Auto izmaksas

2015tā gada 23jā martā es saņemu savās rokās savu pirmo auto. Tas bija Mercedes C180 CDI 2012 un tas bija un ir lielisks auto. Šajā bloga ierakstā es atzīmēju gan sev, gan citiem cik man šis pasākums ir izmaksājis. Raksts tika atjaunots līdz auto tika pārdots.

Pēdejais atjaunojums: 2017-05-25

Iegādes summa: 21388 EUR + 650 EUR (atrašana un piegāde) + 400 EUR (pirmā registrācija)

Papildus pirkumi:

  • telefona turētājs - 110 EUR
  • priekšējā skata kamera - 100 EUR
  • ziemas riepas - 575.40 EUR
  • logu slotiņu komplekts - 24 EUR
  • logu tīrīšanas skidrums - 60 EUR


  • OCTA/KASKO - 1058.48 EUR + 126.61 EUR + 734.30 EUR
  • telefona turētaja un kamera uzstādīšana ar vadu integrāciju - 254.10 EUR
  • riepu nomaiņa ar glabāšanu - 45 EUR
  • sodi - 115 EUR
  • parkošanās - 47 EUR
  • mazgāšana - 110 EUR
  • B serviss un riepu nomaiņa (Latvijā) - 559.41 EUR
  • remonts pēc nepareizas degvielas uzpildes (Vācijā) - 635.50 EUR
  • A serviss (Vācijā) - 408 EUR
  • Šveices viņjete - 38.50 EUR
  • Austrijas viņjete - 24.50 EUR


  • 52569 km - 90218 km
  • 37649 km


  • 2490.46 litri dīzeļdegvielas (-84 litri no bākas tīrīšanas un -264 km līdz pirmai pilnai uzpildei, vidēji 6.43 l/100km)
  • 2755.12 EUR

Ir bijuši pāris Domeniks servisa apmeklējumi, bet visas problēmas tika atrisinātas pēc garantijas. Auto ir 2 gadu Mercedes garantija.

Pārskaitot ne-vienreizējos izdevumus uz pagajušo termiņu izmaksas mēnesī sanāk:

575+24+60+1058+126+734+45+115+47+110+559+408+38.5+24.5+2755 = 6679 EUR pa visu periodu
6679/19 = 351 EUR mēnesī
6679/37649 = 0.1774 EUR/km

Pēc 5 mēnešu tirgošanas auto beidzot tika pārdots. Pēc pārdošanas izmaksu atskaitīšanas manā kontā no tā ienāca 15265 EUR. Tas bija mazāk nekā cerēts, bet jo ilgāk auto tiktu turēts tirgū, jo zemāk kristu tā vērtība arī nepieaugot nobraukumam. Tāpēc tika pieņemts lēmums pārdot. Tādā veidā amortizācija pa 19 mēnešiem lietošanas sanāk 7173 EUR, jeb 377.5 EUR mēnesī vai 0.19 EUR/km. Šo varētu vēl palielināt par 1200-2000 EUR, ja amortizācijai pieskaitītu vienreizējos tēriņus un kļūdainās uzpildes tēriņus. Amortizācijas izmaksas ir liela daļa laba auto uzturēšanas izmaksu - to nevar tā vienkārši ignorēt.

Kopā tas veido pilnās auto izmaksas 728.5 EUR mēnesī, jeb 0.368 EUR/km.

Salīdzinājumam es šo auto tagad pārdošu, lai paņemt auto no jaunā darba (BMW) darbinieku piedāvājuma - 1% no tā cenas mēnesī par visu (ieskaitot riepas, apdrošināšanas un pat benzīnu), kas jaunam BMW 330e iPerformance plugin hibrīdam ar visām ekstrām sanāk mazliet virs 600 EUR mēnesī.

Moving to Germany

After a long contemplation about what I want to do with my life and just as long a negotiation, I have accepted a job offer at BMW and will be moving from Latvia to Ulm, Germany in January 2016.

It is going to be a big change and a big shake-up in my life, but the change should be for the better, eventually. I am going to move there using my car, loading a single car load of essential stuff and leaving the rest behind. My cat will be amond the essentials, so I have already started training him for car rides. The cat is not thrilled about it. I'll be renting out my current apartment - I wish to find someone that I know to rent to, but if noone comes up, then I'll have to give it to a renting company to rent out for me.

There should be little change for my online activities, but this means that I will be less available for parties in Riga for the forseable future. Wish me luck!

