Request Tracker serialized workflow

RT offers many ways to manage workflow, but most of them create a separate ticket for each part of the workflow.  The tasks at my company are mostly serialized:  a request comes in, is worked on by person A, who hands it off to person B, who hands it to person C, who closes the request.  Opening a separate ticket for each of these isn’t efficient.  (The situation is different for parallelized tasks.)  I want a method to easily pass tickets from one person to the next. Continue reading “Request Tracker serialized workflow”

apache22 LDAP auth

If you have a central auth directory, such as OpenLDAP, everything should authenticate against it, including your Web apps. Here’s how you set up a FreeBSD system to authenticate against your OpenLDAP directory. I did this on FreeBSD/i386 running 8.1-PRERELEASE, with Apache 2.2 and OpenLDAP 2.4. Before starting, make sure your OpenLDAP install is configured correctly. You should be able to successfully run ldapsearch(1) against your directory. If your base OpenLDAP install is busted, go no further. Continue reading “apache22 LDAP auth”

OpenSolaris iSCSI ZFS COMSTAR target, FreeBSD initiator

Storage is a pain.  I can spend lots of money to solve this problem, or I can find less expensive alternatives.  I’ve been using diskless servers lately, all served off of a big OpenSolaris machine.  (Why OpenSolaris?  It has a newer ZFS than FreeBSD.)  Performance is mediocre on NFSv2/3, and I want faster.  One obvious thing to try is iSCSI.

iSCSI requires targets (servers) and initiators (clients).  For this test I’m using OpenSolaris as the target and FreeBSD as the initiator.  For testing, both machines are running on ESXi, on older hardware that’s been removed from production.

Continue reading “OpenSolaris iSCSI ZFS COMSTAR target, FreeBSD initiator”

FreeBSD/amd64-current virtual kernel

Back when machines had 128MB RAM, kernel customization was important.  Today, most standalone machines have so much RAM that customizing the kernel is pointless — until you virtualize, that is.  If you can assign a virtual machine 128MB of RAM again, reducing kernel size again becomes useful. I have a lot of single-purpose virtual machines with puny memory allocations.

Continue reading “FreeBSD/amd64-current virtual kernel”

I will have books to give away

Network Flow Analysis is due from the printer on June 21, 2010, or two weeks from today.  I’ll get my copies later that week.

No Starch Press is contractually obliged to give me six copies of each book I write.  They’re generous folks, though, and I usually get a bunch.  The number varies with the book’s size, cost, and how many can be wedged into whatever spare box the printer has on hand, but can be usefully described as “more than I can realistically use.”

Some copies I give to good causes –e.g., the charity auction at BSDCan.  Others go to people who help me write the book, who provide valuable feedback or testing, or who feed me.  (Especially if they feed me gelato.)  That’ll still leave me with most of a box.

This time, I’d like to give away copies to people who will write thoughtful reviews on Amazon.  (Reviews on blogs would be OK as well, but Amazon reviews are the most effective.)  I’m sure I’ll have more volunteers than books, though.  I’d like to find some fair way to hand out these review copies; I’m thinking some sort of small contest.  Any suggestions, folks?

add LDAP logins to Ubuntu 10.04

So, I have a new Ubuntu 10.04 server, and need to get LDAP authentication working on it.  I have a cut-and-paste template for Ubuntu 9, but this is the first Ubuntu 10 box I have.  There’s a document at https://help.ubuntu.com/community/LDAPClientAuthentication, but it’s obsolete.  The only useful hint is at the bottom.  So I run: Continue reading “add LDAP logins to Ubuntu 10.04”

Ubuntu is really annoying me

Installed a new Ubuntu 10.04 amd64 server yesterday.  (Before my BSD devotee readers scream in outrage, this is for a particular application.  When a software stack runs on a particular OS, you use that OS.)  On the first boot, the boot loader completed… and the screen went blank.  The hard drive light was on.

Single user mode?  Same thing.

Bad install?  But I could ping and SSH into the host. Continue reading “Ubuntu is really annoying me”