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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in swarm32's LiveJournal:

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Sunday, February 19th, 2017
7:31 am
A new year... a new post
Wow.. I even missed the Fishmas post last year. Not dead yet, but plenty busy.

Did you know it's possible to emulate a SPARC machine inside an x86 virtual machine and still have decent performance?

Anyway... some food for thought...

Current Mood: thoughtful
Wednesday, September 7th, 2016
10:09 pm
Musical steam quadrupeds!

Current Mood: contemplative
Thursday, August 4th, 2016
6:59 pm
Moving forward
Still hanging in there. Still planning on another Fishmas Time LANCLAN. :)

Haven't had much time to do computer stuff lately, other than the joy of upgrading a bunch of my Fedora boxen to 23 or 24 from as far back as Fedora 16.

Current Mood: listless
Saturday, January 2nd, 2016
12:43 pm
It's a new year
Made it through to a new year!

This Christmas's LANCLAN was the typical mixed bag, but one of the earliest actual gaming starts ever. Another decade and we might actually be able to play when everyone arrives.
The LANParty in a can went fairly well, despite the gaming PC's video card fan dying. The UT2004 server also needs some tweaking to run in Player vs. Bots mode.

Came home to find out that I had in fact filled up my file server, so I got to learn how weird ZFS gets when it's full. I'm also looking at possible changing from ZFS on CentOS7 with a manually built share/permissions stack to possibly using OpenMediaVault with ZFS Plugins. In the meantime, it takes a fair while to back up ~6tb of data...

Current Mood: accomplished
Monday, December 14th, 2015
10:19 pm
Merry Fishmas!
And a happy new beer!

Also, Faaa la laa laa laa, lanclan!

Making progress on the LAN PARTY in a can, got the main server put together and the gaming pc is finally stable!

Current Mood: accomplished
Saturday, September 5th, 2015
2:33 pm
Saturday, July 18th, 2015
11:38 pm
Network NFS booting Fedora 22 XFCE live
This took some trial and error, and my google-foo didn't turn up the answer, so here it is for all to enjoy.


  1. Working PXE server

  2. Server that can share the ISO via NFS


  1. Create an nfs export with a folder that contains just the Live XFCE ISO. In this example it is located on the server in /mnt/netboot/Fedora-Live-Xfce-x86_64-22

  2. Open up the appropriate menu file for your PXE server, and add the following

    LABEL f22x64XFCE
    MENU LABEL Fedora 22 x86_x64 XFCE Live
    kernel /fedora/f22_x86_64/vmlinuz
    append initrd=fedora/f22_x86_65/initrd.img inst.repo=nfs:nfsvers=4: ro rd.live.image rd.luks=0 rd.md=0 rd.dm-0

  3. Save your config file

  4. Download the PXEboot files from one of the mirrors to the appropriate location, in this example the path is fedora/f22_x68_64/ in the tfproot. The files can be found under fedora/linux/releases/22/Workstation/x86_64/os/images/pxeboot/ on the mirrors

  5. You should be able to netboot the live CD via NFS now.

Good luck getting your install to work. Make sure to edit the paths and IPs for your environment.

Current Mood: accomplished
Saturday, April 25th, 2015
11:40 am
Server not found?
After my brief trip to visit family I was trying to sync my CentOS 7 laptop back to my Windows 7 desktop and kept having the file transfer fail. I noticed that it seemed to work briefly if I rebooted the Windows 7 machine...
Looked in the error logs and found the error: "The server was unable to allocate from the system nonpaged pool because the server reached the configured limit for nonpaged pool allocations.", If I restarted the "Server" service, it would work briefly and die again. It turns out I needed to make the registry changes mentioned here and then restart the Server service for it to work properly. Yay Microsoft!
Sunday, April 12th, 2015
11:20 am
More ZFS Fun and new hardware
Last night I decided to replace my venerable APC Smart UPS 1400 and a slightly newer Smart UPS 1500 that provide the main part of the lab with a much newer pair of Smart UPS SMX1500RM2U Units. That part of the evening maintenance went fairly well and I do like now being able to check how much wattage I'm pulling in my lab without having to guesstimate with a Kill-A-Watt.
I then decided to update the OS on both of my ZFS Storage nodes. That turned into an interesting experience that I am still in the process of sorting out the rest of the way.
First, the one that is primarily for virtual machines was encountering the "no hostid" bug still from when I did the upgrade from zfs 0.6.2 to 0.6.3 . Then, as there was a kernel update and a zfs update, neither one actually built the kernel modules for zfs for the correct kernel. I ended up employing the forced reinstall mentioned by deajan to rebuild the modules for the new kernel.
Still working on a networking issue on the file storage node, but with the new kernel modules things seem to be working okay now.
Monday, March 30th, 2015
8:03 pm
Rebuilding the lab Pt. 2
So after building things out and getting a couple of power bills, decided I should refactor the lab a little bit. For starters, I sat down and actually put the single Xeon L5310 motherboard in the secondary storage node.
Next, I swapped out the virtualization node for one of the other Rackable Systems 2U machines that I had with a pair of Xeon L5420s in it. So now the Virtual Machine Host looks like this:
Rackable Systems 2U server
- 4 hot-swap bay 2U Short Depth Chassis
- 450W Rackables Power Supply
- Intel S5000PSL Motherboard
- 2x Intel Xeon L5420 2.5GHz Quad-Core
- 8x 4GB DDR2-ECC FB-DIMMS (32GB total)
- Intel Dual-port PCI-E NIC
- 1x 160GB Hitachi Desktar
- 1x 4GB USB Stick
With a Backup VM Host containing
Rackable Systems 2U server
- 4 hot-swap bay 2U Short Depth Chassis
- 450W Rackables Power Supply
- Intel S5000PSL Motherboard
- 2x Intel Xeon L5410 2.3GHz Quad-Core
- 6x 2GB DDR2-ECC FB-DIMMS (12GB total)
- 1x 160GB Hitachi Desktar
- 1x 4GB USB Stick
The backup node is currently off, as I'm not using enough RAM currently to justify it. I am hoping to later this year pick up one of the newer Rackable 2U servers that Supports PCIe passthrough in VMWare to be the primary node.
I have also replaced the HP Procurve 2824 with a 2848 as when I added in the extra server and all of the Ethernet connections from the BBUs I was a bit short.

