“Storage Essentials” first draft complete!

The first draft of FreeBSD Mastery: Storage Essentials is now complete and available on the Tilted Windmill Press site.

My target for a Mastery book is for it to be about 30K words. That seems a fair length for a $10 technology ebook. FMSE is 45K words, or about 50% more than that. At that . . . → Read More: “Storage Essentials” first draft complete!

Shuffling Partitions on FreeBSD

I’ve recently moved my personal web sites to https://www.vultr.com/, using virtual machines instead of real hardware. (I’ve caught up to the 2000s, hurrah!) I didn’t track server utilization, so I provisioned the machines based on a vague gut feeling.

The web server started spewing signal 11s, occasionally taking down the site by killing mysql. Investigation . . . → Read More: Shuffling Partitions on FreeBSD

Phabricator on FreeBSD installation notes

BSDs generally break their PHP packages into smaller units than most Linux distribution. This means that you need extra packages when following installation guides. I’m installing Phabricator on FreeBSD because I want ZFS under it.

This is the complete list of PHP modules and related stuff I needed to install to get Phabricator to run . . . → Read More: Phabricator on FreeBSD installation notes

FreeBSD ZFS snapshots with zfstools

In my recent survey of ZFS snapshot automation tools, I short-listed zfstools and zfsnap. I’ll try both, but first we’ll cover FreeBSD ZFS snapshots with zfstools. Zfstools includes a script for creating snapshots, another for removing old snapshots, and one for snapshotting MySQL databases. The configuration uses only ZFS attributes and command line arguments via . . . → Read More: FreeBSD ZFS snapshots with zfstools

a survey of FreeBSD ZFS snapshot automation tools

Why automatically snapshot filesystems? Because snapshots let you magically fall back to older versions of files and even the operating system. Taking a manual snapshot before a system upgrade is laudable, but you need to easily recover files when everything goes bad. So I surveyed my Twitter followers to see what FreeBSD ZFS snapshot automation . . . → Read More: a survey of FreeBSD ZFS snapshot automation tools

FreeBSD Mastery: Storage Essentials – discount pre-pub available

You can now buy my next tech book, FreeBSD Mastery: Storage Essentials, for $7.99.

This is an incomplete book. It has not been tech reviewed. The advice in it might eat your disks and sell your soul to a Manhattan hot dog vendor for use as a dish cloth. So think of it as a . . . → Read More: FreeBSD Mastery: Storage Essentials – discount pre-pub available

Installing and Using Tarsnap for Fun and Profit

Well, “profit” is a strong word. Maybe “not losing money” would be a better description. Perhaps even “not screwing over readers.”

I back up my personal stuff with a combination of snapshots, tarballs, rsync, and sneakernet. This is fine for my email and my personal web site. Chances are, if all four of my backup . . . → Read More: Installing and Using Tarsnap for Fun and Profit

Cloning a FreeBSD/ZFS Machine with ‘zfs send’

My employer’s mail server runs DirectAdmin on FreeBSD, with ZFS. The mail server is important to the company. We want to be able to restore it quickly and easily. While we back it up regularly, having a “known good” base system with all the software installed, where we can restore the mail spools and account . . . → Read More: Cloning a FreeBSD/ZFS Machine with ‘zfs send’

mfiutil on FreeBSD

I need to add drives to one of my FreeNAS 8.3.1 boxes. This machine has an “Intel RAID” card in it. I don’t want to use the Intel RAID, I want just a bunch of disks that I can plop a mirror on top of. The BIOS utility doesn’t give me the “just a bunch . . . → Read More: mfiutil on FreeBSD

FreeBSD Disk Partitioning

A couple weeks ago, I monopolized the freebsd-hackers mailing list by asking a couple simple, innocent questions about managing disks using gpart(8) instead of the classic fdisk(8) and disklabel(8). This is my attempt to rationalize and summarize a small cup of the flood of information I received.

The FreeBSD kernel understands several different disk partitioning . . . → Read More: FreeBSD Disk Partitioning