How I got involved with Toaster

I work for Mentor Graphics. For my routine tasks bitbake command plays a vital role. Below is a small glimpse of how I landed up working on Toaster and how it matters a lot to me.

Let me rewind a bit. John Cherry who was leading MEL, visited India, Bangalore during 2015, to meet our small team. I got a chance to have a discussion with him. During our discussion, I mentioned about my past experience with FOSS community and my participation with Akadem( I realized that we ( me and John ) had some interests in common. So I initiated a discussion with him regarding, my interest to work on python related projects. John replied immediately, “Why don’t you contribute to bitbake? :)”. I always believe that one needs an itch or reason to start working on a FOSS project. I insisted that I am looking for some kind of activity which involves more development.I was in need of a fresh air.

After team visit, John went back to USA. A discussion started on who would be interested in working with Toaster and about its integration with MEL. I was not part of initial discussion, but later it was communicated to me that I am assigned to work with toaster. So I thank a bunch to John, for considering our discussion and giving me an opportunity to work with toaster team.

First step, which I prefer, prior to working on any FOSS project is google : for a mailing list and irc channel. I got the first one couldn’t find the later for Toaster. But that was fine to me, because most contributors (in fact all) are available on #yocto. Team Toaster conducts a weekly meeting. ย I started joining the meeting regularly. I shared Mentor Graphics plan to integrate Toaster with MEL (Mentor Embedded Linux) with community. My first step was to build images using toaster in the build mode. I was able to build core-image-sato and core-image-minimal with toaster successfully. It gave me some confidence to move ahead and try to toast Mentor image(s), with toaster. I had foreseen that this process would eventually end up in integrating Toaster with MEL.

There were 2 approaches to integrate Toaster wih MEL. One was to use layerindex approach and other with toasterconf.json file. I preferred to use toasterconf.json. Belen helped me by sharing web links about this file. I struggled initially ( some joyful moments ) and learned to tailor toasterconf.json file. I also remember Ed, helping me for a day to get localhostbecontroller work with MEL setup. Later on patch was posted for review. There is always an etiquette I love to follow, when community helps you. That is, you as a user should have moral responsibility to give something back. Isnโ€™t it same with society too ๐Ÿ™‚ ? Hence I posted a few patches to toaster, apart from my normal task with toaster.

One of the key challenges I found during integration was, toaster trying to clone layers by itself after reading the data from toasterconf.json. I had to stop that. Because Mentor had its pre-cloned layers to use. With minor changes, I was able to get it working. I remember the day when I had to demo, toaster executing MEL image. I was able to trigger an image using toaster successfully.

Belen helped in validating my changes. The machine which I use for development would take a minimum of 3-4 hours to build a sato-image. Belen helped me a lot by triggering build on her machine and sharing the results quickly.

When my changes got stabilized with MEL images, I submitted them for review in poky-contrib. Michael Wood had helped in reviewing those changes. I also remember Alex who was part of toaster team, helped in reviewing my changes. Brian helped me a lot by sharing his thoughts about my changes and also by sharing results with my changes. Toaster community had also helped me by sharing a public server to ease my work.Builds which take around 4 hours to finish now take less than 30 minutes to complete.

It was too late for my changes to get into Jethro branch. Integration of my patches to toaster is planned for future release. Toaster is an amazing community to work with. Itโ€™s a community with like-minded people who understand the dynamics of FOSS and help users to use Toaster.

If there is a chance to meet you all (Toaster team) in future, I owe entire team with Beer(s) ๐Ÿ™‚

Akademy Days 2014

This was my first akademy and it meant a lot to me ๐Ÿ™‚ย  I would love to share the snaps I had taken before I write down further. Here is the link from flickr( It was my immense pleasure to meet many people around the conference. I remember the first day where I was so shy to talk to people gathered around at RedHat office in the evening. And Adriaan de Groot helped me out :).

First two days were amazing with with good enlightening talks ( as I wont be writing too much about that because they are already described in dot(,, and Then on the BoF’s started. I got an idea to implement something new for PlasmaMediacenter. Once implemented and changes pushed I will share the blog post for the same.

I thank a lot to e.V and sponsors for this good event.

Akademy 2014

Akademy 2014 is going to be held at Brno University of Technology. This is the first akademy I am going to attend. Its been 5 years that I had been involved with the community and been with it during my good and bad times. I thank KDE e.V for sponsoring my travel and giving me an opportunity to meet community members. I share a kool hug to all community members and KDE e.V ๐Ÿ™‚


Akademy2014banner Akademy 2014

Plasma Media Center 1.3 beta release with openSUSE 13.1

On 3rd June 2014, Plasma Media Center 1.3 beta was released. This post is for openSUSE users to get Plasma Media Center work on their machine. Nothing much change have been observed from the package installation mentioned here. In case if you are not able to play songs or videos, then my suggestion would be to install the multimedia codecs from here. You can download Plasma Media Center from here. Follow the README file carefully to install Plasma Media Center in your machine.
If you want to disable the tests in PMC ( Plasma Media Center), then pass this argument -DKDE4_BUILD_TESTS=OFF to the cmake command. Or else you can use the cmake command mentioned in README as it is. Let me assure you one thing, the performance of PMC has been improved tremendously. And there are good bunch of features available. Here are some of the screenshots which I think would be good for a kickstart:

snapshot1 300x149 Plasma Media Center 1.3 beta release with openSUSE 13.1






Awesome!!! MPRIS’s working with now playing plasmoid ๐Ÿ™‚

snapshot2 300x181 Plasma Media Center 1.3 beta release with openSUSE 13.1






snapshot3 300x181 Plasma Media Center 1.3 beta release with openSUSE 13.1






We consider every user of PMC as contributors. So on behalf of team, I would request you all to use it and feel free to share areas of improvements or file bugs here. 2014

Me, Shantanu and Smit reached Gandhinagar(Gujarat, India) on 21st Feb 2014. I was almost out of events from 2010 and hence this event was so special for me. On the same day I met Jos Poortvliet and Kevin Ottens. After having dinner our room became the addaย  ( meaning: place where everyone joined ) where I met Rishab and Shubham .

