How to make private git repositories open for public access

Some of my personal projects are tracked using private git repositories, hosted on this server. I can access these via ssh, but for a while I've had in mind to make at least a couple of them publicly accessible... somehow. After finally getting around to looking into it, this turns out to be deceptively simple using git-daemon (instructions for Debian distros):

  1. Install the git-daemon-sysvinit package.
  2. Enable the daemon by editing /etc/default/git-daemon. Reboot, or start the git-daemon service by hand.
  3. Add a symlink to each git repo you want to make public under /var/lib/git. These will then be accessible via git://<hostname>/git/<linkname>.
  4. Ensure the git protocol port (9418) forwards to the server.

Simple! The git protocol is faster than serving over http(s), and the standard configuration ensures that anonymous clients can pull, but not push, which is exactly what I was after.

Over the …

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Note to self: How to update Debian KDE packages to unstable

I use Debian with KDE's Plasma desktop environment. I usually track Debian's testing repository, but often I like to upgrade the version of KDE packages installed to more recent versions in the unstable repository. My preferred way:

sudo aptitude --visual-preview -t unstable install ~i~mkde

The action tends to be independent of anything else, but that's easy enough to work around—update per usual before running.

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Using Unison with Android over USB

For some time, I've been happily using Unison in conjunction with my Android phone's USB mass storage function to synchronize files between my phone and my desktop. It was simple: I'd plug in my phone with USB and enable the SD card to be used as a mass storage device, then mount it in Linux and run Unison as if the phone was a local folder (with appropriate tweaks to support the FAT filesystem).

Alas, my phone was getting on in years (or months, as it is in tech), and with support long dropped and capacity nigh exhausted, I had to upgrade. With my new phone I've been promoted to the “new hotness” that is Android 6 Marshmallow, but one of the functions that was dropped along the way was the ability to expose the SD card as mass storage over USB. Admittedly it wasn't a perfect solution, requiring unmounting …

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Removing hostile Windows updates

As a consequence of their recent effort to boost the numbers of Windows 10 installs using any means possible, however questionable, and turn their paying customers into beta testers, Microsoft have been especially hostile to their users as of late, installing nag-screens and “telemetry” code (also known as “spyware”) under the guise of important updates to existing installs of previous versions of Windows. While I would happily eschew Windows for Linux on all the machines I use, and have largely done so, the idea of avoiding Windows in totality is, sadly, not yet practical―the common-use machines I maintain in our lab required it for various reasons, and even I still keep a Wintendo partition.

There are plenty of discussions around about what to do about this. Here's a fine example. Though this is intended for my own reference, I've had success with the following:

wusa /uninstall /kb:2952664 /norestart …

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Accessing machines on a home network with sshuttle

You might have noticed that I'm running a little Raspberry Pi, acting as a server for my website as well as some other small server-ish tasks. This machine is actually on my home network and I also use it as the front-face to that network for incoming connections. There are other machines on this network, and while they are behind a NAT and so not addressible from the outside world, this is fine most of the time. But on the odd occasion where I'd like to directly address any other machine on that network, I have to do so through the Raspberry Pi. Depending on what it is I'm trying to do, exactly, that can be tricky.

I've just discovered sshuttle. It acts similarly to a VPN, using SSH under the hood to transport TCP packets through a server that you specify. The cool thing is that it doesn't require …

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On backups/redundancy

Recent events gave me cause to consider my personal data backup and redundancy strategy for my Debian installs. Or, more accurately, it caused me to amend my half-baked and semi-implemented existing approach so that I won't lose data or have to reconfigure things from memory/scratch in the event of a hard disk failure.

My present “backup” approach is really somewhere between a time-limited backup and redundant storage. Essentially, I use Unison to synchronize my home folder (with certain sub-folders ignored, e.g. certain git repositories, config and thumbnail cache folders) between my desktop and my netbook. I have to run Unison manually, so I end up synchronizing my data every week, give or take. This effectively kills two birds with one stone: I get to have local copies of my important data as up-to-date as my last sync for when I'm on the road and using my netbook, and …

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