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:
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.
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
Monday, June 1. 2009
grml 2009.05 with codename Lackdose-Allergie, available in flavours grml, grml-medium and grml-small and all of them as 32bit and 64bit version has been released. The official release announcements providing all the relevant news are available at grml.org/changelogs/. Issues regarding the releases can be found in the grml-wiki. Grab the ISOs from the mirrors listed at grml.org/download/.
Monday, June 1. 2009
changes between grml 2009.05-rc1 and ... Posted by Michael Prokop in general at 11:11
If you're interested in the main changes between rc1 of 2009.05 and the stable release:
Thursday, May 21. 2009
release candidate 1 of grml 2009.05 ... Posted by Michael Prokop in general at 12:34
We have new release candidates: the first release candidate of version 2009.05 codename "Lackdose-Allergie" is available. Take a look at the release announcement for details about all the nifty 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. Download the ISOs from devel directories of the mirrors listed at grml.org/download/.
Monday, May 4. 2009
grml at OSDC 2009, recent developer news Posted by Michael Prokop in general at 22:34
Thursday, April 23. 2009
new devel-release: 2009.04.23 Posted by Michael Prokop in general at 23:58
I just pushed a new devel release to our mirror. Quoting the main changelog:
Monday, March 2. 2009
grml development - shiny new stuff.... Posted by Michael Prokop in general at 22:09
After the bug squashing party lots of further development took place. The most important stuff:
Friday, December 12. 2008
I'll hold a talk about grml at the Open Source Data Center Conference on 29/30 April 2009 in Nürnberg/Germany.
I'd like to show the attendees how grml is used in Real World Environments and need your contribution!
You are using grml in your company for system recovery, presenting demos of your application, automated system installation,...? Please let me know! This is *your* chance to present your company or product in my talk. :)
If it's necessary you can also submit your stories anonymously or request that I'll withhold your identity while presenting your setup.
Feel free to forward this information to anyone who might have interesting stories for me, I'd love to hear from you.