Category Archives: debian

Another reason to use FLOSS

It seems Lenovo the PC  / Laptop makers have been installing spyware on their PC’s without the users knowledge or consent

I think this is a good reason to either re-install your OS when you get a new computer.  Normally you get install / restore media or the option to make this,  however in this case if the spyware is pre-installed it could be on these restore cds.  so you will be no better off,  you can possibly get a removal tool, but these removal tools usually end up putting other malware on to your computer,  removing it is a PITA.


Install a free and open source OS such as Mint, Ubuntu or a pure free software and take back control of your computer.

Join a GNU / Linux user group so you can learn more.

This is also a good reason why you need to know more about what your computer is doing..

Torbay Raspberry Pi jam – Feb 15

This months Pi jam was a real gem,   lots of things being demoed and some excellent progress being made with various projects.

Tom, brought along his Marco 2 robot,  which if you are following this blog or are a regular attendee of jams.  This has now been updated to allow control via a web interface.

More information on this is on the Feb 2015 Exeter Jam write up blog post.  So I will let people go there for more info.

Tom also brought along Freddie and after some basic set up this worked fine,  following a green ball with his eyes.


Video taken back in July

Doodle bot also made an appearence this is really good as it works without any user interaction and can draw (or try) to draw what it has been programmed to.


We also helped a lady get up and running with her new pi,


Here is the pi being installed from the NOOBS install tool


And a picture of the pi running the Raspbian OS after install.

I also demonstrated my Minecraft Pi coding with python.  I will post a video to youtube and put this on my website blog.


We also helped out a user who had an older install of GNU / Linux on his PC (Debian)  and wanted a newer GNU / Linux installed so flash player would function properly.

We were unble to help fully however he will be back at the next jam iwth his PC backed up so we can install Linuxmint 17.1

One of our younger members also worked on getting a cluster of computers up and running and thanks to a router / switch donated by Rick at Wifispark he got 2 laptops and my Pi up and running and proved that by sharing the load calculations can be performed quicker.   There is a dedicated page for this on the website.  Where results will be posted shortly.

We also had a Dan from the TDA drop in to see what was going on with the view on how they can help further and perhaps involve some of the local hi tech companies.

So a BIG thank you for everyone involved today and everyone who came along to support the event.  Hopefully next month will be more of the same and perhaps even bigger and better.

We also had Sarah from Inspiring Dreams, Achieving Change, who offered to help promote what we are doing.

The word on the Pi jams IS spreading.  which is a good thing.

See everyone on the 14th March 2015 at Paignton Library.  13:00 to 15:00


Torbay Pi jam – 13-12-2014

Another pi jam today and it went very well highlights as follows

We helped on visitor get up and running and ended up re-creating an sd card with raspbian (1)on in order to get the Pi up and running.  In the end Tom got everything up and running, with some help from myself as I seem to have an array of adapters and other bits and pieces which always seem to come in handy.   Including various images on my netbook.

Our younger visitors were busy with various projects  Arduino (6) hacking and getting Arch  (2) Linux up and running in a virtual machine, (Virtual box) (3))

I have loaned out my pi-liter (4) to one of the younger visitors so he can demonstrate at school






Support repositories for the pi liter


Which has some ladder board source code,  but should demonstrate the use of the GPIO.

You can also download the pi liter data sheet from the website

However you DO need to install python-pip with

sudo apt-get install python-pip

For some reason the data sheet instructions missed out this step.

The next Pi jam is on 10th January so if you get a Pi for Xmas come along and we can help you get started or show you what you can do with it.   We don’t BYTE 🙂 and are happy to help.

Exeter Raspberry Pi jam – 1/11/2014

Today was another excellent pi jam up in Exeter,  and well attended,  the word is getting out there.


Tom Brough demonstrated the parity bit trick and also had some coloured cones to demonstrate how a bubble sort works,  you can try this take about 8 cones of different sizes and put them randomly in a line now sort them one by one so the line goes from biggest to smallest.

I spent some time, with some help working on getting scratch to talk to the pi liter,  once done (not too difficult) we spent some time then creating a program that is the same as the chaser type program written in python.  This works really well,  further enhancements allows the user to interact, chance speed as well as stop / start the routine.

I also had a chat with another user who showed me his chromebook running lubuntu.  This was also connected to the Pi with vnc,  the performance was excellent.

Ivan was also showing various projects and we had minecraft running on another pi.  In the fab lab was the usual beginner work shop where you can learn to light up leds on a bread (project) board using the raspberry Pi GPIO

So in all excellent,   Looking forward to next week as it is the Torbay Pi jam from 1 – 3 at Paignton Library,   good news is that the 3 sd cards (well micro + adapters) arrived to day so these are all ready for next week,    I may look at preparing at least one with Noobs,  as this may save time next week.

Thank you to Simon and Exeter library for hosting another pi jam and everyone who attended.

Debian Jessie Beta 2

The Debian Installer team[1] is pleased to announce the second beta
release of the installer for Debian 8 "Jessie".

