Tuesday Jun 16, 2015

OTN Virtual Tech Summit July 2015 - Systems Track

OTN Virtual Technology Summit - July 2015

Systems Security

Oracle Systems software is engineered for deployment in the most demanding IT environments. From Oracle Solaris to Open Stack to Oracle Linux, Oracle has engineered their systems platforms with security as an essential element.

The Systems Track in the next OTN Virtual Technology Summit will present sessions by Oracle security experts focused on the default security features and layers of defense built into Oracle Systems, and Oracle's defense-in-depth best practices.

Register Now!

Dates/Times for your region:
(Click to register)

Session Time Session Abstract

9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. PT
(July 14th)

9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. BST
(July 15th)

9:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. IST
(July 22nd)

Introduction: Systems Security
By Alex Barclay, Principal Product Manager, Solaris and Systems Security, Oracle

This session presents an overview of the secure by default features and layers of defense built into Oracle Systems, and examines defense-in-depth best practices.

9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. PT
(July 14th)

9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. GMT

(July 15th)

10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. IST
(July 22nd)

How To Increase Application Security & Reliability with Software in Silicon Technology
By Angelo Rajuderai, Worldwide Technology Lead Partner Adoption for SPARC, Oracle
Ikroop Dhillon, Principal Product Manager, Oracle

Learn about Software in Silicon Application Data Integrity (ADI) and how you can use this revolutionary technology to catch memory access errors in production code. Also explore key features for developers that make it easy and simple to create secure and reliable high performance applications.

10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. PT
(July 14th)

10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. GMT
(July 15th)

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. IST
(July 22nd)

Eliminate Cloud Security Threats with Oracle Systems
By Alex Barclay, Principal Product Manager, Solaris and Systems Security, Oracle

Learn and understand about the security threats to your public and private cloud and gain insight into how the Oracle Security Architecture helps reduce risk. This webcast will provide detailed information on the top 20 cloud security threats and how different parts of the Oracle systems stack help eliminate each threat.

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. PT
(July 14th)

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. GMT
(July 15th)

12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. IST
(July 22nd)

Designing a Multi-Layered Security Strategy
By Glenn Brunette, Senior Director, Cybersecurity, Oracle Public Sector, Oracle

Security is a concern of every IT manager and it is clear that perimeter defense, trying to keep hackers out of your network, is not enough. At some point someone with bad intentions will penetrate your network and to prevent significant damage it is necessary to make sure there are multiple layers of defense. Hear about Oracle’s defense in depth for data centers including some new and unique security features built into the new SPARC M7 processor.

Tuesday Mar 31, 2015

Get Your OVM Server On

As I was reading through the Oracle Virtualization Blog, I noticed some information about Oracle University courses. I dug a little bit, and found this cool curriculum. Look into it if you really want to know your Oracle VM Server for x86.

OU Class: Unix and Linux Essentials

Designed for users and administrators who are new to the Oracle Solaris 11 and Oracle Linux operating systems. It will help you develop the basic UNIX skills needed to interact comfortably and confidently with the operating system. Learn To

  • Effectively administer the Oracle VM environment by using the appropriate management tool.
  • Automate the provisioning of virtual machines.
  • Redeploy cloud resources to meet requirements.
  • Track and solve issues at each operational layer.
  • Protect Oracle VM resources.
  • Incorporate key components into your D/R strategy.

OU Class: Oracle Linux 7: System Administration Ed 1 NEW

Develop a range of skills, including installation, using the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel, configuring Linux services, preparing the system for the Oracle Database, monitoring and troubleshooting. Learn To:

  • Enable kernel features.
  • Set up users and groups.
  • Configure system logging, the boot process, the network and storage.
  • Install additional software packages.
  • Keep the kernel up to date by using Ksplice.
  • Understand how implementing Ksplice gives you zero down time kernel updates.
  • Configure services such as NTP, NFS, FTP, OpenSSH, firewalls and iptables.

OU Class: Oracle VM Server for x86: Administration Ed 1

Explore building the infrastructure for cloud computing. Learn how to support enterprise applications by deploying pooled server resources to create virtual machines, and how to:

  • Plan a virtual solution.
  • Install the Oracle VM Server and the Oracle VM Manager software.
  • Configure network resources to provide isolation and redundancy.
  • Add SAN and NFS to provision storage for the virtual environment.
  • Create server pools and repositories to support application workloads.
  • Speed up virtual machine deployment with templates and assemblies.
  • Use virtual machine high availability.
  • Use server pool policies to maximize the performance of your server workloads.

OU Class: Oracle VM Server for x86: Implementation Ed 1

How to enhance cloud effectiveness with rapid deployment of cloud resources and applications. You will learn how to administer, redistribute, troubleshoot and protect Oracle VM resources to ensure seamless and continuous access of your applications.

Oracle VM offers a dynamic architecture which allows you to effectively deploy server virtualization to consolidate application workloads and ensure uninterrupted cloud services. Using extensive hands-on practices, this course prepares you to respond quickly to changing business conditions. Learn to:

  • Effectively administer the Oracle VM environment by using the appropriate management tool.
  • Automate the provisioning of virtual machines.
  • Redeploy cloud resources to meet requirements.
  • Track and solve issues at each operational layer.
  • Protect Oracle VM resources.
  • Incorporate key components into your D/R strategy.

If you want to stay on top of all things Virtual, check out the Virtualization blog.

About the Photograph

My biker buddy Rock took this picture of what I think is a 1968 or 1969 Corvette in Florida and sent it to me during a Colorado blizzard because he enjoys torturing me.

- Rick

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Friday Mar 06, 2015

5 Steps for Installing Oracle Database 12c on Oracle Solaris 11

You can install and run Oracle Database 12c on different platforms, but if you install it on an Oracle Solaris 11 zone, you can take advantage of these capabilities:

  • Isolation - Database processes that execute in one zone have no access to database processes running in another zone. This isolation simplifies database consolidation, allowing multiple instances and versions to coexist safely on a single physical machine.
  • Independently Managed and Autonomous Environments - A non-global zone can be booted, patched, and shut down independently. A failure or reboot of one zone has no impact on other zones (unless, of course, a failure is due to a shared component). A zone reboot is faster than a full server reboot (seconds versus minutes), so a database in a rebooted zone is available more quickly.
  • Distinctive Identity - You can define virtual network interfaces for a zone, so you can give the database instance installed on that zone its own independent host name and IP address. You can also apply networking resource controls to zones, aligning network bandwidth consumption with service level targets.
  • Easy Database Instance Migration - If a database needs more CPU power, you can add CPUs to an Oracle Solaris Zone and reboot the zone. If a database needs more compute capacity than what's available in the physical server, you can migrate the zone to a larger server.
  • Hard Partitioning - Assigning a resource pool or capping CPU cores can configure Oracle Solaris Zones as hard partitions for Oracle Database licensing purposes. This can potentially lower database licensing costs.