Day 1: Feb 21 2014

My room mate was Smit and we woke up early. I heard a familiar sound from next room, “Arey shantanu …”. Hey it was our Pradeepto. I felt so good to meet him after 4 years!!!ย  After having some normal chat we were ready for breakfast. I met one of the old friends Prashanth Udupa for breakfast. Prashanth and Shantanu were discussing over Qt workshop for the day. After breakfast we moved to DA-IICT. To be honest its one of the awesome colleges I had ever seen till date. In the registration area I met Peter Grasch. Spent couple of hours there and moved ahead for lunch.

After lunch Pradeepto gave inauguration speech. He did a good job. And then on Prashanth started the Qt workshop. Prashanth kicked off the workshop with small example and went further. During workshop we helped students by fixing the problems they faced. Some had linker issues, GL files missing, fail to compille the code. Many had windows laptop and being a GNU/Linux user I felt bit difficult to tackle some of the issues they faced. But then some of the rockstars of KDE were ready to tackle them. Kudos to team KDE ๐Ÿ™‚

After day one event we reached hotel. It was time to have dinner. And we decided to have some pizza’s. Except cold noodles and pasta ( I don’t prefer cold noodles and pasta ) the pizzas served were awesome. After dinner we came back to hotel. Had lots of fun in discussing some of the old stories, politics and what not.

Day 2: Feb 22 2014

Start of day 2 was with Smit’s talk. He shared with students how he got into KDE and how it had helped him in his career. How good KDE community. He also shared example of communities which helped students to understand how easy is to get into KDE community. And hence KDE community isn’t hard as a coconut ๐Ÿ™‚ Nikhil gave the second talk on Qt C++ idioms. This was a technical talk. He helped students realize about QPointer, QWeakPointer etc. And hence he did a good job. I had to give the third talk. After 4 years I am on stage. So I was very nervous. I described how I got into KDE community by contributing to Klettres. I also showed students how to find a problem and reach solution for the same. The fourth talk was given by Siteshwar and Shantanu on Mer project. They described how to have a common build system for different mobile vendors.ย  After each talk we got good bunch of questions from audience.

Lunch was provided in the front of the hall ( not exactly in the front ๐Ÿ™‚ ).

After lunch, Vishesh got into stage for his talk. His talk helped students to understand that its essential to have knowledge on the underlying technology of the project. He described how he had faced the hurdles while working on Nepomuk. Next talk was delivered by Samikshan. His talk was on how to use KDE edu packages like parleyย  and to learn language using the edu packages. Next talk was given by Sinny on plasma-mediacenter. She showed how plasma-mediacenter was used to play songs,videos etc. She also demonstrated on how plasma-mediacenter was used for viewing youtube videos. She didn’t forget to mention about contributing back to plasma-mediacenter ๐Ÿ™‚ Next it was Chandan’s talk on localization. He emphasized more on the tools used for localization.
Next was Shubham’s turn. Shubham described about his SoK experience. Shubham also described how he enjoyed working on KDE Multimedia. The day ended with Kevin’s talk. He described how FOSS works. There were points regarding cultural reasons for its shortcomings and how it can be improvised etc. When everyone emphasized on word “Open Source”, I really loved the way Kevin used word “Free Software”.

The second day’s talks were over and we moved ahead to our hotel rooms. There was already plan made to go out for dinner as a team. It was far away from the hotel and for commute, vehicles were ready. We had lots of PJ’s and fun during the drive. We had kind of Gujarati+Rajasthani style dinner. After dinner we came back to hotel.

Day 3: Feb 23 2014

First talk of the day started with Jos. He helped the audience to understand about how and where KDE is going ahead with KDE5, Plasma 2 etc. There were quite interesting questions form the audience as well. Next talk was by Kevin on C++11. It was purely technical talk on the new changes brought in to C++ like lambda, auto etc. He tried his best showing sample snippet code to students and demonstrating the old way of writing and new style with c++11. Next talk was given by Prashanth on GCF. He explained some of the IPC mechanisms used in GCF and how it can be used in local network.

We had lunch in front of the hall.

Post lunch talk was kicked off with Avnee. Avnee showed how she contributed to KDiamond game during GSoC. She showed about components in QML and how to reuse them. She also showed about custom components which user can create and use them. Next talk was given by Peter. He started of with architectural diagram of Simon. He demonstrated how to play songs in amarok using simon. He also shared ideas on how to integrate simon to specific applications like plasma-mediacenter. Next was Bhushan’s talk on Plasma2. He showed the video of plasma workspace 2. He showed students on development and porting phases of Plasma 2. Next was Rishab’s turn. Rishab demonstrated a bug in kstars UI and how to fix it. He also asked students to file a bug or send a patch to kick off contributing to kstars. I missed Puneet’s talk as I went outside to take snaps. And finally we all gave a big round of applause to the volunteers who were involved in the event.

Me, Shantanu, Smit and Prashant returned back to Bangalore on the same flight. So when I look back at the event I got an opportunity to meet old friends, make new friends, had lot of fun, learned new stuff. I would thank DA-IICT for providing the venue and all speakers and audiences who came. I also give special thank to Digia and VCreate Logic for sponsoring the event. My special thanks to KDE e.V too ๐Ÿ™‚

Here is the link to photo’s I captured during the event in flickr.