Novell’s Downloads are Dreadful!

Searching for exactly what I want at, typically, gives crap answers… Googling around, I found a mailing list post for someone asking the same question I had: “Where do I get the SLES-9 SP3 ISO images?” The answer pointed to the SuSE Portal downloads page, but I have a Novell login………. man, why is this SO fsck’n hard? And why can’t the Novell folks come up with a decent search engine?

A little more searching, and I found that there is a Novell wiki page that has all the links to the files:

Cool – found it. But again, why is this SO difficult…!?

Debian 3.1r0a “Sarge” on Dell 600m

This will bounce around a bit, while I keep a few notes on my new Sarge install.

I have been tracking Slackware-current for about a year on this laptop, and wanted something a little easier to maintain. Don’t get me wrong – I love Slack, and use it on several workstations and servers, but my lappy needed lots of custom rolled packages to get CPU frequency scaling, laptop-mode, vpn connectivity to my office, and some other stuff running. With some long-ish periods between use, tracking current became a bit of a job, and when vpnc needed to be rebuilt because of some low-level library change, I decided to go the Debian route. (Besides, the 8G NTFS partition on the drive needed to grow a little to fit a new game 😉

I decided to track Debian Stable, since a Debian Unstable workstation I have in the office has been, well… unstable at times.
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Vim Tab Set (and keeping the code monkeys at bay)

OK, I like tabs. Extol the virtues of emacs all you want, but I have never had the time or desire to learn it’s intricacies. Vim is my friend. Many coding “best practices” say to always use single space characters for white space at the beginning of lines, but c’mon – one or two key presses, or 4-8 (or 5-27 with deletes and backspaces to line things up just right, etc.)… And the folks that look at my code suggest only 4 spaces per indent…

Cleric (code monkey): And the Lord spake, saying, “First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then shalt thou count to four, no more, no less. Four shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be Four. Five shalt thou not count, neither count thou three, excepting that thou then proceed to four. Six is right out. Once the number four, being the fourth number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy code…”

My personal peeve with my insistent use of tabs has been copy/paste between two terminals – the tabs get pasted as spaces and require correction back to tabs. Sooo… I start digging for vim set characteristics to, once and for all, fix both problems. This makes me happy with xterm copy/paste code reuse, and keeps the nitpicking code verification monkeys off my a__.

perl, shell, etc.:
# vim:set ai ts=4 tw=0 expandtab:

/* vim:set ai ts=4 tw=0 expandtab: */

Solaris 10 Jumpstart from FreeBSD

My little SunFire v120 has been asking me to run the latest Solaris 10, and do some testing :), so I set up Sol10 on my Linux jumpstart server, which was happily running my current Sol9 jumpstart. Needless to say, I ran into a multitude of problems, and found many other folks that have had similar issues… The end result of hacking and troubleshooting? The Linux implementation of NFS is simply broken, and needs to be fixed at the kernel level if Linux is to be used for a Solaris 10 jumpstart.

The Solaris 10 NFSv4 client cannot properly mount it’s root filesystem on the Linux NFS server, and the jumpstart fails. Connections to the same Linux NFS server from Sol10 are successful if one uses mount options of either ‘-o vers=3’ or ‘-o proto=udp’ – unfortunately, passing these options for jumpstart in /etc/bootparams with ‘rootopts=:’ seem to be ignored by the Solaris 10 installer.

Several folks reported that they have been successful with implementing jumpstart with the current versions of NetBSD and FreeBSD, so I made backups of my Sol9 flash archives and data, and installed FreeBSD 5.4 on the Compaq 5000R that I was using for jumpstart, as well as serve NFS for my LAN. Following a basic guideline I found, I ran into couple of additional issues, so here is my how-to on Solaris 10 Jumpstart from FreeBSD:
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