New procps 3.3.0 for Debian

Coming soon after the upstream procps 3.3.0 being released, the Debian packages have been uploaded tonight.  The Debian packages have had the added benefit of being a day late by having a tiny 2 line patch to stop pgrep from crashing.

One regression that is on purpose, watch is currently not 8-bit clean again until I can sort out how to get the linking right with the new build process.


Testing Systems

The embarrassing problem with pgrep did start a discussion about testing, especially regression testing.  I’ve recently started using unit testing in my python programs and love the level of assurance those tests give me that I haven’t broken anything (to a degree anyhow). I’d really like to be able to type “make test” and have each of the programs run through a series of tests.

The problem with packages like procps (psmisc too) is that you really need to test the entire program, not just a stub, and that the program needs access to a know level of /proc.  The only thing I have seen that is even remotely what is needed is the bunch of scripts that coreutils uses which creates dummy files and directories to operate the commands on.  I expect we could do something similar with some scripts that create a known process but if anyone has a better idea about how to test a command line program let me know.

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procps-ng 3.3.0 Released

Tonight procps-ng, a fork of procps by developers from Debian, Fedora and SuSE was released.  The main goal of the team for this release was to reduce the number of patches we all carry in our respective distributions and learn from each other.  As an added bonus, we had one of the original authors of top, Jim, join the team and greatly enhance top.

While the upstream version is now released, the Debian package is not quite ready to go as it involves removing a lot of patches and adjusting some others.  The build system is also now a reasonably standard (but different to previous) setup that means the packing scripts need adjusting.

The best place to find out what is different is the procps NEWS file. The source code is available from Gitorious  at

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