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Happy Valentine's Day


February 14 2012

Happy Valentine's day everyone. For people happily in relationships, today is a very good day to remember how special your loved one is. For people who are single, today is a great day to get yourself a date and get someone in your life--I once had a roommate who started dating this girl on Valentine's day.

For you single nerds out there, today is a good day to stop spending so much time on Slashdot and editing the Wikipedia, and spending more time flirting with and meeting girls, even if you're meeting them online--I met my wife online, so Internet dating does work.

On the Debian OpenSSL RNG bug

I have been reading up on the Debian OpenSSL RNG bug. I personally am no fan of the Debian bureaucracy and deeply thank Nicholas Bamber for dealing with it to keep MaraDNS (mostly) up-to-date in Debian.

However, I think the real reason this happened is the very nature of open-source. Ben Laurie summarized it well:

Despite the widespread use of OpenSSL, almost no-one funds development on it.
Ubuntu rant

Right now, I am creating eight Ubuntu virtual containers so that I can test a deployment script I am writing for my day job. My script to create the containers calls apt-get -y dist-upgrade which is supposed to patch any known security problems in the containers unattended.

Unfortunately, apt-get, even though it is called with -y, stops the automated security patching with this rather obnoxious prompt:

Configuration file `/etc/init/portmap.conf'
 ==> Deleted (by you or by a script) since installation.
 ==> Package distributor has shipped an updated version.
   What would you like to do about it ? Your options are:
    Y or I : install the package maintainer's version
    N or O : keep your currently-installed version
      D : show the differences between the versions
      Z : background this process to examine the situation
 The default action is to keep your current version.
*** portmap.conf (Y/I/N/O/D/Z) [default=N] ?

Note to Ubuntu maintainers: We don't care. A fresh system calling apt-get -y dist-upgrade should never prompt the user for anything--that's why apt-get was called with the -y flag. From the apt-get man page:

-y, --yes, --assume-yes

Automatic yes to prompts; assume "yes" as answer to all prompts and run non-interactively. If an undesirable situation, such as changing a held package, trying to install a unauthenticated package or removing an essential package occurs then apt-get will abort.

My work-around:

vzctl exec $NUM 'yes Y | apt-get -y dist-upgrade'

See also: Linux is only for bachelors, I made LXer, and Linux: Desktop fail.

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