Useful Mozilla Firefox extensions

Here are a few Mozilla Firefox extensions I've really come to appreciate in my years of browsing the web, they might be useful for you too:

  • AdBlock Plus - you can't use the internet without it, as it blocks all those annoying banners and pop-ups
  • NoScript - a must in today's age of malicious JavaScript & co., blocks the execution of scripts and other content until you approve it
  • FAYT - get back the old "Find as you type" search-bar, with the prev/next buttons! No idea why they removed them ...
  • Firefox Sync (formerly known as Mozilla Weave) - keeps your bookmarks, preferences etc. in sync while using differente computers, useful for us mobile students
  • WebDeveloper - various tools of great value to website developers

Posted by Luca Longinotti on 26 Sep 2010 at 19:00
Categories: Software Comments

Beware of quotes passed to init-scripts!

Just a quick note in case I or others run into this again...
I use Trac to manage a few projects, more specifically Gentoo's www-apps/trac package to ease its deployment. One feature of the package I take advantage of is the init-script to manage the tracd standalone server.
I now wanted to enable authentication for my Trac installs, and all guides out there tell you to add:


to your commandline when starting Trac (notice the quotes!), I tried this on the shell, and it worked as expected. I thus changed the TRACD_OPTS variable in /etc/conf.d/tracd to the following:

--env-parent-dir /var/lib/trac/"

It started fine but authentication didn't work at all... Somewhat baffling, but after some investigation, I noticed that the quotes around the --auth argument were passed as-is to tracd, which then failed to find the environment *, since when splitting the --auth argument apart, "* would be used as environment name.
The solution is simply to not set any type of quotes when starting tracd through the provided init-script, so that TRACD_OPTS looks as follows:

--env-parent-dir /var/lib/trac/"

In hindsight logical, as the TRACD_OPTS variable gets evaluated only once and then passed to start-stop-daemon, which passes the arguments verbatim to tracd.

Posted by Luca Longinotti on 27 Aug 2010 at 04:55
Categories: Gentoo, Software Comments


I'm finally back on the net, after not having any internet access at my new apartment in Zürich after I moved there. I now started my bachelor studies at the ETH Zürich, of course in Computer Science, though there's a little bit too much maths right now for me to be really excited about it, future semesters will be better I hope. So I'll try to get back to a few Gentoo things in the near future, now that I also finally fixed up my main dev system (which had its disk die just before I moved)... Still this blog entrys main focus is to tell you the name of a package I discovered today:


After reinstalling this system I, as always before, emerged screen to take care of my detached terminal needs, I always had the problem with backspace not working correctly from the desktop, which I was never able to fix correctly, but it was bearable. This time it seems something else went wrong too, and inside my screen sessions it didn't source .bashrc or .bash_profile (which sources .bashrc), even if the shell was correctly set to a bash login shell...
So, while perusing Gentoo Wiki's Screen TIPs to see if anyone had seen something like this, at the end of that page I came across the mention of tmux, a "simple, modern, BSD-licensed alternative to GNU Screen".
Seeing that it only depends on ncurses (which is usually installed everywhere), and was only like 100kb of source, I installed it and tried it out. I have to say I'm impressed, this little tool does everything I did with screen too (mainly just having multiple, detached terminals and resuming them, which is probably no "advanced screen usage", but what most people will likely need), backspace works without any fiddling, the Bash stuff is correctly sourced, and the few commands are easy to adapt to, here a little overview:

  • tmux - Starts a new tmux session
  • CTRL-b d - Press CTRL-b, then d, to detach the terminal
  • tmux a - Reattach to the detached terminal

Still, read man tmux to get the full overview, and then happily emerge -C screen, as I just did.

Posted by Luca Longinotti on 05 Oct 2008 at 14:48
Categories: Longi, Gentoo, Software Comments

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