Hacking Red Hat CDs

Still playing with Red Hat Linux 7.3. By now I have managed to fit it on the single CD (650 MB). Anaconda (installation program) got me pulling hair out of my head though. First, I have no prior experience with Python. Second, after I checked it out, I think I am the luckiest man alive (that I didn’t). Thirdly, code is pretty weird; for example, it is very easy to specify default language for installation, but things like changing grub to lilo, or specifying different default timezone, or allowing ssh connections in default firewall settings made spend lots of time :) If one day you will have to do something in Python, you will definetely thank Python website for providing good documentation. Concerning RPMs, I can easily put updates on distribution CD now, change Package groups (like Printing support, etc), and even substitute some software by another, like I did with proftpd obsoleting wu_ftpd and anonftp. What I need now is some way of verifying that directory with RPM packages is self-contained without actually producing a real distribution and installing it. :) Tomorrow it will work hopefully.

Another nice surprise got me when I upgraded my DVD machine to Red Hat Linux 7.3. After all, low latency does not appear to be that good for DVD playing (tested with xine, mplayer, and ogle). Without low latency support DVDs are playing much better, but still by far not that good as it was with 2.4.9. Tomorrow I will downgrade the kernel and check it out.

Last one for today – I have put the new picture of myself. This time I am with my girlfriend. And, yes, that “Li” on my t-shirt is a part of word “Linux” :)

Back from holidays

I am back from holidays. Most of the time was spent on rearrangements of my home network. I have downgraded the CPU to PII 200MHz on my home server and upgraded it’s memory to 256 MBytes.
There is also a brand new 1.2 GHz Celeron with 128 MBytes of memory, which is dedicated to DVD playing and other illegal activities :)

The topic of DVD playing is still new to me. I have found few projects on Freshmeat.net, including Ogle, xine, and Mplayer. For those happy Red Hat users, most of the above software is available in RPMs from FreshRPMs.net. I was also able to output DVDs and DivX to my TV using the instructions for Nvidia drivers. GeForce2 with TV-OUT easily does the job.

Meanwhile, it is nice to notice that while I was on holidays lots of people worked hard. I am very glad to discover announcements of Red Hat Linux 7.3, OpenOffice.org, Gnome 1.4 snapshot, and several other nice pieces of software in my mailbox. Congratulations to the developers!

Linux HA clustering, mutt with LDAP, and workstation upgrades

Last few days I have spent installing a HA (High-availability) cluster. I needed an active/active setup for two nodes to run Apache and PostgreSQL services. Both nodes are connected to external shared storage. It took me some time to get the concepts (especially with quorum partitions and raw devices), but afterwards, installation was a bliss ;). I have used KimberLite clustering technology, which is open source and free. There is also a commercial solution on the site, for those who want. SourceForge.NET Clustering Foundry was also very helpful in getting the whole thing.

Meanwhile, I managed to configure my mutt to work with MS Exchange address book over LDAP. mutt-ldap-search.

I’ve also had my workstation upgraded in certain ways :) More memory, less CPU, better graphics card (GeForce 2 MX 32MB 200 Series this time). Strangely, I cannot get more then 40FPS in Quake3 using original Nvidia drivers.

Now Last of all the news is that I am now testing init script for NovaNet services. Since Novastor didn’t provide with anything automatic to stop the service and remove all kinds of shared memory segments and semaphores, I had to write my own. It will be available for public, when initial testing is over ;) .

Hardware upgrades

Small hardware updates: yesterday I have tested GeForce 2 MX 32. To say it short – it sucked against my Riva TNT2. I know that is not scientific, but I completely deslike playing Quake 3 Arena with it and needed some place to share the feeling :)
My new 40GByte hard disk is fine though. HDDs are getting cheaper and cheaper, especially those 5500 RPM ones. I gave my preference to 7200 RPMs though. :)