Summary of the Debconf15 road trip (part 2)

At the end of the previous part of this tale of travel and cars I was being dunk around the heavy waves of the azure variety against the hard stones of the Med coast near Nice, France. The next stop was a wild card before going to Venice and so a small hotel was chosen high above a mountain lake in northern Italy.  This meant that the whole day was to be spent crossing the top of Italy from Med to Alps. Italy has very nice paid motorway system that makes crossing large distances easy, but not really cheap. One larger drive cost just over 40€ alone. But there are benefits - the speed is nice (not autobahn-nice, but still) and there is also the amazing thing called AutoGrill this looked like just a regular road-side fast food joint, but that was until we looked closer. There was a wide selection of nice salads, there was a freshly grilled meat pepared per order lots of wine by glass and a huge selection of Italian wines and pasta to buy. It was amazing. Maybe because our expectations were rather low, but it was truly good food. We saw many AutoGrills after that, even outside of Italy, but the ones outside of Italy were not as great.

Going back into Alps was a great idea. The views along the road were good, but the view out of our hotel window was just majestic. Both during the day and at night as well.The hotel rooms even have balconies where you can sit in the evening with a blanket, a glass of local wine and a book. And in the morning .. imagine going out into a sunny and warm morning with a full plate of fresh breakfast food in one hand and cup of coffee in another, crossing the surprisingly active mountain street and sitting down in the shade of the tent pitched on an outcrop from the cliff of the mountain with the fantastic view of the amazing lake and the mountains that contain it. As you eat your morning meal an occasional Fiat is barreling by the narrow twisting road at approximately 100 kmh and others slow down to 80 kmh before taking a blind downward 60 degree turn into a diving side street that is even narrower. And you realise then and there that life is amazing and every moment matters.

That is the perfect mindset to have when going to Venice. Which we did. After a short drive we arrived at a very cheap "hotel" near Venice (Camping Village Jolly). It was actually a permanent camping ground. There was a swimming pool, restaurant and an administration building that is surrounded by several hundreds of permanently parked trailers. You could rent parking space for your own trailer or a tent place or you could rent a "room" which is basically one of those trailers. Each of them has 2-3 cot type beds, bathroom with a tiny shower and an air conditioning unit. It was perfectly serviceable and much cheaper than all the normal hotels in the area. It was a half an hour of walking to the train station to get to actual Venice, but that was not too bad either. The camp "bus to Venice" was not a great choice as it arrives to a segregated section of Venice where you need to use some other (expensive) transport to get to the actual city. It was a better idea to use a local regular bus route 6 to get straight to the bus station.

Venice is a very cool city. At first you enter it and are surrounded by thousands and thousands of tourists all running the same routes to the same places. But it only takes a few minutes to loose the crowd and dive into smaller side streets and wander away to nearly empty streets where only the locals walk around. Even with millions of tourists every year, still Venice has a lot of spaces where tourists do not go and where locals dominate the scene. There are streets with multiple restaurants where you hear no English and all the locals eat their meals and drink their wine. Some streets end in a dead end into a canal where you can step down and check out the fishes. And the locals do love their fishes. Every street looks amazing in Venice. And the large scale architecture in between the tight old building is astonishing in the way it stands out. And every house could be a ancient castle of a wealthy family. The touristy places look very impressive, but other places look even better with a bit of a look. And there are no hawkers of the shiny flying things in the less touristy places. You can even chill in one of many tiny parks where locals come together to chill, play with their dogs and drink more wine. Venice was also the place where we had the most amazing meal of the trip. There was a restoraunt that was so popular that it had tables outside, but not just outside, they had tables right by the edge of the canal. You could literally not move one of the chairs back with the risk of falling into the water. A docking boat actually reached for an anchor point that was between the chair legs. But the food was amazing with some great house wine as well. We spent two full days in Venice. It was just scratching the surface not even entering any buildings really, but the place still left a very strong impression of an ancient and content power on me. A fun stat that I remember from a "No Reservacions" episode about Venice was that, despite being a huge tourist attraction, people living in Venice make just as much money from logistics and fishing as from tourism. It is not a one trick town and it shows in places where tourists don't go.

After Venice started the return part of the trip. The plan here was simple - go a *long* distance every day with minimal stops for food and sleep. It was a bit tiresome, but it was not too hard on me. When you have cruise control and some music loaded into your phone the hours and the kilometers just melt away on the great highways of Italy, Austria, Slovakia and Poland. The days melded together in my mind, so I had to use Google Location History to reconstruct them. Crossing the Alps via highways is fast and easy, but not really much fun. Both Austria and Slovakia required me to buy and stick into the  window a vignette sticker to be able to drive on their roads. The stickers cost less than what I paid for the roads on the vignette-less Italy, so that was actually a welcome change at this point. In one day of driving I went from Venice to Vienna. Surprisingly the Vienna was the place where we had the best sushi of the trip. They had amazing melt-on-your-tongue tuna and the rise was best I've had outside of Japan. Vienna also was the place where we saw this nice, if expensive piece of art. It also had an exhibition at the time about the fate of the Eastern Europe in the Soviet hands with the texts and photos from Poland, Baltics and Ukraine. The information was accurate and the emotional impact was quite nice to see.

