Category: Article

OpenMediaVault Virtual Machine Is Now Available

OpenMediaVault is a Linux based network-attached storage server or NAS distribution started by a Volker a FreeNAS developer. At the moment OpenMediaVault is a work in progress so take that into consideration before entrusting it with your data. So far OpenMediaVault supports: SSH, (S)FTP, SMB/CIFS, FTP, rsync, NFS, DAAP media server, RSync, BitTorrent client, iSCSI, and software RAID to name a few.

Virtual Machine Specs:

  • Dual CPUs
  • 512MB RAM
  • 1 x 10GB hard drive
  • 1 x 50GB hard drive
  • One network adapter (NAT)

OpenMediaVault is a work in progress meaning that version number will change from the time the virtual machines were uploaded, in order to keep the virtual machines up to date use the built-in update feature found in OpenMediaVault.

Downloads:

OpenMediaVault 0.2.x Virtual Machine 32-bit
MD5 hash
SHA1 hash

OpenMediavault 0.2.x Virtual Machine 64-bit
MD5 hash
SHA1 hash

You can learn more about OpenMediaVault by visiting OpenMediaVault.org

CentOS 6 Has No Network Connectivity ?

This is for those of you who are new to CentOS.

By default CentOS 6 will not configure network interfaces on a new installation which means the host will have no network connectivity, we can correct this inconvenience with little effort. Of course this means the user(you) is left with the decision to configure the network interface(s) with either a static or dynamically assigned IP addresses.

First of all we need to see the contents of the ifcfg-eth0 file.

cat /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0
DEVICE=”eth0”
HWADDR=”MAC Address”
NM_CONTROLLED=”yes”
ONBOOT=”no”

The output above indicates eth0 is disabled, this is when you either opt to set a static IP or dynamically assigned IP.

With the text editor of your choice open the /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0 and edit as indicated below.

vi /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0

DHCP Configuration

DEVICE="eth0"
HWADDR=MAC Address*System MAC*
NM_CONTROLLED="no"
ONBOOT="yes"
BOOTPROTO="dhcp"
  • DEVICE=”eth0″ – Name of Network Interface.
  • HWADDR=MAC Address*System MAC* – MAC address of Network Interface.
  • NM_CONTROLLED=”no” – Network Manager should disable since it’s unnecessary in this configuration.
  • ONBOOT=”yes” – – Means the NIC will be started during boot.
  • BOOTPROTO=”dhcp” – Instructions the OS to find a DHCP server from which to obtain an IP address. The DHCP server will assign all necessary network information including IP address, Netmask, Gateway and DNS server.

Restart the network service.

/etc/init.d/network restart

or

service network restart

Static Configuration

DEVICE="eth0"
HWADDR=MAC Address*System MAC*
NM_CONTROLLED="no"
ONBOOT="yes"
BOOTPROTO="static"
IPADDR=192.168.x.x.
NETMASK=255.255.255.0.
  • DEVICE=”eth0″ – Name of Network Interface.
  • HWADDR=MAC Address*System MAC* – MAC address of Network Interface.
  • NM_CONTROLLED=”no” – Network Manager shoudl be disable since it’s unnecessary in this configuration.
  • ONBOOT=”yes” – Means the NIC will be started during boot.
  • BOOTPROTO=”static” – IP configuration will be static.
  • IPADDR=192.168.x.x – System IP address.
  • NETMASK=255.255.255.0 – Network Mask.

Gateway Configuration

*DHCP Users should ignore this step.

In order to add a Gateway to our system we need to edit /etc/sysconfig/network.

In order to add the network gateway edit /etc/sysconfig/network and add GATEWAY=192.168.x.x.

NETWORKING=yes
HOSTNAME=localhost.localdomain
GATEWAY=192.168.111.1

DNS Configuration

*DHCP Users should ignore this step.

Now we add the DNS server(s) for our host. Edit /etc/resolv.conf and add nameserver 192.168.x.x.

nameserver 192.168.111.1

Restart the network service. This will make sure the changes take effect.

/etc/init.d/network restart

or

service network restart

As stated by

  • Cam
  • it is a good idea to have console access to the server in case you lock your self out it.

    Split Files With 7-Zip

    For some reason I don’t see many people making use of the file spliting option in the 7-Zip File Manager. By splitting I mean dividing a larger file into multiple smaller files, later those files can be restored to its original state. Splitting files is useful in the case where large files have to be distributed but without the risk of having a large file download fail which would mean starting all over again.

    This post assumes 7-Zip is already installed.

    Benefits:

    • Did I say no cost, 7-Zip is free.
    • File sharing sites that impose limits on the size of the files users can upload.
    • Areas where poor Internet connectivity are common.
    • For example, a 1GB file is split into 4 x 250MB files. In the event of an interruption it would takes less time to restart a failed 250MB download than it would be for 1GB download.
    • Better chance of downloading files without the risk of corruption.
    • Compression or no compression can be specified.

    Downside:

    • Some people might not understand the 7-Zip File Manager interface at first.

