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Archive for November, 2010

Linux Management Software

November 30, 2010 Leave a comment

I have been on the look out for the best server management software for Linux specifically. I think I finally found it.

Red Hat has put out an open source project called Spacewalk, and it is the best Red Hat project out there by far. It brings together cobbler, augeas and other projects into a great package.

I’m still doing a lot of the initial configuration but I’m very impressed. I mostly needed it for monitoring and configuration management rather then package management and server deployments but I’m sure I will be using those features soon enough. It is worth the time to install and try. According the site it also supports Solaris and that debian support is coming.

I will be posting my experience with this project as I keep using it. My only problem with this project is that the postgres support is still very much in an alpha to beta state. I can tell you right now as soon as the postgres support improves I will be moving off Oracle.

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EC2 custom Kernel

November 23, 2010 Leave a comment

One minor issue with EC2 is that they supply the kernel, and that already caused difficulties with my first EC2-tutorial – the image I created doesn’t let you create a new snapshot from a running image since the EC2 kernel lacks loopback support, and I didn’t supply a matching kernel module.

Amazon has a nice guide on how to do it – here is a gentoo-specific one.

These instructions start from a working ami image created using my previous instructions. Go ahead and mount it and chroot into the image.

  1. Install a kernel using emerge xen-sources
  2. Be sure to enable xen support in the kernel config file. Here is a working config.
  3. Build the kernel with make && make modules_install as usual
  4. Copy the kernel image to /boot as usual.
  5. Create /boot/grub/menu.lst, containing:
    default 0
    timeout 3
    title EC2
    root (hd0)
    kernel /boot/kernel root=/dev/sda1
  6. While optional you might want to clean up the kernel source directory, or even remove it – you’re paying by the gb and the sources and object files are large.
  7. Bundle it up with the instructions in the first guide, but on the ec2-bundle-vol command line add –kernel followed by a suitable kernel ID from the pdf linked above. For a 64-bit ami in the US-east region use aki‐427d952b

That’s it – upload, register, and boot it up!

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