than ten days. Martin Schulze added that the machine was being moved to a new location. Steve Langasek answered that this requirement has been waived as a hard requirement for release qualification so that this particular outage doesn't affect the release status of alpha port.

agave: Design colour schemes the easy way

published on Sun Jan 28 05:00:40 2007 in packages-news

Entry submitted by Phil Bull. DPOTD needs your help, please contribute !

Agave (formerly GNOME Colorscheme) is a simple GNOME utility for generating colour schemes.

Select a base colour and Agave will suggest a small set of colours which complement it. You can choose from several types of colour scheme; for example, selecting ‘Monochrome’ results in a scheme of different shades of the same colour, whereas ‘Complements’ just gives two colours which complement each other. If the scheme Agave suggests isn’t ideal, you can increase and decrease both the brightness and saturation of the scheme as a whole using the buttons on the toolbar.

Agave colour scheme generator

You can select any colour on the screen as a base colour by using the ‘dropper’ tool (hidden away in the colour picker dialog). Three different representations of the colours in your colour scheme are given: Hex, RGB, and HSV, and copying the colours into a graphics application is simply a matter of dragging-and-dropping them. If you design websites and edit CSS, Agave may come in useful - particularly when your imagination fails you. The random button generates a random colour scheme, and repeatedly pressing it soon results in a usable combination of colours for you to use.

A small irritation is the limited number of colours allowed per colour scheme. While 2-3 colours may be fine when decorating a room, websites and graphics projects often require several more. Apart from this, Agave appears to have no major bugs, and most of the issues filed in its bug tracker are feature requests. There are several translations available, too. KColorEdit (the KDE equivalent) can handle colour palettes, which makes it more useful to graphics designers at the moment. However, Agave is still a young project and offers some novel features which anyone working with colour will appreciate.

Agave is available in Ubuntu Edgy (universe) and Debian Etch.

Links

apt-file: search for files in packages, installed or not

published on Wed Jan 24 05:00:52 2007 in packages-news

Entry submitted by Paul Sundvall. DPOTD needs your help, please contribute !

Have you ever tried to compile some tar-ball and had to download missing dependencies? In that case, you probably needed to find out which packages were needed to fix those dependencies. Sometimes there is a README which states what you need, but that might not be that helpful sometimes.

One way of finding out which package needs to be installed is to use the debian package search page.

Another way is to use apt-file instead. It works as a local search engine, based on the apt sources you have in /etc/apt/sources.list.

To use apt-file, build the search database by issuing apt-file update as root. Then, as an ordinary user, search for a file with apt-file search file and you get the package names which contain the file you look for. Install them with apt-get, and your missing dependencies are gone with the wind!

apt-file is located in package apt-file in both Debian and Ubuntu.

after install, build the search database with apt-file update.

Example:

I tried to compile a simple pam example, which gave the following output:

pauls@voltaire:~/code/eget/all/pam$ make
gcc  pamexample.c  -o pamexample -lpam -lpam_misc
pamexample.c:12:31: error: security/pam_appl.h: Filen eller katalogen
finns inte
pamexample.c:13:31: error: security/pam_misc.h: Filen eller katalogen
finns inte
[...]

Seems like I need the (for me) unknown file pam_appl.h. Time to use apt-file!

pauls@voltaire:~/code/eget/all/pam$ apt-file search pam_appl.h
libpam-doc: usr/share/doc/libpam-doc/html/pam_appl.html
libpam0g-dev: usr/include/security/pam_appl.h
lsb-build-base2: usr/include/lsb2/security/pam_appl.h
lsb-build-base3: usr/include/lsb3/security/pam_appl.h
pauls@voltaire:~/code/eget/all/pam$

It seems like I should install libpam0g-dev

pauls@voltaire:~/code/eget/all/pam$ su -
voltaire:~# apt-get install libpam0g-dev
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree... Done
The following NEW packages will be installed
  libpam0g-dev
0 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 118kB of archives.
After unpacking 365kB of additional disk space will be used.
Get: 1 http://merkel.debian.org unstable/main libpam0g-dev 0.79-4 [118kB]
Fetched 118kB in 2s (47.9kB/s)
Selecting previously deselected package libpam0g-dev.
(Reading database ... 123647 files and directories currently installed.)
Unpacking libpam0g-dev (from .../libpam0g-dev_0.79-4_i386.deb) ...
Setting up libpam0g-dev (0.79-4) ...
voltaire:~#logout

let’s try to compile again:

pauls@voltaire:~/code/eget/all/pam$ make
gcc  pamexample.c  -o pamexample -lpam -lpam_misc
pauls@voltaire:~/code/eget/all/pam$

It works!

