New PC time. Meet the Lenovo Ideacenter Q180.

Despite being a massive fan of the Acer Aspire Revo 3600 that I bought a few years ago, my little £149.99 nettop is just a touch slow these days and could probably do with being upgraded.

My instant reaction was to go for the £174.97 Acer Aspire Revo 3700 and it would be a great choice too, however it’s 1.8GHz CPU would appear to have been trumped slightly by the 2.13GHz CPU in the £179.99 offering from Lenovo – The IdeaCenter Q180.

Yes you read those prices right.  I use Linux (free) and keep the price of my hardware as low as possible.  Any compromises on performance will be offset by operating system choice and subsequent tuning, although I’m not expecting to have to do an awful lot of that given it’s “whopping” 2GB RAM, 2.13GHz CPU and ATI Radeon graphics chip (full spec given below).  Watch this space.

Continued here..

Xubuntu 64 bit vs Crunchbang 64 bit

Processor

Intel Atom D2700 Dual Core 2.13GHz,
1MB L2 Cache

Memory

2GB DDR3 1066MHZ
soDIMM

Hard Drive

320GB SATA

Optical Drive

None

Software

Operating system: DOS

Display

Monitor Not Included

Graphics

ATI Radeon HD 6450 – 512MB

Networking

LAN: 10/100/1000 Gigabit Fast Ethernet
WLAN: 802.11b/g/n

Interfaces

3 x USB 2.0
2 x USB 3.0
1 x HDMI
1 x SPDIF

Expansion

7 in 1 Card Reader

Warranty

1 Year Manufacturer Warranty

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Setting NIC speed in Linux

Setting the NIC speed in Redhat Linux

Redhat Linux

/etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0

Add a line ETHTOOL_OPTS=”speed 10 duplex full autoneg off”

/etc/init.d/network restart

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Adding a persistent static route

Whether your Windows server or Linux server has multiple NICs to connect it to multiple VLANs and/or networks, sometimes you’ll need to configure a static route so that your server knows which interface to use in order to get to the syslog server, ntp server etc if it is to use a route other than the default gateway.

Solaris

vi /etc/gateways    (if this file doesn’t exist read on…)

Underneath>>    net 192.168.0.1 gateway 192.168.0.254 metric 1 passive

Add the following>>       net 10.0.0.0 gateway 10.8.2.65 metric 1 active

Note:  The default gateway is set in the /etc/defaultrouter file

If the /etc/gateways file doesn’t exist, then static routes may have been added “the old way”

cd /etc/rc2.d

ls | grep static

You may see a startup file called Snnnstatic_routes.  Inside this script will be non-persistent static routes added using lines that read something like /usr/sbin/route add 10.0.0.0/24 10.8.2.65 1   Append your routes to the ‘start’ section, not forgetting to add a corresponding route delete command in the ‘stop’ section.

Red Hat Linux

echo ‘10.0.0.0/24 via 10.8.2.65’ >> /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/route-eth0

service network restart

route -n to view the current routing table

Windows

route -p ADD 10.0.0.0 MASK 255.255.255.0 10.8.2.65

netstat -rn to view the routing table

Excellent examples here: http://www.thegeekstuff.com/2012/04/route-examples/

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Mounting an .iso image in Linux

Mounting an ISO image as a filesystem in Linux

mkdir -p /mnt/isofile

mount -o loop isofile.iso /mnt/isofile

or

mount -t iso9660 -o loop isofile.iso /mnt/isofile

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Enabling SSH on VMWare ESXi hosts

Log on to the local console,  Alt + F1 and type unsupported  ENTER to connect to the console.

Enter the password when prompted.

vi /etc/inetd.conf

Remove the # at the beginning of the #ssh line to uncomment the ssh service.

:wq! to write the changes and quit the vi editor.

Identify the inetd process using ps | grep inetd

restart the inetd service with kill -HUP pid

clear, exit, Alt + F2 to log out of the unsupported console.  Esc to log out the local management console.

You’ll notice a warning appear in vSphere client stating that the remote administration console has been enabled.  This is considered a security risk, but it is possible to suppress the warning if you wish to leave it open (not recommended).

