Leopard ramblings

Filed under: Geekiness — iain @ 22:51:58

My copy of Leopard Server arrived.

Very briefly, because it’s getting late, because I’ve been enjoying a rather nice Rioja and because the one thing I really really wanted to get working – iCal Server – hasn’t been working, here are some thoughts.


Apple have obsoleted NetInfo, which breaks my cfengine configuration and invalidates most of what you’ve read on these pages. And it broke my groups with the knock-on effect of breaking sudo.

The calendar server refuses to run because it can’t find an entry under /Computers in DirectoryService for my server’s FQDN. How one goes about creating this entry I don’t know. Well that’s not strictly true. I’ve figured out that one would go about creating an entry in LDAP with apple-serviceinfo set to the FQDN. But presumably this should have happened automatically but hasn’t because my server is apparently in advanced mode instead of workgroup or master mode. More investigation is needed to find out what to do about this.

Yes, it’s pretty. I spent several seconds admiring the reflections in the dock. That is, while I was logged in as the local admin user. Because the installer decided to remove my LDAP binding so I couldn’t log in as me. Then when I added it back I still couldn’t log in as me. I deleted and re-added my directory and then it worked. I’m not sure why.

I haven’t tried Time Machine yet.

NFS still worked. In fact it may be the one thing which survived the upgrade unscathed. Indeed I took advantage of the fact that I was exporting the filesystem to my local subnet to modify my sudoers file.

Apple’s X11 implementation still sucks. I was hoping they’d have done something about it. Of course I had no reason to suppose they would but that didn’t stop me hoping. But no, applications still stop responding for no reason whatsoever and the X server needs to be killed. Ho hum.

My Bluetooth keyboard stopped working. Or, more correctly, the Bluetooth radio on the iMac was stopped. Which meant I had to find and connect a USB keyboard in order to log in and turn the radio back on. VNC didn’t work because Apple installed its own VNC server which trashed the one I’d been using. Fun.

And that’s about it. Most of my time has been spent messing with the calendar server so I haven’t looked at much. More comments over the next few days…


Leopard Server? Not yours!

Filed under: Geekiness — iain @ 17:37:43

So the Cambridge branch of Cancom, a large Apple reseller, doesn’t have OS X Server 10.5 in stock. They have plenty of desktops but not the server.

I knew I should have ordered it.


Mix two parts achievement and two parts despair

Filed under: Geekiness — iain @ 07:22:29

We use Munin at work to monitor the health of various machines on the network. It works well, is reliable and is easy to configure. I decided I’d try it out at home.

I installed the server, which was easy, and put the client on another machine, which was also easy. So far so easy. I then went away and left it.

By yesterday afternoon it was happily producing pretty graphs. I was pleased and decided to add more machines to the configuration. This I did. Then when I got home from work and looked at my graphs I saw … nothing. The graphs had gone. Munin had decided to stop drawing them. It was still gathering data from the machines; I could see the RRD files changing over time. But it refused to update the graphs.

My investigation into this problem was cut short by a minor LDAP emergency. Every so often (that is to say quite often) when I would start a shell, either over SSH or in a terminal, on a particular machine, the shell would come up with a bogus PATH and would not act on any commands typed. A little digging revealed that each failed shell exactly coincided with a line appearing in the slapd log complaining about error 4: size limit exceeded.

I tried various things to solve the problem. I tweaked and reindexed slapd‘s indices. This was a good thing to do although it didn’t help. I tried pointing nss_ldap to another LDAP master. This didn’t work either. I tried downgrading OpenLDAP; I was already running the latest release on that machine but I hadn’t seen the error 4 messages on my other masters running older versions. This also didn’t help.

Then I remembered that I had recently upgraded the C library and recompiled a bunch of stuff. I tried compiling nss_ldap again. That didn’t help. Finally I reverted nss_ldap to the version compiled against my old C library. I’d upgraded it previously because I came across a problem where a statically-linked application would segfault when querying LDAP for netgroups (but not users or groups or other stuff). Of course this upgrade hadn’t solved that problem. The older nss_ldap was the key. My weird shell issue went away immediately.

At first I was all pleased with myself for solving a problem. It was one of those tricky ones where you have to do some digging and try a few off the wall ideas in order to succeed. Solving those problems is always satisfying.

Then I remembered that I had created the problem myself. I’d spent my whole evening battling with an issue of my own creating and made no further progress on my pretty graphs. Which, lest we forget, were at one time working.



Leopard released in (circa) 24 hours

Filed under: Geekiness — iain @ 23:00:35

OS X 10.5 (codename Leopard) is being released on Friday and it’s going to be the first OS I ever paid actual money for.

I feel like an Apple fanboi because I’m really quite excited about it. Mainly because of the Calendar server.

And that is just so damn worrying.

Le chapeau rouge

Filed under: Geekiness — iain @ 22:58:54

I’ve been a happy Slackware user for many years but recently I’ve been thinking about making the switch to Red Hat (probably in the form of Fedora) for my home machines.

Slackware is my favourite Linux distribution and Red Hat has its annoyances but the reasons to use it are becoming quite compelling. My last three jobs have involved using Red Hat in one form or another and at Siemens I was even referred to as a "Red Hat expert" (shudder) so having the same kit at home as at work is tempting.

If I made the switch I would effectively be coming full circle. Back in my student days I had a Slackware desktop and I switched to Red Hat 6 because I felt like spending all my time compiling packages was unnecessary effort.

Note to young ‘uns: that’s Red Hat 6, not Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6. Now vacate the grassy area at the exterior of my residence.

R.I.P. Dookie

Filed under: Uncategorized — iain @ 22:44:47

Dookie, one of my parents’ cats, passed away last night. The news was relayed to me by my distraught father this morning.

He was fine the last time I saw him, a few weeks ago, when he was his usual mischievous self. He’ll be remembered for trying to eat his sister Vlaovic’s food, scratching anyone who dared offend him and having the loudest purr of any cat who ever lived.

This photo of him has cropped up on various people’s blogs when they needed a picture of a crazy looking cat. He certainly was that.

Rest in peace my furry pal. We’ll miss you.

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