Just another quick update…

In an ongoing effort to make use of the Known API easier and more flexible, the latest version available in GitHub, or via my unofficial packages, now has built in support for OAuth2.

OAuth2 server functionality is provided by an updated version of my OAuth2 Server code, which I’ve written a bit about before.

Going forward, I’m hoping to build out an easier way for third party clients to be able to connect, paving the way for a possible mobile client.

Anyway, go grab the latest version and have a play!

So, it’s a brand new year, so I should probably write something about it.

2018 was pretty wild!

I started the year with a realisation that I needed to re-evaluate a bunch of my base assumptions about things, both in my work and personal life. This set me on a journey that resulted in me changing my mind about a lot of things, and defining things that I wanted out of life much more clearly. I was also surprised that the things that I wanted, were not the things that I thought I did.

Traveled a bunch (although, of course never as much as I’d like). Memorable trips this year included a winter trip to a cabin in the woods, and a summer trip backpacking around Croatia.

I met and spent time with some lovely new people, and took up new activities.

I continued my martial arts journey by taking up Judo (ostensibly to add some ground fighting skills, which I felt was limiting me), and got my first belt. I even got to train with an Olympic medalist, which was pretty special.

Of course, she was totally thrilled to meet me, as you might imagine.

Personal growth was very much the theme for 2018. I read a lot, came to understand a bunch of things, and really just stopped giving energy to things that used to bother me.

So, what’s in store for 2019? Who knows, but I’m excited! 

I’m laser focused on my goals right now. One of those goals being to live outside of the UK, so I’m stripping back my belongings to the bone (so I can either move it or store it), and exploring opportunities overseas. The B-word, and the British government’s incompetence, not withstanding.

Wherever I end up, I’m still going to be working hard, training hard, reading loads, and becoming the best version of myself that I can be.

Can’t wait.

So, what are your plans for 2019?

Today was a very frustrating day.

So, yesterday, I did a rollup of software on my main work machine. I performed an apt-get upgrade as I have done a thousand times before. Logged off, and went to bed.

This morning, when tried to log on, after I’d entered my details on the login screen, I was greeted by a blank screen for about 2 minutes, before being kicked back to the login screen.


This kind of thing had happened before, and in the past it was just a matter of installing the vendor NVidia drivers for my card. Sometime back in the day the distro provided nvidia drivers had stopped working, so using the vendor ones was the way to go (this has since changed).

No joy. So, I began diving in and pulling at the various ends in an attempt to unravel this knotted ball of string.

Watching the logs, I noticed that just before the login process got thrown back to lightdm, I got a bunch of…

…appearing in my syslog.

So, something was suddenly up with systemd, but I was nonthewiser.

My setup at home is that I have a server which has my home directory and users exported by NFS/NIS to various machines, so there was nothing actually on the work machine. Sod it I thought, nuke the site from orbit. So, I reinstalled, just in case I had bawked something up over the years.

The fresh install made me create a new user, fine. I installed all the graphics drivers, and was able to log in just fine. Great! So, installed the various bits of software, set up NIS/NFS, could log in on console… great! Logged in through gdm3… aaaand. Nothing. Same error. Switched to lightdm. Same thing.

But… the local user worked. Must be something in my user’s home dir, after all that. So, unmounted my home directory, and tried to log in as a fresh user… still no joy. But the local user could log in…



As a hunch, I copied the user line from my server’s /etc/passwd into my local machine’s /etc/passwd… and bingo, I was able to log in.

So, what looks like has happened is that a recent change (within the last week or so) has broken NIS user support for systemd/dbus. So, when the window manager was trying to start the services it needed to run, it wasn’t able to, since the user it was attempting to use couldn’t be found. Lightdm/Pam still functioned with NIS, so my thinking is that there’s something about the environment that’s looking directly at /etc/passwd for something, or to validate uids.. I’m not an expert.

So, if any of you are in a similar situation, hopefully this blog post will stop you from losing an entire day of work!

My askubuntu ticket is over here, and I’ll keep updated should I find a better solution than this rather crufty hack.