Debian Weekly News 2007/01

published on Tue Jan 23 00:00:00 2007 in weekly-news

Welcome to this year's 1st issue of DWN, the weekly newsletter for the Debian community. Erinn Clark, co-founder and leader of Debian Women is selected one of the top 10 girl geeks who are influential in Open Source. Linux-Watch posted Chris Fearnley's rebuttal to Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols argument that Debian is in trouble.

Debian and the one Laptop per Child Project

Michael Voigt wondered if Debian is supporting the One Laptop per Child project. It has been founded by the MIT Media Laboratory and is about creating an cheap and affordable laptop for children in the third world and developing countries. Petter Reinholdtsen explained that Debian is participating with its DebianEdu sub-project.

French DebianEdu Developers Meeting

Mathieu Duploy announced the Debian-Edu developers meeting sponsored by Centre Européen de Transfert et de Recherche en Informatique Libre. It will take place on February 17th to 24th in Soissons (France). Transportation from Soissons to FOSDEM in Brussels is included.

Debian's History 2006

Martin Zobel-Helas reported that he and Ana Guerrero are creating an review of all major Debian events in 2006. They are using different news channels like Debian Weekly News, Planet Debian and several mailing lists as source for the review. Readers who find unmentioned events and thus want to contribute should write an email to the debian-publicity mailing list. The review is planned to be published on several websites like Linux Weekly News and Linux.com.

Debian-Installer for Sony PS3

Kenshi Muto (武藤 健志) announced that his friend, Takeshi Yaegashi (八重樫 剛史) succeeded to install Debian on a Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3), which is a 64-bit PowerPC architecture that some GNU/Linux distributions and NetBSD already have a port for. Yaegashi set up a Wiki page that describes the installation using a customised version of the debian-installer.

Adding Style Checks to lintian

Mikhail Gusarov wondered if removing empty lines from the end of debian/copyright and debian/changelog together with the use of two spaces before Homepage: in the description would warrant a lintian check. Nico Golde pointed out that these are not backed up by policy manual and hence shouldn't be included. Russ Allbery reported that he intends to add a set of style checks to lintian that would be optional and would have to be explicitly requested.

Woody Distribution archived

Florian Lohoff noticed that the old stable release woody has been removed from mirror servers recently. Kevin Mark explained that this happened because Debian only supports old distributions for a defined period of time by providing packages and security support. After this the old distribution won't be maintained anymore but kept on archive.debian.org for historical reasons.

Kernel Handbook updated

Jurij Smakov announced that the Debian Kernel Handbook has been updated to reflect changes to the kernel build process and architecture which were made for the upcoming release of etch. The handbook covers several kernel-related topics and tasks like building kernel packages, module packages and the initial ram-disk system used in Debian. Any feedback, comments, or content proposals are welcome.

Anticipating the Release Date

Debian Administration is conducting a poll that allows readers to estimate the release date of etch. 45 % of its readers assume that etch will be released whenever it is ready. debianex stated that Debian is the most stable distribution and because of its stability, apt-get and a very helpful large community he is using the system and expects it to stay at No 1.

Abandon stable Releases?

Joseph Smidt suggested to only support unstable and testing so that maintaining is less stress and the testing distribution becomes even better. Several developers disagreed on the numbers backing up the assumption that 76 % of the users already run testing. Wouter Verhelst added that in a corporate world stable is the prevailing Debian distribution.

Compatibility between Creative Commons 2.5 and Debian

Luis Matos asked for feedback about the compatibility between Creative Commons 2.5 licenses and Debian. Andrew Donnellan pointed out that at this moment none of the Creative Common licenses are compatible with the Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG). However, some of the licenses of version 3.0 will most likely be compatible with the DFSG thanks to the effort of Debian people. Francesco Poli added that the current drafts are not DFSG-free, though.

