Thursday Aug 21, 2008

Really Nice JET Tutorial

Joerg Moellenkamp has written a pretty cool 16 part tutorial on Jumpstart using JET here. It's already linked at the JET wiki page.


Sunday Aug 17, 2008

No, I haven't stopped sailing

I've not blogged about sailing in some time. Its not that I've not been Sailing. Its more due to me not blogging enough. I'm going to try and do a weekly recreational blog. (Watch me fail).

Since my last post, I've been helping out at my local Sailing Club (Burghfield Sailing Club)
with their Oppie Club. My oldest daughter got quite into it, and I got her an old wooden Oppie called Major Tom. Here's me sailing it.

As you can see, it's for kids, not adults. (And yes, I did eventually pick up the kid swimming behind the boat).

I've gotten a lot better sailing my Laser 2000, and have been trying to take part in the Wednesday Evening Pursuit races that take place during the Summer at the club. (On Wednesday evenings, funnily enough). I actually came first in one of them this year, and pretty happy with my progress.

Last week we were doing pretty well in quite windy conditions (I think we were 4th or 5th with 15 mins to go), when my main halyard broke, resulting in me having to DNF. The bigger problem was that we're taking the boat down to Cornwall on holiday next week, so I had to get it fixed pretty quickly. This weekend, I spent Saturday morning down at the Sailing club taking the mast down, and feeding a piece of wire up the inside of the mast, and rerunning the old main halyard. (This is harder than it sounds) The Chandlery at the Sailing Club was closed (the owners had a day at the races at Ascot or something) so I couldn't get a new halyard. Felt I might as well run the old rope, and once it's in, its easy enough to replace without having to take the mast down. On Sunday, today, they were open, so I was able to replace the old rope with a nice shiny new halyard.

It's also the first time I'll be towing the boat anywhere, so I also needed to get a couple of towing essentials for the trip. (Fortunately the family car has a towbar). I've decided to play it safe and get a new Jib Halyard as well, as it is also about 8 years old. A trip to the LaserDirect and £100 pounds later, I've got a bunch of stuff coming, hopefully by Wednesday this week, which will give me enough time to fit before setting off on the weekend.

It's also the first time that we'll be taking the L2K onto the open water. The place we've rented is in a sheltered cove, so we don't HAVE to go to sea, but it might be fun to go out for a laugh.

If this is my last ever blog post, you can guess what happened.

Friday Aug 08, 2008

More on JET and iso images

I've made some minor modifications to share_isos. I realised that add_install_client creates entries in /etc/dfs/dfstab for the "boot" filesystem if not already mounted. Unfortunately, it only checks the dfstab, rather than checking the actual shares. The result is that I need to populate the /etc/dfs/dfstab file.

The complication is that now that it's in dfs, the stubs get shared when the server boots, so I need to unshare them before doing the lofi mounts.

 I've updated the share_isos script to do that. I've decided I'm simply going to make it an add_on JET module that can be installed if that feature is required/desired. (Look out for a JetISO module any day soon).

Finally, while testing all of this I decided to so something pretty obscure. I'm in the process of building a JET.vdi and I'm trying to make the .vdi as small as possible. (A virtual disk image of the smallest Solaris I can use, with JET and its modules installed so that it is nice and easy to distribute (so far its about 800k). I obviously don't want to prepopulate with any Solaris media as that will simply make my vdi too large. The cool thing about iso images is that I can NFS mount a directory containing them, and then I can lofiadm and mount them locally.

So I ended up with a JET server running in a virtualbox, NFS mounting a Sol 10 0508 iso from my home server, lofimounted and shared with share_isos, and I used that to jumpstart another Solaris virtualbox machine on the same PC (which was running XP). The really good news was that it worked. The not so good news is that it took over a day to install. I think there are a few too many levels of indirection and virtualisation between the iso and the virtual disk.

I should really do a bit more testing and figure out the bottleneck. Ideally I'd prefer to keep the isos on the host and use shared folders to allow the virtual JET server to access them, but that won't be possible if the performance is as bad as my original test.