The next day the trip home continued with another long stretch from Vienna to Lodz in Poland. This leg was not a long as it could be because someone in the car had not been to IKEA before and I simply had to enlighten the poor individual about the health and mental benefits of swedish meatballs while also picking up a few trinkets for home. It was amazing as always. IKEA is a house of fun and fantasy. Well maybe that was just the trip fatigue talking from hours of sitting that a walk through a colorful showroom with all kinds of funky almost-useful stuff was a refreshing change. Polish highways were a pleasant surprise after all the horror stories that people have been telling about them. But the Poland changed with the EU - there is a huge number of new motorways constructed with a bunch of bridges in all the possible colors crossing them. The designs of the bridges does not change much, but the color does. It's the little things that you notice after 6 hours on the road. Lodz met us with some post-soviet road layout and even more post-soviet style of hotel that looked like the typical upscale communist party regional hotel, but cleaned up with some marble columns and refreshed power sockets. It felt like this was a soviet hotel a long time ago, but the hotel had clearly moved on. Nothing said this more than the episode in the morning in the lobby of the hotel - a woman was explaining to the young girl in reception that she left a cooling block from a car refrigerator in the hotel freezer and that she wanted it back now. The girl did not understand her. She understood basic russian, but the word for refrigerator - she just did not know it. I had to translate russian to english, so that the woman could get what she needed in a hotel of a rather large city in Poland. The english of the service personnel was perfect. That is something that we are going to as well.

Final day was a bit of a hell. I did 11 hours of pure driving from Lodz straight to Riga. We only stopped for a lunch at a random roadside polish tavern "Under the Black Boar" for a quick, but solid meal and then for another meal in Panevezys where we tried to find the only 7+ rated restaurant in the city that Foursquare knew about, but it was closed and there was a new place there called Pizza di Napoli. We were just from Italy here eating pizza in Lithuania. And it was a very solid and fresh pizza. Latvia met us with an amazing contrast of deep fog and shining full moon. There was no way to photograph that, but it looked amazing and it felt like home.

In the end the full trip took 4803 km driven in 61 hours and 35 minutes giving the average speed of 78 km/h and the average fuel consumption of 5.5l per 100 km. The numbers of the car computer matched almost perfectly with the numbers that my fuel tracking application showed for the trip. I filled the tank before the trip and after the above picture was taken. In total I used 264 liters of diesel fuel for the whole trip. Some of that fuel was bought for around 1€ per liter, but some of it cost as much as 1.7€ in one of the full service refueling stations in Italy. The hotels were around 60€ per night. Food expenses were on the high side with around 50-60€ per person per day. The pay roads and vignettes cost nearly 100€ in total and there was around 30€ spent on parking fees. The initial ferry trip cost 170€ (almost cheaper than fuel+hotel+food for the drive).

This was an amazing and basically life changing experience. This trip was the principal reason why I bought a car. It did not disappoint. Neither the trip, nor the car.

(to be continued with the experience of buying and owning a lightly used Mercedes C class)

Summary of the Debconf15 road trip (part 1)

As planned previousely I did go to Debconf15 with my new car. It was a completely new experience for me. The longest car trip that had completed before this was a 600 km drive after Debconf14 from Portland, Oregon, USA to Vancouver, Canada and back and that was just a couple days with just under 6 hours of max driving in one of the days. This was to be much, much more than that.

As the initial plan to take someone with me from Riga to Debconf15 fizzled out, I decided on a short-cut and started my journey with a 26 hour ferry ride from Liepaja to Travemunde. I arrived a couple hours before the departure, checked in and got a bunch of passes. They waved my car past the gate and then a worker waved me up to top deck. That was a good thing as I found out later, because the lower deck is locked for the night, but you can still try to get to your car on the upper deck, if you forgot something there. The deck hands expertly maneuvered me in the car to a very tight corner and put blocks under the wheels. At this point you would want to fold your mirrors, put on a parking break and pick up everything that you will need trought the night and go to your cabin. I sucked at planing this enough in advance, so I did not have cabin - just a seat in a common seating area.