Tech Article: 5 Steps to Installing Oracle Database 12c on Oracle Solaris 11

by Ginny Henningsen and Glynn Foster

Ginny Henningsen and Glynn Foster from the Oracle Solaris product management team wrote down the simplest instructions for installing Oracle Database 12c in an Oracle Solaris 11 non-global zone, including how to implement hard partitioning.

About the Photograph

That's a closeup of one section of the Cedar Breaks National Monument, in Utah. I snapped the picture from a lookout located at an altitude of over 10,000 feet.

- Rick

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Thursday Feb 19, 2015

How to Install and Use Oracle Solaris 11.2 for x86 from an ISO in VirtualBox

I ran into Erik Benner, founder of the SPARC/Solaris SIG group for IOUG, at Rocky Mountain Oracle User Group Training Days yesterday. He has been busy. Not only is he working on some labs and demos for OTN's upcoming Virtual Technology Summits, but he's taken the time to write a three-part blog to show you how easy it is to install and play with Oracle Solaris 11.2 for x86 on VirtualBox. In his own words ... "Recently I had a DBA at an IOUG event complain that they were unable to install from the Solaris 11.2 ISO. They had seen me demo Openstack a few weeks ago, and wanted to know how to install Solaris 11.2 in a VM. So guys… here is a step by step for you."

Part 1 - How to Install Oracle Solaris 11.2 for x86 from an ISO in VirtualBox

by Erik Benner

Covers how to launch the Solaris VM, how to assign it memory, how to create a virtual drive and configure it as a dynamic allocated drive to save space, how to install the Oracle Solaris 11.2 image, and how to start it.

Part 2 - How to Patch Oracle Solaris 11.2 the Easy Way

by Erik Benner

You've probably heard by now that the new patching system in Oracle Solaris 11 lets you patch or revert back with a simple reboot. Erik walks us through a few simple uses of the beadm and pkg update commands.

Part 3 - Managing NICs, IPs, and Hostnames

by Erik Benner

How to configure the networking capabilities of your VirtualBox environment to run Oracle Database 12c so that you can experiment with its new V$KERNEL_IO_OUTLIER views and the Optimized Shared Memory method of managing database memory. Covers adding disks and configuring them into a ZFS pool, adding a NIC to the database server, and setting up IP addresses correctly. This is done differently in Oracle Solaris 11 than in previous releases, as Erik explains.

About Erik Benner

Erik Benner is an enterprise architect for Mythics Corporation, which provides training, systems integration, consulting, and managed services for the entire Oracle product line of cloud, software, support, hardware, engineered systems, and appliances.

About the Photograph

That's a 2015 Ducati Monster 821 in the foreground, and my 01 Ducati 748S Superbike in the background. I took that picture in my driveway in late Fall of 2014.

- Rick

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Thursday Jan 15, 2015

What Hardware and Software Do YOU Want Oracle to Build?

If you'd like a particular dial, knob, or bling on one of our upcoming products, here's your chance to let our engineers, our product managers, and even our pesky executives know.

Join Our Customer Advisory Panel

After you sign up, you'll be invited to participate in very short surveys no more than once a month. Participate in the surveys you like, ignore those you don't. You might even get invited to join Oracle's Customer Connect community, where you can talk to other customers and view results from recent customer panels.

Sign up here.

About the Photograph

I took the picture of JimBob, The Don, and El Jefe Con Queso guarding the general store on a ride from cold and snowy Colorado to warm and sunny Luckenbach several years ago, where we were made Deputy Sheriffs for the day.

- Rick

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Thursday Jan 08, 2015

The Importance of Hardware

Not long ago I had a brief conversation with an "expert" in the Oracle Stack. The expert had provided a comprehensive overview of Oracle technologies, from the top of the stack all the way to the database. I asked where the second part of the overview was, the part that covered virtualization, the OS, hardware, networking, storage, engineered systems, and optimized solutions. The expert shrugged and said those were "commodities."

I can tell you from experience that deep breathing and long walks do wonders for apoplexy. It's not that I don't appreciate the software. Of course I appreciate the software. Without it, what's the point of the hardware! It's just that I don't understand how people who love the software can fail to respect the hardware.

Oracle has been broadcasting for quite a while, now, the benefits you can gain from its advances in hardware, but the reaction I usually get from the unwashed masses is "yeah, well, you've invested in it, so of course you're going to hock it."


Thank goodness there is still some common sense left in the world.

In this TechTarget editorial, Rich Castagna explains, in very simple terms, that advances in software are helplessly dependent on advances in hardware. If you rub elbows with a software zealot, show them the article.

While you're at it, make sure to take a look at Oracle's latest advances in Software in Silicon, including the Software in Silicon Cloud, which allows you to test and optimize your applications on Oracle's latest hardware before you buy it. Here are three links to get you started:

Bookmark this

Software on Silicon Landing Page
so you can keep up with the latest developments

About the Photograph

I took the picture of Black Betty, a 2007 Harley Davidson Softail Custom (FXSTC), in my driveway in Lunenburg, Massachusetts, in the Spring of 2008.

- Rick

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Monday Dec 29, 2014

Top 10 Systems Articles of 2014

Glynn Foster was on fire in 2014. Not only did he create several hands-on labs for OTN's Virtual Tech Summit, but he wrote three of OTN's top 10 articles for the year. Thank you Glynn, and Thank You to all the other writers who did the hard work of filling OTN with excellent Systems content. Don Bastardo finds you worthy of note.

0. How I Simplified Oracle Database 12c and 11g Installations on Oracle Linux 6

by Ginny Henningsen, updated by Michele Casey

Updated for Oracle database 12c and Oracle Linux 6. Ginny simplifies the installation of Oracle Database 11g by automatically pre-configuring Oracle Linux with the required software packages and correct kernel parameters.

1. How to Configure the Linux Out-of-Memory Killer

by Robert Chase

What the Linux out-of-memory (OOM) killer is and how to find out why it killed a particular process. Methods for configuring the OOM killer to better suit the needs of many different environments.

2. How to Create a Local Unbreakable Linux Network Mirror

by Jared Greenwald and Avi Miller

How to create a local yum repository for Oracle Linux, and configure up2date and yum to install and update packages from the repositories.

3. Taking Your First Steps with Oracle Solaris 11

by Glynn Foster

How to install Solaris 11 using the Automated Graphical Installer, one of three installation tools provided in Solaris 11. Glynn Foster and Brian Leonard show you how to install it either on VirtualBox, on bare metal as a standalone OS, or alongside another OS in a multi-boot environment on bare metal

4. How to Get Started Configuring Your Network in Oracle Solaris 11

by Andrew Walton

dladm and ipadm in Oracle Solaris 11 supersede ifconfig. Unlike ifconfig, changes made by dladm and ipadm are persistent across reboots. Andrew Walton explains these and other changes to networking in Solaris 11, and shows you how to work with them.