Thursday Aug 07, 2008

JET server using Nevada and iso images

Things have been slightly problematic on the JET server running on Nevada front mainly due to 2 issues.

  1. There is/was a bug in cpio (See BugID 6686818) which meant that setup_install_server didn't copy the media correctly.
  2. setup_install_server on earlier Solaris releases didn't understand zfs, therefore it was difficult to copy onto a zfs filesystem.

Why not just use iso images?

Why not indeed? I'm in the habit fo simply downloading and keeping the .iso images for all releases, and I used to then "expand" it by lofimounting and then running setup_install_server. I realised I really didn't need to do that, I could just use the lofi mounted image, and get away from having to ever run setup_install_server, and not need to use up double the space per O/S image I wanted to keep.

 So.. what was missing?

I needed a way to lofiadm, mount and nfs share the Solaris media. Also because x86 builds also lofi mount the boot directory and mount it into the /tftpboot directory, I'd also need to lofimount a lofimounted filesystem as well.

Firstly I did everything manually to ensure that everything works fine, then I wrote a script, which reads a config file (which lives in /opt/SUNWjet/etc).

Inline here:

#!/usr/bin/ksh -p
# Copyright 2005 Sun Microsystems, Inc.  All rights reserved.
# Use is subject to license terms.

# sanitize PATH, and ensure required components are in front
export PATH

BINDIR="`cd ${0%/\*}; pwd`"
ETCDIR="`cd ${BINDIR}/../etc; pwd`"

export PATH


if [ "$#" != "0" ]; then
	echo "Usage: $0"
	echo " "
	exit 1

# Check to see if the media locations file exists.

for iso in `cat ${MEDIALOC} | grep -v "\^#" | awk '{print $1}'`
	lofiname="`lofiadm | awk '$2 == iso {print $1;}' iso=$iso`"
	if [ -z  "${lofiname}" ]; then
		lofiname="`lofiadm -a $iso`"
		echo "Added $iso as lofi filesystem: $lofiname"
	mp="`cat ${MEDIALOC} | awk '$1 == iso {print $2;}' iso=$iso`"
	mounted="`df -k | awk '$1 == lofiname && $6 == mp {print $6;}' lofiname=
$lofiname mp=$mp`"
	if [ -z "${mounted}" ]; then
		mount -F hsfs $lofiname $mp
		echo "Mounted $lofiname at $mp"
 	shared="`share | awk '$2 == mp {print $2;}' mp=$mp`"
	if [ -z "${shared}" ]; then
		share -o ro,anon=0 $mounted
		echo "Shared $mounted"
	# Deal with lofi mount in x86
	mountboot="`cat /etc/vfstab | awk '$1 == mpboot {print $3;}' mpboot=\\"$m
	if [ -n "${mountboot}" ]; then
	bootmounted="`df -k | awk '$1 == mpboot {print $6;}' mpboot=\\"$mp/boot\\"
		if [ -z "${bootmounted}" ]; then
			mount $mountboot
			echo "Remounted $mountboot"

It parses the solaris_iso_locations file which looks like this (I've attached my filled out one)

# This file is used to specify the mountpoints for iso images. You need
# to create the mountpoint, update this file, and then run /opt/SUNWjet/bin/
# share_isos. This will lofimount all isos listed here. You will then
# need to run add_solaris_location for each image as normal.
# You should run the share_isos command everytime the JET server is
# rebooted.
/backup/Solimages/s10sparc_0508.iso    /export/install/iso/Solaris_10_0508s
/backup/Solimages/s10x86_0508.iso    /export/install/iso/Solaris_10_0508x
/backup/Solimages/solarisdvdb90x.iso    /export/install/iso/Solaris_11_b90x
/backup/Solimages/solarisdvdb90s.iso    /export/install/iso/Solaris_11_b90s


What it does.

In short, it reads the config file and mounts (if not already mounted) the iso images on the path specified. It will then NFS share the mountpoint, and parse the /etc/vfstab and do the /tftpboot lofi mounts if necessary. (NOTE: add_install_client creates those entries in /etc/vfstab the first time it is run for that O/S. You MUST edit the /etc/vfstab and change the mount_at_boot flag to "no", otherwise your booting your JET server will fail.)