That is something that I do not wish to repeat, ever. Imagine around 20 people in a small room filled with around 40 airplane type seats. There are lockers there to put your stuff in, but that is it. You are supposed to bring your own blanket. I brought a sleeping bag, that was a good move as I was not cold at least. But I didn't get a good night's sleep either. The ferry was full of Estonian, Latvian and Russian long haul truck drivers who also used the ferry as a shortcut for the long road and also as a 26 hour break from work where they could drink and party as much as they wanted to. That went on to at least 4 am. The sleeping room was dark, but there was noise leaking in both from engines and from the truckers and when they simmered down, then another noise started - some drunk or maybe even crazy guy was there in the room constantly talking to himself for hours. No One could get him to stop. I did fall asleep in the end, but that was not a fun ride. There was food on board (3 meals included) and that was actually very nicely made, above common diner standard. And there was no Internet there - the ship was out of reach of the coastal mobile networks for most of the trip. I read a couple books in Kindle over that trip.

One noteworthy detail is how tight they manage to pack the cars onto the ship - there is barely enough space to squeese between the cars sideways and even that is sometimes impossible between the large trucks. For many cars there was definitely not enough space to open the doors. This adds to the need to pick up everything that you will need overnight from the car immediately. Unless you have a Tesla Model X that is :).

It took nearly an hour after docking in Travemunde before the first batch of trucks inched off the ferry before I could drive off and start moving too. And as soon as I got off, I immediately got lost. I was using the build-in navigation of the car so that I don't use up all the limited mobile traffic for Wase, but as that navigation data was not updated for a couple of years (car makers want you to pay insane money for map updates, like over 250€ every time you want to bring you maps up to date) it routed me to a dead end - to a street that no longer existed due to ongoing reconstruction. The map picked up traffic and weather information from a local radio transmitter just fine, but not map updates. Had to just drive randomly in the general direction of where I wanted to go for a while before the navigator rerouted itself along actually existing roads.

Then I drove to Hamburg and then the next morning continued down to Koblenz, where I decided to stay for a couple of nights so that I could enjoy more of the city and have less of a just-drive mode as well as to be able to enjoy some local wines. The Mosel Rieslings are amazing white wines with very reasonable prices. In the drive there was my first experience of the motorways and the first experience of road sections with no speed limit. I am not a risk taker, but on the perfect German autobahns when the road is dry and the sun is shining it feels perfectly comfortable to drive at 160-180 km/h. Even in a heavy downpour the speeds dropped to merely 120 km/h and it still felt perfectly safe. People were predictable and aware of their surroundings. That is one type of road where you have to look in your rearview mirror almost as often as looking forward. If you are going 160 on the middle lane and are coming up to a "slowpoke" doing only 140 there and you start to think about overtaking him using the third lane, then you must first check very carefully, because there can easily be a Lamborghini flying past at 220. And, by German road rules, the slow car gives way in such situation. At this point of the trip there were only a few unlimited sections along my way and I only felt comfortable increasing my speed to 200 km/h two times for a very short period. It took a lot of attention to drive at such speeds and it took a free road.

Just before I left for Germany one of the tires of my car started to let out air. Nothing much, but like 0.5 atm in a week. So I brought it into service. They pulled out a 8 cm long rusted screw out of the tire. They fixed the tire with a thread and a plug. Some experts warned me against using the autobahn to the full speed with such "fixed" tire, but after testing the waters with some high speed driving and regular pressure checks on the first days I can now say with certainty - if you tyre is repaired correctly, then there is no problem going with full speed on the autobahn. Maybe the tires would not hold their full W rating anymore, but 200 km/h they held without any issues.

After Debconf15 I picked up a passenger and moved on. The rest of the trip was planned in detail with hotels pre-booked and rough plan for every day ahead. The plans basically worked. Each day was similar to the next - wake up, breakfast, get in the car, drive between 5 and 8 hours with a lunch stop in the middle, get to destination, have diner, look around, sleep, repeat. For some places this worked, for others it did not.

On the first day I was still driving mostly through Germany, but this time going strictly down south. The roads were empty and thus faster. This was the place where I found the top speed of my car. It was 218 km/h. The car hit its electronic limiter and did not go any faster even if I felt that there was some more power to give. My car is basically the weakest Mercedes C class of 2012, but even with that there was plenty of power even for fun autobahn drives. You might get better acceleration at speeds over 90 km/h if you get a C220 CDI that adds a second turbine to the engine, but unless you do live in Germany that is really a useless feature as the slow speed turbine in C180 CDI gives it plenty of power at the sub-80 speeds where most people of the world really need it. Or rather really want it. The feeling of driving safely over 215 km/h is quite amazing even if it is very taxing to both mind and to the car. If normally the car ate 4.5l per 100km at 90 km/h and barely over 5.5l per 100km at 140 km/h, then upon reaching 215 km/h the fuel meter was alarmingly stuck at over 15l per 100km. Fun is not cheap.

