Tags: ubuntu

Pages: 1 2 4 6

05/15/10

  04:20:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1373 words  
Categories: Software, Computer, Storage, Ubuntu

5-bay RAID and backuppc

Ever since I learned about 5-bay port multiplier SATA enclosures, I've been wanting to get one to play with. And, when I acquired 'orac'...I sought out a port multiplier eSATA adapter to include in the build of the system. And, then waited for support of the adapter in ubuntu. Stopped on 8.04LTS and waited for inclusion in a kernel.

I took a step closer when I finally got the 2-bay enclosure to mirror a pair of drives I had impulsively purchased. Since it worked, I then then bought a 5-bay enclosure (it came up as a NewEgg ShellShocker).

But, after some thought, I decided that what I wanted to do was build a 5 disk RAID5 using 1.5TB drives....so it would get me at least 5TB of real storage. And, set that I would wait until 1.5TB drives were under $100.

In the meantime, I collected a bunch of old SATA drives to see what I trouble I could get into....it didn't last long, as one was definitely dead and two quickly failed. Of course, two of the had been kicked out of RAID1 setups previously, and the other was a failing drive that I replaced/upgraded. So, it was back to waiting.

Eventually, I got 3 Samsung 1.5TB drives through NewEgg ShellShocker. And, I set up a 3 disk RAID5. Sadly, it didn't last very long....one of the drives failed while I was building the array. I exchanged it for a new drive with NewEgg, and waited for it before trying again. While I was waiting, I formatted it a bunch of times and learning about smartctl and various things of drive repair. One of the remaining two original drives, was showing signs of slow death and one unrecoverable sector. When, the new drive arrived...I did a long self test and a quick, but full, format....taking a couple days before I created the 3 disk RAID 5.

Once, that was done, I created a new big filesystem that is /var/lib/backuppc to have backuppc on 'orac'. Initially a 1TB filesystem.

Then one day, the bad happened. A drive on 'gumby' failed. It was time to stop putting off figuring out how to setup backuppc and start putting stuff into it. It turned out to be a lot easier than it thought to get started, though I did have to rebuild smbclient to have a longer timeout to get it successfully complete a full backup of a given partition. I then learned some other stuff and fine tuned the configs.... One big change was I broke out the windows hosts into individual partitions (ie, gumby_c, gumby_e, gumby_f), and came up with a 'semaphore' solution so that it wouldn't backup more than one partition at a time from a windows host. Eventually, I had all my systems in it (it fully backs up everything except itself, where it backs up only key parts....) I even got it backing up my work Mac Book Pro.

I later grew the filesystem out to 2TB.

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05/08/10

  02:31:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 990 words  
Categories: Software, Computer, Ubuntu

Upgrading to Lucid Lynx

Since I got back from Penguicon 2010, it had been my plan to test out upgrading to Lucid Lynx.

I didn't get around to it the first day back to work, since I was busy catching up on 1000s of emails and making sure things that my co-workers had ignored or overlooked during my absence got done. I then came home with a fever, and ended up taking the next day off from work. The fever broke Thursday night, so I went back to work on Friday...even though head is still all stuffed up and I had a killer sinus headache.

Finally, near the end of the day, I remembered that I wanted to try the upgrade....

At work, I have two Karmic Koala VMs, running in VirtualBox on a Sun Ultra 20 running Solaris 10/x64.

One VM is/was a 32-bit server....it runs BOINC all the time, got a squid instance when I was testing something and more recently I set up backuppc so that I'd have backups of my windows desktop at work. The other VM is a 32-bit desktop which is mainly so I can offload and run my mail/calendar client on...since the Windows computer is starting to suffer with the bloat and growth of apps...the more recent versions of Thunderbird and Firefox are very resource intensive, and I can't run both at the same time anymore.

Though what I do now is run Thunderbird and direct it to open on Cygwin/X running on the Windows box. Since, I want it to be visible all the time as I'm doing tasks come from emails. Makes it strange opening links and attachments though, since they won't go to the Firefox/apps on my windows box....etc.

I first upgraded the server VM, and it largely worked without any major issues....the only thing is that it does complain with "Your CPU is lacking expected security protection"....the checker says the CPU family has NX, but my BIOS isn't ... but the box to enable PAE/NX in VirtualBox is checked. So, guess its just a bug with Ubuntu running in VirtualBox.

