Archive for ‘Linux’ Category

Install Fedora Core 9.0 on a 1GB USB Stick

datePosted on 13:40, May 19th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

I wanted to install the AccessGrid 3.1 collaborative software under FC9.0 earlier on and discovered that the machine didn’t have a CD or DVD. It did however have a newer mobo that allows for USB booting, so I searched around and found Fedora liveusb-creator. What a beauty, the fedora guys make it really simple to get Fedora live CD stuffed onto a USB stick. All you need is the software, a 1GB+ stick and a windows machine. Here is the process:

  1. Select either to Use existing Live CD or Download Fedora.
  2. Set the Target Device to point to your USB flash drive.
  3. Move the Persistent Overlay slider to set the capacity to use for the persistent image. I was able to manually push the slider by clicking on it and using the cursor keys to change the size by single MB’s rather than the jumping default style. This lets you to allocate extra space on your USB stick, allowing you to save files and make modifications to your live operating system that will persist after you reboot. This essentially lets you carry your own personalized Fedora with you at all times, but only works with Fedora 9 right now.
  4. Click Create Live USB to begin the creation process.

Sit back and watch the progress bar, there is also helpful messages in the little window. Once everything is done “safely” remove your USB Stick and use it to boot into Fedora Core 9. Don’t forget that you might have to change your boot device in BIOS to the USB key (or sometimes just pressing ESC during BIOS boot gets you to a boot menu).

Suse 10.1 to 10.3 upgrade Episode 3

datePosted on 15:31, May 7th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

Well in Episode 3 of our saga Many goes bald (again) and (almost) drop kicks the server out the window. After going through the pain of installing 10.1 and updating everything I proceeded to upgrade to OpenSuSE 10.3. The upgrade went okay as far as the boot DVD was concerned (no errors during boot), but the dreaded SCSI errors from Episode 1 came back when I finished the upgrade and rebooted the machine. After about 10 minutes of repeating the F-word to the machine I decided to check on the net again, this time not at google.com, but at their linux centric search page google.com/linux. Well I have to admit, google is really god :-). Someone there had suggested an upgrade to the Adaptec PERC 3Di raid scsi card that comes standard with the PowerEdge 2650 and guess what, that solved everything. I’m not gonna bore you with the details of my 90 minute hunt for 3.5″ floppies around work to put the disk images on. Let’s just say I’ll be glad when someone invents the “Network Upgradeable Firmware”…..aka ‘NUF :-)

So it looks like there are two ways of getting the latest linux kernels to barf when it sees this type of configuration (Dell 2650, PERC 3Di scsi raid card). Installing a “XENified” kernel and/or not having the most up to date firmware. The symptom is excessive error outputs from aacraid driver.
aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,1,0)
aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,1,0)
aacraid: Host adapter reset request. SCSI hang ?
aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,1,0)
scsi 0:1:1:0: scsi: Device offlined - not ready after error recovery

The cure is to find yourself 3 floppies and upgrade and don’t install XEN. The known working config is BIOS version A21 and PERC 3Di firmware 2.8-1[7692]. Hopefully this is not going to be the last of it. THE END….FIN. :-)

Suse 10.1 to 10.3 upgrade Episode 2

datePosted on 20:40, May 2nd, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

Okay, don’t laugh, but I’m really starting to believe in the “third time is the charm” saying. Episode 2 was going fine until last night when I left work. I had installed 10.1, skipped installing any of the XEN packages, updated 10.1, installed 10.3 and was in the process of letting it run over night (2.6 GB worth of updates…..wasn’t gonna hang around waiting for this to finish). Well somebody upstairs (santa, superman, spidy or one of those guys) did not agree and literally 20 minutes before I got into work this morning the power went out to our entire building, leaving my poor — almost done — 10.3 install in the middle of nowhere. I rebooted and just about cried my eyes out when GRUB could not find the new kernel :-)……Anyways, Episode 3 (known as operation “INSTALL or BUST”) is in process as we speak. I’ve got a fresh/updated 10.1 waiting to be updated when I get back on monday and YES I turned the machine off :-)…..stay tuned!!!

Suse 10.1 to 10.3 upgrade Episode 1

datePosted on 11:41, May 1st, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

So I’ve been preparing a test server for the past couple of days, so that I can test the Suse upgrade path from 10.1 to 10.3. I’ve got a spare Dell 2650 machine with a PERC3/i card and two 37 GB scsi drives in raid-1 configuration.