5. Introducing the Basics of Service Management Facility (SMF) on Oracle Solaris 11

by Glynn Foster

The Service Management Facility in Oracle Solaris 11 makes sure that essential system and application services run continuously even in the event of hardware or software failures. This article provides a few simple examples of administering services on Oracle Solaris 11.

6. Mixing C and C++ Code in the Same Program

by Stephen Clamage

This article shows how to solve common problems that arise when you mix C and C++ code, and highlights the areas where you might run into portability issues.

7. How to Update Oracle Solaris 11 Systems From Oracle Support Repositories

by Glynn Foster

You may already know that you don't have to worry about manually tracking and validating patch dependencies when you update a version of Oracle Solaris 11. This makes updates much easier. Glynn Foster demonstrates how easy it is to update the OS from a support repository, and how to make sure everything went well.

8. How to Get Started Creating Oracle Solaris Zones in Oracle Solaris 11

by Duncan Hardie

Zones are more tightly integrated with other OS features in Oracle Solaris 11 than they were in Oracle Solaris 10. As a result, you can do more with zones than you could before. Plus, it's easier. But you still need to learn the new commands and procedures. This article by Duncan Hardie is a great start: it shows you how to create a zone using the command line, how to add an application to a zone, and how to clone a zone. All in Solaris 11.

9. How to Use Oracle VM VirtualBox Templates

by Yuli Vasiliev

This article explains how to use Oracle VM VirtualBox Templates in Oracle VM VirtualBox. It is similar to the article that explains how to prepare an Oracle VM environment to use Oracle VM Templates, but it describes how to download, install, and configure the templates within Oracle VM VirtualBox, instead of on bare metal.

About the Photograph

Don Bastardo (Jellicle name Pippon Kitton) manages to survive the coyotes and mountain lions that prey on less wary house pets in my part of Colorado, and he has made lasting friendships with the local foxes. I took this picture of him while he was perched on our deck.

- Rick

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Monday Dec 08, 2014

Brian Bream, USA's first ACE for Systems Technologies











Since the day I met Brian Bream, I've wanted him to become an Oracle ACE for Systems technologies. He has so much depth in Solaris, SPARC servers, engineered systems, what it takes to get your value out of them, that I couldn't imagine a better cornerstone to the ACE community in the US. Plus, he's very aware of the challenges that sysadmins face today:









You see, out of the 500+ ACES and ACE Directors in Oracle's program, only six specialized in Systems technologies. If you don't believe me, go to the ACE website and enter "Solaris" in the Search field. Until today, these were the only names you'd see:

As of today, you'll also see Brian Bream on that list.

Brian, who is the Chief Technology Officer for Collier IT and has certifications in over 20 industry technologies, had already received impressive awards. He had been named Instructor of the Year twice by Sun Microsystems University. And then he won that award again through Oracle University. But to the Oracle ACE program, depth of knowledge and industry recognition are not enough. They need to see contributions to the community.

That requirement presented another challenge, because Brian made his contributions to the systems admin and systems developer communities through old school communications channels. Which the Oracle ACE program does not monitor.

You try walking up to an ex-Navy, old-school Systems guy and telling him "You need to Tweet more." You'd better duck. And you'd better run. Lest you find a copy of the Sun Systems Handbook in a hard 3-ring binder lodged in your head. (If you're too young to know what a 3-ring binder looks like, see one here.)

But Brian adapted, and we had a lot of fun bringing him into Social Media. Here are three of my favorite contributions from Brian:

You fan follow Brian Bream on the newfangled social media:

About the Photograph

I took the photograph of the wagon wheels outside of the Stovepipe Wells Hotel in Death Valley National Park during a motorcycle ride in April of 2014. It was hot.

- Rick

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Monday Dec 01, 2014

Update to My Personal Crib Sheet for the ZFS Storage Appliance

In March of 2012 I posted a blog with some resources to help a sysadmin understand the ZFS Storage Appliance. A lot has changed since then, so this is an addendum to that blog. It reflects the latest information in preparation for the release of the ZS4-4.

Recent White Papers About the ZS4

  • Migrating a Database Stored on Fibre Channel (PDF White Paper)
  • Working with the RESTful Management API (PDF White Paper)
  • Deploying 10,000+ VM's on a Single ZFS Appliance (PDF White Paper)
  • Configurations

    It now comes in two variations, instead of the three highlighted in the original blog:

    • ZS3-2 - mid-range storage for the enterprise - cluster option - up to 1.5 PB raw capacity - Hybrid Storage Pools with up to 1 TB DRAM and 12.8 TB of optimized flash cache
    • ZS3-4 - For virtualized environments requiring multiple data services and heterogeneous file sharing - single or cluster - up to 3.5 PB of raw capacity and up to 3 TB DRAM and 12.8 TB of optimized flash cache

    For a high level overview, see this Data Sheet

    Updated Examples of Practical Applications

    For More Information

    About the Photograph

    Winter sunrises can be dramatic in Colorado, but you have to snap pictures quickly, because it happens fast. I took this shot on the last day of November, 2014.

    Note

    This post also appears on the Wonders of ZFS Storage blog.

    - Rick

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    Tuesday Nov 11, 2014

    Posted: Lab Instructions for November Virtual Tech Summit

    Instructions for the six Systems labs that will be presented at November's Virtual Technology Summit are now available on the OTN Community Platform.

    Prepare Your Laptops Before the Event

    You need to set up your laptop with the correct VM and configure it before the event begins. If you wait until the event, you'll be too far behind and won't be able to ask questions or join in the discussions.The Oracle VM labs, in particular, require extensive prep work.

    Important Links

    Registration

    A few thousand have already registered, but slackers can still register in their preferred time zone:

    About the Photograph

    I took the picture of the vertical cylinder from an 01 Ducati 748S on my workbench, while replacing the rings, which I busted while trying to re-install the cylinder without a ring compressor.

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    Friday Oct 24, 2014

    Learn How to Use OpenStack on Oracle Solaris From the Comfort of Your ...

    You're probably heard by now that Oracle Solaris provides a complete implementation of the OpenStack platform. Here's a quick view of the integration, courtesy of Glynn Foster:

    Horizon Cloud Management Dashboard
    OpenStack Component Nova Compute Node Neutron Cloud Networking Cinder/Swift Cloud Storage Glance Image Deployment
    Solaris Component Zones and Kernel Zones Elastic Virtual Switch ZFS Filesystem Unified Archives

    Glynn has prepared two labs showing you how to get OpenStack running on Oracle Solaris. OTN is making them available virtually, with moderators to help you, in November's Virtual Technology Summit. Because they're virtual, you get to decide whether you want to try them out in the crisp mountain air of your fairytale castle in Germany, the convenience of your Manhattan mansion (who dares to be away from Wall Street for very long these days), or even the regal splendor of Windsor Castle, provided you convince the Queen to let you update her internet.