    Some files are not worth compressing since they are already compress like in the case of media files, text files on the other hand should definetely be compressed.

    When manually entering the the size of the resulting split place the “M” after the number.

    File Splitting

    7-Zip File Manager can be easily accessed from the Context Menu by right clicking on the file you wish to work with. Click on Add to archive….

    For testing purposes I make use of 10GB file, I could go with the default split options but I rather specify my own size. In the Split to volume, bytes: box I entered 500M which means the 10GB file with be split in to 21 x 500MB. And click on OK.

    Depending on the type of compression selected(or none) the process may take a considerable amount of time.

    The result is one 10GB file split in to 21 Files.

    File Restore

    Restoring the split files in to its original format is straight forward. Select all files and click on 7-Zip > Extract files…

    You can either change the path where the resulting file will extracted to or go with the defaults, when done click on OK.

    Depending on the size of the file be prepared to wait for the file to be decompressed and put back together.

    Hopefully, this tutorial will proved useful. Leave a comment if necessary just understand that it may take some time before I can answer.

    Work With The Right Tools

    Breaking from the habit, I am posting about a different topic.

    Save your self the regret and buy the right tools for the job. If you are planning to pry open an enclosure then I recommend you spend the extra money and buy your self a Spudger. Don’t be cheap and try to use a flat-head screw driver otherwise you might damage the plastic.

    Just in case any one wonders why would I buy a spudger for, my little sister asked me to see what was wrong with her Sony PSP(games would not load). Turns out the UMD drive is to blame, in certain situations the UMD Drive can become damaged when dropped.

    Now, I am just waiting the replacement UMD drive I bought from China to arrive. Despite being in hands of an 8 year old and after three years of service the PSP has no cosmetic damage and until this moment this is the only major problem. BTW: I bought the Spudger from Amazon.

    Added some pictures for you enjoyment.

    Time For A New NAS

    I thought I wouldn’t have to say this for years to come, but I’ve reached the conclusion that after 3 years of service the time to replace my current NAS has come, for sake of reference here is what I currently have:

    • Via C3
    • Windows Server 2003
    • 512MB of RAM
    • 2TB Storage / 1TB Usable

    It’s not the hardware that I find to be the problem, but the lack of expansion that’s holding me back. If you look at the picture below you can see the board currently in my NAS. For starters I am limited to a single 10/100 onboard NIC, there is no option to upgrade to SATA only IDE, while there is one PCI slot available its currently occupied by a PCI SATA controller meaning its not possible to upgrade to gigabit speeds.

    CPU:

    While the onboard VIA C3 CPU is no monster its certainly capable of handling most tasks: File server, web server. But there is one service I don’t even want to try and run with the current limitations, SCSI Target. Since I would not be making of a TOE NIC for the iSCSI traffic, all calculations would have to be performed in CPU which would take a toll on performance and nothing good would come out of it. Although I thought about running software RAID I opted not to because of the possible added load on the CPU.

    STORAGE:

    Another serious limitation is storage capacity, because of its age the board lacks SATA ports leaving me with IDE as the default option, good luck trying to find a 1TB IDE hard drive. The only possible expansion came from the PCI slot in which I installed a PCI SATA controller and connected two 1TB SATA drives, only 1TB is usable because the second drive contains a copy of the first.

    RAM:

    Currently running with 512MB, but can be upgraded to 1GB. I don’t see the point of upgrading.

    Networking:

    The board comes with a 10/100 NIC, the only expansion port is being used by the PCI SATA controller. Its either a 10/100/1000 NIC or a PCI SATA controller.

    I thought of using an external USB drives or an eSATA enclosure but that would have been a temporary measure. Instead I’ve started to look for a replacement solution something that is capable, with the possibility for future expansion and with enough resources to run iSCSI, SMB, RAID, SSH for tunneling, and expansion slots.

    • Either an Intel or AMD CPU
    • At least 1GB of RAM
    • At least 4 drives
    • Gigabit NIC
    • PCI-E would be nice

    At the moment there are two front runners one is a semi-complete solution: QNAP TS-410 ($450.00) and the HP Micro Server ($350.00) which would require me to once again provide the OS among other things.

    I like the convenience of QNAP and the favorable reviews on what appears to be a solid product that comes with many useful features like iSCSI, HTTP server, SMB. But the nerd in me calls out for the HP Micro Server.

    How To Backup And Restore The MBR

    You are a geek therefore you can’t trust your self to not render a system unbootable. Specially if you are about to boot from more than one operating system which is done incorrectly could result in getting a blank screen. BTW: The MBR holds partition data and Operating System boot essential data. Therefore, it’s essential to know how to backup the MBR, fortunately we can backup with a few simple steps and only using free tools.

    MBR = Master Boot Record

    This tutorial uses a Live CD which includes the utility know as dd with can be used to copy entire drives or just sections of it.

    First of all you should boot in to your Linux environment and mount a second drive where we can store the MBR backup.

    Do not save the backup file in the same drive from which you are making the backup.

