Backups. What a better time to test ’em than when you need ’em. Don’t lie. I know you’ve been there too. In an unfortunate turn of events, I had to restore a number of bare git repos from recent off-site copies (made with the handy rdiff-backup), but they needed a bit more work to be functional.

Once restored, I couldn’t pull or push from my existing working copies. I was greeted with cryptic error messages instead: fatal: git upload-pack: not our ref 0000000000000000000000000000000000000000 and ! [remote rejected] master -> master (missing necessary objects), respectively.

No amount of searching led to an adequate solution. So I simply leveraged git’s distributedness, and used one of the clone to recreate my bare repo. I was nonetheless a bit worried about having lost a few commits on the tip.

Playing in the bare repo later on led me to a more satisfying solution. Apparently, the refs/heads/master file was corrupted (empty), and editing it to contain the full sha-1 of the tip was enough to fix the issue. I found the sha-1 of the desired commit in the packed-refs file at the root of the bare repo. Once done, everything worked as before, and pre-existing working copies were able to pull and push without issue.

I learned two things:

  • A bit more about git
  • That I didn’t actually have any more commits there

Backups! Yay!

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When using syspatch on OpenBSD, the upgrade sometimes fails with

Relinking to create unique kernel... failed!
!!! "/usr/libexec/reorder_kernel" must be run manually to install the new kernel

This generally happens after a system upgrade, or an otherwise manual change of kernel. This fix is to update the kernel hash, before re-running reorder_kernel.

# sha256 /bsd > /var/db/kernel.SHA256
# /usr/libexec/reorder_kernel 

I’ve been using Kodi (then XBMC) for more than a decade now (yup, “XB” did stand for X Box alright, but now LibreELEC on a WeTek Core). I’ve also had the library in MySQL for more than half of it. Across migrations, it had developed some quirky content, such as duplicate albums, and some rarities, such as this version of 21, by Adèle, where the description reminds us that her previous album, Ixnay on the Hombre, was only moderately successful on launch; go figure…

As suggested, pretty much everywhere, as the solution for duplicate content in Kodi, I first tried cleaning the library, repeatedly, to no avail. The duplicate albums were still there. One of their noticeable characteristics, though, was that there was always some copy of the album (and in Adèle’s case, the one following Ixnay), that did not have any associated tracks. This felt like it could be a good angle to help me clear those up. Enter some SQL.

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I recently realised that the QNAP TS-212 NAS (running the latest QTS 4.2.0) can be used as a print server. No need to keep another machine on to print from anywhere!

Remote printing is easy

Both UNICES, through CUPS, and Windows, through Samba, can use the printer straight-away. In the case of the Samsung SCX-3205, the driver under ArchLinux is the samsung-unified-driver (from AUR) which, fortunately, doesn’t install any useless binary beyond those needed by the PPD used by CUPS.

client$ pacman -Qs samsung
local/samsung-unified-driver 1.00.36-2

Remote scanning is harder

The problem is that this is a combo printer/scanner. Moving the printer to the NAS requires a similar solution to CUPS to scan from the network. Fortunately, SANE can do this, and there is some documentation about setting it up on a QNAP NAS. In this case, however, this did not work smoothly, so I had to fix a few things.

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Some time ago, a PPC/Mac OS X 10.5 build slave used with Jenkins started consistently failing with a Unexpected termination of the channel due error on some Jenkins slaves.

Relaunching the agent showed the reason for the error was due to a java.lang.InternalError: Can't connect to window server exception.

This was fixed, based on some insight from StackOverflow, by setting -Djava.awt.headless=true in the Advanced/JVM Options for this host.