Tuesday, December 29. 2009
More robust network booting Posted by Michael Prokop in general at 22:00
Summary: Grml gets more robust support for network booting.
Background information: A customer uses Grml for the deployment process of their systems. Grml isn't just used for the deployment but also as part of the netboot environment in the High-Availability (HA) setup running on IBM BladeCenter systems. The netboot setup is used for hardware inventory and to be able to replace bladesystems without the need for any manual configuration (implementing features of IBM BladeCenter Open Fabric Manager using Debian/Linux). As being part of a HA setup the netboot setup should work no matter which server is unavailable or which network connection is broken. The software stack is redundant thanks to DRBD, Heartbeat& CO while the hardware stack itself is redundant due to the bladeserver infrastructure.
Problem description: If you have more than one network card (NIC) inside your system you might encounter problems with network booting as soon as the first/preferred NIC doesn't work. This is a common problem in netboot environments, usually solved by crude hacks and workarounds.
Solution: The last Grml release (2009.10) already invented the ethdevice= bootoption which allows you to specify a specific NIC for booting. I just extended ethdevice and its surrounding code so it is possible to specify multiple devices at once that should be configured. If you don't have any specific configuration all present NICs will be used for configuration via DHCP automatically. The resulting code is quite tricky because ipconfig of klibc-utils might fail in several situations. I just uploaded live-initramfs (1.157.4-1grml.01) to the grml-testing repository, the daily ISOs will provide the feature within the next few days as well.
Available bootoptions and behaviour:
Screenshot of netboot in action:
Sunday, November 8. 2009
Now, the Grml project has accounts on both Twitter (@grmlproject) and identi.ca (@grml). They will be used to publish Grml related announcements, news and links. Tips related to Zsh, console programs and Grml itself will be part of the regular posts as well.
The program used to post grml tips is available in ourgit repository. If you have any suggestions for this service or any additional tips and/or packages we should mention feel free to drop us a mail to twitter (at) grml.org or create a bugreport in our bugtracking system.
BTW: Grml developers can use these accounts to send announcements & messages as well. For detailed instructions have a look at http://twitter.grml.org.
Saturday, October 31. 2009
new stable version: grml 2009.10 Posted by Michael Prokop in general at 00:03
Friday, October 30. 2009
Changes between grml 2009.10-rc1 and ... Posted by Michael Prokop in general at 23:56
If you're interested in the main changes between rc1 of 2009.10 and the final stable release:
Changes in all flavours:
Changes in flavour grml/grml64:
Changes in flavour grml-medium/grml64-medium:
Changes in flavour grml-small/grml64-small:
Friday, October 23. 2009
release candidate 1 of grml 2009.10 ... Posted by Michael Prokop in general at 11:09
We have new release candidates: the first release candidate of version 2009.10 codename "Hello-Wien" is available. Take a look at the release announcement for details about all the cool new features. As usual we have different flavours available: the 32bit versions grml, grml-medium and grml-small as well as the 64bit versions grml64, grml64-medium and grml64-small.
Please test the ISOs and all the stuff you usually need so we can provide rocking stable releases soon. The stable release is scheduled for 31st of october. Download the ISOs from the 'devel' directory of the mirrors listed at grml.org/download.
Wednesday, October 21. 2009
grml shipped with c't extra 03/2009 ... Posted by Michael Prokop in links at 08:27
Monday, September 7. 2009
After busy development days the kernel 2.6.31-grml and 2.6.31-grml64 entered the grml-testing pool today. This kernel version is based on upstream's 2.6.31-rc9 and features the squashfs file format version 4 with lzma support.
Please note that you need squashfs-lzma-tools 4.0-1 for remastering with grml-live if you plan to use LZMA compression. grml-live has been adjusted to be as backwards friendly as possible. Check out 'current state of grml-live with squashfs-tools and kernel' for further details if you plan to build your own ISOs.
An updated live-initramfs 1.157.3-1grml.00 package is available as well. Starting with tomorrow (2009-09-08) the daily builds of grml should feature kernel 2.6.31-grml already. This means we are coming closer to a new stable release...
