Bonus: More from the deepest depths of Debian

Part of my inability to properly stock these last few days of the year with meaningful posts is because my list is currently overflowing with titles that I can’t properly attack.

It doesn’t bear explanation, but one of the reasons I’ve been diligent in posting these lists of off-the-wall titles (this is the third collection, and there will probably be one more) is because they otherwise pollute my list of software, and the truly interesting programs are lost in the muddle somewhere.

So here is another list of 30+ applications or tools that are probably from the depths of — although there is more than one here that is in Arch or AUR, but doesn’t seem to be available to Dame Commander Debian.

  • ia-wrapper: A python tool to access The Internet Archive content from the command line. I tried this on my own and in the two different AUR versions, and got no real results any of those three times. It may be that it has already fallen out of pace with’s protocol, but I can’t be sure. Not in Debian, that I could find.
  • matroxset: A software tool for specific Matrox graphics cards and how they interact with the matroxfb driver. Unless you have one of these specific cards, it’s of almost no use whatsoever. Add to that, development seems to have halted back in 2003. In Debian only.
  • mikmod: I can see that this is a console-based player for the libmikmod codec, but I decided long ago to rule out esoteric audio playback tools, because in general they are only intended for one codec, and as another general rule, they are mainly for demonstration and troubleshooting. In both Arch and Debian; the AUR version of mikmod pulls in the library but can’t download the source.
  • mixmaster: I don’t see this in Arch or AUR, but of course it’s in Debian. This is an automatic anonymous remailer, which sanitizes your e-mail and makes it mostly impossible (?) to infer your original mail address from the received message. I leave that to you to decide what it’s useful for. 😕
  • nagcon: A console interface for Nagios, which is for IT monitoring and security. My feeble experiences with Linux have never meandered in that direction, and so I’m very unlikely to know what to do with it. Only in AUR.
  • ncc: ncc is a “C source code analyzer which generates program flow and variable usage information.” After looking at cscope I thought this might be interesting, but truth be told I’m such a knucklehead about coding in general that I don’t think I can do it justice. If you work with C and need a tool like this, you’ll be able to give a much better evaluation. In AUR and Debian with the same home page, but if you clicked on it already, you know it’s empty.
  • nftables: A packet filtering framework and compatibility layer. Waaay over my head. In AUR and in Sid.
  • nvidia-cuda: If I understand this correctly, it allows Nvidia graphics cards to be used for general purpose (bitcoin mining? probably) computing. My lowly GeForce4 MX 440 Go is not going to make much headway in the pursuit of “general purpose computing,” and that’s the best Nvidia card I have available to me right now. In both Debian and AUR.
  • openafs: A distributed file system; I’m still stuck on ext2. :\ This is in AUR as openafs but in Debian as openafs-client.
  • Open IPMI: “The Open IPMI project aims to develop an open code base to allow access to platform information using Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI).” Um … yeah. In both AUR and Debian.
  • pacemaker-cli-utils: Tools and utilities for Pacemaker cluster management. I don’t even know what that is. 😕 This is in Debian for Jessie as pacemaker-cli-utils, but I don’t know what that corresponds to in Arch. ha-pacemaker?
  • pcurses: Here’s one that’s in Arch, but (apparently) not in Debian — and for obvious reasons. pcurses is a curses-based package manager for Arch systems. I was tempted to include it as an individual post, but it’s still specifically for one distro, and I try to be as inclusive as possible in my text-only adventures. I can tell you though that pcurses does a wonderful job letting you skim through software titles and see their relevant data. If you’re an Arch fan, you should check it out at least once. …
  • petitboot: An independent bootloader. I haven’t heard of this before and I wonder if it’s a replacement for either grub or lilo, or both. As it is now I’m a big fan of syslinux, just because grub’s new incarnation as version 2 seems more cumbersome than necessary. Apparently only in Debian, unless it’s hiding in Arch somewhere under a different name.
  • pfqueue: “A console-based program to handle MTA (postfix, exim) queues interactively.” I’m afraid that’s all lost on me. Is it a networking tool? an e-mail utility? I’m bewildered. And as luck would have it, the home page suggests it hasn’t seen updates since 2007. In both Debian and AUR though, so perhaps it’s still useful.