    Lab 1 - How to Deploy OpenStack in 20 Minutes

    Use Unified Archives to quickly provision an OpenStack private cloud on a single node and deploy VM instances based on Oracle Solaris Kernel Zones. The basics of cloud administration through the Horizon web interface, and how to quickly provision both Cinder block and Swift object storage using the ZFS file system. Also how the network virtualization features in Oracle Solaris 11 provide the necessary infrastructure to Neutron networking.

    Lab 2 - Deploy a Secure Enterprise Private Cloud with OpenStack

    Picks up where the first lab left off. Create a golden image environment for an Oracle Database installation using Unified Archives, upload this image to the Glance image repository in OpenStack, and deploy it using Nova compute to a VM instance. How to secure that application in a sandboxed environment using Immutable Zones, and check them for compliance using the integrated framework included in Oracle Solaris 11.

    Register Here

    The Virtual Technology Summit is a lot of fun, but you need to register. It's free. It lasts 4 hours. And it's all technology.

    We'll also have labs for Oracle Linux and Oracle VM. I'll tell you more about those in an upcoming blog.

    More Resources About OpenStack

    If you'd like to do a little background reading before the event, watch:

    About the Photograph

    I don't hang with the Queen, so my digs are a little more modest. I took a picture of that cabin on Route 14 on the way down from Cedar Breaks National Monument, in Utah.

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    Thursday Oct 16, 2014

    New Cookbook: Oracle Solaris 11 Advanced Administration

    The articles written by Oracle ACE Alexandre Borges never fail to provide real-world insight into the use of Oracle technologies, particularly Oracle Solaris. They also explain concepts with the patience and care that only professional instructors demonstrate.

    Alexandre has just written a book with the same insights and real-world practicality as his articles.

    Oracle Solaris 11 Advanced Administration Cookbook

    by Alexandre Borges

    In-depth coverage of every important feature in the Oracle Solaris 11 operating system. Starting with how to manage the IPS repository, make a local repository, and create your own IPS package. How to handle boot environments, configuring and managing ZFS frameworks, and ZFS shadowing. Implementing zones, creating SMF services, and reviewing SMF operations. How to configure an Automated Installer, which is part of the new software deployment architecture introduced in Oracle Solaris 11. Role-based access control (RBAC) and least privileges, how to configure and administer resource manager, and finally and introduction to performance tuning.

    Here is an excerpt, taken from the introduction to creating, activating, and destroying a boot environment:

    Let's imagine a scenario. We are requested to update Oracle Solaris 11, and to do this, we need to reboot the system, insert the Oracle Solaris 11 installation DVD, and during the boot, we have to choose the upgrade option. Is the upgrade complete? Is there no further problem? Unfortunately, this is not true because there are some potential tradeoffs:
    • We had to stop applications and reboot the operating system, and users had to stop work on their tasks.
    • If there was trouble upgrading the Oracle Solaris operating system, we'll lose all old installation because the upgrade process will have overwritten the previous version of Oracle Solaris; consequently, we won't be able to reboot the system and go back to the previous version.
    As you will have realized, this is a big threat to administrators because in the first case, we had a working (but outdated) system, and in the second case, we risked losing everything (and our valuable job) if anything went wrong. How can we improve this situation?

    In Oracle Solaris 11, when we are requested to upgrade a system, Oracle Solaris 11 takes a BE automatically to help us during the process. The boot environment is a kind of clone that makes it possible to save the previous installation, and if anything goes wrong during the upgrade, the boot environment of Oracle Solaris 11 lets us roll back the OS to the old state (installation). One of the biggest advantages of this procedure is that the administrator isn't obliged to execute any command to create a BE to protect and save the previous installation. Oracle Solaris 11 manages the whole process. This has two advantages: the upgrade process gets finished without rebooting the operating system, and the boot environment enables us to roll back the environment if we encounter a problem.

    Nowadays, professionals are making heavy use of the BE, and this is the true reason that creating, activating, and destroying BEs is most important when administering Oracle Solaris 11. You can be sure that this knowledge will be fundamental to your understanding of Oracle Solaris 11 Advanced Administration.

    About the Photograph

    I took the photo of some kind of flower (no clue what kind it is) on my hillside during a particularly wet summer in Colorado.

    - Rick
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    Friday Sep 19, 2014

    Latest Hands-On Lab by Orgad Kimchi: How to Set Up a Hadoop 2 Cluster with Oracle Solaris

    If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair. Especially if it's for Oracle OpenWorld. And while you're there, don't miss Orgad Kimchi's latest hands-on lab.

    Lab: How to Set up a Hadoop 2 Cluster with Oracle Solaris

    In his own words ...

    "This hands-on lab presents exercises that demonstrate how to set up an Apache Hadoop 2 (YARN) cluster using Oracle Solaris 11 technologies such as Oracle Solaris Zones, Oracle Solaris ZFS, and Unified Archive. Key topics include the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) and the Hadoop MapReduce programming model. It also covers the Hadoop installation process and the cluster building blocks: NameNode, Resource Manager, History Server, and DataNodes. In addition, you will see how you can combine the Oracle Solaris 11 technologies for better scalability and data security and will learn how to enable a HDFS high-availability cluster and run a MapReduce job."

    I'll try to convince Orgad to eventually make that lab available to those who of us who can't afford the tickets to Oracle OpenWorld.

    More Gems from Orgad

    Orgad regularly writers terrific articles that show you how to put Oracle Solaris technologies to use in the real world. Here are a few of them:

    About the Photograph

    I took the photograph of a streetcar in San Francisco while sneaking out of the Oracle Solaris reunion I was attending in April of 2014.

    Rick
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    Monday Sep 15, 2014

    Making Sure Your Exadata Is Running Right

    The service department of a local Harley Davidson dealer has a display that compares a chain driven cam to a gear driven cam. Each type of cam drive is attached to a cam support plate, and the service writer walks you up to the display and invites you to turn each of them. The chain drive is hard to turn, but the gear drive turns easily.

    The message is clear: replace the chain-driven cam in your Harley with a gear-driven cam, and you'll have more power. The display gets the message across brilliantly. Except that it's bogus.

    I've spun the chain drive taken out of a Harley Davidson, and it turns just as easily as the gear drive. Heck, why wouldn't it? In their zeal to convince us of the benefits of gear-driven cams, the boys at the dealership tightened down the chain drive in their display perhaps a bit too enthusiastically.

    Oracle makes some pretty big claims about its engineered systems, too. For instance, you've probably heard something along these lines for the Oracle Exadata Database Machine:

    "An engineered system with preconfigured, pretuned, and pretested hardware and software components that is designed to be the highest performing and most available platform for running Oracle Database."

