I am migrating my FreeNAS 7.x to a 8.x, which means copying the ZFS tank as there isn’t a tool for migrating the disks right now and upgrading them to the version of ZFS in 8.x. Kind of a pain in the butt that was made worse by the endless recurrence of an error like:
Received disconnect from xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx: 2: Packet corrupt
rsync: writefd_unbuffered failed to write 4 bytes to socket [sender]: Broken pipe (32)
rsync: connection unexpectedly closed (23734 bytes received so far) [sender]
rsync error: unexplained error (code 255) at io.c(601) [sender=3.0.7]
or something like:
Disconnecting: Packet corrupt
rsync: connection unexpectedly closed (581052724 bytes received so far) [receiver]
rsync error: error in rsync protocol data stream (code 12) at io.c(601) [receiver=3.0.8]
rsync: connection unexpectedly closed (202 bytes received so far) [generator]
rsync error: unexplained error (code 255) at io.c(601) [generator=3.0.8]
I figured my 7.x install had to be fine as I’ve been RSYNCing my server to it without error for about a year now, so the problem had to be in the new box and poking around for “packet corrupt rsync” on google was turning up a lot of *shrug* maybe bad RAM or a bad NIC. Hmmm… I tried command line push and pull from both boxes via SSH to see if I could get better results, no luck: a few files would transfer, maybe 10 seconds, maybe 5 minutes, then blop, bad packet, broken pipe, oh so informative “unexplained error” at io.c, start over. No way I was going to be able to transfer 3.5 TB 100MB at a time.
Finally I found this and checked the lovely graphical status monitor on the FreeNAS 7 box. It has 4GB of RAM, whichhas been plenty so far, but looking at the graph it was using about 95% of that memory. It had been up for 59 days so I was reluctant to reboot it, I mean uptime is a competition after all. But I took a dive and rebooted. Now, even with CIFS/SAMBA cranking some backup files simultaneously, RSYNC is running flawlessly at a nice steady 300mb/s, apparently limited by CPU (seems to be single threaded, maxing out one CPU and leaving the other idle, hmmm… problem for another day). I feel bad for doubting my FreeNAS 8 box, it was never the problem.
So if you’re getting RSYNC problems consider rebooting the server to free up RAM or even upgrading. The new box will have 12-16GB, which is about what is recommended for ZFS (1GB/TB) and things are looking pretty good. My RSYNC was running just -a –progress, no resource intensive -z option.
Today I’m updating an IBM 366-8863 to be a new home server because not having a quad 64 bit Xeon box with 24G of RAM and 6 x 72G SAS RAID 10 in your house would be like watching tv on a black and white CRT or something… and it was $350 on eBay so who could resist? It will replace the old 5500 M20 and save 3U in the rack and probably a lot of power for a decent NAS box.
Unlike the 335, the 366 does not have a floppy drive. There’s actually room in the cas right behind the IBM logo, next to the lightpath diagnostics and above the optical drive… maybe I should get out my dremel and start looking for a 266Mhz 64bit PCI-X floppy controller.
The 366 is supported by the IBM Bootable Media Creator, which is a new thing for me. This tool gathers all of the most recent firmware updates for the servers you specify (or all supported ones) and creates a single bootable disk (the 335 is not supported). The tool found 23 updates for the 8863, though the versions are not all the same as you get doing the one-by-one download (there’s an option to select manually, but the integrated one-click approach is much easier).
All you do is download the creator tool for the OS of your choice, execute it, specify the systems you want to support, let it gather the updates and build the disk and it will even burn the disk for you. Once the update disk is burned, you simply boot with it into a GUI (which supports normal mouse keyboard) and a few restarts later you have a fully patched machine.
The only thing left is to use the latest ServeRAID disk to update your ServeRAID configuration.
Nice job IBM! This sort of thing is why I like IBM machines. Plus they’re black. And they have the built in KVM/console controller over IP (remote supervisor II).
The first step is updating the machine:
- BIOS to 1.15: download the flash image, it writes itself to a floppy, boot with that floppy and flash the BIOS. I had to go through a bunch of 1990’s era software disks until I found a few floppies that would format without errors. This also updates the LSI 1030 disk controller.
- Internal Diagnostics to 1.07: these are disk images (.img) diskcopy didn’t seem to do the right thing on my XP box, so I used diskwriter 0.9 to create the disks. You boot off the BIOS update disk then select update diagnostics.
- Configure the disks with ServeRAID. I didn’t flash the BIOS on the controller, but I did reformat the disks and set them up as RAID 1.
- Update the System Management Processor to 1.06. This is a self-booting floppy.
- Update the Broadcom NetXtreme NICs to 209h. This is a self-booting floppy that creates a RAM disk then runs the update. The command for the 335 is
This gets the core hardware up to date. You might also want to flash the firmware in the disks, though I did not as my box is loaded with unsupported disks. Plus 36GB SCSI disks aren’t exactly going through a lot of teething pains these days.
Then I installed pfSense from the LiveCD (verify the hash). This is pretty effortless. The only important bit of data is to set up the NICs: in the 335 under FreeBSD bge0 is the lower port and bge1 is the upper port.
At a later date I will install a 73P9265 Remote Supervisor II adapater, but the cable I have (73P9312) is for newer boxes. The 335 needs the 02R1661: oddly it is cheaper to buy the cable with a card than just the cable. This will probably need flashing of the firmware, but is a nice tool with remote KVM and a lot of other slick features.
First, UAL has done two things that are quite good:
- The ORD RCC’s former smoking room is now the “quiet room” with big barred out cell phone logos. It is quiet, and very pleasant.
- T-Mobile is FREE at the RCC. FREE! Finally. I’ve been hassling UAL through 1kvoice etc. and the RCC comment cards since about 2001 – long before they even had T-Mobile – to provide free 802.11 to their members. Other clubs do. They got into this big provisioning contract with T-Mobile (or something) and years of comments went no where. It has been about 5 years, maybe the contract is up, but for whatever reason finally there is free WiFi at the RCC. Yay!
Truecrypt 5.1a supports sleep mode! YAY! 5.0 did not, it would crash entering sleep mode. It’s a cool thing, but crashing isn’t. I like the idea that if my laptop is stolen, my info is very likely secure, but not so much so that I can live without sleep mode, even risking a freezy RAM-cicle recovery. I sleep it getting on and off planes all the time and now I can. I’m very happy with this release.