Thursday, March 24, 2011

CentOS 5.x and Firefox 4.0 howto!

Don't be confused. I did not come up with this! I just want to spread the word as much as possible that one very enlightened fellow referenced as "rkl" at has made it possible for the rest of us to hit the "easy button" and get FireFox 4.0 working on CentOS 5.x (CentOS 5.5 at this time). HERE is the original link that I lucked upon while trying to google it on my own.

This is the a quote of the general (FF4beta version) steps if you are too lazy to click another link:
1. Unpack the Firefox 4.0b9.tar.bz2 somewhere (e.g. /usr/local/firefox). With the "en_GB" release, I throw in a "dictionaries" sub-dir under there with en-GB.aff and en-GB.dic in there (and en-US.aff/.dic soft-linked to the en-GB ones) otherwise, sadly, Firefox 4 uses US spellings on what's supposed to be an en_GB release :-(

2. Download this 32-bit Fedora 9 libstdc++ RPM and unpack it with this command:

rpm2cpio libstdc++-4.3.0-8.i386.rpm | cpio -i --make-directories

3. Move the unpacked shared library into /usr/local/firefox thus:

mv usr/lib/ /usr/local/firefox/

Note: It's "usr/lib/" above (i.e. the unpacked tree from the RPM, not the system /usr/lib tree) - do NOT put a leading slash there!

4. Run Firefox 4.0b9 with:


rkl references the beta version, but all steps still apply for official release.

I will say that FF4 is very nice! I am very impressed with what I have seen so far!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Basic OMSA install and usage with RHEL or CentOS 5.x

I am a big fan of Dell Poweredge hardware. It's well designed. It runs CentOS rock solid. It just works well. Dell must have figured out that many people like me feel this way (companies really). To their credit, Dell has a very full featured Linux support offering in the OpenManage Server Administrator (OMSA) for free.

To be fair, OMSA has historically had some speed bumps. Full 64-bit install has only recently been possible. And some past upgrades have not been smooth and actually required removing packages and manually removing directories and files in order to upgrade.

Note: make sure "plugins=1" is in the /etc/yum.conf

As root from a terminal prompt:
wget -q -O - | bash wget -q -O - | bash wget -q -O - | bash yum install srvadmin-all OpenIPMI OpenIPMI-tools dell_ft_install

Install BIOS and firmware files
yum -y install $(bootstrap_firmware) update_firmware --yes
Reboot if needed/requested. If you don't reboot, make sure that you exit and log back in to have the srvadmin bin and sbin directories set for you.

Just to make sure some startup services will be started on reboot.
chkconfig dsm_sa_ipmi on chkconfig ipmi on stop && service ipmi start && start

The web GUI is good. Just point your browser to http://yourhostname_or_IP:1311 and login as root and check it out from there.

The command line tools, however, can offer some very good information when you don't have that option or need some scripting magic. For example, "omreport" can provide MUCH information about your server and it's state. Here is a quickie on controller:
omreport storage controller
Will spew lots of data like:
Controller PERC 5/i Integrated (Embedded)

ID : 0
Status : Ok
Name : PERC 5/i Integrated
Slot ID : Embedded
State : Ready
Firmware Version : 5.2.2-0072
Minimum Required Firmware Version : Not Applicable
Driver Version :

Minimum Required Driver Version : Not Applicable
Storport Driver Version : Not Applicable
Minimum Required Storport Driver Version : Not Applicable
Number of Connectors : 2
Rebuild Rate : 30%
BGI Rate : 30%
Check Consistency Rate : 30%
Reconstruct Rate : 30%
Alarm State : Not Applicable
Cluster Mode : Not Applicable
SCSI Initiator ID : Not Applicable
Cache Memory Size : 256 MB
Patrol Read Mode : Auto
Patrol Read State : Stopped
Patrol Read Rate : 30%
Patrol Read Iterations : 41
Abort Check Consistency on Error : Not Applicable
Allow Revertible Hot Spare and Replace Member : Not Applicable
Load Balance : Not Applicable
Auto Replace Member on Predictive Failure : Not Applicable
Redundant Path view : Not Applicable
CacheCade Capable : Not Applicable
Persistent Hot Spare : Not Applicable
Encryption Capable : Not Applicable
Encryption Key Present : Not Applicable
Encryption Mode : Not Applicable
Spin Down Unconfigured Drives : Not Applicable
Spin Down Hot Spares : Not Applicable

To see information on the status of the virtual disk created on your PERC RAID controllers:
omreport storage vdisk
List of Virtual Disks in the System

Controller PERC 5/i Integrated (Embedded)
ID : 0
Status : Ok
Name : vd0
State : Ready
Encrypted : Not Applicable
Layout : RAID-1
Size : 67.75 GB (72746008576 bytes)
Device Name : /dev/sda
Bus Protocol : SAS
Media : HDD
Read Policy : Adaptive Read Ahead
Write Policy : Write Back
Cache Policy : Not Applicable
Stripe Element Size : 64 KB
Disk Cache Policy : Enabled

