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OpenSolaris Hardware Compatibility List ( HCL )

This might come handy…

The HCL (Hardware Compatibility List) now includes OpenSolaris content. Sun’s hardware compatibility list includes the systems and components that run OpenSolaris, and the drivers and devices it supports.

=> HCL for OpenSolaris

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.2 Released

Red Hat enterprise Linux version 5.2 has been released and available via a Red Hat Network subscription. This update brings broad refresh of hardware support and improved quality, combined with new features and enhancements in areas such as virtualization, desktop, networking, storage & clustering and security.

Virtualization of very large systems, with up to 64 CPUs and 512 GB of memory, is now possible. Virtualization support for NUMA-based architectures is provided, as well as security, performance, manageability and robustness improvements. CPU frequency scaling support for virtualized environments also allows for reduced power consumption.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.2 provides enhanced capabilities for several hardware architectures, covering x86/x86-64, Itanium, IBM POWER and IBM System z, which provide improved performance, power usage, scalability and manageability. For example, support for Intel’s Dynamic Acceleration Technology permits power saving by quiescing idle CPU cores, and offers performance gains by potentially overclocking busy cores within safe thermal levels. Other hardware enhancements include extensive device driver updates, covering storage, network and graphics devices, and certification of IBM’s new Cell Blade systems.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux becomes a certified operating system for IBM’s new high-performance blade server based on Cell Broadband Engine (Cell/B.E) Architecture.

Desktop version includes latest cutting edge softwares:

  • Evolution 2.12.3
  • Firefox 3
  • OpenOffice 2.3.0
  • Thunderbird 2.0

Red Hat Cluster Suite, which is included in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Advanced Platform, now has a Resource Event Scripting Language that enables sophisticated application failover capabilities. It also newly supports SCSI-3 reservation fencing support for active/active and active/passive DM/MPIO (multipathing), which widens the range of storage devices that can be used in clusters.

Improved iSCSI support allows users to set-up diskless systems with a root volume on the iSCSI server, a common requirement in high-density Blade environments.

How do I upgrade my system?

First, make sure you backup existing configuration and data. Next, simply type the following two commands:
# yum update
# reboot

Verify that everything is working fine including all services:
# netstat -tulpn
# netstat -nat
# tail -f /var/log/messages
# egrep -i 'error|warn' /var/log/messages
# egrep -i 'error|warn' /path/to/apps/log/file

Alternatively, you can click on the “Red Hat Network Alert Notification GUI Tool” – which is a notifier that appears on the panel and alerts users when software package updates are available for the systems. This is point and click method.

If you are CentOS Linux user wait for some time to get all updates. More information available at Red Hat web site.

biosdecode is a command line utility to parses the BIOS memory and prints information about all structures (or entry points) it knows of. You can find out more information about your hardware such as:
=> IPMI Device
=> Type of memory and speed
=> Chassis Information
=> Temperature Probe
=> Cooling Device
=> Electrical Current Probe
=> Processor and Memory Information
=> Serial numbers
=> BIOS version
=> PCI / PCIe Slots and Speed
=> Much more

biosdecode parses the BIOS memory and prints the following information about all structures :
=> SMBIOS (System Management BIOS)
=> DMI (Desktop Management Interface, a legacy version of SMBIOS)
=> PNP (Plug and Play)
=> ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface)
=> BIOS32 (BIOS32 Service Directory)
=> PIR (PCI IRQ Routing)
=> 32OS (BIOS32 Extension, Compaq-specific)
=> VPD (Vital Product Data, IBM-specific)
=> FJKEYINF (Application Panel, Fujitsu-specific)

In this tip you will learn about decoding BIOS data (dumping a computer’s DMI ) and getting all information about computer hardware without rebooting the server.
[click to continue…]

New Bulletproof X system for Linux / UNIX desktop

I was just wondering why this feature wasn’t included in X from the day one. Ubuntu Xorg maintainer Bryce Harrington recently demonstrated the BulletProof-X feature that is planned for inclusion in Ubuntu 7.10:

This specification describes a new failsafe mode that will be used if X fails to start up. It will be in a reduced (VESA 800×600/256 or VGA 640×480/16) graphics environment running a single application (displayconfig-gtk) for configuring the graphics devices.

The goal of this specification is to eliminate the need for users to need to run apt-get reconfigure on the commandline. That approach is confusing and too technical for many users, so moving away from that will solve a key pain point for users.

This is useful if the user has changed monitors or graphics cards or X failed to detect your hardware. Linux based desktop system getting better and better everyday :)

Linux USB Pen / Stick RAID

Tux does all sort of things including setting up a RAID on USB sticks :)

From the article:

This is an example of productive and practical use of a RAID. Granted, this project does not have the archaic grandeur of a Floppy Disk RAID, but then again, the capacity and performance of this system are utterly superior to those of a Floppy Disk RAID. The following is meant as an instruction sheet of how to build a rock-hard USB stick RAID system and simultaneously transform from an ordinary nerd to a SUPER LINUX GURU.