Josef “Jeff” Sipek

Building FreeBSD Binary Packages

On my laptop, I use the binary packages provided by FreeBSD ports. Sometimes however, I want to rebuild a package because I want to change an option (for example, recently I wanted to set DEBUG=on for mutt).

While this is very easy, for whatever reason I can never find a doc with a concise set of steps to accomplish it.

So, for the next time I need to do this:

# portsnap fetch
# portsnap update
# cd /usr/ports/some/thing
# make showconfig
# make rmconfig   # to reset config, if needed
# make clean      # as needed
# make package
# pkg install work/pkg/*.txz

That’s all there is to it.


Radium-Schokolade (1925) — Radium-laced Chocolate. Sold as something to rejuvenate your organs by eating or drinking it.

Untraceable communication — guaranteed — New untraceable text-messaging system comes with statistical guarantees.

Normalization of Deviance in Software

Michigan Terminal System Archive — It is good to see Wikipedia article: MTS live on as a historical curiosity and hobbyist OS.

Researchers uncover JavaScript-based ransomware-as-service — Ransomware-as-a-service…sigh.

imap4 partial fetch request — Sadly, mutt still doesn’t have it. I really don’t enjoy waiting for a large attachment to get downloaded over a slow link just because I want to read the email body.

Mathematicians invent new way to slice pizza into exotic shapes — I am not sure how some of those new shapes can possibly work in the real life without the notches essentially splitting the slice into a pile of mush that cannot be held.

mbox vs. maildir

Over the past two weeks, I decided to try converting some of the mboxes I have for mailing lists to maildirs. Last time I tried to do it, I noticed an unacceptable delay when I started mutt. Not when I tried to load the largest maildir. That made me give up.

For fun (or was it profit? ;) ), I decided to try again. And again, I saw that delay. This time around, I ran strace on mutt, and I found out that my custom .muttrc was making mutt believe that every file in the maildir was an mbox. Fixing up my .muttrc made the delay go away. Now, I have start up times that are the same as with purely mbox setup, but opening up these maildirs takes up WAY less time. I’m talking fraction of second instead of 5-10 seconds.

I’m considering converting all but the spam box to maildir. I really don’t need thousands of extra inodes which I’ll never use anyway, but at the same time, I don’t mind having one gigantic file full of the spam messages (I keep them because I don’t manually check that no good messages got misclassified by spamassassin). I am going to probably tell XFS to reserve some diskspace for it, to prevent lots of fragmentation from the constant open-write-close syscall cycle.

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