Before quitting the console, type

esxcli system settings advanced set -o /UserVars/SuppressShellWarning -i 1

to disable the warning, or

esxcli system settings advanced set -o /UserVars/SuppressShellWarning -i 0

to re-enable it (recommended if you disable the ssh console again).

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Management Logs on Cisco UCS Blades

As of firmware 1.4.1 (old now), the Management Logs tab was renamed SEL Logs.

If you’re running VMWare ESXi on a Cisco M200 blade, then you may notice a hardware event trigger in vCenter Server, with a fault of System Board 0 SEL_FULLNESS.

This occurs when the UCS Management Log for a given blade breaches it’s own monitoring threshold of 90% full.

To clear it, Log into UCS Manager, Equipment tab, Servers, Server n, SEL Logs tab, and Backup or Clear the log.

Don’t forget to at least take a look at the log to make sure it hasn’t filled due to real, unresolved hardware problems.  The SEL Log logs absolutely everything that goes on to the extent of even logging LED’s as they turn on and off on the equipment, so these logs fill quite quickly.

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Renaming a vSwitch in VMWare ESXi

Your vSwitches visible in vSphere client are allocated names, e.g. vSwitch0, vSwitch 1 and so on.  In order to create dvSwitches (Distributed vSwitches), you need to point vSphere Client at a VirtualCenter Server, not directly at an ESX host in order to access the enterprise features enabled therein.


Going back to pain old vSwitches though, the names need to match if you have VMotion VMKernel ports contained inside them, and if they don’t then it won’t work.

You soon realise that you can’t rename a vSwitch from within vSphere Client either – oh no!  Deleting it and recreating it may be a problem too if there are VM’s living inside an internal Virtual Machines network that cannot be VMotioned away to another host.

The good news is that you can fix this scenario using the “unsupported” console on the ESX host.

At the ESX Console, log in and hit Alt-F1 then type unsupported and hit Enter.  You won’t see the word “unsupported” appear as you type it but upon hitting Enter, you’ll be prompted for the root password.  Type it in and hit Enter.

You be presented with a Linuxesque command prompt.  If you don’t do vi, go find someone who does or you’re about to break stuff.

cd /etc/vmware

vi esx.conf

Search for “name” using Esc, /name, Enter and keep hitting n (next) until you find the incorrectly named vSwitch.  Change the word by hitting Esc, cw followed by the correct name, followed by Esc.

/net/vswitch/child[0001]/name = “vSwitch4

If you’re happy the name has been changed correctly in esx.conf, hit Esc, :wq! and hit Enter to write the changes back to disk and quit vi.

Back at the Linux prompt, type clear to clear the screen, and type exit and hit Enter to log out of the console.

Alt-F2 will close the “Unsupported Console” returning you back to the black and yellow ESX Console.

Esc to log out, then finally F11 to restart the host.

When the ESX host restarts, you can reconnect using vSphere Client and the vSwitch will now have the correct name.

[paypal-donation]

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VMWare vSphere License Comparison

VMWare vSphere 4

Discontinued, but information may still be useful.

Note: To manage vSphere infrastructure and unlock certain features, vCenter Server is required and is licensed separately.

VMWare vSphere 5

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Troubleshooting Openfiler (missing NFS shares)

I came home on Friday evening to find my DLNA server wasn’t available :(.  It’s not the scenario I needed after an intense few days squeezing 5 days worth of work into a 4 day week due to the Easter bank holiday weekend, plus the 3 hour drive home.

Firstly, my DLNA server is simply Serviio running on a Xubuntu VM which mounts an NFS share containing my media files.

The virtual infrastructure in my lab that underpins it is a two node ESXi cluster with a third node running Openfiler to provide the shared storage to ESXi.  This includes a RAID 0 (not recommended I might add) iSCSI target for maximum IO within a constrained home budget and a 1TB USB HDD containing a NFS Datastore where I store my ISO’s and vm backups so as to save space on the relatively expensive, high performance iSCSI target intended for the VM’s disk files, which are also thinly provisioned to further save on space.  The Openfiler NAS also has a second 1TB USB HDD containing a second NFS Media Store share, mounted by Serviio/Xubuntu VM already mentioned (as well as any other machine in the network). The network is an 8 port, 1 GB/s managed switch with two VLANs and two Networks, one which joins the rest of the LAN, and one which just contains VMotion and iSCSI traffic.

