Notes from the Library

Apr 2012

Mon, 30 Apr 2012

As previously mentioned I am in the process of moving all my online stuff, which basically comes down to web hosting, e-mail hosting, small file syncing and large file storage, to SDF. The main SDF server cluster is a bunch of NetBSD boxes with home directories, web directories and mailspools all mounted via NFS, with fairly tight quotas: as someone at the top level of membership, I only receive 250MB on each of the mounts.

However as of today a new cluster has been opened with an absurd amount of storage, initially offering 100GB storage for every MetaARPA member, and it’s set to rise with time:

-bash-4.1$ df -h
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
                       50G  3.1G   44G   7% /
tmpfs                 3.9G     0  3.9G   0% /dev/shm
/dev/sda1             485M   69M  392M  15% /boot
                       51G  6.8G   42G  15% /src
/dev/mapper/ma0-rd0   4.5T  6.4G  4.5T   1% /meta

…though as you can see the disk space isn’t being much made use of yet. I imagine that eventually MetaArray will become the cluster for MetaARPA users, but for now at least, I am treating my data on the two clusters very differently and separately. Here’s a write-up of how I’m making use of my space and keeping it secure.

continue reading this entry

Just learnt about afuse, a userspace automounter. It’s possible to have sshfs mounts automatic with autofs, but this is executed as root, autofs can’t pop up SSH key passphrase dialogs for you, whereas afuse certainly can. I now run this

$ afuse -o mounttemplate="sshfs %r: %m" -o unmounttemplate="fusermount -u -z %m" ~/mnt/

on login and then to put something on any box set-up in my SSH config I can just do cp file ~/mnt/hostname/ and it’ll connect up for me. Of course you can use scp for this direction; clearly lots of other uses. Very pleased to have discovered this useful little tool.

Sun, 29 Apr 2012

I just finished reading Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett. This was a good book, but I felt that the Watch stuff was getting a bit repetitive—the same old jokes and character traits. Next time I read a Discworld book, I’ll probably read one from another storyline.

I’ve just lost 12–16 hours of e-mail, including e-mail sent to my university e-mail account, which is upsetting. If you’ve e-mailed me in the past day and I haven’t replied, please resend your message (preferably exactly how it was).

I’ve asked my mail sysadmin for a filtered copy of the mail logs for the past day so that I can e-mail people to ask for copies of their e-mails, but still, I’ve definitely lost the output of some cronjobs and other automated messages.

It’s important not to let this bother me too much. E-mail is a useful tool and it doesn’t matter that my archive isn’t 100% complete, so long as things continue to get done. If I can’t get the logs then there’s nothing to be done, and I should accept that, but it’s hard since I’ve kept every e-mail now for such a long time.

Sat, 28 Apr 2012

I’m moving my blog to my new webhost this evening; I will redirect RSS feed URLs until the end of August.

Old URL:

New URL:

Let me know if you find any broken links; thanks.

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