The combined system changes reduced the power usage by 20-40%. I think I can reduce the power usage a bit more if I move my backups from a dedicated machine to off of my media center. I would connect then directly to the storage servers, but it is faster for me to connect the drives to another machine with a USB 3.0 controller and sync them over the 2x 1GigE links than to wait for the job to finish over USB 2.0

On top of that, I was able to mostly fix the ridiculous delays I was experiencing with Samba access from my Windows 7 machines by tweaking the Samba config on the primary storage node. The fix was the comment from the user unicolet on this github thread about socket_options.

Current Mood: accomplished
Saturday, February 28th, 2015
11:22 am
Tuesday, January 13th, 2015
10:12 pm
I shall pass!
Turns out that the unix extended ACLs control the access to the samba share in Openfiler (and in ldap setups) and that ZFS on linux does not have them turned on by default. I also had to replicate the ACL setup from the shares in Openfiler to the new host using getfacl and setfacl.
After restarting the smb service, I was able to access the share. For now I'm glad I don't have to change permissions very often.

Current Mood: accomplished
8:17 pm
Adventures with Samba
A little background is in order. Several years ago I set up a CentOS 5 LDAP server and two virtual machines running Openfiler 2.99. Since then the Openfiler project has gone more or less defunct and hasn't seen any significant activity in over a year. The two Openfiler machines rely on the CentOS LDAP server for authentication.

I have been working on migrating the primary filserver over to my new Rackable 3U server running CentOS 7 and ZFS and so far it's been an uphill battle. I thought I could cheat a bit and copy the samba.conf from the main Openfiler VM to the new machine and it would work. Turns out there is more setup behind the scenes for Samba and LDAP to play nice than expected, plus there are features that have been changed or depreciated between Samba 3 and Samba 4.
And then their are SIDs. A SID is an identifier used by Samba and Active Directory to distinctly identify things like users, groups, and computers. While this is spiffy, things apparently go sideways in a setup like the one I have where I have multiple computers that aren't on a domain but are joined to LDAP.
"The primary group domain sid(S-1-5-21-[LOCALSID]-1236) does not match
the domain sid(S-1-5-21-[LDAPSID]) for someid(S-1-5-21-[LDAPSID]-5708)
check_sam_security: make_server_info_sam() failed with
check_ntlm_password: Authentication for user [someid] -> [someid]
Is a rather infuriating error to receive, in part due to the fact it does not show up in the default log level of Samba. In combination to this, I was getting errors like "mount error(6): No such device or address" or "CIFS VFS: cifs_mount failed w/return code = -5" and Windows 7 would see a list of shares but complain they did not exist when trying to connect.
What I ended up doing to resolve it was to copy the machine SID from the original Openfiler box that I created the accounts on to the machine object for the new server in my LDAP tree.
On top of this, I had to use authconfig-tui to set up ldap on the new server, as well as add a samba config to /etc/pam.d . I was able to copy the latter from my existing opefiler box.

Now, onward to seeing if I can get something other than access denied on my newly visible shares.

Current Mood: annoyed
Tuesday, January 6th, 2015
6:24 pm
Rebuilding the Lab
Since last summer I have been steadily working on rebuilding my lab while attempting some semblance of power efficiency.
While I would have loved to have built the storage server NAS Brian Moses did it's definitely out of my budget.