To get the test going I installed SuSE 10.1 from the install DVD and proceeded to choose pretty much all the options for the packages thinking that if the upgrade worked with (almost) all the installable packages selected, then it would almost certainly work on the real server. That was I believe my first mistake, by choosing (almost) all the options, I had also included XEN virtualization. This forces the 10.1 installer to install the XENified version of the linux kernel off the 10.1 DVD. This was fine and dandy as long as I was using 10.1, after doing all the online updates for 10.1 and installing 10.3 (and updating it), I rebooted and was greeted by the following kernel messages:
Mar 2 19:15:21 xxxxxx kernel: SCSI subsystem initialized
Mar 2 19:15:21 xxxxxx kernel: Adaptec aacraid driver 1.1-5[2437]-mh4
Mar 2 19:15:21 xxxxxx kernel: ACPI: PCI Interrupt 0000:04:08.1[A] -> GSI 30 (level, low) -> IRQ 16
Mar 2 19:15:21 xxxxxx kernel: AAC0: kernel 2.7-1[3170]Mar 2 19:15:21 xxxxxx kernel: AAC0: monitor 2.7-1[3170]Mar 2 19:15:21 xxxxxx kernel: AAC0: bios 2.7-1[3170]Mar 2 19:15:21 xxxxxx kernel: AAC0: serial 5C8881D3
Mar 2 19:15:21 xxxxxx kernel: AAC0: 64bit support enabled.
Mar 2 19:15:21 xxxxxx kernel: AAC0: 64 Bit DAC enabled
Mar 2 19:15:21 xxxxxx kernel: scsi0 : percraid
Mar 2 19:15:21 xxxxxx kernel: Vendor: DELL Model: Lombok Rev: V1.0
Mar 2 19:15:21 xxxxxx kernel: Type: Direct-Access ANSI SCSI revision: 02
Mar 2 19:15:21 xxxxxx kernel: SCSI device sda: 574210048 512-byte hdwr sectors (293996 MB)
Mar 2 19:15:21 xxxxxx kernel: sda: Write Protect is off
Mar 2 19:15:21 xxxxxx kernel: SCSI device sda: drive cache: write back
Mar 2 19:15:21 xxxxxx kernel: SCSI device sda: 574210048 512-byte hdwr sectors (293996 MB)
Mar 2 19:15:21 xxxxxx kernel: sda: Write Protect is off
Mar 2 19:15:21 xxxxxx kernel: SCSI device sda: drive cache: write back
Mar 2 19:15:21 xxxxxx kernel: sda: sda1 sda2
Mar 2 19:15:21 xxxxxx rpc.statd[2231]: Version 1.0.9 Starting
Mar 2 19:15:21 xxxxxx kernel: sd 0:0:0:0: Attached scsi removable disk sda
Mar 2 19:15:21 xxxxxx kernel: AAC:AAC received an unrecognized command [601].
Mar 2 19:15:21 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,0,0)
Mar 2 19:15:21 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,0,0)
Mar 2 19:15:21 xxxxxx rpc.statd[2231]: statd running as root. chown /var/lib/nfs/statd/sm to choose different user
Mar 2 19:15:21 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter reset request. SCSI hang ?
Mar 2 19:15:21 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,0,0)
Mar 2 19:15:21 xxxxxx kernel: scsi 0:1:0:0: scsi: Device offlined - not ready after error recovery
Mar 2 19:15:21 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,1,0)
Mar 2 19:15:21 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,1,0)
Mar 2 19:15:21 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter reset request. SCSI hang ?
Mar 2 19:15:21 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,1,0)
Mar 2 19:15:21 xxxxxx kernel: scsi 0:1:1:0: scsi: Device offlined - not ready after error recovery
Mar 2 19:15:21 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,2,0)
Mar 2 19:15:21 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,2,0)
Mar 2 19:15:21 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter reset request. SCSI hang ?
Mar 2 19:15:21 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,2,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: scsi 0:1:2:0: scsi: Device offlined - not ready after error recovery
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,3,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,3,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter reset request. SCSI hang ?
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,3,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: scsi 0:1:3:0: scsi: Device offlined - not ready after error recovery
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,4,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,4,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter reset request. SCSI hang ?
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,4,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: scsi 0:1:4:0: scsi: Device offlined - not ready after error recovery
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,5,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,5,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter reset request. SCSI hang ?
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,5,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: scsi 0:1:5:0: scsi: Device offlined - not ready after error recovery
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,6,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,6,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter reset request. SCSI hang ?
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,6,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: scsi 0:1:6:0: scsi: Device offlined - not ready after error recovery
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,7,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,7,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter reset request. SCSI hang ?
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,7,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: scsi 0:1:7:0: scsi: Device offlined - not ready after error recovery
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,8,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,8,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter reset request. SCSI hang ?
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,8,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: scsi 0:1:8:0: scsi: Device offlined - not ready after error recovery
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,9,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,9,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter reset request. SCSI hang ?
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,9,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: scsi 0:1:9:0: scsi: Device offlined - not ready after error recovery
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,10,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,10,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter reset request. SCSI hang ?
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,10,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: scsi 0:1:10:0: scsi: Device offlined - not ready after error recovery
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,11,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,11,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter reset request. SCSI hang ?
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,11,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: scsi 0:1:11:0: scsi: Device offlined - not ready after error recovery
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,12,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,12,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter reset request. SCSI hang ?
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,12,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: scsi 0:1:12:0: scsi: Device offlined - not ready after error recovery
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,13,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,13,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter reset request. SCSI hang ?
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,13,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: scsi 0:1:13:0: scsi: Device offlined - not ready after error recovery
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,14,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,14,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter reset request. SCSI hang ?
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,14,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter reset request. SCSI hang ?
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,1,14,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: scsi 0:1:14:0: scsi: Device offlined - not ready after error recovery
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,2,0,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,2,0,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter reset request. SCSI hang ?
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,2,0,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: scsi 0:2:0:0: scsi: Device offlined - not ready after error recovery
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,2,1,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,2,1,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter reset request. SCSI hang ?
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,2,1,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: scsi 0:2:1:0: scsi: Device offlined - not ready after error recovery
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,2,2,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,2,2,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter reset request. SCSI hang ?
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,2,2,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: scsi 0:2:2:0: scsi: Device offlined - not ready after error recovery
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,2,3,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,2,3,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter reset request. SCSI hang ?
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,2,3,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: scsi 0:2:3:0: scsi: Device offlined - not ready after error recovery
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,2,4,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,2,4,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter reset request. SCSI hang ?
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,2,4,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: scsi 0:2:4:0: scsi: Device offlined - not ready after error recovery
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,2,5,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter abort request (0,2,5,0)
Mar 2 19:15:22 xxxxxx kernel: aacraid: Host adapter reset request. SCSI hang ?

