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x9200
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Postby x9200 » Wed, 30 Jan 2013 12:34 pm

RimBlock wrote:Sure but you are a knowledgeable person who has dedicated a reasonable amount of time in order to learn how to do this. Kudos to you but others may not have the time or enthusiasm in order to want to make that commitment but would still like to use the operating system.

Thank you for the complements but I truly think these are the basics any sysadmin of unix-like system should know. I don't know, maybe I am just biased as I come from the generation where the text mode was a norm. I remember I was kind of shocked working for the first time on an Indigo2 workstation, that Irix got some graphical tools to handle some of the configuration files :) In this case probably rather silly of me as the graphics was always the selling attribute of any of the SGI machines.


They could still use fdisk or parted for disk issues. They can boot on the Live DVD and mount the system partitions and fix issues that way, this freeing up in use or difficult to edit and save files.

A classic example, as previously mentioned, is the incorrect setup of the fstab. If there is an entry for a disk/partition that no longer exists then CentOS will not boot. It will allow you to enter in recovery mode and then you will find the file is generally mounted as read only so you cannot edit it and correct the problem. From the command line you can mount it RW on another partition and then edit it but there tend to be many different sets of instructions on how to do this and the correct parameters to use, some of which are out of date, some have typos, some are for different distributions. If you have not

I would say majority of the boot CDs will not mount anything unless requested. Also I believe what goes to fstab on any linux machine regardless the distribution is pretty much the same at least in the discussed context. You have to know the physical device and the partition, file system and mounting point. Even less, you can mount first it by hand and mount will attempt to recognize the FS.

taken the time to search (either in a book or via the internet on another machine as this one cannot as it cannot boot), find, test and record the instructions then the other option is to use a Live DVD, boot, use one of the gui tools to mount the system drive from the troubled installation, use one of the gui editors to fix the file, pop the DVD out and reboot. If you get stuck you have access to the internet to help search for a solution and you have the ability to copy and paste to help avoid typos.

At the very least, I like to use a live DVD to enable me to have 4 terminal sessions up and to be able to copy / paste between them or to be able to start a process in one and have another monitoring results in the log files.

This I agree with but I seldom need to use it, at least for any emergency repairs. One thing to clarify: I do not question the usefulness of live-CDs in general. I question the need of having such CD in every distribution for the purpose of recovery or other administrative tasks.

If, however, the machine in question was in an environment where there was no easy direct access (i.e. in a datacenter) then the person administering it needs to know how to do so without a Live DVD.

x9200 wrote:IMO this can be mostly useful for some people unfamiliar with the system who want to see the look and feel of a particular distribution. People how intend to operate a system should already have such knowledge.


Not sure I get you. If someone is coming from Solaris and want to look at using CentOS (or any other distro) are likely to get a fairly good idea of a system from a Live DVD without the need to install it.

To say you won't make a decision based on a Live DVD is your prerogative, but to explain it away due to a live DVD not offering a full system and about issues showing up maybe XXX months down the line and drivers may not be included is really missing, IMO, the point of the Live DVD.

It is intended as a taste. Someone may want to see the differences between Fedora and Ubuntu. It will give an idea without the need to install anything and you can quickly flick between the two.

Sorry, I did not make myself clear but this is exactly what I meant - the live CD I see as demonstrators only so like in your example above about Solaris. That's why I say they will not provide me with an ultimate answer so I still have to install the system to have a right judgement. I bet I would still install Centos trying its live CD first. It looks nice :)


x9200 wrote:
I can check it on Monday but I am not sure if this is that relevant. It has some minor problems with sound showing up with a few application (i.e. mplayer) but what was actually more annoying is the need of configure many things by hand that work o-o-box in the other distributions.


More for interest than anything else.

It's GX270, pretty old one.


I think we are of the conclusion that CentOS is not the best desktop operating system. I still beleive it is a very good free Server OS though.

I have not enough data to justify this or that way. From the basic command line tools I miss the whois client but it does not make it bad or good as a whole.
How can you tell something is a good or bad Server distribution? I think this is what you meant as the system is pretty much the same?


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Postby RimBlock » Wed, 30 Jan 2013 1:24 pm

x9200 wrote:Thank you for the complements but I truly think these are the basics any sysadmin of unix-like system should know. I don't know, maybe I am just biased as I come from the generation where the text mode was a norm. I remember I was kind of shocked working for the first time on an Indigo2 workstation, that Irix got some graphical tools to handle some of the configuration files :) In this case probably rather silly of me as the graphics was always the selling attribute of any of the SGI machines.