Another non-cheap thing is driving through Swiss alps. The highway vignette there costs 40 CHF, which is basically 40€. Now I would actually pay that without a second thought if I were to plan going through there, but it was not in my plans. my plan was to simply drive into the border town of Basel, rest there overnight and drive out towards France. Here a fun feature of the in-car navigation save me a lot of time. There is a lot of options about what roads to avoid: highways, toll roads, tunnels and vignette roads. Typically one would use this to drive on vignette roads, but avoid roads with extra tolls, but for this part I switched it around and had the car guide me to the hotel with non-vignette roads only. That worked like a charm.

What didn't work was Basel. Maybe it is a nice city, but it is not a city where one can see much of anything if you just drive into it in the evening. Everything is closed and there are basically no people in the streets. Even the streets were pretty boring with just an ocasional old tram passing by.

We left Basel behind and went into France. Destination: Lyon. Immediately after leaving Basel we started hunting for some nice breakfast place. It took a couple hours of diving around small coutry roads and passing trough all the small villages before there finally was a bakery that was open in the morning. And judging from the amount of people coming there, it was the only one for some larger area. At least we had a nice, french breakfast there. Lyon was cloudy, but most of the rain was behind us in Germany. The city of Lyon was far more conductive to evening strolls and drive-by sightseeing. There was a very pretty river with riverside open swimming pools. There was a cozy restoraunt street with a very nice sushi place. And there was pretty church on a hill with a sprawling park that looked amazing even in the falling darkness of the summer night. Add a bit of backlit bridge spiderweb or a full moon by a nicely lit up hill and you have a great setup for an amazing evening.

After Lyon my plan called for something truly special. This time the destination was not the most important bit, the most important part in that day was the drive. That was because the plan was to drive via the highest paved road in Europe. Even before reaching the actual scenic road, the presceeding roads were magnificent. After hitting the first foothills of the Alps the roads became very, very  fun. The regular country roads mixed with narrow mountain roads and serpantines. Very often on such roads exchanging with an oncoming vehicle was only possible if one of the vehicles stopped on a side of the road and only on some parts of the road. I drove rather slow there while the locals easily did 90 km/h on the narrow mountain roads. That did look exactly as crazy as it sounds. It was especially crazy as there was a lot of fog, rain and clowds all around us as we were climbing the Alps. But sometimes it took only a few minutes and the fog was gone. And when that happened the sights were just amazing. As we went on and went higher, the weather just improved. The clouds were never too far but as we started the climb in the mountain pass itself, they parted around us in perfect sun bursts. As the elevation went over 2000 meters, trees disapeared and by 2300 meters only moss remained on the ground with some sheep eating it. The views were breathtakingly huge and only the small dots of sheep and cars on the only road around gave some semblance of scale. My car fit in here well. I was starting to feel the shortness of breath and the car was a bit heavier to start off as well, but still it kept moving and kept us warm as the outside temperature plunged as we went up. After reaching the highest point that one could drive to, there was still a place to go. There is a footpath to climb the remaining 70 meters to the very top of the Bonette mountain to 2862 meters. There is almost nothing there, but some information stands and an observation platform, but it is worth it. We saw the views for a few minutes before the clouds decided that we had enough luck and started rolling over the mountain with force. It was also getting dark already.

The way down was faster, darker, wetter and slightly scary. In less than an hour we went from 2862 meters and almost zero to sea level and +27 with high humidity. There was dew forming on the cold car as we were coming down the hill. I switched the transmission to manual as recommended in the manual and went downhill in the first two gears, breaking with the engine. The drive was fun and I wish there was more time and more light and also more driving experience for me to be able to enjoy that road more as the tight hairpin turns there are just amazing.

And after all that we arrived in Nice on the Coast de Azure, the famous seaside of the rich. I dipped into the sea there in the morning. It was an interesting experience, especially on a stony beach with very strong waves. I got a couple bruises, but I was quite happy with some swimming done in the Med sea.

(to be continued with Italy, Austria and Poland)

Poetry night - Space

A bi-lingual poem created on inspiration from Debconf15 and in honor of Debconf Poetry Night by Rhonda

Du ...

Du hast ...

Du hast apt ...

Du hast apt gebrochen!

Reconsider your disk usage,

And APT might work again.

(as usual - licenced as CC-BY V3+ or GPLv2+)

Debconf 15 group photo

The long awaited group photo from Debconf15 is now available: here and here.

Due to its spectacular glory, the Google Photos could not handle the massive 52 Mb, and 19283*8740=168.5Mpix of awesomness, so there is only a half-size version.

Also I plan to have a lightning talk on Thursday on how exactly such things are made :)

Road tripping to Debconf15

TL/DR: I am going by car on route Riga-Warsaw-Dresden-Debconf15-Lyon-Genoa-Venice-Vienna-Riga and I can take passengers along the way too.

