My experiences at Mini Debconf Pune 2010 (Day 1)

Posted: August 14, 2010 in computing, Debian, Systems/Network Administration

I attented the Mini Debconf Pune on 7/8/2010 and 8/8/2010 held at the College of Engineering Pune which is it is the third oldest engineering college in Asia.

About Debian Conferences in India
The Mini Debconf Pune is the latest in a series of conferences organised by the Indian Debian Community. The first Debian Conference was held at IIIT-Bangalore in 2005 (followd by conferences in Bangalore in 2006,2007,2009 along the sidelines of FOSS.IN) and Mini Debconf Pune is the latest in the series of conferences held by the Debian India Community.

My Journey
I left the Mumbai CST station at around 11.45 PM on 6/8/2010. I was travelling in the general compartment and I had to put up with an odd assortment of people who were all over the place incuding people sleeping on the floor and even under the seats. I was lucky to get a seat from Mumbai CST itself which spared me most of the pain of travelling in a general class compartment in India.

I reached the Pune Railway Station at around 2.30 AM on 7/8/2010 and I took an Autorickshaw from the Pune station to Kalyani Nagar, where Ramkrishna Reddy (Red Hat Pune) was staying who graciously agreed to host me for the 2 days that I intented to stay in Pune. Thanks once again Ramki.

The Event
I woke up around 8.00 PM on 7/8/2010, got ready in a hurry, and boarded an Autorickshaw at around 9.00 AM and reached the venue(the College of Engineering Pune at Shivaji Nagar) at around 9.30 AM.

Morning Session 7/8/2010.
On reaching the event, I met my good old friend Praveen Arimbrathodiyil (who is now a Debian Maintainer), Kartik Mistry (Debian Developer) and Onkar Shinde (Ubuntu Developer). Praveen introduced me to Abhijit A M a Lectuter at the college of Engineering Pune and I later met Shirish Agarwal, Pavithran Sakamuri and Vikram Vincent.

There were around 150 Patrticipants mostly students of College of Engineering Pune and a few other students from other colleges.

The day started when the Chief guest: Dr. M Sasikumar, Director, Corporate R&D, CDAC India delivered a speech on Free/Open Source Software and also the BOSS Operating a system, a Debian Derivative which CDAC has been attempting to develop.

I quietly missed this session as it was not only boring (what more can be expected from CDAC), but also because the Hall where the Debian Mini Conf was held only had Wifi Access and I was busy setting up the Wifi on my laptop.

An lspci on my Debian Squeeze showed me the make of my wifi card.

obadiah@wisdom:~$ lspci

Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 4965 AG or AGN [Kedron] Network Connection

I had to enable the non free sections in the /etc/apt/sources.list and install the ‘firmware-iwlwifi’ package which got my wireless to work.

The URL: helped me configure wifi on my HP Pavilion dv3000 Laptop

Once the Wifi got working on my Laptop, I quietly moved back into the hall and by that time thank God Dr. M Sasikumar decided to spare the audience. the ordeal of having to hear and bear him….

The next session was titled ‘Why Debian? Introducing the Universal Operating System by Praveen Arimbrathodiyil & Onkar Shinde ‘

Praveen and Onkar did a wonderful session which was interactive and even an old Debian hand like me had something interesting to listen to all the time…, they spoke on What is Debian ?, How it is a Constitutional Do-ocracy ? (meaning that the one who contributes the most to Debian gets the greater say in Debian), the 12 Supported Architectures, around 30,000 supported packages, the Debian releases till date, the GNU/Linux distro timeline, The Debian Free Software Guidlines (The DFSG),The releases of Debian, the sections of Debian repositories i.e Main (Fully Free Software), Contrib (Free Software which depends on Non Free Software and Non-Free (Software which is not part of Debian), the various level of Debian Project Membership starting with the Debian Developers, Debian Maintainers just below them and finally the contributers, the various teams of Debian etc.

The talk was interesting and was interspersed with question and answer sessions with the audience also contributing actively.

