Interesting Tech Note for Linux – Testing the read speed of a hard disk


I look at IBM’s support feeds every day to see what interesting new info comes down the fire hose … this was a first one: Linux drive performance testing! I work with allot of Linux and AIX so this is interesting stuff, I just did not think I would see it in an IBM support feed.

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Problem
How can I test to see if all drives are reading at the same speed?
Cause
One reason that hard disks fall out of RAID arrays is a difference in read/write speeds between the drives in the RAID array. You can use the hdparm utility to test each disk to determine whether all disks are reading at the same speed.
Resolving the problem
To run the tests follow the steps below:
Telnet into the server and log in as an administrative user.
Get a list of all hard disks on the system:

wd disk-info

Run the following command on each hard disk on the system:

hdparm -Tt /dev/Disk

Example: hdparm -Tt /dev/sda

The output will look similar to the following:

/dev/sda:
Timing cached reads: 14036 MB in 2.00 seconds = 7027.55 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 226 MB in 3.02 seconds = 74.79 MB/sec

For hard disks to work together in a RAID, the read speeds should be similar to each other. For best results you should run this test multiple times on each disk and average the results.

Problem
How can I test to see if all drives are reading at the same speed?
Cause
One reason that hard disks fall out of RAID arrays is a difference in read/write speeds between the drives in the RAID array. You can use the hdparm utility to test each disk to determine whether all disks are reading at the same speed.
Resolving the problem
To run the tests follow the steps below:
Telnet into the server and log in as an administrative user.
Get a list of all hard disks on the system:

wd disk-info

Run the following command on each hard disk on the system:

hdparm -Tt /dev/Disk

Example: hdparm -Tt /dev/sda

The output will look similar to the following:

/dev/sda:
Timing cached reads: 14036 MB in 2.00 seconds = 7027.55 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 226 MB in 3.02 seconds = 74.79 MB/sec

For hard disks to work together in a RAID, the read speeds should be similar to each other. For best results you should run this test multiple times on each disk and average the results.

 

Linux Security Alert: X.org Server Allows Anyone to Unlock Computer


https://www.linux.com/news/enterprise/biz-enterprise/538089-xorg-server-allows-anyone-to-unlock-computer

I had not heard of this one yet but I am going to my servers right now and checking for the latest security patches … if your servers do not run x.org server then you have nothing to fear. While you are at it, check your workstations too …..

Debmirror – Be independent on Linux


ToalSystems has finally decided that we have enough Linux servers to create out own mirror site – for multiple Linux releases. Over the last week we created a new Ubuntu mirror site on our internal network and will be adding a new CentOS mirror site as well. Currently we are still debating whether we want to register either or both sites for public use as the discussion is still going on whether we want to “adjust/change” the mirror site and add things of our own into it.  If we really decide to make the mirror site public I will blog it on this site.

 

Here is a short primer on how to set up a Ubuntu mirror site using DEBMIRROR – as opposed to RSYNCMIRROR which is a total copy/replica of the site you decide to pull from (including any back-version they have).

It is worth i if you want to have more control over what you offer your Linux  servers/workstations for updates and what versions you support. I also believe in having control where your machines go for an update … I dislike out internal machines going to outside sites to get updates if I can keep them inside. Also, having been burnt by the two big storms we had in the North East (Irene and Alfred) and which severely impacted our data center and the network connectivity, I like not having to be relicant on critical updated having to access the Internet but rather being able to pull all data down from an internal site.

 

 

Notes on Linux: Run a compact from the OS


I have been pretty busy as of late, hence my reduced blogging – but this is one I come across as a question quite frequently from people who are new to Notes/Domino on Linux.

On the Windows OS it is quite simple to run a compactor task from a command prompt or a batch file. However, when on Linux you will often be met by the following error message:

error while loading shared libraries: libnotes.so: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

This error message can appear on either a Linux desktop that has the Notes client installed or a server that has Domino installed. Basically the OS is complaining that it can’t find libnotes.so which usually resides in the /usr/lib folder on your machine. All you have to do is to create some links so that the Notes/Domino code can find this file. And, you will need to do the same for two other files as t the same time.

