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#1 Re: Installation » Migration plan (Debian > Devuan) » 2022-07-26 21:04:40

* I also typically back up my `/etc` in an archive, separately from my off-line backup media of the whole system (which I don't always make actually). I often find I need to restore settings of some service or app from files I had there.
* Ditto for `/root`. While I try to not put much in the root home directory, the few things I put there useful for root on the new system as well (e.g. `.vimrc`...)

Finally, while using a distribution and over the months/years I use it, I try to log - in words - significant changes to it in an "administrator's journal" (like a Captain's log in Star Trek if you will :-P ). I put it in /var/log/admin-journal . I always back that up, especially since, on the new system, I often follow steps I had logged there (e.g. "2019-01-05\nSet up a wheel group to be able to su without password, via /etc/passed and /etc/pam.d/su ; placed alice and bob in the wheel group")

#2 Re: News & Announcements » Linux Pro Magazine revisits Devuan » 2022-07-26 20:19:00

A positive review without taking an anti-systemd position. Nice! This is definitely an achievement for the project and congrats to fsmithred, golinux, and whoever else was involved from the Devuan side.

#3 Re: News & Announcements » Does the project prepare some periodic report? » 2022-04-01 18:41:30

First, thanks for the links. However, none of them is what I'm really after, even if some of them may provide some pieces of what I'm after. I'm looking for a periodic overview of the state of the project, and none of the links has it. In particular, none of them talks about what has been achieved, what are efforts being focused on, what is expected to happen, what are significant challenges facing the project in the near future etc.

Now, about those links...

  • Popularity contest is cute, but it's a voluntary package installed by a not-so-large fraction of the user-base. Do you have credible statistical analysis suggesting a known ratio between the values there and the actual active user-base? I'm guessing "no", considering the comment at the bottom.

  • The financial report:

    • It is from 2020; 15 months have passed since.

    • It shows very little activity involving money, and very limited income. There's nothing wrong with that, and no reason to over-capitalize things, but - if that's the case, then the non-financial activity report, of what volunteers are doing, is even more important.

    • There's no budgeted-vs-actual on anything, although given how only few activities are mentioned, the lack of this information is not that terrible.

  • The lists of people do not show who is currently active, except for 3 people + board of trustees. More importantly, it doesn't show who-does-what.

  • What are the distrowatch figures supposed to represent?  (... looks into it...) The rating value is an arbitrary number reviewers give a distribution, without even any guideline on how to rate; and we know nothing about the distribution of DW reviewers.

You don't owe me anything, I'm just a lowly user who works on other FOSS, but FWIW I find this lacking.

#4 News & Announcements » Does the project prepare some periodic report? » 2022-04-01 06:48:55

Replies: 4

Is there some kind of periodic, say annual, official report on the state of the Devuan project? W.r.t. finances, numbers of volunteers, volume of activity, download stats, "diplomatic" news about interaction with Debian and with OS-industry entities / foua?

I routinely find myself wondering how Devuan is doing and I usually don't have a good idea of where things stand.

#5 Re: News & Announcements » The (almost) No Code of Conduct » 2022-03-31 23:28:12

> We are all adults

Waiting for this part to be revised once some under-18 users complain (which they should)...

#6 Re: Installation » My chimaera install issues #11: Everything is a plain text document? » 2021-10-15 06:58:31

jnr2820 wrote:

Cinnamon has something else. Is it still "Nemo"?

Yes, it's Nemo 4.8.6.

#7 Re: Installation » My Chimaera install issues #1: Forced manual choice of LXQt WM » 2021-10-15 06:54:01

It's a fair enough reply to tell me to report this upstream. But - where exactly do I report this? reportbug? For which package?

#8 Re: Devuan Derivatives » List of Devuan derivatives » 2021-10-12 21:19:26

@golinux: Ok, fair enough in principle, but some of those descriptions are vague to the point of near-uselessness. For example:

Refracta is a GNU/Linux distribution built with home users in mind. It provides a simple layout that will be comfortable for the majority of users.

home users also run home servers, so... not sure how they differ from non-home users. Plus, what does it mean, to build a distro with X people in mind? Do you write odes to these people in script comments? And "providing a simple layout" - what's a "layout" anyway? And does that mean it doesn't provide complex layouts? And doesn't Devuan itself "provide simple layouts"? ... None of this tells me what Refracta has or drops relative to Devuan. Maybe just different artwork, Desktop environment settings and icon arrangement?

