Linux User Group of Mauritius Promoting open source software in our beautiful island

31Mar/170

How to administer Slackware 14.2?

Posted by Ish Sookun

The last presentation of Day 1 at the Developers Conference that I attended was that of Slackware 14.2 by Pritvi Jheengut.

Pritvi is a member of the Linux User Group of Mauritius and a usual suspect at such tech events. He is perhaps the most popular Slackware user on the island. He made a fierce reputation for that. Some know him for his weird methods of doing things but he remains just a geek with passion for a couple of things that he adores; Slackware being one of them.


Developers Conference 2017 - Slackware 14.2

I missed the beginning of his presentation. In fact, when I entered the room he was in the middle of some important explanation about installing packages using the installpkg command. The screen was black and the text green. Pritvi had worn a Darth Vader t-shirt and I heard rumours that he even started the presentation with the Darth Vader theme. That would be totally legit.


Pritvi made us visit the Slackware internals, a lot about the arrangement of system files and the way packages are kept simple.

The earlier thing that I missed was actually a question about Slackware packages which Pritvi asked the attendees; whether they found it weird to install something that's no more than just a tarball. It generated a discussion about package management, software repositories, the how and why of Slackware and above all its simplicity of software packaging vis-à-vis other Linux distributions.

I craved for some Linux fun which was missing on Day 1 but Pritvi's presentation fulfilled that. It was a cool and interactive session with questions that popped up like mushrooms.

I'm not sure I'll ever ditch openSUSE for Slackware but maybe I have a more decent opinion on Slackware administration now.

23May/160

Developers Conference 2016, day 3 with openSUSE bug hunting

Posted by Ish

I had my «openSUSE bug hunting» presentation scheduled at 09h30 this morning. I’m usually very lazy on Sundays but the enthusiasm of the Developers Conference is just an amazing feeling. Though we live on a small island, we get to meet some people maybe just once a year during this fun event. I picked up Shelly on the way and we reached Voilà Hotel at 09h05. Right at the hotel entrance Yash was waiting, he might have seen us coming. We went upstairs chatting and met JoKi. My presentation was scheduled at the Accelerator and I thought I’d just go and test the gear. Aargh! The TV had only HDMI cable and my ThinkPad had VGA & a Mini DisplayPort. That said, I needed an adapter. Joffrey who came around greeting everyone had a HDMI to VGA cable, which he lent me. At that same time JoKi also came with a Mini DisplayPort to HDMI convertor. Great! Then I had an adapter plus a backup.

I mirrored my laptop display and checked if everything’s fine. All good and it was 09h30.

Developers Conference 2016, openSUSE bug hunting

Thank you for the photo, Shelly :)

However, folks were still coming, so we thought let’s just wait till 09h45 giving a chance for others to arrive. Indeed I started at 09h45 sharp with a 3/4 full room and just a few minutes later it was «house full». That was great and a true encouragement though a Sunday morning.







Thank you for the (re-)tweets folks. :D

I chose the title of my prez «openSUSE bug hunting» from a blog post I wrote in 2013 while running «release candidates» of openSUSE. Starting the presentation I spoke about how some folks might organize special events working to hunt and find bugs, while some bugs we just encounter when doing regular tasks. What do we do when we find one of those bugs? Do we just ignore and think, «it’s just an error, nothing more», and we continue work? Do we search on the internet whether others encountered similar errors and if there is a fix? Few people ever consider filing a bug report through the right channel, unless it’s just a «button» away like some applications (e.g web browsers) offer.

Bug reporting most of the time require some information gathering from the system; that is where I took the presentation. Before diving further into the system though, I opened a few bug reports from openSUSE Bugzilla to show as example. I also gave a quick overview of the openSUSE Build Service and openSUSE Connect. That helped show the audience how to find package maintainers and get information about official and non-official packages.

