Wednesday Sep 24, 2008

NWAM model (and phase 0.5)

The Network Auto-Magic project, which aims to simplify and automate network configuration needs to do a couple of things:

  • catch, handle (and sometimes generate) network-related events, handling transitioning from one network environment to another etc.
  • provide a data repository for configuration preferences for various network environments, with a set of default preferences that lean towards automatic configuration (e.g. use DHCP to get an address)
  • provide a set of user interfaces to allow for manual configuration as well as inspection of network state

This high-level description maps quite nicely onto the set of core components we plan to deliver for phase 1 of NWAM:

  • nwamd - the core daemon at the heart of network autoconfiguration. It is this daemon's job to handle network-related events, assess network conditions and respond to changes in conditions
  • libnwam is the library that provides storage of NWAM-related configuration
  • Finally commandline tools such as nwamcfg and nwamadm and the GUI component of NWAM allow user interaction with network configuration

In a follow-up set of blog posts, I'm going to try and describe these components, starting with the set of events that nwamd needs to monitor and respond to and how that is (and will be) done.

In the meantime, why not give NWAM phase 0.5 a try - it alleviates many of the usability issues that applied to NWAM and works really nicely. Kudos to Jim and Darren (and Michael for his work on spec'ing out a set of candidate solutions to usability issues).

Monday Sep 22, 2008

OpenSolaris/Windows Vista dual boot configuration

I recently had to make a Windows Vista-installed laptop dual-bootable with OpenSolaris. There's plenty of descriptions of the process around, but just in case here's what I did:

  • Back up any critical data in Windows
  • Burn OpenSolaris 08-05 liveCD
  • Burn system rescue CD with GParted (disk partition management software). It's a Linux-based livecd which allows you to resize partitions dynamically, add new partitions etc. We need to reduce the size of the Windows partition on the disk to make room for a partition for OpenSolaris.
  • Reboot with system rescue cd in drive. When it boots up, type "startx", and when X is running select the GParted icon to run the partition management software. Click on the Vista partition, resize it by clicking and dragging the arrow on the right hand side to the left, and when you've left enough space for OpenSolaris, also add a new partition of type "linux-swap". Resizing/adding the partition should take about an hour. When finished, open a terminal, and type reboot. Video walking through this process can be found here.
  • Boot into windows, allow it to run disk repair, then put the OpenSolaris liveCD in the drive and reboot into OpenSolaris.
  • Click on the install icon on the desktop. When you get to disk partition information, you'll need select the new partition you just added and change the paritition type to solaris from linux-swap before you can install
  • When you reboot (and have removed the liveCD from the drive, you should see Windows and opensolaris in your GRUB menu. Then you can boot into OpenSolaris, run "pkg image-update" etc.

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