Sunday, January 15, 2012

Nsclient++ on Windows 2000 can't understand hostnames?

Just installed Nsclient++ on two boxes - one Windows 2003 server, the other Windows 2000 Server (yeah, I know, Windows 2000 server is getting a bit long in the tooth, but if it ain't totally broke...)

Anyway, I restricted which hosts could talk to the NSClient to just the Nagios server, called, amazingly, For w2k3, that works, access is allowed. For the Windows 2000 Server, I had to go put the IP address in place of the hostname in nsc.ini before it would allow access. And yeah, the Windows 2000 server can resolve the IP address back to the hostname, using nslookup.

I don't know if that's a Windows 2000 oddity, a NSClient for w2k oddity, or just a sign that it's time to call it a day :-)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Solaris and tape drives

I was faced with an interesting question today: we have a DDS tape drive of some sort attached to a Solaris machine, and a tape we need to read from. How do we discover what type of tape drive it is, what device it's attached with, and go get some data off the tape?

To show attached SCSI devices: cfgadm -al lists a tape device at rmt/3

To show the device details: iostat -E

bash-3.00# iostat -E
st4       Soft Errors: 0 Hard Errors: 0 Transport Errors: 0
Vendor: ARCHIVE  Product: Python 04687-XXX Revision: 6610 Serial No:þÊݺþÊݺþÊݺ

Looked up the Python 04687-XXX - it's a DDS-2 tape drive according to

The tape we wanted to restore from is a DDS-1 (identified by looking here):
A tar tf /dev/rmt/3 failed - I guess the DDS-2 drive expects to find a DDS-2 tape in there, not a DDS-1. Maybe it would be happier if we told it to use a low-density type of tape?

You can tell the tape drive what density to use depending on which device
file you refer to - details here:

To get Solaris to read from it as a low-density device: mt -f /dec/rmt/3l status

or tar xvf /dev/rmt/3l
And it works! 

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Sparc ghetto

I recently obtained a Sun Fire V250 and an old Ultra 10 - some nice UltraSparc goodies to play with - yay!

Both are running Solaris 8, so of course, the first thing to do is spend some time getting some modern tools installed - SSH, Firefox. It looks like the old Blastwave team have split into two rival efforts - Blastwave and OpenCSW. OpenCSW looked a little simpler to get up and running so I went with that. Oh yeah, and of course, ditch NIS and use DNS.

The Ultra 10 is now dual-booting Solaris 8 and Debian for Sparc which I'm hoping will provide a native sparc buildhost for ReadyNAS binaries (since as noted earlier I had not much luck with cross-compiling!). I simply added another IDE hard drive, and from OpenBoot I either boot disk0 or boot disk1 depending on what flavour I feel like. There was one trick to getting the Debian installer working correctly, all cool after that. While it's not exactly fast, it's tolerable using WindowMaker for a desktop. I somehow think KDE or Gnome might be a bit too demanding for it though.

The Sun Fire V250 is rather different. It sounds like a light aircraft taxiing for take-off. This thing is noisy! However, it's also rather faster than the old Ultra 10. So far, it's just vanilla Solaris 8. However, since I pretty much don't wish to permanently reside in the Jurassic era, it's either going to need a newer Solaris, or some other operating system. I thought OpenIndiana might be worth a look-see, since it's the continuation of the now-murdered OpenSolaris project. Hmmm... no Sparc version available for download... what??? I mean, I know we all use x86 these days, but why no Sparc ISO images for what is essentially Solaris?

Seems the malady is wider-spread than I thought... can you download the latest Oracle VirtualBox binaries for Sparc? Why no, you cannot. x86 and amd64, for sure. You can get VirtualBox for Solaris 10 from Oracle. Still... odd, no?

Kinda feels like poor old Sparc users are in a ghetto :-(