Getting the Git commit id of a Gerrit Change Set

Oddly enough, Gerrit doesn’t report the Git commit id of its Change Sets.

The only way I found to get that piece of information is to use its SSH interface, using the query command.

The syntax is this:

ssh -p 29418 user@gerritHost gerrit query --current-patch-set <ChangeId>

replacing 29418 with the port you normally use to contact Gerrit via SSH.

That will display a number of properties about the Change Set, including the revision parameter which is the extended version of the Git commit id.

You can use the --format JSON option if you want to get a JSON representation of the same data, or you can get the short commit id using for example:

ssh -p 29418 user@gerritHost gerrit query --current-patch-set <ChangeId> \
cut -d':' -f2 | cut -c2-7
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A simple script to delete multiple keys from redis all at once

When developing, you sometimes want to delete a bunch of redis keys all at once. The KEYS command gets half of the job done, but what’s missing is a convenient way to wire it to the DEL command.

In these cases, (again, when developing, as the KEYS command is check-all-keys-in-database-slow) I often rely on this script:

#!/bin/bash
#
# A simple script to delete a bunch of keys from redis all at once.
#
# Don't use it in production!!!1!1!one

read -p "redis port to connect to? [6379] " redis_port

if [[ "${redis_port}" == "" ]]; then
    redis_port="6379"
fi

if [[ ${redis_port} =~ ^[0-9]+$ ]]; then
    while true; do
        read -p "keys to delete (wildcard accepted, e.g. user:foo:bar:*): " pattern
        # read all keys into a white space separated array
        IFS=$'\r\n' GLOBIGNORE='*' :; matches=($(redis-cli --raw -p ${redis_port} keys "${pattern}"))

        # list all matches
        echo "Matching keys:"
        matching_keys=0
        for line in ${matches[@]}; do
            echo $line
            matching_keys=$((matching_keys+1))
        done

        if [[ "${matching_keys}" -eq 0 ]]; then
            echo "No keys match your query, nothing to do."
        else
            read -p "Keys that will be deleted: ${matching_keys}. Really delete? [y/N] " confirm
            case ${confirm} in
                [yY]*)
                    echo -n "Keys deleted: "
                    redis-cli --raw -p ${redis_port} del "${matches[@]}"
                    ;;
            esac
        fi
    done
else
    echo 'must specify a valid port number'
    exit 1
fi

The nice thing about it is that it shows you what keys will be deleted before deleting them, so you have a chance of not screwing up your own DB! 🙂

Use it at will, but please, don’t use it in production!

Usage is straightforward, just chmod +x the script, and call it. Use Ctrl-C to exit the script.

sudo asks for password even if NOPASSWD is set in /etc/sudoers

TL;DR when a script is not marked as executable and you try to run it with sudo, you don’t get the usual -bash: myScript.sh: Permission denied message, you are prompted for a password instead!

This one was very frustrating.

What I wanted to do was to make a user (let’s call him bran) able to execute a specific script (let’s call it /home/hodor/calm_down.sh) without having to provide his password, because the script will be executed by an automated tool (Jenkins).

I reached back to my earlier post about sudo, and updated the /etc/sudoers file so that its User privilege specification section looked like this:

root    ALL=(ALL) ALL
bran    ALL=(hodor)  NOPASSWD:  /home/hodor/calm_down.sh *

The last line gives user bran the ability to run /home/hodor/calm_down.sh as user hodor passing it any number of parameters (*) without having to provide his password (NOPASSWD:).

Saved it, su‘ed into bran, ran

bran@laketower:~$ sudo -u hodor /home/hodor/calm_down.sh "it's ok"

aaaaand…

[sudo] password for hodor: 

d’oh.

I checked the syntax in /etc/sudoers, and it was ok.

I checked whether any of the declarations that followed in /etc/sudoers could override the line I set for bran and hodor, none to be found.

Heck, I even put that line as the last line, so no line could override it. Nothing.

After a good hour of googling around and finding nothing, I remembered that the script is in a Git repository for which I just checked out a different branch. As it turned out, the script lost its executable bit.

So I set the executable bit again, as user hodor:

hodor@laketower:~$ chmod +x calm_down.sh
hodor@laketower:~$ logout
root@laketower:~# su - bran
bran@laketower:~$ sudo -u hodor /home/hodor/calm_down.sh "it's ok"
hodor.
bran@laketower:~$

it worked!