Running share_isos produces the following:

# /opt/SUNWjet/bin/share_isos
Mounted /dev/lofi/2 at /export/install/iso/Solaris_10_0508s
Shared /export/install/iso/Solaris_10_0508s
Mounted /dev/lofi/3 at /export/install/iso/Solaris_10_0508x
Shared /export/install/iso/Solaris_10_0508x
Remounted /tftpboot/I86PC.Solaris_10-1
Mounted /dev/lofi/4 at /export/install/iso/Solaris_11_b90x
Shared /export/install/iso/Solaris_11_b90x
Remounted /tftpboot/I86PC.Solaris_11-6
Mounted /dev/lofi/5 at /export/install/iso/Solaris_11_b90s
Shared /export/install/iso/Solaris_11_b90s
# /opt/SUNWjet/bin/share_isos

 Note: if you run share_isos again, it does nothing as everything is already mounted and shared, so its easy to re-run it whenever you want just to confirm it's all good. (I considered having JET call it automatically, but I'm not completely sure how I want to do that yet. Well thought out suggestions welcomed.)

The bottom line is that I can now easily use my laptop running Nevada and a ZFS filesystem and use it as a JET server for any version of Solaris without ever needing to run "setup_install_server". And the bonus is I've now got about 12GB of space back!!


Tuesday Aug 05, 2008

Solaris Cluster on a laptop using VirtualBox, iSCSI and a quorum server

I was intrigued by Gordon Johnston's blog article about creating a 2 node Cluster Express cluster using VirtualBox, and I decided I had to try it.

Here's the final result:

(You can click on the image for a fullsized picture.)

It shows a VNC connection to my laptop which has 4 windows up: The 2 VirtualBox instances showing cxnode1 and cxnode2, a terminal window on the laptop itself, showing the quorum configuration and the iSCSI share, and in the background, the VirtualBox console showing the network configuration of cxnode1. Finally, in the main screen, I'm running Sun Cluster Manager and connected to the cluster, showing the topology and the Resource Group configuration of apache.

Rather than simply duplicating what Gordon did, I decided to go with Solaris Cluster 3.2 U1 as my cluster software. This meant that I had to use an internally available package of 32 bit kernel drivers, as SC 3.2 is shipped as a 64bit only product. (Cluster Express has both 32 and 64 bit variants.) The reason for going with Solaris Cluster is that there are instances where I want to duplicate a scenario that a customer is seeing, and in most cases, that's on Solaris Cluster.

I'm hesitant to duplicate Gordon's article, as I pretty much followed his guide, so I urge you to read his article as it is quite detailed, I'll only highlight where I changed things.

  1.  I only really wanted a working cluster, went for the simpler set up of HA Apache
  2. Cluster node O/Ss would be Solaris 10 05/08
  3. Host O/S is Solaris Nevada Build 93 (as that was what was already running on my laptop)
  4. I wanted to Jumpstart the nodes using JET.

Preparing your physical host

I already had VirtualBox 1.6.2 installed, so there wasn't much to do there. The main trick was configuring my laptop to allow Host Interface networking. This bit is Solaris specific. You basically need to do 2 things.

Firstly, you need to set up a bunch of virtual nics, and assign MAC addresses to them. As this needs to be redone on every reboot, I followed Dave Tong's advice  and set up an rc3.d script. (and no, I didn't bother to use SMF either, you can bite me too if you want.)

case "${state}" in
    echo 'Plumbing VNICs'
    for MAC in 10 20 30 40
        VNIC=`/usr/lib/vna nge0 c0:ff:ee:0:0:$MAC`
        ifconfig $VNIC plumb
   echo "Usage: $0 { start | stop }"
    exit 1

(I did use Gordon's cute fake MAC address c0:ff:ee 'cos its easy to remember)

Secondly, you REALLY REALLY need to make sure that you give the VBoxSVC privileges to configure the interface, otherwis your virtual machines will fail when starting. Whenever you start VirtualBox, you need to get the PID of the VBoxSVC, and run: ppriv -s AEI+net_rawaccess <pid>

Creating your Virtual hosts

Basically I followed Gordon's instructions for this, with TWO exceptions. I needed to select Network in the Boot Order menu in Settings-->General-->Advanced as PXE is not enabled by default. I also found that I couldn't do a PXE boot if I used the Intel driver, so I used the PC-net FAST III driver throughout which worked fine.

