psmisc 22.16 Released

psmisc version 22.16 was released today.  It is a bugfix release that bascially fixes a problem around strings in C.  Process name lengths are only supposed to be 16 characters long, so a 17 bye buffer is ok; until you have processes with brackets which means the string is 18 characters.

The next wrinkle is that at times the brackets are stripped out so matches fail because the lengths don’t quite line up. You’ll see this with the Debian 22.15-2 version of psmisc where killall won’t find long-named processes.

So, 22.16 fixes all that.

Test Processes

It really shows that psmisc needs a set of tests like procps has already. The difficulty with both is that its not simple in the DejaGNU framework to make test processes. These are not the programs within the package but other processes that the programs can work on.  There really needs to be an equivalent to touch for processes just for this sort of thing.  Creating processes is rather simple, but ensuring they go away is the tricky part, or they die with certain signals.

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VMware Player on Debian

For various reasons, having vmware running on my desktop would be kind of useful.  VMware provide a Free (as in beer) version of their software called VMware Player. I downloaded the file VMware-Player-4.0.2-591240.x86_64.bundle off their website and tried to build it.

It failed to build. Given my previous lack of success with VMware server, I wasn’t too surprised.  What was surprising was it wasn’t too hard to fix it.  The problem was that the vmnet module would not compile and that was due to three things:

  • net device ops no longer has set_multicast_list (in netif.c)
  • the linux module header needs to be included to define THIS_MODULE
  • skb_frag_t has been redefined and needs an adjustment

The patch is only a few lines and means I can compile vmware on my Debian sid computer running kernel 3.2.0-1


To use it, you will need to find where the modules are built, for me it is /usr/lib/vmware/modules/source

  1. mv vmnet.tar vmnet2.tar
  2. tar xf vmnet2.tar
  3. patch -p0 < vmnet.patch
  4. tar cf vmnet.tar vmnet-only

With that you can run the player which will try to build the modules and you’re done!



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