OpenBSD Install Howto Guided Experience

Download the OpenBSD 5.8 x64 install .iso from compevo mirror

Just a note that on KVM OpenBSD runs very slow in terms of disk access for some reason (it takes forever to even format the partitions).

Any BSD is in my opinion one of the most reliable operating system period and one of the most secure, and OpenBSD is no exception.

It does not have a fancy installer but is dead, simple and minimalist, it’s about efficiency, security and stability first.

Boot the OpenBSD ISO

OpenBSD-Install-1

Press I for install or A for auto install

I recommend I because the install fails straight away if no DHCP lease is detected (very common in many remote environments or datacenters of course).

OpenBSD-Install-2

So make sure you press I for normal install

Choose your hostname

OpenBSD-Install-3

Configure more options

OpenBSD-Install-4

Partition Layout

OpenBSD-Install-5

OpenBSD-Install-6

 

OpenBSD-Install-7

 

OpenBSD-Install-9

OpenBSD-Install-10

Will the PC and Server Based computing become obsolete?

There has been much debate over the years and it’s easy to see there is a lot of momentum and gravitation towards smart phones and tablets because they are convenient and are capable of many things a PC is.

The stats show the following trends in my opinion: http://www.statista.com/statistics/272595/global-shipments-forecast-for-tablets-laptops-and-desktop-pcs/

The laptop market peaked in 2011 at 209 million units and is projected to be 170.4 million in 2019.

The laptop PC market peaked on or before 2010 at 201 million units and is projected to be 170.4million in 2019.

Tablets have had amazing growth from 19 million units in 2010 to 269.4 million projected in 2019 with a peak of 407million projected in 2017.

The numbers of PCs and Desktops show some variation but are not an immediate indication that people will stop buying them.  Certainly the tablet market has probably eaten into some of the laptop market.  If anything the largest drop or decline is being forecast for the tablet market.  I think part of the reason sales are slowing in the PC market is not because people are not using them, but quite honestly even old computers are capable of doing most tasks people want them to so there may be no need to upgrade.

With that said, I believe most professionals will still prefer a PC for many uses.  Personally speaking I can get a lot more done, more quickly with a PC.  I also feel PC’s are more secure than smart phones because with the phones, we never know what is in the ROMs or what potential security flaws are waiting for us.

When using a Unix based open-source PC there is reasonable assurance to privacy and security compared to a tablet.

The server side is something that is not only, not declining but growing and ironically this demand is being fed by a lot  of smartphone users putting their data into Cloud based services.  Datacenter services have not fundamentally changed in a long time, there have been experiments in cooling and green options but whatever the improvements and format, server based computing is here to stay long into the future.

PC based computing does appear to be on the decline and may continue to decline as more and more new generations grow up almost exclusively on an iOS or Android device.  However I do not think it will ever disappear in the foreseeable future and the server side has a long way to go.

Rebooting a Linux Dedicated server with no hard drives from the shell

I just thought I would finally test this so I simulated a complete RAID array failure by pulling all of the drives at once.

This results in an input/output error when trying to do anything so the question is can you still reboot in this situation?

[root@testserver /]# reboot
-bash: /sbin/reboot: Input/output error
[root@testserver /]# shutdown -rn now
-bash: /sbin/shutdown: Input/output error
[root@testserver /]# shutdown
-bash: /sbin/shutdown: Input/output error
[root@testserver /]# uptime
13:47:10 up 41 min,  1 user,  load average: 0.00, 0.00, 0.00

Reboot by sending commands directly to /proc

[root@testserver /]# echo 1 > /proc/sys/kernel/sysrq
[root@testserver /]# echo b > /proc/sysrq-trigger

And sure enough the server rebooted, it could be handy if someone has a remote server without remote hands or remote-reboot (in this case we have both on-site so there was no risk and this was a test server).