Funny you should mention SGI. I am writing an article for another site on the history of virtualization going back to 1959, throught the Manchester Atlas, various IBM mainframes and touching on the Cray offerings (Intel based history is for part 2 :wink: ). I was unaware that SGI bought out Seymore Crays initial company in 1996. I do also remember a demo at University by a SGI slesperson showing a rotating realtime rendored 3D image which was was pretty jaw dropping as it was around the time when dedicated 3D graphics cards had just started to arrive for the PC market.


x9200 wrote:I would say majority of the boot CDs will not mount anything unless requested. Also I believe what goes to fstab on any linux machine regardless the distribution is pretty much the same at least in the discussed context. You have to know the physical device and the partition, file system and mounting point. Even less, you can mount first it by hand and mount will attempt to recognize the FS.


Sure but with a Live DVD you could use parted to show the devices and partitions, click on the partition you want and then click on the mount button (entering the mount point if needed).

x9200 wrote:One thing to clarify: I do not question the usefulness of live-CDs in general. I question the need of having such CD in every distribution for the purpose of recovery or other administrative tasks.


The distribution value-add is in the differences. Without a Live-DVD for the separate distributions, how are they to allow the users to experience the differences without having to install ?.

I do get the point about the diffeneces between boot and live CD/DVDs and it is a very valid one. Some people just feel more at ease with a GUI to fix basic issues which potentially has a shallower learning curve than to have to do it from the command line. I, personnaly, am more of a command line person myself but in some cases, like needing to edit the fstab on a non booting system, I do find it as easy if not more so to use a live DVD (or possibly a boot DVD with sepcific tools) than to try to remember the mount parameters to get it to remount an already mounted partition as rw on another mount point. The boot partition is mounted as standard RO on entry to the recovery console which makes it a real pain to sort a simple issue out.

x9200 wrote:
It's GX270, pretty old one.


Thanks. Will take a look.

x9200 wrote:I have not enough data to justify this or that way. From the basic command line tools I miss the whois client but it does not make it bad or good as a whole.
How can you tell something is a good or bad Server distribution? I think this is what you meant as the system is pretty much the same?



Subjective IMO, but surely stability beyond what you would be willing to reasonably accept as a baseline for a desktop OS would be a good indicator. Uncluttered would be another which is why I tend to like CentOS minimal as a base install then add as needed. I am sure there are many more criteria a server OS could be measured against but as a free Server OS, there seems to be a concensus that CentOS is a pretty good bet. People will have varying opinions though as one size rarely fits all.

I also rarely use WhoIs :D .

RB
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Postby x9200 » Thu, 31 Jan 2013 5:52 pm

RimBlock wrote:I, personnaly, am more of a command line person myself but in some cases, like needing to edit the fstab on a non booting system, I do find it as easy if not more so to use a live DVD (or possibly a boot DVD with sepcific tools) than to try to remember the mount parameters to get it to remount an already mounted partition as rw on another mount point. The boot partition is mounted as standard RO on entry to the recovery console which makes it a real pain to sort a simple issue out.

And while doing it are you completely free from this a bit uneasy feeling that choosing something more easy to perform you loose or may loose some of the skills that are pretty valuable and give you some better control over the system? ;) I have it pretty often this way but it is not the main factor. For me using command line is often more efficient. It is like you need to click 2-3 times to copy or just a single keystroke crt-C,


x9200 wrote:I have not enough data to justify this or that way. From the basic command line tools I miss the whois client but it does not make it bad or good as a whole.
How can you tell something is a good or bad Server distribution? I think this is what you meant as the system is pretty much the same?



Subjective IMO, but surely stability beyond what you would be willing to reasonably accept as a baseline for a desktop OS would be a good indicator.
Uncluttered would be another which is why I tend to like CentOS minimal as a base install then add as needed. I am sure there are many more criteria a server OS could be measured against but as a free Server OS, there seems to be a concensus that CentOS is a pretty good bet. People will have varying opinions though as one size rarely fits all.

Agreed. On top of this I would expect the packages are more thoroughly checked so what is available is proven to work, with minimal bugs and security hole all this as priority over, for instance, functionality.


I also rarely use WhoIs :D .

I use it mainly moderating this board :)


RB

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Postby mrlily » Thu, 31 Jan 2013 11:47 pm

RimBlock wrote:Funny you should mention SGI. I am writing an article for another site on the history of virtualization going back to 1959, throught the Manchester Atlas, various IBM mainframes and touching on the Cray offerings (Intel based history is for part 2.


have u finished that article and is it publicly available?

gui's are for girls :P

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Postby RimBlock » Tue, 05 Feb 2013 10:24 am

x9200 wrote:
And while doing it are you completely free from this a bit uneasy feeling that choosing something more easy to perform you loose or may loose some of the skills that are pretty valuable and give you some better control over the system? ;) I have it pretty often this way but it is not the main factor. For me using command line is often more efficient. It is like you need to click 2-3 times to copy or just a single keystroke crt-C,


Yep, I also have that feeling sometimes but then starting a process and seeing the log results on a 2nd xterm also saves time for me especially when I can just copy and paste between them.

Whilst [CTRL] + [C] may copy, you still have to initially select the range and with keys is can be slower then a single click and swipe with a mouse :).

