Posts Tagged ‘RHEL’

MondoRescue 3.2.2 is finally available

2016/04/29

I don’t know you, but I was waiting for this version for a long time. Way too long ! But I’m lucky, I’m not time based for releases. I’m really much more features based. And the one I really needed to catch for this version was UEFI support for RHEL/CentOS 6 & 7. HPE has teams and customers which were really needing that to work correctly, which is, from my series of tests, now the case. And I had confirmation from my colleagues that it was indeed working for them as expected just recently. So it was then time to publish !

While I was at it, I tried to fix at the same time some other annoying issues that were reported by the community on the mailing list, while leaving some other problems for the next time, as it was already too much delayed. So I know the Debian and Ubuntu users won’t get UEFI support working, as I had not enough time to test it (my test infra is now being used for trainings for 2 weeks), similarly for SLES 11 SP4 with UEFI (which uses elilo, while I now support grub, grub2 and syslinux, but this one doesn’t work correctly with UEFI IMO).

In addition to what was already done and reported here previously, I have hopefully fixed the following additional issues:

  • #777: Full UEFI support with grub 0.9 and grub2 configuration generation in addition to syslinux (limited to RHEL6, RHEL7)
  • #778 use dosfslabel/mr-label to recreate labelled FAT or VFAT FS
  • #757, #780 and #781 to fix md support
  • #792 to fix LVM support, by forcing fixed values for LE if percentage calculated for it is 0
  • #787 to fix USB support by cleaning the target dir of its syslinux content

In total 24 bugs have been officially closed and additional features improved or fixed as well. Look at the details in trac for the complete list of changes during these last 8 months of pregnancy of the new version:-)

But, of course, things do not stop here. In addition to fixes which needs to be done as mentioned upper, I’d like to add support for Secure Boot e.g. in the next version to have a full UEFI support, and work again on code refactoring even more.

For now, let’s take time to celebrate and hopefully this will be for you as users the best version possible of MondoRescue available to date !

Time to test what should be the latest beta of MondoRescue 3.2.2

2016/03/25

Well, I thought it could still take more time, but I had the possibility to dedicate enough time to fix and test the UEFI support for RHEL7 so I think it’s worth sharing and hopefully get good feedback from you before tagging it as final.

So a new beta of MondoRescue 3.2. is on its way. Please test it, especially if you try to do a backup/restore of a UEFI based system as this should now work flawlessly, including putting back EPS UUIDs. Should also work for other grub 2.x type of distributions such as Debian 8 e.g.

And share your report on our mailing-list !

I may have time to work on some remaining pretty annoying issues (#757 and #780 which look similar, maybe #781) but can’t promise for sure they will be part of this one which has been delayed way too much.

Current state of the changelogs are at http://trac.project-builder.org/browser/projects/mondorescue/pbconf/branches/3.2/mindi/pbcl, http://trac.project-builder.org/browser/projects/mondorescue/pbconf/branches/3.2/mondo/pbcl and http://trac.project-builder.org/browser/projects/mondorescue/pbconf/branches/3.2/MondoRescue/pbcl

Progresses with MondoRescue 3.2.2

2016/03/22

Of course I’m late. No surprise here😦 I think the only day I’m not will be for my death😉

So 3.2.1 was published the 31st of August 2015.
Version 3.2.2 was supposed to be a maintenance version of that one and was thus planned to be published mid October 2015. However, there were requests from various users to provide a version supporting UEFI boot mode on ProLiant servers. That enhancement request alone accounts for most of the delay encountered while developing this version as it turned out to be way more impacting than I thought.

So some bugs encountered on previous versions have been solved:

However with regards to the single enhancement request in that version to add UEFI support, many tickets were made:

The last one, is the most tricky to solve.
MondoRescue uses since day one a single bootloader, coming from the syslinux project, to manage all boot media it generate :
– isolinux for bootable CD/DVD and tapes
– syslinux for bootable USB devices
– pxelinux for bootable network setup.

This has the advantage of homogeneity and simplifies what the mindi tool has to generate in order to implement that support.

However, when using syslinux.efi to provide a bootable media on HPE ProLiant servers setup in UEFI boot mode, we obtain red screen showing a boot time crash.

Despite many attempts first with various options, then with the help of the syslinux community back in October 2015 (Cf: http://www.syslinux.org/archives/2015-October/024469.html and
the related thread) using beta versions of syslinux or the latest ProLiant Firmware, I never succeeded in obtaining a UEFI bootable syslinux based media😦

I’ve had contacts in December 2015 with the ProLiant Firmware engineering team, but we didn’t had yet a joint work on this issue. My plan would be to first diagnose precisely the origin of that error with this team, and then depending on the results to invite them around the table with the syslinux developers during potentially an upcoming LinuxCon NA (August 2016) to solve it for good.