I did not have slides; but I rather fired-up an openSUSE Vagrant box inside which I had setup an environment for demos. The rest of the «talking» happened within the Vagrant box. We looked at how to obtain system information using command-line utilities and from the /proc fs. Next we looked at digging for application error info in log files. We played with systemctl and journalctl which gave us clear and concise information about application states. We then queried using rpm and its various options to get as much information about packages that we can use when filing the bug report. At that time an openSUSE user from the audience said we can also use zypper to search for installed packages on the system. Yes, indeed, but rpm -qa | grep php shows no clutter compared to zypper se php. I however grabbed the opportunity to tell the audience that folks having a «debian lifestyle» can still type aptitude equivalents to search and install packages from the command-line; thanks to the «zypper-aptitude» compatibility scripts written by Bernhard M. Wiedemann.

All while we continued digging for application errors and how to search and sort things from the logs; I did a quick demo using Nginx and PHP-FPM.


We talked about the need of default configuration files after installing PHP 7 and that such changes need to be addressed with the «openSUSE factory» guys.

It was near 10h30 and Jeshan signaled me that the next speaker had already come. I asked for a last 5 mins to show something quick using the «strace» tool. Actually a university student asked me a question before the event and I invited him to come to the prez and ask the question again so we could altogether see how tracing tools can help us find useful information for bug reports. That part of the prez might be good for a separate blog post. I sincerely have to apologize to the next speaker if he is reading this post; we started 15 mins late and that surely must have impacted other presentations.

Eddy and I talked about work stuffs after the presentation. Then some of us went to Bagatelle food-court for a mini-break. When we came back Sun was preparing his gear for the next presentation. He talked about grid systems, explained what are decks & cards and how it’s used on lexpress.mu. He showed some hidden features of lexpress.mu, like what happens when you type «heart» or «superlsl» while you’re on the homepage and how the text is read if you type «kozer» while you’re on an article page.


Sun demoed the «live article» feature of lexpress.mu and the work needed behind to keep it light, simple and fast. He talked about «facebook instant articles» and definitely we’re proud to be the first media group, not just in Mauritius, but in the African continent to deploy the same.


After Sun’s presentation I met my ex-colleagues and we went for a pizza & beer lunch at Flying Dodo.


The pizza being late and as the Developers Conference closing ceremony had started Shelly, Ubeid and I rushed back.

JoKi’s wife, Mary Jane, Vincent, Louis, Arnaud and a few others, we had figured how to hijack JoKi’s speech and bring on some more party time to celebrate JoKi’s birthday. Yeah, he’s getting old, now it’s confirmed as he turns 40. Ubeid quickly edited some slides and we told JoKi that as he finished his speech thanking everyone, we had a quick stuff to show; some sort of observation we’ve made. Ahaan! That’s when Arnaud, helped by Mary Jane’s cousin, they brought that big cake along with its table.

Everybody cheered! Everybody laughed. We all had fun, we had cake, we took crazy photos and celebrated the end of Developers Conference 2016.

Developers Conference 2016

Developers Conference 2016

Developers Conference 2016

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21May/160

DevConMru 2016, day 2 – Linux Installfest

Posted by Ish

It was Saturday morning and I found myself rushing to be at Flying Dodo just in time. Oh, to be precise «not in time» but like 15 mins later than I expected to be, that 09h45. The night before I got busy preparing the box of openSUSE goodies, sorted the stickers, pamphlets, DVDs and cheat sheets. Little I knew that folks would like those so much. I would tweet as I got the pack ready.





Shelly and I were the first geeks to reach Flying Dodo. While I would setup my laptop with the projector, she prepared the tables with the stickers and cheat sheets.

Developers Conference, Linux Installfest

The first few geeks came shortly afterwards. Ronny and Ajay from the Linux User Group of Mauritius came along with their gear. Oh, this little gang from the University of Mauritius hopped in and yes we were under attack. We also received the visit of folks from the PHP Mauritius User Group.



The morning session was great. Ajay, Pritvi, Ronny and Avish helped people getting their laptop Tux’ed either with Ubuntu or with openSUSE. Meanwhile I got to run an interactive session with the university folks with a command-line walk-through.


There was a question about email headers. I showed email headers from my Gmail account and also from Thunderbird. We talked a little bit about IETF RFC 2822 and together we looked at some of those colon-separated field values. Ajay gave us a simple yet clear explanation on SPF and DKIM. We did a ‘dig’ on a couple few domains to read the TXT records. Ajay explained about hard-fail and soft-fail in the SPF records and how they affect delivery of email.


