Category Archives: Sysadmin

64K hours

Some disks last a long time. This is an old IBM IDE drive (IC35L040AVVA07-0). smartctl version 5.38 [i686-pc-linux-gnu] Copyright (C) 2002-8 Bruce Allen Home page is === START OF READ SMART DATA SECTION === SMART Self-test log structure revision … Continue reading

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nagios, mdadm and snmp

I found this script while looking for a simple script to monitor mdadm arrays. The script is fine, but it has a subtle bug – it will never report an error because the –detail parameter is missing in the call … Continue reading

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a new home server

I’ve been running an old Shuttle with a 2.4GHz celeron CPU, 512MB of ram and two 500GB disks in raid-1 as home server for the past 5 years or so. Well, I upgraded the disks in May 2007, before that … Continue reading

Posted in Hardware, Sysadmin | Tagged | 1 Comment

capistrano, svn and webserver timeouts

A customer reported problems with capistrany deploys that would just die like this: ** [XXX.XXX.XXX :: err] svn: REPORT request failed on ‘/!svn/vcc/default’ ** svn: REPORT of ‘/!svn/vcc/default’: Chunk delimiter was invalid (http://XXX.XXX.XXX) command finished After disabling gzip compression on … Continue reading

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df and zettabytes

This is a very confused filesystem. But check it out – df supports zettabytes! # df -h Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on /dev/md0 19G -64Z 22G 101% / Surprisingly, the machine is up and runs just fine.

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on the importance of gem cleanup

I have a monit config that tries to stop/start mongrel instances like this: start program = “/usr/bin/mongrel_rails cluster::start -C path-to-mongrel_cluster.yml –clean –only PORT” stop program = “/usr/bin/mongrel_rails cluster::stop -C path-to-mongrel_cluster.yml –clean –only PORT” I have the latest mongrel_cluster gem installed … Continue reading

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checking dns glue records

This is mostly a reminder to myself. Here’s a way to check a domain’s DNS glue records. For example, for google: dig +trace +nosearch +all +norecurse

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counting known_hosts

All right folks, time to fess up. What’s your count? $ wc ~/.ssh/known_hosts -l 1470 Obviously there are some old machines in there – this file goes back at least five years. There are some duplicates as well as there … Continue reading

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recycling a ton of old computing gear

We recycled at work this week – literally over a metric ton (estimated) of old servers. This is what about two thirds of that amount looked liked: Apologies for the low quality picture – I only had a crappy cell … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Hardware, Sysadmin | 2 Comments

ff3 sets downloaded files as readonly when using the ‘open with’ feature

Firefox 3 has a new ‘feature’ where downloaded files are marked readonly when they are opened on the fly with the ‘open with’ feature. The reasoning behind this is that there were many people who lost information because they didn’t … Continue reading

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