As all that means we won’t have a final solution with syslinux.efi before end of summer 2016 at the earliest. Therefore, I’ve worked on adding support for other boot
loaders in MondoRescue.

Grub 0.99 support was added in August 2015 before the publication of 3.2.1 and we had success testing a full backup/recovery cycle on RHEL 6, while some other users encountered issues with that. Since November 2015, that should was considered fairly stable, and thus was made the default for RHEL 6 only.

Grub 2.0x support was added very recently (the 22nd of February 2016) with other modifications required to better support correctly mutiple boot loaders on multiple backup media (consolidation of code split into different functions in mindi). This was now tested successfully yesterday and I was able to make a full cycle with mindi on a physical server with RHEL 7. The restore now even present the MondoRescue menu to choose from.

However, while mindi now seems to be working fine for this configuration, this is still not the case for mondoarchive. I’ve started to unify the UEFI support between the 2 tools, and hopefully this week I should see positive results leading to a test version published for the MondoRescue community to try RSN ! And with your retunrs, I should be able to publish that long awaited version rapidly after around start of April probably.

I understand it took much more time than expected initially, and I’ve been myself giving wrong estimates for the delivery of the new version many times. Let’s hope this time I’ll be more accurate.
Hope this explains more the ground reasons why it was so, and the attempt to mitigate the real problem we have with syslinux on UEFI boot mode that may not be solved soon.

Mondoescue 3.2.1 is now available … with effort and pain !

2015/08/31

Believe it or not, it has been one of the most challenging version to produce ! And one which was really awaited by lots of people.

First all those of you who had problems restoring big files with 3.2.0 which had issues with that. Now that’s solved (was already with the beta previously).

Then those of you who had a RHEL 5 system. 3.2.0 wasn’t working, and 3.2.1 should be much better. Similarly for the people using RHEL 7. This is the real first version working for RHEL 7 available of MondoRescue. I’ve made most of my tests with a RHEL 7 VM in order to track all the errors which were remaining for that env (also some smaller but annoying ones). The root cause is that I had a customer wanting to move to that version for RHEL 7, and I wanted them to be happy with the result. Doesn’t mean they won’t encounter issues, despite what I did, but I’m much more comfortable to handle the cases in their support contract (Yes this is a paying customer).

And finally those of you who were trying to have a working environment for a UEFI based machine with RHEL 6. UEFI wasn’t working at all with 3.2.0 (and previous versions) even if EFI was working on Itanium systems. So this time I used a real system to make again lots of different tests, and solving again lots of issues linked to the support of UEFI, and now I’m happy with the result. The media made is recognized by the UEFI shell or the HP ProLiant guided boot menu. And a full backup / restore works also on it. So that other customer (an HP one, but not a paying one from a MondoRescue perspective… yet) should as well be happy and be able to use MondoRescue to perform its clones and installs correctly.

Could it be better ? Of course. RHEL 7 + UEFI are not yet friends. That will be for 3.2.2, as I want to keep my job😉. Few bugs in trac have been addressed during these last 8 months, sorry for that. But a lot not mentioned there have been solved, and that was most of the work. And a lot of work has been put (commit hours are real !) into solving the customers needs and deliver that version on time. That’s probably why I hate time based releases, as it forces you to deliver (which is always good), but not with the serenity which should be part of an OpenSource development. Of course, that’s my fault ! I should have anticipated these requests (UEFI and RHEL 7 are there since a long time). But hey, this is still not my day job at HP. So I can only do my best as time permits. And I have a lot of other hobbies that I’ll be back to now so they can also know some progress. That’s also why I do not make more regular releases. But patches are always welcome.

Anyway, pain is over, a new version is here. Test it, report feedback, try to not break it too much, and remember to do regular backups whatever the tools you use.

Download at

MondoRescue 3.2.1 is definitively looking better but will for sure with your help !

2015/03/06

Since a couple of days, I’ve passed quite some time to deal with the various reports that were made on the mondo mailing list with regards to bugs found by users on version 3.2.0. Of course, as every .0 version, not everything was tested, and the help of the community is as usual key to find these cases left appart, and of course find bugs in them !

