FSFTN Summer Camp on Free Software Technologies at IIT Madras – June 8 to June 13



Free Software Foundation, Tamil Nadu (FSFTN) is an organisation that works to spread awareness about Free Software and Free Knowledge among college students of Tamil Nadu . As a part of our initiatives in taking Free Software technologies to the college students, we are holding a 6 day summer camp .This year the camp is to be held from June 8 th to June 13 th ( 6 days ) at IIT Madras.

The event would start with Introduction to Free Software Philosophy

Hands on sessions

  1. GNU/Linux introduction and installation
  2. Introduction to File system and Shell scripting
  3. Git & GitHub
  4. Blender
  5. Ruby
  6. HTML, CSS, JS
  7. Ruby On Rails
  8. Introduction to Node.js, MongoDB & Meteor

Apart from this there would be

  1. Team building excercise
  2. Showcasing of website built by students during the Ruby on Rails session

Introduction to:

  1. Cloud and containers
  2. Open Hardware
  3. From Internet to Meshnet
  4. Net Nuetrality

Short talks

  1. Wikipedia
  2. Tamil Computing & Localization
  3. Firefox OS & Contributing to Mozilla
  4. Getting started with Free Software Contribution
  5. SWIFT- Swift Women in Free Technologies

For continuous follow ups we have :

  1. How to form a GLUG and What next?

Every participant would be given a Participation certificate from FSFTN .

Please have look at the website of the Chennai edition of the 2015 summercamp. The posters for the events are attached .

About FSFTN :

Free Software Foundation, Tamil Nadu (FSFTN) is an organisation that works to spread awareness about Free Software and Free Knowledge among college students of Tamil Nadu.We are a part of Free Software Movement of India (FSMI), a social movement that has pledged to enlighten the general public with the essence of Free Software. FSFTN was founded in 2008 and is also a registered society in Tamil Nadu.

About Previous Editions and our movement

As a part of our initiatives in taking free software technologies to the college students, we have held two five days summer camps in the past two years – 18 – 22 June in 2013 and 15 – 19 June in 2014. The venue for these two summer camps were the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at IIT Madras. A total of 150 students from across Tamil Nadu participated in the summer camps for each year, where they learnt about basics of free software and innovative software packages like Python, Ruby on Rails etc. The summer camps were well received by the participating students.

The photos and videos of earlier versions can be accesed at 2008 – SSN , 2009 – SSN , 2010-SSN .

Apart from this , there have been workshops and events conducted throughout the year . Join the journey of creating a ecosystem in which Knowledge Sharing takes the front seat rather than mere studying .

How to use ibus in KDE5?

I use KDE Desktop environment for long time.

The recent KDE5 is good, sleek and beautiful.

To type in Tamil, I use ibus.
Installed it and configured Tamil99 keyboard layouts.

sudo apt-get install ibus-m17n ibus m17n-db m17n-contrib ibus-gtk ibus-qt4

This links helped to setup ibus.

Still in KDE5 , ibus is not working only in KDE applications. But, it works well with GTK based applications like Firefox.

In order to resolve this problem add

export QT_IM_MODULE=ibus

to ~/.xprofile and restart your X user session. ie. logout and login.

After doing this, I can type in tamil using ibus in all KDE applications.

Thanks to https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/IBus#Troubleshooting

Few Ebooks on Free Software, GNU/Linux, MySQL, HTML5 in Tamil

“Nithya, Please stop seeing TV Serials. I can not tolerate them.”

I requested my wife.

“Hmm. OK. I will stop it. But, I have to do something useful on the saved time”. Nithya said.

“Good. Can you share your knowledge in Tamil? Can you write few articles for the e-magazine Kaniyam“?

“Will give a try”.

This is how she started to write on Tamil about the technologies, she is strong and the new stuff she is learning. Her articles are published in Kaniyam site in 3 years. Compiled them and released as Free Ebooks.

Here is the list of Ebooks written by Nithya.


MySQL – Part 1

MySQL – part 2

GNU/Linux Part 1

GNU/Linux Part 2


 My friend Amachu a.k.a Ramadhas wrote a book on Free Software. It came as print edition 7 years ago.
Released it as a free Ebook.



Free Software

All these books are released in Creative Commons License.
You can download, read and share with all.

Nithya completed a book on GNU/Linux administration. Now writing on CSS.
My friend Priya wrote on Ruby.
Mr. Kuppan wrote on OpenOffice/LibreOffice.

These books are under spell checking and proof reading.

Kathirvel is writing on PHP
Tamil on WordPress.
I am writing on Python

We will release them soon.

Thanks for Kaniyam.com team and FreeTamilEbooks.com team for bringing these ebooks and the awesome service for the Tamil readers.

