Writing 2014-06-20

October 18th, 2014

hw20140620-01.jpg Read the rest of this entry »

Writing 2014-06-19

October 18th, 2014

hw20140619-01.jpg Read the rest of this entry »

Writing 2014-06-18

October 18th, 2014

hw20140618-01.jpg Read the rest of this entry »

PBP: 049 Lists

October 16th, 2014

This best practice is a simple suggestion: Put every raw list in parenthesis.  It’s good. Read the rest of this entry »

PBP: 048 Low-Precedence Operators

October 13th, 2014

The best practice is not to mix low and high precedence boolean operators.  This is both good and bad, but following the rule can save your sanity. Read the rest of this entry »

PBP: 047 Thin Commas

October 9th, 2014

The PBP cautions us not to use commas to separate and sequence statements.  I think this is good advice most of the time. Read the rest of this entry »

PBP: 046 Fat Commas

October 6th, 2014

Perl has a weird but cool operator, the “fat comma”, written as =>.  It’s a comma, but with a special property that means a bareword on the left side is allowed.  They’re often used for initializing hashes without having to quote every hash key.

The PBP suggests reserving => for items that go together, or, as it says “for pairs”.  Name => value pairs, mostly.  These things are related to each other and => makes that visible.  Read the rest of this entry »

PBP: 045 Barewords

October 2nd, 2014

Perl supports “barewords”, which are strings that just sit naked in your program.  If it isn’t parsable code, it’s a bareword.  The PBP says: Don’t.  I agree, as does ‘use strict’, which I always use. Read the rest of this entry »

PBP: 044 Heredoc Quoters

September 29th, 2014

The PBP suggests that all heredocs be explicitly and deliberately quoted.  When I first read this, I didn’t know you could do that!  It’s a great idea. Read the rest of this entry »

systemd: Failed at step NAMESPACE spawning …: Operation not permitted

September 25th, 2014

If systemd refuses to start a service, and gives you a message like this:

Sep 25 17:22:11 mus systemd[1234]: Failed at step NAMESPACE spawning /usr/bin/whatever: Operation not permitted

… then you might have a symlink as your /var/tmp.  Make it a real directory, or mount -o bind /tmp onto it.  Then systemd can work.  (In /etc/fstab, add a line, “/tmp /var/tmp ext3 rbind defaults,rbind 0 3”, where the final 3 is a number higher than your /tmp and /var mount at.  I fully expect this to confuse SuSE’s upgrader later, but I can deal with that then.)

This only happens if something uses the


option in the service file.

SuSE’s exim does this.  Others do it for CUPS or httpd.

Once again, systemd comes along and screws up a working system, and provides no feedback about what or why or how.  This time searching the Internet wasn’t even useful.  I’m so glad I found this bug.

The author (in a post I can not now find) says, “I see no reason to support /var/tmp as a symlink.”  Lucky you!  I do!  What is the reason not to, and is it worth breaking Linux machines that have run for years this way?

Why, you ask, do you want a symlink for /var/tmp?

I don’t want to create a second /tmp partition.  I use a separate partition for /tmp, so I can set nodev,noexec,nosuid on it.  I’ve had security problems in the past from things executing a payload on /tmp – never again.  It’s saved me more than once now.

I want /var/tmp to get that same protection, so it’s a symlink.  Symlinks are standard Unix stuff, they’re well understood and work for simple things like this.

So, not only did you break a validly configured system because you’re a bunch of thoughtless, inexperienced jerks, you gave the world’s most useless error message in doing so!

I really want to like systemd.  I think it’s trying to do good things.  But the people around it, and the complete lack of availability of information it gives you are making that very, very hard.  OpenBSD is looking better and better.