    How can you know whether these claims are true? Because you have Brian Bream on your side, that's why. Brian is the Chief Technology Officer at Collier IT, and Instructor of the Year for both Oracle University and Sun Microsystems University. He knows his stuff. And he just wrote an article that will interest anyone who manages an Exadata Database Machine.

    Tech Article: Monitoring Oracle Exadata Storage Servers

    by Brian Bream

    The Oracle Exadata Database Machine gives sysadmins three monitoring technologies and two monitoring tools for its storage servers. Brian explains how they work, and how you can use them to monitor metrics, thresholds, and alerts (incidents), how to check the availability of your storage servers, and how to compare metrics for multiple storage servers.

    More From Brian Bream

    About the Photograph

    Photo of the cam chain tensioner on a 2005 Harley Davidson Road King taken by my good buddy Madera Doug.

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    Wednesday Aug 27, 2014

    Brendan Gregg's Quick Reference Page for Linux Performance

    You may know about Brendan Gregg because of his contributions to DTrace and other Oracle Solaris technologies. Here are two resources to refresh your memory.

    Recently, Brendan turned his high-performance spectacles on Linux:

    Linux Performance Quick Reference

    In his own words, "This page links to various Linux performance material I've created, including the tools maps on the right, which show: Linux observability tools, Linux benchmarking tools, Linux tuning tools, and Linux observability sar. For more diagrams, see my slide decks below."

    His diagram reminds me of Edward Tufte's work on elegant visual explanations. Give it a read, bookmark it, and show your friends. While you're at it, be sure to take a look at OTN's resources for Oracle Linux.

    About the Photograph

    I took a picture of that cove from somewhere in Highway 1 on the California Coast on my ride back from the Sun Reunion.

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    Monday Aug 18, 2014

    Why Wouldn't Root Be Able to Change a Zone's IP Address in Oracle Solaris 11?





    You might assume that if you have root access to an Oracle Solaris zone, you'd be able to change the root's IP address. If so, you'd proceed along these lines ...


    1. First, you'd log in:
    2. root@global_zone:~# zlogin user-zone
    3. Then you'd remove the IP interface:
    4. root@user-zone:~# ipadm delete-ip vnic0
    5. Next, you'd create a new IP interface:
    6. root@user-zone:~# ipadm create-ip vnic0
    7. Then you'd assign the IP interface a new IP address (10.0.0.10):
    8. root@user-zone:~# ipadm create-addr -a local=10.0.0.10/24 vnic0/v4
      ipadm: cannot create address: Permission denied




    Why would that happen? Here are some potential reasons:

    • You're in the wrong zone
    • Nobody bothered to tell you that you were fired last week.
    • The sysadmin for the global zone (probably your ex-girlfriend) enabled link protection mode on the zone with this sweet little command:
    • root@global_zone:~# dladm set-linkprop -p \ protection=mac-nospoof,restricted,ip-nospoof vnic0

    How'd your ex-girlfriend learn to do that? By reading this article:

    Securing a Cloud-Based Data Center with Oracle Solaris 11

    by Orgad Kimchi, Ron Larson, and Richard Friedman

    When you build a private cloud, you need to protect sensitive data not only while it's in storage, but also during transmission between servers and clients, and when it's being used by an application. When a project is completed, the cloud must securely delete sensitive data and make sure the original data is kept secure. These are just some of the many security precautions a sysadmin needs to take to secure data in a cloud infrastructure. Orgad, Ron, and Richard explain the rest and show you how to employ the security features in Oracle Solaris 11 to protect your cloud infrastructure. Part 2 of a three-part article on cloud deployments that use the Oracle Solaris Remote Lab as a case study.

    About the Photograph

    That's the fence separating a small group of tourist cabins from a pasture in the small town of Tropic, Utah.

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    Wednesday Jul 16, 2014

    Get Your ZFS On

    Surprising as it may seem, there are still many sysadmins out there who don't use ZFS or are not familiar with its best features. We (since I'm one of them) should send expensive gifts to Oracle ACE Alexandre Borges. Alexandre loves Solaris so much he can't stop writing about it. He recently put together a torrent of articles about ZFS that, even if you think you know everything about it, you should peruse. Because I bet he's found things you didn't know about.

    I've been posting them at the rate of about one a week. Here are the first five.

    1. Using COMSTAR and ZFS to Configure a Virtualized Storage Environment

    by Alexandre Borges

    How to configure the Common Multiprotocol SCSI TARget (COMSTAR) capability in Oracle Solaris 11 to provide local iSCSI storage to Windows, Linux, and Mac clients.

    2. Playing with Swap Space in ZFS Volumes

    by Alexandre Borges

    Alexandre walks through several ZFS commands that control and monitor swap space, describes the insight they provide, and explains how to use them to increase or decrease swap space.

    3. Playing with ZFS Shadow Migration

    by Alexandre Borges

    If you need to migrate data from a server running Oracle Solaris 10 or 11 to one running Oracle Solaris 11.1, use Shadow Migration. It's easy, and allows you to migrate shared ZFS, UFS, or VxFS (Symantec) file systems through NFS or even through a local file system. Alexandre shows how.

    4. Delegating a ZFS Dataset to a Non-Global Zone

    by Alexandre Borges

    Adding a dataset to a non-global zone does not give the non-global zone's administrator control over the dataset's properties. They are retained by the global zone's administrator. Delegating a dataset, however, does give the non-global zone's administrator control over the dataset's properties. Alexandre explains the difference and how to perform the delegation.

    5. Playing with ZFS Encryption

    by Alexandre Borges

    Oracle Solaris 11 supports native encryption on ZFS so that it can protect critical data without depending on external programs. It's also integrated with the Cryptographic Framework. Alexandre explains the benefits of these and other Oracle Solaris encryption capabilities, and the different methods for encrypting and decrypting files, file systems, and pools.

    About the Photograph

    In late June I rode from the South Entrance to Yellowstone National Park in heavy rain. When I stopped at the grill for a burger, I inadvertently shocked the good patrons by wringing water out of my neck warmer, sweater, and t-shirt directly onto the stone floor in the cafeteria. When I'm on a long ride it takes me a moment to remember the finer points of civilized behavior. When the clouds temporarily cleared, I took this picture of Yellowstone Falls from Uncle Tom's trail.

    - Rick
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    Wednesday Jun 11, 2014

    Troubleshooting Your Network with Oracle Linux

    Are you afraid of network problems? I was. Whenever somebody said "it's probably the network," I went to lunch. And hoped that it was fixed by the time I got back. Turns out it wasn't that hard to do a little basic troubleshooting

    Tech Article: Troubleshooting Your Network with Oracle Linux

    by Robert Chase

    You're no doubt already familiar with ping. Even I knew how to use ping. Turns out there's another command that can show you not just whether a system can respond over the network, but the path the packets to that system take. Our blogging platform won't allow me to write the name down, but I can tell you that if you replace the x in this word with an e, you'll have the right command:

    tracxroute

    Once you get used to those, you can venture into the realms of mtr, nmap, and netcap.