What has been fixed is available here:
http://trac.mondorescue.org/query?status=closed&group=resolution&milestone=3.2.1

The other BRs I’d like to address before releasing 3.2.1 are:

  • glibc detect an invalid pointer (#766)
  • Smartarray b120i closed drivers not working (#751)

and the older, but really annoying one:

  • Fail to Restore from External Hard Disk (#628)

While I think I can deal with the 2 first one pretty easily, the last one requires more time and will probably end up in 3.2.2 instead, as it’s difficult to delay more 3.2.1 now that the most annoying issues have been solved.

In the mean time, please test the beta of 3.2.1 at ftp://ftp.mondorescue.org/test/ (lots of distros available). That will clearly help me finalizing that version. Hopefully you’ll mostly report successes, but I really need your help to make it much better than 3.2.0.

With the latest devs made on mindi to support again correctly older distributions such as RHEL5 (which wasn’t working anymore in 3.2.0), I think I’ll also being able to make the promised 3.0.5 soon, for those wanting to avoid the risk of using a mondoarchive very different in code with lots of dynamically allocated memory. That will pretty surely be the last one in that serie. The focus is really now on the 3.2 branch.

Thanks for your continuous support on this project !

Merry Christmas, MondoRescue 3.2.0 is out !

2014/12/24

My previous post was to announce I wanted to publish that long overdue 3.2.0 version of MondoRescue beofre Christmas, so here we are !

I finally found the issue I had restoring RHEL7 with 3.2.0. This was due to a cumul of problems:

  • XFS labelling was broken. I fixed it by calling appropriately xfs_admin in label-partitions-as-necessary
  • RHEL7 uses a UUID for / in the grub2 configuration, which is not mentioned in /etc/fstab; so mindi wasn’t recreating that UUID correctly. So now mindi will store in the mountlist.txt the UUID of each partition, if no other LABEL or UUID was explicitely given in /etc/fstab in order to be able to use it at restore time, and label-partitions-as-necessary was also updated to take that in account

And I was with these modifications able to restore fully automatically a RHEL7 VM. So as I had alrady a working RHEL6 and Fedora 20 env, and as no big regression is expected on other supported distros (Mageia, SLES, OpenSuSE, Debian, Ubuntu mainly) I thought it was time to deliver it officially and give you a toy to play with for Christmas ! Am I not a nice guy😉 ?

A lot as changed with regards to 3.0.4. If you want to have all the details, look at the Changelogs available in the trac announce, or read my previous posts about the 3.2 branch development, which started back in October 2013 (or even before in fact).

Is it the end of the 3.0 branch ? No. As I announced it earlier already, I want to at least publish a 3.0.5 with most mindi modifications backported in it (SVN already has such a branch in fact) in order for those of you who don’t like major updates, to stay with a more stable branch for some months, before jumping into 3.2.x. Because 3.2.x is the future, and most of my development time will happen here.

Hopefully that 3.0.5 branch will also work fine with systemd and /usr only based distros as the modifications to support that have all been done in mindi.

As for the 3.2.x branch, please report your findings ! I know I’m far from answering all mails, or answer all bug reports, but I do rad all of these, and as time permit, I try to make the code evolve (typically adding more perl functions) to have a more flexible way of incorporating your requests. Slower, but I have an installed base to maintain, I’m not like Fedora, which will always be followed, I need to keep my sysadmin as happy as possible with the state of the tool, while maintaing as much compatibility as I can with the previous versions.

But all that won’t happen before early January, as I’ll pass time with my kids and my wife to celebrate Christmas, an enjoy being together, which is now not as often as the previous years (yes kids grow up and move sometimes far from home:-), and that’s good !)

As I write packages are still being delivered to the master ftp server. Try it after the 25th !

MondoRescue 3.2.0: last beta before publishing

2014/12/07

I’m probably far from being a good project leader. The lack of time is one of the reason, but I think I could do better anyway, as I was particularly quiet these 2 last months. So I use that time, where I’m waiting before driving to the airport to give a status.

I was quiet, but still working on it as time permitted, and willing to solve the Fedora 18-20 support issues I had for a very long time now. And it seems that with the latest patches pushed this week, I’m good on that side. I’ve been able to do a full backup/restore of my Fedora 20 VM in automatic mode without issue ! That’s the first time, and was particularly happy that after 9 months of development around 3.2, I could achieve that. The other good news, is that it is still working fine for RHEL 6 e.g. as I also did a full cycle this week.

Ok, so life is nice. Well, as you know, nothing’s perfect😉 So I still have an issue with RHEL 7. In fully automatic mode, eveything works fine, except that the restored VM doesn’t start due to an issue on the UUID in the initramfs.