I’m sure there’s a legitimate security concern for this behavior, but dang! was this hard to figure out!

Another wallpaper changer for Gnome and Unity

The previous wallpaper changer that I wrote in Python served me well for the last 2 years, but sometimes it would get stuck with some wallpapers: of the 200 pictures I have in my wallpapers folder (mostly taken from the paper wall), some were definitely being shown more often than others. Has the script developed a taste? Probably! 🙂

So this time I decided to put together something very quick, but that does a better job at never showing the same picture twice before all pictures in the folder have been set as desktop background.

It comes as a single bash script, there’s no configuration file to set, it picks pictures from a single folder (whereas the Python version could use several), and it moves files to a folder called shown when setting them as desktop background. Not very elegant, but it gets the job done!

Here it is; you can set your wallpapers folder and the refresh interval at the highlighted lines.

#!/bin/bash
#
# WallpaperChanger.sh
# Copyright 2014 Michele Bonazza michele@michelebonazza.com
#
# A simple script to automatically change your wallpaper in Gnome.
#
# This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
# it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
# the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
# (at your option) any later version.
#
# This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
# but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
# MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  See the
# GNU General Public License for more details.
#
# You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
# along with this program.  If not, see <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/>.

WALLPAPERS_FOLDER=/home/path/to/your/wallpapers
REFRESH_INTERVAL=$((5 * 60)) # change every 5 minutes
MODE="zoom" # one between none, centered, wallpaper, scaled, stretched, zoom, spanned

# Changes the desktop background, and moves it to the "shown" folder so that it's
# not shown again before all wallpapers in the folder have been used.
# arg1 the file name of the file to be set as new background; must be in the
#      current folder
function change_wallpaper() {
  mv $1 shown
  gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background picture-uri file://$WALLPAPERS_FOLDER/shown/$1
  gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background picture-options $MODE
}

# Echoes the next wallpaper to be set, picked at random among images in the
# configured folder
function get_next_wallpaper() {
  find . -maxdepth 1 -type f -name "*.png" -o -name "*.jpg" -o -name "*.gif" -o -name "*.jpeg"| shuf -n 1
}

mkdir -p $WALLPAPERS_FOLDER/shown
cd $WALLPAPERS_FOLDER

while true; do
  NEXT_WP=$(get_next_wallpaper)
  
  # have we used all wallpapers?
  if [[ "$NEXT_WP" == "" ]]; then
    # yes, chdir to shown, and move them all back to the parent folder
    cd shown
    # move them to parent folder
    find . -maxdepth 1 -type f -name "*.png" -o -name "*.jpg" -o -name "*.gif" -o -name "*.jpeg" | xargs mv -t ..
    cd ..

    # check again
    NEXT_WP=$(get_next_wallpaper)

    if [[ "$NEXT_WP" == "" ]]; then
      echo "no wallpapers found in $WALLPAPERS_FOLDER, will check again in $REFRESH_INTERVAL seconds..."
      sleep $REFRESH_INTERVAL
      continue
    fi
  fi
  
  echo "changing background to $NEXT_WP"
  change_wallpaper $NEXT_WP
  sleep $REFRESH_INTERVAL
done

As always, I’ve also added this to my pastebin.

Save it as wallpaper_changer.sh, make it executable

chmod +x wallpaper_changer.sh

and add it to your “Startup applications” list, which can be found in Ubuntu’s main menu (the one you use to log out/shut down the computer), or can be brought up from a terminal using

gnome-session-properties

Click “Add”, use whatever name you want and browse to the wallpaper_changer.sh script (wherever you’ve saved it).

Sometimes I found that “Startup applications” doesn’t work: make sure that after having added your script and closed the window you can see an entry called wallpaper_changer.sh.desktop in the output of

ls -l ~/.config/autostart

If it’s not there, remove the entry and try again (I know, I know. The alternative is to fiddle with Upstart or init.d so if you want a GUI, that’s better than nothing!)

You can also change the effect to apply to your wallpapers at line 23 in the script.

Enjoy your new desktops! 🙂

Disable touch input for a Wacom Bamboo tablet using a Unity launcher (or a Gnome launcher)

I love my Wacom Bamboo graphics tablet, and I really appreciate the fact that it just works in Ubuntu. Palm rejection sort of works, but that “sort of” drives me crazy when I’m using the pen and trigger scrolling by resting my hand on the tablet. I couldn’t find a quick way to disable touch input, something that I can do from a nice GUI window in Mac OS.

