psmisc 22.21 Released

Today as it was raining and I couldn’t do much gardening, psmisc version 22.21 was released. The files are located up on sourceforge at or at your favorite distro repository soon.  Once again, thanks to all patch submitters, bug reports and translators for all their help in getting this out. Apologies to the translation teams for having two alpha versions.

So what does psmisc 22.21 bring you? Amongst a lot of minor bug fixes it has:

  • If you started a process and then spawned some threads and then decided to change the names of the threads, pstree would show the “old” name, it now shows the correct new name
  • pstree has a new flag (-N) for namespace support, thanks Aristeu for the patches
  • Previously fuser -M flag only worked if it was before -m, now it can be either order

The Debian psmisc package should be out in the next few hours.

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WordPress 3.8 for Debian

Well if you can read this then you know it’s working.  After way too many weeks, Debian will have WordPress version 3.8.  Thanks to Raphaël for his kind assistance and answering my questions about how it was built.  The upload is still gurgling along and will make it there in its own time. He said Handing over packages is hard, I’d agree but say taking over them is too.

So, what does WordPress 3.8 look like?  From the “frontend” I didn’t really notice much.  The big changes, at least cosmetically, seem to be for the admin backend.  It just look slicker and cleaner.

Hopefully Debian users find the update useful and I’ve not broken anything.  There’s always the BTS if there is.  I’ve deliberately tried to minimise the changes for this version to limit the breakage.

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Damn you, unworking r8168

I really don’t know why ethernet device makers insist on making it hard for to use their products.  Ethernet has been around for many, many years; surely its not too much to ask for drivers that “just work”.

And so that’s the problem I currently have with my new computer. It has an onboard Ethernet interface which uses a Realtek chip and that’s where the problems have been (with the exception of a power button that wriggled free, but that is also easy to fix).

The device comes up as:

03:00.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8111/8168B PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet controller (rev 06)

I’ve used:

  • The R8169 driver that comes with most of the Debian kernels
  • r8168-dkms driver
  • The 8168 driver from the realtek site

and all of them don’t work.  It seems that the receive side works fine (I sometimes get a valid IPv6 address) but no packets are sent, even ifconfig eth0 shows zero transmitted packets.

ethtool shows some of the setup, this is with the r8168 driver:

driver: r8168
version: 8.037.00-NAPI
bus-info: 0000:03:00.0
supports-statistics: yes
supports-test: no
supports-eeprom-access: no
supports-register-dump: yes
supports-priv-flags: no


Interestingly, if I use the r8169 driver in the kernel and try ifup etho then I do get an entry in the firmware-version spot.

dmesg also shows that it finds the device.

[    0.916487] r8168 Gigabit Ethernet driver 8.037.00-NAPI loaded
[    0.916667] r8168 0000:03:00.0: irq 72 for MSI/MSI-X
[    0.939129] r8168: This product is covered by one or more of the following patents: US6,570,884, US6,115,776, and US6,327,625.
[    0.939136] r8168  Copyright (C) 2013  Realtek NIC software team <[email protected]>
[   10.807066] r8168: eth0: link up

So it all looks good, except it won’t send any packets.  Anyone got one of these devices and if so (and more importantly) how did you get it to work?


pidof moving to procps

pidof is a program that finds the PID of a named program. In some ways it is like a cut-down pgrep found in the procps package.  pidof currently sits in sysvinit-tools.

There are plans to move all utilities that use the proc filesystem under one package which will make the maintenance of them simpler, which in effect means moving pidof from sysvinit-tools to procps. The short-term bump should make it better in the long term.

Now as I wear two hats (Debian maintainer and procps upstream) there are two very important things I/we need to know.

  • If your Debian package depends on pidof being present, then we need to discuss dependencies. procps is generally installed on most systems but there might be corner cases. Possibly just depending on a specific version of procps will do it
  • If you, your Debian package or anything else (including other distributions) need the non-LSB options of pidof (ie they use -c -n or -m) then we (upstream) need to know about it. There are provisional plans not to support these options but they’re needed, or a subset is, then that could change.

Debian developers can chime in on the debian-devel email list, or email myself. If its an upstream issue then either email me, or even better, the procps email list

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props-ng 3.3.8

Procps-ng 3.38 was released yesterday.  Besides the bug fixes,there have been two main enhancements: NUMA and systemd support.

top comes with NUMA support which is a soft dependency, meaning that if compilied with the support, top will try to link at runtime to libnuma. The new key presses are ‘2’ and ‘3’ which will show the Nodes or more detail about a specific node respectively.

ps has two new output columns; unit and uunit. These permit ps to display the systemd unit and user unit fields.  The systemd support is a
hard dependency which is enabled with –with-systemd


procps-ng is available from gitorious or sourceforge:

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