This year Debconf 15 is happening quite near to me - in Germany to be more specific. As soon as I found out about it a plan hatched to skip flying this year and instead travel to Debconf by car. First, however, I needed a car.

Buying a car is .. an experience. Used to the wolrd of computers where brands have minimal importance and specifications rule everthing going to the world of cars where brand is the key was quite hard. Basically each brand has its own reputation for power, quality, reliability and maintenance costs which then get again subverted by each model line of each brand. And then in addition to that comes different base and additional eqipment in each individual car for sale. This basically means that it is impossible to compare any cars directly. The best one can then do is set a budget, set mandatory features and optional feature wishlist and start looking at options on the market. Possibly you might also want to think of what image the brands you are looking at are meaning to project.

I started with simple mandatory requirements of automatic transmission, air conditioning, parking sensors, low CO2 emissions and cruise control and optional requirements of safety features. But then I realised that what I wanted to project was a more solid, business persona. After checking in with some people that know more about cars this basically focused me onto Mercedes C class. Low emission requirement with automatic forced me to look at quite new models with 7G-TRONIC PLUS transmission. Just barely in my price range, but after another month of sifting trough the offers, I finally got my new dream car delivered exactly on my birthday - March 23rd, so 3 months ago. I am pretty amazed at the technologies in modern cars - bunch of ultrasonic sensors for parking assist, radars for collision avoidance and deadzone assist, cameras that detect lanes and even read traffic signs. And another camera that detects lights of oncoming traffic to control high/low beam switches fully automatically. Fuel consumption was as advertised - 5l/100km on highways and a max of 8l/100km in short city trips. My car is the weakest C class of that year - its engine is actually downclocked by software by about 12 horsepowers, this can be hacked, but that, naturally, voids the warranty.

One annoying things about modern cars is .. software. Most manufacturers (except Tesla) simply expect you to buy a new car to get a software update. The only update I could find for my car was an update of navigation maps and even that costs quite a lot of money as they have DRM that locks maps to the specific car. Highly annoying. In the future I hope to use this car for 3-4 years and then sell it and upgrade to Tesla Model 3.

Getting a car changed me, as expected. It became much easier for me to take detours on the way from work to home, like to a swimming pool (twice a week, every week, 3 months now) or to some shop for fresh food. I have become more outgoing which was also a big reason behind actually buying a car and not renting. It also became much easier to just go "local" sightseeing on the weekends (for values of local in ~500km range). I mean - I have been to Tokyo (8000km away), but not to Bauska castle (60km away). I have now actively stated to rectify this and also along the way train myself for the big event of the summer - car trip to Debconf15!

The initial trip will be comparatively simple - the Riga to Heidelberg is around 1800 km or nearly 20 hours of pure driving. As to not go completely crazy, the plan is to split this ove 3 days of around 7 hours of driving each. This makes the overnight stops happen somewhere around Warsaw and Dresden. I have not been to either of these cities, so that is a nice bonus. Apparently the space in Debcamp is very limited this year, so I will be only arriving a couple days before the Debconf itself, stay in some other hotel and see what is around and maybe randomly show up and say hi and scout group photo locations.

At the Heidelberg itself I might want to visit an open track day at Hockenheimring Formula 1 track. Not yet sure about that. I will need to get some practise at a local track first.

But the really fun part of the trip is going to be after Debconf15. My current plan is to go back home via Alps and a dip in the Med with provisional stops at: Frankfurt-Hanh airport, Basel, Lyon, Genoa (or Milan), Venice and Vienna. That is another 4000 km of driving spread over 7 to 8 days. This should also include some spectacular roads over the Alps (no tunnels!) with just enough time to see the cities and get the taste of the culture.

I would be glad to take anyone who is going to Debconf15 from Baltics, Poland or eastern/southern Germany. It should also be easy to bring anyone to Franfurt airport and Frankfurt-Hanh airport (that Ryanair operates from) after Debconf15 ends or to Basel/Lyon if you are fine with stopovers. Farther destinations on the way back may become more annoying as I do not plan on taking the direct routes and many stops are to be expected.

TV shows

A big part of a person can be glimpsed by others via shared experiences. For many years a typical part of my life has been watchin an episode or two of some TV series while preparing and eating dinner every evening and a couple more for brunch on weekends. And some TV series I actually binge-watched on purpose. So, what I have seen over the years can be interesting for others, also after a few years you start to forget things, so it will also be useful for myself later on.