    Robert Chase explains how each one can help you troubleshoot the network, and provides examples for how to use them. Robert is not only a solid writer, he is also a brilliant motorcyclist and rides an MV Augusta F4 750.

    About the Photograph

    Photo of flowers in San Simeon, California, taken by Rick Ramsey on a ride home from the Sun Reunion in May 2014.

    - Rick
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    Monday May 26, 2014

    Validating Petabytes of Data with Regularity and Thoroughness

    by Brian Zents

    When former Intel CEO Andy Grove said “only the paranoid survive,” he wasn’t necessarily talking about tape storage administrators, but it’s a lesson they’ve learned well. After all, tape storage is the last line of defense to prevent data loss, so tape administrators are extra cautious in making sure their data is secure. Not surprisingly, we are often asked for ways to validate tape media and the files on them.

    In the past, an administrator could validate the media, but doing so was often tedious or disruptive or both. The debut of the Data Integrity Validation (DIV) and Library Media Validation (LMV) features in the Oracle T10000C drive helped eliminate many of these pains. Also available with the Oracle T10000D drive, these features use hardware-assisted CRC checks that not only ensure the data is written correctly the first time, but also do so much more efficiently.

    Traditionally, a CRC check takes at least 25 seconds per 4GB file with a 2:1 compression ratio, but the T10000C/D drives can reduce the check to a maximum of nine seconds because the entire check is contained within the drive. No data needs to be sent to a host application. A time savings of at least 64 percent is extremely beneficial over the course of checking an entire 8.5TB T10000D tape.

    While the DIV and LMV features are better than anything else out there, what storage administrators really need is a way to check petabytes of data with regularity and thoroughness. With the launch of Oracle StorageTek Tape Analytics (STA) 2.0 in April, there is finally a solution that addresses this longstanding need. STA bundles these features into one interface to automate all media validation activities across all Oracle SL3000 and SL8500 tape libraries in an environment. And best of all, the validation process can be associated with the health checks an administrator would be doing already through STA.

    In fact, STA validates the media based on any of the following policies:

    • Random Selection – Randomly selects media for validation whenever a validation drive in the standalone library or library complex is available.
    • Media Health = Action – Selects media that have had a specified number of successive exchanges resulting in an Exchange Media Health of “Action.” You can specify from one to five exchanges.
    • Media Health = Evaluate – Selects media that have had a specified number of successive exchanges resulting in an Exchange Media Health of “Evaluate.” You can specify from one to five exchanges.
    • Media Health = Monitor – Selects media that have had a specified number of successive exchanges resulting in an Exchange Media Health of “Monitor.” You can specify from one to five exchanges.
    • Extended Period of Non-Use – Selects media that have not had an exchange for a specified number of days. You can specify from 365 to 1,095 days (one to three years).
    • Newly Entered – Selects media that have recently been entered into the library.
    • Bad MIR Detected – Selects media with an exchange resulting in a “Bad MIR Detected” error. A bad media information record (MIR) indicates degraded high-speed access on the media.

    To avoid disrupting host operations, an administrator designates certain drives for media validation operations. If a host requests a file from media currently being validated, the host’s request takes priority. To ensure that the administrator really knows it is the media that is bad, as opposed to the drive, STA includes drive calibration and qualification features. In addition, validation requests can be re-prioritized or cancelled as needed. To ensure that a specific tape isn’t validated too often, STA prevents a tape from being validated twice within 24 hours via one of the policies described above. A tape can be validated more often if the administrator manually initiates the validation.

    When the validations are complete, STA reports the results. STA does not report simply a “good” or “bad” status. It also reports if media is even degraded so the administrator can migrate the data before there is a true failure. From that point, the administrators’ paranoia is relieved, as they have the necessary information to make a sound decision about the health of the tapes in their environment.

    About the Photograph

    Photograph taken by Rick Ramsey in Death Valley, California, May 2014

    - Brian

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    Tuesday May 06, 2014

    Replay of Solaris Labs From OTN Virtual Sysadmin Day

    Missed OTN's last Virtual Sysadmin Day? That's OK, so did the majority of Earth's 7 billion inhabitants. A stalwart 400 did manage to pull themselves away from The Daily Grind and attend in person. To accommodate the remaining 7 billion slackers, I published videos of the Solaris hands-on labs. I'll do the same for the Oracle Linux and Virtualization sessions over the next few days.

    Lab Intro - How Oracle Solaris 11 Simplifies the Life of a Sysadmin

    Typical tasks and challenges in a sysadmin's work and how Oracle Solaris 11 simplifies them. Managing software packages, updating systems, managing users, monitoring system performance and diagnosing problems, assessing, assigning and redistributing system resources according to workload patterns. Which Oracle Solaris 11 features can help. Examples and best practices. Exercises that model everyday situations.

    Lab 1: Managing the Software Lifecycle with Oracle Solaris 11

    Tricks to help you to manage software packages installed on your systems. Most organizations have separate environments for development, test, QA and production applications. How can you make sure the right versions of software packages are installed in each of them, and avoid inconsistencies? How can you configure your production systems to avoid accidental updates? How should you integrate your software packages with SMF services? These and many other questions will be answered by using practical hands-on examples.

    Lab 2: Managing Your Data with ZFS in Oracle Solaris 11

    ZFS has been a round a long time, but it has so many new capabilities to explore that you might still have a lot of questions. For instance, how do I create a ZFS file system that will have a guaranteed amount of available space, instead of sharing it with other file systems in a pool? What are the best practices for backing up ZFS file systems? How can I use ZFS encryption? Can I create a raw block device on ZFS and why do I need it? These and many other questions will be answered by using practical hands-on examples.

    Lab 3: Managing Virtual Environments in Oracle Solaris 11

    What are the best ways to create and manage zones? How should I use Solaris virtual networking to separate traffic from different applications? How can I monitor and manage system resources assigned to zones? How should I protect my zones from malicious users? How can I migrate zones between hosts? These and many other questions will be answered with practical hands-on examples.

    About the Photograph

    Photo of Las Vegas skyline taken by Rick Ramsey at Collaborate 2014

    - Rick
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    Tuesday Apr 29, 2014

    How Easy Is It To Run OpenStack on Oracle Solaris 11.2?

    Three resources to help you see how easy it is to create, provision, and manage an internal cloud using OpenStack on Oracle Solaris 11.2.

    Sofia, Where's My Cloud?

    An OTN Home Movie

    7-year old Sofia installs a cloud using OpenStack running on Oracle Solaris 11.2 and shows her clueless Daddy how to manage it using the OpenStack Dashboard.

