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Situation

Bottom line, ifconfig has finally reached a point of scarcity that I feel I need to switch to the heir apparent iproute2. So often do I get on an isolated network that doesn't have basic tools like ifconfig, route, or vconfig and because of the environment, my workaround apt install net-tools isn't always available.

Problem

When building from source code in Linux (or any *nix) based system, you'll often run into a web of other dependencies that you need to cherry pick from the internet. If you are required to use an older version of a package, its wise to use dependencies that were released just before the source code your are attempting to download. Even if the API for the dependency is still technically compatible, there are also many other factors that can ruin your day.

Static builds, technically linking of binaries in such a way that there is no dynamic loading of external libraries to start the process. A more broad way that I prefer to think of static applications are ones that have no external userspace dependencies. One may argue that my definition of a static application could be a docker container. Not true! A docker container depends on docker (i.e. an external userspace dependency).

Periodically I become a bit obsessed with static building and linking of various tools. These tools can be invaluable with performing troubleshooting of niche systems where you can't depend on the system's ability to accomplish what you need to analyze or debug issues. The catch is that classical unix philosophy has encouraged maximization of shared libraries and dynamic linking. This creates tight couplings between applications and their distributions. Linus has spoken about this coupling and the weaknesses that it brings into the Linux ecosystem.

There are quite a few projects that attempt to mitigate this issues. Let's explore some of these ...

When working with Raspberry Pi, about 99.999% of the information on the internet is focused on Linux support or other higher level interfaces like the RPi.GPIO python package (which depends on Linux itself). When doing, what I'll snootily refer to as, actual embedded development there usually isn't some first class linux driver to do all the dirty work for you. I ran into this very issue when attempting to drive the RPi4 I2C controller from Uboot without an out of the box U-boot driver for the BCM2711.

As part of the Embedded Systems Analysis material development I was recently doing some work with a Raspberry Pi I had sitting on my desk. I noticed that the USB-C power connection had fallen out of the device. Naturally I got under my desk to fetch the squirrel-y cable and plug it back in. I got the cable all the way to the RaspberryPi before I realized that the connector that was supposed to be attached to the RPi was still on the cable. _The whole USB-C assembly had cleanly popped of the RPi4.

In my day to day I'm always working on several projects. While the contributions or time spent on the projects is small, the amount of resources they take up is immense. All to often these days, whenever you want to build a thing from source, you may as well budget at least 20GB for a single project. This of course includes toolchains, dependencies, build cache, and so forth. This causes me a good deal of hardship because I can easily find myself filling up my limited SSD space. Today I decided to take some time to consolidate with the expectation that I was going to buy a HDD for archival purposes. Turns out that wasn't needed for some very strange (new to me) reasons.

dokku coolio caprover

  • The same as: bash + docker/docker-compose + nginx + certbot
  • It does provide git push deployment.

k8s minikube

  • Provides a number of improvements but with increased complexity. Probably ok if you have constant upscalling AND down scalling.

Git push deployment?

To go along with the Embedded Systems Analysis material I've been developing, I wanted to have slide decks for each section. I originally started writing the material in markdown as a way to enforce more accessibility. Using something like PPT would betray that notion and so I began to look at other options...

I wanted to install Windows 11 on my desktop today. In preparation for this I specifically ordered a new M.2 SSD to install Windows on. In the back of my head I thought about backing up my old M.2 SSD or buying some device that would allow me to read the SSD through some other adapter. Ultimately I didn't do anything because I had recalled I had a second M.2 slot on my board and in a pinch I may have to just switch back for a backup if there were files from the old install.

Went to go build an old dockerfile to look at the state of some files in an installation. I was suddenly getting all kinds of errors ... turns out my machine automatically updated docker where BuildKit is now the default. You can go look up BuildKit and all the wizbang gizmos it comes with. I just wanted to be able to build my legacy Dockerfiles the way I always had and now I can't?! You had one job Docker!