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pterjan's diary


  Mandriva Live USB

I was reading various tutorials on how to use LiveCD on USB stick with Fedora or Ubuntu.

They all use complicated methods even if sometimes scripts or graphical interface are provided to hide.

There is however a very fast and simple way to make a .iso bootable on USB, isohybrid script provided in recent syslinux. It works quite fine except that some BIOS and some partitioning tools don't like that the first partition says it starts at 0. We have a very simple patch on Mandriva to make it work on such machines. We used it on Mandriva 2009 Spring RC1 GNOME Live iso and got no negative report, so it is now used on all Live CD since RC2.

Actually we got several negative reports, but it was always because people copied the iso into the first partition and not at the beginning of the key (i.e. onto /dev/sdb1 instead of /dev/sdb) despite it was stated quite clearly on the wiki: where /dev/sdX is the path for the device of your USB stick and X is a only one letter (not one letter and one number). For instance /dev/sdc or /dev/sdd are correct, /dev/sdc1 or /dev/sdd2 are not correct and won't work..

Because of that, we now have a graphical interface (based on Fedora LiveUSBCreator for the UI) which allows you to select the iso image, the usb device and perform the copy. Windows version will arrive soon.

Today's TSUKKOMI(Total: 17) [Add a TSUKKOMI]


  Charles [Is it possible to use it on the Free images also? I would love to get rid of all this dvd burning... DVD's cost lots o..]

  Adam Williamson ["the question valuable is a liveusb without data persistence? Perhaps the real value in the flash media ..]

  Pascal [Well sorry if you felt it like that. I started with that because I saw that day on LXER the Ubuntu tutorial and felt s..]



Yesterday I was in Brussels with Thalys, which had not happened for a long time.

There were stickers everywhere to tell that WiFi is available on board, and some explanation available. In the information booklet there was a graphical explanation and text explanation in 3 languages. I started to read the text one which said something like "start your web browser (examples: Internet Explorer or Safari) and then noticed that in graphical version listed browsers were Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox with their icons. That's inconsistent but it's nice to see "alternative" browsers listed there.

Then I have read the magazine and it contains very good news.

  • Thalys will become high-speed to Amsterdam this year at last (they were already working on it when I was living in Amsterdam in 2001). That means Amsterdam will be 1h45 from Brussels and 3h15 from Paris.
  • New trains are coming up, with 5cm more for the legs by using thiner seats, and they will move the trash from the side into the seats to avoid having it pressing one of your legs.
  • This new train will also provide 220V on all seats while it was only available in first class until now, and only for the seats close to the wall. This is very helpful to use the Wi-Fi connection :)

Today's TSUKKOMI(Total: 2) [Add a TSUKKOMI]

  John [If it's the same design (Lacroix) as the Paris-Zurich TGV, which has it since it went online, then be prepared for som..]

  ReinoutS [I wouldn't count yet on a highspeed connection to Amsterdam for this year. The track has been finished for a while but..]



This post only concerns people working in Mandriva's Paris office, or planning to visit us.

We have a very good pizzeria close to the office, and we were very sad when it closed for one full week because they were in Italy to participate in pizza world championship.

The result is there, they are second!

Today's TSUKKOMI(Total: 4) [Add a TSUKKOMI]


  Adam Williamson [How the heck did I manage to be in Paris for several days and *not* find out about this? There was a world-class pizz..]

  Pascal [Hmm I'm not sure it was already open. It's 2 or 3 shops before the sushis :)]

  Andy Wingo [Wow! I went last night and it was *fantastic*. I couldn't avoid getting their prizewinner, the one with figs and foie,..]


  New fast booting distro concept

Xandros has announced Presto. This is a new concept, not because it would seem to have something technicaly interesting, but because it is the first time I read about a Linux distribution with 7 days trial period.

After that, you can no longer use it more than 10 minutes if you don't pay the license.

That's great innovation from Xandros, isn't it ?

Do you think someone will bother writing a crack or distribute an unprotected version on p2p networks ?

Today's TSUKKOMI(Total: 18) [Add a TSUKKOMI]


  Colin [@andre: Because it's shipped as a Windows installer...]

  HAL  [@ andre Ah ouai? Then see at "PRESTO INSTALLATION: Presto..]

  HAL  [You can also read on the web page: "SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS FOR INSTALLING AND RUNNING PRESTO: • A desktop or lapto..]