  • Web Polygraph: Performance tools for testing accelerators, switches and filters. In both Debian and AUR, and I skipped it since I don’t really have a frame of reference for most of those things.
  • PowerDebug: This sounds like a feature-packed debugging tool, but as I understand it, it’s a debugging tool for certain elements of the power subsystem. The man page suggests it’s not particularly helpful in x86 systems too. Either way, it’s more than I can reasonably expect myself to handle. In Debian; I don’t see it for Arch, and I don’t see a web page either.
  • proftpd: I had to look back against my own posting history before I could decide if I would include proftpd in this little parade or not. As you can see, I finally decided to leave it here, rather than provide it with its 15 seconds of fame. I don’t have much experience with proftpd, even if I did put pure-ftpd to the test, and glossed over vsftpd. It’s more intended for servers than it is for the desktop text-only warrior, and so I’ll let it slip. In both AUR and Debian, of course.
  • pypy: pypy is in both Debian and Arch, but I’m not exactly clear as to what it is. If I understand it correctly, it’s something like Python, that runs faster than python. Which is probably a good thing, since I have a knack for finding python programs that seem sluggish.
  • quagga: Routing software for Unix. I don’t think I have the requisite hardware to run the software, and I make that decision by trying to understand what the home page is describing. 😳 In both Debian and Arch.
  • readline: readline is, of course, in both Arch and Debian, and is probably one of the most important pieces of software on your system. I’m not sure how it insinuated itself into my list, but I dare not leave it off for fear of angering The Gods of the List. All the same, there’s not a lot for me to do with it. Let’s move on.
  • rote: Terminal emulator library that appears to have faded away. In Arch, but oddly, not in Debian. It may be a little late for it to join the Swirlies though, since its last code update was almost a decade ago.
  • rsbac: Kernel-level security modifications, if I read the home page correctly. In AUR but not in Debian this time.
  • samtools: Samtools is a set of utilities that manipulate nucleotide sequence alignments in the binary BAM format. Um … science stuff. 😳 In Debian and AUR.
  • scheme9: An interpreter “for a broad subset of R4RS Scheme.” I’m afraid that’s completely lost on me. 😦 In Debian only, but could be part of some other package in Arch.
  • scli: CLI tools for SNMP arrangements. The only home page I could find is broken, as you can see. This is in Debian as scli but I don’t know if there is anything in Arch or AUR that corresponds to it.
  • scm: A version of Scheme that fits a set of specifications. I would be terrifically lost trying to work with this. In Debian and AUR.
  • simulavr: Simulator for a family of Atmel AVR microcontrollers. In Debian and AUR. If you get the feeling that things like this are completely alien to me, you’d be right.
  • sinfo: A performance monitor for large network arrangements. The screenshots of this look very cool, but they also clearly are intended for larger setups than my lowly laptop trio. In Debian and AUR too, I believe.
  • sipp and sip: sipp is in Debian, and is a SIP protocol testing tool. In Arch, sip is something different — a tool for creating Python libraries. Strangely, I don’t see either package in its opposite distro, although that could just be my less-than-stellar search skills.
  • snooper and snooper: Another unusual pair: In Debian, snooper is a tool for capturing data between external serial devices. In AUR, snooper is something carved out of the ibus suite. In either case, I’d be at a disadvantage to test them.
  • spectools: I believe spectools is for analyzing spectrum analyzers. Unfortunately I lack a spectrum analyzer to analyze, which means I can’t really analyze this spectrum analyzer analyzer. Got it? 😕 In both.
  • squidview: This is in both AUR and Debian, as a squid log viewer. I don’t have much experience with squid, so I have a feeling the time spent in setup and demonstration would offset the usefulness of the tool. In both Debian and AUR.
  • stfl: In Debian as libstfl. A library for using forms in ncurses programs. This looks interesting to me, but I lack any programming ability, and as a result, it really just … looks interesting to me. In both Debian and Arch.

Like I hinted, this is not the last I have, but it is a large chunk of it. It’s a little disappointing to gloss over these things in such a careless manner, but without the hardware or expertise to approach a lot of it, I’m not doing anyone any favors. If you can give any advice or war stories with these programs, please feel free to chime in. 😉

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