Sun - Week Thirtyone

Week off! Woo!!!

I started my time off on Saturday 31st January, I woke up at 5am, was out the house by 6:15am and waiting to catch the 7:02 train to Reading from Blackwater. Everything was good, I’d had a duck and hoisin wrap from Tescos. The trip from Reading to Oxford was to be taken by bus. I sat upstairs and off we went! About halfway to Oxford, the bus broke down on the dual carriage way. Grrrr! We were there for an hour before another bus came, then we were an hour and a half late! I caught the next train to Wolverhampton where I had to wait an hour and a half for the train to Aberystwyth, I wandered into town and got myself a Starbucks :P I finally got to Aberystwyth two hours later than I wanted to be, met up with Faye and went home for some dinner! Later that evening we went out to celebrate the end of exams. Me and Johnny formed a team for beer pong, wining our first round, but losing 2 - 1 in the final round.

Sunday was spent doing some shopping for the week ahead, and just catching up with Faye and Alan.

Monday was my 21st birthday! I woke up to some great presents from Faye (bottles of export Guinness, a Nintendo T-shirt, sticky of rock and some Beatles badges). We had a nice fry up and then went out for a walk around the coast. Went on the swings at the old castle, then headed into town for tea and cake! Later that evening we went to Wasabi, a Japanese restaurant. I had pork in breadcrumbs, some spicy tuna rolls, salad and some other sushi stuff with caviar on! After the meal we all wandered back to Faye’s flat where Ceri brought my birthday cake! It took the form of the classic Apple Inc. logo! It was truly a sight to be seen! After some cake, we all went round the pubs for drinks and got quite drunk :D

Tuesday morning never really happened. Me and Faye woke up in the afternoon and Faye went to town to see Ceri. I came a little after and we realised we had to sign contracts for next years flat. Nothing much happened that evening…

Wednesday I tried to start some revision for my exam, but this never really happened…You know how other things are far more interesting…. Wednesday evening we went to see Yes Man, which was a good film, check out the imdb link for info…We all indulged ourselves in saying yes to the pub for a few drinks :D

Thursday I went to see Phil about dissertation stuff, it looks like it should be fairly simple to do, but there is lots of planning. I’m currently thinking about ideas to do…

Friday I was off home to Melksham to see family, the trains ran fairly well given that the snow was so bad, I arrived at Trowbridge just five minutes late!

Sun - Week Thirty

Week thirty! Wow, doesn’t seem so long when you say it like that…It’s been seven months!

Monday started out quite slowly, we had out afternoon meeting in the morning to talk to one of our Australian friends, but he wasn’t able to make the meeting. Monday went slowly with not much going on.

Tuesday I picked up a ticket which asked for a specific HBA and array to be passed from one machine to another and for some tests to be carried out. After doing some prep work for most of the day (getting machines into a good state), I realised that I would not be able to carry out the plans as the engineer (in India) had not told me how he wanted the setup wired.

Wednesday morning came with an email from the engineer, I sorted some more stuff out but didn’t get far with it. I fixed the console to an x2100 by defaulting the BIOS back to defaults which fixed serial redirection.

Thursday I had a tricky case. I was asked to set up a tape library and hook it up to a v240. Not difficult in itself, however the two items were around 15 meters away form each other, on opposite sides of the lab and needed to be joined via SCSI. I ended up moving the v240 :( Next the tape library wouldn’t recognise the drives. Or rather the v240 wouldn’t, no matter what I tried or how I wired it, I could see the robot, but not the drives :( I ran over the three hour limit on this ticket and had to leave it for Friday.

Friday morning and I started looking into this tape problem again. In the end I got an engineer to look at it. We couldn’t figure out what the problem was, we had tried changing terminators, changing how we wired everything, but still nothing. In the end we decided to flash the firmware on the library, however someone interrupted the update and bricked the library :( We have someone coming in next week to fix it. When I told my engineer about this, he just asked me to hook up a small, portably tape drive instead, as that would be fine. I was fuming, all this work and a small thing would have sufficed in the first place

Sun - Week Twentynine

This week was very VERY busy!

Monday starts with me in the lab net booting a w1100z, this old box doesn’t output it’s BIOS over the serial cable, so a keyboard and screen was attached to allow me to net boot the thing. I spent the end of the morning and all afternoon finishing off the cable store. All the boxes of SCSI/SAS cables are all in their own box, and are all labelled! Only took three sessions in there!

Tuesday was spent looking into some outstanding tickets.