I then upgraded the desktop VM...again that went okay.

The server VM originally started out as a Jaunty Jackalope, and went to Karmic Koala...so that was my first experience that 32-bit servers are no longer supported by Ubuntu (I mentioned it as the Ubuntu Q+A at Penguicon, but was ignored...when they were saying that Ubuntu supports a wide range of older hardware..I have older hardware that won't run 64-bit that I use a servers at home...plus I ran into a lot of problems getting 32-bit apps to work on my 64-bit hardy heron server.) Hopefully someday there'll be a way to go from 32-bit to 64-bit, on the machines that can support 64-bit but had 32-bit Ubuntu installed on them.

So, last night....after making backuppc complete that day's incremental. I set out to upgrade my laptop 'ulkc' to Lucid Lynx. This is a laptop, and I originally installed Jaunty Jackalope 32-bit on it, even though its a Core 2 Duo. Main thing is that boxee didn't support 64-bit, and it was one of the key apps I wanted to run...at the time (I've never actually used it on here though...since the streams that wouldn't show on my AppleTV+Boxee also wouldn't work on here. Forcing me to resort to iTunes/AppleTV to get the content.

The upgrade was largely straight forward....though along with disabling 3rdparty sources, it removed picasa (that's the main thing I noticed missing).

Afterwards, I left the computer on, and ran a new full backup into backuppc.

This morning I did some poking around of the usual apps that I use...Firefox/Thunderbird. Of course, Thunderbird is now 3.04...so it did its upgrade/migrate thing and loss of extensions that haven't been updated for 3.x and don't work if I do 'make compatible'. I hope someday these extensions will appear....mainly the View Header toggle button and Mail Redirect.

Being that I some how am an email admin at work, needing to see full headers is something that happens regularly....and mail redirect is handy when I send a message, and then realize that I forgot to CC/BCC somebody...I can then do that with redirect and they won't see the alteration to the email that forwarding does. Also useful to 'cc' a copy of an email that was sent directly to me rather than through proper channels (even if I'll be the one that ends up doing the work).

I left the computer on again...so Thunderbird can do its new (annoying) thing....and guess it'll eventually get picked up for today's incremental...unless I go back to using it before it runs and suspend it.

Not sure when I'm going to upgrade my Ubuntu servers. 'box' is currently a karmic koala 32-bit server (older P4 that doesn't do 64-bit)...was a jaunty jackalope...though I probably should've made it a hardy heron...to match 'orac'...since there are things (namely DHCP fail-over) that I can't do due to version mismatches. But, the plan is to make both servers run the 10.04LTS...where they'll stay until 12.04LTS comes out, or not?

I'm very hesitant about touching 'orac'....because its working, has critical functions, and its temperamental. Of course, 'box' has functions more critical to my overall home network...but I'm going to risk the upgrade of it, to get it to an LTS version.

It was my original intent to not upgrade the servers until at least a couple months have past...since when I had upgraded 'box' to karmic koala shortly after its release, stuff important to me (name DNS) didn't work. apparmor was breaking it. Eventually they released the kernel upgrade that resolved the issue. Though building a 32-bit server kernel each time, etc. was also kind of painful. I've since opted to just have the server running on the 'generic-pae' kernel.

'orac' can continue to be a server, since it is a 64-bit system.

I'll probably go back to the waiting...there are other things I should get to first....

01/01/10

  05:22:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 839 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Networking, Storage, Ubuntu

Converted box to use RAID1

Link: http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Convert_a_single_drive_system_to_RAID

box is such an important server to my home network, while the last time it failed wasn't due to drive failure...there had been times in its past where it was.

And, since I was playing around with RAID a lot on orac, I decided that it was probably time that I convert box to do RAID.

It doesn't need a lot of storage....it has always been a 40GB harddrive of some sort. That had come either as stock in the off-lease system I built it around or from a ReplayTV. The latest incarnation of 'box', a Thinkcentre S51, used SATA drives, so spare drives wasn't something I had a pile of for it.

Now being a Thinkcentre S51, there wasn't much in the way of internal options of doing RAID, but there was a second SATA port on the motherboard. And, it did have USB ports...so at first I was looking at creating RAID using an external harddrive. Either USB or SATA. Leaning towards SATA (had purchased a SATA bracket).

