I scored a UPS!

I scored myself an APC Backup-UPS RS 500 the other day. It’s a small unit designed for running pretty much one machine on it.

APC Backup-UPS RS 500

The nice thing about this is that it has a USB interface which I have connected to my server hosting andybotting.com, and allows me to monitor it using apcupsd software. It even comes with some basic CGI scripts so I can monitor it online. If there is a power-out, then the UPS alerts the apcupsd, and at a certain point, can instruct the server to gracefully shut down.

Although, my ADSL modem isn’t plugged into it yet because it uses different plugs. I need to find some way of converting the IEC power socket to something I can plug my Australian power plug into. One possible solution might be a standard 4-port powerboard, but with an IEC plug on the end. I can’t say I’ve actually seen one though.

Posted in Geek, Gentoo, Linux at November 19th, 2005. 3 Comments.

andybotting.com system monitoring

I have been using LogWatch for a while now and I have been very impressed. It sends me a daily email (at about 3am) summarising the important parts of the logs that were generated throughout the day. It was actually LogWatch that tipped me off that something was not quite right when my server was compromised not long ago. Since then, I have been quite interesting in some system monitoring applications for linux so I can keep a close eye on what’s happening, so that if something bad happens again, I should know very quickly.

I had a poke around with LogWatch and found that it stores some configuration scripts in /etc/log.d/conf/services, and there are plenty of scripts there for a variety of services. I found that many of them were incorrectly set to monitor the wrong log files, and therefore were not sending me any information about them. I modified the httpd, amavis, openvpn and postfix to use the right logs, and I suddenly started getting information about these in my email. It can now tell me about how many spam emails it has dropped, how many emails have been sent and recieved and how many hits apache has had.

Another thing I have been playing with is Cacti, which is a PHP based SNMP monitoring tool. I was easily able to start monitoring simple things like the number of users currently logged in, available disk space, CPU load average and memory usage without any SNMP support, but once I recompiled both php and mod_php and installed net-snmp, then I was able to get all sorts of network interface statistics, which I find to be very informative. You can have a look at my stats here.

I’m also playing with Webalizer and Mailgraph to show me Apache and Postfix statistics. You can see them here and here.

Posted in Geek, Gentoo, Linux at July 8th, 2005. No Comments.

A rebuild for SPEED

After recently getting my insanely fast ADSL connected last week, I wanted to rebuild Gentoo on my desktop machine. I found the document Installing Gentoo 2005.0: Stage 1 NPTL on a Stage 3 Tarball on the Gentoo forums and thought it sounded quite interesting. The document outlines step-by-step how To Build a Fast and Bulletproof Gentoo System — Stage 1 NPTL Installation on a Stage 3 Tarball Using GCC 3.4.3.

The tricky part is that GCC 3.4.3 is still marked as unstable in portage, and the live-cd still contains GCC 3.3.4. This means that you have to do a stage 3 install, then do a stage 1 again over the top (something about keeping better track of installed apps in portage) and recompiling your GCC, glibc, libstdc++v3, etc a couple of times so that you end up with GCC 3.4.3 compiled by GCC 3.4.3 (and not by GCC 3.3.4 – which is available on the 2005.0 live-cd). Also, the guide provides some pretty crazy GCC optimisation flags, which seem quite stable.

After the very long process of recompiling the GCC suite a couple of times, and using the GCC flags:

CFLAGS=”-O3 -march=athlon-xp -fforce-addr -momit-leaf-frame-pointer -fomit-frame-pointer -ftracer -pipe”

I can notice a huge increase in speed over the old system, and it even seems more stable. Although, GCC flags like these reminds me a lot of The Gentoo is Rice page. 🙂

Also, I wanted to just rave about VMWare 5. I emerged the latest unstable from portage (vmware-workstation- and it rocks! I love the new GTK2 interface, and it does some really nice stuff. One of my favourite things is the dynamic resolution of desktop size. You can resize the VMWare window, and it will automatically adjust the screen res of the OS running inside it. I don’t know if this works in Linux, but Win2k does it.
VMWare 5
Check out the screen res

I still do feel kinda dirty by having this, but I can’t seem to get around it at big T.

Posted in Gentoo at May 19th, 2005. 5 Comments.

Gentoo graphical installer!

Who would have thought… a Gentoo graphical installer! Mick, you should have tried this before rebuilding your system 🙂

Gentoo Linux Installer Project Page and the mirror.

This reminds me a little of the old Mandrake installer that I was using around the v7 mark maybe? Once this installer goes mainstream, will it mean that more people will use gentoo because they were scared off by the text based install? Only time will tell.

I was just thinking about Apache web serving statistics (go figure), and had a look at my Webalizer log. My webcam snapshot which hasn’t been updated in about 3 months is the most active item. My spider senses tell me that it’s probably Mick using the GKrellKam plugin to GKrellm. Nice one bruvva 🙂

Posted in Gentoo at April 28th, 2005. 1 Comment.