Browsing posts in: sysadmin

Amazon AWS EC2 vs Linode vs Digitalocean: Cloudserver showdown

I have experience with amazon’s AWS cloudservices for years now, but still have problems with EBS (=amazon network storage) performance.  It is not very fast and if you just want to run a simple LAMP server it requires a lot of work and experience to set it up the right way. But how fast is it? How does it compare to the offerings from Linode and the new kid on the block: digitalocean?  Both have their advantages: Linode has it’s standard 8 core architecture and RAID. digitalocean has fast SSD disks. But how do they stack up against amazon? Continue Reading



Find the DHCP servers on your net

How often does this go wrong: multiple dhcp servers on your subnet? Because routers, accesspoints, modems boxes ALL have dhcp servers nowadays, a double or triple dhcp server in your network is not uncommon. But tools to identify which dhcp servers are available are not easy to find. Continue Reading


getting the gentoo live-cd to work

The gentoo manuals are great, taking you step-by-step through the whole process. Following this, i first needed their live-cd for booting this old pentium 166mhz. So i burned the live-cd 2004.2 iso (the minimal one).

Watch out that you burn this one as an ‘image’, so do not create a cd with the iso file on it as this does not work: you need to have a bootable cd. I used nero with the ‘burn image’ menu option. Just select the iso file and go.

With the freshly made cd I tried booting the old pentium system. It did not boot. So, was the bios set correctly? yes: bootorder CDROM,A,C That was not the issue. Maybe the cdrom was too old and dusty.. after all, the system was 8 years old. So I installed another cdrom in the system. no luck, but I found out that a fedora or redhat boot cd DID boot! So there is something wrong with the gentoo disc, as it does not boot in older systems. I made 5 copies of the CD just to be sure, but none of them would boot the old machine.

UPDATE: I did a gentoo install using the fedora boot disk – just boot the fedora boot cd in ‘rescue’ mode and start installing gentoo the moment the bash prompt is shown. Googling for other gentoo installtion info, I found out that knoppix (linux-on-a-cd) is also a good way of starting the gentoo installation, and maybe toms bootroot (linux-on-a-floppy, http://www.toms.net/rb/) might work for the older (386 and like) pc’s, although I did not try this (yet!).

UPDATE2: There is a new experimental minimal-cd available which fixes this problem.


Tired of fedora/redhat? The gentoo case

After using redhat for quite some years i decided to give gentoo (www.gentoo.org) a try. The main advantage is their impressive package system called ‘portage’.

The drawback of the redhad distributions is that you always need the correct rpm if you want to install something, and at the end you always end up compiling it from source using a tarball because the right rpm (or srpm – source rpm) does not exist or is outdated or your redhat version is not recent enough / compatible or whatever.

I have tried to build mplayer on redhat 8 for instance. First i spend some time figuring out all the dependencies, then figuring out all versions that work (or not) together with mplayer, or with each other. It took me a few hours to get this all working, which is all wasted time. With gentoo, each application/package has a team of people (called the “herd”) maintaining the installation scripts (the “ebuilds”) of the package. Entering “emerge mplayer” on a gentoo system will do everything to generate an mplayer for you. When emerge is done, you can start using mplayer.