Please donate to buy a good camera for a Wikimedia Commons Photography Contributor

Please donate to buy a good camera for a Wikimedia Commons Photography Contributor.

Source –


Mr.Yerkadu Elango, is a Tamil writer. He wrote 75 books. All the books are non-fiction, much informative, basic science oriented. General knowledge, educationalists, scientists, women leaders, social causes are the themes for his books.

To make Science and General Knowledge reach more people, he releases his books as Free Ebooks.


We can download all his 15 ebooks for free here.

As works in Botanical Department in a Central Govt office in Yerkadu, He is very good at categorizing the plants and flowers. He take photos of all the plants around Yerkadu and uploads in https://commons.wikimedia.org

https://commons.wikimedia.org is a sub project of Wikipedia, where we can contribute with photos and anyone can use the photos without any piracy issues. All the photos are in creative commons license. So we can use the photos and have to mention the name, url of the wikipedia page as source.

So far, Yerkadu Elango, contributed 3200 photos on Commons.

He adds the Botanical details of the plants along with the photos.

We can see all his contributions here – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Files_by_User:Yercaud-elango

More details about him:



He is looking for Donations to buy a good camera so that his efforts can be more useful for the community.

For now, he is using a normal point and shoot camera, which is not helping to capture the flowers are in height of trees.

He has to climb up on trees and rocks to get the photos.

It will be nice, if we can help him to buy a good camera with nice ZOOM features, may be around 30x.

Below is his request in Tamil.


வணக்கம். நான் இதுவரை 2868 புகைப்படங்களை விக்கிமீடியாவில் இணைத்துள்ளேன். இதில் 1126 தாவர இனங்களின் 2796 புகைப்படங்கள், 30 விலங்குகள், வண்ணத்துப் பூச்சிகள், 30 ஏற்காடு சுற்றுலா தளங்கள் என

தாவரங்களின் பெயர்களை அடையாளம் கண்டுபிடித்து அதற்கு தாவரவியல் பெயரிடுவது மிகவும் சிரமம். சுமார் 30 நிமிடம் முதல் சில நாட்கள், சில மாதங்கள் கூட ஆகும். அலுவலக வேலை, தமிழ்நாடு அறிவியல் இயக்க பணிகள், அறிவியல் புத்தகம் எழுதும் பணி என பல வேலைகளுக்கு இடையே இப்பணியை நவம்பர் 22, 2014 முதல் செய்து வருகிறேன்.

தாவரம், மரம் போன்றவற்றை புகைப்படம் எடுக்க ஏற்காடு மலையில் 50 கி.மீ. தூரம் வரை செல்ல வேண்டும். மலையின் மீது ஏற வேண்டும். இது ஆபத்தான வேலை. இருப்பினும் சமூக நோக்கத்துடன் மாணவர் சமூகத்திற்காக, ஆராய்ச்சி மாணவர்களுக்கு உதவுவதற்காக இப்பணியை செய்து வருகிறேன். 5 ஆண்டுகள்
செய்ய கூடிய பி.எச்.டி., ஆய்வுக்கு இணையான பணியாகும். 75 புத்தகங்களை எழுதி முடித்து விட்டு, எழுத்துப் பணியையும் தொடர்ந்து கொண்டிருக்கிறேன்.

இத்துடன் தாவரங்களின் படங்களை எடுத்து இணைக்கும் பணியிலும் ஈடுபடுகிறேன். மரத்தின் உச்சியில் உள்ள பூக்களை படம் எடுக்க வேண்டி இருக்கிறது. ஒரு அதி நவீன கேமரா இருந்தால் மரங்களின் உச்சியில் உள்ள பூக்களை படம் எடுக்க முடியும். மேலும் ஏற்காட்டில் வாழும் பறவைகள், விலங்குகளையும் புகைப்படம் எடுத்து விக்கிமீடியாவில் இணைக்க முடியும். சமூக நோக்கத்துடன் எதிர்கால மாணவர் சமூகத்திற்காக செய்ய இருக்கும் இப்பணிக்கு 25க்கும் மேற்பட்ட Mega Pixel மற்றும் 30 x Zoom கொண்ட கேமரா வாங்கிக் கொடுத்தால் பணி சிறப்பாக அமையும்.

ஏற்காடு இளங்கோ



We dont know, if such effort of capturing plants will happen once again. The initial effort itself should be best as much possible.

Please donate to buy a good camera for Yerkadu elango.

Bank Details:

Account no.1226101022826
Bank:Canara Bank
IFSC: CNRB0001226

Send an email to yercaudelango@gmail.com  & tshrinivasan@gmail.com on your donation details.

Thanks a lot.

Fix unknown ca error in apache SSL

I have a PHP application with apache and SSL.

It was failing on authentication.