Installing Solaris on the Virtual hosts

I've already got JET installed on my laptop, so preparing to install Solaris was an amazingly simple process:

  1. /opt/SUNWjet/bin/make_template cxnode1 base_config
  2. Edit the template
  3. /opt/SUNWjet/bin/make_client cxnode1
  4. Start the cxnode1 Virtual Machine, Press F12, Select Lan Boot, and watch it install.
  5. /opt/SUNWjet/bin/make_template -T cxnode1 cxnode2
  6. Edit the cxnode2 template and change 3 variables.
  7. /opt/SUNWjet/bin/make_client cxnode2
  8. Start the cxnode2 Virtual Machine. Press F12, Select Lan Boot and watch it install.

Of course, the devil is in the detail, I'd already configured the Solaris media, and these are the changes I made to a default template for the build to work:

\*base_config_ipmp_networkif_pcn0_pcn1="prod sp 24 cxnode1"

(the ones with \* are the variables I had to update when I created the cxnode2 template) 

Installing Solaris Cluster on the nodes

As the nodes were running in 32bit mode, (VirtualBox 1.7 should have 64bit support, which means this part won't be necessary in the future) I needed to use an internally available set of 32 bit kernel drivers in a packages called SUNWscka. Basically, install sc3.2 as usual using the installer, but don't configure anything, and don't configure a quorum device. Then pkgadd SUNWscka on both nodes, and reboot them both.

The rest

After that, I just followed Gordon's instructions for setting up the Quorum server, setting up the iSCSI devices on the hosts, mounting them on the cluster nodes, and creating a zfs pool using them.

Sadly, this now means I can play with and configure all sorts of things in a Sun Cluster environment from the comfort of my laptop!


Tuesday Sep 25, 2007

Solaris Bootdisk Layout discussion

There's been a vibrant discussion on the sysadmin-discuss(at) alias about boot disk layouts, and it was suggested that we try to come to some form of consensus and document it.

Sun has a bunch of installation standards called EIS (Enterprise Installation Standards), and one of those standards is the EIS Bootdisk Standard. As one of the contributors to that document, I found it quite interesting to see that the sysadmin discussion was coming to similar conclusions about how a boot disk should be laid out as we had come to internally.

In the interests of sharing and getting to a common standard, I've now posted the relevant bits of the EIS standard on the BigAdmin wiki, and encouraged the members of the sysadmin-discuss alias to comment and contribute.

If you're interested, you should have a look at it, and join the alias to participate in the discussion.


Monday Sep 03, 2007

CEC 2007 Here we come (again)

 (I've reposted so that technorati picks up the tag we'll be using for this event)

(Hint, tag using suncec2007 and we'll be able to agregate all content using said tag)

Its that time of year again. CEC2007 will be in Las Vegas this year. I've never been, and I'm half looking forward to it, but as I think I have an addictive character, I'm a little scared of of Vegas.

At the minimum, I'm going to leave my credit cards in the hotel room when I go out, so that I don't end up losing more than just my shirt at the poker tables. 

More importantly, I think the conference is going to be great. I've seen the list of some of the topics that will be presented.

The theme this year is "Shift Our Universe, Our World, Your Move", sub themes being: Shift to red: (all the groovy bleeding edge stuff that GregP talks about, Shift to green: (all the nice eco-friendly stuff we've been doing), and Shift to grow: (which focusses on all the things we need to do to enable our growth (and our customer's as well))

We're also going to be giving out a bunch of prizes for participants and attendees of the conference. They'll be mainly based on level and quality of participation in the sessions. Stay tuned for more details.

As per last year, I'll be blogging my perspectives of the conference again. 


Friday Aug 10, 2007

Coolstack: Not just for Coolthreads

As per a previous article, I upgraded by home server to Nevada build 69, because I was about to make some changes, and wanted to be fully up to date before I did so.

