Time To Pull The Plug

This is a subtitle. There are many like it, but this one is here.

Modern-xiafs Also Works Fine on 3.15.3 Kernel

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Another kernel version, another uneventful update. Once again, the modern-xiafs module needed no update to build, load, and mount filesystems with the 3.15.3 kernel. As before, the README has been updated, but that’s it; all previous warnings still stand, just like last time.

Goiardi Updates and Doings

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I’ve been a busy bee as of late, except for posting updates on what I’m doing here. There were two more goiardi releases in June: v0.5.2 – Block of Dirt, adding import/export of data, and v0.6.0 – Order of the Elephant, adding Postgres support and a lot of other fun stuff.

I also turned my hand to knife plugins for goiardi with knife-goiardi-reporting, forked from the official Chef knife-reporting plugin for a goiardi reporting extension, and knife-goiardi-event-log for the goiardi event logging facility. There will be some more neat stuff coming down the pipeline soon, but it’ll be ready when it’s ready.

Sadly the weather hasn’t been cooperating, so there’s no astronomical news to report.

Goiardi Version 0.5.1 Released

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Version 0.5.1 of goiardi has been released.


  • Add log levels (from debug to critical). This makes -V/—verbose useful.
  • Add an easier option in the config file to specify log levels by name.
  • ipv6 already worked, but accidentally. Now it works in a more deliberate fashion, preventing mishaps with addresses, colons, and port numbers.
  • Authentication protocol version 1.1 now supported.
  • Remove a sort on run lists that was there for some reason. I have no idea what it was put there for, but it was wrong.
  • Add an event log to log changes to objects like nodes, clients, etc. See the README or godocs for details.
  • Add support for reporting (http://docs.opscode.com/reporting.html)

Full announcement, as usual, is here.

Astro Log: May 1st, 2014

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Equipment: 16” Dobsonian, 55mm, 12mm TeleVue eyepiece, Paracorr.

New objects observed: NGC 4435, NGC 4443, NGC 4419, NGC 4450, NGC 4350

Previously viewed objects: Messier 89, Messier 90, Messier 87, Messier 86, Messier 84, Mars, NGC 4478, NGC 4438, NGC 4458, NGC 4477, NGC 4459

This was the first night I got any telescope since last September, ugh. The weather the entire winter was not at all cooperative.

I didn’t have high hopes for the evening, since the fence between my neighbors and I got replaced over the winter because it fell over, and it’s letting more light into my yard. Some strategically draped old curtains and sheets helped a bunch though, and I was able to observe a healthy number of Virgo Cluster galaxies before the high thin clouds started coming in. Most of the galaxies I observed this night were averted vision objects, but I was able to see much dimmer galaxies than I expected, considering the surroundings.

Not a bad night, all things considered. It went better than I expected it to, and it was really good to be able to get back out there again.

Goiardi Version 0.5.0 Released

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Version 0.5.0 of goiardi, the chef server written in go, has been released.


  • MySQL support added
  • No longer redirect /environments/NAME/roles/NAME to /roles/NAME/environments/NAME
  • Update documentation, reformat godocs
  • Split actors apart into separate user and client types, made new Actor interface that encompasses both users and clients.

Full announcement here.

Modern-xiafs Works Fine on 3.14.2 Kernel

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I just went and tested the Linux 3.13.5 modern-xiafs module against Linux 3.14.2, and it built, loaded, and works just fine. The README has been updated to reflect that fact, but there’s nothing else to add; all previous warnings about xiafs before still stand, as said before.

Goiardi Version 0.4.2 Released

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Version 0.4.0 of goiardi, the chef server written in go, has been released.


Full announcement here.

Update: This was quickly followed by a minor 0.4.1 goiardi release.

From this version’s CHANGELOG entry:

  • Small documentation tweaks
  • Fix bug with parsing config file options and rearrange setting some of those config struct items, fix typo in sample config file.
  • Add disable-webui option for command line and config file to disable the chef webui rails app from connecting to goiardi.

