Archive for the ‘Unix’ Category

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

A NetXMS Howto

Today I decided to do a NetXMS test installation on my root server. Why am I doing this? There’s so much other monitoring software available to perfectly fulfill this purpose. Well, why not – maybe it’s just great.

The install procedure here is done on debian etch. There might be smallish quirks for other distributions. Just ping me for help or whatever.

As ever just grab the current sources and put them somewhere you like. I copied the core files’ source code to my server and I dare say you’ll get more bandwidth here. No offense meant. *scnr*

cd /usr/src/


Extract the file and change dir to the fresh and virginal source code.

tar xvzf netxms-0.2.22.tar.gz

cd netxms-0.2.22/

Now it’s time to perform a miracle and configure the coming build process. I prefer MySQL for myself while NetXMS should work with PostgreSQL, Oracle etc. And I’d like to have NetXMS resident in /opt/

./configure –with-server –with-agent –with-mysql=/usr –prefix=/opt/netxms


Get a cup of tea and maybe tell your girlfriend how much you’d like to _____ her and to _____ with her on the _____ all night long, but in fact you are still too busy and have to solve this first. There’s plenty of time to relax when it’s done.

make install

Lo and behold! The server is installed!

Now copy the default netxms daemon and agent configuration file to /etc/ and edit them afterwards.

cp ./contrib/netxmsd.conf-dist /etc/netxmsd.conf

cp ./contrib/nxagentd.conf-dist /etc/nxagentd.conf

nano /etc/netxmsd.conf && nano /etc/nxagentd.conf

Next simply create the database and initialize it with the sql/dbinit_mysql.sql script.

mysql -u root -h localhost -p

mysql> create database netxms;

mysql> GRANT all ON netxms.* TO ‘netxms’@’localhost’ IDENTIFIED BY ‘password’;

mysql> \q

/opt/netxms/bin/nxdbmgr init sql/dbinit_mysql.sql

The next step is to start the netxmsd and nxagentd.

/opt/netxms/bin/netxmsd -d && /opt/netxms/bin/nxagentd -d

So when that’s done run the admin console and connect to the server to change the default password of the admin user. And if you like you could add another unprivileged user for trivial monitoring. That’s all best described in the console docs. And of course have fun playing with it, it looks promising.

It is late now at my place and I am going to bed to be fit for work tomorrow. I promise to enhance this post asap and maybe going to build a .deb file, don’t expect it to happen until I woke up or so. I’ll sleep soundly knowing NetXMS is watching over my server.

P.S. I really would enjoy a linux console, but that’s not availbile yet. *poke around*

System administration assistance

Do you know Nagios? It is a service and resource monitor helping the admin to keep an eye on the hosts. I have been working with the 2.x (now legacy) series for a while, haven’t worked with the 3.x series by now. I am going to install 3.0.2 on some new machines today and migrate the servers with the anterior 2.x to stable 3.x as soon as everything is working fine.

Another chunk of software that recently caught my attention is called puppet. It is “an automated administrative engine for your *nix systems, performs administrative tasks (such as adding users, installing packages, and updating server configurations) based on a centralized specification.” Sounds pretty interesting, but it is getting better. “Puppet can let you focus more on how things should be done and less on doing them.” Puppet is open source and is released under the GNU Public License.

And I came across cfengine, a project that was started in 1993 and is similar to the operational area of puppet and released under the GPL, too. Like puppet it is used in both large and small companies, as well as in many universities and governmental institutions.

When I took a closer look at their sites to check who is using which software, both projects state that sites of several thousand hosts are common. That are dimensions where I have to admit I am obviously impressed. And the absence of proper tools for system administration and assistance software is really unthinkable.

Once again the quintessence is that there is a lot of great software available for your needs if you just dig for it. Keep you shovels steady!

Debian Lenny, FreeBSD and my HP Compaq 6715b

Of course I love working on my dualcore workstation, crammed with 4 gigs of RAM and a rocket fast SATA Raid 0+1 mass storage. I really don’t complain. But the notebook I used on the road and on-site at customers had seen better days. So some weeks ago my employer agreed to buy me a new notebook. To make things short – I ordered the HP Compaq 6715b. It has a 1680×1050 screen resolution, a decent amount of RAM and an AMD X2 Turion Dualcore. The harddisk is quite okay, 250 GB SATA at 5400 RPM. I had to get rid of Windows Vista, so I took my freshly burned Debian Lenny weekly build CD and installed it. Lenny offers a pretty nice working environment. I didn’t use all the space availible, there has always to be playground for testing purposes. I already thought of installing OpenBSD and FreeBSD on the remaing space.

So what is working and what is not? What were the pitfalls in the installation procedure?

I was keen on changing the internal BCM 4312 802.11a/b/g Mini-PCIe WLAN device to something more functional. So I ordered from our wholesale dealer a Gigabyte AirCruiser G Mini-PCIe card with an Atheros chipset. But when I rebooted my computer I was suprised by the dreaded “104-unsupported wireless network device detected” message. It is possible to modify the bios and to insert some hex code to make it work, but I had better things to do. So now I am using the built in card via ndiswrapper and when I need more functionality I simply plug in an (Atheros) Orinoco Gold PCMCIA adapter. The fingerprint reader works fine, I tested it though I don’t need it.

Here is my simple xorg.conf and the output of lspci and verbose lspci

The release of FreeBSD 7.0 two weeks ago was just in time, I fetched the install images and went through the install procedure without any hassle. I haven’t installed the WLAN drivers yet, but the ndis tools are always red-hot in FreeBSD and so I expect it to function properly , too. In FreeBSD I use the radeonhd drivers, 2D desktop performace is fine. On FreeBSD 7.0 the sound is not working yet, but that’s for the time being fine.

My xorg.conf and my pciconf -l -v in BSD.

Altogether I think this notebook is recommendable. Its performance is all right, the display is very nice and bright. The casing doesn’t get too warm and the battery lasts up to three hours.

If you need more information on notebooks running linux or unix, have a look at and don’t hesitate to submit your experience by yourself.