Category Archives: Computing

Hardware, software, computer science and the rest

Redundant Array of Independent Door-stoppers

My home server isĀ using RAID 1 to keep all the files stored on it safe. The idea is that if one of the hard disks fails I can just replace it without losing any data. Well, that is the theory.

Last night both of the hard disks in the primary RAID 1 volume of my server started to report bad blocks. As a result one of the hard disks got removed from the volume. Two attempts to add it back have failed because parts of the other hard disk cannot be read as well. My attempt to create a backup of the file system containing the bad block revealed more bad blocks and locked up the remaining disk. I will have to restore the data from last Saturday’s full backup. šŸ™

I just hope the partially working hard disk will keep running until the two replacements arrive.

Major updates in pkgsrc-2010Q1

During the previous week the new stable package source branch pkgsrc-2010Q1 was created. Among the many new packages my favourites are clearly these three:

  1. Samba 3.3.12
    NetBSD’s Samba package (version 3.0.37) is outdated and no longer supported by the Samba team. The newĀ net/samba33 package provides a newer and above all still supported version. The upgrade worked without any problems on my home server and didn’t require any configuration changes.
  2. PHP 5.3.2
    I’ve mentioned in the past that I have doubts about the security of PHP. But as PHP is required for the software used by my blog it is installed on my web server nevertheless. Since a few weeks pkgsrc provides the latest stable version via theĀ lang/php53 package. As this version receives the best security support by the PHP project at the moment the new package helps me to keep my home server safe.
  3. MySQL 5.1
    Sun (Oracle?) have recently announced the end of the active support for MySQL 5.0. Fortunately the new database/mysql51-server package provides MySQL 5.1 which is still fully supported until the end of this year.
    Updating my home server didn’t work very well initially because InnoDB support was missing (or not enabled?). However, in the meantime this has been fixed in pkgsrc. You therefore don’t have to dump and restore your database (although creating a dump before an update is always a good idea). Instead you only need to start the new server and run mysql_upgrade afterwards.

Owing to all these new packages I’m less concerned about the security of my home server, at least for now. For this IĀ would like to thankĀ Takahiro Kambe who added these packages to pkgsrc.

YouTube via IPv6

Google recently enabled IPv6 support for their popular video portalĀ YouTube. This resulted in a significant increase of IPv6 traffic on the Internet. The amount of IPv6 traffic running through the DE-CIX e.g. grew roughly by a factor of four.

This is a big step in the right direction in my opinion. Finally a lot of popular content is made available to end users via IPv6. Thanks a lot Google!

I only wish they would admit more Internet Service Providers to theĀ Google over IPv6 project. My ISP AAISP still cannot get access although they are among the few which offer native IPv6 connectivity to their customers. šŸ™