Mailman Upgrade Path from Etch to Lenny

Lionel Elie Mamane reported that the current version 2.1.9 of mailman in etch will not have an upgrade path to version 2.2.x anticipated for lenny. This is because of a change in the file format. Mailman 2.1.10 will be able to export data into a neutral XML format which later versions are able to import. Lionel wondered if he was allowed to upload a newer version or include the export facility in the package for etch.

Measuring Development Progress

Lars Wirzenius proposed a set of carefully selected statistics to measure progress of development in Debian. He suggested weekly reports on total numbers, median and maximum for all open bug reports, reports grouped by severity, response time, lifetime of bugs, and more, and would like to compare these with numbers from the week before.

Status of the M68k Port

Ingo Jürgensmann reported that the m68k port is performing quite well after the GCC issues were finally solved by Roman Zippel. This port is currently in a better shape than alpha and arm. He wondered if m68k could be a release architecture now, given that etch hasn't been released in December.

Installing Debian over PPPoE Connections

Eddy Petrisor reported that he has successfully installed Debian over a PPPoE (DSL) connection which was established by the debian-installer. This demonstrates the comeback of native DSL installations directly from a mirror server by using the boot argument install modules=ppp-udeb.

pypar2: a par2 graphical frontend

published on Sun Jan 21 05:00:02 2007 in packages-news

Entry submitted by François Ingelrest. DPOTD needs your help, please contribute !

Do you often download some binary content from Usenet servers? Then you know what .par2 files are useful for, and that there is no decent GUI to handle them.

For those who don’t know par2, let’s make it simple: it’s an utility used to protect files against data loss. It’s able to do that by creating redundant data (“parity files”). For example, if you create parity files with a redundancy level of 5%, you may be able to recover your original files if the amount of corrupted data is less than 5% (corrupted data may be located anywhere in any files). Such parity files may be used whenever data loss is expected: Usenet servers, cheap CD/DVD ROMs…

To check/repair some files, or to create these parity files, you have to open a terminal and use the command line. This works flawlessly but this not really user friendly, especially for distributions aimed at human beings. There exists a replacement named gpar2, but it uses some extra libraries and I’m sure that many of you don’t like to install extra libraries when it’s not really needed.

PyPar2 is a simple graphical frontend, written in Python: thus even if a package is not available for you system, you don’t have to compile anything. Here is how it looks like:

PyPar2 is designed to be very easy to use. Here are a list of its features:

  • Advanced settings are available, but hidden by default
  • There is no preferences dialog, all selected options are automatically saved and restored
  • Multiple languages are available:
    • English
    • French
    • German
    • Polish

PyPar2 is available in Debian unstable/testing and Ubuntu Feisty repositories. The “final” 1.0 release is coming soon, with many code changes, so stay tuned! If you would like to add support for a new language, please contact me first at Athropos - AT - gmail - DOT - com to be sure to use the latest language definition.

Links:

rlwrap: use readline’s line editing with all applications

published on Wed Jan 17 05:00:42 2007 in packages-news

Entry submitted by arno. DPOTD needs your help, please contribute !

Many command-line-oriented applications don’t provide features like history, completion or line-editing. rlwrap wraps readline (which is the library behind those features in bash and many other applications) around any line-oriented command. So you can take advantage of history, completion and editing facilities, even with applications that don’t provide them. rlwrap is the kind of tool that, once discovered, makes you wonder how you could have lived without it.

For example, telnet or netcat don’t have editing facilities, neither history. With rlwrap, system administrators will then be able to use those tools more efficiently. Also, launching dash can sometimes help testing compatibility for a few lines of shell code. Unfortunately, line editing with dash is not very pleasant. With rlwrap, it becomes possible to have completion and history in dash.

By default, history is saved in a specific file for each program: your history will be kept even after exiting the program, and will not conflict with other apps.

Just as readline, you can customize rlwrap with ~/.inputrc file. You can also define, for each application, a list of keywords. rlwrap will then perform completion on those words.