What dmesg looks like when the drives are removed and arrays degraded:
[  559.302943] ata3: exception Emask 0x10 SAct 0x0 SErr 0x1810000 action 0xe frozen
[  559.302988] ata3: SError: { PHYRdyChg LinkSeq TrStaTrns }
[  559.303048] ata3: hard resetting link
[  559.303054] ata3: nv: skipping hardreset on occupied port
[  560.024048] ata3: SATA link down (SStatus 0 SControl 300)
[  565.024048] ata3: hard resetting link
[  565.024054] ata3: nv: skipping hardreset on occupied port
[  565.327053] ata3: SATA link down (SStatus 0 SControl 300)
[  565.327064] ata3: limiting SATA link speed to 1.5 Gbps
[  570.327045] ata3: hard resetting link
[  570.327050] ata3: nv: skipping hardreset on occupied port
[  570.630048] ata3: SATA link down (SStatus 0 SControl 300)
[  570.630059] ata3.00: disabled
[  570.630078] ata3: EH complete
[  570.630087] sd 2:0:0:0: rejecting I/O to offline device
[  570.630104] ata3.00: detaching (SCSI 2:0:0:0)
[  570.630125] sd 2:0:0:0: [sda] killing request
[  570.630153] md: super_written gets error=-5, uptodate=0
[  570.630159] md/raid10:md2: Disk failure on sda2, disabling device.
[  570.630162] md/raid10:md2: Operation continuing on 1 devices.
[  570.630257] end_request: I/O error, dev sda, sector 58605128
[  570.630291] md: super_written gets error=-5, uptodate=0
[  570.633517] sd 2:0:0:0: [sda] Synchronizing SCSI cache
[  570.633651] sd 2:0:0:0: [sda]  Result: hostbyte=DID_BAD_TARGET driverbyte=DRIVER_OK
[  570.633659] sd 2:0:0:0: [sda] Stopping disk
[  570.633680] sd 2:0:0:0: [sda] START_STOP FAILED
[  570.633684] sd 2:0:0:0: [sda]  Result: hostbyte=DID_BAD_TARGET driverbyte=DRIVER_OK
[  570.655206] RAID10 conf printout:
[  570.655210]  — wd:1 rd:2
[  570.655214]  disk 0, wo:0, o:1, dev:sdb2
[  570.655217]  disk 1, wo:1, o:0, dev:sda2
[  570.659025] RAID10 conf printout:
[  570.659029]  — wd:1 rd:2
[  570.659032]  disk 0, wo:0, o:1, dev:sdb2
[  570.659313] md: md1 still in use.
[  570.738752] md: md2 still in use.
[  570.739106] md/raid1:md1: Disk failure on sda3, disabling device.
[  570.739109] md/raid1:md1: Operation continuing on 1 devices.
[  570.739380] md/raid10:md0: Disk failure on sda1, disabling device.
[  570.739382] md/raid10:md0: Operation continuing on 1 devices.
[  570.739412] md: unbind<sda2>
[  570.747449] md: export_rdev(sda2)
[  570.868144] RAID1 conf printout:
[  570.868148]  — wd:1 rd:2
[  570.868168]  disk 0, wo:0, o:1, dev:sdb3
[  570.868175]  disk 1, wo:1, o:0, dev:sda3
[  570.873025] RAID1 conf printout:
[  570.873029]  — wd:1 rd:2
[  570.873032]  disk 0, wo:0, o:1, dev:sdb3
[  570.999292] md: unbind<sda3>
[  571.007119] md: export_rdev(sda3)
[  573.633246] ata4: exception Emask 0x10 SAct 0x0 SErr 0x1810000 action 0xe frozen
[  573.633292] ata4: SError: { PHYRdyChg LinkSeq TrStaTrns }
[  573.633331] ata4: hard resetting link
[  573.633335] ata4: nv: skipping hardreset on occupied port
[  574.354052] ata4: SATA link down (SStatus 0 SControl 300)
[  579.354032] ata4: hard resetting link
