Free VMware server on SLES10 minimum install

First install a minimum SLES10 (only using selectiong Server Base).

I have a few issues with the minimum install thing in SLES10 (I had kind of the same feeling with SLES9):

  1. Why do I have to use CD2 to install a 76 kilobyte Zenwork Managemnet Daemon. Why not put it on CD1? It seems really lame that you cannot make a minimum install with CD1.
  2. No I really don’t want the Network Mmanager to manage my ethernet interface on my server… I want to give it a static ip. Ahhh I can disabled it. But why do SLES10 still want to install the network-manager package?… and worse all its dependencies is the reason why I choose the minimum install in the first place. Luckily after the install you can choose to use the old way of configuring network from within YAST.

Besides from that SLES10 have so far made a good impression on me.

I usually turn off the services slpd and portmap.

Preparing server for VMware

Extra packages needed:

xorg-x11-libs
gcc
kernel-source

Now install the the free VMware Server from www.vmware.com:

Large SD card hangs Ubuntu Edgy

Damn… never brag about uptime :-(

Today I received a 2GB SD card which I’m going to use to store ssh and gpg keys on. Of cause I’m going to encrypt it like I wrote about some days ago. When I inserted the SD card into my laptop everything just froze… it guess I’m hit by bug #61758. Ubuntu Edgy uses kernel 2.6.17 which seems to be affected by this bug. It should be fixed in 2.6.18 though.

I’ll try to patch my kernel module… god I hoped those days where over. Exciting to see if I can even remember how to do it. I hope this gets fixed soon, life is to short to compile kernel modules. My laptop should just work.

Solution to vmnet1 down after suspend

I rarely shut down my laptop, but I use suspend all the time. Right now I have like 14 days of “uptime” which would have been a lot more if it wasn’t because I just installed Edgy :) I have VMware Server installed on it which I use for my work. I have all the machines on a host only network which works just great. But every time I suspend my laptop the virtually device vmnet1 seems to “go down” and I have to make a:

sudo ip link set vmnet1 up

to be able to connect from my laptop to the VMware machines again.

Now I created a file at the following location:

/etc/acpi/resume.d/89-enable-vmware-host-only-net.sh

With the following content:

#!/bin/sh

ip link set vmnet1 up

Now I don’t have do it manually any more, horay :-D

Using PHP to connect to an Active Directory

I am looking into authenticating users on Solaris 9 via Active Directory (AD) as an LDAP server. To chop the problem into smaller problems I started to try and connect to the LDAP interface of the AD from a platform which I know. I’m no Solaris expert :)

So I installed Ubuntu edgy (server install from alternative CD) and a evaluation Windows 2003 R2 server in the free VMware Server product. Then I install an Active Directory (and a DNS server) on the Windows Server. The I tried to connect to the AD with PHP scripts to test how it worked. I found a good article on www.developer.com about PHP LDAP connections to AD. I also found an article about various handy LDAP search filters for Active Directory.

First create a normal Windows user in the AD which you use to connect to the AD with. You don’t need to add this user to any special groups to allow it to connect to the AD. Just a plain normal user. You might wanna disable password expiration if you are gonna use it in a production environment :)

The I made a php script on my Ubuntu server somewhat like the following:

#!/usr/bin/php

Trouble shooting

49: Invalid credentials

Remember when you tell PHP script which user you want to connect with, also supply the realm in which the user resides. In my test setup I used my own user je (Jacob Emcken), and my realm testdomain.com which means I’m connecting with to LDAP with the following user:

je@testdomain.com

1: Operations error

This error can come from to things:

  1. You have used DN instead of DC in you distinct name:

    DN=testdomain,DN=com (didn't work for me)
    

    This worked for me:

    DC=testdomain,DC=com
    
  2. You get this if you are trying to search the root of the tree and you haven’t set the following:

    ldap_set_option($ldap_connect_resource, LDAP_OPT_REFERRALS, 0);
    

New infrastructure at home

Trough the last year I have been really wanting to do something to my home infrastructure :) I got wires running all over, and my little trusty server makes to much noice. I would like to hook up all my clients (2 workstations and a laptop) to a wireless network, maybe even my server, to get rid of all the wires cluttering my floor. I have been playing around with the thought of of trashing my current server totally, and find a new one wich is more home friendly (less power and noise). Even though webalizer tells me I have 1.5G traffic to emcken.dk each month, its not like I need a 2.0GHz processor and 1GB ram for it.

I have searched the net for devices which could help me do what I want with a minimum of devices. Beneath I have gathered all I found out so far but first I want to sum up my list of my requirements.

Here is what I want my home network and computers to do:

  • Linux server
    • Minimum noise
    • Minimum power consumption
    • Fair amount of disk space (minimum 60GB)
    • Apache / PHP / MySQL (for my website / blog)
    • Samba server (to share files to my Windows machines)
  • Wireless access
  • IP telephony
  • A firewall
    • Preferable Linux
    • With the possibility for QoS / traffic shaping to make IP phone work under heavy network load.

In the future I might want the following:

Wireless

My first wireless was a Zyxel 2000. Spec’s was what I needed and the design of the actual access point was good. Random disconnects and the need for power cycling the acces point made me look for something new. Then I bought a Linksys WRT54GL on Fon’s website and tried that one out. FON is a really cool wireless community. Go read about them… you might like it.

I wasn’t able to open port ranges in the firewall on the Linksys using the FON firmware. So I tried a firmware from the OpenWRT project which FON actually builds upon for their Linksys WRT54GL devices. Linux on small devices rocks.

For some reason I had a high latency when playing World of Warcraft on the wireless… I never got the time to look into this before I stumbled upon another project using the OpenWRT project as base: Coova. Coova is a really cool project even though I had some issuses with it. Before I found the solution to the problem, which I later learned was caused by mysellf my colleague Tomas Krag had already introduced me to “La Fonera”, the latest access point from Fon. It is small, looks really slick and the wireless connections is very stable… so I’m gonna stick with this one for now.

The server

I have been looking a various possible server alternatives to my current “slim desktop PC” server.

First I thought about building a micro-atx machine. Though I would really like to make my server as small, noise free and with as low power consumption as possible. Then I thought I’d use my Lynksys WRT54GL, but it doesn’t have enought diskspace for my websites. Then I looked at different NAS solutions like Thecus N2100, and in the end I stumbled upon the Linksys NSLU2. You can install linux on the Linksys NSLU2, you can attach USB disks, its small and it is cheap :-D

I’m not sure if the processor is powerful enough. One of my mates reminded me that might be able to use alternatives to Apache which is more lightweight. Anyways I think I’m gonna buy one and find out for my self. For disk space I’d buy a laptop disk (2,5”). Perhaps a Seagate disk in a RaidSonic Icybox closure. It seems people have made the slimserver run on it which is cool. Don’t know if it can run a Teamspeak and it can’t run as a MythTV box for sure. But I might wanna make a separate box for all that multimedia stuff later on, perhaps based on micro or nano ATX motherboard.

The other stuff

I already go an IP telephone, or an IP2analog converter. Which works okay, good enough for me anyway. About the firewall I might want to use my current Linksys WRT54GL as firewall behind my Zyxel 650 router provided by ISP. The Zyxel 650 doesn’t use a normal RJ45 plug for the wan interface. I hope I will be able to find a device with a decent firewall and QoS / traffic shaping that can replace my Zyxel 650. So I don’t have to use 2 devices to get router and firewall functionality.