I wanted to play with Confluence which is the wiki that Sun has chosen to run their wiki site. Confluence can run in a number of ways and connect to a number of different databases. Since I hadn't yet played with Postgres, I decided I would use that, and I also decided to run it using Tomcat instead of as a standalone app.

Given that I'm a bit of a neophyte when it comes to talking native SQL, I decided that I needed to run a tool of some sort to configure Postgres. I've used phpMyAdmin for MySQL for a while now, and figured there MUST be an equivalent for Postgres. Using my amazing powers of deduction, I googled phppgadmin, and lo and behold there it was: phpPgAdmin. All I needed was a php compatible webserver. Unfortunately the supplied apache2 with  Nevada isn't php ready, so I had to then decide.. do I compile myself, or do I find something easier. I vaguely remember hearing something about coolstack, which is "a collection of some of the most commonly used open source applications optimized for the Sun Solaris OS platform."

CoolStack 1.1 is available for both SPARC and x64, and contains pretty much all I needed, including tomcat. So a few downloads and pkgadds later, and I've got apache running, which means I can get phpPgAdmin running, which means I can perform my initial Postgres configuration, which means I can finally install Confluence under Tomcat, and everything's perfect. (Well it wasn't perfectly perfect, because I needed to read a couple of READMEs along the way, and a bit of on-line documentation, but it was fine.)

So, I've got tomcat listening on port 8081 as per normal and confluence sitting inside there as an applet talking happily to Postgres, and so I decide that I actually want to do the apache proxy thing so that I can have my confluence wiki appear to sit on my normal webserver port. This is quite easy to configure, you just need a few lines like this:

LoadModule proxy_module libexec/
LoadModule proxy_connect_module libexec/
LoadModule proxy_ftp_module libexec/
LoadModule proxy_http_module libexec/
LoadModule proxy_ajp_module libexec/
LoadModule proxy_balancer_module libexec/
ProxyPass               /wiki           http://localhost:8081/wiki
ProxyPassReverse        /wiki           http://localhost:8081/wiki

(I don't actually know how many of the LoadModules I really need btw, I suspect I don't need the last 2)

Here comes the bad news. The apache2 that comes with CoolStack doesn't come with the modules, which means that I can't use it for proxying. I tried copying the  original modules to the coolstack one and loading it up, but when I tried to access the wiki, my system pretty much froze and the disks churned like mad. Had to kill the webserver to get things back to normal.

How did I fix? I reverted to the original Nevada supplied webserver, and configured the CoolStack based one to run on a different port which I can use when I want to use phpPgAdmin. At some point I'm going to have to solve the problem permanently, probably some further investigation, and trying to figure out exactly what's going wrong. But for now, its doing what I need, I just hope I don't want to run a php based app anytime soon. 


CEC2007: Here we come

 Its that time of year again. CEC2007 will be in Las Vegas this year. I've never been, and I'm half looking forward to it, but as I think I have an addictive character, I'm a little scared of of Vegas.

At the minimum, I'm going to leave my credit cards in the hotel room when I go out, so that I don't end up losing more than just my shirt at the poker tables. 

More importantly, I think the conference is going to be great. I've seen the list of some of the topics that will be presented.

The theme this year is "Shift Our Universe, Our World, Your Move", sub themes being: Shift to red: (all the groovy bleeding edge stuff that GregP talks about, Shift to green: (all the nice eco-friendly stuff we've been doing), and Shift to grow: (which focusses on all the things we need to do to enable our growth (and our customer's as well))

As per last year, I'll be blogging my perspectives of the conference again. 


New JET Resource

Sun has just launched, which is great because it allows me to use it for putting all the JET info there rather than here.

I have created a space there called JET, which will become the primary Sun location for all information relating to the Jumpstart Enterprise Toolkit.

Have a look: Jet wiki


Wednesday Aug 01, 2007

Home Server tweaking

I've been working on my home server again (remember.. the Ultra40 I won at CEC last year) . I've been lazy for the past few months, and been stuck at Nevada Build 63 for a while. While I've been live-upgrading my laptop with every Nevada release, I kept on finding really good excuses to NOT upgrade my home server.

