Smokes your problems, coughs fresh air.

Tag: Opschoot

Gentoo update: system

This Gentoo box needs upgrading badly. I started this in February, so perhaps it’s time to continue.

Trying to update the world profile causes a few too many problems, so I start with updating everything in the system profile:

# emerge --update --deep --newuse system


The first blockage of the day is “sys-apps/man-pages-3” that is blocking “sys-apps/man-pages-posix-2003a“. The latter is pulled in by “sys-apps/man-pages-posix“, which in turn is required by “sys-apps/man-pages-3.20“.

Somehow, unmerging “sys-apps/man-pages” resolved this blockage:

# emerge --unmerge sys-apps/man-pages

I just had to ignore a few warnings about the package being part of my system profile and I could reissue the system update command. The unmerged package is neatly remerged.

# emerge --update --deep --newuse system

This command started merging 99 packages. The only interruption left in this process was caused by the savedconfig use flag which made the busybox ebuild fail.

xwd, the best X11 screen grabbing tool

xwd (1) is my favorite screen capture program for X Windows. Usage is simple:

xwd|xwdtopnm|pnmtopng>/tmp/screen.png   # Or:

Entering one of these commands, will give you a special pointer to click on the window you want to capture. That’s how simple it is to grab an X window with xwd.

You can also grab the whole screen with -root or exclude the window borders with -nobdrs. The manual page contains more options.

I was pretty elated when I first discovered xwd. I didn’t like having to invoke the GIMP, just for taking a quick screenshot. KDE and GNOME come with screenshot utilities, but sometimes I prefer other window managers (e.g.: this machine has been running WindowMaker from day one). Also the GNOME utility lost the option to exclude the window borders (in GNOME’s noble quest to become an appliance). All in all, I was glad to learn about a tool that I could count on to be available on most machines that have X Windows installed. Except, Gentoo has stripped many of these useful, little tools from the base install:

emerge x11-apps/xwd

Gentoo update: Portage configuration confusion

During the first gentoo update session for this machine, I didn’t get very far. I already mentioned the problem I had with e2fsprogs, but this was not the first or the last problem that I had.

Until a few moments ago, I actually thought I made a bit of a fuck-up. I was meaning to make regular snapshots of /etc/portage files for a while now, because I was always just an echo something >> /etc/portage/package.keywords with one >-symbol too few away from destroying my configuration. Despite this fear, I thought I had already started deleting entries from /etc/portage/package.keywords and /etc/portage/package.unmask without backing up first.

Luckily, it turns out that I did make a dated copy of /etc/portage/package.keywords before starting on my modifications. I didn’t do so for /etc/portage/package.unmask, but I recovered a recent enough version from a recent full system rsync backup. So, everything is good. Still, I’m glad that I now use Git to track all changes in /etc/. All this goes to show that my methods are sometimes a bit more organized than my mind, which, I suppose, is a good thing. 😕

The point of this post—yes, there is a point—the point is that once you start mixing stable and unstable stuff, your system becomes, ehm, unstable. I have this huge amount of crap already in /etc/portage to cater to my wish to run stuff that I know to be quite stable but that isn’t yet marked as such in the Gentoo porttree. Now, after many months, I want to remove everything from package.keywords and package.unmask that is no longer necessary.

I was going to write about all the complicated upgrades, downgrades and conflicts suggested by Portage (mostly related to me removing KDE 4 stuff from package.keywords and package.unmask), because I was confused about what changes I had made. With the relevant backups readily available for comparison, I am no longer in a hurry to untangle my thoughts and I’ve moved the preliminary notes to a new draft for when I’ll actually update KDE 4.

Actual justification for this post

I’m trying to get into a blogging style were I post a lot more rubbish like this that can’t possibly be of any use to anybody except myself. I have plenty of reasons/excuses for this (about which I’ll likely post in the future), but I shouldn’t actually need any. That Ryan wanker who thinks I publish this blog for him should really shut the fuck up. Sure enough, he isn’t talking about this blog but I still think he’s a big-time asshole. Fuck you, Ryan!

Gentoo update: e2fsprogs blocks e2fsprogs

Yesterday evening, I dropped by at Wiebe‘s with my laptop to start updating our Gentoo systems together. I hadn’t updated this machine since first installing it in spring last year, so I expected quite a few problems. The first blockage that we both had to solve was caused by e2fsprogs.

Wiebe searched the forums for help and found an unfortunate abundance of it. Eventually, I decided to give one of the many contradictory tips a try, although it seemed risky.

$ emerge --unmerge --ask --verbose e2fsprogs

Until you reinstall e2fsprogs, you won’t have any of the ext2/3 utilities such as e2fsck. So, reinstall immediately:

$ emerge --oneshot --ask --verbose e2fsprogs

This will remove libcom_err and libss, and replace them with e2fsprogs-libs, thus solving the blockages.

Wiebe tried an alternative route by first unmerging com_err and ss, and then replacing e2fsprogs. This didn’t work as expected, probably because he had kerberos in his use flags. libkerberos used libcom_err, which broke wget. Scp’ing the distfiles to him didn’t work either (OpenSSH also has kerberos support). Neither did mounting an USB stick with the files. Luckily, Thunderbird still worked, so I emailed the distfiles and the problem was solved. We found it amusing to have to use e-mail while being in the same room. 😉

The reason why this blockage occurred is not entirely clear to me. What I do understand is that com_err and ss were both provided by the e2fsprogs project and are now deprecated in favor of e2fsprogs-libs. Also, it’s clear that the new libraries are binary compatible with the old libraries or his system would have remained unusable, even after merging e2fsprogs-libs.

Before we tackled this problem, I had only updated portage and net-print/foomatic-db-ppds (also a blocking situation). Afterwards, I had just some motivation left to update krb5. Which leaves another 282 packages for the next get-together.

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