[  579.354037] ata4: nv: skipping hardreset on occupied port
[  579.657041] ata4: SATA link down (SStatus 0 SControl 300)
[  579.657052] ata4: limiting SATA link speed to 1.5 Gbps
[  584.657032] ata4: hard resetting link
[  584.657038] ata4: nv: skipping hardreset on occupied port
[  584.960047] ata4: SATA link down (SStatus 0 SControl 300)
[  584.960058] ata4.00: disabled
[  584.960076] ata4: EH complete
[  584.960086] sd 3:0:0:0: rejecting I/O to offline device
[  584.960094] ata4.00: detaching (SCSI 3:0:0:0)
[  584.960124] sd 3:0:0:0: [sdb] killing request
[  584.960148] md: super_written gets error=-5, uptodate=0
[  584.960220] end_request: I/O error, dev sdb, sector 58605120
[  584.960265] md: super_written gets error=-5, uptodate=0
[  584.960322] end_request: I/O error, dev sdb, sector 58605128
[  584.960357] md: super_written gets error=-5, uptodate=0
[  584.960393] end_request: I/O error, dev sdb, sector 58605128
[  584.960428] md: super_written gets error=-5, uptodate=0
[  584.962495] sd 3:0:0:0: [sdb] Synchronizing SCSI cache
[  584.962765] sd 3:0:0:0: [sdb]  Result: hostbyte=DID_BAD_TARGET driverbyte=DRIVER_OK
[  584.962772] sd 3:0:0:0: [sdb] Stopping disk
[  584.962786] Buffer I/O error on device md2, logical block 524292
[  584.962805] sd 3:0:0:0: [sdb] START_STOP FAILED
[  584.962810] sd 3:0:0:0: [sdb]  Result: hostbyte=DID_BAD_TARGET driverbyte=DRIVER_OK
[  584.962824] lost page write due to I/O error on md2
[  584.962841] end_request: I/O error, dev sdb, sector 58605128
[  584.962877] md: super_written gets error=-5, uptodate=0
[  584.962921] md: md1 still in use.
[  584.962931] Buffer I/O error on device md2, logical block 524293
[  584.963007] lost page write due to I/O error on md2
[  584.963020] Buffer I/O error on device md2, logical block 1048646
[  584.963095] lost page write due to I/O error on md2
[  584.963104] Buffer I/O error on device md2, logical block 1048647
[  584.963179] lost page write due to I/O error on md2
[  584.963188] Buffer I/O error on device md2, logical block 1048648
[  584.963274] lost page write due to I/O error on md2
[  584.963280] md: md2 still in use.
[  584.963299] Buffer I/O error on device md2, logical block 1048694
[  584.963381] lost page write due to I/O error on md2
[  584.963391] Buffer I/O error on device md2, logical block 1056863
[  584.963468] lost page write due to I/O error on md2
[  584.963478] Buffer I/O error on device md2, logical block 1056864
[  584.963553] lost page write due to I/O error on md2
[  584.963562] Buffer I/O error on device md2, logical block 6299690
[  584.963635] lost page write due to I/O error on md2
[  584.963800] Aborting journal on device md2-8.
[  584.963836] EXT4-fs error (device md2) in ext4_delete_inode: Readonly filesystem
[  584.963868] EXT4-fs (md2): ext4_da_writepages: jbd2_start: 987 pages, ino 28972747; err -30
[  584.963877] md: super_written gets error=-19, uptodate=0
[  584.963883]
[  584.963888] EXT4-fs (md2): ext4_da_writepages: jbd2_start: 7896 pages, ino 28972690; err -30