I tried answering other questions that popped up; covering various topics like SSH, file permissions, etc, and we had real fun during that interactive session.


Jeshan joined us later after his AWS Lambda presentation at Voilà Hotel and offered a little support to Ashmita who tried installing openSUSE (dual boot) on her laptop. Mission was successful! It was great to meet Bernard who got an Ubuntu dual-boot on his laptop and Nirvan Mahadooa who wanted to meet the Linux geeks. I really hope we can continue the geek chat at a later time folks.


Some of us stayed till dinner-time at Flying Dodo sharing «samousa», pizza and beer. Oh, Shelly and I had non-alcoholic drinks. :D

Developers Conference day 2

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20May/160

Developers Conference 2016 – Day 1

Posted by Ish

The Developers Conference 2016 kicked off today with a keynote address by Jochen Kirstätter. I reached Voilà Hotel just a few minutes late, didn’t miss much of the opening ceremony. Jochen was still talking about the Mauritius Software Craftsmanship Community. He made the usual distinction of why «software craftsman» as he went on explaining that one needs to keep on practicing one’s skills, refining them just as a carpenter would do with woodwork.


Jochen spoke about celebrating three years of the MSCC and the two hundred meetups organized; mainly Code & Coffee sessions. He then mentioned the creation of Agile Media Ltd, a private company to give a «legal form» to MSCC. I’m sure more would be popping up in the coming meetups. Aww! There was also mention of a .mu domain for MSCC that could be happening soon. No ETA announced though.

There was a networking break and we were back for a session on «user groups in Mauritius».

Folks from the PHP Mauritius User Group talked about their passion. Wasseem and Nadheer related their experience/adventure on how they met the «don» of the PHP world.



Logan and Selven from hackers.mu talked about their passion for hacking. Selven, co-founder of the group, gave an introduction and highlighted aims of the group; which is to provide code/patches upstream in Open Source projects and make Mauritius known in the FOSS world.

The hackers.mu team at the Developers Conference 2016

The hackers.mu team at the Developers Conference 2016

I was next to speak about the Linux User Group of Mauritius, the community and why be there. I had no slides but just a quick story to relate why I am in the group and if that could motivate someone to join the group and spread «Linux love» then I’ll assume «mission accomplished».


Ajmal Dookhan, a passionate fellow, whom I also met during the WTISD 2016, recorded a few seconds from my LUGM experience. Thanks buddy. :D

The lunch time is another moment for networking. Ajmal, Pritvi, Akasha, Yash and I headed to Panarottis. The geek chat continued there for like an hour and we rushed back to attend other presentations. I met the LSL Digital team who just had a pizza lunch too.


I attended a «jumpstart session on PHP» presented by Pierre-Alexandre.


Pierre-Alexandre went through the thinking process & planning of a simple personal blog written in PHP. In his next two sessions on Saturday and Sunday, he surely will dive deeper in the code.

Developers Conference is also time to meet up old friends. Shared some more geek time with my ex-colleagues and distributed some openSUSE stickers.



I went to Bagatelle Mall, grabbed a coffee from Vida-e-Cafe, while talking to friends and we came back for the last presentation of the day; which was on AngularJS 2, presented by Yashin.

I reached home at 18h45, exhausted but happy after a wonderful day.

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20May/160

Developers Conference 2016 – Day 1

Posted by Ish

The Developers Conference 2016 kicked off today with a keynote address by Jochen Kirstätter. I reached Voilà Hotel just a few minutes late, didn’t miss much of the opening ceremony. Jochen was still talking about the Mauritius Software Craftsmanship Community. He made the usual distinction of why «software craftsman» as he went on explaining that one needs to keep on practicing one’s skills, refining them just as a carpenter would do with woodwork.


Jochen spoke about celebrating three years of the MSCC and the two hundred meetups organized; mainly Code & Coffee sessions. He then mentioned the creation of Agile Media Ltd, a private company to give a «legal form» to MSCC. I’m sure more would be popping up in the coming meetups. Aww! There was also mention of a .mu domain for MSCC that could be happening soon. No ETA announced though.