This was followed by a basic talk by Karthik on the various processes one has to pass through to become a Debian Developer, this was followed by Vikram Vincent’s talk on Debian l10n (localisation).

Over the lunch break, I met Kushal Das of the Fedora Project after a span of around 3 years.

I also met 2 lady participants Sana and Tanushree, both of the College of Engineering Pune and guided them on how to start contributing to the FOSS Movement and It was encouraging to see women getting interested in computing and FOSS. I told them about the FOSS Community and how it works, the method of communicaion used by the FOSS community which includes Mailing Lists, IRC (Internet Relay Chat), Various FOSS Bug Tracking Software etc….

Afternoon Session on 8/8/2010.
Post lunch, I was eagerly awaiting the session by Karthik, Praveen and Onkar on Debian Packaging.

Since I had Wifi already enabled on my laptop, I decided to stay in the Conference Hall itself and attend Karthik’ s seesion on Debian packaging while Praveen and Onkar handled the same session in the Computer Science Lab some distance away from the Conference hall.

Karthik’s session was interesting and he used the .’apt-get source’ command to get the source of the ‘hello-debhelper’ package.

a) apt-get source hello-debhelper
root@wisdom:~# apt-get source hello-debhelper

b) List the files downloaded.

root@wisdom:~# ll
total 592
drwxr-xr-x. 11 root root 4096 Aug 14 23:15 hello-debhelper-2.5
-rw-r–r–. 1 root root 5439 Feb 14 23:34 hello-debhelper_2.5-1.diff.gz
-rw-r–r–. 1 root root 1331 Feb 14 23:34 hello-debhelper_2.5-1.dsc
-rw-r–r–. 1 root root 582535 Feb 14 23:34 hello-debhelper_2.5.orig.tar.gz
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 4096 Aug 11 20:14 logs

As you can notice the hello-debhelper_2.5.orig.tar.gz the upsteam source package used to build the ‘hello-debhelper’ package, the .diff.gz file which is the source modifed by the debian packager, the .dsc (Debian Source Control file).

c) Now proceeded to use the dpkg-source -x *.dsc command as follows,
root@wisdom:~# dpkg-source -x *.dsc
dpkg-source: info: extracting hello-debhelper in hello-debhelper-2.5
dpkg-source: info: unpacking hello-debhelper_2.5.orig.tar.gz
dpkg-source: info: applying hello-debhelper_2.5-1.diff.gz
dpkg-source: info: upstream files that have been modified:
root@wisdom:~# pwd

d) Now change Directory into the hello-debhelper-2.5/ directory

root@wisdom:~# cd hello-debhelper-2.5/
root@wisdom:~/hello-debhelper-2.5# pwd
root@wisdom:~/hello-debhelper-2.5# ll
total 692
-rw-r–r–. 1 root root 79584 Nov 8 2006 ABOUT-NLS
-rw-r–r–. 1 root root 36330 Feb 7 2010 aclocal.m4
-rw-r–r–. 1 root root 587 Nov 10 2006 AUTHORS
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 4096 Feb 7 2010 build-aux
-rw-r–r–. 1 root root 23167 Feb 7 2010 ChangeLog
-rw-r–r–. 1 root root 5604 Oct 18 2006 ChangeLog.O
-rw-r–r–. 1 root root 18714 Feb 7 2010
-rwxr-xr-x. 1 root root 376196 Feb 7 2010 configure
-rw-r–r–. 1 root root 1844 Feb 7 2010
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 4096 Feb 7 2010 contrib
-rw-r–r–. 1 root root 35066 Jun 30 2007 COPYING
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 4096 Aug 14 23:19 debian
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 4096 Aug 14 23:19 doc
drwxr-xr-x. 4 root root 4096 Feb 7 2010 gnulib
-rw-r–r–. 1 root root 15584 Jan 8 2010 INSTALL
-rw-r–r–. 1 root root 3964 Jan 2 2009
-rw-r–r–. 1 root root 39577 Feb 7 2010
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 4096 Feb 7 2010 man
-rw-r–r–. 1 root root 2839 Feb 1 2010 NEWS
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 4096 Feb 7 2010 po
-rw-r–r–. 1 root root 2524 Feb 1 2010 README
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 4096 Feb 7 2010 src
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 4096 Feb 7 2010 tests
-rw-r–r–. 1 root root 892 Oct 18 2006 THANKS
-rw-r–r–. 1 root root 1257 Nov 10 2006 TODO

