|Zap's Digital Lighthouse|
Mon, 31 Dec 2018
Recently, the little Soekris net6501 machine that I use as a home server for DNS and other similar functions decided to die after many years of useful service (it's a known problem of net6501 machines unfortunately; at some point they just self-brick and refuse to reboot :-(
So I took the Gigabyte Brix GB-BXi3-4010 that I had been using on my TV in the living room and simply removed the Windows 10 mSATA drive from it and inserted the mSATA drive from my net6501 into it and Poof! FreeBSD booted fine and It Just Worked.
Therefore in no time at all, poterne (my little home server) was back in action and no one at home even noticed, since we haven't been using the little Brix much since we bought a 4K TV that has Netflix and Youtube in firmware (maybe more on this some other day).
However, the Intel Core i3-4010U Processor at the heart of the little Brix computer is a 64-bit part, so I'd like to move FreeBSD on poterne from i386 to amd64 so that it can use all of its 8GB of RAM, since I've noticed that dmesg presently says:
So I searched the Internet for "freebsd upgrade i386 to amd64" and I found a few pages describing successful upgrades. Actually, most of them recommended not to do it and just reinstall, but I decided to go for it anyway.
The methods I found recommended upgrading by recompiling, so I fetched the FreeBSD 12.0-RELEASE installation media and installed the source code onto my little server. Then I started to recompile, but it took ages (maybe because I put the source and object files on the external USB disk?), so I decided to redeploy from RELEASE binaries:
The release tarballs are in /mnt/usr/freebsd-dist/ (such as src.txz, base.txz, etc.)
Of course, I then used rsync to make a backup of my server onto my local NAS machine, in case anything went wrong.
Then, I proceeded with the migration process based on recipes from various websites (notably https://wiki.freebsd.org/amd64/i386Migration).
Turning the swap partition into a 'miniroot' seemed like a good idea, so I did that... My swap partition is is 6GB, so that worked well (6GB was enough for the 2GB of RAM I had on the Soekris net6501, but may could a bit short with the 8GB of RAM from the Brix... but then again, I probably won't need any swap space on the new machine with 8GB of RAM for a little headless server like poterne).
After setting up the miniroot on /dev/ada0p2, I rebooted from there and mounted the real filesystems onto /mnt and copied over the files from the miniroot to /mnt.
I then rebooted with the new system and cleared the pkg cache and reinstalled all of my packages.
In the end, it worked fine and poterne.rax.org is now running in 64-bit mode.Mon, 12 Nov 2018
So, I've got my new HPE Proliant Microserver Gen10 last summer, but I hadn't had time to set up it yet.
I am setting it up with FreeBSD. (It's a sobering thought that FreeBSD is now 25 years old: I've been running it since the very first version, coming from 386BSD and Microport System V/AT before that.)
I've put the 4 Seagate drives in the bays and inserted a USB key with
FreeBSD 11.2 on it in the internal USB port. As reported in the previous
blog entry, I had to add a "
Then, I needed to:
Setting up the 4 Seagate disks with ZFS
Here is how I set up the four 6TB disks on that new server:
So, here are the commands that I've run to initialize the disk space on my new server, conserved here for future reference:
Last summer, one of the disks on my Proliant Microserver started generating some errors, so I decided to replace it with a newer generation, and I bought the Gen10 of the HPE Proliant Microserver.
It's a nice piece of hardware. I bought it without any disks inside, and bought 4 Seagate 6 TB NAS drives from Amazon on Prime Day.
So the question was: should I put FreeBSD on that machine, or should I install FreeNAS given that it's mostly used as a file server for my home network?
After some back and forth, I decided to put FreeBSD onto it.
Now, a bit of a nasty surprise awaited me: the HPE Proliant Microserver Gen10 does not boot FreeBSD out of the box. A known issue prevents it from booting the GENERIC kernel as is. The bug is described here, and unfortunately it doesn't look like it's going to be fixed in 11.2, 12.0, or beyond (though it seems like this patch ought to fix the issue).
However, the problem is easy enough to fix: it just needs the FreeBSD
system to have a file called
and then the O/S just boots normally.
I have put the 4 Seagate drives in the enclosure, and added a small USB thumbdrive in the internal USB port to act as the boot device. I will format all the drives as a ZFS RAID-5 configuration and put all of the data and important files onto there.
The configuration of the new fileserver is the topic of the next blog entry.
Question: my experience with USB thumbdrives is so-and-so... after a while they just seem to become corrupted. I see three possibilities to alleviate that:
Stay tuned to see what I will decide to do next :-)Sun, 11 Nov 2018
Today is the 100th anniversary of the signature of the armistice which ended World War One.
I had the opportunity to visit the beaches of Normady in 2011, including the Canadian monument at Vimy and the cemetaries where many of our fellow countrymen are buried having given their life in service to their country to fight for liberty.
On 11/11, we like to remember them and all of the brave soldiers who have given (and are still giving) time and effort to help protect us in war and peace alike.
War is always horrible and politics on a global scale is always complicated. But on this Remembrance Day, let's all find a moment to remember all of those who have fought and are fighting for us.
LEST WE FORGET.
And on this special day, let's all remember John McCrae's poem, "In Flanders Field":
Peace to all.Sat, 13 Jan 2018
OK, so a few days ago, I complained that it was really cold in Montreal over the Christmas holidays. It was regularly around -21 degrees Celcius (or below zero for our Fahrenheit-using friends), and when you add the windchill factor, it actually felt like -40.
Now, for the past couple of days, the temperature has shot up to above the freezing point. Way above. And it's been raining. But winter is coming back and it's freezing today. I don't relish the thought of going outside later on this morning and seeing how all the streets with be covered in ice :-(
I like winter, but I don't like rain in winter.
Tssss.Mon, 01 Jan 2018
...and suddenly 2018 is here. Lots of expectations for that new year.
It started oddly: Sylvie has a big cold, so she stayed under the covers and we stayed at home together. I think it was our first New Year's celebration with just the two of us.
At midnight, I got an SMS from Olivier, and when I tried to reply: poof! Message failed. Tried sending messages for about 45 minutes, and the vast majority just failed.
I am not sure if it's the local base station in my part of downtown Montreal that too busy, or if its the Rogers cellular network that was overwhelmed, or whether it's the whole cellular infrastructure that is knackered, but it is quite annoying.
Of course, in the meantime, Apple's iMessage service worked fine, as did e-mail, Twitter, and a lot of other TCP/IP-based services I'm sure.
I'm quite disappointed at the Rogers' cellular infrastructure, though.
Oh well, let's not be overly critical on this new year's day.
Happy New Year! May 2018 bring health, happiness, and success to you and your loved ones all year long.