Upgrade to Fedora 28: nss-pem does not belong to a distupgrade repository

Fedora 28 was released a while ago, and I do not immediately upgrade my workstation from past experience with external repositories needing to catch up.

Starting with

sudo dnf --refresh upgrade
sudo dnf system-upgrade download --refresh --releasever=28

led to this error.

 Problem: nss-pem-1.0.3-6.fc27.i686 has inferior architecture
  - nss-pem-1.0.3-6.fc27.x86_64 does not belong to a distupgrade repository
  - problem with installed package nss-pem-1.0.3-6.fc27.i686

This is coming from steam which is installed via UnitedRPM/RPMFusion repository. There seems to be a package dependency change during the F27 cycle, where right now there’s no explicit dependency or provider is there.

sudo dnf remove nss-pem-1.0.3-6.fc27.i686
Abhängigkeiten sind aufgelöst.
 Paket                                     Arch                        Version                                   Paketquelle                                       Größe
 nss-pem                                   i686                        1.0.3-6.fc27                              @updates                                          215 k
Removing dependent packages:
 libcurl                                   i686                        7.55.1-10.fc27                            @updates                                          581 k
 libdbusmenu-gtk2                          i686                        16.04.0-4.fc27                            @fedora                                            79 k
 libdbusmenu-gtk3                          i686                        16.04.0-4.fc27                            @fedora                                            79 k
 nss                                       i686                        3.36.1-1.0.fc27                           @updates                                          2.4 M
 openldap                                  i686                        2.4.45-4.fc27                             @updates                                          1.0 M
 steam                                     i686                                        @rpmfusion-nonfree-updates                        2.7 M

This bug report and this blog post helped a lot, just pre-install the F28 package prior to the upgrade. In my case I had to force the package update.

sudo dnf update nss-pem --releasever=28 --best --allowerasing

Next, proceed with the upgrade again.

sudo dnf system-upgrade download --refresh --releasever=28

Say hi to Fedora 28 🙂

Clear redirect cache in Chrome

Chrome caches 301 redirects in a certain way. This one caused problems when testing redirects with monitoring-portal.org with / to /woltlab (now removed).

There is no direct configuration setting for this, you need to visit chrome://net-internals/ in Chrome. Then right click on the cursor icon in the right upper corner and select “clear cache”.

A taste of Austria: 5 years Germany & NETWAYS

Time really flies. I still remember my decision to move from Vienna to Nuremberg, like it was yesterday. Lately we’ve been talking about job application interviews at NETWAYS and I made my usual joke “Meet with Bernd, have a coffee and say yes”. I’ve never shown my CV or wrote an application letter.

It was and is a matter of trust and honesty. Bernd invited me to this adventure, and always has guided me when times were hard, or not so super exciting. He’s also the one who made me a more friendly, and calm person with a vision to lead and care about others. Just awesome.

Back at that time I also met Markus who helped me with the move into my Nuremberg located flat. Just 15 minutes walk to NETWAYS, not so far away from Anwanden. Markus and Nicole are the ones where I found my “second” family here in Nuremberg, far away from home. I really feel safe and relaxed when I’m with them. Life is good.

NETWAYS is family and friends. That includes bitching, arguing, joining the conversation and feeling so young when you are going somewhere. Like a trip with your school or student mates. We all have a vision at work – the most important thing is that we do care about each other. You’ll see that when a party is ending, cleaning up together. You’ll recognize that during a conference when everyone pushes the team to the next level. You can feel it, when a small group of crazy Germans, Austrians and Italians moves to a foreign country and is just pure natural and crazy. No-one is left behind and we all go the flow. Just friends.

Speaking of Austria, I tend to visit Linz more often these days. My CX-5 provides me the luxury to just do so, while travelling by train is somewhat “too much stress and plans”. And of course, I found my love with bringing the good Austrian stuff to Nuremberg. Dragee Keksi, Linzer Torte, Manner, and much more. Always honoured and loved, already travelling the world. A taste of Austria.

I did not really change my Austrian dialect to German or Franconia even. At some point, I just don’t care and use “funny” words. Like “the other” Markus is doing with his “Wos? Jetzt glaub i’s oba!” (What? Now I believe it … or something like that). It always has been a good start into a conversation to discuss the different words and meanings of German and Austrian words. It doesn’t matter which country you belong these days, we think global.