Currently watching

  1. American Dad
  2. Archer
  3. Bing Bang Theory
  4. Bobs Burgers
  5. Bones
  6. Castle
  7. Colbert Report
  8. Criminal Minds
  9. Daily Show
  10. Doctor Who
  11. Family Guy
  12. Game of Thrones
  13. Girls
  14. Glee
  15. Marvels Agents of SHIELD
  16. Mythbusters
  17. Newsroom
  18. Robot Chicken
  19. Sherlock
  20. Simpsons
  21. South Park
  22. QI
  23. Top Chef
  24. Top Gear

Watched fully

  1. 30 Rock
  2. Addams Family
  3. Angel
  4. Alias
  5. Ally MacBeal
  6. Battlestar Galactica
  7. Blackadder
  8. Buffy
  9. Caprica
  10. Charmed
  11. Closer
  12. Crazy Ones
  13. Drawn Together
  14. Dollhouse
  15. ER
  16. Fairly Legal
  17. Fawlty Towers
  18. Firefly
  19. Futurama
  20. Friends
  21. Highlander
  22. House
  23. How I Met Your Mother
  24. IT Crowd
  25. Jericho
  26. Lie to me
  27. Love bites
  28. Mask
  29. Monk
  30. Murder She Wrote
  31. Nikita
  32. Numb3rs
  33. Pretender
  34. Saved by the bell
  35. Sex and the City
  36. Stargate SG-1
  37. Stargate Atlantis
  38. Stargate Universe
  39. Torchwood
  40. Veronica Mars
  41. Ugly Americans
  42. X-Files
  43. Yes, Minister
  44. Yes, Prime Minister

Stopped watching

  1. Arrow
  2. Breaking Bad
  3. Desperate Housewifes
  4. Dexter
  5. Heroes
  6. Knight Rider
  7. Kyle XY
  8. Lost
  9. MacGyver
  10. True Blood
  11. Veep

To see

  1. Boardwalk Empire
  2. Dominion
  3. Fringe
  4. Homeland
  5. House of cards
  6. Mad men
  7. Supernatural

Care to second

Systemd discussions are back! Wait, don't run away, it is not as bad as it sounds! Noone is seriosly proposing to change the init system back a few weeks before the freeze. In fact none of the proposals so far would have any effect on jessie release. So, please relax and put the pitchforks down.

The discussions are all over a place with long texts ammendments, contra amendments and coounter proposals and proposals to stop all proposals. That makes this whole thing kind of hard to understand in a quick glance, but I think this email from Lucas has the best summary of the proposed options (Ian does disagree with that).

The whole purpose (as far as I understand) of the GR is to make sure that our users would be able to switch init systems on their installations with no more pain than in the previous releases.

To restate (without all the technicalities and exceptions and pesky details) the proposals are:

  1. Ians proposal would make failing to support running with alternative init systems a bug. The severity of the bug would be the same as if the package would fail to work for all users in the same way as it fails to work with, for example, sysvinit running as PID 1. Thus if the package can not work at all with sysvinit as PID 1 that would make it a "grave" bug.
  2. Lucas proposal would basically do the same, but limit the bug severity at no more than "normal".
  3. Other proposals would basically do nothing but restate the already known fact that maintainers are free to disregard upstream wishes in their packaging, especially to support our users better.

I, personally, would like to see Ians GR pass (after amending 'some oner init system' to 'sysvinit' and the clarification that this, obviosly, does not impact jessie). I see no point in even voting for any other proposed GR - it should be perfectly clear to everyone that Debian maintainers may disregard upstream wishes in their packaging, especially to serve our users better (like by splitting logind from systemd). And it should be perfectly clear to everyone that it is a bug for a piece of software to only be runnable under one init system or one window manager or one start menu app or just one implementation of any other generic system service with multiple implementations and a common subset of functionality. There should not even be a discussion about it - it is a bug. Now should such bug scale all the way to release critical levels - that is worthy a GR vote. Which is exactly what Ian proposed.

P.S. Please take care to read preseeding proposals and discussions before seconding things. I do not understand why people would second several GR counter-proposals that did not actually deal with the original issue and sometimes simply restated status quo. Please care what you propose and what you second.

P.P.S. I might even suggest tightening the "common init system API" down to nothing at all - just declare that all software should be able to work with "init=/bin/sh" where you should be able to simply manually start up all dependencies and the software itself and have it work without even starting an init system. Technically that is almost the same as requiring it to work with sysvinit, however.

Distributing third party applications via Docker?

Recently the discussions around how to distribute third party applications for "Linux" has become a new topic of the hour and for a good reason - Linux is becoming mainstream outside of free software world. While having each distribution have a perfectly packaged, version-controlled and natively compiled version of each application installable from a per-distribution repository in a simple and fully secured manner is a great solution for popular free software applications, this model is slightly less ideal for less popular apps and for non-free software applications. In these scenarios the developers of the software would want to do the packaging into some form, distribute that to end-users (either directly or trough some other channels, such as app stores) and have just one version that would work on any Linux distribution and keep working for a long while.

