amits is currently certified at Journeyer level.

Name: Amit Shah
Member since: 2003-01-31 07:23:08
Last Login: 2010-02-22 09:45:10

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* Virtualization (KVM , QEMU)
* Linux
* Free Software
* Debian
* Fedora

* AudioLink project, which makes managing and searching music on local storage a breeze. It's basically a music cataloger / categorizer and a playlist generator.


Recent blog entries by amits

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KVM Forum 2014

The KVM Forums are a great way to learn and talk about the future of KVM virtualization. The KVM Forum has been co-located with the Linux Foundation’s LinuxCon events for the past several years, and this year too will be held along with LinuxCon EU in Dusseldorf, Germany.

The KVM Forums also are a great documentation resource on several features, and the slides and videos from the past KVM Forums are freely available online. This year’s Forum will be no different, and we’ll have all the material on the KVM wiki.

Syndicated 2014-09-29 07:39:55 from Think. Debate. Innovate.

Planet Virt

For a long time various people have been telling me there’s not much information on the low-level / plumbing details of the virt stack on Linux. Especially information related to qemu and its various settings, devices, and so on.

Documentation surely is difficult to come by, but a quick and straightforward solution is to syndicate all of the blog posts that people doing virt development write into a common stream: a planet virt. I started hosting and testing such an instance on openshift, but was quickly pointed to the existing Virt Tools Planet by Rich Jones and Dan Berrange. Dan added the list of people whose blogs I followed for virt development to that instance.

I updated the KVM and QEMU wikis to ensure the Planet gets more visibility, and hope this goes a small way to quell the complaints of not enough available information.

Syndicated 2014-09-29 07:34:10 (Updated 2014-09-29 08:09:54) from Think. Debate. Innovate.

24 Aug 2014 (updated 29 Sep 2014 at 08:13 UTC) »

Fedora Activity Day Pune Report

I participated in the Fedora Activity Day at the RH office in Pune yesterday. There was a decent turnout, 20+ people, and it was fun to test the in-progress version of the upcoming F21 release along with other folks.

Siddhesh came up with the idea of rebooting Fedora-related activities in Pune, and a few of us showed interest in such an activity. We quickly agreed on what to focus on for the first such activity: test the upcoming release. This would give us an opportunity to improve the experience with F21, and also be a low-barrier-to-entry activity for first-time contributors: we have had some FADs in the past, but the people who turn up tend to be usually familiar with Fedora or particular aspects of the OS; so focussing on using the OS, and filing bugs along the way, was thought to be a great way to initiate newcomers without necessarily diving deep into technical details.

FAD Photo 3
FAD Photo 3

In that respect, I’d like to think the FAD was a success. We had people testing the installer, the GNOME and KDE desktops within VMs and via live images on laptops, and also a few specific items like VM snapshots and DNSSEC.

Before the FAD, I downloaded and tested in a VM two nightly images – the default workstation image with the GNOME desktop, and the KDE spin. The Aug 20 nightly for both the images worked fine, so we declared them as gold images for the FAD. Most people already had downloaded them before they came for the FAD, and this helped us start with the FAD as soon as our laptops were booted.

We started off at about 9 AM, and I was around till a bit after 4 PM. I tested the default GNOME live image on an X200 laptop, and also inside a VM. I found a couple of suspend-to-ram related issues in GNOME and in the kernel. Quite a few people tested the installer, and I liked how we kept conversing about the issues people were seeing, others attempting to replicate the issues, and once there were 2 or 3 +1s for a particular kind of an issue, we knew it was a fairly reproducible bug.

FAD Photo
FAD Photo 2

Some people ran through some Fedora Test Day test cases, some went through ON_QA bugs to provide karma on bodhi.

PJP took the lead on educating us on DNSSEC and walking us through setting it up as well as testing whether everything works fine.

Kashyap then spoke a bit about how VM snapshots are a great tool for testing destructive things, and showed the couple of different snapshot techniques, and how to set them up and use them using libvirt. Quite a few people agreed this was really cool, and I expect them to start using snapshots in their regular $DAYJOB activities.