    OpenStack Dashboard Walkthrough - The Admin Panel

    An OTN Tech Demo

    David Comay, Solaris engineer, shows you how to use the Admin panel in the OpenStack Dashboard, including how to define the types of virtual machines and software images a user can create, and how to give them networking capabilities.

    OpenStack Dashboard Walkthrough - The Project Panel

    An OTN Tech Demo

    David Comay, Solaris engineer, shows you how to use the Project panel in the OpenStack dashboard, including how to create an instance of a virtual compute and storage resource, how to associate it with a network, how to view its topology, and more.

    Stay tuned in the coming days for more video interviews of the Solaris engineers that developed this and other technologies in Oracle Solaris 11.

    About the Photograph

    Photograph of fountain at Oracle's Santa Clara campus taken by Rick Ramsey, April 2014.

    - Rick

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    Monday Apr 14, 2014

    Which Type of Virtualization Should I Use?

    I routinely ask techies which type of virtualization they'd recommend for which type of job. I seldom get an answer as crystal clear as Brian Bream's.

    Video Interview: Which Type of Virtualization Should I Use?

    with Brian Bream, CTO Collier IT

    Oracle's portfolio of virtualization technologies includes Oracle VM Server for x86, Oracle VM Server for SPARC (previously known as LDOMS), and Oracle Solaris Zones, among others. Brian Bream provides a crystal clear technical overview of their differences and examples of what you would use them to do to. After you listen to the recording, which is about 5 minutes long, you'll understand why Brian was selected Instructor of the Year for both Oracle University and Sun Microsystems University before that.

    More Resources About Virtualization

    Here's an 8-part series about Oracle virtualization products written by Detlef Drewanz and Lenz Grimmer that might also be helpful:

    About the Photograph

    Photograph of Vaillancourt Fountain in San Francisco taken by Rick Ramsey, April 2014.

    - Rick

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    Friday Apr 11, 2014

    New Oracle Solaris/SPARC SIG Launched by IOUG







    What happens in Vegas ...










    ... stays in Vegas.










    Well, most of it does, anyway.

    Collaborate 2014, put on by the Independent Oracle User Group (IOUG), the Oracle Applications User Group (OAUG), and the Quest International User Group was terrific. Great content, great people, great event. And lots of sysadmins!

    One of the most interesting things to come out of Collaborate is a new Special Interest Group (SIG) for Oracle Systems technologies, sponsored by Independent Oracle User Group (IOUG). It's called the Solaris/SPARC SIG, but the first meeting covered a lot of ground that included the other technologies in Oracle's Systems portfolio, including engineered systems, storage, networking, and optimized solutions. This perspective on Oracle Solaris is significant because the value of Oracle Solaris becomes increasingly evident when viewed from the perspective of the database, engineered systems like Oracle SuperCluster, and cloud strategies.

    So keep an eye on the SIG and join us in future activities. I'll be sure to promote them here, but also keep an eye on the SIG Calendar.

    Seth Miller and Ed Whalen, Oracle ACES, were kind enough to tape a couple of video interviews for the OTN Garage. I'll be posting them there soon.

    About the Photograph

    Photograph of your Systems Community Manager and friends taken by Laura Ramsey in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, in April 2014.

    - Rick

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    Wednesday Mar 26, 2014

    More Tips for Remote Access with Oracle Linux

    In a previous blog, Oracle Linux Tips and Tricks, I covered alternative ways to use SSH. In this article, I will cover some additional tips and tricks for using SSH for remote access, as well as some other ways to connect remotely to a server.

    SSH's primary use is for remote access to hosts. SSH is not only able to provide us a terminal interface to a server, it's also able to provide us a transport for a graphical interface. In order to utilize this functionality, we must have an X server running on our local workstation. On a Linux workstation with a graphical environment, this functionality is built in. On other systems, such as a Windows machine or a Mac, this functionality is not built in. Both XQuartz on the Mac and MobaXTerm are X servers for these platforms. There are also a number of other open source and paid products available for both platforms.

    Once you have an acceptable X server installed on your local workstation, you can connect with SSH using the following ssh command. The -X enables X11 forwarding for the connection. Keep in mind that the X11 forwarding is based on the user who originally connected. Logging in with one user and then using sudo often will not work, depending on the permissions and ownership needed to complete a task.

    [user@laptop ~]$ ssh -X 10.0.0.12
    

    Once you authenticate, you drop directly to a standard prompt. If you look closely, though, and examine the environment variables in your terminal, you will find an additional environment variable that has the IP address of your workstation. You can examine your environment variables using the env command.

    DISPLAY=localhost:10.0
    

    Now you can launch an application that has a graphical interface, and the interface will be displayed on your local workstation. The following example will launch gedit. The ampersand symbol is useful for forking the process in the background so we can retain the use of our terminal.

    [user@remotehost ~]$ gedit &
    

    Using X11 connections over SSH can be quite useful for using application installers that are graphical, such as the Oracle Universal Installer for Oracle Database.

    The screen application is a great compliment to SSH and is quite useful for sharing an SSH session with another user. Because of the way screen preserves sessions for the user, it is also great for high-latency network connections that have frequent disconnects and for maintaining sessions that time out due to security policies. With a regular SSH connection, if you are disconnected, any processes that were running are not preserved. Unlike SSH, the screen application keeps the session alive so it can be connected to again later.

    One of the simplest things you can do with screen is share a session. You can launch screen on the terminal you wish to share by issuing the screen command. Once you do this, a new shell is running inside of screen. Another user can log in to the same machine and use the command screen -x to be immediately connected to your shell. They see everything you type. Even if you disconnect from the machine on either terminal, the shell will continue to run. This can be quite useful for sharing a terminal for a demonstration in a remote office or for running a terminal-based console that is shared between many users.

    To see all of the active screen sessions, you can use screen -list, which will show active and detached sessions. To connect to a detached session, you can use screen -r and the pid.session name listed in the screen -list output. In the following example, there are five screen sessions running. One of them is detached.

    [user@server ~]$ screen -list
    There are screens on:
            24565.pts-1.server     (Attached)
            24581.pts-2.server     (Attached)
            24597.pts-3.server     (Attached)
            24549.pts-0.server     (Attached)
            24613.pts-4.server     (Detached)
    5 Sockets in /var/run/screen/S-user.
    

    The command screen -x can be used to connect to a currently attached session. In the following example, a connection to session 24565 is made:

    [user@server ~]$ screen -x 24565
    

    If you need access to a full graphical desktop environment remotely, there are a number of packages that can accomplish this. The package tigervnc-server is useful for connections to a remote machine providing a full Linux desktop experience. To set up and install the package, perform the following steps.

