Will >> Will's blog

purpose: Will Kahn-Greene's blog of Miro, PyBlosxom, Python, GNU/Linux, random content, PyBlosxom, Miro, and other projects mixed in there ad hoc, half-baked, and with a twist of lemon

Sun, 14 Nov 2010

Migrated my server

I run my own server and have been for like 10 years now. It's moved around over the years. Most recently it's been at ServerBeach. A little under a year ago, they obsoleted the server hardware I was using and their pricing was such that I would have to pay more going forward. So I figured it was time to jump ship to a VM somewhere.

Not too long after that, I got to talking with Asheesh about my dilemna. He mentioned how he wanted to build a new server and run a bunch of VMs on it. I helped him pay for the hardware. He bought all the bits, put it together, and then looked around for somewhere to host it. He decided to park it at Cernio--they're fantastic.

In October, the new bluesock instance came up. I finally bit the bullet and did the migration from the old server to the new one yesterday.

There are probably still some things not working, but I think most of it is functional now.

Yay for migrations! Yay for friends! Yay for cutting my server costs from $1200 a year to $120!

Fri, 29 Oct 2010

bluesock dns moved

I moved bluesock.org from Network Solutions to Gandi.net a couple of months ago. The next step was to move the DNS records from Peer1/ServerBeach to Gandi.net. I did that today.

I screwed up one of the records in the process and my brother let me know he was having some issues. I think it's all straightened out now, though, and that the current set of records are correct. However, if you're having problems with bluesock.org related domains, let me know.

The next step is to migrate the server from Peer1/ServerBeach where I pay $99 a month to Asheesh's VPS in Minnesota where I'll pay a _lot_ less and I'll be able to do IRC stuff which is forbidden on Peer1/ServerBeach. Soon! Very soon!

Wed, 20 Dec 2006

bluesock upgrade almost done....

I decided that one of the things I would do during "winter break" was to upgrade the hardware that bluesock.org sits on. There were a couple of minor issues, but otherwise the upgrade has gone very very smoothly. This time around, I'm writing up a massive "everything about this server" document. I think I may build a template out of it since it's the sort of thing that would be useful for other machines I have. It's much easier to deal with all the machines when I have an accounting of what went into them.

Anyhow, bluesock.org now has twice the oomph. Unfortunately, "upgrade bluesock" took several days to do, but it was only a single item in my todo list of around 25 items. I need to start adding items like "pat yourself on the back" and "take a nap" to my todo list--items that don't take too long to do and aren't as torturous when you look at a list of 25 of them.

Sat, 30 Sep 2006

problems upgrading tetex-bin

I went to update bluesock today and had wicked problems when it tried to upgrade tetex-bin to version 3.0-18. Every time it'd try to configure tetex-bin, it'd fail with this:

Setting up tetex-bin (3.0-18) ...
Running fmtutil-sys. This may take some time... Error: `etex -ini  
-jobname=jadetex -progname=jadetex &latex jadetex.ini' failed
Error: `pdfetex -ini  -jobname=pdfjadetex -progname=pdfjadetex &p
dflatex pdfjadetex.ini' failed

and lots of other output.

After futzing with things for a while I finally started skimming the Debian BTS and discovered bug 334613. Towards the bottom, Frank says that he can reproduce the bug by having jadetex installed before upgrading.

So I did an apt-get remove jadetex then an apt-get upgrade and tetex-bin installed fine as did everything else. Then I re-installed jadetex and docbook-utils and my system is happy again.

Figured I'd mention it in case anyone else had the same problem.

Update: I have multiple systems: one desktop (running Ubuntu Dapper), one laptop (running Ubuntu Edgy), and one server that I lease from ServerBeach (running Debian Sid). The jadetex problem I had was on the server running Debian Sid. I have no idea if the same problem occurs on my Ubuntu boxen. Figured I'd add that additional detail.

Thu, 15 Sep 2005

Status 09/15/2005

I started grad school last week. The last few weeks have been pretty work-intensive as I squared away a lot of stuff so I didn't have to worry about it while I'm studying.

Also, bluesock suffered a hard drive failure and that took a few days to sort out.

