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Does Debian need the local host name in /etc/hosts for IPv6?

This article was updated, and the issue seems solved. Please look at the last paragraph before adding comments.

Exim has the habit of trying to find out about its host names and IP addresses when it starts up. This has, in the past, been an issue for the Debian packages, since a Debian system might be on a dial-on-demand modem line with expensive costs and thus should not do unnecessary DNS lookup when the MTA is started.

This article tries to describe the issue and which countermeasures debian took, and asks for tips how to solve this in the case of IPv6, where our past measures unfortunately do not directly apply.

I'd like to solicit opinions from people who are more experienced than me with Unix, the local resolver library including /etc/hosts and /etc/nsswitch.conf, DNS, and - especially - the customs that apply on a system running IPv6.

Continue reading "Does Debian need the local host name in /etc/hosts for IPv6?"

Universal boot stick for Debian, grml and the Debian installer

For various reasons, I have the kernel and the initrd that my notebook needs to boot Linux on an USB stick. I recently added the Debian Installer and grml to the stick to allow additional uses of the stick.

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Bounce from BTS to BTS

Sometimes a bug report is a labyrinth. #348046 is an example of this. It is a horrible mess of at least three different issues with half of the original participants having become unresponsive. I would like to pull the issues apart into different bug reports to be able to deal with them (and their probably unresponsive submitters) individually.

Obviously, cloning and renaming is not an option since this copies the mess.

So, it would probably be desireable to download the bug mbox and to bounce individual messages to new bugs (that have been created before), but the BTS recognizes the dupes and bins them. Blars has helped me by looking at BTS mail log, so it was clear that removing the X-Loop, X-Debian-PR, X-Spam, Resent- and Received headers from the mbox before loading it into mutt to do the actual bouncing works fine.

A command line to do this:

rm -f mboxout; < mboxbug formail -d -I Received -I X-Debian-PR -I X-Loop -I X-Spam -I Resent -s >> mboxout

After trying this in "production", one needs to send one message per BTS pulse, or one will totally mess up the order of the messages. That's a real pity and an annoyance.

Debian Installer from an USB stick

For various reasons, I usually carry an USB stick with me that holds a single ext2fs and has grub installed. This blog entry quickly documents how to copy a Debian-Installer to it to be able to quickly install Debian without the need to burn a CD.

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Late Happy Birthday, #405040

Sometimes, it is nearly as frustrating to use Debian than it is to use commercial software. For example, when one sees a simple bug completely unreacted on for more than one year. #405040 has passed its first anniversary since it was reported and touched for the last time. Visible reaction of the package maintainer: Nil.

It's a small thing, but an annoying one. And I still consider it unacceptable to let bugs rot for a year without the slightest trace of action.