Long Weekend with Tech

With having a long(er) weekend I’ve been able to finally get to some small techy tasks done on the home server. The majority were just making sure all updates had been applied and others involved just moving things around to free up disk space.

One thing that impressed me was how pvmove works so well. I have a high level understanding of LVM but it’s impressive how you can just move things around in LVM without destroying data. This time around I did something a bit crazier (perhaps stupid but that’s what backups are for). I used pvmove to move data off a disk I wanted to retire while several resources were still actively using the volume group (i.e databases, domU hosts, etc…). It went slow, pvmove isn’t known for speed anyway, but it successfully worked. I would have thought a certain database would have freaked out but nope, not a peep from it.

I went a bit nuts with messing around with pygrub on some new domU machines. I hadn’t explored too much of Xen 4 since upgrading to Debian 6 a few months ago but am pleased that pygrub support is now part of xen-tools 4.2 (without having to use a pygrub role script). The only issue was with using xen-tools’s image create with pygrub is on a newer Ubuntu releases there is an issue after image creation with booting off xvda devices. For Ubuntu xen-tools installs the generic server kernel and upon boot it fails to mount a xvda devices (xvda is the default device xen-tools uses when creating images). Easy enough to fix, just change the 80-install-kernel script and change linux_kernel_package to “linux-virtual” rather than linux-image-${linux_kernel_type}. I noticed that under /usr/lib/xen-tools that symlinks existed for most newer Ubuntu dists which pointed to the karmic.d directory, I simply copied the karmic.d directory and made the modification to 80-install-kernel then changed symlinks to point to the new directory. I plan on checking out the newer xen-tools to see if this has been fixed as we all know that Debian tends to get a bit behind in versions. If it’s not there it’s worthwhile to report the issue to save others time. Also there seems to be an issue when specifying fs=btrfs in which it fails to create a btrfs filesystem. It appears to be something to do with the mkfs.btrfs options passed when creating the filesystem.

Finally, I have been getting into some podcasts as of recently. My recent favorities are:

 I’m sure there are others but at the moment I plan on getting caught up with recent podcasts from the two and see if I can keep up with them weekly. Thankfully Google Listen works well enough and can download steams in advance as it probably keeps AT&T from bugging me about data usage on my phone.

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