18TB Volume and ext4 … you wish

Well I was not really tied to ext4 and it was not a big deal but come on lets stop the lies, ext4 only supports 16 binary tera bytes.

I have recently installed a few Dell MD1200 attached to R710 for long term storage and since I am using Ubuntu Karmic (9.10) I decided to go with ext4. I have read over the spec a few times quickly and had read about how“Ext4 adds 48-bit block addressing, so it will have 1 EB of maximum file system size” . I had not gotten this info from wiki page but rather the tech articles I have read. I get the raid arrays configured and try to create a ext4 fs and up pops this error “too big to be expressed in 32 bits”. I know I am running a 64bit version of Ubuntu so what gives? I double check just to confirm and sure enough “x86_64 GNU/Linux”. As I start to dig around the ugly truth pops up when I read the wiki page “The code to create file systems bigger than 16 TB is, at the time of writing this article, not in any stable release of e2fsprogs. It will be in future releases.” … future releases … ext4 has been in use for over a year now and is the default on karmic.

Well I was not really tied to ext4 and it was not a big deal but come on lets stop the lies, ext4 only supports 16 binary tera bytes and thats not likely to change any time soon.

If your looking for alternatives I suggest a good look at the tried and true xfs, and keep your eye on btrfs filesystem as it looks like it will be the first to bring the promisses of zfs to linux.

Preseeding anyone?

Preseed is a powerful tool but its a pain to work with

Today during my ubuntu install I noticed some major problems that I had not seen on the over 100 previous installs. While I install via pxe and use local mirrors for updates I failed to notice that during install the system was reaching out to security.ubuntu.com. This is not a huge problem but is network over head I would rather keep local but today it turned out to be a huge problem as security was having major issues and my 12 minute install did not complete in over an hour. Using F4 on the boot I noticed it was stuck on pulling a update from security.ubuntu.com and thats when the real fun started.

I of course had the url set for local installs but never noticed that did not cover everything.

#Use Web installation
url --url http://pxe.example.com/ubuntu-9.10-server-x86_64/ubuntu/

After a lot of digging I found the needed lines. These lines need to be right after the url according to the Ubuntu docs.

#Use Web installation
url --url http://pxe.example.com/ubuntu-9.10-server-x86_64/ubuntu/
preseed apt-setup/security_host string aptmirror.example.com
preseed apt-setup/security_path string /repo_mirror/ubuntu-9.10-server-x86_64/

Preseed is a powerful tool but its a pain to work with, the link below will give you some additional guidance.

Opscode adds training but will anyone care?

While this is a next logical step I feel that they need to focus on getting 8.0 out before they even start to worry about training. I have held off on suggesting chef to a lot of people due to tall the change coming in 8.0.

So as you can see I have enjoyed Opscodes chef a lot but now I see they added training. While this is a next logical step I feel that they need to focus on getting 8.0 out before they even start to worry about training. I have held off on suggesting chef to a lot of people due to tall the change coming in 8.0. As a user or almost 8 months now I feel the changes are so extreme that its not worth starting with chef at this point. While the recipes an basic stuff your pushing out will move forward a lot of logic changes happen in 8.0. First there is the new databags that will allow you to rethink how you use shared data. Then there is the joy of roles in roles, which I love by the way. Why these are really minor changes I hate to think about going over all my roles and recipes and reworking them for 8.0. Not because you have to but more because I like to have a common pattern in execution and I assure you that I will be using these new features in new additions to my chef tool kit. O then there is knife … umm yea world changer there. So in summary hold off on training opscode and get 8.0 out the door.

Chef 8.0 almost here?

Its starting to feel like 8.0 will never ship and I just dont feel its ready to run in production just yet based on the lack of documentation but I have tasted enough to know I want it.

Been busy as heck around here at Rdio, Inc still loving chef but can not wait for 8.0

Some features I am looking forward to:

Knife: a command-line utility used to interact with a Chef server directly through the RESTful API.
one of the best parts of this that I have seen is that it will make multiple admins much easier to deal with. My favorite command so far: cookbook upload

Openid no longer only option for logins: Infact the whole login stuff has changed and with knife there will be even less reason then ever to login to the UI, this is a major change as the whole auth stuff is in flux right now.

Better Serach: now this one I have not played with much but they say it will be much better based partially on the databag addition

Databags: Data bags are arbitrary stores of JSON data on the server that get indexed for search.
This will help you store data that is used across recipes with less effort.

I am sure there are more, but those are the ones I have played with so far. Its starting to feel like 8.0 will never ship and I just dont feel its ready to run in production just yet based on the lack of documentation but I have tasted enough to know I want it.