Resignation

Seeing that Project Sunrise was made official I’d like to resign as a Gentoo developer.

Thank you to all the developers and users who have made the last two years a fun period of my life in OSS. You all know who you are. I’ll miss you guys and gals.

I wish the remaining developers good luck with keeping Gentoo Linux among the top GNU/Linux distributions out there.

I can be reached at henrik<at>brixandersen<dot>dk should anybody have any questions to the ebuilds, I used to maintain. Sorry about dumping the ebuilds on the people who kindly took over when I announced my present hiatus – but I’m sure you’ll do a good job at maintaining them.

I have an unfinished draft for a pcmcia-cs to pcmciautils migration howto sitting in my home dir – I’d appreciate if someone would step up and finish it.

So long and thank you for all the fish,
Brix

Hiatus

As some of you already know, I will be taking a hiatus from Gentoo starting this weekend. While I am gone, the mobile herd is pretty much left without active developers. Uberlord and phreak have already adopted some of the more critical ebuilds, but quite a few are still “orphaned” as seen in this report from ‘herdstat -dp brix’:

Developer:       Henrik Brix Andersen (brix)
Email:           brix@gentoo.org
Packages(31):    app-doc/gimp-help
app-laptop/ibam
app-laptop/laptop-mode-tools
app-laptop/radeontool
app-laptop/tp_smapi
dev-embedded/avr-libc
dev-embedded/avrdude
dev-tex/dk-bib
dev-tex/memoir
media-gfx/gimp
net-misc/radvd
net-wireless/gkismet
net-wireless/hostap-driver
net-wireless/hostap-utils
net-wireless/hostapd
net-wireless/ipw3945-ucode
net-wireless/irda-utils
net-wireless/madwifi-ng
net-wireless/madwifi-ng-tools
net-wireless/madwifi-old
net-wireless/madwifi-old-tools
net-wireless/ussp-push
net-wireless/wispy-tools
sys-apps/pcmcia-cs
sys-apps/pcmcia-cs-cis
sys-apps/pcmcia-cs-modules
sys-apps/pcmcia-cs-pnptools
sys-apps/pcmciautils
sys-kernel/linux-docs
x11-misc/gromit
x11-plugins/gkrellm-wifi

Hopefully someone will step up and adopt the remaining ebuilds. I will, of course, be available for answering questions about these ebuilds through e-mail and IRC.

Wireless driver shuffling

Spent most of today cleaning up and shuffling a few wireless drivers in Gentoo Portage.

Thanks to Intel’s Open Source Technology Center, who were kind enough to sponsor me a brand new Sony Vaio VGN-FE550G laptop, I was able to test and verify the new ipw3945 driver along with the needed regulatory daemon and microcode. All of these are now available in a Gentoo Portage.

I’ve also shuffled the madwifi-driver and madwifi-tools around quite a bit. The previous ebuilds were renamed to net-wireless/madwifi-ng and net-wireless/madwifi-ng-tools. This allowed me to add ebuilds for the madwifi-old branch from upstream as requested in bug #125440. I recommend you stick to net-wireless/madwifi-ng over net-wireless/madwifi-old since this is where upstream development continues. If you happen to find a regression in madwifi-ng as compared to madwifi-old, please report it upstream.

The net-wireless/wpa_supplicant and net-wireless/hostapd ebuilds have been updated to work with either of the two madwifi branches.

Stay tuned for a “GNU/Linux on a Sony VAIO VGN-FE550G” HOWTO – I must say, this laptop is pretty fast (Core Duo 1.66GHz with 2GB RAM).

OSDL wireless summit, part II

Wow, that was fast. The OSDL wireless summit is almost over before we got started, but we managed to coordinate and discuss an amazing amount of issues during the last two days.

Many interesting things have been discussed, including but certainly not limited to the Devicescape wireless stack, the recently included ieee80211-softmac stack and their future in the Linux kernel. Jean Tourrilhes gave an interesting talk on the history of wireless support in the Linux kernel, and Personal Telco Project gave some interesting insight into their problems with the current state of wireless support on embedded Linux.

