Saturday, August 8, 2009

KCA 2009

A little late, I know but a couple weeks ago I got back from Kernel Conf Australia in lovely Brisbane, Australia at the Queensland Brain Institute. Talks were great and ranged from the userland to the deep kernel, from introductions to hard technical details.

The thing that stood out the most to me was the collaboration between the communities. I was pleased to see OpenBSD, FreeBSD, (Open)Solaris and Linux people mingling and talking about the relative solutions to various problems without turning in to the one-upmanship often seen in online debates on the subject.

It was also a much smaller conference from what I've attended before and that's a good thing, the attendees got a chance to meet and interact with each other much more than at for example CommunityONE.

One of my favourite talks was Pawel's talk on GEOM, largely because I didn't know it exists and the talk was on how it works. Also David Gwynn's slides, for the sole reason of using Lego to represent data structures. They were good talks anyways, but the Lego pushed it over the top.

I did a talk on the basics of writing drivers in (Open)Solaris which I thought was well received. I got several questions afterwards asking for suggestions on unsupported hardware to give a start.

Obligatory pictures:

Local fauna

Local Flora:

Town square:

Pancake Church (serves liquor until midnight):


Brendan Gregg, Garrett D'Amore & Alan Hargreaves debating something:

Monday, January 12, 2009

Submitting packages to pending/

The OpenSolaris pending/ and contrib/ repos are open.

As a result, I was asked to document the procedure for turning a bunch of useless source in to a useful package. After wading through a bunch of occasionally outdated information, here's what I came up with.

Step 1:
Install the JDS cbe from
update: and run cbe-install ( thanks Luca )

$ cd /opt
$ wget -O /tmp/jdscbe.tar.bz2
$ bzcat /tmp/jdscbe.tar.bz2 | tar -xf -
$ cd jdscbe-1.6.2; ./cbe-install
Step 2:
Make your spec file.

The Fedora project publishes a collection of them, props to them for that. I didn't find much utility in them simply because OpenSolaris and Fedora are quite different, but I'd just as soon chalk that up to a personal failing. I found the spec-files-extra repository to be a much more useful resource for templates.

You will need to strip out plenty of %include directives, since they're not really relevant to not-sfe files. The sections should be pretty self-explanatory, and the people on the mailing lists and irc channels are helpful if you don't understand something.

Just for posterity, the spec file I submitted is here. It just copies some files in to apache's wwwroot.

Step 3:
Set up your environment, and build with pkgtool ( Let's use Drupal as an example)

$ . /opt/jdsbld/bin/
$ pkgtool build --download drupal.spec


then uninstall the SysVR4 package

$ pfexec pkgrm drupal

Step 4:

make a local package repo:

$ pfexec svccfg -s pkg/server "setprop pkg/port=10000"
$ pfexec svcadm refresh pkg/server
$ pfexec svcadm enable pkg/server
$ pfexec svcadm restart pkg/server

and add your local repo as a pkg(5) authority

$ pfexec pkg set-authority -O http://localhost:10000 localhost

Step 5:

add your package to your local repo.

$ eval `pkgsend open drupal@6.8`
$ pkgsend import /export/home/johns/packages/PKGS/drupal/
$ pkgsend close

and install your package with pkg(1) and test again.

$ pfexec pkg install drupal

Step 6:

Everything work? License in the .spec file is kosher? Excellent.

You're ready to submit your .spec file to (you'll need to subscribe first as it is set to auto-reject nonsubscribers). Send a friendly email including your .spec file and they'll take it from there.