Dell PowerEdge problem

I upgraded a box from CentOS 4.2 to 4.3 this evening. You might think “no problem there” – rebooted it and it didn’t come up.

The following error was on the terminal after the reboot



Basically this means the mbr is shagged on your disk.

A quick boot off of a centOS cd “linux rescue”, mount you system and chroot into it.


$ grub
$ grub> root (hd0,0)
$ grub> setup (hd0)
$ grub> exit

That is it, grub will have re-installed itself and the machine will boot. The server in particular was a brand new, Dell Poweredge SC1425, 2 x 3.2Ghz Xeon processors etc.

We live and learn.

Paddy’s Weekend

Big weekend planned with the lads. We’ve a bouncey castle, sumo suits etc ordered. We had a live band lined up, but they got offered a gig with a pretty big band.


I found syslog-ng last week. I’ve since rolled it out on the new network. The core routers and distrution routers log to this now. It’s pretty handy and makes searching for oddities or problems much easier.

You can search per IP, per service or have it exclude certain txt terms. I’ve found it extremely flexible so far. The beauty of it is I can also have the boxes log to disk elsewhere aswell.


Myself and Paul (works for us now!, known as pauld in the office, he hates this :P) entered into wavehunt

It was pretty funny and it was fairly interesting. We were robbed and only came second. But 50 euro is 50 euro more than I’d have goten if I had not entered 🙂

Problems with Quagga?

It appears that Redhat don’t care about quagga at all. I installed it on a couple of boxes for testing and it simply didn’t work. The package was completely broke. Lots and lots of people having the same problem. It also appears that there is a broken dep in net-snmp-devel which had knock on effects for building quagga from the source rpm.

Redhat ship 0.97.1 or similar with RHEL (off which centos is based and is what we use). I had a look around on the web to find an rpm that would work, to no avail. I then thought, lets get a src rpm and build it. Easy you would think. Now admitedly I should have spotted the problem sooner, but I was fed up looking at it yesterday. net-snmp-devel requires openssl for most of its uses, so the src rpm for quagga tells you it needs net-snmp-devel. So you install it. It simply wouldn’t build.

fix: install openssl and openssl-devel

I’ve got the 3 working rpms for centos 4.2 available to download here, if you find a problem with them get back to me. But they work fine on centos for me, I’ve tried to install it on some of our webservers just to cross check to make sure there was nothing special or odd about the setup I was using.


We’ve finally organised ourselves and joined RIPE as an LIR. Over the coming few weeks/month or so we will be organising our new AS and IPv4 allocation. We’ve decided on our upstream carriers and look forward to the new year 🙂

last weekend

Last weekend was a laugh. Friday night we wen’t bowling. We brought my sister. She is 30 something .. 34/35 ish … Usually uber narky and not the kind of person you bring somewhere.

Anyway we had a good laugh, post bowling we had a few beers and a laugh. Odd, but grand.

Saturday was mad. Up at 9am to get ready for breakfast in leixlip of all places. There is a reason for this and I’ll get to it. So off we went, Niamh had invited us, but low and behold she was off shopping in lifey valley .. so her sister (whos b-day it was aswell as mine) made us breakfast. Mairead is the good sister, Niamh is the bad one.

Saturday night so .. after much driving around Ireland … we hit the Point for WWE!!!! OMFG ROFLAMO .. etc and othert such sayings. It sucked. I’ve watched it a few times on TV, its funny. But live its pants. Well I thought so, others didn’t.

Then we went to Mac Turkles and drank a shed load of booze and much fun was had by all. Met some people I’ve not seen in a while and one particular person I’ve not seen for what we think was about 8 years. And we used to be good mates back then so it was GREAT seeing her again. (Hi Siobh! :-))

After much drinking and eating (burger stand type thing) we got a taxi home, well after waiting 2 hours in the cold we got a taxi home. Which was just enough time for Doc to loose his wallet which to his dismay wasn’t apparent until sunday morning 🙂 – oh well, he did find some burds ATM card ..

Sunday we ventured to leixlip again, 2 days in a row breaky made for us? Bad sisters??? There not really bad, think they are more mad. So a lot of fun was had, a lot of fscking about etc.

Much enjoyed the weekend.

unpacking a rar on ubuntu

I’ve recently found that more and more files/apps etc come in .rar format. Usually this isn’t a problem, espeically if you are a unix user.

In ubuntu i simply installed unrar-free. “Grand” I thought to myself this will do what I need. But nope, it didn’t work. Right so that was a pain. Reboot into windows, unpack the file, copy to a fat32 partition and then boot back into linux. Painfull.

I then simply downloaded the this, unpacked it.

$ cp makefile.unix Makefile
$ make
# cp unrar /usr/bin/

then simply do unrar e $filename, handy as pie.


You can simply add multiverse into your sources.list and do apt-get update; apt-get install unrar-nonfree and hey presto you can unpack newer rar files. Both methods work fine, the later is obviously handier!

CCNA on going

I started doing a CCNA course in carlow IT in the evenings. Its pretty fast paced as it happens, but we’re getting plenty of hands on access to routers and switches.

Tonight we were working on Cisco 2950 switches. We’ve actually got a few of these in production, it was pretty cool looking at vlaning etc. Myself and Jim setup a vlan with trunking on two seperate switchs. We managed to get traffic to go between the vlans on two seperate switchs. lots of fun 🙂