The ssl error logs were as below

AH02008: SSL library error 1 in handshake
SSL Library Error: error:14094418:SSL routines:SSL3_READ_BYTES:tlsv1 alert unknown ca (SSL alert number 48)

The apache ssl configuration was fine as below.

SSLCertificateFile Certificate file path
SSLCertificateKeyFile Key file path
SSLCertificateChainFile Intermediate bundle path

I tested the SSL with the site – https://www.sslshopper.com/ssl-checker.html

It reported as below

The certificate is not trusted in all web browsers. You may need to install an Intermediate/chain certificate to link it to a trusted root certificate. Learn more about this error. You can fix this by following GoDaddy’s Certificate Installation Instructions for your server platform. Pay attention to the parts about Intermediate certificates.

The intermediate certificate, aka bundle file may be an issue.

To verify it, ran the following commands.

openssl verify /etc/ssl/certs/cert.pem

gives me the following error:

error 20 at 0 depth lookup:unable to get local issuer certificate

We have to give the path of the intermediate CA certificate to verify the pem file.

openssl verify -CAfile /etc/apache2/ssl.crt/sf_bundle-g2-g1.crt /etc/ssl/certs/cert.pem

It gave the error as

Error loading file /etc/apache2/ssl.crt/sf_bundle-g2-g1.crt

It seems that there are some issues with sf_bundle-g2-g1.crt

I downloaded a fresh sf_bundle-g2-g1.crt file from GoDaddy site.


and placed in /etc/apache2/ssl.crt/

Now the command works fine.

openssl verify -CAfile /etc/apache2/ssl.crt/sf_bundle-g2-g1.crt /etc/ssl/certs/cert.pem
/etc/ssl/certs/cert.pem: OK

And now, the web application can allows the users to login.

Thanks to the following links.


How to fix Genymotion in Ubuntu 14.04?

Genymotion is a free emulator for android os.

I downloaded it from https://www.genymotion.com and installed it in ubuntu 14.04

To install it,
chomod +x genymotion-<VERSION>_<ARCH>.bin
./genymotion-<VERSION>_<ARCH>.bin -d <HOME_DIRECTORY>

To run

cd <HOME_DIRECTORY>/genymotion

It should open a window and ask for adding new device.

But for me, it is not opening.
The command exits and shows the shell.

It logged the activities at
Logging activities to file: ~/.Genymobile/genymotion.log

It displayed the error message as

Cannot mix incompatible Qt library (version 0x40806) with this library (version 0x40802)

Searched net for a solution and sharing it here.

Source : http://askubuntu.com/questions/534415/cannot-mix-incompatible-qt-library

1 – Installing the libs:

apt-get install libxi-dev libxmu-dev

2 – (Re)Moving the Qt libs inside the Genymotion installation directory

mkdir QtLibs && mv *Qt*.so* QtLibs

This last command will make Genymotion use the system’s Qt libs.

Then, ran ./genymotion

Now it opens the window and can add new virtual android devices.

Thanks for the askubuntu community.

How to become a Software Tester?

Are you looking for a job as Software Tester?

Here are few thoughts on software testing.

  1. Get Knowledge and skills
  2. Learn the Concepts
  3. Learn the Testing Tools
  4. Learn a programming language
  5. Dont dream about playing games. Instead play any game
  6. Contribute to Open Source Software by Testing them
  7. Join Testing groups
  8. Write a blog
  9. Add all these things to your Resume

1. Get Knowledge and skills

Knowledge, skills and experience need not be gained only by taking up a job. We can grow these ourselves, Right?

What do most people say? “Give me a job. Then, I will learn all that is required. After that, I will grow my skills.” True.

Let us say, you buy a car to travel out of town with your family often. You are looking for a good driver. I have come for an interview. I have attended driving classes. But I do not have any experience.

“I have completed training. I have a certificate. But, I do not have experience. Give me employment. Let me have your new car. Give me training for a few months. Once I have learnt it well, I will drive your family wherever you want.”

If I say this, will you hire me? But, this is what you say to the companies.

For learning how to drive a car, you need a car that costs lakhs of rupees. But for learning computer skills you can use the computer you already have.

In cricket, if someone is not scoring runs, even if it is Sachin, we get annoyed. We expect them to score continuously and hit fours and sixes frequently. However, we dont do any useful things using your computer, but will listen to music, watch films, play games and keep chatting with your friends on social media. How is this justified?

2. Learn the Concepts

Software Testing is a vast industry. It has many concepts as

  • Test Cases
  • Test Results
  • Bug Tracking
  • Test case Tracking
  • Manual Testings
  • Automated Testing
  • BlackBox Testing
  • WhiteBox Testing
  • Functional Testing
  • Database Testing
  • Performance Testing
  • Unit Testing
  • Mobile Testing
  • Web Testing
  • GUI Testing

    and more.