Not a lot there, but since the work was done and it seemed like a good thing to do, I cut a new release. The 0.4.1 announcement is here.

Update: And once again in quick succession, version 0.4.2 came out. Fun fact: most of the work on that release came while I had the day off after getting a spinal tap and I was a little bored.


  • Perm tweak for nodes updating themselves.
  • Small change with validating role descriptions when creating or updating from JSON.
  • Fix issue with saving complicated indexed objects to disk where improperly flattened indexable objects were making the gob encoder puke all over itself when encoding the tries in the index docs.
  • Fixed a possible regression with synchronizing cookbooks that did not show up in testing, but only in real use.
  • An absolutely bonkers fix for listing cookbook files with webui. Webui wants all of the cookbook top level attributes sent over with a request to /cookbooks/<name>/<version>, but this is the exact opposite of the behavior chef-pedant wants, where empty definitions, attributes, etc. are not sent over. Knife also seems quite content with this, so the fix for now, since the two cases are mutually exclusionary, is to only send the empty hashes for those top level attributes with a GET if the request is coming from the webui. Bizarre, but it seems to be what’s necessary.

Full 0.4.2 announcement here.

Modern-xiafs Updated to 3.13.5 Kernel

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Once again, the new version 3.13 series of the Linux kernel has required an update to modern-xiafs. This particular update was quite small, although not quite as small as the update for 3.12.1. There’s not a lot more to add; all the previous warnings and statements about xiafs from before still stand.

Chef Knife EDITOR Variable Unhappiness

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I recently had to replace my main workstation because of a graphics card dying. It wasn’t all that big of a deal, thanks to the magic of regular backups and whatnot, but I found a very strange problem where when I tried to use knife to do any chef work that required editing anything in knife, I got the message:

ERROR: RuntimeError: Please set EDITOR environment variable

This was odd, since EDITOR was in fact set.

Turns out the solution is simple: I had installed MacVim with homebrew and set up my usual .vimrc stuff. I had EDITOR=vi in my .bashrc, but the vi in my path was the default OS X /usr/bin/vi. Unfortunately my .vimrc makes the default OS X vi gripe a little, and it exits with an exit status of 1. It still works fine, but that’s enough to make knife think that it failed miserably and it spits out the misleading message about the EDITOR variable above. To fix this, either fix the error in your .vimrc or make a symlink of /usr/local/bin/vi to /usr/local/bin/mvim. After that everything should be good.

NB: This situation probably applies to configurations for other editors as well, but I haven’t tested that at all. Still, if you have an emacs config that works and edits files fine but exits with a non-zero status, I imagine knife would be unhappy about that as well. I have no suggestions on how to fix emacs though.

Update: It was pointed out to me that you can also set knife[:editor] explicity in knife.rb:

That’s in the docs, of course (although I’ve never had much good luck with using the gui vim with knife; YMMV), and I tried setting knife[:editor] = "/usr/bin/vi". Still, it took me a while to figure out what the error about the EDITOR not being set even meant here and what was causing it. It wasn’t obvious at first that the problem was with one particular vi interacting with the .vimrc. However, explicitly setting knife[:editor] to the right editor you want with the full path would fix it too.

Making the Internet Better, One Step at a Time

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While I’ve had some of those sharing type buttons on this site ever since I moved it over to Octopress a while back, I’ve never been real keen on them. In fact, I never actually use them anywhere and don’t really like them, so in order to do my part to improve the Internet I’m taking them off. As an added bonus, posts should load slightly faster too. If you feel inclined to share something from here, suck it up and copy n’ paste the URL like a normal person would.

Ah, feels good. I did find it a little amusing to have Twitter, G+, and ADN share buttons, but no Facebook “Like” button, but it’s not all that funny, and I don’t think anyone noticed anyway.