After searching some tool to do that, I found the very powerful xsetwacom command, and wrote a very simple script that enables/disables touch.

It goes like this:

#!/bin/bash

DEVICE_ID=$(xsetwacom --list devices | grep TOUCH | egrep -o "id\: [0-9]+" | cut -d" " -f2)

if [[ "off" == $(xsetwacom get $DEVICE_ID touch) ]]; then
    xsetwacom set $DEVICE_ID touch on
else
    xsetwacom set $DEVICE_ID touch off
fi

(should have used awk @line 3, but sometimes I get lazy when writing silly scripts)

Save this file on your user’s home calling it wacom_toggle_touch and make it executable (chmod +x wacom_toggle_touch).

Everytime you run the script, it toggles touch on the tablet. Very neat. But I wanted to just have a graphical button to click, so I created a gnome launcher that just does that; here it is:

[Desktop Entry]
Encoding=UTF-8
Name=Wacom Bamboo Touch
Comment=Toggles touch on a Wacom Bamboo Tablet
Exec=/bin/bash "/home/myuser/wacom_toggle_touch"
Icon=/usr/share/icons/Faenza/devices/scalable/input-tablet.svg
Categories=Application;
Version=1.0
Type=Application
Terminal=0

Name this file wacom-toggle-touch.desktop (the .desktop part is important) and save it to either /usr/share/applications/ or ~/.local/share/applications/, depending on whether you want all users to access the script or only your current user.

I use the cool Faenza theme for my icons, so that explains the icon path @line 6. Here’s the icon if you don’t want to use the theme but you’re looking for an icon that just gets the job done. Download it to some folder and update the path accordingly in the launcher. Also, be sure to update the path to the script @line 5 (for some reason using ~ for your user’s home doesn’t work, you have to type the extended /home/your_username path).

When you’re done, drag the wacom-toggle-touch.desktop file to your Unity bar (I actually use Docky instead, it makes switching between Mac OS and Ubuntu a lot easier on my poor brain) and just click it everytime you want to toggle touch mode!

The same process should work for Gnome as well, just drag the .desktop file to wherever launcher bar you want (assuming Gnome still has launcher bars, they kind of lost me after Gnome 3 so I don’t know).

Play the System Bell as shell commands end in Ubuntu/Debian

This is a nice little trick I started using after switching to Gnome3, as I don’t have the application switcher panel any longer: before, I could put my mouse cursor over that to see a preview of shell windows where a command is running.

Now I should keep moving the cursor to the top-left corner and wait for the animation to show all open windows, which is tedious when you don’t have a precise idea of how long will commands take.

So, the long hated system bell sound comes to rescue!

Just append ; echo -e "\a" after the command you want to run and… voilà, you’re in the event-driven world! 😛

Example:

wget http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/v3.0/linux-3.2.13.tar.bz2; echo -e "\a"

This command of course won’t do anything if your volume is set to 0 or you explicitly disabled system audio notifications.

Escape slashes in shell script variables with sed

sed is a tool of wonder, the in-place replacement (or deletion) of lines in files matching some regexp being my favorite use of it. But some basic functions are quite under-documented (the same old problem of powerful commands having man pages just too long to be read thoroughly).

What I wanted to do is to drop all lines in a file containing a path stored in a variable in my bash script. Problem is, slashes must be escaped for sed to understand that it must treat them as literal, but I have a reference to a variable so I just can’t do something like

sed -i \/path\/to\/delete/d /path/to/file

I found out (on this thread on stackoverflow) that you can use any character you want as separator, and one thing that is usually not known is that you must escape the first occurrence of the separator to have sed use it, unless you are using the s command (replacing patterns, as in sed -i 's/abc/def/' file, while I’m only deleting matches).

So, this is it:

PATH_TO_BE_DELETED="/path/to/delete"
sed -i "\,$PATH_TO_BE_DELETED,d" /path/to/file

I used commas as I know that my paths won’t ever include them, but you can use whatever you want or need.

Note that you also have to use double quotes instead of single ones, or your variable is interpreted as literal!

A nice list of useful one-liners for sed can be found here.