    First, run the following command to install the package:

    [root@server ~]# yum install tigervnc-server
    

    Once the package is installed, you need to edit the file /etc/sysconfig/vncservers. The VNCSERVERS line establishes the user accounts that you want to enable the VNC server for and their display number. In the example below, the user bob is configured for display 2 and the user sue is configured for display 3. The VNCSERVERARGS[#] section allows you to specify options for each display. In this example, we are specifying a 1280 x 1024 resolution for display 2 and a 1024 x 768 resolution for display 3:

    VNCSERVERS="2:bob 3:sue"
    VNCSERVERARGS[2]="-geometry 1280x1024 "
    VNCSERVERARGS[3]="-geometry 1024x768"
    

    Once the /etc/sysconfig/vncservers file has been edited, you need to set passwords for each user account. This is accomplished with the vncpasswd command. In the following example, the user bob sets a password using the vncpasswd command.

    [bob@server ~]$ vncpasswd
    Password:
    Verify:
    

    Once the package is installed, the configuration file is edited, and passwords are set, you are ready to turn on the vncserver service. The following two commands start the service and set the service to start automatically at the next boot:

    chkconfig vncserver on
    service vncserver start
    

    Once configured and running, you can connect to your Linux system using a standard VNC client. When connecting, be sure to specify the display and password credentials that are needed in order to connect.

    Comments?

    I hope these tips and tricks have been useful and that you will take advantage of some of them in the course of your day. We will be publishing more of these tips-and-tricks articles in the future. Feel free to leave a comment for further topics that you would like to see in this series.

    See Also

    Oracle Linux blog

    About the Author

    Robert Chase is a member of the Oracle Linux product management team. He has been involved with Linux and open source software since 1996. He has worked with systems as small as embedded devices and with large supercomputer-class hardware.

    About the Photograph

    Photograph taken by Rick Ramsey in Durango in the Fall of 2012

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    Wednesday Mar 05, 2014

    Preserving Unpacked Software During a Package Uninstall

    I love it when I can wriggle out of the unintended side effects created by an automated system designed to simplify my life.

    Here's a side effect created by the very good Image Packaging System (IPS) in our beloved Oracle Solaris 11. If you use the IPS to uninstall all packaged content from a directory, it also removes the directory. Not good if you also kinda sorta loaded unpackaged content into that directory.

    For instance, let's say you worked with a third-party IPS package that installed its software into /usr/local. After a pause to polish the chrome on your custom Softail Deluxe, you install a second application into /usr/local from a tar file. What happens to that second application when you use IPS to remove the third-party IPS package from the /usr/local directory? Yup. IPS dumps the directory on the asphalt and high-sides the unpackaged content all the way to /var/pkg/lost+found.

    Thank goodness somebody watches out for those of us who don't follow directions. Alta Elstad, from the Solaris Documentation Team at Oracle, is one of them. Here's how she suggests you avoid this problem.

    How to Preserve the Directory

    To prevent the packaged directory from being removed along with its content, package the directory separately. Create an IPS package that delivers only the one directory or directory structure that you want. Then that directory structure will remain in place until you uninstall that specific package. Uninstalling a different package that delivers content to that directory will not remove the directory.

    Here's a detailed example.

    1. Create the directory structure you want to deliver. This example shows /usr/local. You could easily expand this to include /usr/local/bin and other subdirectories if necessary.
      $ mkdir -p usrlocal/usr/local
    2. Create the initial package manifest.
      $ pkgsend generate usrlocal | pkgfmt > usrlocal.p5m.1
      $ cat usrlocal.p5m.1
      dir path=usr owner=root group=bin mode=0755
      dir path=usr/local owner=root group=bin mode=0755
    3. Create a pkgmogrify input file to add metadata and to exclude delivering /usr since that directory is already delivered by Oracle Solaris. You might also want to add transforms to change directory ownership or permissions.
      $ cat usrlocal.mog
      set name=pkg.fmri value=pkg://site/usrlocal@1.0
      set name=pkg.summary value="Create the /usr/local directory."
      set name=pkg.description value="This package installs the /usr/local \
      directory so that /usr/local remains available for unpackaged files."
      set name=variant.arch value=$(ARCH)
      <transform dir path=usr$->drop>
      
    4. Apply the changes to the initial manifest.
      $ pkgmogrify -DARCH=`uname -p` usrlocal.p5m.1 usrlocal.mog | 
        pkgfmt > usrlocal.p5m.2
      $ cat usrlocal.p5m.2
      set name=pkg.fmri value=pkg://site/usrlocal@1.0
      set name=pkg.summary value="Create the /usr/local directory."
      set name=pkg.description value="This package installs the /usr/local \
      directory so that /usr/local remains available for unpackaged files."
      set name=variant.arch value=$(ARCH)
      <transform dir path=usr$->drop> 
      
    5. Check your work.
      $ pkglint usrlocal.p5m.2
      Lint engine setup...
      Starting lint run...
      $
      
    6. Publish the package to your repository.
      $ pkgsend -s yourlocalrepo publish -d usrlocal usrlocal.p5m.2
      pkg://site/usrlocal@1.0,5.11:20140303T180555Z
      PUBLISHED
      
      
      
    7. Make sure you can see the new package that you want to install.
      $ pkg refresh site
      $ pkg list -a usrlocal
      NAME (PUBLISHER)      VERSION      IFO
      usrlocal (site)       1.0          --- 
      
    8. Install the package.
      $ pkg install -v usrlocal
                 Packages to install:         1
           Estimated space available:  20.66 GB
      Estimated space to be consumed: 454.42 MB
             Create boot environment:        No
      Create backup boot environment:        No
                Rebuild boot archive:        No
      
      Changed packages:
      site
        usrlocal
          None -> 1.0,5.11:20140303T180555Z
      PHASE                                          ITEMS
      Installing new actions                           5/5
      Updating package state database                 Done
      Updating package cache                           0/0
      Updating image state                            Done
      Creating fast lookup database                   Done
      Reading search index                            Done
      Updating search index                            1/1
      
    9. Make sure the package is installed.
      $ pkg list usrlocal
      NAME (PUBLISHER)      VERSION      IFO
      usrlocal (site)       1.0          i-- 
      $ pkg info usrlocal
                Name: usrlocal
             Summary: Create the /usr/local directory.
         Description: This package installs the /usr/local directory so that
                      /usr/local remains available for unpackaged files.
               State: Installed
           Publisher: site
             Version: 1.0
       Build Release: 5.11
              Branch: None
      Packaging Date: March  3, 2014 06:05:55 PM
                Size: 0.00 B
                FMRI: pkg://site/usrlocal@1.0,5.11:20140303T180555Z
      $ ls -ld /usr/local
      drwxr-xr-x   2 root     bin            2 Mar  3 10:17 /usr/local/
      

    For More Information

    About the Photograph

    Photograph of Vancouver's laughing statues courtesy of BMK via Wikipedia Commons Creative Commons License 2.0

    - Rick

    Follow me on:
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