With socat, you can also wrap readline around any program. Socat is much more than a readline wrapper: using it only for that purpose would be not only overkill, but also more complex. Another readline wrapper is cle (Command Line Editor). It’s a great tool, but it has not been developed since 1999. Rlwrap is now more powerful, providing more options, with more configuration capabilities.

Target Usages:

Users of applications such as netcat, telnet, dc, that don’t link with readline, and whose editing possibilities are limited.

Tip:

If your shell supports it, you may find useful to define aliases for commands you often use ; for example: alias netcat="rlwrap netcat".

You can find rlwrap’s homepage at http://utopia.knoware.nl/~hlub/uck/rlwrap/

rlwrap is available in Debian (0.21-1 in sarge, 0.28-2 in unstable) and Ubuntu (0.24-1 in dapper and edgy).

mozart: The Mozart Programming System

published on Sun Jan 14 05:00:57 2007 in packages-news

Entry submitted by Kari Pahula. DPOTD needs your help, please contribute !

Mozart is an implementation of Oz, a multiparadigm programming language, with a strong support for concurrent and distributed computing and for solving problems involving optimization and inference.

Some of Oz’s distinctive features are single assignment variables and binding. For example, you can do declare A B C and then execute C = A and [A 2] = [1 B] ([] marks a list in Oz) and have A = 1, B = 2 and C = 1 in the end.

Being single assignment variable means that executing A = B would be a runtime error. If needed, you could create new computation spaces where you could safely create condtradictions and examine the failures from outside.

Another one of Oz’s features is transparent support for concurrency. You can try out the next example yourself if you have no aversion towards using Emacs by installing mozart for yourself and feeding it line by line to the emulator. Start the X Mozart programming environment from the menu and go through it line by line and press C-. l as you go.

What you type

What you see

declare H W
{Inspect rect(width:W height:H area:thread W*H end)}

rect(area:_ height:_ width:_)

H = 20

rect(area:_ height:20 width:_)

W = 45

rect(area:900 height:20 width:45)

What happens in this example is that the thread started for counting the area suspends until both W and H are bound to a value. Once both are known, the thread continues execution and sets the corresponding field in the rect record.

Any of the above didn’t involve state at all. With Mozart, you can get by quite far within the declarative model itself. But when needed, there are two (equivalent) abstractions available for stateful operations. One is chunks, which operate much like regular variables with destructive updates. The other is ports, which are many-to-one communication channels. If you’re familiar with Erlang, you’d recognize them to be similar to the message passing used in it.

As an example, let’s write an echo server.

declare Echo
local
   Xs P
   {Port.new Xs P}
   proc {Consume Xs}
      X|Xr = Xs  % suspends until a new list item arrives to Xs
   in
      {Inspect X}
      {Consume Xr}
   end
   thread {Consume Xs} end
in
   proc {Echo M}
      {Port.send P M}
   end
end

This is only a small scratch on the surface of what Oz and Mozart can do. Even if you’re not going to start writing programs using Mozart yourself, the concepts behind it are well worth knowing for any self-respecting programmer.

Links

Mozart is available for most 32-bit architectures in Debian Woody, Sarge and Etch. The changes between 1.3.1 and 1.3.2 are relatively minor, so you won’t be missing much if you’re using the version in Sarge. It is also available in Ubuntu since Warty.

gems: broadcast your terminal

published on Wed Jan 10 05:00:15 2007 in packages-news

Entry submitted by Martín Ferrari. DPOTD needs your help, please contribute !

Gems is an unknown, little, but efficient program which enables you to broadcast what is seen in your terminal to any number of clients. It’s great for technical lectures and talks, where people often has to make an effort to see what are you typing in the projected screen. It is terminal-agnostic, communicates by any TCP port using very little bandwith and no CPU power, and obviously, it’s free software!