e) Now let us change directory into the debian directory inside the
hello-debhelper-2.5 directory
root@wisdom:~/hello-debhelper-2.5# cd debian/
root@wisdom:~/hello-debhelper-2.5/debian# ll
total 28
-rw-r–r–. 1 root root 9820 Aug 14 23:19 changelog
-rw-r–r–. 1 root root 2 Aug 14 23:19 compat
-rw-r–r–. 1 root root 890 Aug 14 23:19 control
-rw-r–r–. 1 root root 2264 Aug 14 23:19 copyright
-rwxr-xr-x. 1 root root 783 Aug 14 23:19 rules

The ‘debian’ directory has the control, rules, changelog, copyright and compat files.

f) Once the control, rules, changelog and copyright files are edited we need to move one directory back up into the source as follows.
root@wisdom:~/hello-debhelper-2.5/debian# cd ..
root@wisdom:~/hello-debhelper-2.5# pwd

g) Now build the Debian Package using the dpkg-buildpackage -uc -us -sa as follows.

root@wisdom:~/hello-debhelper-2.5# dpkg-buildpackage -uc -us -sa

h ) Now move up one more directory

root@wisdom:~/hello-debhelper-2.5# cd ..
root@wisdom:~# ll
total 656
drwxr-xr-x. 11 root root 4096 Aug 14 23:25 hello-debhelper-2.5
-rw-r–r–. 1 root root 1777 Aug 14 23:25 hello-debhelper_2.5-1_amd64.changes
-rw-r–r–. 1 root root 60456 Aug 14 23:25 hello-debhelper_2.5-1_amd64.deb
-rw-r–r–. 1 root root 5456 Aug 14 23:25 hello-debhelper_2.5-1.diff.gz
-rw-r–r–. 1 root root 791 Aug 14 23:25 hello-debhelper_2.5-1.dsc
-rw-r–r–. 1 root root 582535 Feb 14 23:34 hello-debhelper_2.5.orig.tar.gz
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 4096 Aug 11 20:14 logs

i) As you can see the hello-debhelper_2.5-1_amd64.deb file has been created.

j) Now use the dpkg -i hello-debhelper_2.5-1_amd64.deb command to install the debian package.

root@wisdom:~# dpkg -i hello-debhelper_2.5-1_amd64.deb

Evening session on 7/8/2010

Once Karthik’s session was over, Karthik and Kushal left together for a round of beer and me and Pavithran decided to head to the session conducted by Praveen and Onkar on Debian Packaging in the Lab.

Praveen and Onkar finished the session at around 7.30 and Onkar left as he had some personal commitments. Once the session was complete, we were joined by Vincent Vikram, Raghavendra and We (Me, Praveen, Pavitran, Vincent, Ragavendra and Vipul A M) decided to head out somewhere to have supper.

In the true Open Source Model, all 6 of us had six different opinions on the hotel to choose, a series of funny things happened, Vikram called his brother in Bangalore to inquire about a so called restaurant called ‘Opus’ that according to him was _the_place_to_have_food_in_Pune

Praveen in his true geek style took out his 3G Mobile and started searching Google Maps for the resturant called ‘Opus’.

We finally after around 20 minutes of heated brainstorming, GPRS sessions etc we decided on a place somewhere in M.G Road where we had supper and soon after I left to get some sleep at Ramki’s place in Kalyani Nagar.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Was Sashikumar that bad?

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