Measuring Bootup Time of Ubuntu with Bootchart

I just discovered on slashdot the "bootchart" tool. Installation on Ubuntu is as simple as looking up the bootchart package in Synaptic package manager and installing it.

After booting, a png file is created in /var/log/bootchart/. Looks like my bootup-time could be improved, but it's not clear to me (yet) how I can optimize. This is my bootchart of the Medion MD96500 laptop (Intel Pentium M 1.73GHZ - linux 2.6.24-21 - Ubuntu 8.04.1:

bootchart of Intel Pentium M 1.73 GHZ
I did some first experiments with the showdelta script that parses the kprint bootup timings, but bootchart shows parallel timings of processes fired during boot. Great tool! Suggestions for optimization are welcome.


Effective Java - 2nd Edition

The second edition of Effective Java (by Joshua Bloch) is now updated for java version 6. This book is a must-read for any serious java-developer. Contains very practical and up-to-date tips for writing great java programs.

Checkout the effective java site.

The first edition -- still valuable but a bit outdated -- is available on google

Joshua Bloch presents the new version of his book on parleys.com. Highly recommended:


eGovernment: Using the Belgian eID under Ubuntu

Find an updated procedure at michael-peeters.blogspot.be/2012/06/setting-up-belgian-eid-on-ubuntu-124.html.

In Belgium, online eGovernment services require the usage of an electronic Identity Card (eID) as a security token. This eID, coupled with a PIN, allows easier paperless interaction with the official services. Last spring 2008 the eID infrastructure was still Windows-only, but now Linux is supported. This post details how to enable the Belgian eID card reader on Ubuntu (8.04). The official info-website is http://eid.belgium.be/nl/Hoe_installeer_je_de_eID_/Linux/index.jsp.

I borrowed an ACR38 card reader. From the command line it displays:
$ lsusb
Bus 001 Device 004: ID 072
f:9000 Advanced Card Systems, Ltd ACR38 AC1038-based Smart Card Reader
Simply install the ACR38U driver from the Synaptic Package Manager:

Synaptic recommends the pcscd as a dependent package.

Finally, select the 'beidgui' package and accept all dependencies that are proposed:

Now the standalone application can be run. Select Applications/Accessories/Reading and Administration in the Menu or trigger the command line:

$ b eigui
The final step is making firefox accept the external card reader. For this, install the Belgium eID add on for firefox at https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/addon/belgium-eid/.

If you get a "ssl renegotiation error", you should temporarily allow the specific e-government site to accept ssl renegotiations by going to the magic "about:config" url and updating the security.ssl.renego_unrestricted_hosts key with ccff02.minfin.fgov.be.
Nice to see Linux-friendly eGov applications!

More info:

update 2011/05/09 for ubuntu 11.4:
- in about:config update the security.ssl.renego_unrestricted_hosts with ccff02.minfin.fgov.be
- use the 'belgium eID' firefox addon that registers the correct library instead doing the manual configuration.
update 2011/06/14: unfortunately, the minfin.fgov.be site added a "firefox 3" test instead of fixing the ssl renegotiation error. Luckily, it's easy to circumvent this by installing the User Agent Switcher plugin and activating a new "FireFox 3" header. The following user-agent header worked for me: "Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux i686; rv:2.0.1) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/3.5.0"


Recommended Linux Podcasts

When commuting to work, I like to listen to podcasts. Most of the podcasts I listen to are tech-related. Let's review some of those.

My favorite Linux podcast is "The Linux Action Show" (http://www.jupiterbroadcasting.com/?cat=4). At first, the exaggerated intonations of the intro are surprising, but this is just part of the 'format'. The show itself is very entertaining and also great to keep up with the latest Linux news and new devices that run Linux. I like the more reasonable view of the presenters on running non-GPL software on Linux. Always great to hear about new cool Linux apps and products. If they'd talk a bit more about java and openjdk instead of mono (and banshee), the show would be perfect :-).

The second (and last) item in my "Linux Podcast top-10" (well, top 2 actually) is the "Lottalinuxlinks podcast" (http://lottalinuxlinks.com). This is the "anti-Linux action show". No great radio-voices and high-end recording studio here: every lottalinuxlinks show is recorded from within a driving car when returning home. The 'cowboy' southern USA accent just adds to the geek-level of this podcast. Cool linux info.