Anyway.... I think the point is that whilst command level skills can get to the 'meat' of the matter with greater ease in some cases, decent gui tools can bring the ability to a greater group with an easier learning curve and less requirement for in deapth knowledge. The risk is that you end up loosing people with the ability to cope with the issues without the GUI tools if they should happen to not be available or cannot resolve the issue.

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Postby RimBlock » Tue, 05 Feb 2013 10:28 am

mrlily wrote:
have u finished that article and is it publicly available?

gui's are for girls :P

- E3-1230, ASUS P8Z68-M PRO
- E3-1230 V2, GIGABYTE GA-Z77MX-DD3H TH
- both fedora 17, remote terminal only (putty)
- why? hosting my signature


The article just needs a quick proof read and having some pretty pictures attached before publication. I know the site owner is chomping at the bit as I say I would do an article on mini virtualization servers for him over a year ago :). I will provide a link to the article if the mods are ok with it.

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Postby x9200 » Tue, 05 Feb 2013 6:46 pm

Please go ahead. I am also interested in reading it.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 05 Feb 2013 9:05 pm

I'll concur as all the mods are or should be geeks except me. I'm just a geek wanna be but the mind is just not flexible enough anymore. :oops: :cry:

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Postby durain » Tue, 05 Feb 2013 11:19 pm

mrlily wrote:
gui's are for girls :P



:D :D :D

i am still waiting for putty to be GUI!

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Postby RimBlock » Wed, 06 Feb 2013 8:40 am

x9200 wrote:Please go ahead. I am also interested in reading it.


sundaymorningstaple wrote:I'll concur as all the mods are or should be geeks except me. I'm just a geek wanna be but the mind is just not flexible enough anymore. :oops: :cry:


Thank you Gentlemen. I shall provide the link as soon as it is available.

RB
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Postby x9200 » Wed, 06 Feb 2013 11:32 am

durain wrote:
mrlily wrote:
gui's are for girls :P



:D :D :D

i am still waiting for putty to be GUI!

Epoxy putty can be pretty gooey if it happens you are not a native speaker.
More seriously I thought putty comes with a gui. How gui can it get for a terminal?

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Postby RimBlock » Wed, 06 Feb 2013 11:49 am

x9200 wrote:
durain wrote:
mrlily wrote:
gui's are for girls :P



:D :D :D

i am still waiting for putty to be GUI!

Epoxy putty can be pretty gooey if it happens you are not a native speaker.
More seriously I thought putty comes with a gui. How gui can it get for a terminal?


ls: Click "Whatz dere" button
cd: Select directory name from dropdown, click change "Go dere" button.
vi: Select filename from a dropdown, click "Fix-da-Filez" button.

Oh the horror :wink: .

Hopefully it will never come to be... a gui with a button for each command line command, each with a dumbed down name.

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Postby RimBlock » Tue, 05 Mar 2013 11:48 am

As promised, for those that are interested, the first part of my vitualization series is up on ServeTheHome here.

It covers a brief history of virtualization on Supercomputers and Mainframes from the 1950s onwards, concentrating more on the innovations that got us to where we are today.

The second part will be covering the PC virtualization boom, the third part will be investigating the technologies behind virtualization and the last part will be concerning building your own mini virtualization server.

Hope you enjoy it.

RB
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Postby x9200 » Wed, 06 Mar 2013 7:02 pm

Thanks RB. A lot of systematic knowledge and also some good side points to further explore this or that. I took the opportunity to learn a bit more about the memory systems / hardware and now at least I know what the "core dump" comes from :)
For the article it took me a while to understand why you put so much emphasis on the time sharing software/hardware development but I guess you aimed more towards main frame enthusiasts/professionals rather than the PC users. I must admit while I completely agree with the logic of your approach to present this topic I perceived virtuallization somehow separate from multitasking. But this was wrong :)

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Postby RimBlock » Thu, 07 Mar 2013 9:12 am

Glad you liked it.

Part two, currently being written, is more on the PC side.

Initially the articles we to be concentrating on the technology that makes virtualization work but found that to explain how and why they work it is helpful to understand how computing progressed through single process to multitasking and on to virtualization. Having an understanding about the initial supervisor processes developed gives a little insight as to how the hypervisors fo today came about. The same can be said for memory paging and virtual memory.

I would have liked to have added a bit more on VAX/VMS but the historical details are not easily available, especially after two company mergers.

IBM has a wealth of information but the older history seems to steer the reader in to believing the initial steps where mainly or, in some cases, solely due to IBM and not MIT with IBMs support. Melindas record (linked in the references section) was refreshingly open about third party involvements outside of IBM.

Anyway, on to get this PC history side finished and then I can get on to the techy bits about how VT-x and VT-d etc actually help with virtualization.

RB
Without dialogues, if you tell them you want something real bad, you will get it real bad.


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