ETC,ETC,ETC,.......

So what’s the deal. Looks like the driver is poking the scsi bus for every single ID on both buses. This literally takes 20-30 minutes, but the machine DOES boot up. Of course this is not acceptable, so after poking around I found out that It’s the XENified Kernel that’s causing this.

I’m testing this right now by reinstalling 10.1 from DVD WITHOUT XEN Virtualization. I will then apply the updates and upgrade (and update again) to 10.3 and report back in Episode 2……hopefully everything will work…….famous last word :-).

Hardy Heron is out…..

datePosted on 14:34, April 24th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

Heha…..Ubuntu’s newest release 8.04 LTS (aka. Hardy Heron) is out and ready for your consumption. This release is major in that it’s LTS. For those of you who don’t know LTS versions of Ubuntu are supported for 3 years for the desktop version and 5 years for server version. ALL FREE….so what are you waiting for…..head over to Ubuntu Land for more info or alternatively just go to the download page.

A lot of people seem to be having problems (issues) with the original way I had proposed here using command line. So, I figured I make it real simple and do a graphical tutorial with screen shots to boot :-). In this example we first deal with the server (running windows) at IP address 192.168.1.1, then we move to our client (Mac OSX) at IP address 192.168.1.2 and view the servers screen remotely through streaming video. So first on the server (remember 192.168.1.1 is the IP address):
1) Bring up VLC and select File/Open Capture Device (Ctrl-A). You should see this screen modify the bottom portion (Advanced Options), so it looks like this picture below. You can decrease screen-fps to 15 if you like to speed things up a bit.