There was a networking break and we were back for a session on «user groups in Mauritius».

Folks from the PHP Mauritius User Group talked about their passion. Wasseem and Nadheer related their experience/adventure on how they met the «don» of the PHP world.



Logan and Selven from hackers.mu talked about their passion for hacking. Selven, co-founder of the group, gave an introduction and highlighted aims of the group; which is to provide code/patches upstream in Open Source projects and make Mauritius known in the FOSS world.

The hackers.mu team at the Developers Conference 2016

The hackers.mu team at the Developers Conference 2016

I was next to speak about the Linux User Group of Mauritius, the community and why be there. I had no slides but just a quick story to relate why I am in the group and if that could motivate someone to join the group and spread «Linux love» then I’ll assume «mission accomplished».


Ajmal Dookhan, a passionate fellow, whom I also met during the WTISD 2016, recorded a few seconds from my LUGM experience. Thanks buddy. :D

The lunch time is another moment for networking. Ajmal, Pritvi, Akasha, Yash and I headed to Panarottis. The geek chat continued there for like an hour and we rushed back to attend other presentations. I met the LSL Digital team who just had a pizza lunch too.


I attended a «jumpstart session on PHP» presented by Pierre-Alexandre.


Pierre-Alexandre went through the thinking process & planning of a simple personal blog written in PHP. In his next two sessions on Saturday and Sunday, he surely will dive deeper in the code.

Developers Conference is also time to meet up old friends. Shared some more geek time with my ex-colleagues and distributed some openSUSE stickers.



I went to Bagatelle Mall, grabbed a coffee from Vida-e-Cafe, while talking to friends and we came back for the last presentation of the day; which was on AngularJS 2, presented by Yashin.

I reached home at 18h45, exhausted but happy after a wonderful day.

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19Mar/150

Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet Release Party #DevConMru

Posted by Ish

The release of Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet is coinciding with Developers Conference 2015. We’re thus proudly having our release party during the event. Typically, all geek stuffs, that is hackathons, demos, installfests will run Flying Dodo, Bagatelle. Ubuntu release party is scheduled for Thursday 23rd April and I shall be there a whole, hopefully. So… Bring it ON and let’s have some Ubuntu fun.

Ubuntu Mauritius

ubuntu-mauritius-220Ubuntu Mauritius is a group comprising of Ubuntu enthusiasts who seek to promote the use of Ubuntu and free open source software. The group comprises of professionals as well as college & university students, who dedicate their time to plan and organize events around the island.

Should you wish to join the league, catch us on Launchpad. We’re reachable via our mailing published on our Launchpad page. We also have an event page on the Ubuntu LoCo Team Portal.

Meanwhile let’s just spread some Linux Love through #Ubuntu #Mauritius #DevConMru hashtags on social networks. Those who are on Facebook, feel free to use the following as FB Cover.

ubuntu-cover

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1Jun/140

A growing FOSS community in Mauritius

Posted by Ish

As shot on facebook during the week, a bunch of geeks met yesterday for a random meetup. Aww! Not so random as I proposed to discuss Bug Reporting. Let’s see how the day unfolded.

It’s Saturday, as usual I would wake up late.… Read more ➡

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3May/140

MSCC – Let’s talk about Scripting

Posted by Ish

It was initially scheduled for last Saturday but upon request MSCC monthly meetup was re-scheduled for today. I thought that would give me sufficient time to craft some cool scripts that I could showcase during my presentation on Bash Scripting. Oh! I was wrong. I either didn’t get enough inspiration or simply I was lazy to write stuffs. Wait! How could I be lazy since I did get time to make some colorful slides. Ahaan … Inspiration then?

Back to topic, this morning Rajnee (a new LUGM recruit) texted & told me she could pick me up before going to the meetup. This was the first time she’d be attending an MSCC meetup. That was too cool, she picked me up around 10h00 & we arrived at the University of Mauritius a little before 10h30. On the way I called Ronny, he had some other priorities and might not show up. We initially planned to spare 15 minutes today & approve the new recruits of LUGM.