Gnuinos is a libre spin of Devuan GNU/Linux using the Openbox window manager.

But Devuan has OpenBox, so what's the spin? That OpenBox is on the installation media rather than other DEs?

Star is a minimal distro, with a small selection of apps

Then how can it be based on Devuan, which has Debian's huge selection of apps? Or again, maybe it's a bootable image with some preinstalled apps?


#9 Devuan » What necessitates these categories of systemd-related files? » 2021-10-12 21:12:18

Replies: 2

I want to make Katolaz' question (quoted by golinux) from the sticky thread more specific. He asked:

Why are systemd files present in Devuan?

But I'm not interested in the binary response. Rather, I'm looking at the different categories of files I can identify on my system, and would like to know why we (or perhaps I should say you Devuan maintainers) can't make them go away.

So, here's my categorization:

  1. files under systemd-only directories: /etc/systemd, /lib/systemd, /usr/lib/systemd, /var/lib/systemd/deb-systemd-helper-enabled/, /var/lib/systemd/deb-systemd-user-enabled/

    1. target.wants directories

    2. .service files

    3. .path files

    4. .timer files

    5. .socket files

    6. .conf files

    7. .target files

    8. .dsh-also files

    9. files with other extensions (e.g. sleep, shutdown or no extension)

  2. /usr/bin files:

    • debhelperdh_* files and their man pages.

    • other files in /usr/bin:

  3. apt daily file for systemd: /usr/lib/apt/apt.systemd.daily

  4. lintian tag files for systemd service files <- Ok, I guess I don't want to remove those

  5. Empty directories or subdirectories of other systemd-related directories

For each of these categories - why can't we get rid of these files, i.e. avoid them being installed?

PS - I am willing to accept answers such as "do not want to maintain variants of a large number of packages merely for avoiding them installing their own one or two systemd-related files". But then - would it not be possible to hot-patch such packages to drop those files? e.g. based on directory prefix filters?

#10 Re: Devuan Derivatives » List of Devuan derivatives » 2021-10-12 20:17:28

Are there any new Devuan derivatives announced since last year?

Also, and more importantly - is there a one-liner description of what's the focus or speciality of each of these distros? Would be nice to see more than just a bunch of names.

#11 Re: Other Issues » [Solved] How to load nftables rules at boot? » 2021-10-12 19:55:39

For other readers of this thread: Note you may have other packages which install firewall rules (via nft or iptables-legacy or otherwise), which would conflict with the nft tables you want to load.

Actually, I'd say that it's kind of a problem that nft is highly visible, on the one hand, via /etc/nftables.conf; and the nftables is installed on account of network-manager (assuming you've installed that), but on the other hand - there is no associated service you could even query for status. Nor do you get any indication about how things might conflict with its use.

#12 Re: Other Issues » How should I open up another port / set up extra firewall rules? » 2021-10-12 17:27:57

@kjpetrie: There's an /etc/nftables.conf , and nothing in /etc/init.d.

I had a look at the man page for iptables-legacy and it didn't tell me much; are you suggesting rules be added using this binary? Ok, that sounds reasonable; but it's only half the answer: Where/how are the existing rules added?


Edit: Oh, I think I've found a partial solution. Your grepping suggestion gave me the idea:

# grep -r iptables *
default/ferm:# use iptables-restore for fast firewall initialization?
multitail.conf:# linux iptables firewall

the second line is a dud, but the first is part of a package called ferm, and its /etc/ferm/ferm.conf has syntax which would translate into almost all of the rules on my system:

domain (ip ip6) {
    table filter {
        chain INPUT {
            policy DROP;

            # connection tracking
            mod state state INVALID DROP;
            mod state state (ESTABLISHED RELATED) ACCEPT;

            # allow local packet
            interface lo ACCEPT;

            # respond to ping
            proto icmp ACCEPT; 

            # allow IPsec
            proto udp dport 500 ACCEPT;
	    @if @eq($DOMAIN, ip) {
	      proto (esp ah) ACCEPT;
	    } @else {
	      proto (esp) ACCEPT;