 

So, like I said, my Serviio DLNA server was u/a and some troubleshooting was in order.

My first reaction was that something was wrong in VMWare Land, but this turned out not to be the case – however, the storage configuration tab revealed that the NFS datastores were not available, and df -h on my workstation confirmed it, so almost immediately my attention switched from VMWare to Openfiler.

Now, I won’t go into it too much here, but I’m torn with Openfiler.  The trouble is most folks would only ever interface with the web-based GUI, and they’d quickly come unstuck, since conary updateall to install all the latest updates or not, certain changes don’t seem to get written back.  I had to perform all my LVM configuration manually at the command line as root, not via the web-gui as openfiler.  I’ve yet to investigate this any further as it’s now working OK for me, but my guess would be a permissions issue.

I connected to the Openfiler web interface and could see that the shared folders (shown below) were missing, so the NFS shares were not being shared but more importantly it also implied that the logical volumes containing the filesystems exported via NFS were not mounted.  df -h on Openfiler’s command line interface confirmed this.

In order to check that Openfiler could see the hard drives at all, I issued the command fdisk -l but because the USB HDD’s are LVM physical volumes, they have gpt partition tables on them, not msdos, so fdisk does not support it, but is kind enough to recommend using GNU Parted instead.  Despite the recommendation, I used lshw > /tmp/allhardware and just used vi to go looking for the hard drive information.  The USB HDD’s are Western Digital, so I just :/WD to find them amongst the reams of hardware information, and find them I did.  Great, so the OS could see the disks, but they weren’t mounted.  I quickly checked /etc/fstab and sure enough, the devices were in there, but mount -a wasn’t fixing the problem.

Remember I mentioned that the drives had a gpt partition table, and that they were LVM physical volumes?  Well therein lies the problem.  You can’t mount a filesystem on a logical volume if the volume group that it is a part of is not activated.  Had my volume groups deactivated?  Yes, they had.

vgchange -ay /dev/vg_nfs

vgchange -ay /dev/vg_vmware

Now my volume groups were active, mount -a should work, confirmed by df -h showing that the /dev/mapper/vg_vmware-lv_vmware and /dev/mapper/vg_nfs-lv_nfs block storage devices were now mounted into /mnt/vg_vmware/lv_vmware and /mnt/vg_nfs/lv_nfs respectively.  exportfs -a should reshare the NFS shares provided the details were still in /etc/exports which they were.  Going back to the Openfiler web-interface, the shares tab now revealed the folders shown in blue (above) and their mount points needed by any NFS clients in order to mount them.  Since the mountpoint details were already in /etc/fstab on my workstation, mount -a re-mounted them and into /nfs/nfsds and /nfs/nfsms and ls -al showed that the files were all there.

rdesktop to my VirtualCenter server, mount -a in the Xubuntu terminal to remount them on the DLNA server, re-run serviio.sh and that’s it.

So that’s how I diagnosed what was wrong and how I fixed it.  Now I just need to investigate the system logs on Openfiler to see why the volume groups deactivated in the first place.  After continuous uptime without issue for 4 months, I must admit that it did come as a surprise.

 

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Bulk renaming of files

This command…

for i in * ; do j=`echo $i | sed ‘s#Matt#Cyberfella#g’ – ` ; mv “$i” “$j” ; done

turns a file listing like this…

Matt_001_blah.txt

Matt_002_blah-de-blah.txt

Matt_003_blah.txt

into this…

Cyberfella_001_blah.txt

Cyberfella_002_blah-de-blah.txt

Cyberfella_003_blah.txt

Just change the search and replace strings accordingly to swap a common text string occurring in the filenames to something else (or leave the replace string blank to eradicate it).

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