At UoM, I called up Yunus to find my way to Phase II, room 2.9. It wasn’t a tough task. I do know a little bit about UoM building layouts. Right infront of room 2.9, I saw Nayar and Aslam waiting. They reached earlier and inquired about the class. Seemed like it was occupied and it would be free as from 10h30. Fair enough for us. A short while later Daniel showed up followed by others.

Others? Who else?

Those who made it today:
Daniel, Nayar, Aslam, Rajnee, Ashmita, Yunus, Jagveer, Adarsh, Nadim, Pritvi, Saif, Jochen and his kids… oh, and me of course.

Ironically, the projector in room 2.9 was black & white. I was like whaaaat? No way. I spent time to make colorful slides, I can’t show those in B&W. We then moved to room 2.10 and 2.11. Same issue. Hopefully, Jochen brought his projector. So, we returned to room 2.9 and used his projector.

I presented my love for Bash first. As I mentioned earlier, due to lack of inspiration, I could not dedicate more time to script examples but I assured the presentation would be beneficial to new folks in Linux, giving them an insight about command-line. I talked about pipes, redirects, standard streams and how these can be coupled with Bash scripting.

My presentation (^^,)

Daniel brought a programmer’s approach and described the limits of scripting, as when should one shift to program something rather than scripting. He also showed us some syntax loopholes in Bash that could leave someone with bad code.

Daniel's slides

In the end, Jochen brought us PowerShell. We went back in history, discussed MS-DOS and Microsoft’s evolution to PowerShell. Yes, Microsoft has been slow on this decision. Questions sprouted along the way as Jochen proceeded with PowerShell talks. I shot about a server having just PowerShell, like no GUI, and yes that’s available with Microsoft Server Core. Pritvi shot about connecting to a headless server using PowerShell. Yes, indeed that’s possible too but it’s not as in SSH (if you might be thinking that way). Jochen also highlighted the similarities with Bash, like having cmdlets (a PowerShell feature) aliased to popular Bash commands like, ls, mv, rmdir, mkdir etc.

After the presentations some of us moved to Bagatelle to have lunch. Meetup thus ended on a happy note over tea, panini, pita bread, sandwiches and pasta.

MSCC Meetup - Presentation on Shell Scripting mscc-scripting-daniel mscc-scripting-jochen mscc-scripting-bagatelle-1 mscc-scripting-bagatelle-2 mscc-scripting-bagatelle-3

Photos taken on mobile by Nadim. Indoor ones came bad due to lighting.

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22Feb/140

geeks@mscc:~$ Hello, WordPress

Posted by Ish

Weeks ago it was announced as the next hot topic for MSCC Saturday meetup : WordPress. Rikesh volunteered for a technical presentation. Last time, after Sun & Moz presented web stuffs, I started getting hands dirty with some Responsive Web Design. I initially didn’t like the concept as I always thought it wastes white space. However the presentations inspired me to try, which I don’t regret.


Let’s see who made it today

Pritvi Jheengut, Nayar Joolfoo, Humeira Diljore, Collin Lo, Pascal, Mozammil Khodabachas, Darvin Moctaram, Rikesh Ramlochund, Sarju Dooly, Kishan Bhugul, Ratna Chikhuri, Heidi Pomanah, Yunus Aumeeruddy, Jochen Kirstätter, Pawan Babooram, Louis Oberlé, Vincent Pollet, Paul Schwarz, Johann Jenson, Sebastian Kippe, Caroline Chung, Sun RS, Sruti Jughdharree, Nadim Attari, Nitin Mutkawoa, Samiyah Peerun, Shamsher Khudurrun, Yannick Labonne and Ish Sookun.


13h30, the conference room was full. Jochen prompted for a quick intro of newcomers and then Rikesh started the presentation. He briefly described the project, its uses (not just as blog), cited W3Techs stats, and referred about the WordPress (Codex) official documentation. I had a look at the WordPress Codex a few days ago when trying to pamper myself with a responsive template. I initially got an HTML template from Zurb and followed instructions from the WordPress Codex to work it out.