            # allow SSH connections
            proto tcp dport ssh ACCEPT;
        chain OUTPUT {
            policy ACCEPT;

            # connection tracking
            #mod state state INVALID DROP;
            mod state state (ESTABLISHED RELATED) ACCEPT;
        chain FORWARD {
            policy DROP;

            # connection tracking
            mod state state INVALID DROP;
            mod state state (ESTABLISHED RELATED) ACCEPT;

I think only the SSH port being open is unaccounted for in this file. Where could it be coming from?

#13 Other Issues » How should I open up another port / set up extra firewall rules? » 2021-10-11 16:40:51

Replies: 3

I'm using Devuan Chimaera on a (physical) machine of mine.

I am running an app which needs to take incoming connections over some TCP port (say 5123). I had (mistakenly) assumed my ports would be open by default if I listened on them - since SSH to my machine to other, and I haven't done anything to open up port 22. However - that's not the case. It's not even the case for sshd itself: If I add a Port 5123 statement to /etc/sshd_config, I can ssh through port 5123 from localhost, but not from other machines.

So, I started looking into the Linux firewall business, which I haven't really touched for many years; and specifically to the situation on Devuan (without me having installed any special relevant packages).

It seems that there are some "legacy iptables" rules in effect; iptables-legacy-save yields:

:INPUT DROP [23:3096]
:OUTPUT ACCEPT [21257:2268987]
-A INPUT -m state --state INVALID -j DROP
-A INPUT -i lo -j ACCEPT
-A INPUT -p icmp -j ACCEPT
-A INPUT -p udp -m udp --dport 500 -j ACCEPT
-A INPUT -p esp -j ACCEPT
-A INPUT -p ah -j ACCEPT
-A INPUT -p tcp -m tcp --dport 22 -j ACCEPT
-A FORWARD -m state --state INVALID -j DROP

but nothing with nft flush ruleset.

Now, I'm able to manually write an extra iptables rule for the port I want. But - I don't know where and when these rules are applied, so that I could add to them in a persistent manner. I'm also able (I think) to generate an /etc/nftables.conf to suit my needs - but that doesn't get loaded at all (AFAICT). I could ensure it's loaded with an /etc/init.d to load it, but - that would clash with whatever loads the iptables rules right now, wouldn't it?

So, bottom line: How should I add another persistent rule for opening additional ports?

#14 Re: Installation » My chimaera install issues #2: Can't abort LXQt WM choice » 2021-08-01 22:05:34

If you go to a smorgasbord and eat everything offered

1. It's enough to select 2 items to achieve this effect; that does not count as "eating everything offered".

2. There was no lack of self control in the scenarios I mentioned

3. The point of a "Cancel" button is to cater to the user which has not exerted sufficient control or good sense in the first place, and selected something that, in hindsight, they should not have.

#15 Re: Installation » My chimaera install issues #2: Can't abort LXQt WM choice » 2021-08-01 20:48:20

golinux wrote:

That would depend on the definition of "reasonable person".  Installing multiple desktops with a distribution that strives for simplicity and doing one thing and doing it well seems like a user/distro mismatch to me.

Which distribution strives for simplicity? Debian? Don't know how you figure that, considering the immense number of packages in the main repository.

Also, the user gets the tasksel dialog. In that dialog s/he is offered to select multiple items. There is no cue - visual, auditory, textual - that there's any problem with selecting multiple items. If doing so is considered unreasonable, there would have been radio buttons for the different desktop environments. So, that's one argument for reasonableness.

The other argument is that the person installing does not know which desktop environment the user will prefer. And - it could be more than one user, each with a different preference (e.g. one who is accustomed to Lubuntu with LXQt, and another that's accustomed to Mint with Cinnamon). That's a second argument why it is reasonable to select multiple DEs.

A final reason for this selection is wanting to make available apps originating in the different DEs to users of all DEs.

#16 Re: Installation » My chimaera install issues #2: Can't abort LXQt WM choice » 2021-08-01 19:22:01

I'm pretty sure that dialogue is only displayed because you had more than one compatible window manager installed.

