This is an old revision of the document!
As one might guess, this is the section for the latest and greatest summary report.
2008-04-16 Much hilarity, best described by an email sent to the SF-LUG list:
A few days ago, myself and Jim Stockford started getting alerts from the Nagios instance setup on the sf-lug box telling us that there was a problem with the server at the Hayes Valley project we (and other people on this list) have been volunteering at. Fair enough. I was planning to stop by there on Tuesday in any case, so figured I'd check it out then.
When I arrived, it turns out that the place had been re-painted and during that process all the computers had been moved around, cables unplugged, reconnected, etc. Basically a complete mess. This included all of the workstations in the public area of the community center, but more importantly, it also included the server in the server room. The server is configured as the network gateway, providing DNS, DHCP, as well as "content filtering" through DansGuardian in a transparent proxying setup. So basically the fact that this server was down meant that the entire network was down, so it became my first priority.
First of all I sorted out the cabling mess, and then booted the server. The boot process didn't complete and I was dropped into a recovery environment with limited commands available to me. I was able to see all the drives on the server, mount and inspect each one, and verify that everything seemed okay. Except that obviously everything wasn't okay. The recovery console had been preceeded by a message about the mdadm devices not being correctly configured (software raid).
To make an extremely long story not quite so long, we were able to get the server back up and running by booting into an older kernel (manually applied updates had installed a new kernel in the 120+ days since the server was last rebooted, and we thought it might be worth trying the older kernel, which sure enough it was).
So at this stage we had a server booting fine. Almost. We realised that we would want to change the default kernel to be the older one so that you would be able to perform an unattended reboot. At the moment, the default kernel was the newer one that was having problems recognising the software RAID devices, and so couldn't boot correctly. So we thought it would just be a simple matter of editing /boot/grub/menu.lst. Only problem is, /boot was empty. How so? We happened to know that /boot should be /dev/sda1, so we mounted that to the /boot folder, and then edited the menu.lst file as above to use the correct kernel. We then edited /etc/fstab, which sure enough had the entry for /dev/sda1 to be mounted as /boot commented out. Simple case of uncommenting the entry and rebooting, surely?
Except when we reboot, it fails, saying there's a superblock error (don't remember the exact error message) with /dev/sda1. All other filesystems are mounted, but not /boot. It recommended something like running fsck against /dev/sda1, but checking for a different superblock. Unfortunately I don't remember the exact error.
So the questions here are: • How did the system boot from a device that it failed to mount (we know it was booting from /dev/sda1 because the changes we'd made to /boot/grub/menu.lst when we manually mounted /dev/sda1 before rebooting were applied)? • How can we mount a partition if it's failing to be mounted as part of the boot sequence? • What checks can we do on the filesystem to confirm it's all good?
2008-03-11 JasonT paid a visit to KamiG's Tuesday evening gathering. Sometimes class, sometimes open lab, sometimes self-help group? Items of note: one of the admin computers was replaced with a Win machine because the admin really wanted some MS program to produce and publish calendars rather than use Scribus and some of the other alternatives given to her. Unsurprisingly, with the continued use of 'Adult' and 'Youth' standard logins on all machines, the desktops are getting mangled on a few of them(customizations gone wrong). Probably a way to just reload Gnome defaults(upon login) from a /skel directory or something? I'll check it with the sysadmins of the group at the next LUG meeting. JimS is volunteering to transport old junk equipment to ACCRC. KamiG would appreciate a gui to DansGuardian. Retaining summaries below because all are still open issues.
2007-12-20 JasonT and KamiG. Verified correct operation of DansGuardian – instigated by questions about MySpace access. Also unblocked all *.doc files in DG filter. Did not check in changes. One of the PCs has been marked off as "broken" and after a little bit of troubleshooting, I have to agree! Appears the VGA port is no longer putting out a signal. Tried a combination of different monitors and cables to no avail. Machine should get fixed or removed/replaced(by spare in server room?) soon.