But, I was looking for a pair of small SATA drives....at first one the same size as the current, but then a pair of small/same would do....and more procrastination.

But, then the K-State Student Union computer store had a clearance table out...and on it where various sizes of 2.5" SATA drives. And, I recalled seeing an adapter that would allow me to mount a pair of 2.5" SATA drives in a 3.5" drive bay. There was even a version that had on board RAID (and could do USB)....similar to one of the RAID enclosures connected to orac. Though I wanted to go with mdadm managing my raid in software, since it was a little bit better known to me in its setup, management and recovery. The latter is kind of important, since at work we've had fun in trying to recover systems using hardware RAID after a card/board swap or having it tell us its status by some mean other than wondering if a light shouldn't be on or something while passing by it in the data center.

But, the table had come out before I was going on my winter holidays...so I wasn't in a position to figure things out and buy it. Later when I came back from holidays, I saw that some of the 2.5" drives were still available...and had been marked down even further. The big ones were gone, and a co-worker mentioned that he had gotten a pair of 250G for just such a use. There was a single 80G and 3 120G left. So, either I could get a single enclosure and go with the old external mount of drive plan....or get a pair of 120G drives and explore the 2x2.5 to 3.5 bay adapter route. I ended up buying all 3 of the 120G drives, figuring that I'd have a cold spare for down the road.

I then checked eBay for the adapter....and bought the one that wasn't RAID or anything. I chose a seller that shipped USPS, and it just made it in on New Year's Eve.

During the thinking and research phase, I found the linked to details on how to do what I wanted.... And, I pretty much used it (with minor adjustments to suit my needs, like the differences of my ubuntu release, or that I was going to swtich to having /home on /dev/md1. Or that I wasn't going to reuse the old drive in the conversion, etc.

Pages: 1· 2

12/05/09

  05:36:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 520 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Travel, Scanner, Doctor Who

I got a scanner -- Epson Perfection V30

I only needed to scan one photo, and while I do have a Fujitsu ScanSnap 300M somewhere....its Mac only, and I don't own a Mac. I had acquired that scanner during Black Friday last year, not realizing that it was Mac only. It won't even work on Linux. I do occasionally use it, many for scanning receipts. As it was I haven't traveled on business since I got it, so haven't had to scan receipts for work. Though I have used it on occasion to scan receipts for FSA reimbursement.

I had intended at one time to have a Mac by now...but other priorities and emergencies have slipped in.

Anyways, while I was at Chicago Tardis, I got into the photo sessions with the actors from the Doctor Who movie, and with Naoko Mori (Toshiko on Torchwood). With the Doctor Who movie, I opted to use my own camera and let somebody snap it....big mistake. A pro knows that you shooting wide angle is wrong. I had zoomed camera to frame up me and the actors, etc. But, the guy taking the picture immediately fiddled with my settings and zoomed to full wide angle. :##

Also resulted in no flash. But, the picture did turn out.

With Naoko, there was an extra fee to get a picture done. The program guide said $35, regardless of whether it was done by them *OR* with my camera. Though at the time of the shot, I learned it was $20 to use my own camera...and that I could get either or both. But, I stayed with just the pro shot...though in retrospect, maybe I should've charged the $55 to have both. At least then I'd have an immediate digital copy and the matter of trying to get an 8x10 home undamaged wouldn't have been such a challenge. But, I managed.

But, then came how do I share that I had my picture taken with Naoko with friends and family? I think there was an option to order additional prints at the time of session, but that wasn't really the way to go...since its the Internet that connects me with friends and family...and in some cases the only thing that connects us.

Obviously a scanner is called for. There's scanners at work, though I'm not sure how well they are suited for photographs, and I didn't want to take the photo to work. And, I wasn't all the keen on risking running the photo through the ScanSnap....plus its a hassle bring work computer home and back....

So, since I had gotten home from Chicago Tardis on CyberMonday, it seemed that I would do a repeat of last year and buy a scanner during the usual BlackFriday/CyberMonday weeekend. Also I again got it from NewEgg.

Nothing much more to say about it, except that I installed it on my Windows VM on my ubuntu laptop....since my desktop is old and has issues with scanners (at least with the ones that were previously installed on it...so wanted to avoid dealing with any issues that might come up. Plus easier to find a spot for the scanner....)