    Create a directory.

    mkdir mountusb

    Use the ls command to identify the second drive. In my case I have a SATA drive and a USB drive, the SATA drive is always assigned the first letter of the alphabet in this case it’s named sda and the USB drive was assigned the name sdb.

    root@PartedMagic:~# ls /dev/sd*
    /dev/sda  /dev/sda1  /dev/sdb  /dev/sdb1

    You can’t mount the drive itself, instead you have to mount partitions. In this case I will be mounting a USB drive which is where I will be storing the MBR backup, remember to mount the partition not the drive.

    mount /dev/sdb1 mountusb

    And now we back up the MBR aka the first 512 bytes.

    dd if=/dev/sda count=1 bs=512 > mountusb/sda.mbr
    • mountusb – Is the previously created directory
    • sda.mbr – Represents the actual backup

    Restoring the MBR follows similar steps, you first need to mount the drive where the MBR was backup to and use the dd command to restore the backup to the desired drive.

    dd if=mountusb/sda.mbr of=/dev/sda

    Now that you know how to backup the MBR go ahead and start playing with multiple operating system, if at a latter time you decided to remove them you can always revert to the original MBR with a single command. Thanks for reading.

    Download The Windows 8 Developer Preview

    If you are looking for something to download then why not download the Windows 8 Developer Preview and have a taste of the next desktop OS from Microsoft. Keep in mind this is a pre-beta which means you should expect bug and instability.

    Recommended hardware is similar to what you should already using with either Vista or Windows 7:

    1. 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
    2. 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
    3. 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
    4. DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
    5. Taking advantage of touch input requires a screen that supports multi-touch

    Use the following links to download the version you find adequate:

    Windows Developer Preview with developer tools English, 64-bit (x64) 4.8GB
    SHA-1 Hash: 6FE9352FB59F6D0789AF35D1001BD4E4E81E42AF
    Download

    Windows Developer Preview with developer tools English, 64-bit (x64) 3.6GB
    Sha 1 hash – 6FE9352FB59F6D0789AF35D1001BD4E4E81E42AF
    Download

    Windows Developer Preview English, 32-bit (x86) 2.8GB
    SHA-1 Hash: 4E0698BBABE01ED27582C9FC16AD21C4422913CC
    Download

    Don’t forget to watch the Microsoft preview of Windows Server 8 @ 9am Pacific time, Sept. 14.

    Change The Default Text Editor In WinSCP

    I consider WinSCP to be the best free SFTP, SCP and FTP client for Windows but like other similar clients the bundled text editor is not what I would consider to be the best or adequate for the type of work I do.

    In this post I will describe the necessary steps to replace the default text editor WinSCP uses whenever a file is opened, instead of executing the default text editor the replacement editor will be executed. Although this tutorial uses Intype as the third party text editor of choice you can substitute for the text editor of your choice.

    Start WinSCP and make sure the Advanced options check box is checked.

    Click on Preferences.

    Once again click on the Preferences… box.

    Click on Editors.

    Click on the Add … box.

    Select External editor: and Browse… to the path where the replecement text editor resides in the case of Intype the path is C:Program Files (x86)Intypeintype.exe.

    WinSCP will format the path for you!. Click on OK to save the changes.

    In my case the text editor was recognized as Intype, click on it to highlight it. Click on the Up button till the new text editor is at the top making it the default choice.

    Click on the OK button to save.

    From now on whenever you edit a file WinSCP will execute the replacement text editor instead of the bundled one.

    Feel free to leave comments below.

    Windows 7 Network Share Trust

    Windows 7 improved various aspects of security over previous version of the Microsoft operating system, while improvements are usually well received some of the new security aspects resulted in Windows no longer trusting my network share despite being in my LAN which is already trusted and not in the Internet where I have no control.

    While is not the end of the world, the changes do make it annoying if you have to download multiple files from a network share. This is what I have to put up with every time I have to download a file:

    The Solution

    Fortunately, the fix is an easy one, and it only requires adding the IP address of the network share as a trusted one.

    Start by going to the Control Panel.

    And click on Internet Options.

    In the Internet Properties window select Local intranet.

    Click on Sites.

    And in the Advanced button.

    Enter the IP address of your NAS or network server and click on Add.

    Click on OK.

    One last time click on OK.

    From now on the network share will not be treated as an untrusted source and you will not be presented with the warning any more. However, if you add another network share with a different IP address you will need to follow the same steps all over again.

    Links:

    VMware: Changes To The vRAM Licensing Model

    After stirring some emotions VMware has made changes to the vSphere 5 licensing model, the new changes should dissipate the bad rep VMware received for making the unwelcome changes. I can recall conversing with other IT Pros where they expressed interest in competing virtualization platforms because they found the changes to be unfriendly to their operations and budget.

    The chart below should help explain the new vRAM increases to the licensing model:

    My Take


    It’s always great to see a company take action when customers express disapproval of their actions. Users of the free VMware free Hypervisor will be specially happy after the new changes.

    Now we can get back to running the Matrix on ESXi.

    For more information visit the link below:

    Changes to the vRAM licensing model introduced on July 12, 2011