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Selected articles of all aspects of our work, mostly in open source projects, usually quite technical.

Starting X11 Applications on OpenBSD at Boot Time

Gespeichert von Marc Balmer am Mo., 12/22/2008 - 11:04

Every now and then someone asks on the OpenBSD public mailing list if it is possible to have a graphical application start at system boot time, circumventing the usual xdm login screen. I had to do exactly this a web browser is to be started for visitors to browse the web. Another application are point of sale systems where the POS application handles the login.

When Puffy Meets the Monkeys, or, OpenBSD at the Point of Sale

Gespeichert von Marc Balmer am Sa., 12/06/2008 - 11:49

Basel has one of Europe's most beautiful zoological gardens, called the Zolli by the locals. It has a breathtaking aquarium with an enormous variety of rare fish, corals and lower animals. Pufferfish and Xenocara can be watched in their natural habitat. Starting january 1st, 2009, those two fish no longer only swim around in their aquariums but every visitor to the zoo must pass them...

Now Generally Useful: OpenBSD's GPIO Subsystem

Gespeichert von Marc Balmer am Mi., 11/26/2008 - 16:59

OpenBSD has had support for General Purpose Input/Output devices since the 3.6 release. GPIO devices, or gpios for short, provide an easy way to interface electronic circuits which can be as simple as a LED or that provide more complex functionality like a OneWire or I2C bus. The GPIO implementation in OpenBSD 3.6 up to and including 4.4, however, has some problems and drawbacks which made me rework larger parts of this subsystem during the h2k8 hardware hackathon in Coimbra, Portugal.

When seekdir() Won't Seek to the Right Position

Gespeichert von Marc Balmer am Sa., 05/03/2008 - 13:33

The other day, I got an email from Edd, an OpenBSD user, claiming that Samba would crash when serving files off an MS-DOS filesystem. This was Samba built from sources and not the one from ports. Since I use myself Samba a lot and for a quite large user base, I got interested in the issue and started investigating it. What I found out in the end is a surprise and was not expected: A bug that has been there in all BSDs for almost all the time, since the 4.2BSD times or for roughly 25 years...