I’ll test by recreating that initramfs after restore, and hopfully, dracut will do the job for me. But as I’ll be travelling in the US all next week, I thought it was good to publish a last beta before leaving, so that the community could also test and report what happens on other distros or on other configurations.

Note that very few other bugs have been fixed. I’m more interested for this first 3.2 version to have it work finally on all new systemd distros as much as I can, even if some features are still not fully working (see trac for details).

Compared to my last post on the subject, some points have been improved:

  • the network stack is now launched as long as a network backup has been done originally, even if you boot from the ISO image directly, and not through PXE. You may still choose from where to restore afterwards, but at least network is up
  • solve some /bin vs /usr/bin issues for pre-fedora 18 and systemd distros which were not working anymore (Cf: #741)
  • fix for a lack of keyboard discovery
  • fix some perl issues in some cases (Cf: #755)
  • force LV creation which on RHEL7 now asks a question in case something was already there before (Cf: #753)
  • Optimize modules list computation between mindi and restore init script and do not load modules list twice anymore
  • Force generation of hardlinks for busybox to avoid package build problem on some distro with inexistant links at build time (recent SLES)
  • Fix busybox 1.21.1 to support back old distributions such as RHEL3 and RHEL4 or SLES9 by avoiding usage of the struct tpacket_auxdata
  • Fix isolinux.bin and ldlinux.c32 locations for recent Debian distro

So maybe even more has been fixed than I considered initially in fact. Anyway, I’ll try to avoid to stay so long without publishing new versions to test. It’s a promise, but will be difficult to keep so don’t hold your breath !

I’d appreciate that you provide feedback on the MondRescue mailing list, create trac entries (even if I know there are already a lot that would need to be solved sooner than later).

The goal is to publish 3.2.0 final before Christmas, and to work on a hopefully final 3.0.5 version backporting some of the previously mentionned fixes coded in 3.2 for those of you who prefer to stay on that branch, which will be maintained a bit in parallel as long as 3.2 is not tested more. I think that you’ve been patient with me, so I also have to be patient myself before more users adopt the new stable branch.

Hopefully you’ll get a new blog article for the announce in less than a month !

Some interesting stuff for MondoRescue 3.0.4

2013/06/25

Well at least I hope so !!

It took me much more time than I expected, and made me sleep at insane hours (yes really !), but I think that the beta that I built today under ftp://ftp.mondorescue.org/test/ should be of interest for MondoRescue users.

Some new distros are now added to the list of the one I’m building for (Ubuntu 13.04, Debian 7.1, Mageia 3, Fedora 18, …) Usual job for me, but hey, still of interest for people wanting the latest one.

Speaking of latest Debian, MondoRescue should now work better on it thanks to the fixes around #699 (NFS and SSHFS support), softlink in LocateDeps which have now their target scanned, and some deblint issues removed, including right test binaries placement, and man pages for perl scripts. I have someone working now with me on the re-integration of MondoRescue into Debian, so this version should help him reducing the diffs with his tree, and allow for the next steps (on the packaging itself) to go forward for our goal.

Of course, some annoying bugs reported have been fixed. At least we all hope so😉

  • grub2 support in #686 by adding grub.conf, grub.cfg and modified device.map.lst to device.map (Thanks to Victor Gattegno),
  • Fix support for OBDR tapes connected to SCSI cards and addition of an obdr modsboot parameter if some additional drivers should be removed,
  • an particularly nasty bug (there since rev 1 !) on SLES 11 SP2 by removing a dd in mindi which was filling the target dir,
  • the full management of scratch and tmp dir has been rewritten, hopefully for a better implementation now and a full resolution of #640,
  • the removal of the notion of number of media (limited to 50 abusively). Cf: #706
  • the addition of a -F option which allows mondoarchive to fail at first interaction. Cf: #702
  • sparse file support by adding a CLI parameter -M to modify the biggie file size limit, by default 64 MB, and by using st_blocks instead of st_size. Cf: #700
  • Fix #679 again and #685 by reducing the list of possible kernels (Thanks to Victor Gattegno and Didier Diaz)
  • Fix #696 for VGs not having a ‘-‘ in their name such as multipath aliases
  • Fix #703 by removing the errctl field used in star and log all star msgs into mondorestore.log. star is now considered production level as afio

And some improvements in the doc such as:

  • Adds more info in mindi log file (df -i, df -a, grub/lilo conf files, fdisk -l)
  • Add an example to use a fixed IP configuration at boot time through mindi.conf
  • Be more precise in messages displayed at restore time when a non-rewinding device should be used
  • Document the new -F and -M options
  • Precise the usage conditions of the exclude option (differences between device vs directory exclusion)
  • Indicate the other new tools than mkinitrd to help rebuilding the boot env (Thanks to Philippe Lefevre)
  • Precising compression rates on GUI button to ease choice (0 is no compression)