For me the topic really hit at Debconf 14 where Linus voiced his frustrations with app distribution problems and also some of that was touched by Valve. Looking back we can see passionate discussions and interesting ideas on the subject from systemd developers (another) and Gnome developers (part2 and part3).

After reading/watching all that I came away with the impression that I love many of the ideas expressed, but I am not as thrilled about the proposed solutions. The systemd managed zoo of btrfs volumes is something that I actually had a nightmare about.

There are far simpler solutions with existing code that you can start working on right now. I would prefer basing Linux applications on Docker. Docker is a convenience layer on top of Linux cgroups and namespaces. Docker stores its images in a datastore that can be based on AUFS or btrfs or devicemapper or even plain files. It already has a semantic for defining images, creating them, running them, explicitly linking resources and controlling processes.

Lets play a simple scenario on how third party applications should work on Linux.

Third party application developer writes a new game for Linux. As his target he chooses one of the "application runtime" Docker images on Docker Hub. Let's say he chooses the latest Debian stable release. In that case he writes a simple Dockerfile that installs his build-dependencies and compiles his game in "debian-app-dev:wheezy" container. The output of that is a new folder containing all the compiled game resources and another Dockerfile - this one describes the runtime dependencies of the game. Now when a docker image is built from this compiled folder, it is based on "debian-app:wheezy" container that no longer has any development tools and is optimized for speed and size. After this build is complete the developer exports the Docker image into a file. This file can contain either the full system needed to run the new game or (after #8214 is implemented) just the filesystem layers with the actual game files and enough meta-data to reconstruct the full environment from public Docker repos. The developer can then distribute this file to the end user in the way that is comfortable for them.

The end user would download the game file (either trough an app store app, app store website or in any other way) and import it into local Docker instance. For user convenience we would need to come with an file extension and create some GUIs to launch for double click, similar to GDebi. Here the user would be able to review what permissions the app needs to run (like GL access, PulseAudio, webcam, storage for save files, ...). Enough metainfo and cooperation would have to exist to allow desktop menu to detect installed "apps" in Docker and show shortcuts to launch them. When the user does so, a new Docker container is launched running the command provided by the developer inside the container. Other metadata would determine other docker run options, such as whether to link over a socket for talking to PulseAudio or whether to mount in a folder into the container to where the game would be able to save its save files. Or even if the application would be able to access X (or Wayland) at all.

Behind the scenes the application is running from the contained and stable libraries, but talking to a limited and restricted set of system level services. Those would need to be kept backwards compatible once we start this process.

On the sandboxing part, not only our third party application is running in a very limited environment, but also we can enhance our system services to recognize requests from such applications via cgroups. This can, for example, allow a window manager to mark all windows spawned by an application even if the are from a bunch of different processes. Also the window manager can now track all processes of a logical application from any of its windows.

For updates the developer can simply create a new image and distribute the same size file as before, or, if the purchase is going via some kind of app-store application, the layers that actually changed can be rsynced over individually thus creating a much faster update experience. Images with the same base can share data, this would encourage creation of higher level base images, such as "debian-app-gamegl:wheezy" that all GL game developers could use thus getting a smaller installation package.

After a while the question of updating abandonware will come up. Say there is is this cool game built on top of "debian-app-gamegl:wheezy", but now there was a security bug or some other issue that requires the base image to be updated, but that would not require a recompile or a change to the game itself. If this Docker proposal is realized, then either the end user or a redistributor can easily re-base the old Docker image of the game on a new base. Using this mechanism it would also be possible to handle incompatible changes to system services - ten years down the line AwesomeAudio replaces PulseAudio, so we create a new "debian-app-gamegl:wheezy.14" version that contains a replacement libpulse that actually talks to AwesomeAudio system service instead.

There is no need to re-invent everything or push everything and now package management too into systemd or push non-distribution application management into distribution tools. Separating things into logical blocks does not hurt their interoperability, but it allows to recombine them in a different way for a different purpose or to replace some part to create a system with a radically different functionality.

Or am I crazy and we should just go and sacrifice Docker, apt, dpkg, FHS and non-btrfs filesystems on the altar of systemd?

P.S. You might get the impression that I dislike systemd. I love it! Like an init system. And I love the ideas and talent of the systemd developers. But I think that systemd should have nothing to do with application distribution or processes started by users. I am sometimes getting an uncomfortable feeling that systemd is morphing towards replacing the whole of System V jumping all the way to System D and rewriting, obsoleting or absorbing everything between the kernel and Gnome. In my opinion it would be far healthier for the community if all of these projects would developed and be usable separately from systemd, so that other solutions can compete on a level playing field. Or, maybe, we could just confess that what systemd is doing is creating a new Linux meta-distribution.