Travelling the world with NETWAYS, and Icinga. Made friends and achieved my personal goal: Visit events and give talks about the things I love. I’m also preferring English everywhere I can.  Open source unites.

I’ve seen different cultures, used to learn and communicate. Keeping calm if a discussion is on the run. My past me was reacting emotional when someone said “annoying” or “bad project” about “my” Icinga. These days I see the success of Icinga, how many different people are involved in it, with their different visions and the idea to push each other to the next level. Time to fade away and lean back.

I’ve also started to look into “new” things. Some points in the past have proven that I am running directly into a burn-out. This is the time when I get ill, which I normally don’t. I learned from projects which were huge, and failed. Failure is allowed at NETWAYS, and I am glad that I get the time and resources to keep calm, motivate again, and find my true vision. Lately “Icinga is running on the ISS” just nailed it again. Trust and motivation.

Managing projects and leading teams is a hard job, still my ongoing goal. Be it for Icinga or NETWAYS. I’m not the “perfect” coder, I like to organize things, design and create concepts, write documentation, do support, install all the things, and integrate them with other tools in the stack. There’s also Request Tracker as one of my new projects. And a new software is coming to life soon, all helped with the nice startup days last week at NETWAYS. Most recently I’ve also started to develop Icinga Web 2 modules. Finding new areas of expertise is pure motivation.

Probably I’m doing too many side projects, like Dashing, Vagrant, Plugins and also providing monitoring-portal.org as a community platform. Still, I learned to keep it in the 40 hours a week, and put aside everything when turning on the PS4 (I really love Assassin’s Creed Origins), building LEGO models, or just reading Perry Rhodan, still at 1170. Life is too short to work too much.

Friends married this year. The not-so-typical American-Italian-German wedding in lovely Nuremberg, many days full of love and joy. And the one you only do once in your life: Going to Kosovo, meet a new culture and enjoy life. Next year, some “round” birthdays are coming, and we’ll see where we’re heading. Our “we play offline games and drink a lot” round with Vanessa, Markus and Martin is also in the making again. Family and friends matter.

After all, it is an incredible journey and I don’t want to miss it. I love going to work and see my friends and colleagues. I love going back to Austria and visit my family. I love Nuremberg, Franconia and the country side. I love meeting friends and discussing the latest (LEGO) stuff, or just sitting in the garden having a G&T doing nothing. Tomorrow we’ll party hard at the NETWAYS XMas event, I’ll promise 🙂

Life is good with a taste of Austria 🙂

VLC on Fedora with Wayland: Big Icons, small text problem

I’ve always used VLC as my favorite video player on Linux. Recently they changed releases to 3.0 from Git in Fedora 25 (RPMFusion repository). This also included changes to work with Wayland instead of Xorg. Unfortunately the user interface was broken then – big icons, small text. Just looked like 800×600 on a full HD resolution, 27″ here.

Options described on the net where to create a custom skin, or clear the configuration cache. None of these worked unfortunately.

While looking for a possible bug I’ve found this issue which lead me to a new repository called “United RPMs”.

Thought I’d give it a try, since this issue proposes updated packages which fix the issue entirely.

sudo -rpm --import https://raw.githubusercontent.com/UnitedRPMs/unitedrpms/master/URPMS-GPG-PUBLICKEY-Fedora-24
sudo dnf -y install https://github.com/UnitedRPMs/unitedrpms/releases/download/6/unitedrpms-$(rpm -E %fedora)-6.fc$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm

sudo dnf makecache

In order to prefer UnitedRPMs over RPMFusion, I’m explicitly setting the repositories on install (I don’t want to fiddle with yum priorities here).

sudo dnf remove vlc

sudo dnf install --repo=unitedrpms --repo=fedora vlc

Voilá, VLC works again.

2016 … what’s next?

Lots of things happened in 2016. Probably way too much as I cannot really recall what I did in which month.

It hasn’t been easy all the time, and being under pressure I also made certain mistakes or acted differently than I demand it from myself.

I’m not really a fan of “1.1.2017 – leave all things behind and start over”. Reality is different and so I am taking a moment to breathe and reflect what really happened in 2016. Things I want to improve, things I loved but also things which went not so good.


Things which I would do different

At some point in late 2016 I realised that I am doing a) core development fixing bugs b) first level support c) community support. This isn’t essentially bad, but b) should be done by co-workers and c) requires a lot of effort to train community members and share knowledge.

