Friday May 02, 2008

SunSolve Search

I've added a completely unsupported Firefox Search engine for SunSolve to this blog. It you go to the search box on Firefox while viewing this page then it will give you the option to add the search engine. For the search engine to work you have to be a registered SunSolve user and if/when SunSolve changes it could stop working.

I'm going to log an RFE for SunSolve that they include this in SunSolve itself at which point I'll delete this one.

If anyone has a better icon to use then I would be happy to include it.

Friday Apr 04, 2008

Sun Ray resource management.

One of the great benefits of running Sun Rays at home is having the sessions always there. Just plug in the card and you get your session as if you were never away. However that also allows you to leave an application chewing CPU cycles when you are away. So to keep the interactive experience as good as possible I employ the same techniques described in “Using Solaris Resource Manager With Sun Ray” blueprint. For a long while I've wondered why IT don't do this. The keepers of our Sun Ray do and it works a treat. Which is a good thing when you share a Sun Ray Server with Tim.

Instead of setting the number of shares up to a specific value I use a multiplier so that those active on a Sun Ray get 10 times the number of shares that they would by default. While this works well it still leaves a significant load on the system from certain applications, specifically flash animations that are left running endlessly playing the games that were being played when the users card was removed. The fair share scheduler does it's thing to make CPU allocation fair but the memory use of those otherwise idle firefox sessions is significant.

So I've taken a leaf out of the BOFH and apply some special sanctions to those processes. Alas I may not get a job with the BOFH as my sanctions are simply to pstop(1) the copies of firefox associated with the user and DISPLAY when they detach and then prun(1) them when the user reconnects. I wondered about using memory resource caps to limit the memory but that would leave the systems rcapd(1M) battling the memory usage of the firefox processes which are not displaying anything anyway. In the unlikely event that any of the users are using their firefox sessions to simulate nuclear fission or crack SSL so would rather they kept running I'm sure they will get back to me.

So the script I have for doing this is slightly more complex than the one from the Blueprint. Since it has to err on the side of caution when stopping users firefox sessions. To do that it uses pargs(1) to make sure that the firefox sessions are really for this display. In practice I am the only person who might remote display a firefox session from here and even that is unlikely but it is the principle. The impact on the system of not trying to run all the disconnected firefox sessions is amazing.

Tuesday Jun 06, 2006

Good Morning build 41

Build 41 hit our Sun Ray server (despite me not posting it build 40 had hit the other one two weeks ago).

: IA 1 $; uname -a
SunOS enoexec 5.11 snv_41 sun4u sparc SUNW,Sun-Fire
: IA 2 $;

While most releases the changes are hidden under the bonnet this release has it full in your face with a new version of Gnome. That includes a gaim 2.0 beta and for the first time Firefox and Thunderbird so I no longer run privately built copies.

Whilst I'm sure this will not be news to gnome users who keep up with the external development builds the addition of the Deskbar is just fabulous allowing a single point to start searches from. There are a few niggles, like the launcher for gtkam not finding the binary, the bundled Thunderbird not liking my existing .thunderbird directory but overall it is a leap in the right direction.



This is the old blog of Chris Gerhard. It has mostly moved to


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