You will have to be root or have sudo rights to execute this:

sudo ln -s /opt/ibm/lotus/notes/libnotes.so /usr/lib/libnotes.so
sudo ln -s /opt/ibm/lotus/notes/libndgts.so /usr/lib/libndgts.so
sudo ln -s /opt/ibm/lotus/notes/libxmlproc.so /usr/lib/libxmlproc.so

You can see, I have my Notes client (Ubuntu 10.04) installed in [/opt/ibm/lotus/notes] which is the default location. If you have Notes installed someplace else, you will need to adjust the commands above accordingly.

the same commands will solve this issue for Domino server installations as well, though you will likely have Domino installed in [/opt/ibm/lotus/domino]  so just adjust the commands and off you go!

Accountment: Ubuntu 10.04 LTS is now an officially supported platform for Notes 8.5.2


I did just recently rant about IBM being behind on what versions of Linux they support for Notes Domino so this tech note comes timely. I would love to take credit for “pushing IBM along” but  – no matter what truths I twist, not even I can make that case … 😉

The great news is that all us Ubuntu lovers can install Notes on version 10.04 and receive support. Also supported are Red Hat 5.4 (or newer), SUSE Enterprise Desktop 10.0 SP3 or Version 11.0,  and Ubuntu 8.04.

 

IBM Lotus Notes 8.5.2 System Requirements – Linux

 

Linux – Lotus and fine Wine


Wine 1.3.4 adds ARM architecture support – The H Open Source: News and Features.

some of you might have read my post regarding how to get the Lotus Notes Admin and Developer client to run “natively” in Linux: what means without having to run a virtual Windows cleint. I use WINE for that purpose and it looks like the guys from Wine finally tool the version 1.3.4 out of the BETA stage and into production . . .

Guess what I am updating on my machine tonight??

PS: next to running my admin and developer client I hope the new 1.3.4 will make Civilization V run better on my machine … I have an empire to build after all!

Ridding myself of Windows – Google Desktop for Lotus Notes and Linux


Again, research, research – I came across this technote today:

IBM – Selecting Actions – Google Desktop for Lotus Notes yields error for Google Desktop plugin on Windows 7.

That reminded me of my current struggle of eliminating Windows from my laptop. Quick reminder – I don’t hate Windows, not do I knock is in personal or professional conversations at all – I just prefer Linux (currently Ubuntu 10.04, will upgrade to 10.10 S O O N) and I prefer not to pay allot of money for a first rate OS and all the software I want to use. I have another Windows Desktop at home, several servers and run Windows as a VM on my Linux machine when I need it.

Google Desktop:

First off let me say that I do applaud IBM for adding technotes about a product like Google Desktop that they don’t produce themselves – that is a great thing that I I hope they keep up.

I started using Google Desktop a few years ago and fell in love with it instantly. The native Windows search-your-desktop product regularly crashed my machine, and after I switched – I never looked back. I also Love the fact that IN WINDOWS it has a plug-in so that you can include your Lotus Notes based email in any search you are conducting. Brilliant! However, the Linux Google Desktop does not support this … sadly.

As to the why? Well, many reasons probably but the major one being the low number of Linux desktops that are used by real end-users out there and not just IT professionals.  For Google to put in the effort they are probably hoping for IBM to put more effort into that field.

David Gewirtz wrote a very interesting article in the Dominopower online magazine recently regarding this very topic. He made a very good point that the latest version of Lotus notes 8.5.2 is only certified to run on three distros: Red Hat, SUSE and Ubuntu. When it comes to Ubuntu – the most vibrant distro for desktops – the supported version is literally 2 years old. I have it running on the latest version (10.04) but I would never implement this in a customer environment as the desktop configuration would be unsupported by IBM.

Clearly, there is some room for more effort on IBM’s behalf to put some more resources into the Linux portion. I will even stop my griping about the lack of native Admin and Designer clients on Linux (note: my work-around tip is here)  and happily skip-and-jump down the yellow brick road for them. I will have to admit though there is a bit of a chicken and egg situation here: because there is not allot of pull by the market and free-bee extras (like Google Desktop Notes Mail integration) out there IBM is not pushing Linux nearly as hard as they could (or as I would wish them to – different matter I guess)  which in turn does not inspire other companies to put allot of effort into developing Linux variants of their products. Catch 22, viscous cycle, etc.