[  584.963893]
[  584.963953] EXT4-fs warning (device md2): ext4_end_bio: I/O error writing to inode 28972747 (size 36864 starting block 689771)
[  584.964303] JBD2: I/O error detected when updating journal superblock for md2-8.
[  584.964309] EXT4-fs error (device md2): ext4_journal_start_sb: Detected aborted journal
[  584.964316] EXT4-fs (md2): Remounting filesystem read-only
[  584.972785] md0: detected capacity change from 30005002240 to 0
[  584.972794] md: md0 stopped.
[  584.972810] md: unbind<sdb1>
[  584.979298] md: export_rdev(sdb1)
[  584.979344] md: unbind<sda1>
[  584.987280] md: export_rdev(sda1)
[  585.165084] md: super_written gets error=-19, uptodate=0
[  585.165102] md: super_written gets error=-19, uptodate=0
[  589.309845] EXT4-fs error (device md2): ext4_find_entry: reading directory #262476 offset 0
[  589.963162] EXT4-fs (md2): ext4_da_writepages: jbd2_start: 1024 pages, ino 263495; err -30
[  589.963314]
[  599.310238] EXT4-fs error (device md2): ext4_find_entry: reading directory #262476 offset 0
[  604.963046] EXT4-fs (md2): ext4_da_writepages: jbd2_start: 1024 pages, ino 262464; err -30
[  604.963153]
[  609.310592] EXT4-fs error (device md2): ext4_find_entry: reading directory #262476 offset 0
[  614.963071] EXT4-fs (md2): ext4_da_writepages: jbd2_start: 1024 pages, ino 28186168; err -30
[  614.963176]
[  614.963181] EXT4-fs (md2): ext4_da_writepages: jbd2_start: 8192 pages, ino 28186171; err -30
[  614.963298]
[  614.963301] EXT4-fs (md2): ext4_da_writepages: jbd2_start: 8192 pages, ino 28972747; err -30
[  614.963405]
[  614.963408] EXT4-fs (md2): ext4_da_writepages: jbd2_start: 8192 pages, ino 28972690; err -30
[  614.963507]
[  619.310906] EXT4-fs error (device md2): ext4_find_entry: reading directory #262476 offset 0
[  619.963133] EXT4-fs (md2): ext4_da_writepages: jbd2_start: 1024 pages, ino 263495; err -30
[  619.963244]
[  629.311267] EXT4-fs error (device md2): ext4_find_entry: reading directory #262476 offset 0
[  634.963038] EXT4-fs (md2): ext4_da_writepages: jbd2_start: 1024 pages, ino 262464; err -30
[  634.963144]
[  639.311561] EXT4-fs error (device md2): ext4_find_entry: reading directory #262476 offset 0
[  644.963069] EXT4-fs (md2): ext4_da_writepages: jbd2_start: 1024 pages, ino 28186168; err -30
[  644.963172]
[  644.963176] EXT4-fs (md2): ext4_da_writepages: jbd2_start: 8192 pages, ino 28186171; err -30
[  644.963288]
[  644.963291] EXT4-fs (md2): ext4_da_writepages: jbd2_start: 8192 pages, ino 28972747; err -30
[  644.963395]
[  644.963397] EXT4-fs (md2): ext4_da_writepages: jbd2_start: 8192 pages, ino 28972690; err -30
[  644.963499]
[  649.311846] EXT4-fs error (device md2): ext4_find_entry: reading directory #262476 offset 0
[  649.963202] EXT4-fs (md2): ext4_da_writepages: jbd2_start: 1024 pages, ino 263495; err -30
[  649.963319]
[  653.202216] ata3: exception Emask 0x10 SAct 0x0 SErr 0x50000 action 0xe frozen
[  653.202317] ata3: SError: { PHYRdyChg CommWake }
[  653.202379] ata3: hard resetting link

