Thursday, October 16, 2008

Migrating Thunderbird/Lightning when reinstalling

I recently migrated one of my systems from FC9 to Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy) and ran into some minor annoyances with Mozilla Thunderbird and the Lightning extension. I eventually found the answer after some digging, but thought I might post it in case anyone else runs into this. Or more likely, so that I can remind myself next time I hit this problem! :)

It seemed simple enough, I did an apt-get install thunderbird and left my old .thunderbird directory in place from the FC9 install. When I brought up Thunderbird though, it was as if it was coming up for the first time.

Problem 1 - Thunderbird did not see the old .thunderbird directory
Fix - This was the easy one to spot, apparently the Thunderbird under Ubuntu looks for a .mozilla-thunderbird directory. A quick rename fixed the problem

Next though, I noticed that my calendar didn't work AT ALL. All I saw was the shell of what it would should be, no days were even displayed, no calendars, not even an option to create a new calendar. The calendar info is stored under your profile dir in the .mozilla-thunderbird dir, in a file called storage.sdb. I renamed my storage.sdb file to preserve it, removed the addon for lightning, and reinstalled the addons from the latest .9 version of lightning from After restarting Thunderbird though, I still didn't see a calendar. I didn't want to use the version that shipped with Ubuntu since it was version .7, but it looks like that one works fine. So if you don't care to be using the latest version, then this is a viable workaround, but not the fix I was looking for. As it turns out, the lightning extension I downloaded relies on an older version of libstdc++.

Problem 2 - Empty and non-functional lightning .9
Fix 2:
  1. apt-get install libstdc++5
  2. Uninstall the lightning addon
  3. reinstall the lightning addon downloaded from
  4. replace storage.sdb file with your old, saved copy
It all works great now.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A couple of fun things

Here are a couple of fun things I found recently that I thought were interesting:

Gist - Most people have probably heard of github, but Gist seems to be a new service they are offering that will let you post code snipits, kind of like pastebin. But with Gist, you can share, make changes, fork, add files, etc. via git! To actually modify what you put there via git, you'll have to have a free account, but sharing code and pasting via the web interface requires nothing at all.

Ohloh - I have to admit, that I just don't get social networking yet. I can't seem to bring myself to really get into all the facebook and myspace and all that. I'm probably just getting old. This is one site that actually makes me think there is hope for the concept though, as it actually provides interesting metrics and information about open source projects. It found contributions I had made from years ago, and let me tie them to my account.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Fault injection with Systemtap

A while back, I started learning and using Systemtap to help in understanding code flow, and in debugging. It's a really neat tool, but looking at it from the perspective of a tester, I immediately realized that it was going to be useful for fault injection. After some searching, the only thing I could find was a reference to the SCSI fault injection test harness. This was a good start, but obviously the same concept would be useful to apply to other areas of the kernel as well. Today, I noticed that someone else has finally started along that path.

It's fairly new, but the authors claim to have ported the SCSI fault injection test harness to their new fault injection framework. It is small, easy to understand, and they have provided some examples already. It also looks like it will have a home in the Systemtap tree fairly soon as well. This is one of those things I wish I had about 7 years ago!