2) On that same screen Click on the Settings… button beside Stream/Save and you’ll see the following screen. Make sure it’s configured this way if you want to do the streaming through HTTP protocol. Audio Codec does not need to be checked, since there is no audio, I just put it in as habit. Note the Address field is the IP address of the same machine (the server in this case), which is 192.168.1.1. This can be a bit confusing.
3) Press Okay twice and your VLC server is up and running serving your desktop to whoever wants to watch (Note: This WILL slow down your server machine considerably).
4) Go to your client machine (192.168.1.2 in our case), run VLC and go to File/Open Network menu option and fill it in as follows. Note that we’re connecting to our server at 192.168.1.1 now.
5) Press okay and you should see the stream from your server now…..DONE!!

Secure remote backups using Rsync…..

datePosted on 13:36, March 19th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

While the world was busy trying to figure out how to sync their palm pilots to Windows 98 (or was it 95) Andrew Tridgell was working on his thesis……Rsync. The endall-beall in the world of syncing. You see, if you’ve ever tried any syncing program before you’ll appreciate the ease with which rsync works. You’ll also see the efficiency of it’s algorithm in dealing with changes/updates, and for that you can thank Andrew. I’m just gonna show you how to use this excellent tool along with ssh (another must have/must use free software utility) to setup automated secure backups between two different platforms.

For the purpose of this article I’m using a PowerMac G5 with a 1TB Firewire disk hanging off it as my backup server. As my client I’m using the departmental research server (yes, forget that it’s a server, in this exercise it’s a CLIENT).

So first we need to make sure we have the tools: ssh and rsync. They are already part of my distribution (SuSE Linux 10.1 on the client and OSX 10.5.1 on the server) so I didn’t have to install anything. You want to make sure that your rsync uses protocol version 2.x.x on both sides. (type: rsync –version on your machines to see the protocol version).

Note: You can also grab RsyncX for older OSX versions and/or cwRsync for windows.

Step 1. Is to remove the interactivity that happens during an ssh session (ie: password prompt). To do this we must generate passphraseless keys that we can initially manually exchange between our machines. So in our case we want to grant access to our client machine — via ssh — from the server. Now here is were things get a bit OS specific. Under OSX there is no root account (atleast not one you can log into) by default. In my setup I want to allow root@server.domain.ca (OSX machine) to have access to root@client.domain.ca (Linux machine), so here is what I had to do.

On the OSX machine (server or machine initiating the rsync session) login as the standard user/admin and issue the following commands:
$ sudo su - (you'll be asked for your password and then be in a root shell....be careful).
# cd ~ (this is just to make sure we're in root's home directory which is /var/root under OSX).
# ssh-keygen -t dsa -b 1024 (do NOT put in a passphrase when prompted....just press Enter).
Generating public/private dsa key pair.
Enter file in which to save the key (/var/root/.ssh/id_dsa):
Created directory '/var/root/.ssh'.
Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase):
Enter same passphrase again:
Your identification has been saved in /var/root/.ssh/id_dsa.
Your public key has been saved in /var/root/.ssh/id_dsa.pub.
The key fingerprint is:
03:cc:52:7a:ed:ae:bf:53:48:9c:dd:45:c7:a9:bd:f1 root@server.domain.ca

Make sure you don’t enter a passphrase when prompted (remember we want a automated operation here). If everything goes right you should have two new files in your .ssh directory named id_dsa (your private key….don’t ever give this to anyone) and id_dsa.pub (your public key which we are going to use).

Now you need to transfer the id_dsa.pub key file to your client somehow. I do this just using ssh again. If you want to be totally super secure you can stick it on a usb key and walk it over to your client machine. So still on the server (OSX) machine I do the following (still in roots account, so be careful):
# scp ~/.ssh/id_dsa.pub root@client.domain.ca:/root/.ssh/authorized_keys
# ssh client.domain.ca -l root "chmod 600 ~/.ssh/authorized_keys"

So the first command transfers id_dsa.pub from the server and copies it to the root’s .ssh directory on the client (and renames it to authorized_keys). The second command issues a remote chmod command to set the right permissions on the authorized_keys file on the client (Linux box).