The main issue is that it actually does real work. It's my home DHCP, SMTP, Samba, Web, Jumpstart, (and JET development) and print server. The household tends to notice when it's down. (especially since all the home directories are mounted off it, which means that everything stops when its down. We get real tears in our house when people can't do their homework!)

The fact that I use Live Upgrade means that downtime is usually just a reboot. Chris Gerhard, who has a similar home set up upgraded before me and found a samba problem, which caused me to delay upgrading until I knew it had been fixed, then we had a minor problem with gnome-terminal character corruption, finally, gaim was replaced by pidgin, and in doing so, support for one of the IM protocols was kind of accidentally broken.

I don't have a problem being on the bleeding edge on my laptop, cos I can work around most of the issues, especially since I do most of my work on my home server.

Anyway, the long and short of it was that I was just about to do some other work on my Ultra40, namely try and get apache with php working (among other things), and decided it would be prudent to upgrade to Nevada Build 69 before I did anything.... just to be sure.

Happy to report that it all went swimmingly (as usual), and downtime was in fact reduced to a single reboot, which them indoors didn't even notice.

One interesting point. On rebooting and starting gnome, it automatically detected my USB plugged in HP printer, and gave me a pretty little "Add Printer Queue" window which allowed me to add my printer. Unfortunately it didn't detect that I had already added it manually many months previously. I suppose one can expect that to happen as new features begin to overlap manual workarounds. I'm pretty sure that printing should just work straight out of the box on a fresh Build 69 install without any manual intervention.. but I'm not going to bother to try. 

I then proceeded to get my AMP working... topic for my next article.


Thursday May 31, 2007

Do you Tiddlywikle?

Bruce Porter just sent me a link to something called TiddlyWiki.

It's author JeremyRuston, describes it as: a reusable non-linear personal web notebook.

In short its a wiki on an html page. You don't need ay server-side logic, just a web browser.

And the way it works is pretty cool too! 

Monday Jan 29, 2007

Printing on Nevada b56

I got asked in a comment in my previous article to describe EXACTLY how I got printing working.

I've got an HP5150 USB printer. I plugged it into a convenient USB port on my Solaris server, and then used the printmgr gui to set it up. I selected Use PPD, and in the  Printer-->New Attached Printer form, filled in the following:

Printer Name: unix
Printer Port: /dev/printers/0
Printer Make: HP
Printer Model: HP DeskJet 5150
Printer Driver: Foomatic/hpijs (recommended)

This allowed standard Unix printing to work. (In short, it pretends to be a standard postscript printer, and you can send pretty much anything to it)

Solaris - Solaris

I also turned on the ipp-listener service using svcadm. On a remote Solaris client (my laptop, also running Solaris Nevada b56), I used printmgr again, and did Printer-->Add Access to Printer. This uses the ipp service by default if available. lpstat -v shows:

# lpstat -v
system for unix: zaphod (as ipp://zaphod/printers/unix)

The printer name is "unix" and my server is called "zaphod". With that, I could print from my laptop to my printer attached to my home server.

Samba Printing

The Samba printing was a little more troublesome. In short, all the Windows machines, and any machine for that matter trying to print natively        to my "unix" queue had difficulties because it was expecting either Postscript or plain text. I could have set all my printers up as generic Postscript printers, but decided I'd rather print natively. To do this I could have probably played with the filters so that it passed through everything, but that seemed too much like hard work. Instead a set up a different queue (to the same printer) which would act as a "raw" queue.

lpadmin -p hp5150 -v /dev/printers/0 -T unknown -I any
accept hp5150
enable hp5150
lpadmin -p hp5150 -o nobanner

I think my smb.conf was already pretty much properly configured for printing, but I'll repeat the relevent bits just in case:

# If you want to automatically load your printer list rather
# than setting them up individually then you'll need this
   load printers = yes

# NOTE: If you have a BSD-style print system there is no need to 
# specifically define each individual printer
   comment = All Printers
   path = /var/spool/samba
   browseable = no
# Set public = yes to allow user 'guest account' to print
   guest ok = no
   writable = no
   printable = yes

