Lighttpd troubles resolved

Well, after last weeks lighttpd troubles with PHP (or was it without ?), they finally seem resolved. First thing I did, was upgrade to the new php-version (5.2.10). After that, I ran revdep-rebuild, which apparently found issues with lighttpd being linked to a wrong pcre-version. After remerging lighttpd the issues seem to be gone!

Well, guess I was to quick in saying the problem was resolved .. it’s still there, just not happening as fast as it would in the past ….

GermanWings travels

Well, I had the pleasure of flying with Germanwings on Friday and Sunday. As it turns out, if you fly with Germanwings you should plan some more time. On Friday, we were scheduled for departure at 17:00 (that’s 5 P.M.). Around 6 P.M. the flight assistant(s) guarding the gate announced that the flight is being delayed for a unspecified amount of time due to maintenance. At 7 P.M. they announced that again.

At 7:30 P.M. they announced that they’re very sorry, but the machine standing in front of the terminal was being replaced by a replacement plane leaving from Stuttgart and is arriving around 10 P.M. and leaving for Stuttgart at 10:30 P.M. So they pushed this one back to the repair hangar …

Broken A-319
Broken A-319

So, after five hours of waiting and about one hour flight time, we finally arrived at Stuttgart, just ten minutes till the airport had to close (remember, at most airports there is a ban on night flights). After another thirty minutes I was finally able to take the looooong awaited nap!

Weird lighttpd troubles

Well, since about a week or so I keep having troubles with my vHost and lighttpd. The point being, after some time (up till now it’s been something between days and minutes) lighttpd completely freezes and doesn’t serve no content anymore. I don’t know if this is related to PHP (might be, I did perform an update to dev-lang/php-5.2.9-r2 on Thu May 28 12:18:57 2009), but I have to figure this out since the restart cron-job is getting annoying.

Well, it seems like lighttpd is getting stuck in mod_fastcgi …

Usually the last line is followed by a line telling that it released the proc, but not always.

Intel X25-M powering Ubuntu Karmic

I recently ordered a Intel X25-M Solid State Disk as a replacement for the oldish SATA 2,5″ disk powering my Fujitsu Celisus M250 (called workbook). I figured it’d be a bit faster as compared to running from the old hard disk, but I didn’t figure it be that fast!

Since it is blazing fast, my trainee figured he’d install bootchart and see how the disk/the whole notebook performed.

bootchart map of the X25-M
bootchart map of the X25-M

As you can deduce from the bootchart map, the whole system took eight (as in 8 or one 7.5th part of a minute) till GDM was started and prompting for username and password.

XBMC Keymap

After I had the initial stuff done, I spent some time yesterday (roughly one hour) figuring out, why Play/Pause/Stop aren’t working any longer (they worked at some point).

After looking at the XBMC debug log for some time, I went back and looked at my Lircmap.xml. As it turns out, you can’t map one Lirckey to two functions (in my case, I mapped KEY_7 to <pause> as well as <seven>). XBMC doesn’t like that, and in return quits functioning for those keys.

After removing the number declarations (<one> through <zero>), my keys are back to working order and I’m completely pleased with my media center Acer ๐Ÿ˜‰

New vmware-tools-kmp

Disclaimer: I don’t take any responsibility for faults within the software, I just provide the RPM’s! Feel free to ask me about stuff concerning these RPM’s, but I ain’t accountable if your stuff goes kaboom! Oh, and those RPM’s aren’t recommended or supported by VMware!

Since we recently upgraded our VMware Infrastructure to VMware vSphere, I finally had a chance to refresh the RPM’s for the KMP for and You can find the source RPM here.

  • vmware-tools-kmp-bigsmp (SLES10: i586)
  • vmware-tools-kmp-debug (SLES10: i586/x86_64; SLES11: i586/x86_64)
  • vmware-tools-kmp-default (SLES10: i586/x86_64; SLES11: i586/x86_64)
  • vmware-tools-kmp-kdump (SLES10: i586/x86_64)
  • vmware-tools-kmp-kdumppae (SLES10: i586)
  • vmware-tools-kmp-pae (SLES11: i586)
  • vmware-tools-kmp-smp (SLES10: i586/x86_64)
  • vmware-tools-kmp-trace (SLES11: i586/x86_64)
  • vmware-tools-kmp-vmi (SLES10: i586; SLES11: i586)
  • vmware-tools-kmp-vmipae (SLES10: i586)
  • vmware-tools-kmp-xen (SLES10: i586/x86_64; SLES11: i586/x86_64)
  • vmware-tools-kmp-xenpae (SLES10: i586)

Just a heads-up: while the modules itself work, VMware did something to the init-script which prevents it to load the modules unless you run I’m still in the process of sorting that out.