Important changes in this release of the installer

 * Gnome is now the default desktop environment on Linux again.
 * A list of desktop environments is displayed in tasksel, making it
   easy to install another desktop environment (or several of them).
   Unfortunately that is currently a bit underdocumented (#764026).
 * Preliminary support for the arm64 and ppc64el architectures has been

Other changes in this release of the installer

 * brltty: Append the configuration inherited from d-i to the end of
   brltty.conf instead of overwriting it (which was thus losing the
   documentation for the user).
 * brltty: Enable accessibility in XFCE, LXDE and MATE sessions too.
 * busybox: Add support for /32 subnets in udhcpc script (#652573).
 * choose-mirror: Strip off any scheme part found at the start of
   mirror/*/hostname (#706191).
 * console-setup: Correct default keymap for South Korea (#756052).
 * console-setup: Use nepali keymap for Nepali and Tharu by default.
 * debian-installer:
    - Fix the PXE boot images built for kfreebsd, hurd (#759686).
    - Add fonts-lohit-guru-udeb to gtk images, fixing rendering for
      Punjabi (#761573).
    - Remove desktop selection from syslinux; now available in
    - Keep Linux modules.builtin file in the initrd.
    - Fix lib location and search path for syslinux >= 5 (#756275).
 * fontconfig: Add conf.avail directory to the udeb, fixing broken
   Monospace font in graphical installer (#739011).
 * hw-detect: Improve driver injection disk support.
 * hw-detect: Move firmware installation code to pre-pkgsel.d
 * hw-detect: Correct detection of Macs needing to blacklist snd-aoa
   modules (#650588).
 * iso-scan: Do not error out when searching in folders with
   shell-special characters in their name (#640789).
 * lowmem: Update lowmem limits for linux-x86.
 * lowmem: Make the / ramfs fill the whole memory again (#759336).
 * netcfg: Do not kill_dhcp_client after setting the hostname and
   domain, otherwise Linux udhcpc will stop renewing its lease, and on
   other platforms dhclient will de-configure the network interface
   (#757711, #757988).
 * netcfg: Don't copy /etc/network/interfaces to /target if
   netcfg/target_network_config=ifupdown (#709017).
 * netcfg: Fix support for entering an ESSID manually, it was
   previously getting ignored (#757478).
 * preseed: Update auto-install/defaultroot for jessie.
 * preseed: Always disable locale & keyboard question when auto is
   enabled, even if no preseed file was given on boot, in case the dhcp
   server provides it (#759290).
 * rootskel: Update lowmem limit for gtk on linux-x86.
 * rootskel: Use a tmpfs for some directories to avoid running out of
   space in the fixed-size initrd on kfreebsd-* (#757985).
 * rootskel-gtk: Update gtk-set-font to learn a new mapping (Lohit

Hardware support changes

 * libdebian-installer: arm64: Detect UEFI based systems as "efi"
 * libdebian-installer: Add ppc64 and ppc64el support.
 * linux:
    - Include preliminary support for arm64 and ppc64el.
    - udeb: Add ccm, ctr to crypto-modules (#761902).
    - [armhf] udeb: Add ehci-platform, ohci-platform and phy-sun4i-usb
      to usb-modules (#761591).
    - udeb: Add rsi_usb to nic-wireless-modules
    - udeb: Add ath6kl_sdio, libertas_cs, libertas_sdio, mwifiex_sdio,
      r8192u_usb, r8723au, rtl8188eu, rtl818x_pci, rtl8723be,
      rtl8821ae, spectrum_cs to nic-wireless-modules.
    - [armel/orion5x] udeb: Include mvmdio in nic-modules udeb.
    - udeb: Add new sound drivers to sound-modules (#756998).

Known bugs in this release

 * Firmware handling: udev no longer reports missing firmware
   (#725714), and patches for the kernel need polishing before we are
   able to restore support for loading missing firmware.
 * CD-ROM modules are missing on ppc64el, but the netboot flavour is
   working correctly. This will be fixed in the next release.

Feedback for this release

We need your help to find bugs and further improve the installer, so
please try it. Installer CDs, other media and everything else you will
need are available at our web site[3].


The Debian Installer team thanks everybody who has contributed to this


Free & Open Source Software Outreach Program for Women

This came through on e-mail today

Free & Open Source Software Outreach Program for Women

The GNOME Foundation started the Free & Open Source Software Outreach Program
for Women, OPW, in 2006. It was quite successful, and in the January-April 2013
round, many other FOSS organizations joined the program. We are happy to
announce that Debian will participate in the next round
(December '14-March '15) and, pending sponsorship, we'll offer up to three

You can find more details about the program:
* with details about
Debian's participation.
* with details about the
program in general.

Call for mentors and projects

OPW allows applicants to work on any kind of project, including coding,
design, marketing, web development... If you have any idea for a
project and you want to mentor it, please contact us at
and we'll guide you through the process.

OPW provides a lot of useful information for mentors on the GNOME Wiki at Please
have a look, and don't hesitate to contact us if you have any question.

Call for participants

The main goal of this program is to increase the number of women in
FOSS, so all women who are not yet a Debian Developer or a Debian
Maintainer are encouraged to apply. There are no age restrictions and
applicants don't need to be a student.

If you want to apply, you must follow three steps:

1. Choose a project from the list of proposed projects on Those lists may change as
mentors add themselves over the next few weeks.

2. Make a small contribution to Debian. Projects will add a task the
applicant must complete as part of the pre-selection process. If no task
is provided, you are welcome to ask the mentors of the project. You can
also make a different extra task of the one listed to show your skills
and interest.

3. Create a page in the Debian wiki with your application. You can do so
under pseudonym, but in that case, please give us information about
yourself privately by email to the people below!

The Debian OPW coordinators <>
 Tom Marble
 Nicolas Dandrimont