But clearly IBM is the one who would be able to make more waves in this field if they at least added more Linux distros to the supported list and – especially for Ubuntu – made sure they were not 2 versions behind. Or – novel idea – put out a time-line, schedule (or whatever) that shows where they intend to go with supported Linux versions, distros etc. AND they would have to put it someplace where it can actually be found … I searched but found nada. Just a few posts by TEB alone don’t make a compelling Linux argument. If you don’t have your information someplace where a Google search (or any other search provider) does not show it on page one or two of the results – it does not count. (note: I was searching for a good 30 minutes, that is longer than the average customer would be willing to spend time on a search)

** End of Linux-Griping for the day **

repost: IBM – Linux OOM-Killer kills Domino processes


IBM – Linux OOM-Killer kills Domino processes.

I normally try to not just re-post other content, but this one might be a tech note that not all Lotus Domino Linux people will come across.

The OOM Killer that is references in this tech note is part of any Linux kernel, the desktop as well. It will pop up not just against your Domino server (or Notes client) but it also made my life hell when I was transferring VMWare images from one machine to another and did not adjust the images’ memory settings. I would run them and suddenly the whole VMWare desktop would *puff* disappear

Keep in mind that Linux is more forgiving, but also more brutal than Windows. If you don’t clean up, it will clean up for you. Once you run into your serve (or client) invoking the OOM killer you really don’t have allot of options. Going 64 bit for more memory  or using the PAE version of the OS (Physical Address Extension – allows your 32 bit OS to address more than 3 GB or RAM) or just tweaking the server to run less services and save more memory.

Of course, you could just call me in and have me analyze the issue and make recommendations … and then fix it for you subsequently. (my shameless plug of the week)

Domino on Linux: Lotus Notes and Fine Wine


Fine Wine .. I am always reminded of Billy Joel’s song “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant”

A bottle of white, a bottle of red
Perhaps a bottle of rose instead . . .

Linux and WINE

I have taken a giant leap in my ever on-going quest to rid myself of the necessity to use Windows for my daily work. Being mainly an administrator and architect when it comes to Domino I have been feeling the pain of being treated like a red-headed step child by IBM – all just because I am a Linux user. Discrimination, I say! Off with their heads! No taxation without representation! I guess you get the general sentiment.

Returning to the world of serious debate, today was a good day. I have to use a VMware image or a VirtualBox image to run Windows on my Ubuntu client to run the Notes Admin client. I use the Admin client allot and sometime I just need it for 1 minute … and I don’t want to have to run a VMWare session all the time just for that reason.

In steps the hero – Wine but I did have to fiddle a bit to get it done correctly, here the process for Ubuntu 10.04:

  1. Install either using Ubuntu Software Center or via the terminal using [sudo apt-get install wine1.2]
  2. Run the configuration interface via Application – Wine – Configure Wine I really set nothing here, but running it once sets the base configuration
  3. Run the WINDOWS install executable for Notes/Admin/Design client 8.5.2

This is where the issue happened. The installer went ALMOST all the way and then broke off. It did actually register the program so I have the links in the Wine program to start them but the installer could not populate the notes.ini – it was empty but for the first line. A Notes client cannot run that way so what I did was simple – I cheated:

  1. Copy content of existing notes.ini from my VMWare image
  2. Adjust the directory settings for the Notes executable and data folder
  3. Copy my Notes ID file
  4. Copy my names.nsf (was not created yet)

I then ran the client and it went through the Notes client setup procedure.

…. Drum roll ….

Now I have a fully working Admin client that i can use to connect to the Server. Oh, I forgot .. I also have a Developer client and another Notes client as well. I can now run TWO Notes clients at the same time without having to jump through hoops. And all of that on a Linux workstation … I can now almost forgive IBM for discriminating against us Linux Admins, because we are one step ahead of Mac users who also do not have a native Admin client either. though – I guess there has to be some Mac equivalent of Wine that can run the Windows client directly.  Does anybody have information on that? I don’t have a Mac.