I am a freelance Linux consultant by trade, a sysadmin by vocation and an Open Source developer by conviction. Welcome to my soapbox !

Where's your Red Hat ?

This morning in the shower it hit me, the song "Where's your head at" from the Basement Jaxx could be perfectly spoofed as "Wear your Red Hat".

So the complete song would be:

Wear your Red Hat
- Wear your Red Hat
- Wear your Red Hat

Don't let the walls cave in on you
We can't live on, live on without you

Don't let the walls cave in on you
You get what you give that much is true

New dstat_ntp plugin

Every year I am confronted with another VMware guest time synchronization problem, it seems. I have become pretty good at debugging such problems :-)

You have 2 different unrelated problems. Either time goes too slow in a VM guest, which is fixable. Or time goes too fast in a VM guest, which is basicly impossible to fix by any time synchronization method.

Is hyper-threading enabled on a Linux system ?

When you need to know whether hyper-threading is enabled without the luxury to reboot the system (and consulting the BIOS), you can simply look at the output of /proc/cpuinfo and compare the siblings with the cpu cores fields.

Even though /proc/cpuinfo shows you all the logical CPUs (processor field) in the system, the siblings field holds the number of logical CPUs for the physical CPU this entry belongs to (including both the cores and the hyper-threaded LCPUs).

In other words, if you see:

Healthy mind ?

A new governmental campaign (Fit in je hoofd) is trying to get more public attention to psychological health and a questionnaire together with advice provides you with enough food for thought to reflect on yourself and the people around you. (It is in Dutch only!)

At the end of the questions they summarize how you cope with problems and stress and compares it to average good behaviour and average bad behaviour.

My summary looks like this:

Warning module available on drupal.org

The warning module for Drupal that I blogged about earlier is now available from the drupal.org website at:


Try it out, it helped to decrease my comment spam without needing any drastic actions (like closing comments on older articles) and early feedback from testers proofs promising.

Let me know what you would improve !

Next up is adding the comment_moderation module as well so it becomes easier to manage your comments on moderated sites.

Dag for president

In an alternative universe, perhaps ? :-)

Go Dries !

New Drupal comment_moderation module

A second module I wrote this weekend makes it easier to moderate your comments. This was another item high on my wishlist. I didn't found anything that comes close, so please let me know if I missed another module that scratches the same itch.

The comment_moderation module simplifies the work-flow of moderating comments. If you receive a lot of comment spam, the current approval queue is very limiting:

  • It forces you to click through to the comment. If you want to publish the comment you need to edit, change it to published and submit

New Drupal warning module

One of the first things requested from a Drupal developer before contributing a module is to check whether the functionality is already implemented in another module. Because I couldn't find something similar but I do not feel confident that my search was conclusive let me explain what my Drupal warning module does.

How to loose your Firefox tabs

You think Firefox restores your tabs when you close and open it (with Tab Mix Plus or the session saver). Don't bet on it, try the following sequence:

  1. Open the Download window
  2. Open a few tabs
  3. Close the main firefox windows
  4. Open a new firefox instance (only the homepage is opened)

You have now lost all your tabs. If those contained any resident information or things you wanted to read/follow up they've been lost :-/

So if you didn't know the Download page was still open somewhere, starting a new firefox will loose your collection of tabs.

RHEL 5.3 released

You may have heard it by now, RHEL 5.3 has been released.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.3 confirms Red Hat's commitment to Xen with a lot of virtualization enhancements, desktop enhancements, new hardware support, kernel improvements, includes openjdk and much more from the release notes.

NetworkManager woes

In the early days of NetworkManager I was not a fan. Fortunately it improved a lot and now it mostly does what I need (easier than anything else).

However there are a few things I don't like about NetworkManager and I hope the developers could look at these:

Tested on CentOS 5.2 with NetworkManager 0.7.0 from RHEL5.3. But same issues are reproducible with F10.

The story of my nasal polyps

People that have met me in real life may know that I have a nasal voice, suffer from more-than-average sneezing and it often looks as if I have a chronic sinusitis. This started slowly 10 years ago, but never got really problematic. 8 years ago I went to a specialist who did not find anything unusual (sinuses were clean) and declared that I must be allergic to something.

Exception from HRESULT: 0x80040154 (REGDB_E_CLASSNOTREG)

For those impacted by this problem, it helped to remove and reinstall the VMware Infrastructure Client in my case.

I think I caused this problem because I first installed VI Client 2.5 before removing VI Client 2.0. It worked without a problem directly after the VI Client 2.5 installation, so I noticed only the next day that it suddenly stopped working with the error:

Class not registered (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80040154 (REGDB_E_CLASSNOTREG))

CentOS at FOSDEM 2009

We are still looking for people to help out at the CentOS booth and CentOS devroom at FOSDEM 2009.

Also we have still some slots available for CentOS-related presentations, so if you have an interesting story to tell wrt. CentOS, or you know how to entertain a crowd, talk to Fabian Arrotin (or send a mail to the CentOS promotion mailinglist).

See you at FOSDEM 2009 at the CentOS booth !

Authentification does not exist...

One thing that really disturbs me in professional documents is the use of authentification (or in Dutch: authentificatie). This word does not exist in English or in Dutch, it is a mix up of authentication and identification, but still this mistake is made all over the IT world in Europe.

Although the rule is very easy:

  • when the verb is to authenticate it becomes authentication
  • when the verb is to identify/to certify it becomes identification/certification

The verb to authentify or to authentificate simply do not exist in English....

So don't use it :-)