So, here's the result:

Me and Naoko Mori

11/07/09

  06:30:40 pm, by The Dreamer   , 175 words  
Categories: Software, Computer, Networking

Another problem with karmic upgrade of box

Found another problem with my karmic upgrade of 'box'. The clocks on everything were starting to drift....well 'box' is my NTP server.

I check the ntp.conf, and it was still correct. Then I realized ntp started while bind wasn't....so it omitted a time server to sync with. (and nothing for the initial sync).

So, that's another thing to bounce in /etc/rc.local on boot.

I did find a posting somewhere that suggested apparmor was the causing problems, so I tried removing that....but that didn't solve the problem, though putting it back it did work once....but rebooting again to see if it was a fluke, seemed to say that it was. So, stick with /etc/rc.local as the more reliable way to make sure these things are running..... :**:

Wonder if there'll be a time where I remove this kluge to see if things are fixed...or not. :??:

OTOH, with box on a PowerSource 400, I kind of hope that it'll never go down during typical power outages. Of course, who knows if there'll be another extreme one, like the icepocalypse.

  02:53:14 pm, by The Dreamer   , 219 words  
Categories: Software, Computer, Networking

Upgrading box to karmic

With a couple hours to kill this morning, I decided to see about upgrading 'box' to karmic. Ideally it should've been LTS, but that's another story....

It gave an estimate of one hour to download. Well, it ended up taking those couple of hours. And, then a couple hours more to actually install the updates.

The upgrade was pretty straight forward...I didn't realize that server kernels were gone now, so at first it caught me off guard, guess I didn't pay attention when I upgraded the server at work.

The only problem during the upgrade was the it stopped named, and left things in a state where it could not be restarted. So, things were a bit quirky on my network without DNS, and the box had some issues...not being able to resolve its own name. For some reason during the original install, it had created /etc/hosts with my FQDN but no entry for just the hostname.

Then things went strange....rebooting the box, no DNS running. 'sudo /etc/init.d/bind9 start' and it would start fine. Reboot again....again no DNS.

So, remove and reinstall the package....reboot again, still no DNS. It starts fine by hand after things have booted, but not during boot for some reason. Well, add a line to /etc/rc.local to start DNS. Guess that does it for now.

10/31/09

  01:36:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 568 words  
Categories: Software, Computer, BOINC, Ubuntu

upgrading to Karmic Koala

I hadn't intended to start upgrading systems to Karmic Koala so soon...since the servers are kind of pegged with other people downloading and upgrading. But, playing around with do-release-upgrade on my Ubuntu server at work....at first (on Thursday) it didn't show the release and the later it did.

Since its running as a Guest on my Solaris 10 x86 desktop, in VirtualBox, I could take a snapshot and let it go. Plus its a pretty minimal server...its just to run BOINC. It estimated that it would take about 4 hours to download what it needed. Guess it doesn't take advantage of the I2, or things were pretty saturated....

When I came in yesterday, it was still going...was kind of hard with it blanking the screen and stopping waiting for input...but it kept chugging along and eventually upgraded and all seemed good.

So, last night I decided to pull the trigger and upgrade my notebook (ulkc). It warned about a lot more stuff that was unsupported and would be removed, and lots of warnings about all the 3rdparty stuff. But it gave an estimate of 10 hours to download and asked if I wanted to continue.

Sure :lalala:

When I got up the next morning it was waiting to ask about differences in my mod blacklist, it wanted to add pcspkr but it wasn't going to keep the modules I had blacklisted...and no option to merge or stuff....so I told it to keep my blacklist. Wonder what'll happen when I do box, since there's nothing connected to its sound card....so its only way to make noise is through its pc speaker.

After it was done and rebooted, two things didn't work. The firefox button on the panel, since default had changed from firefox 3.0 to firefox 3.5 (though I've been using 3.5 since it came out, just replace /usr/bin/firefox with a new symlink)....easy enough to replace. And, virtualbox.

I reinstated the 3rdparty sources for apt, and checked for updates. Guess there's no Karmic repository for Boxee yet. The only thing that did upgrade was dropbox.

So, I uninstalled virtualbox (it was 2.2) and reinstalled it (3.0 from the karmic repo). And, then I tested it.

It worked.