Wednesday I spent nearly all day working on two new 2200’s. Neither of them wanted to give me any output on the serial port. I tried hooking up a monitor and keyboard and found that I could see the BIOS and where the OS should boot, but could not get to the SP. I reeled in an old dumb terminal (circa 1993), and found nothing on there. After talking to a number of engineers and trying a few things, I reset the BIOS back to it’s default settings, and then everything worked! Brilliant, a whole day wasted on these two bloomin’ machine!

Thursday I got a ticket from a guy who I had been helping over the last few days. He wanted a machine with at least two hard disks and then wanted to mirror them with SVM on boot. If your a regular reader of the blog then you’re already thinking “Well Ben, what this guy needs is your blog from week fourteen!” Indeed, I knew I had the info to do this, so a quick look at my blog I realised I had written a document about it for our internal documents system. I refreshed myself on what needed doing and then passed the box back to the engineer. I was also asked to check some fibre connections in the lab, I replaced some cables and everything seemed OK.

Friday came with me not sitting in my seat for very long at all. I retired an old stable box called ‘pint’, the owner no longer wanted it, so after pulling the entry from NIS+ and our booking system, I retired the box to the recycling pile. Two of the machines in the lab had been labeled incorrectly, or rather, they both had the same labels. I spent about half an hour tracing cables and looking at location lights to figure which one thought it was host A, and which one thought it was host D. I reprinted some labels and stuck the on the offending machine :wink: I had another ticked regarding some fibre connections, after replacing the cabling the engineer found the problem had gone. I had a ticket from Lewis asking to attach some storage to a couple of v445’s this caused several problems due to the state of the machines when Lewis had picked them up, but these were rectified by several reboots and unplugging cables…

All in all, a busy week!

My new IBM Thinkpad X32 and wireless

Today I took delivery of the four year old IBM Thinkpad X32.  With it’s 1.8GHz Pentium M, 1GB of RAM and it’s “massive” 40gb HDD ;) I thought it was an excellent machine to use as a portable OpenSolaris machine.I used the USB stick I had prepared last night to boot the live image and do the install, within the first hour James had messed with the driver file and stopped the machine from booting *sigh*. A reinstall later and I was up and runnig OpenSolaris 2008.11!

At home everything was still running smoothly, the battery had lasted the travel from work (it doesn’t suspend yet…) .  My only problem was that it didn’t like the WPA2-psk wireless in the house.  I had two choices: 1) Screw every computer in the house ovre and change to WEP. 2) Look for a work around.

I opted for 2.  My work around was very simple actually.  Build 105 fixes the compatibility with WPA2, so I added the developers repository to my authority list and live upgraded the machine to build 105.

Now I can happily lye in bed, with my X32, and write this blog entry!

Build 105 seems fairly stable so far…Not that I’ve tried doing much yet.  Will report findings as I go along :P

Create an OpenSolaris 2008.11 LiveUSB

T’other day I won an IBM X32 on eBay (more on that tomorrow).  I want to install OpenSolaris on the laptop, but it doesn’t have an optical drive…

I set about looking for a solution.  Unfortunatly, Googling around didn’t throw up anything to begin with :(  So I thought I’d record my steps as a walkthru.

First of all, I installed the distributon constructor:

# pkg install SUNWdistro-const

Next I cd’d to the directory they had been installed to:

# cd /usr/bin

And ran the following command:

./usbgen /var/tmp/osol-0811.iso /var/tmp/os0811.usb /var/tmp /dev/rlofi/3:   1689000 sectors in 2815 cylinders of 1 tracks, 600 sectors 824.7MB in 176 cyl groups (16 c/g, 4.69MB/g, 2240 i/g) super-block backups (for fsck -F ufs -o b=#) at: 32, 9632, 19232, 28832, 38432, 48032, 57632, 67232, 76832, 86432, 1593632, 1603232, 1612832, 1622432, 1632032, 1641632, 1651232, 1660832, 1670432, 1680032 Copying ISO contents to USB image... .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. ............................. 1407024 blocks === ./usbgen completed at Mon Jan 19 00:25:49 GMT 2009


# ./usbcopy /var/tmp/os0811.usb Found the following USB devices: 0:      /dev/rdsk/c9t0d0p0      15.5 GB USB DISK 2.0     PMAP Enter the number of your choice: WARNING: All data on your USB storage will be lost. Are you sure you want to install to USB DISK 2.0 PMAP, 15500 MB at /dev/rdsk/c9t0d0p0 [ w  (y/n) y Copying and verifying image to USB device Finished 824 MB in 316 seconds (2.6MB/s) 0 block(s) re-written due to verification failure Installing grub to USB device /dev/rdsk/c9t0d0s0 Completed copy to USB

And that’s it!  Should be done.  Will report back tomorrow with how the install went.

