Release of new utility: Bacula Reports 0.9

I write a lot of code, most of it unsuitable for release to the public but this little gem is worth a public release.

After using Bacula to backup all my servers (both Windows and Linux) for some time, the large number of mailings you get when using it on a small server park drove me insane. Even when using filters to sort out new mail, it is hard to see if everything is going as it should be.

Enter Bacula Reports: a mail aggregator for Bacula 2.x and 3.x.

Bacula Reports consists of a faux mail command (which does not send out reports by mail but rather analyses and stores them) and a report generator which aggregates all the stored reports into one mailing with an overview and some HTML styling to make it more readable (if you don’t want HTML, modify the template to generate plain text).

By integrating the scripts into the Bacula configuration at 2 points (a mail command used for sending out reports and a job to send out the combined report), the storm of daily mails changes into one neat report at the end of the backup cycle.

Normal error messages and operator messages are unaffected and will be delivered as they used to be, only the backup reports per job are redirected to Bacula Reports.


  • A linux server (32 or 64 bit, tested on CentOS 5.2 and Gentoo 2008)
  • A working Bacula 2.x or 3.x installation
  • PHP as a command line interpreter (run ‘php –v’ to see if you have it)
  • 10 minutes of your time to set everything up

The cool thing of the scripts is that they require only 2 small changes in the director configuration to reroute the status mailings and if you don’t like it or run into trouble, reverting is normally a matter of simply commenting out the modified lines and restoring the old ones.

One drawback for some people: it requires PHP on the command line (as stated before). The reason for this is very simple: I want to use the same code in the future for a web GUI and my unix-scripting skills are virtually non-existing compared to PHP or Java.

Even though its PHP, the scripts have a small footprint and run very fast – they should be easy to add to any existing Bacula environment.

{jd_file file==5} {jd_file file==6}

Gentoo Linux

KDE 4 random crashes (when launching Konsole)

After upgrading my laptop to the latest of the latest and even recompiling pretty much the whole system after that, I was still facing a whacky system which crashed on me on seemingly random times.

After a while I noticed that when I log in, hit alt+F2 and fire up ‘konsole’, the whole X server comes down crashing on me. Resulting in a few seconds of dark terror and a fresh login panel.

After running konsole from a text terminal, I spotted the following errors:

 kdeinit4: preparing to launch /usr/bin/konsole konsole(2671): Attempt to use QAction "change-profile" with KXMLGUIFactory!  Undecodable sequence \001b(hex)[?1034h

Because any attempt to trace the program failed, I started to search for other people and their solutions.

I’ve read things about people reinstalling parts of Xorg (namely libX11 as 1.1.5 seems to have some quirks) and parts of Qt 4.5 which should be unstable as well. None of these things worked for me and after restoring the system in the unmodified state, I found someone claiming that removing ‘tweaks’ in the xorg.conf file for the nVidia driver did the trick.

Although I indeed upgraded the nvidia-drivers package, I thought this was one of the bogus stories (like people solvin mounting problems by unplugging printers on the other side of the globe) – but at this point I had nothing to lose.

To my sheer terror I must admit that it actually worked!

I’ve had one occasion where konsole started but the window rendering was all screwed up (white or no background or no window decorations) but I hadn’t linked it to the display driver itself.

For now, everything is stable so I assume that I found the culprit. Please note that one or more of the following will make your KDE 4.2.2 desktop crash randomly:

  • TrippleBuffer
  • BackingStore
    • I have 2 options left in my configuration which are there for a while now and which still seems to be perfectly safe:

      • AddARGBVisuals
      • OnDemandVBlankInterrupts
        • Hopefully this post will safe someone a lot of grey hairs and a couple of precious hours spent on a goose hunt…

Linux / Gentoo Linux

KNetworkConf in KDE4 and Gentoo Baselayout-2

For a while now, I wondered why they ship KNetworkConf with KDE4 if its not working at all. The GUI shows up fine but none of the interfaces actually show up (making it pretty hard to configure them).

Today I found out why: the configuration panel is not incomplete, it is incompatible. You see, Gentoo is starting to switch to baselayout-2, a new and improved system layout which should solve a million quirks that have been part of the system for years now.

According to this bug report on, this is because the network listing is no longer the way it was: it is now a new kind of array (bash compatible or something).

Marvelous as this may be, it breaks knetworkconf in KDE 4.2.2 and older. Lets just hope that the new (service) release fixes this ‘ minor’ glitch.