Full story »

09/18/09

  06:44:48 pm, by The Dreamer   , 161 words  
Categories: Hardware, Momitsu V880N, Storage

iozone read/write performance of RAID1 vg's

Was discussion storage speeds with some friends over lunch....so I wondered if I could get some data comparing the performance.

vg0 is are two internal SATA drives, each on their own SATA channel, being mirrored. vg1 is the SANS Digital pair of drives, sharing a SATA channel via Port Multiplication, being mirrored.

Guess the graphs show that the internal drives are faster for small files....though for larger the difference goes away, so that things are comparable.

As it is....vg1 is mainly my MMCVideo filesystem - MMC (Momitsu Media Center). So, the files tend to be large and sequentially read/written.

Meanwhile, I've already removed the old MMCVideo logical volume from vg0 and doubled the size of /home. Even though now that I think of it, there's stuff under /home that might better go in its own logical volume(s)....now that I have room to create them.

Or later go on that HP MediaSmart Server that I've been dreaming of adding to my network.... :hmm:

09/16/09

  07:59:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 381 words  
Categories: Hardware, Storage, Ubuntu

SANS Digital TowerRAID TR2UT-B & ubuntu 8.04LTS

I've been wanting to try a Port Multiplier eSATA enclosure on my Ubuntu 8.04LTS Server, known as 'orac', for sometime. But, keep getting sidelined by how much it would cost to get a 5-bay enclosure and 5 drives... it would only be a matter of time that the price of drives would come down.

But, storage has been tight on my file server and it has been causing issues, and I know I'm going to have tons more stuff to add to it. The server current is just a pair of 500GB internal drives mirrored in RAID1. So, I started looking at options to add 1TB of RAID1 storage. I considered buying two discrete external 1TB drives....or buying an external enclosure that does RAID1. When I came across the SANS Digital TowerRAID TR2UT enclosure, and a few other like it....I narrowed on this one because it was under $100 and available under Amazon Prime. But, this enclosure sat in my cart 'saved for later'.

The reason I considered the enclosure was that it purports to do various RAID configurations on its own, additional it can be just JBOD and connect to a Port Multiplier port on 'orac'. If the drive didn't work on Port Multiplier, I could resort to the other options....additionally, it does USB...so if it just doesn't work on eSATA I could use it that way. Especially, should I later get 5 bay PM eSata boxes and displace this one. And, there's that thought that I might get an Airport Extreme and do TimeMachine backups to a USB attached storage....

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09/04/09

  07:31:20 pm, by The Dreamer   , 419 words  
Categories: Stuff, Home

Got a new UPS

A while back I had looked at APC's Trade-UPS offer on trading in my old BackUPS Office 500VA (BF500). I had replaced the batteries a few times since I had acquired it at charity auction used. And, it could probably continue to serve me if I had gotten another new battery for it.

Though I earlier this year I had picked up an APC Back-UPS ES 550VA (BE550R), through a President's Day sale, and similar in style...it offered new features that the old UPS didn't have, and its rated to be more efficient/longer lasting. And, seems to do the job I have it doing.

But, the trade-in discount wasn't huge compared to sales that appear from time to time, and I wasn't sure I wanted the hassle...though its probably greener than breaking the UPS up so its battery is disposed differently than the rest...and the battery disposal is another kind of hassle. So, I kind of have a small collection of batteries at the moment.

Then recently I got an email, of a further 10% discount on the Trade-UPS price...and I don't know if it was that way before...free shipping (both ways).

While it was still kind of a hassle returning the old UPS...had to find a box to put it in and attach the UPS label to...and then it was getting the old UPS to UPS. I had put it by the door hoping the next time UPS came by with deliveries, that I would give it to him....only problem was I kept forgetting to do that. Finally, I just took it down to the UPS store...and off it went.

Well, today the new UPS arrived. It's a BE650G.

Of course, I'm not sure where I'm going to use it yet. Well, actually one possibility comes to mind...but there's still the whole project of rearranging my bedroom and replacing the disintegrated dresser (and no more piles of clean clothes on the floor)....a project I plan to tackle later this month....

Guess I'll find somewhere to put it aside until then....

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Now instead of subjecting some poor random forum to a long rambling thought, I will try to consolidate those things into this blog where they can be more easily ignored profess to be collected thoughts from my mind.

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