Absolutely Typical

This is absolutely typical of digital interactives.


Build OpenZFS on Ubuntu 16.04 from git

I have to import a zpool from one Ubuntu workstation with recent features to a new Ubuntu workstation. The new workstation being a fresh Ubuntu 16.04 Server install. It only has ubuntu-mate-desktop and build-essentials installed. Below is an aggregation of some of the apt install commands I preformed to get things going:

apt install dkms
apt install automake autoconf
apt install uuid-dev
sudo apt install libblkid-dev
sudo apt install -y libattr1-dev
apt install libnvpair1linux

This should get to to the point where you can do these commands:

$ git clone https://github.com/zfsonlinux/spl
$ ./configure && make -j13 && make install
$ git clone https://github.com/zfsonlinux/zfs
$ ./configure && make -j13 && make install
$ update-grub2

Emulating Web Browsers

Here’s a tedious task for you to consider. When you log-in to your favorite website these days, you’re creating a JSON document and posting it to the service you’re logging into. Long gone are the days when you just posted simple form parameters from a whole post. I work on an emulation platform: one of our features is to use Perl to emulate hundreds of users logging into a captive portal. This requires an economy of memory and time: creating hundreds of “firefox -p ~/.cache/firefox/xzf30d.userprofile” profile sessions is clearly not:

  1. memory efficient
  2. bound to specific network interfaces
  3. time efficient
  4. scriptable

So we use Perl. This requires reading through the F12 -> Networking tab of your browser’s debugging window and emulating the AJAX post to login. Fun once. Wouldn’t want to live there.


Adding a bicycle bell

The bike bell I had was way to narrow for the pipe on my bike. So luckily I had a small scrap of pipe that I sanded down and pressed into hole of the larger pipe.





This was my Hack Your World moment.  I drilled a hole in the handle of the furniture clamp and tightened it with a screw driver as a cheater bar.



Ubuntu 15.10 and ZFS


Some quick thots on doing this for my workstation:

  1. I have six 2TB drives in raid 10 zfs pool, and they would not import to 15.10 because 15.10 ships with (or tries to) zfs
  2. I decided on /boot, swap, /, mdadm partitions for OS install
  3. needed to do 15.10 server cmdline install for mdadm raid setup
  4. glad to not have attempted zfs-on-root for this distro
  5. setup three extra partitions on my two 120GB SSDS, using them for
    1. tank zil
    2. tank l2arc
    3. home pool (second pool named homer :-)
  6. Do not attempt to use PPA ubuntu/zfs-stable anymore, 15.10 will not accept it and it WILL mess with your zfsutils-linux recommended install.
  7. Somehow it did end up installing zfs-fuse. Somehow trying to install spl-dkms and zfs-dkms and uninstalling zfsutils-linux apt-get chose it. Why?
  8. I purged zfsutils, zfs/spl-dkms and did git clones on github/zfsonlinux/{spl,zfs}
  9. All of this required starting off with build-essential, autotools, automake, auto… and libuuid and … stuff. Not difficult to chase down.
  10. ./autoconfig.sh, ./configure && make -j10 && make install for spl and zfs
  11. updated /etc/rc.local to modprobe spl zfs, zpool import tank; zpool import homer; zfs mount tank ; zfs mount homer

I am able to reboot and import without pool version warnings.

Why did I move off 14.04.x? I really want to do video editing for kid videos and all the video packages for 14.04 are way ancient.


  1. get first server install working
  2. install lubuntu-desktop
  3. replace /etc/default/grub hidden -> false
  4. default/grub -> replace “splash quiet” with “nofb”
  5. once LXDE displays, then I do a “apt-get install mate-desktop-*” which seems to work just fine.
  6. Why? lubuntu-desktop flawlessly sets up Xorg dependencies and gives me a desktop the first time without messing around wondering why mate-desktop didn’t.

Merry Xmas!

Network Cards Suck

At least, on consumer motherboards.  I have a 4ghz Haswell on a Asus z97 mobo. Wanted to reboot it to check on fan profiles.  Realized it was not letting me into uefi BIOS and when it would get there my mouse was all locked up. Now I’m in a situation where I need to make sure my workstation actually works correctly.   Cold boot doesn’t help. Different BIOS key F2 doesn’t help. Pull power cord and pull bios power jumper. Didn’t help. Finally pulled the two Intel i840 cards.

Bounced into the BIOS straight away and nothing was amiss.

Anyhow, I think the system should run cooler now.