Sun - Week Twentyeight

This week took forever to finish!

The week started off with a couple of light jobs. I replaced a fan in a V210 and racked up an engineers stable system (a V240).

Tuesday was spent catching up on some work from the week before.

Wednesday everything went bang! I had started to tidy the cable store, but seeing as we were two men down, I came out and worked on reducing tickets on the queue. I went over to GMP02 and readied a customer system for an engineer, this wasn’t too hard, but took a while to get console connections to work.

Thursday was spent working on a ticket I had picked up on Wednesday, a ticket from a formidable engineer, one which James had started, be we were a James short! It required taking two T5120’s and connecting them to a single storage array. This would have been fine it it were an ethernet connection, or even fibre, but he wanted it all stuck together with SAS cabling. This cabling doesn’t patch around the lab, so I shifted the three machines into a rack where there was space and cabled them all up there. I also set up a ‘generic’ x86 box for an engineer. He wanted a box set up in GMP02 which would allow him to install Windows *shudders* NT4. I set the box up and left the rest until Friday.

Friday morning came and I had a cabling job in the lab to do before fiddling with the NT4 box. It was just to install an HBA and connect a host up to some storage. Friday afternoon came and I moved my desk as Paul had asked me to move into the main section of the room. I then set about getting a KVM set up for that Windows NT4 box…It wasn’t easy, first I didn’t change the KVM settings, so it didn’t like being on a different network, then I got the default router wrong, so I spent ages setting up another box so I could use IPv6 to connect to the KVM and change it. I managed to get all this done, then missed the bus home! Had to wait 45 minutes for the next one.

I was glad when the weekend came!

Sun - Week Twentyseven

This week started with snow!

The whole week went with a bit of a blur. It started very slowly, but by Wednesday we were getting busier.

I spent the latter part of the week playing with Starcats and domains (15K and 25K). One job was to simply get a domain up and running and install a card. Another was to figure out why it had stopped working…


Today I woke up to snow!

Every car in the street was covered, and were the streets, all in about a quarter of an inch of the stuff!  At 7:45 this morning, it was still pretty unspoilt on the way to the bus, it was quite a sight!

I’ve got some pics, will put them up later this evening!

Static IP on OpenSolaris

From here: Clicky

Make sure you have various DNS domains in /etc/resolv.conf, then: cp /etc/nsswitch.conf /etc/nsswitch.conf.BAK cp /etc/nsswitch.dns /etc/nsswitch.conf svcadm restart dns/client

After this, edit the file: /etc/nwam/llp

It will look something like this: rge0    dhcp

Change it to this: rge0    static

I have rge0, you may have something else, don’t change that bit!  The IP address it your choice too, the /24 gives you the netmask

Restart nwam: svcadm restart network/physical:nwam

Add your new IP and hostname into /etc/hosts following the same format as already exists

svcadm enable network/physical:default

The add just the ip address of your default router to /etc/defaultrouter

svcadm restart network/routing-setup

Hope that help some people :)

File system frenzy

On my server, I’ve been looking into having various ZFS file systems, this would allow me to better manage parts of the system later on.

I have so far set it all up as such:

ben@BELEG-IA:/share/media$ zfs list NAME                                  ** ** USED    AVAIL  REFER  MOUNTPOINT rpool                                      ** ** 26.1G     431G    72K  /rpool rpool/ROOT                        ** ** 3.10G    431G    18K  legacy rpool/ROOT/opensolaris  ** ** 3.10G   431G  2.96G  / rpool/dump                        ** ** 1018M   431G  1018M  - rpool/export                       ** ** 640K   431G    19K  /export rpool/export/home              ** ** 622K   431G    19K  /export/home rpool/export/home/ben      ** **602K   431G   602K  /export/home/ben **rpool/share **** **** 21.1G   431G    19K  /share rpool/share/media                      21.1G   431G    33K  /share/media rpool/share/media/movies **** **** 21.1G   431G  21.1G  /share/media/movies rpool/share/media/music        18K   431G    18K  /share/media/music rpool/share/media/pictures   18K   431G    18K  /share/media/pictures rpool/share/media/tv                18K   431G    18K  /share/media/tv** rpool/swap                                           1018M   432G    16K  -

The bold entries are separate file systems I have created using: zfs create rpool/

For ezample: zfs create rpool/share

I then did the following to allow the file system and all sub systems to be shared over NFS: zfs set sharenfs=on rpool/share

So far I’ve not set up any sort of snapshotting…