Together with a), the actual majority of my daily work, this literally exploded at some point. I’m not proud of the way how it went (story for real life conversation) but I couldn’t help myself in this situation. In the end changes and workflows have been adopted and I am looking forward to see progress here.

Dealing with important bugs, not knowing which one comes first isn’t easy. If the support channels rely on your answer to problems, this has a huge impact on your work load. You can’t focus on the important problems anymore but need to take the chance to analyse the problems by yourself. You loose track of the important bug you’ve been looking into before getting disturbed. Finally you’ll end up with lots of ping-pong and accusations who did it wrong. Many things not even so-called project managers could solve, we’re not big enough for that even.

When your issue dashboard says 400, like 30 urgent and a lot of possible duplicates .. well. I helped myself with getting pen and paper, writing the problems down and pinning them on the wall.

There are still some issues, even many, but one also needs a better voting mechanism than Redmine provides. I am eagerly waiting for the tags and +1 capabilities we’ll be using on GitHub.

After all I consider some situations where my mind said “fix it now” being plain wrong. I should’ve waited and not rushed for solutions. There’s no guarantee for a fix anyhow. Still a problem with freeing your mind in the evening. That’ll be a deal breaker when you’re part of an open source project for many years. You sometimes just cannot stop, or the burnout stops you.

One thing I also learned the hard way – if you help others by accidentally doing their job, they’ll always rely on you. Help them in a way that they learn from you, but are able to take notes and probably never ask again.


The good stuff

Dashing turned from a fun project into an official Icinga 2 integration. I learned a lot about Ruby and Coffeescript and received overwhelming community feedback. I even wrote some development guides to help others.

The Icinga Vagrant Boxes are still on the run, and make my life even more easy. Lately I kept working on an Icinga 1x release but didn’t want to locally install the dev environment. Or by having a FreeBSD test box.

A while back I have forked the Manubulon SNMP plugins because I needed them for my own projects. It gained more attraction and I also added community contributed patches. OpenBSD is already using it, and Debian is probably going to replace the old project as well.Debian is using them already . In order to help everyone, I decided to tag and release v2.0.0.

One of my interests after learning about Graphite, InfluxDB, Grafana as well as Puppet was to gain knowledge about the Elastic Stack. I know Graylog already but getting things done with Elastic being the primary tool at work fascinated me. And of course the Elastic Beats concept. So I went for an Elastic Vagrant box and also looked into the new 5.x release.

I’ve also finally attended the Puppet training courses. I don’t use it on a daily basis, but now can better imagine how monitoring fits into config management. That made PuppetConf 2016 even more joy for me. Since the Icinga 2 Puppet module is currently rewritten I’m waiting for its final release to integrate it inside the Vagrant boxes. I’ve also contributed a small patch for the InfluxDB Puppet module this year and am hoping to contribute even more.

I did write the Git training courses from scratch this year, and have provided 3 trainings already. In mid 2017 we’ll be adding GitLab to it and focus on even more integration possibilities. It is a “new” playground for me and before writing the training material I thought I would know everything about Git. I was wrong – I only know some of the magic practical examples, but there are so many others. And the feedback and questions during the training were also helpful to just try things out and update the training material.

I have a lot of fun doing social media during events. That’s mainly twitter with introductions and topics which interest me, be it with Icinga or NETWAYS. One thing I really love – sharing that knowledge and motivation to colleagues. I am also retweeting interesting tweets, like Icinga regularly got some Grafana stuff, or NETWAYS posts about Elastic, Puppet and so on. Twitter is what >50% of my co-workers are using for also interacting with work stuff, and it has become even more important being part of the “twitter family” – just to know what’s funny or cool these days 😉

NETWAYS also now has its own event location namely “Kesselhaus“. Primarily used for training sessions this has been opened up for employees to host their own parties. And so I did with the generous help of Georg, giving a party for my 33th birthday. Including some firemen, a blonde transformation and lots of G&T (the Saffron Gin is really tasty).

