Building notes, projects, and occasional rants

Down and Up

Last week we had a server crash. And I did 400 kms to fix all the bits. And it works now.

Nothing to see, move along.

Unless you are a true geek... In that case:

  • Pentium 4 motherboard (about 3 years old) with a graphics card no longer supported by the graphical installer of CentOS 5 (see below why is that important);
  • 1Gb memory: I could have bumped it to 2 Gb, but I had other more important hardware upgrades to make;
  • Our single (I though I had two RAID1 disks, I was wrong) 80Gb disk was caving under usage. Also, the console started burping about cannot read, blah, blah, blah.

So I slapped two 250Gb SATA drives. Total cost about €100. Then I set to update to latest CentOS 5.1. I wanted to use software raid 1 and then use LVM on top of that.

Turns out, you can only do that if you use the graphical installer, and the on board ATI Rage something is no longer supported by the CentOS 5 installer. So I had to bring my preferred rescue disk, INSERT, built the partitions, raid and LVM setup by hand (not that hard, two fdisks, and a sequence of mdadm, pvcreate, vgcreate and lvcreate; six commands total), and then used the text-based installer to map and format the partitions.

I took the opportunity to remove all the PHP vestiges I had on my blog. I was using PHP to include the sidebar on every page, but I replaced it with Lighttpd mod_ssi.

Copying data (in my case, about 20 Gb of mail mostly) was the slowest part, really. Lots os small files. rsync --size-only helps a bit here.

All this work makes you look at Google Apps for Domains really hard, but my "clients" don't want to have their mail inside GMail, so I'll stick to the current setup for now.

But now we're back, and ready for the next 2 or 3 years.