I haven't finished the things I wanted to finish with PyBlosxom. I have been doing some research on Leonardo to see what sorts of things we can do to make installation, configuration, and extending PyBlosxom easier.

One thing I've been thinking about a lot is the current state of PyBlosxom plugins. I'm not as psyched about splitting plugins off into a separate project anymore. Lyntin had a core set of plugins that came with Lyntin and formed most of the functionality. Then users could add additional plugins if they so desired on a user-by-user basis. I think it's prudent to do the same thing with PyBlosxom. I think this will help the typical PyBlosxom installation. I'm not sure why I didn't think of this 8 months ago or so. I'd like to do this work for PyBlosxom 1.3.

Tue, 12 Oct 2004

My status with Debian

I have Debian GNU/Linux happily running on my laptop, though my laptop is pretty pokey (it's an Inspiron 7000 that I bought in 1998).

My server at Serverbeach (bluesock.org) runs Debian and it was doing fine until the kernel switched the / mount to read-only and then died. Rebooting caused the server to fsck everything and I lost /var/lib and /var/cache... Then things got pretty interesting for a few hours. My friend gave me a tarball of his /var/lib (minus some random stuff) and from that and some useful files in /var/backup, I was able to bring most of the server back to life. Additionally, I found some of the files that were missing in lost+found. Tawdry things like mailing list archives dating back to 2000. Time to institute a more rigorous backup system that includes more data....

My dad loaned me one of his monster servers (see figure 1) because it was non-functional. My roommate pulled all the stuff out and put it back in again and now it works fine... Not clear what the actual issue was. Anyhow, once I get it booting, I'm going to slap Debian on that machine and start using it for development. Then I'll switch my pokey laptop to mirroring/backing-up bluesock.org.

I've been really happy with Debian. As happy as I was with Gentoo, except I don't have to wait hours for X and various other large things to compile.

   ____
  ||__||   <---- server
  ||__||
  |    |
  |    |
  |____|   . <-- me

figure 1: an ascii picture of me standing next to the server

Fri, 05 Mar 2004

Bluesock died on Tuesday; resurrected on Thursday

Yea, and lo Bluesock did gasp its last breath early Tuesday morn and exhaled ne'er to be revived again. And lo, all my friends called me up to tell me the news. I submitted two, nay three, tickets in the tech-support ticket system. Minutes turned into hours.

Yea verily yea, Rob of the clan Atha did calleth up the ServerBeach people and gave them angry Texas hell and they agreed to give us some new hardware. Forsooth it turned out to be a defective disk or motherboard or some such hardware issue (or so we think--hard to tell when I'm in Boston and the server liveth in Texas).

Then on the second day, Bluesock rose again with a new mortal coil and the old drive was mounted as a partition of the new. With great speed, we re-configured and re-installed all the stuff we had configured and installed on the original Bluesock.

Then when we were done, it was as if the tragedy had never occurred. The users were happy once more [1].

[1] No users were actually asked--I just assumed.

Sat, 08 Nov 2003

Debian vs. Redhat: Round 1: FIGHT!

It took me 2 hours to install pure-ftpd on RedHat 7.1 (a couple of months ago). I ran into all kinds of RPM hell up the wazoo and then gave up and did a source install.

It took me 1 minute to install pure-ftpd on Debian 3.0 testing.

WINNER: DEBIAN!

Sun, 02 Nov 2003

bluesock.org moving....

bluesock.org is (as of the time of this writing) a leased server hosted at rackspace.com and we've been there for a few years. They've been great and we've never had problems with them. Recently they informed us we needed to upgrade to RedHat 9.0 and it either involved a per-month rate increase or some finagling with the hardware and downtime. I decided this was as good a time as any to switch over to a different hosting service with Debian.

This will make the third Linux flavor that I'll have extensive administration experience with. The first two being RedHat (I've run many of the versions since 5.2) and Gentoo (which I've been running for a couple of years now). I ran Mandrake for a bit, but never really did anything with it. Same with Slackware. I toyed with Debian a couple of times, but never got past the installation.

It's all very exciting. Hopefully, everything will turn out just right.