ID : 1
Status : Ok
Name : vd1
State : Ready
Encrypted : Not Applicable
Layout : RAID-10
Size : 1,396.25 GB (1499212021760 bytes)
Device Name : /dev/sdb
Bus Protocol : SATA
Media : HDD
Read Policy : Adaptive Read Ahead
Write Policy : Write Back
Cache Policy : Not Applicable
Stripe Element Size : 128 KB
Disk Cache Policy : Enabled

The parameter changing mate to omreport is "omconfig". You get to set or change options and can even trigger events like MAKING SURE YOU HAVE VIRTUAL DRIVE PARITY (AKA parity scrub)!

So to verify/validate/fix drive parity issues, add a cron job (and/or run the command now) to make sure that the RAID groups on your PERC RAID controllers are in perfect shape. You don't want any failed disk rebuild surprises!
crontab -e
00 17 * * 0 /opt/dell/srvadmin/bin/omconfig storage vdisk action=checkconsistency controller=0 vdisk=0 > /tmp/omconfig-vdisk0.out 2>&1 || cat /tmp/omconfig-vdisk0.out |mail -s "omconfig issue on `hostname`" admin
30 17 * * 0 /opt/dell/srvadmin/bin/omconfig storage vdisk action=checkconsistency controller=0 vdisk=1 > /tmp/omconfig-vdisk1.out 2>&1 || cat /tmp/omconfig-vdisk1.out |mail -s "omconfig issue on `hostname`" admin

Or better yet, get crazy with a shell script to dynamically ask for *each* controller and virtual disk to be checked. I will leave that up to you to figure out.

Again, just a basic install and use for OMSA. Take the time and go through the links, get the OMSA manual and enjoy.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Digi Portserver II 16 serial port server setup for RHEL or CentOS 5.x

I had an opportunity to test some additional equipment recently. This is the general setup and install and basic configuration for the Digi Portserver II 16 serial port server for CentOS 5.5. All of this is just a step in adding additional capabilities to our Hylafax servers. Additionally, other serial devices are also connected to give us network access to them. This includes serial port consoles and serial admin ports for some power strips to remotely power cycle some equipment if needed. The Digi Portserver II is not new and has been around for a while. This makes it cheap to pickup on eBay and use.

As a note, all commands that install something will need to be done as effective user "root". You can "sudo" your way there or just "su -"; your choice. Please take some time to
sanely setup a build environment on another box (if possible/practical).

This article is a follow up to a previous post on How to get a Digi Edgeport/416 working with RHEL/CentOS 5

Here is the Digi Portserver II overview from Digi. Nice starting point for information.

Here is the Driver download page if the overview is too much reading.

For even less effort you can get the latest stable kernel driver this way:

or grab the beta code like I did:

To build the kernel module, you will need a few prerequisite packages. These are the ones that got me what I needed. You may need more or less depending on what you already had installed:
yum -y install ncurses-devel openssl-devel rpm-build kernel-headers

rpmbuild --rebuild dgrp-1.9-29.src.rpm

Install the built dgrp-1.9-29.i386.rpm with rpm or yum. You could choose to reboot or more simply just run
modprobe dgrp

If you just want the command line setup for the tty ports under /dev/, you can run something like:
/usr/bin/dgrp/config/dgrp_cfg_node init -v -v -e never 1 IP_OR_HOSTNAME 16

If you prefer a GUI setup and have tk and xorg-x11-xauth at least installed:

Finding firmware version of your Digi Portserver II to tell if you need a firmware update:
telnet IP/hostname #> cpconf term

May show something like:
# PortServerII Version 3.1.13 Nov 1 2006

Post dgrp driver setup with udev if you need:
For wide open perms edit /etc/udev/rules.d/10-dgrp.rules and change the line from
KERNEL=="tty_dgrp*", PROGRAM="/usr/bin/dgrp_udev %k", NAME="%c"

KERNEL=="tty_dgrp*", PROGRAM="/usr/bin/dgrp_udev %k", NAME="%c", MODE="0666", OPTIONS="last_rule"

For just group perms change to group "uucp" for example, alter original line from
KERNEL=="tty_dgrp*", PROGRAM="/usr/bin/dgrp_udev %k", NAME="%c"

KERNEL=="tty_dgrp*", PROGRAM="/usr/bin/dgrp_udev %k", NAME="%c", MODE="0660", GROUP="uucp"

A quick way to see all of the dev files created by the dgrp driver is the default major number 253 is kept:
ls -la /dev/|grep " 253"

Make sure the dgrp kernel module is loaded:
lsmod|grep dgrp

On a sad note, following these instructions will only create a kernel module for the current kernel. You will need to do rebuild on the dgrp package on any kernel update... sorry I have not yet incorporated kmod or DKMS for a dynamic module build. There is hope for me if would just try THIS link, however.