Now, to verify, while still logged into root on the server (OSX) try to ssh to your client machine (using root’s account on client). If everything works you should be able to log into root’s account on the client (Linux machine) without a password prompt. If you’re prompted for password, stop here, and redo/recheck your procedure.

Step 2. Pheew…..You made it, that was the hard part….the rest is pretty simple. Now we just need to test to make sure things are running smoothly and once that’s done we can automate everything using a cron job (Step 3.). So lets start our test run. For this I’ve chosen to backup the /etc directory on the server (lots of small files, nothing earth shattering) and my chosen path on the server is /Volumes/TERADISK. This is where OSX mounts my firewire drive (your milage may vary). I’ve created a folder on TERADISK called FULLBACKUP, which I use to have rsync house my backups. So to test issue the following command as root (yes still, so be carefull) on the server:
# /usr/bin/rsync -a -v -z -e ssh "root@client.domain.ca:/etc/" /Volumes/TERADISK/FULLBACKUP/etc
Notice I use /usr/bin to make sure I’m running the kosher version of rsync under OSX Leopard (I have an older rsync in /usr/local/bin that rsyncX installed). Now a word about slashes in rsync. Note that I follow the first /etc with a slash, but not the second occurrence. That’s because I’m telling rsync to grab the files INSIDE /etc on the client (hence the extra / at the end) and sync them to files in /Volumes/TERADISK/FULLBACKUP/etc existing directory on the server (hence the missing / at the end). You can think of a trailing / on a source as meaning “copy the contents of this directory” as opposed to “copy the directory by name”. So hopefully this command worked for you and after a few minutes you have a copy of the /etc directory on the server. If not please stop and review your steps. Do NOT do Step 3. unless Steps 1&2 are verified and working.

Step 3. Well we’ve reached the end. All you have to do now is to use crontab -e command while still logged in as root on the server to add rsync entries for folders you want synced between the client and the server. Note that I do NOT backup absolutely everything off the client, only specific folders (and their subfolders ofcourse). I’m pretty sure that rsync will get confused if you try to sync things like your dev directory from the linux client. In my cron I have the following:
0 4 * * 6 /usr/local/bin/rsyncmanu.sh
Which runs the rsync shell script on the server (as root) every saturday at 4:00 am.

That’s it. Hopefully this has been useful…..

Evernote….Your personal Pet Elephant to help you remember

datePosted on 21:19, March 14th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou


And that’s exactly what it does. A fantastic new product from evernote that offers you the opportunity to offload your brain of all those ideas/clippings/musings. Basically this thing is the kitchen sink of organizers….and it does OCR to boot.

So head over to evernote.com and sign up for an invite, download whatever method of interface you want/need (webbased/OSX/Windows) and start clipping and organizing your life/brain. One of coolest thing about evernote is that you can feed the elephant anything (sound/image/text) and it will make it searchable. In the case of an image for example, you can shoot your buddies business card using your cellphone, send it to your evernote account and it will automagically OCR the card content and make it searchable. Same with handwritten notes, memos, doodles, stickies. All this works in Windows/OSX and on the Web……very nice.

Now if they could add a bit of RSS import/export goodness to it, I think it would make the perfect central hub application for all your social interfaces (blog/twit/flick/wiki/etc….).

Cooliris Rocks…..

datePosted on 23:16, March 13th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou


Okay these guys are my new best friends….Head over to cooliris.com and grab your copy of their cooliris previews extension…..trust me you’ll not be disappointed…..makes browsing faster and more fun. You’ll wonder how you ever got by without it.

Twitter….the cool way….

datePosted on 18:51, March 7th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou

To be honest, I’ve had a twitter account for a while, but since I need a browser (or phone) to get access to it and twit, I hadn’t used it. But that’s about to change (maybe), since I found out how you can twit from command line. Yep, twit away from any UNIX, Linux, OSX (and Windows) Command prompt. Here is how:

1) First find the program CURL for your intended platform. It comes built into OSX and most Linux distros and there is a port for windows as well (use google).
2) Setup your twitter account.
3) Use this command when you want to twit:
curl -u yourusername:yourpassword -d status="Your Message Here" http://twitter.com/statuses/update.xml
Now one thing to remember is that the username and pass get added to your shell history, so if you’re on a public machine (or friends) you might clear the history file (ie: use history -c in bash to clear the command history).

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