To set up the printer on the local side, I had to manually install the HP5150 drivers, and then add the printer using the Add Printer wizard in Windows. The key to getting this to work properly, is to set it up as a "Local Printer", then select a Local Port, and specify the Local port as (in my case)  as: \\\\zaphod\\hp5150


I actually configured all of this when both my home server and my laptop were running Nevada B54, so it is possible that it is no longer necessary to set up 2 queues, but I've LiveUpgraded and the settings were retained, so I've had no need to change. A lot of things seem to have changed in the Solaris printing model in Solaris Nevada, but I've found it is now a lot easier than it ever was. (And it is the expectation that it is going to be really difficult that makes you do more than you need to). If you trust that it just works, and use the printmgr tool, I think it is difficult to go wrong.


Friday Jan 26, 2007

It just works!: Zones + ZFS + BrandZ + LiveUpgrade

I've successfully LiveUpgraded my home server twice so far. (I've been slightly lazy and decided to do alternate builds, so I've gone from Nevada b52 to b54 to b56. Apart from the minor zfs issues which require me to:

  1. Create an exclude file for the lucreate so that it doesn't try to copy my zfs partitions.
  2. Manually empty mountpoints where some of my zfs filesystems mount.

it all works really well.

I'd shied away from creating zones because LiveUpgrade didn't support zones in the earlier builds, but I've now been assured that it works fine now.

Zones + ZFS. WOW

It just works. When you create a zone, if it detects that your zonepath is on a zfs filesystem, it'll automatically create a new zfs dataset for you for the zones you are creating. You don't need to do anything special, it just does the "Right Thing(tm)".

Furthermore, if you decide to clone a zone, and it's on a zfs filesystem, it simply creates a snapshot of the cloned zone for you.  You don't need to do anything special, it just does the "Right Thing(tm)".

This means that once you've created your first zone, all your additional zones can be created and booted in a matter of seconds. Talk about rapid provisioning!

The icing on the cake: BrandZ

I've simply followed the instructions here and I've now got CentOS running in a zone, running on top of Solaris. Got Skype working!!

I love it when a plan comes together. We've now got some really clever integration of some individual cool Solaris technologies. The combined benefit is compelling.

Just waiting for ZFS boot to become available (well, more available than it is), and my home server aspirations will be complete. 



Wednesday Nov 22, 2006

Addendum: Building/Installing/Configuring....

I've been checking my spamassassin scores, and wasn't particularly happy with it's ability to rate SPAM. Given it's reputation I was pretty sure that it was due to a configuration error on my part.

I had a sneeky suspicion that not all the "tests" I was running were actually happening. I ran spamd in debug mode, and started seeing a bunch of interesting errors. In short, I was missing Net::DNS, so anything that required any sort of DNS lookup was failing.

Simply did the perl -MCPAN -e 'install Net::DNS' thing and that got DNS lookups working. 

Then started to debug the other errors in the log. Apparently the bayes plugin was having problems talking to my bayes files because I didn't have DB_File. Tried the CPAN trick again, which failed because it couldn't find db.h. Turns out I didn't have Berkeley DB installed. Short trip to later: 

  •  db-4.2.52.NC-sol10-intel-local

It installs in /usr/localBerkeleyDB.4.2 . Given that CPAN was looking in /usr/local/BerkeleyDB, I created the link, and hey presto perl -MCPAN -e 'install DB_File' worked fine.

At that point I ran sa-learn against my Junk folder to generate some content, and checked the permissions of the bayes files. (Note: bayes_path in the for spamassassin needs to contain the prefix of the bayes files.  e.g.:

use_bayes 1
bayes_path /export/home/spamd/bayes/bayes
bayes_file_mode 0666

# ls /export/home/spamd/bayes/
bayes_journal bayes_seen bayes_toks bayes.mutex


Now that its all sorted, I'm getting much higher SPAM scores, and it seems much more accurate. 

Some would say I should have just used Blastwave, but this was more fun, and a good learning experience. 





« March 2015