Archive for the ‘Linux’ Category

Alles Gute, du geile Kiste!

10:05:02 up 1461 days, 15:18, 2 users, load average: 0.51, 0.61, 0.74

Ubuntu 10.04 and the LSI 3ware 9750 raid controller

I was searching the net for a solution how to boot and deploy an Ubuntu 10.04 LTS on a 3ware 9750 raid without having to load the 3w-sas.ko drivers manually for every server. It might be okay for s single installation, but this can really turn out to be a pita if it is a whole bunch of servers. From what I see there is only that modified 9.10 image provided by LSI, so please grab your copy for 10.04 amd64 here.

Please keep in mind, with this installation you can not just upgrade your kernel without taking care of that driver, though. It’s a shame this driver didn’t find itself into the Ubuntu releases.

Oh noes, we missed uptime anniversary

Fsck, today I recognized we missed to celebrate something – we have several servers with two years+ of interruption-free uptime now. Sorry. May you continue to crunch numbers until the end of days! Yours sincerely!

Relocation from dedicated server to vserver accomplished

Last evening I started relocation of all services from my old dedicated server to a vserver at another location. So I have to say bye bye old fellow, I am not going to miss you so much. But thanks anyways for (usually) being so reliable.

These days I can have better performance for less money. And I can spent the money in things like pizza, beer and so on in our family money socks. Yeah!

Something different – Amazon EC2 CentOS AMI

I have successfully built some CentOS 5.5 AMI with EBS and with instance storage. First I had to create an openvz CentOS instance and then I started building the AMI in the openvz environment. Cool.

Amazon EC2 Gentoo AMIs and the Cloud

Lately I have been very much traveling around and visiting different conferences related to cloud computing. I have been discussing a lot the assets and drawbacks for us at work to put some stuff into the cloud. Well, very soon I had to dig into the AWS. I had a look at all the available EC2 AMIs and I asked myself why there is no recent gentoo based x86_64 AMI for Amazons EC2. And in truth I needed a proper gentoo EC2 AMI asap to start testing.

So what’s wrong? Is it too much weird command line kung fu to create such an machine image? Or is there no demand for Gentoo x86_64 images? People don’t use Gentoo anymore since the Gentoo hype was over long before there was AWS? Gentoo people are unaware there is 64bit available and still stick to 32bit? AWS people don’t want Gentoo people to use Gentoo images since the Fedora machine images are much better for everyone? Yeah.

I deceided to roll out my own AMI. I did some research and read lots of articles about the different ways to create those machine images. Twenty minutes later I felt enlightened:

1. You can convert an existing xen image or
2. create your AMI with VMware and convert this or
3. you can use an existing AMI and base your AMI on it and so forth.

Sounds like crap. I like building things by my own and have more control on the inside of the result.
It took some time to figure out how to proceed and how to solve small emerging hurdles.

Working on a good build host it takes maybe twenty to thirty minutes from zero to have a basic AMI ready to go. Basically you need to create the AMI file, format it with some filesystem, mount the file as a loop device, extract an stage3 archive, install some requirements and modify some config files. The most time is wasted waiting for ec2-upload-bundle to complete. It’s enough time to get another cup of coffee, sit on the sofa and read some pages in the newspapers.

I think the result is pretty good already. I have completed different automations and have begun working on the details to create almost autonomous clusters, this is again funny stuff with crons, bash, sed, awk and perl.

EC2 is definitly very interesting. If you need some help with gentoo AMIs you can just sent me an email or put a line in the comments.

All the best, Emil

Debian, Dell servers and the Broadcom NetXtreme II firmware

In case you are running Debian Lenny on one or another Dell PowerEdge server or a bunch of servers from the R series (like the R410), there might occur a problem with the firmware of the Broadcom NetXtreme II network interface cards when your are updating the kernel from the official repositories. The warning message is like:

“W: Possible missing firmware /lib/firmware/bnx2-09-4.0.5.fw for module bnx2”

In that case you can easily fix the problem with adding the non-free repository to your /etc/apt/sources.list

deb lenny main non-free contrib

and then run

aptitude update && aptitude install firmware-bnx2

This will install the required firmware and rebuild your kernel initrd and include the firmware at boot time.

Let’s have a party, reached uptime 365+ days

A few minutes ago – while I was dumpster diving the internet visiting that shiny Munin site we have once setup for some eye candy a more complete picture – I discovered the servers have today reached their first year uptime. In general that is nothing special, but well, this is our project. This thrills me and now it’s time for another 365+ days with keeping the engines running…cheers!

one year uptime

SEO fscking

Funny, today I had some interesting hits in my log, someone came from a page with an engine spying for the keywords used on my page. Now I got curious and did some research. I indeed noticed that if someone searches via google for example hp compaq 6715 b, hp compaq 6715b, et cetera I am very close behind top ranking pages of mighty HP itself. I am doing strong promotion for nothing. What a shock. Hey, come on – please give me an hp 6715 b or something comparable, I really enjoyed it a lot! So I already knew that on various topics my page has good ranking on like vm workstation for linux,  vmware linux 2.6.27 or flowplayer and dvgrab. And guess what? I have no clue about SEO. And guess somewhat else. This post is simple SEO done in 5 minutes.

P.S. If anyone at HP Compaq wants his name eternally remembered – you know what do ;P

Headphones, notebooks, linux and alsa

Every day I am on the way to work I listen to music. At least usually. But not recently. A plain simple explanation is I had no proper headphones for my Vaio notebook. I gave away mine and didn’t get them back yet. So today I got my new headphones by mail. Nothing special, it’s the Koss Porta Pro. I had them before and liked them, they are affordable and sound okay. I took them and while Amarok was loading I plugged the Porta Pro in and started with…uh! The music came straight out of the PC speakers!

This seemed to be a problem with Alsa and I have found the fix for this in a flash.

Edit for example /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf and add the line

options snd-hda-intel model=vaio position_fix=0

and then at last (no need to reboot) I did as root

rmmod -f snd_hda_intel && modprobe snd_hda_intel

That solved the problem for me.