I will stay with VirtualBox for a bit longer

VMWare, VirtualBox, Xen, KVM, LXC and there are probably several other ways to run virtual machine under Linux.

Years ago I used first one. Then moved to VirtualBox and still use it. But when it comes to rest of list I do not have too much experience. Xen? One of my servers in past was Xen instance. KVM? Maybe used few times to quick boot some ISO image. LXC? never played with.

From time to time I look at tools I use and check for better replacements. When moved to Fedora I decided to try “virt-manager” to move from VirtualBox to QEMU/KVM. Failed. Tried again…

Today, after “playing” with virt-manager in Fedora/rawhide I decided to stay with VirtualBox for longer. It may have some issues but runs my WinXP and Linux instances without any extra problems.

Sorry to say but Virt-manager feels like a tool for its creators only. Error messages which could be in any random language, insisting on using /var/lib/libvirt/images/ for disk images (or do lot of clicks instead) and depending on so many software packages that it will probably take months before someone will finally fix it in rawhide.

And no, I do not want to go to running QEMU/KVM by hand. It is good for booting image to play with. But I need a way to add/remove USB devices in running system. In an easy way.

And yes, I know “report all bugs” mantra…

Boże Narodzenia a książki dla dzieci / Christmas and children books

English version below

Idą święta. W sobotę Mira poprosiła bym przeczytał jej książkę o Bożym Narodzeniu.

Książka była tłumaczona z innego języka. Innej kultury.

Nie żebym miał coś przeciwko indykowi na Wigilię, kalendarzom adwentowym czy świętemu Mikołajowi zostawiającemu prezenty w nocy. Ale wolałbym przeczytać coś bardziej osadzonego w naszych realiach.

Zarówno u mnie jak i u Ani w rodzinie św. Mikołaj przychodzi w okolicach “pierwszej gwiazdki”, zadaje pytania młodszym i starszym. To jest część świąt, której brak byłby odczuwalny.

Nie potrzebuję rozrywać “Christmas Crackers” z drugą osobą, zamiast indyka wolę w ten dzień rybkę.

Mirze różnicę w porze prezentów wyjaśniliśmy w prosty sposób: św. Mikołaj nie ma czasu by odwiedzić wszystkich wieczorem więc niektóre dzieci dostają prezenty w nocy.

English version

Christmas is comming. On Saturday my daughter Mira asked me to read her book about it.

Book was translated from other language. Other culture.

I do not have anything against turkey on Christmas Eve, advent calendars or Santa leaving presents during night. But I would prefer to read book more related to our way of handling Xmas.

But both in my and Ania’s families Santa arrives around “a first star”, asks some questions, requests songs etc.

I do not need to pull Christmas Crackers with other person (did it once) and prefer fish rather than turkey on Christmas’ Eve dinner.

Our explanation on different timing of leaving presents was quite easy: Santa does not have enough time to visit everyone during evening so children in other countries get their presents during night.

Chrismas Eve in Poland in wikipedia

From a diary of AArch porter – part II

In previous part I wrote about code managing issues. Today I want to write more about packaging and other ugly things.

Each time I see block with check for 32/64 architecture I want to scream. Funny part is in RPM packaging. For example:

%ifarch x86_64 ppc64 s390x sparc64
%define bitsize 64
%define bitsize 32

Can be replaced with simple “%define bitsize %__isa_bits” so we would not have to patch yet another spec file.

But developers are smart — always can create some nice way of fsck such thing up…

if test $ax_arch = x86_64 -o $ax_arch = ppc64 -o $ax_arch = s390x -o $ax_arch = sparc64; then
    libsubdirs="lib64 lib lib64"

This is from configure of one of libraries which failed to find boost version (as it did it by scanning library paths).

Such issues are fun. Especially when component builds fine with wrong value and then all packages which depend on it fail in some weird way.

But sometimes they fail in a way that it is cleanly visible what was wrong. ORBit2 is good example:

DEBUG: /usr/include/orbit-2.0/orbit/orbit-config.h:9:30: fatal error:
orbit-config-64.h: No such file or directory

Everyone see that something is fishy with ORBit2 here. One small patch (similar to %ifarch example) and then all it’s dependencies build just fine.

So if you are software developer and have such 32/64 checks in your software please consider doing it in a way that another 64bit architecture will not have to patch your code again.