Birthday presents were lots of Lego too 😉 I did not build so many Lego this year, but then decided to go for Big Ben instead of the rather expensive Lego Technic Porsche model. Building a model piece by piece really is more enjoyable than using pre-defined bricks for that. Turns out that 2017 might bring a new addition to that – the Lego Creator Expert series is celebrating their 10th birthday with a new exclusive model, 1,5 of the size of the normal buildings. Hmmmm 😉

Speaking of Lego – we do have a yearly meeting in March where Bernd and Julian are recapping the last year. It is our own pleasure to find enjoyable presents for all their hard work. This year I came up with the idea of creating a NETWAYS logo with Lego. Everyone was excited 🙂

monitoring-portal.org has a new home, generously hosted by NETWAYS. Even HTTPS was possible. The migration from the old WBB3 platform was pretty rough in early 2016, but we made it happen with an upgrade to WBB4. There still is work to do (more categories, better theme) but it is not yet clear if we stick with Woltlab or turn into Discourse. What I really want to improve is that users who help others will get a reward. Similar to Stackoverflow.

I have improved my spoken English and the way I keep presenting Icinga in my talks. Berlin, Amsterdam, Belgrade, San Diego – in the end I already knew what to talk about next. Well, the workshop at Devopsdays wasn’t good but I learned what else to prepare (just use the Vagrant-Boxes and skip the install for example). I also brought a lot of Dragee Keksi with me. They even landed in Australia 😉

I had a lot of fun finding and creating demos for the Icinga 2 API. Depending on the audience I then decided which demos to show. For instance the AWS EC2 demo isn’t that spectacular when you are in Europe. But the Clippy demo did not need any words to make people laugh and smile.


2016 also told that I should focus on more community activities. I do have some ideas like hangouts or webinars. One I already realised was to create the “monthly snap” blog post series. This one collects positive karma and gives insights into current developments. I do see that in a 2 way benefit – users see what’s fresh and new, and developers get positive feedback and motivation.

OSMC was lovely and top notch. Really enjoyed meeting with “Gin tasting crew” on Tuesday after my Git workshop. I was really tired after the 2 days conference … but that’s also the reason when you meet a former colleague from Austria and just keep talking. I also finally met Stéphane Bortzmeyer, one of those people knowing literally everything about DNS (my former workplace). The hackathon was really good, we made a lot of improvements and I finally met Steffen from Elastic, being the Go and Beats guru.

Last but not least I have to admit that road trip #2 in California was really a pleasure and freed my mind from such a hard year. Dirk and I went for Grand Canyon, driving 2000 miles in 7 days. There was a plan to have at least Las Vegas and Death Valley on the track but we changed that a bit. Going from South Rim to North Rim wasn’t planned but hey – a thunderstorm over Grand Canyon and just you in that little car. In the end we’ve also visited spots in Death Valley I haven’t been before, and also decided to visit Sequoia National Park. Just because there was time and we were free. Last but not least – Venice Beach jumping into Tom and a revival at Venice Whaler with Julian 🙂

I took those memories with me and ended up in getting myself a CX-5 with the help of Markus and Nicole. Now I have a similar feeling when driving – free and independent. A mind changer after all.


Wishes for 2017

Don’t rush things. Let others do their job and wait for them to finish.

Turn email conversations into meetings or hangouts. If something pisses you off, do it face to face. Take notes what’s good and bad, and leave things for a day. Re-iterate problems then with a different mindset.

Deal with problems in a relaxed fashion, propose a workaround or hotfix and then focus on realising a bugfix and a software release.

Try to understand what the other one is really thinking. Imagine a real life discussion if it’s online. Don’t push your own opinion as the most important one. Try to rephrase things from “Your attempt isn’t good” to “Think of this in a different way – how would this look like …”.

Share knowledge. At some point you’re the only one knowing about cool things. Write them down and encourage others to improve and add their experience. This also includes enhancing the docs and howtos.

Look for events and talks you’d like to give. Combine it with some days off and explore the cities and surroundings.

Look into a good mix of things you like to work on. It is not only C++ with Icinga 2 or documentation. That could be …

  • RT and extensions (Perl)
  • Icinga Web 2 Modules (PHP)
  • Things with Go (icingabeat, etc.)
  • Development trainings (Git, etc.)
  • Community demos (recordings, hangouts)
  • Enhance monitoring-portal.org and move to a new platform (evaluate Discourse)
  • Contribute documentation and howtos (I still owe Michael Medin one for NSCP)
  • Discover the possibilities of GitHub and GitLab
  • Embedded hardware programming (things I used to learn during my studies)

40 hours a week are enough. Social media such as Icinga twitter might work in the evening, but prefer spare time over it. If there’s no time at work to answer questions in the community channels, do it the next day but not in the evening.

Enjoy life.

Read Perry Rhodan. Build Lego models. Play board games. Do workout and free your mind. Be offline.

Go for a ride with the new CX-5, explore the world.