 

Green Computing with a Server Based Desktop Workstation

A lot of people whether friends or family wonder what kind of computer I have and usually say something along the lines of “Areeb must have a supercomputer as a PC”.  Most people are surprised when it couldn’t be further from the truth, and even more, I have no need for a more powerful computer.

A few months ago I decided to upgrade from a self-built AMD Phenom Quad Core CPU with 8GB of RAM and RAID 1 x 1TB hard drives, not because I needed the CPU power, but because I wanted more RAM and grew tired of maintaining so many physical computers in my personal space.

Prior to this I used to have a separate server for all of my testing, VPS and another for filebackups and media.  But it really was quite the waste to use so much extra power when those other systems sat mainly idle.

My solution was to make a hybrid, Desktop workstation on my own (I always prefer to build my own systems).  I must admit I didn’t have an exact plan and it was more of a work in progress when I first started.

My Home Made Workstation

I have used servers based on the AMD Opteron 2400 series and loved them because of their low wattage and high cores.  Almost any of them would give me more power than I had before (which I didn’t need).

I settled on a brand new Coolermaster Case which supported dual power supplies, and more importantly EATX server motherboards.

AMD Opteron Tyan/HP Server Based Motherboard:

I’ve always been a fan of AMD so I couldn’t resist when I came across this model.

HP XW9400 but is really a rebranded Tyan S2915E (I love Tyan products because I find they are incredibly stable and long-lasting, no Asus Desktop product can compare in my opinion).

What’s to love about the Tyan S2915E/XW9400 Motherboard?

 

AreebXW9400build

  • Dual CPU Sockets (I installed dual 6-core AMD 2419EE to keep the power low, at just 45W each for a total of 12 cores)
  • 8 RAM sockets (4 per CPU with support for up to 64GB DDR2 ECC RAM)
  • SAS/SATA Controller (LSI 1068E) with 8 ports
  • SATA Controller (MCP55) with 6 ports.
  • Dual NVIDIA 1gbit NICs
  • Dual PCI-E x16 Graphics Slots
  • PCI-X (2) PCI-X 64-bit 133/100MHz slots
    PCI (1) PCI 32-bit slot
  • Onboard Audio

Can be flashed with Tyan firmware and in case of a bad flash it has a standard ROM chip that can be replaced and/or flashed even from Linux (using Flashrom).

The Build

Since I bought a brand new HP XW9400 motherboard there were some challenges.  First of all it came with standoffs meant for the HP XW9400 case but are completely useless for a standard EATX case.  To make it worse they are TORX screws with a security bit in the middle.  Fortunately it is fairly easy to break the security bits off using a flat head screw driver.

Power Supply is not a standard ATX, I bought one used from the XW8400 (interestingly enough the ones branded as XW9400 are missing the memory power connector so will not work).

Compatible power supply: Delta DPS-825AB B 800W Power Supply 405351-003

What I like about this power supply is that it is incredibly quiet.

Non-compatbile power supply: Delta DPS1050CB 1050W HP P/N 440860-001 (SPARE) 442038-001

CPU Fans & Heatsink are Proprietary (even the power connectors are)

You have to buy the correct HP part# for these but it is worth the money, after 117 days of uptime both heatsinks are luke warm to the touch (no need for liquid cooling).

CPUs

2 x AMD Opteron 2419EE (45 Watts and 6-cores each clocked at 1.8ghz)

RAM
8 x 4GB PC2-5300P ECC Registered RAM Qimonda

It is way too much power for me

As you can see even with a load of nearly 3.0 most cores sit idle and at 800mhz to conserve energy and lower heat, showing that I have way more CPU power and cores than I really need.

cat /proc/cpuinfo|grep MHz

cpu MHz        : 800.000
cpu MHz        : 1200.000
cpu MHz        : 800.000
cpu MHz        : 800.000
cpu MHz        : 800.000
cpu MHz        : 800.000
cpu MHz        : 800.000
cpu MHz        : 1000.000
cpu MHz        : 800.000
cpu MHz        : 1800.000
cpu MHz        : 800.000
cpu MHz        : 800.000

The Green Computing Effect

Because of this build I was able to retire 2 servers and combine them into one.  It is an ideal setup having so many SATA ports that I am able to have separate RAID arrays for different functions so IO does not become a factor.

I have a RAID10 array for my main OS and /home, a second array for media and a third for Virtual Servers.

I’ve saved a lot of money, power and also don’t have the hassle of maintaining more systems than I need, all in a rock solid build with more CPU power than I’ll need.

People are always surprised when I tell them what I am using and usually they have spent a lot more on a computer they don’t need and have a CPU that uses far more power (eg. 150+W CPU).

This is a great way to go green, save power and also consolidate unnecessary systems and make life easier so it’s been a win-win.