Monday, September 7. 2009
updated grml-live, grml2usb and ... Posted by Michael Prokop in packages at 16:24
Wednesday, September 2. 2009
Results of the FrOSCon 2009 Grml contest Posted by Michael Prokop in events at 08:48
At the grml booth at FrOSCon we had a contest for the best release name, feature request,... for grml. Out of 16 contributions we elected the first five places. That's the result:
Sunday, August 16. 2009
Today I decided to implement a new bootsplash layout. Vesamenu of the isolinux project worked fine during our tests so I decided we should think about making it to grml's default. My implementation in grml-live allows you to fall back to the old bootsplash layout via enabling one single configuration option (being: ISOLINUX_METHOD=console) and you can even get the old function keys layout back during runtime using the 'Further boot options...' entry. It should become part of the daily ISOs soon. Hopefully our next development release shows that users like it and it doesn't cause any problems.
So that's what I'm talking about - grml's new bootsplash in its current layout:
Wednesday, August 12. 2009
forensic mode: readonly blockdevices ... Posted by Michael Prokop in general at 13:41
grml release 2009.05 supports a bootoption 'readonly' which marks all /dev/[hs]*dX devices as readonly. This is important for data rescue and forensic investigations and is automatically activated when booting via 'forensic'. I just implemented readonly support for hotplugging. This means you can safely add new block devices to your system when booted via forensic and the blockdevices will be set to readonly mode automatically. You'll notice something like that in your syslog:
Aug 12 16:21:49 grml kernel: [ 259.426656] usb 2-3: new high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 4
Wednesday, August 12. 2009
Information: broken boot entry on ... Posted by Michael Prokop in general at 09:24
(Eine deutsche Version dieses Textes ist am Ende diese Blogeintrags verfügbar. A german version of this text is available at the bottom of this blogentry.)
The Grml 2009.05 LinuxUser-Edition DVD shipped with LinuxUser 2009/08 sadly includes two errors. Neither data loss nor security risks, but broken boot entries instead. The grml team wants to inform users of the LinuxUser grml-DVD about this issue.
The grml team is very sorry about this fsckup. This was the first official remastering of a multi-ISO grml-DVD including a new bootlayout (isolinux with vesamenu) and sadly the configuration error wasn't caught during our tests. Please note that this error happened to the grml team and is NOT the fault of LinuxUser.
German / Deutsche Version
Die Grml 2009.05 LinuxUser-DVD die der LinuxUser-Ausgabe 2009/08 beiliegt hat leider zwei Fehler. Kein Datenverlust, keine Security-Probleme, sondern kaputte Bootloader-Einträge. Das Grml-Team möchte mit diesem Blogeintrag Anwender der LinuxUser-grml-DVD über dieses Problem informieren.
Dem Grml-Team tut dieser Fehler sehr leid und es bittet um Entschuldigung bei den Anwendern. Die grml-DVD war das erste offizielle multi-ISO in dieser Größe mit einem neuen Bootlayout (isolinux mit vesamenu). Leider wurde das Konfigurationsproblem in den Testläufen nicht entdeckt. Das Grml-Team möchte explizit darauf hinweisen, dass dieser Fehler NICHT die Schuld von LinuxUser ist.
Tuesday, August 4. 2009
Several core developers of the grml team will be available at FrOSCon (Free and Open Source Software Conference) on 22nd and 23rd of August 2009 in Sankt Augustin/Germany. We'll have a grml booth featuring grml CDs, usb pens with multiboot ISO setup, grml t-shirts, flyers.... Mika will present some nifty tips and tricks what you can do with grml (including topics like useful bootoptions, Zsh, USB booting and remote access via iSCSI) in his german talk "grml - das Schweizer Taschenmesser der Linux-Notfallsysteme". Please come and visit us!
Tuesday, August 4. 2009
Friday, July 24. 2009
Grml 2009.05 LinuxUser-Edition Posted by Michael Prokop in links at 20:14
The current edition (2009/08) of the german LinuxUser magazine provides a four pages article about Grml and ships a special Grml-DVD providing a multiboot setup of grml, grml64 and the grml based juxlala live system including the ISOs of all grml flavours. The DVD provides ISOs based on grml's release 2009.05 including bugfixes which got part of the grml-stable repository since the last release.Chirurgisches Besteck - Live-Werkzeugkasten für die Shell" online as well as part of the community edition PDF. Make sure to grab your own copy of the LinuxUser magazine! :)