The part when Rikesh explained about Hooks, namely filter and action caught my attention. WordPress Codex is a great resource but might appear bulky to a non-developer who only is looking for a couple of tweaks. So, this explanation comes handy next time I’m on a WordPress hack.

Oh! One more trick that grasped attention was the query parameter : ?s=keyword. Should be useful when making a custom search box.

The overall presentation was knowledge enriching. We should indeed congratulate Rikesh on the good work : ) I personally liked the demos & code snippets. Ahaan …Cherry on the cake, the codes are available on GitHub.

mscc-meetup-5apps.comShortly before 16h00 the presentation was over and we had a Q & A session. Jochen then cited upcoming events and presentations. We spent some time exchanging words. Pritvi and I, we tweaked Kishan’s Android Studio installation on his netbook. I disabled Nitin’s firewall and enabled his public interface on darkxploit.us, which was down for a while. I’m sure Nitin will blog more about this experience and securing web servers. He’s been doing some intensive search about firewalls and all. All the best buddy & hope to see your blog post soon.

In the end, something to pamper us : stickers. Yup! One good fellow from 5apps.com, Sebastian Kippe, brought us the goodies. I checked 5apps.com a few days ago in a jiffy. Now, the sticker puts me under the moral obligation to build something on 5apps.com : ) Hmm, some caffeine and job should be done!

mscc-wordpress-1

mscc-wordpress-2

mscc-wordpress-3

Photos, courtesy of Pawan Babooram

25Aug/130

LUGM | mini-meetup 24.08.13 as it happened

Posted by Ish

It’s been one rainy Saturday morning and while rushing to the bus-stop without an umbrella I missed the Port-Louis bus. Pfff! The next one should come in/around 30 mins. I was left with only one option, take Rose-Hill bus, stop at Réduit then go to Bagatelle. Then I thought Avinash & Natasha would be going to print copies of the LUGM membership form at Réduit. So, I called & ask them to wait for me.

Hehe! One funny thing happened at that printing facility at Réduit. The staff argued with us that their PC is infected and it could delete stuffs on my pendrive and a lot of such blah-blah. I argued back, to hell with my data, just print the file. Then another guy came, maybe he’s the owner and he was like explaining that we are not realizing the severity of a virus and again some blah-blah. It seemed like he would have made us sign a disclaimer before printing the file. Oh! come on … which era was that? Was I teleported to another dimension/time/space where computer viruses had eaten up people’s thinking capacity. Avinash tried calming my words and said let’s just print & get going … and that’s what we did.

We reached Mugg & Bean around 13h50. Selven & Jochen were outside. Yup! I was late. Anousha had come a while earlier but since she did not recognize others she waited inside. Mugg & Bean was almost full at that moment. Jochen and her little daughter went to have some fun time around the Mall. The rest of us went inside and arranged for two tables. Cool! We got them. After some time Yuram & Nitin Mutkawoa came. We were a little hungry so we started with something to eat first (: I ordered a toasted sandwich, Selven took a Blueberry muffin & others … well I didn’t look in their plates.

toasted-sandwich

My toasted sandwich, not bad

We had some general Linux chat while eating & having coffee. Anousha was new, so Selven and I explained her a little bit about LUGM and what we’re trying to do with mini-meetups. We also talked about MSCC. Everybody participated in a chat regarding confidence when attending job interviews, especially when technical questions are thrown at you. Also, how you confront your weaknesses when the interviewer pulls you there. This was some fun topic & Selven added more flavor with his examples.

mini-meetup-240813-1

Yup, I'm missing in this one & Nitin Mutkawoa is hiding behind the girls

After the mini-lunch I changed seat and went to explain Yuram & Anousha about the topics I published earlier on facebook :

  • runlevels / init / telinit
  • pipe, redirect & standard streams
  • various handy shell commands

mini-meetup-240813-2

As usual I'm in some funny position for no reason

Oh! Yup … Selven offered Avinash, Yuram & me, a round of beer. Before we could continue with another one some had to go and the rest of us decided to go watch Wolverine.

Meetup ended & everyone was happy!

Anousha has summarized some commands & other stuffs as we discussed – Download

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