Some ongoing efforts at this point would require your help, dear reader to give appropriate feedback to see if we are making progresses:

  • Fix #628 by avoiding to erase choices done for variable bkpinfo->isodir and g_isodir_device in iso_fiddly_bits later in the code
  • Fix #208 by adding cifs support with first modifications to add cifs support as an external FS

So please help us by downloading this beta, which is IMO near from being the next stable and report wheher it’s working fine for you, or whether it’s working really fine for you😉

I have to say that most of these bugs wouldn’t have been fixed without the work I’ve done for HP’s customers recently, who are using extensively the tool, and were needing these fixes to have it fully working in their environment (RHEL and SLES in multiple versions on HP ProLiant servers). Pending their feedback on this version, I’ll declare it stable if they give me the green light, which should arrive soon now.

The PUSK 0.9.7 is now available

2013/05/17

What ? PUSK ? What’s that ? This is the ProLiant USB Setup Key:-)

This is a USB key you can now use to capture a hardware configuration of your HP ProLiant server (tested with G7 and Gen8). For that you just have to boot on the USB key and type “capture” at the boot prompt. Configuration is stored on the key, with the operation logs.

Then you can modify the conf files, or just use the single one we provide for what is really specific in a server (iLO credentials and IP conf), and redeploy that hardware configuration on a new server. For that just boot the new server on the key, and voilà !!

More over to deploy, you don’t need a keyboard, mouse, screen attached to the server, so if you are working in a place where your server is just electrically and networkly connected, that sufficient, and at the end the server will shutdown once the hardware configuration is done. Just restart it, and start controlling it remotely from the iLO do perform whatever further installation/customization you need to do.

So this is an easy way to have an operator perform the operation, doesn’t need Linux knowledge, nor platform knowledge. He just has to send the logs back to the dev team in case a problem occurs so they can debug.

And more over, thanks to HP, this is all GPLv2 Free Software😉

Now the important part, where to download it ?

The full 0.9.7 key is available at ftp://ftp.project-builder.org/PUSK/pusk-0.9.7.img
Just use dd to burn it onto your key and boot with it (WARNING: default mode is to deploy !)

For those of you who want to hack on the code, the entry point is at http://pusk.project-builder.org/browser/trunk and the Wiki (Home page) at http://pusk.project-builder.org

Hope you’ll find it useful. Let us know what you think of it.

Finally time to publish pb 0.12.2

2013/03/01

As you can see with the few messages I had time to post on this blog, the end of 2012 start of 2013 has been pretty busy, and I’m late in delivering the 2 projects I’m leading. So this week, I decided it was time to make a 0.12.2 version of pb, and make it available. Was asked by my colleagues of FOSSology, specially to add Fedora 18 support, so I also build my VMs to make packages on this distro.

BTW, a bit of ranting for Fedora once more: no perl by default😦, and no ifconfig nor route command either which is breaking MondoRescue of course, and I guess tons of other software around. These guys don’t care about past, but don’t provide compatibility tools either !! So I’ll have to make new patches, just to do the same as what was done, but with another command again. Not to speak of systemd which I still have issues to deal with😦 That doesn’t make stuff go faster !

Anyway, the version is now out, no official bugs fixed, but a lot of small stuff here and there which were desrving a release. No time to test Fedora 17/18 VE yet, so you’ll have to do that yourself if you want. I also had a look at virsh usage in combination with pb, and it’s again not as easy as it could seem to be. Especially port redirection I’m easily using by launching qemu-kvm manually with the -redir or hostfwd option doesn’t seem to be possible with the user mode network through virsh (neither manager nor CLI). Will have to post on their ML to see how they do that, if they can !

And MondoRescue has been very late. I really need to publish a verion, but I still have some blocking bugs I really would like to get rid of: CTRL+ALT+DEL not working anymore during restore, some LVM issues on RHEL, some grub issues on SLES… Hopefully at the end of next week I’ll have made progresses.

Of course patches are much easy to integrate, but I receive more bug reports than them😉

And also back to preparing the HP internal TES event, Solutions Linux confs, submitting to LinuxCon, working on an FLOSS ITIL stack, learning more OpenStack, looking at Intel’s TXT…. so many things I’d like to do or learn and will never have time to ! Maybe at least I’ll talk about that another time.


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