Blog

Viewing posts for the category software

Reinstalling laka.lv

Today I ventured into the most annoying adventures a system administrator can face - reinstall. Fortunately this was a planned one, so I had just made all backups.
Problems started even before I did - all air circulation devices were broken in the company that collocates our server, so it was very hot there. I am not afraid of some heat unless it cooks my servers, so I went on with the reinstall.

While I was on the way to the location I asked the kind people there to make some kind of temporary banner page on one of their servers to say something like 'LAKA is being repaired now, come back in a few hours'. While they were doing that, it was needed to restart their corporate firewall as it stopped responding. And then ... the firewall didn't come up. Dong! Now imagine three men in a hot and tight server room struggling to untangle cables to get that firewall box out in the open to see what happened to it. Juk! After dissection the firewall claimed that it suddenly needed a video card. It's clear that the CMOS battery is dying on that thing. The way of least resistance was chosen (as people from all levels of the building were rushing in the server room every 5-7 seconds) and the Internet was returned to the people, and me as I was just going to finally start reinstalling our server.

As usually with 7+ year old hardware, the CD-ROM gave out in the worst possible case. Luckily there were some spares around. This servers case is something really interesting - it actually has a button to open the side of the case. Like a case eject :).

Installing Debian was uneventful showing the high level of this distro. In parallel I helped one guy to try to install SMB printer in Gentoo and soon I had to arrive to a conclusion that Gentoo sucks - nothing worked without a bit of tinkering. Even after installing ppds for the printer I had to unzip and install them manually. Juck!

Reinstalling needed programms was fast and seamless. The biggest problem was restoring the data. Unfortunately I made a full backup of the whole disk an that was a big problem. I mean 800 Mb is big if your downlink is less then 50 KB/sec :(. I spend a hour cutting out all the stuff I needed to revive the web and shell users. That was 150 Mb. Not wanting to waste my time waiting I wanted to put it on the download and head home to finish the thing remotely, but there was another problem lurking in the firery shadows - the firewall didn't want to give me back my IP.

I left hosters deal with that problem. When I left they were telephoning the authors of the firewall. Half an hour after I got home, the server was back online and I could start copying the reduced backup. Restoring Web and mysql services was a snap even considering migration to Apache 2 and MySQL 4 in the process. It just worked :)

After that I realized that I had screwed the user ids by copying old /etc/passwd and /etc/shadow over the new ones. Doh! I was save by some mysterious force that made backups right after the installation. I spend 20 minutes inching back into control of the system (I lost root and ssh would scream in panic because /etc/passwd had 0600 mode :P) and another 15 to carefully carry old users over to the new system.

Then I recovered a lost MySQL root password by looking at backup of my .mysql_history file. Doh!

Now I'll need most of the rest of the backup to get mail and postgresql back up. More waiting :(

Edit: Now this is getting ridiculous - the server that has the backup just shut down on his own. Ridiculous!

Testing Gnome based blogging

Today I tried out a few Gnome based blogging programms. Unfortunately I am still wrinting this in the web interface of the blogger.com. Why?

1. Gnome-Blog: a nice panel applet, one click blogging, looks perfect, but show an obscure error when trying to connect to blogger.com :( Bug reported, lets go on.

2. BloGTK: standalone programm, too many buttons for anything, no autologin, asks to enter 'url to the system' giving an obscure example with xmlrpc in it. could not figure out the correct url, gave up, reported a bug :P

3. theres is not 3 !!! only two gnome based blogger supporting tools exist and both were unable to work for me.

sometimes life just sucks :)

Start with a killer

To start the blog not with an obligatory 'Let's start this' post, but with something worth reading, I want to present the mighty nildience (null audience) the best Linux audio playing app: Amarok.

  1. Collection of your music based on the top directory - i.e. you just say 'my music is in /home/aigarius/mp3' and it rebrowses that dir each time it starts to find new music.
  2. Automatic rating based on play/skip ratio - just listen to what you like and skip songs you don't like and soon Amarok will be able to tell the difference.
  3. Get lyrics in 1 or 2 clicks - I love this feature.
  4. Control the player regardless of your current app - shortcuts with 'Windows' key work everywhere.
  5. Very nice playlist management within your music collection.
  6. Least played songs - either to try something long forgotten or to free your hard drive.
These are the features I like the best about Amarok. Please comment on what you like to find in your audio player.

Recent Posts

Archive

2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005

Categories

Authors

Feeds

RSS / Atom