  Ubuntu and copyright

Exactly one year ago (well actually there are 4 days left before the aniversary), a bug was reported on launchpad, called Non-free files distributed without license/copyright info.

Basically, it complained that people reported bugs like "I need the firmware available on" for my DVB card to work, and the said firmware was added into linux-restricted-modules (then linux-firmware) without checking it can be redistributed, and without writing the origin and license in copyright file.

This is not really new as in earlier version they were even included in linux-image package, already without correct license info.

This bug got very few activity, like people closing it for old releases, or asking to attach Xorg.0.log twice...

In January this year, a bit upset about that, I wrote an email to Mark Shuttleworth titled "Copyright violations in Ubuntu, nobody cares" and was happy to get two very positive emails in less than 24 hours.

First one was asking someone, with me in Cc, to have a look at it and either drop or ask the appropriate people to get an agreement for redistribution.

The second one was the forwarded answer from Matt Zimmerman, with Technical Board in Cc, saying:

The kernel team has been doing copyright archeology on this already, with a goal of fixing this for 9.04. I don't think he was aware of this particular bug report, and will get it updated to reflect the current status of that work. We know that there are areas where we don't have proper documentation for the origin and copyright of some of these files, and that we need to either clear them or remove them.

Mark added Pascal, I trust that this resolves the issue, please raise it again if 9.04 beta doesn't reflect this goal.

What happened since ? The bug was not updated to reflect the current status of that work. And I didn't have time last few months to look at the betas, so I was quite pessimistic when I found today time to look at it.

Well, things improved a bit, some licenses where added, and new one was added only after checking the license.

But many with unknown licenses are just still there, none was removed.

Worse, some where the license says it's not redistributable, like dvb-fe-tda10046.fw which states The user may not make additional copies of the software. The documentation may not be reproduced. as pointed in another report , are still there too...

So, hosting an Ubuntu mirror or giving away Ubuntu CDs is still violating copyright, and illegal in most countries.

If several bug reports on Launchpad, Mark and Technical Board have not enough power to make packagers follow the packaging rules and the law, and have Ubuntu legally distributable, who can?

Today's TSUKKOMI(Total: 15) [Add a TSUKKOMI]


  jef spaleta [@Micha: We can wax poetic all day about what the legal and ethical line is. Canonical has already been told they've ..]

  Michał Wernicki [@jef I concur. Michał]

  Brian Kemp [The gNewSense project aims to fix this and has so far largely succeeded. Unfortunately they only fork LTS releases. O..]


  Booting from Hard Drive on EVGA nForce 680i SLI

I spent too much time to be able to boot from harddrive on the test box with this mortherboard so here is the tip.

The BIOS will not try to boot from a hard drive not part of a RAID, so you have to create a Striped RAID (other ones won't accept to have only one disk), and mark that RAID bootable.

Today's TSUKKOMI(Total: 1) [Add a TSUKKOMI]

  name [I like your work!, ]


  Opera is 15

I have actually never used Opera (I have been using Netscape for years and then only free (as in speech) browsers) but I know it has been good inspiration and motivation for competitors, so happy birthday!

For this occasion they created a modern (xhtml1-strict) old looking homepage. I love

Today's TSUKKOMI(Total: 68) [Add a TSUKKOMI]


  pro link building [ALj7cm I cannot thank you enough for the blog article. Really Great.]

  pro link building [HWRK6F I value the blog article.Really thank you! Much obliged.]

  best link build [b6FkHn Hey, thanks for the article post.Really thank you! Will read on...]


  Mandriva Travel

Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring will be officially available in less than twelve hours, it's time to relax!

Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring

After a week-end in London for the marathon (I did not run, I was there as a fan with a march band playing there), I'll fly tomorrow evening to Prague until Monday!

IMG_1144Tsegay Kebede (2nd)IMG_1548IMG_1648

About Prague, I can already give you some advice, do not use I had booked an hotel more than one month ago through them and never got the confirmation. Ten days ago I sent them an email about it and two days later got an email saying that it's now full, the girl offering to look for another one. I gave my criteria and even suggested one but got no answer. So on Sunday I tried to book the other hotel (it was still listed as available), and got today a negative answer... So, I finally used and won't sleep in the center of the city...

Today's TSUKKOMI(Total: 42) [Add a TSUKKOMI]


  site value [Very good blog article. Fantastic.]

  File Manager [I loved your blog article.Thanks Again. Cool.]

  quotes [Major thankies for the article.Much thanks again. Really Cool.]