It is very easy to set up, there is no configuration at all, apt-get it and you’re ready to go. In the master terminal, launch the server, optionally specifying a listening port and maximum number of connections (defaults to 6666 and 25, respectively, see the man page for more information), and immediatly you will be given back a shell:

teacherhost:~$ gems-server -port 9999
gems-server initialized.
gems-server: warning: terminal size is greater than 80x25.
teacherhost:~$ cd tmp
teacherhost:~/tmp$ PS1='Hello world class:w$ '
Hello world class:~/tmp$
Hello world class:~/tmp$ ls
test.c
Hello world class:~/tmp$

Gems warns you if you are using a big terminal, because clients won’t be able to connect if they have smaller terminals. To connect to a server, just specify address and port:

pupil1:~$ gems-client teacherhost 9999
gems-client: Connection established -- Press 'q' to exit.

Hello world class:~/tmp$ ls
test.c
Hello world class:~/tmp$

When a client connects, he sees only what you type after the connection is made, no screen status is maintained. This is key to its simplicity and compatibility with any type of terminal, but you will have to force screen refreshes as new clients connect (usually just pressing ^L). In this example the client connected just before the ls command was issued.

gems

This is a screenshot of a gems session with clients in the same computer, the focused terminal is the server. You can have different terminal sizes for clients and server as long as the server terminal can fit in the clients.

Links:

gems is included in Debian and Ubuntu since respectively Sarge and Hoary.

Debian GNU/Linux 3.0 Woody Archived

published on Tue Jan 9 13:16:45 2007 in news

The old-stable release of Debian GNU/Linux 3.0, codenamed Woody, has been moved to http://archive.debian.org/ recently. Woody was released on 19th of July, 2002, and was obsoleted by Sarge which was released on 6th of June, 2005. Security support for Woody has been discontinued as of the end of June 2006.

rlplot: high-quality scientific graphs made easy

published on Sun Jan 7 05:00:23 2007 in packages-news

Entry submitted by Phil Bull. DPOTD needs your help, please contribute !

If you're looking for an easy way to create and edit professional-quality scientific graphs, why not take a look at RLPlot?

When you run RLPlot, you are shown a spreadsheet screen into which you can enter or copy data. RLPlot's spreadsheet is suprisingly fully-featured for a simple graph-plotting package, and many built-in formulae are available. Once you are happy with the way your data is arranged, simply press Graph -> Create Graph to produce your graph.

Choosing a graph type in RLPlot

There are many different graph types for you to choose from (see screenshot), and RLPlot offers an impressive array of options for customising error bars, axes, labels and data-points. When you have finished, RLPlot shows an editable WYSIWYG view of your graph. In this view you can continue to customise your graph and add additional elements such as annotations, a legend, or even another data plot.

Once you've perfected your graph, it's time to output a copy of it. RLPlot offers a good choice of output options, including the SVG format (ideal if you want to do any further editing in another application). It can also print the finished graph directly.

Editing a graph in RLPlot

While not as powerful as gnuplot, RLPlot offers a quick and simple alternative for creating good-looking graphs of scientific data. It appears to be actively maintained, and there are no major bugs currently known for the current version. RLPlot is available from Debian Stable (a more recent version is available in Testing) and Ubuntu (since Hoary).

sysrqd: small daemon to manage Linux SysRq over network

published on Wed Jan 3 06:45:31 2007 in packages-news

Entry submitted by Julien Danjou. DPOTD needs your help, please contribute !

sysrqd is a tiny daemon aiming to control sysrq over network.

SysRq stands for System Request, and this are functions mapped to keyboard shortcuts by the kernel. You can use them by pressing Alt+SysRq+[key] (SysRq might be named “Print Screen” on your keyboard), where key can be s (sync), k (sak), 0 to 9 (logging level), b (reboot), etc.
The goal of this keyboard sequences is too be available even if you can’t do anything on your box, because you screwed up everything, or because it’s crashed or under very heavy load.

sysrqd can help you to use SysRq keys when you are not in front of your box,and you need to do Emergency Sync, R/O remount and reBoot.

It is designed to respond under heavy load or half-crashed box, so it might work even if you can’t access to your box for example. In this case, you will be happy to telnet to your box on sysrqd port, enter your password, and then press s, u, b and wait for your server to reboot. You would not have been able to do that since ssh was not responding.

The connection is password protected but not cyphered so you might want to firewall it or to run it on a trusted network.

You can find latest version 8 packaged in both Debian and Ubuntu.