There are many websites/books/presentations/videos/lessons available on Internet.

Learn about them.

3. Learn the Testing Tools

To implement all the above said testing concepts, there are many software/tools available.

Few software or so costly to buy.

Dont worry. There are equivalent Free/Open Source Software available for all the needs.

Test Case Management – Test Link and others.

see a big list here – http://www.opensourcetesting.org/testmgt.php

Bug Trackers – BugZilla, Mantis, Trac etc

Automated web testing – Selenium

GUI Testing – Sikuli.org

Performance Testing – JMeter

You can find all open source testing software here – http://www.opensourcetesting.org/

They all are 100% free. Download them and install in your computer and learn them.

4. Learn a programming language

Being in the Software Industry, we should know atleast one programming language.

I suggest “Python”. It is very easy/cross platform language.

We can do many automated/web/mobile/gui testing using Python.

Learn Python the Hard Way is the easiest book.


Complete this one book alone.

It may few weeks only to complete this.

Google’s Python Course (with Lecture Videos)


5. Dont dream about playing games. Instead play any game

Dont wait for getting a software tested job for doing testing.

The job of a cricket player is to practice regularly and display their talent. Nobody says, “Include me in the Indian cricket team! Then I will learn the game and then I will play well and after that I will win cups for the country.”

To become more skilled in cricket, you have to take the bat / ball and practice. For It Industry, it is enough if you practice with the computer you already have. To learn software testing all you need are a computer and internet connection.

Learn the concepts, Install the software and start testing the software you use daily and find bugs.

6. Contribute to Open Source Software by Testing them

There millions of Free/Open Source Software being developed. They all are looking for testers to find bugs, so that developers can improve them.

You can contribute by reporting bugs, confirming existing bugs, writing test cases, automated tests, etc.

Whatever the corporates are doing for testing their software, can be done for open source software too.

On any open source project website, look for “community/contribute by testing”.

They will give all the details on how you can contribute to that project by testing.

In a continuous effort for 3-4 months, you can become a QA team member of any big open source project.

That will become a great crown on your heads.

Ubuntu Linux –



Mozilla –



LibreOffice –


Fedora Linux –


MediaWiki –


Read these links too




Pick any of your favourite open source software and become its QA team member.

7. Join Testing groups

Search for local testing groups/communities.

Attend the meetings.

Have testing events.

If there is no group, start one and do some activities.

8. Write a blog

Write about everything you worked on in your blog. Write everyday without fail. Your blog will become your best Visiting Card.

9. Add all these things to your Resume

Add to your Resume your blog address, the list of Open Source software you are contributing to and all the skills you have.

Read these too



Reply here, if we can add any more stuff in this post.

Thinking for a Hacker Space in Chennai

Chennai is becoming the hub of events.

There are many tech communities, meetup groups, social friends group etc conducting regular events.

Check the Event calendar of Chennai

All the weekends are filled with events.

Once meetup.com became free, there are groups started for most of the

software in the industry.

But, many groups cannot make the events as they could not find the venue.

Option A:

Thinking a Hacker Space kind of venue, where any user group can conduct their events.


The following are the ideas :

1. A small home in a accessible venue in chennai

2. Any user group can conduct the events for free

3. Venue can have broadband and Projector/LCD TV

4. Table/Chairs can be there or can be rented

How to generate money?

1. Donations should be collected to give the rent

2. Startups/Individuals can be use this venue as co-working space in the week days for a very lower cost

3. or one or two persons can stay there to share the major part of the rent/expenses.

4. Paid workshops can be conducted with cheaper cost.

Option B :

There may be some startups/organizations who may be willing to give free space conducting events.

We can collect their details and share in a public site.

Any community that wants a venue can contact them and use the space.

Please share your inputs on this.

New Open Source Text to Speech system for Tamil

Prof. Vasu Renganathan, Univ Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA, has released his Text to Speech for Tamil language as Open source.

Get the source at :


See in action:




It is written in php.

There are many open source TTS systems available as espeak, Festival, CMU Sphinx  etc.

But they work fine for English only. A new system is needed for Tamil.

Myself and my brother Arulalan are trying to build a TTS system using python.

He wrote script to convert tamil text to IPA.



The next step is to record audio for each symbol and play with python.

In the meantime, the TTS by Vasu gives a great enlightenment on text and sound processing,a s it has all the sound files and code to process text, map to sound files and stitch as a word etc.

We will port it to python soon.

This is not a very perfect TTS.
Many things have to be improved.

  • There is little gap between letters.
  • Need few more gap between sentences.
  • Need more voices.

We can add all these features as we have the source now.

Please check the code and explore a how TTS works.

Reply here if you are interested in improving Tamil TTS System.


Thanks for prof.vasu for open sourcing his nice works.