We kept recording our progress, bugs found, etc., on an etherpad. The #fedora-india channel helped us exchange links and was helpful for general chit-chat. (Edit: The contents of the etherpad as on the day of the FAD are archived here)

Through the day, quite a few categories and components were tested, as noted in the etherpad.

The FAD wiki page‘s status area is still being populated, but the etherpad has links to bugs found and filed.

The initial mails about hosting a FAD to the fedora-india list showed there was interest in a lot of topics to cover for FADs, so I’m sure we’ll have more such FADs organized with more topics in the future.

Since this was mostly a volunteer-driven event, everything was quite informal. Red Hat sponsored the venue and snacks, and everything else was handled by us on the fly, like lunch being ordered when people started feeling hungry — according to preferences by show-of-hands. Since this FAD was cobbled together in very quick time, we didn’t have enough time to engage with the Fedora contacts for budget for swag or food; hopefully we will be able to get that sorted out soon — especially since we have interest in the FADs and also topics lined up to work on.

Syndicated 2014-08-24 08:50:40 (Updated 2014-09-29 07:42:12) from Think. Debate. Innovate.

31 Jan 2014 (updated 31 Jan 2014 at 10:13 UTC) »

Use of Piwik Analytics

I run Piwik on OpenShift to collect stats on visits to this blog.  I’m not really interested in knowing who visits my site.  I’m only interested in knowing what people are visiting for, and how: which pages are more viewed? where are people landing to my site from?  how long after publishing some post do people still visit it?  And so on.

One of the ways this is also helpful is to track 404 (page not found) errors that pop up for visitors.  After migrating my previous posts from blogger, I kept monitoring for any posts that may have been missed by the automatic migration process, and manually moved them.

These days, the 404 tracking turns up interesting data, though.  Someone recently tried to access such a page on this blog which resulted in a 404 error:

/​oxmax/​admin/​includes/​javascript/​ckeditor/​filemanager/​swfupload/​upload.​php/​From =

A quick search on the net revealed it’s a relatively recent vulnerability discovered in some php-based e-commerce suite, which gives root access to the server hosting the software.  Thankfully, I don’t run any e-commerce software, and I also run on OpenShift, which gives the servers quite a bit of protection.  In the worst case, some wordpress vulnerability might affect my blog, but the other software hosted on the same server as this blog will be protected (even in the case of a root expoit).

Syndicated 2014-01-31 08:12:09 (Updated 2014-01-31 09:41:28) from Think. Debate. Innovate.

Backing Up Data on Android Phones

Experimenting with the new cyanogenmod builds for Android 4.3 (cm-10.2) resulted in a disaster: my phone was setup for encryption, and the updater messed up the usb storage such that the phone wouldn’t recognise the in-built sdcard on the Nexus S anymore.  I tried several things: factory reset, formatting via the clockworkmod recovery, etc., to no avail.  The recovery wouldn’t recognize the /sdcard partition, too.

Good thing I had a backup, so I wasn’t worried too much.

I could use adb when CWM recovery was booted, to navigate around.  Using fdisk, I could see the /sdcard partition was intact, but wouldn’t get recognized by either CWM or the kernel.  I deleted the partition, and created a new one with the same parameters.  Also used the opportunity to try out ext4 instead of the default fat.  CWM still wouldn’t recognize / mount this partition, but the android kernel does recognize it.  However, mounting the card as USB storage still doesn’t work.

So I’ve now fallen back to using adb + rsync as my backup solution: usb-tether the phone to the laptop, note the IP addr the laptop got, and then from an adb shell, just issue

'rsync -av /sdcard/ user@laptop-ip:/path/to/backup/'

This is working fine.  adb push/pull also work quite well, and I don’t really miss the ‘mount as usb storage’ functionality much.  I’ll however try fixing this issue, since encryption isn’t working as well — so the key would be to ensure CWM recovery identifying the partition.  I’m guessing if that works fine, the remaining bits would be fine too (mounting usb storage, encrypting it, etc.)

I use GOBackup from the Play store to backup apps+data.  oandbackup from the fdroid store looks nice, but crashes a lot.  It’s being constantly updated, though, so it has promise to become a nice backup app.

Syndicated 2014-01-15 17:36:06 (Updated 2014-01-15 17:37:10) from Think. Debate. Innovate.

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