Jul 19, 2013

Install Debian GNU/kFreeBSD on a FreeBSD Jail with ZFS

Once we have installed and updated a FreeBSD 9 system, the next step is to provide it with apps to make it a useful system.

In recent years, I have been working on Solaris 10 systems, where services had in production were encapsulated in Solaris Containers. Given my recent interest in FreeBSD seems natural to attempt to play a similar execution environment, which gave me such good results in the past. 

Moreover, it seems interesting the possibility to include the ability to run Linux applications and having a jail specifically intended for that purpose. 

In this case, instead of installing a Jail with the  FreeBSD native  userland, we will install Debian GNU/kFreeBSD that provides an alternative userland for FreeBSD 9.

Jul 15, 2013

Updating FreeBSD 9 with freebsd-update and beadm

In my previous post I described how Install FreeBSD 9 with root on ZFS with support for beadm, now my purpose is to show the advantages of this configuration to deal with tasks so committed like operating system updates. 

Jul 13, 2013

Install FreeBSD 9 with root on ZFS optimized for 4K sectors and support for beadm

In the last 6 years I have worked with   Solaris 10 SPARC systems  - M3000 , M4000 , V1280 - where I used ZFS as filesystem.
For a while I looked for solutions on x64 architecture servers similar in performance and features of these systems.

Of course the obvious answer is to opt for environments under Solaris 11 for x64; technologically is a good solution -not perfect- but given the apparent corporate culture change that has occurred after the acquisition of Sun by Oracle, never hurts to evaluate alternatives

Btrfs in Linux seems an option to keep in mind, however it suffers , in my opinion of a certain technological immaturity that makes not advisable its use, at the moment, for deployment in production environments.
The solution presented in this post is  today, I think of the most interesting, because combines an open source OS, with an undeniable technological maturity and probably the best filesystem today; ZFS.

Jul 7, 2013

ISO Boot from GRUB2: testing and installation of Ubuntu Studio 13

One feature that I find most interesting in GRUB2 is its ability to boot OSs from ISO images.

Traditionally,  working with  Live ISOs or installing OS was based on the technology of CD-ROM/DVD-ROM, long before the proliferation of CD-ROM technology, we installed the operating Systems with tapes or floppy disk - back in prehistory-.

This way of working involves making some of the following steps:
  1. Request and receive the installation media from the software distributor -As we did in the 90s way before the Internet became widespread-.
  2. Download the ISO and fry a CD; the problem with this method is that you end up with a bunch of CD often only used 1 time.
  3. Download the ISO and copy it on a pendrive.

Each of these methods represents a considerable improvement in the time it takes to complete the task, compared to the previous  -If someone have installed a SCO Unix system using  floppy disks, he knows what i'm talking about-.

Nowadays we usually work with method 3, and sometimes with method 2, if something is wrong.

I will show how the ability of  GRUB2 to boot  ISO images allows me to test and install Ubuntu Studio 13 on my laptop, more efficient than the above methods.

Install multiple Operating Systems on the same GPT disk: cautions

I decided to include this post to highlight the importance of taking minimum precautions before making any changes in GPT Partition Table of a System Disk, it is an additional task of 5 minutes length, that can save countless hours of work and not a few dislikes.

Jul 6, 2013

Install GRUB2 on GPT disk with dedicated partition

When you plan to setting up an x86 computer from scratch, should be considered the following issues:

  • Whats the computer role?
  • it support  UEFI BIOS?
  • Will be dedicated to a single operating system, or is intended to host multiple OSs?
  • Which bootloader is intended to install?.
  • How to allocate disk space?.

In my last laptop for testing, I configured  a GPT partitioned disk with homogeneous partitions sizes and then have installed GRUB2 as independent  bootloader. This configuration allows me great flexibility in allocating storage space and isolates the different S.Os installed.

The choice of GRUB2 is almost obvious, is the default bootloader for a lot of Linux distributions. It  reads  most  file systems, it can boot directly almost all OSs, or  chainloading with another bootloader to boot the OS -the last is my preferred option-.
Next, we will review the implementation process I have done.