Cheese with my Whine

I spent 36 hours straight at work over the weekend, backing up, installing Debian, and restoring our main fileserver. The basic process was to get an md-based RAID5 array going on what will become a co-lo server (for personal use) I’m sharing with a few people there, copy over everything into a .tar file over NFS, install Sarge, and then copy back the files.

Unfortunately, things didn’t quite work out that way, turning what should’ve been a simple 18 hour process into an endurance trial. The first problem was getting the IDE software RAID going on the to-be co-lo box. Some of the other people in the department had gotten the RAID going for three drives, and then started copying. After a while, they cancelled it and removed the tar file they were copying into, which somehow didn’t free the space that tar was using. So we re-installed Debian and got RAID going (this time including a fourth drive), then started copying again, this time gzipping the data as we copied. In the meantime we put bzflag on a few desktops and clocked out. Better to play games off the clock than do real work and get yelled at by payroll for working too much.

9 hours later, after the copying had finished, while we were un-tarring the archive to be sure it worked, md decided that one of the drives we were using was bad.

So my boss went through the fileserver and deleted anything he knew was unnecessary (files from employees that had quit years ago, a gaggle of MP3s, chroot-able backups of our web and mail servers, a bunch of other crap—I was under the impression that this had already been done, but it wasn’t). That cut the used disk space from 140G to 44G, and we were off again, onto another re-install of Debian, this time without the 2-strikes-against-it md RAID. It also allowed us to use plain tar instead of .tar.gz since the tar, extract, and OS would fit on one of the 120G drives we had.

And, after a few more hours of installing, configuring, copying, and extracting, we finished, and now have a nearly-completely debianized office. Next on the chopping block is the PDC. 🙂

Oh, and my cell-phone’s earpiece/mic thingie has lead in it, complete with a “wash your hands after sticking this thing in your ear” label. Maybe it’s me, but wouldn’t it be better to just not make this thing out of a carcinogen (e.g. copper instead of lead) than put a dire warning label on the baggie it comes in?

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