2007-11-29 JimS, TomH, and JasonT in the house this evening. Along with routine maintenance(updates, hardware fixes), we dropped of the SAN donated by ACCRC. Didn't get it working but we're now in touch with LSI Logic(mfr) in hopes of at least getting documentation. Otherwise, a few longstanding issues continue to persist…
Jim Stockford suggested clarification for network equipment need. So far we have:
This section intends to outline the goals of the project and answer some questions to those joining the project at any stage as to why we've chosen our specific approach.
Once upon a time… Kami Griffiths contacted Jim Stockford to see if any SF-LuG members could volunteer to assist her with a community computing project. You can follow the email path in the online archive of the mailing list by searching for her name. Long story short, after a couple of initial aborted runs, updating a computer lab at the Hayes Valley Community Center(part of the San Francisco Housing Authority?) became the task at hand. The project was helped immensely by the generous hardware donations of two SF-LuG members, Romel Jacinto(15 Dell GX150s) and Johan Martin(2 Dell PowerEdge 2300 servers).
From part of an email Kami posted, "Not everyone can afford a computer and the 2007 City Survey shows that 20% of San Francisco residents still don’t have a computer or internet access. That number jumps to 30% in the Southeast and the report highlights the growing digital divide when it comes to income, education level and race. There was a push to address this issue in the late 90s, government and foundation funding was plentiful and computer labs popped up everywhere. The current administration declared that there was no longer a digital divide, funding dried up and so did the salaries that paid for trainers and technicians to keep the labs running. But people still don’t know how to use the computer even though the need to know is growing."
This lab will provide computing and internet access to the under-served community around it. In addition, this collaboration(SFHA, Compumentor, SF-LuG) may serve as a blueprint for future projects. SF-LuG members have an opportunity to learn as few of us have before… by teaching. Kami has already appealed for additional volunteers to teach a variety of computing subjects, focusing on the basics initially, but open to more advanced topics as the need arises.
Parse through the notes below for a look at How this lab is coming together. It will constantly be under some level of construction. Your time, expertise and insight are encouraged and appreciated!
Some history: NETg Donation
This is a meant to be a high level, non-technical summary of the current situation that can be understood by anyone.
We have 8 working desktop computers (Dell Optiplex) running Edubuntu (desktop edition), and 2 spare desktops in the Server room which also have Edubuntu Desktop edition installed. We have a server (through which all the desktop computers connect to the Internet) in the server room (surprisingly), running Edubuntu (server edition).
All workstations connect to the Internet through the Server, and the Server provides automatic content filtering through a program called DansGuardian (this only works for http: sites, not https: sites).
Each desktop can print to the Printer located next to the Kitchen area, and has this printer set as it's default. This is an HP LaserJet 4000TN.
Currently each desktop stores it's own data, has it's own users set up, and has to be administered (installing applications, updates, etc.) individually.
We have two options for how to ease the administration of this.
This section documents items that have been requested by the users that have not yet been implemented. Note that there's a separate section below for administrative issues that those involved on a technical level believe that need to be done - this simply covers items requested directly by the users.
There is a script in /srv/scripts that gathers an overview "server status" (commands like mount, fdisk -l, etc.) every day. This is run from root's cron, and publishes the reports into /srv/reports. If there is any other info needed about the server, it should be added to this report. Might be nice at some point to automate backing up that info for reference.
sudo vi /etc/apt/sources.list # Remove references to CD as software source sudo aptitude update && sudo aptitude upgrade # This does software upgrades sudo aptitude install edubuntu-desktop gcompris kalzium khangman kmplot kig kpercentage kstars tuxkart tuxtype tuxpaint keduca kbruch flashplugin-nonfree
This timetable outlines dates and times that the center would like to have volunteers available at the center to "manage the lab" and/or provide technical assistance, and who is willing to provide that.