XBMC on the Acer Revo

As I wrote a month ago, one of my trainees put up with my stubbornness to put XBMC on said Acer Aspire Revo. Now, initially he put the Live Edition onto it, which didn’t really fly with me. I’m usually the CLI guy, so I needed to install it myself (again). Since I wanted to use the VDPAU features the later GeForce cards offer (and the Revo has such a graphics cad), I had to install the current development builds (you know — I love bleeding edge!)

At first, I was struggling with how to switch the rendering to VDPAU, but after looking through the various settings menus, I figured it out ๐Ÿ˜›

The next things on my list we’re:

  1. Get the TechniSat USB IR receiver/TechniSat IR remote working with XBMC
  2. Get a better looking user interface
  3. Get cross fading working

1. Since there aren’t many USB IR receivers available to purchase, I went ahead an bought a TechniSat USB IR receiver. Shortly afterwards I figured, that I might need the remote too.

After all my stuff arrived I spent about the evenings of one work week and one whole weekend figuring out this damn remote and it’s keys. But nada .. Nothing appeared in the output of irw or mode2. After googling for the problem (and coming up with just stupid answers), I went ahead and installed inputlirc. After that, I simply turned of the box and carried it back to work the next day.

When I initially showed my trainee the box and asked him to figure out why the remote wasn’t working, he was like “WTF ? Are you serious ?“. After about an hour I went back to see what progress he had made, and he was like “Dude, it just works .. don’t ask me how“.

To get this damn remote working, you need the following:

After placing all these files, I can program my Harmony (a bit strangely I admit) to the various keys of the TechniSat remote ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

2. I don’t have anything against the default user interface of XBMC, but it really isn’t all there is .. So I went looking. Looked at about fifteen different skins, until I found Stark. Now, Stark is about everything I’ve been looking for.

3. The next thing on my list was to get simultaneous output working. If you do cross fading (only to name an example), you need the ability to stream two audio tracks through a single device. If you remember back two years, ALSA still wasn’t capable of doing that either way. A short time later, the ALSA developers introduced DMix. Now, after fiddling a bit with it, I think I have that too!

I still need to work out a few flaws in the keymap, but once that is resolved, I’m probably completely happy ๐Ÿ˜€

OCF agent for Tivoli Storage Manager: redux

Well, after I finished my first OCF agent back in October 2008, we have it running in production now for about ten months. During that time, we found quite a few points in which we’d like to improve the behaviour with that Linux-HA should handle TSM.

  • Shutdown TSM nicely if possible (Cancel client sessions, cancel running processes and dismount mounted volumes)
  • Better error handling

So, after another week of writing and testing with a small instance, I present the new OCF agent for Tivoli Storage Manager. It still has one or two weak points, but they are negligible. I still need to write the documentation for it, but the script should just work …

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Weird TS3500 problem: redux

Well, after yesterday’s episode with our tape library today continued to be a taxing day. After restarting a few exports that were hanging yesterday due to our library problems, something similar returned. TSM was unable to locate a few (two to be exact) tapes in the library.

Yet the library reported the tapes were still inventoried. *shrug* Here we are again, looking completely baffled. After a short while trying to figure out what to do, we went through the Data Cartridge inventory again. As it turns out, through putting the library in “Pause”-Mode and restarting TSM multiple times, TSM apparently completely forgot that it had these tapes put into drives.

After manually moving the tapes back to their home slot via the management interface of the TS3500 and setting the volume access mode back to read-write, everything is fine now I could finish my pending exports!

Weird TS3500 problem

Well, today we had a rather weird problem with our TS3500. TSM running on AIX basically went bonko and spit out weird media sense errors, all stating that there is a hardware or media error of unknown nature:

After restarting the TSM server (as in the service, not the whole box) five times, which didn’t resolve squat we decided to take a look at the TS3500 itself. We opened up the Management interface and tried moving a tape into a drive. That didn’t work. Hrmmmmm.

We tried the manual move from the LCD display mounted on the front of the TS3500 base frame, that didn’t work either. So we figured the gripper was stuck and placed a call with our trustworthy support provider.

After a few minutes, they called us back and told us: “Try the following: Place the library in “Pause”-Mode and open it up, maybe a tape fell down …“.

We did exactly that, the gripper moved back to it’s pause position (which is in the base frame), and we started looking inside after opening up the base frame and an expansion frame. Nothing …

So we closed it back up, and let the base frame resume it’s normal duties … guess what: After resuming normal operations, it worked again *shrug*