So what am I cobbling together instead?
Primary Storage Node - Media files, etc
Rackable Systems 3U server
- 12 how-swap bay 3U Short Depth Chassis
- 450W Rackables Power Supply
- Intel S5000PSL Motherboard
- 1x Intel Xeon L5310 1.6GHz Quad-Core
- LSI 8-port SAS 6 PCIE Controller
- 4x 2TB Hitachi 7200RPM SATA Drives
- 1x 4GB SATA Flash disk
- 1x 40GB 2.5" 5400RPM Sata Hard drive
Secondary Storage Node - Virtual Machine Storage
Rackable Systems 2U Server
- 4 hot-swap bay 2U Short Depth Chassis
- 450W Rackables Power Supply
- Intel S5000PSL Motherboard
- 1x Intel Xeon L5310 1.6GHz Quad-Core
- Intel Dual-port PCI-E NIC
- 4x 1TB Western Digital RE2 drives
- 1x 4GB SATA Flash disk
- 1x 40GB 2.5" 5400RPM Sata Hard drive
Virtual Machine Host
HP Proliant DL585 G2 (pdf)
- 4x Dual-Core AMD Operon 8220s
- 2x Intel Dual-port gigabit PCI-X NICs
- Random 2GB Flash drive
- Redundant power Supplies
HP Procurve 2824

Both storage nodes are currently running CentOS 7 combined with ZFS on linux. The Virtual host is running VMWare ESXi 5.5

So far other than swearing at firewalld, finding a bug and some update teething, things have not gone too bad so far. This is still a bit of a work in progress (rebuilding the VM storage node for more space, etc), and I figured for once I might post online how I am building things out, to either help others or serve as a warning to the rest of the internet

Current Mood: hopeful
5:47 pm
RPG Epicness
Old Man Henderson. Makes me wish I had been able to do more D&D sessions with my 4e Minotaur Rogue :)

Current Mood: amused
Thursday, December 25th, 2014
8:38 am
Merry Fishmas
and a happy new deere!
Sunday, November 30th, 2014
3:54 pm
Went to Carnage again this year, and as per usual it was a blast. Was a bit disappointing that I couldn't get the Friday off, but I was at least able to work from "home" that day.
Had Thanksgiving with my grandfather and his neighbors as the rest of my grandparents were in other parts of the country. Still ate three times as much as I should have, but it's Thanksgiving, right?
Now to prepare for the rest of the holidays and hope that the immanent car repairs don't take too much fun out of them.

I've been reading through the back issues of Gold Digger and while I generally haven't been a fan of the comic book format, this particular one has caught my interest. While the story does get a bit convoluted in parts, it does a good job of blending science, magic and time travel together in a way that isn't overly clichè and predictable while still keeping it amusing.

Current Mood: contemplative
Sunday, October 12th, 2014
12:28 pm
Zap Ended
And another one of my long time webcomic reads, Zap has drawn to a close.
Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
6:10 pm
Wenn ist das Nunstück git und Slotermeyer? Ja! Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput!
Spacetrawler is a very interesting Sci-Fi comic that covers a lot of topics in an interesting way. Also one of the few I've read in it's entirety that has a clear beginning and end, instead of the updates just fading away into oblivion.
Also, a unique reason to always double check your SQL before hitting Ctr+E .
As well as a reminder that the $2 bill is legal tender.

Outside of my apparent webcomic addiction, I have started playing Mt:G on a regular basis again. It's amazing what living only 20 minutes from the game store instead of well over an hour will do.

Current Mood: busy
Wednesday, September 10th, 2014
7:33 pm
Moar Potentially Intesting Books
First some light humor:
Of course safetey is Priority 1, right?
Percussive Maintenance

And now for potentially deeper reading material:
Swords and Deviltry ; by Fritz Leiber
I Kill Giants ; by Joe Kelly and JM Ken Niimura
Boilerplate, History's Mechanical Marvel ; by Paul Guinan and Anina Bennet
Just the Right Size, Why Big Animals are Big and Little Animals are Little ; by Nicola Davies & Neal Layton
Fuzzy Nation ; by John Scalzi
Ready Player One ; by Ernest Cline
Going Postal ; by Terry Pratchett
This one is actually two books
Fallen Angel, Omnibus Volume 0 ; by Peter David and David Lopez
Full Tilt:Ireland to India with a Bicycle ; by Dervla Murphy
Legends of Zita the Spacegirl ; by Ben Hatke
Miss Don't Touch Me ; by hubert and Kerascoet
Millenium ; by John Varley
Einstein's Dreams ; by Alan Lightman
The Rook ; by Daniel O'Malley
Mirror Mind ; by Tory Woollcott
Cardboard ; by Doug Tennapel
First Day On Earth ; by Cecil Castellucci
Further: Beyond the Threshold ; by Chris Roberson
The Martian Confederacy ; by Jason McNamara & Paige Braddock
The Recordsetter Book of World Records ; by Dan Rollman and Corey Henderson
Saga ; by Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples
Cursed Pirate Girl ; by Jeremy A. Bastian
The Black Book of Colors ; by Menena Cottin and Rosana Faria
Man in the Empty Suit ; by Sean Ferrell
Great Pacific ; by Joe Harris & Marin Morazzon
The Well of Ascension ; by Brandon Sanderson
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making ; by Catherynn M. Valente
Ghostman ; by Roger Hobbs
Chickenhare ; by Chris Grine
Stuck In Neutral ; by Terry Trueman
We Who Are About To... ; by Joanna Russ
A fire Upon the Deep ; by Vernor Vinge
Red Rising ; by Pierce Brown
Sex Criminals:One Weird Trick ; by Matt Faction & Chi Zdarsky

And Lastly, the results of a random Reddit Survey.
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