More information will follow later. Tonight we will have an unofficial dinner with the Gentoo developers from around here, gonna be nice getting some faces tied onto the names from IRC and the mailing lists.

OSDL Wireless Summit

Along with fellow Gentoo Linux developers Daniel Drake and Greg KH I will be present at the OSDL Wireless Summit in Portland, Oregon from April 5th to April 7th.

I hope many of the leading open-source wireless developers will be present there, as we will be discussing the future of IEEE 802.11 wireless LAN support in Linux. Daniel and I have already talked about some of the issues we face in Gentoo Linux regarding wireless support, but should you have any input on this, please do not hesitate to contact me.

A huge thank you to Intel’s Open Source Technology Center who kindly offered to pay my travel expenses for going to the US. Without their support I wouldn’t be able to make it to the summit.

Watch this space for more updates – I’ll try to keep you posted as to what’s going on at the summit.

Live GIMP CVS ebuild

Since I’ve always used GIMP CVS HEAD for all my gimping needs (a legacy from my time as a GIMP developer), I have created an unofficial GIMP CVS ebuild, cleverly disguised as media-gfx/gimp-9999. The ebuild is available in my portage overlay.

The upstream ChangeLog and NEWS files from CVS HEAD are available online at developer.gimp.org.

Update: media-gfx/gimp-9999 is now available in Gentoo Portage! A big thank you to latexer for helping test it :)

Unofficial Gentoo Linux LiveUSB HOWTO

Due to popular demand I have updated my unofficial Gentoo Linux LiveUSB HOWTO for the 2005.1-r1 release and made it public available.

The HOWTO, initially created since I needed to install Gentoo Linux on my IBM ThinkPad X31 with no CD-ROM drive, explains how to emulate an (almost) unmodified Gentoo Linux LiveCD from an USB flash drive. The instructions can easily be adapted for other types of block devices – I use a similar process for booting my Soekris net4801 from CompactFlash.

For the impatient I have created a small shell script outlining the steps found in the HOWTO.

New orinoco snapshot added

I’ve been meaning to clean up the net-wireless/orinoco* ebuilds for quite some time, now I’ve finally gotten around to it.

I’ve added an ebuild for the new 0.15rc3 snapshot (which still doesn’t contain USB support) and merged net-wireless/orinoco-cvs with net-wireless/orinoco. The new net-wireless/orinoco-9999 ebuild is a live CVS HEAD ebuild (which includes prism_usb support).

The net-wireless/orinoco-usb-firmware ebuild is now masked due to questionable licenses and will be removed soon. It is replaced by the official upstream package called net-wireless/orinoco-fwutils. This package contains various scripts for fetching the firmware (only needed by some cards – and some only in certain modes).

On a side note, the 0.15rc3 version of the orinoco driver was included in linux-2.6.15-rc1, hopefully prism_usb will follow soon.

wpa_supplicant vs. xsupplicant

We currently have two supplicants for IEEE 802.11/wired authentication available in portage, namely net-wireless/wpa_supplicant and net-misc/xsupplicant.

The latter is currently not up to date in portage nor integrated into our new baselayout, while wpa_supplicant is both up to date and well integrated in basesystem (thanks to Uberlord). We currently have a few open bugs for xsupplicant in our bugzilla, including a a version bump (bug #100680) and the design and development of a new rcscript for integrating it with our new baselayout (bug #98253). Also, wpa_supplicant seems to be much better supported from upstream than xsupplicant; more frequent releases and much more wide spread usage.

To justify having to maintain two packages (along with rcscripts) with the exact same purpose, I’d like to hear from xsupplicant users why they prefer xsupplicant over wpa_supplicant – and what prevents them from moving to using wpa_supplicant instead. Please post a comment, write me an email – or contact me on IRC.

Update: Seems the GWN authors have misunderstood this entry a bit.