Category Archives: freebsdports

Do not use synergy, use synergy+

For months, I’ve been plagued by intermittent mouse freezes on one of my boxes.

It started after a regular Xorg upgrade. According to various mailing lists, that particular upgrade caused similar problems to a lot of people, so I tried different suggested fixes. No luck.

A bit later, Xorg on FreeBSD was modified to fix the reported problems. But the upgrade did not fix my problem.

Eventually I came to a realization that it is likely that the problem is not with the mouse driver or with any other part of Xorg. Rather, it was a problem with synergy client interaction with the new xcb. I even found a problem report with a supposed fix to the problem. By the time I’ve found it, the fix was committed to the synergy port, and was subsequently rolled back because it lead to other problems. I tried the patch in the PR anyway. Still did not help me.

Not wanting to spend too much time on this, I was coping with the delays and only occasionally, when annoyed more than usual, was trying to find another fix. Unsuccessfully, I must add, until this morning, when I discovered synergy+, a maintenance fork of the original synergy. I was not aware that synergy+ is basically a drop-in replacement to synergy, the binaries having the same names as in the original. Better still, synergy+ client works just fine with the original synergy server. So I’ve decided to give it a shot, removed the synergy package, and installed the synergy+ port. Voila, the freezes are gone. I am a happy camper now.

New smartmontools and munin

With the recent (2009-12-23) update to FreeBSD’s sysutils/smartmontools port smartctl stopped working if run as non-root. I did not investigate whether it is because of the change in the way smartctl operates, or whether it just stopped to be setuid root.

Normally I don’t mind going root to run smartctl by hand, but it presents a bit of a problem for the hddtemp_smartctl Munin plugin.

One possible solution is to add the munin user to the operator group, add the following two lines to /etc/devfs.conf:

perm ata 0660
perm xpt0 0660

And finally, run sh /etc/rc.d/devfs restart.

Being the dummy that I am, I only thought about a simpler solution when composing this post: just add user root into the [hddtemp_smartctl] section of your munin/plugin-conf.d/plugins.conf file. Besides being simpler, this method has an added advantage: an updated version of the sysutils/munin-node port can easily incorporate this change. Dag-Erling: hint, hint. :-)

port-tags on github

Some years ago I’ve made a little web application which allowed one to browse FreeBSD ports collection by tags, à la delicious.

The tags were not created by users but were instead generated from a couple of fields taken from every port’s Makefile, so it was not exactly a “social” software.

There was some limited amount of discussion on FreeBSD mailing lists, and a publicly accessible readonly SVN repository was created by my friend Erwin, but the overall interest was rather low.

Over time I moved on and basically stopped working on the project, but recently I had an idea - not exactly to re-surrect it, but to make it more easy for people who are interested to contribute.

Enter port-tags at github. Github is a tool to host git repositories of your open-source projects. Anybody can easily clone your repository, fork it completely, or submit their changes back to you. I only started using it today, so I cannot say much about its features and how convenient they are, but from what I’ve heard, it is very very nice.

So, if you are interested, and have got round tuits to spare, please hack on port-tags - maybe some good will eventually come out of it.