Goodbye Intel - My Favorite Commands

Working at Intel has been a great experience. I wish I could have stayed longer, but in the end we decided to part ways. During my stay I learned lots of stuff. I would like to boil my experience down to my top Linux commands. The List git: Lots of git. syscfg: Managing bios settings from within Linux. Nice. (Intel platforms) setupbios: More bios settings from within Linux. (Dell platforms) puppet: I actually enjoy manually running puppet.

An IPMI SEL Viewing Shootout!

UPDATE (2015-02-18) Albert Chu from FreeIPMI commented that FreeIPMI does NOT attempt to decode OEM events by default. These are events that are OEM specific, so each motherboard may require a different interpretation. FreeIPMI has a --interpret-oem-data option and possibly in conjunction with the -W assumesystemevent option, to attempt to decode these. Unfortunately I no longer have the motherboard I originally ran these on. I might do a followup post with a new motherboard with similar “issues” and see how FreeIPMI compares to the other tools with these options.

Configuring BIOS Settings With Puppet!

You know what it is like to spend time configuring the BIOS on a a server. You reboot the server, and wait for it to take its sweet time to come back up, frantically push its button, hope that you didn’t miss your chance. Then spend some one-on-one alone time with the interface, making sure you do all the right keystrokes to get the settings you want. Sounds like a bad date.

Building Linux Packages For Kernel Drivers! (dkms howto)

Background Most of the time the Linux kernel does a great job of having drivers you need, but sometimes you need to install a special driver or update an existing module. Running make; make install is all fine and dandy for testing, but for production you want a repeatable process. For me, this means OS packages. (deb/rpms) So, how do you go from kernel module source code => Debian package?

7 Underused IPMItool Commands

IPMI is Awesome. But, it is underused. Most sysadmins don’t even enable it. If they do enable it, they probably enable it by manually going into the BIOS, and then probably only using the Web interface. LAME. There is no need to go to the BIOS to configure ipmi. You can use IPMItool to configure it in-band. This is my first underused command: (disclaimer: not all IPMI interfaces / bios versions / hardware platforms are equal.

Configuring Nagios Like a Boss!

I’m tired of configuring Nagios by hand. Just tired. I always forget to do stuff. I’ll add a new host, or stick in a raid card, add a new website, whatever, and forget to add a nagios check for it. So it happened. You setup a server, put critical infrastructure on it, but forgot to monitor it. It goes down, bad stuff happens. Your boss asks, why weren’t we monitoring this?

Achieving Awesome Single-Stream Performance Over Bonded Ethernet

Ethernet Link Aggregation (aka PortChannel, Etherchannel, ethernet bonding, NIC teaming, trunking, link bundling, Smartgroup, Ethertrunk, etc) is a way to combine multiple Ethernet links to a single logical link. This improves redundancy and increases aggregate performance. It is good stuff, especially if you are into High Availability. Here is a typical setup: A good start. If you can spare the ports and cables to make this work, you should do it.

4 Philosophies For Building Systems To Be Proud Of

Below are a few philosophical guidelines that I use when thinking about systems. Everyone has systems that they are not proud of, even me. But I hope to someday say that I am proud of all of my systems, and I believe that these philosophies will get me there. 1. Try to endeavor to build systems with as few dependencies as possible. Sometimes systems can sprawl and get out of hand.

Solving the NFS 16-Group Limit Problem

I apologize for the verbose post. This is a complicated problem and it merits full explanation. If you are experiencing this problem I advise you to avoid skimming and read it very carefully :) Sometimes you come across a problem that is a little more complex than average. Sometimes it is problem that is rare enough that there isn’t an obvious answer in the first google hint. Sometimes a problem may seem unavoidable, which leads to work-arounds, and before you know it you have a mess.