Please don't send mails to my address anymore

This morning my E-Mail account at Gentoo was suspended.

Now it seems to be back and mails are being forwarded to my private E-Mail account. Please don't send any more E-Mails to my address but instead replace the host part of my address with I do not really want having Gentoo jerks reading private mails.

If you nevertheless want to send an E-Mail to my address, please encrypt the mail with my public GPG key.

Mikrotik CRS236-24S+2Q+RM switch: one year usage summary

Mikrotik is known for its cheap 10GBit/s switches. That's the reason I bought one of these back in 2021. Although buying 10GBase-T transceivers is not that cheap, in the end I replaced my good ol' Netgear S3300-28X with the Mikrotik CRS236-24S+2Q+RM running SwOS-2.13. I know the switch can also run RouterOS but to be honest, I do not like the complexity of RouterOS, nor do I need an OS on my switch that provides lots of functionality I definitely will never use (on a switch).
Unfortunately, SwOS comes with a couple of drawbacks:
  • SwOS has a limited password length: It accepts twelve chars but not 20. I didn't check if twelve really is the limit but SwOS refuses to save passwords with 20 chars.
  • No ssh connections possible: All SwOS provides is a very basic http web interface.
  • No https connections possible: The web-interface can only be accessed via http.

Now all these drawbacks are not present in RouterOS but still, that one is totally overloaded with functionalities one never needs in a L2 switch. Furthermore, one small misconfiguration in RouterOS and 10GBit/s transfer speeds are gone because everything gets routed over the switch CPU which is only connected to the switch chip with a 1GBit/s line.

There's one really annoying bug in SwOS-2.13 though, that only recently got confirmed by Mikrotik: The two QSFP+ ports refuse to re-establish a link connection once the remote side gets rebooted. In order to re-establish the link, I found three possible solutions:
  • Reboot the switch. (most effortful solution as the entire network connected to the switch is down while the switch performs the reboot)
  • Un-/replug the QSFP+-cable at the switch. (similarly effortful)
  • Toggle auto negotiation from "auto" to "40G" or vice versa.

And these are the actions that do not work and will not solve the link issue:
  • Reboot the remote device again.
  • Un-/replug the QSFP+-cable at the remote side.
  • Replace the remote NIC (if possible).
  • Use a different QSFP+ cable.

Mikrotik promised a fix for a future SwOS release but I doubt this release will come anytime soon as their priority clearly is with RouterOS (where - again - this issue is not present).

Besides these issues the switch performs really great and - when using a proper transfer protocol - provides reliable 10GBit/s on all of its ports. In summary I do not regret my decision and once Mikrotik finally puts some love into SwOS again, this will become a very nice and satisfying switch for my home network.

My time as Gentoo dev has come to an end...

so the inevitable end has come sooner than I expected but... let's be honest, Gentoo more and more turns into a shit hole full of self-important wannabes.
Ever since I became a Gentoo developer, the project always had issues with too powerful people. People being in comrel, QA and/or council at the same time cannot make a healthy project. But whenever the proposition came up in council to force people to only be in one powerful position, this has always been battered down decorated with lame excuses.
So now Gentoo is at a point where there is a small circle of "elevated people" that dictates direction of Gentoo for each and everyone. Refusal of bowing to their will or following their commands leads to... harmful sanctions as I just found out for myself lately. As a result I am no longer part of this shit hole project anymore.
Most of my twelve years of being a Gentoo developer were much fun, the last two years were not.
On the bright side, I now have much more free time I can spend with my family, my friends and my hobbies. Sorry to all users of the 147+ packages I was maintaining. I am sure many will not land in good hands I'm afraid.

Update 20220629 12:36CEST
Gentoo now started to censor my retirement bug (and even restricted the bug so it is no longer publically available). So I feel the urge to clarify some things:
  • I was kicked out from Gentoo because of developer Sam James. He is the reason I was booted. I NEVER voluntarily retired from Gentoo!
  • Gentoo started to surveil my E-Mail account. (*)
  • Gentoo is planning to invalidate my council vote although I did that vote BEFORE any of this bullshit started to happen.
(*) I've been told by a reliable source

Update 20220630 15:09CEST
Gentoo now tries to frame me as a defamer in order to justify their decision. And of course this blog post was taken as justification to fast-retire me and categorize me as "malicious actor". It is hilarious how deep they stick in their own "reality bubble". The way comrel acts nowadays reminds me of the German word "Gedankenpolizei". In the past GDR's Stasi acted similarly:
  • Secret trials
  • the defendant was given no access to what he/she was accused for
  • condemnation was secretly ruled
  • secret surveillance
  • vote manipulation
  • public censorship
Would you want to be part of such an "organization"? I surely do not.

Update 20220630 16:47CEST
Now Gentoo has even removed my Gentoo overlay (poly-c) from their public repository list with the funny but nevertheless completely wrong assertion:

"The owner has stopped using Gentoo"

At this point I would not be surprised if they try to completely remove any sign of my existence from their public ::gentoo git package repository as well. I mean, they already proved that they don't stop at performing blatant censorship.

Update 20220708 11:25CEST
Three days ago, I got my council vote confirmation ID. So to my surprise it seems at least this kind of "punishment" could not be enforced by comrel.

Threadripper Pro is really a beast

Finally, I have my new desktop machine up and running since May 8th. As I wanted a strong machine for Gentoo development again, I went with an AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 3955WX which is a 16-core CPU with 32 threads running at 3.9GHz base frequency. That should be enough for the upcoming six to eight years. As I also have a couple of VMs in use on this machine, I doubled the amount of RAM compared to my old machine and now have not less than 256GB ECC-RAM to play with. That should be enough to compile Gentoo packages in a RAM-disk and run a couple of VMs at the same time.
Finding a suitable mainboard for this CPU was not hard, but obtaining the board was an adventure of its own. I opted for a Supermicro M12SWA-TF board which was announced in January 2021 with a release date of mid 2021. Unfortunately it took over a year until the board was easily available.
Having this machine now also means an end to my dual CPU-socket usage on desktop systems. I see this as an improvement because that way the mainboard has more space for other stuff and features I consider important for a modern motherboard.

I only had few annoyances while installing Gentoo on that machine. Unfortuantely I couldn't use a Gentoo-clone from my old desktop machine on the new machine because... well... -march=native on my old AMD Bulldozer CPUs produced binaries that don't run on a Threadripper CPU. That is the first time I found AMD-CPUs not being fully downward compatible.
So I went with a fully-blown stage1 installation (as I am used to do since 2003) and simply installed all packages that the world file from my old machine contained. Configuring the kernel and grub was another challenge. I somehow had trouble getting grub being recognized by UEFI and I had to take about half a dozen attempts to get a bootable kernel configured.

Speaking of this machine I should also mention Arsimael who donated an Asus Radeon RX 5700 XT GPU to this system which I would not have been able to afford otherwise.

This machine really is a beast compared to my old machine. Compiling gcc-11 went down from 1:49h to 29 minutes by less than half of the power consumption. That is simply... WOW! Now all I need to do is replacing all the loud chassis fans with Noctuas.