New GPG key

pub   4096R/1DDD8C9B 2009-05-09
      Key fingerprint = 7746 2642 A9EF 94FD 0F77  196D BA9C 7806 1DDD 8C9B 
uid                  Aurelien Jarno <>
uid                  Aurelien Jarno <>
uid                  Aurelien Jarno <>
sub   4096R/C3FCA1A8 2009-05-09

I'll get it signed by other Debian Developers tomorrow, during the Debian France meeting.

Debian is switching to EGLIBC

I have just uploaded Embedded GLIBC (EGLIBC) into the archive (it is currently waiting in the NEW queue), which will soon replace the GNU C Library (GLIBC).

The EGLIBC is a variant of the GLIBC which stays source and binary compatible with the original GLIBC. While primarily targeted for embedded architectures, it has some really nice points:

We do not use some of these features yet, but this upload is a first step. From the user point of view, the package names are unchanged (except the source package and the binary package containing the sources) so no transition is needed.

Debian QEMU images updated

Following the release of Debian Lenny, I have updated my set of Debian QEMU images. The following images are now available:

There is no Debian Lenny SPARC image available, as QEMU does not fully support SPARC64 yet, and Debian Lenny now only supports 64-bit kernels.

Note also that the README.txt files (which among other things contain the md5sums of the images) is now GPG signed. Read carefully these files as they contain details on how to use the images, and especially the minimum QEMU version to use.

Faster wireless access

The hotel we are staying in for FOSDEM is providing an expensive wireless access limited to 15kB/s.

For a faster access the solution is to use IP-over-DNS for a rate up to 48kB/s. Moreover it's free...

Re: emulated buildds

Wouter, I really doubt that the decision of having a Xen build daemon has been taken in a team, and the fact is that it's causing problems.

The only goal of my post is to show we have double standards.

Emulated versus paravirtualized build daemons

There has been a few flam\^Wdiscussions about emulated build daemons, each time coming to the conclusion that we should not upload packages built on an emulated machine to the archive.

However Debian has started to use at least one paravirtualized (Xen) build daemon, the i386 experimental one. The result is that one of the tests of the GNU libc testsuite is failing. On the other hand, the GNU libc and the GCC testsuites are giving the same results on a QEMU emulated machine and a real machine, for amd64, arm, armel, i386, mips, mipsel and powerpc. Same for KVM on amd64 and i386.

I wonder if we made the right choice ...


For a few weeks Laurent Vivier, Blue Swirl and myself have been working on getting QEMU PowerPC working correctly with recent distributions.

QEMU used to rely on OpenHackWare for the OpenFirmware implementation on PowerPC. It is a very limited implementation (for example it as no Forth support), which is unable to boot most 2.6.x kernels with the OldWorld emulation. It is able to boot recent kernels with the PReP emulation, but things like the PCI bus emulation are not working correctly. Moreover the PReP kernels are gone with the removal of the arch/ppc tree.

OpenBIOS was already used for the OpenFirmware implementation of Sparc 32 and Sparc 64 targets. It now supports PowerPC for the OldWorld emulation. As a result it is now possible to use Debian PowerPC under QEMU emulating an OldWorld machine.

What works?

  • Display (partly), keyboard, hard disk, network;
  • Booting from CD-ROM or from disk using Quik;
  • Installation of Debian Etch or Lenny (but due to a bug in debian-installer quik.conf has to be fixed manually);
  • Standard Debian kernels;
  • G3 CPU emulation: the testsuite results of the GNU libc 2.7 and of GCC 4.3 (Debian packages) are the same than on a real machine.
  • virtio devices

What doesn't work / has to be done?

  • A few devices part of the MacIO chipset are not emulated and/or are replaced by other devices: IDE, SCSI, Ethernet and sound;
  • The red and green colors are reversed, in some modes only (in debian-installer for example);
  • X only outputs some strange images;
  • PCI devices using I/O ports don't work (like the RTL8029 card, or the RTL8139 card with the 8139too driver).

For those who want to test, an Etch image is available. You will need to compile QEMU by manually given that the version in Debian is too old and that openbios-ppc is still in the NEW queue.

Flight booked (aka crazy prices)

I'm going to Debconf 8

As I am one of those who have read "able" instead of "unable", I had to find a really cheap flight. This may sound crazy, but an Iberia flight to Buenos Aires from Berlin costs far less than from Lyon (where I live) or even from Madrid: 781.12 EUR from Berlin instead over 1,200.00 EUR from Madrid and over 1,300.00 EUR from Lyon (in both cases with a change in Madrid Barajas).

I wonder if Iberia pays you 420,00 EUR if you flight from Berlin to Madrid...

Now I have to find a cheap way to go to Berlin from Lyon (probably an EasyJet flight). I plan to spend a few days of holiday in Berlin before flying to Argentina.

New GNU/kFreeBSD build daemon

We now have a second GNU/kFreeBSD build daemon building the kfreebsd-amd64 architecture. It has been kindly offered and is hosted in UK by The Positive Internet Company Ltd.

It adds redundancy to our buildd network, which is important given that the other kfreebsd-amd64 build daemon machine is on a simple ADSL line, and so less reliable than a machine in a datacenter.

For those who want to know more, here is the current status of the GNU/kFreeBSD buildd network:

  • (kfreebsd-amd64)
    2 x Opteron 1.4GHZ, 1GB RAM
    Hosted by The Positive Internet Company
  • (kfreebsd-amd64)
    Sempron 2600+, 1GB RAM
    Hosted by Aurelien Jarno (ADSL)
  • (kfreebsd-i386)
    PIII 800 MHz, 512MB RAM
    Hosted by ETH Zürich
  • (kfreebsd-i386)
    Sempron 2600+, 1GB RAM
    Hosted by Aurelien Jarno (ADSL)

My goal is to eventually get rid of all build daemons that I am hosting at home on my ADSL line, though that is less critical now.


Christian, this is the percentage of your blog entries concerning translation ratios in the last two weeks.

I am sure you can do better ;-)