Oh, yes, for sure. But it is not some clever hacker's trick to select a few more items on the tasksel list. What I'm saying is that it's not enough that newbie-friendly behavior be exhibited when following the most common path through the installer (e.g. not change almost anything on the task selection dialog); it should be exhibited for every path through the installer which a reasonable person performing the installation may follow.

#17 Re: Installation » My chimaera install issues #2: Can't abort LXQt WM choice » 2021-07-31 20:21:30

Too many complicated choices - it would overwhelm the average user.

The user should not be offered any of these choices. Just a "Cancel" button in addition to "Ok". Or, as suggested in this post - no dialog at all, and just a login into the default window manager.

It is not reasonable to force a first-time user to make a selection in a dialog they do not expect, between items they don't recognize, without an option to get cold feet and say "cancel".

#18 Re: Installation » My chimaera install issues #2: Can't abort LXQt WM choice » 2021-07-31 17:30:34

The only way "back" would be to kill the desktop that's in the middle of loading itself and restart the display manager to log into one of the other desktops.

I had actually assumed that window comes up before the session starts. But even with this being the case, then, yes, you should be able to abort, restart the display manager and reconsider your options. Maybe you want to log in as a different user? Choose a different display environment? Change some language or accessibility settings? Or just ask some other person to come help you? You should have that choice.

... that is, if you get that window at all. If a default WM were to be chosen, it would be a different matter.

#19 Re: Installation » My chimaera install issues #2: Can't abort LXQt WM choice » 2021-07-30 20:06:29

Are you sure that the "culprit" here is lxqt upstream? More specifically, are you saying that I shouldn't even reportbug against the lxqt package?

#20 Re: Installation » My chimaera install issues #2: Can't abort LXQt WM choice » 2021-07-30 19:57:47

@Head_on_a_Stick: Openbox is fine. Another choice would also be fine. The issue here is that if somehow the window manager selection dialog has been opened, you can't abort/cancel, that's all. Also, I can manage - but it shouldn't be the case that every Devuan Chimaera user (who has selected a few desktop environments with tasksel), logging in the first time, gets stuck in this dialog.

#21 Re: Installation » My chimaera install issues #2: Can't abort LXQt WM choice » 2021-07-30 18:43:38

@Head_on_a_Stick can you be a little more explicit? fsmithred posted a link only because he(?) made a single reply on two threads. With your link - I'm not sure what exactly you're telling me, plus it's off-site.

#22 Re: Installation » My chimaera install issues #10: We will take Jerusalem! » 2021-07-29 19:28:16

@fsmithred: I should mention I did not check the time in the Console before changing the preferences. So it's possible the timezone was set correctly, but the pref dialog somehow got messed up.

#23 Re: Installation » My chimaera install issues #10: We will take Jerusalem! » 2021-07-27 17:03:29

bgstack15 wrote:

You could try to confirm that /etc/timezone is a symlink to the relevant file under /usr/share/zoneinfo.

Actually, I couldn't since I already set the timezone.

... however, after having set it - it's still not a symlink, it's a plain text file. It now contains Asia/Jerusalem.

bgstack15 wrote:

You can also just run tzselect(8) as root to set it [again].

That's not the point of this report. The point is that there's a bug with the distribution (or one of the packages) which causes this to happen. It should be fixed _in the distribution_; I can take care of my own system.

#24 Re: Installation » My chimaera install issues #9: meld'ing as root gives errors » 2021-07-25 17:31:26

xinomilo wrote:

instead of su + command, try `sudo command` . seen no such errors with that.

The point is not me; I can manage (e.g. just ignore the errors). The point is trying to resolve this in the distribution, or the upstream package...

Also, personally, I run sessions as root with more than a single command, so `sudo` every time is annoying...

#25 Re: Installation » My Chimaera install issues #1: Forced manual choice of LXQt WM » 2021-07-25 15:38:39

Magnus wrote:

You do nothing, you just complain.

I'll let that slide, because I haven't linked my forum account anywhere. So, this is the FOSS coding I do. No, none of it is Devuan and it's already more than I can handle.

But you should be aware that your rhetoric is highly confrontational and derogatory.

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