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Messages - SamK

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Installation and Upgrades / Re: Partitioning eBox for RAID1?
« on: April 22, 2010, 03:22:50 pm »
The ebox-installer CD-ROM works in two distinct phases:

Phase 1 - This uses the standard Ubuntu installer
  • Installs the operating system (Ubuntu 8.04 Server LTS)
  • Configures it to work on your machine
  • Installs GRUB

At this point the machine reboots

Phase 2 - This is when eBox is installed
  • Installs the eBox modules
  • Configures the modules to work as you require
  • Starts the finished eBox server

I have made a working assumption that your problem with GRUB is first seen at the reboot between phase 1 and 2.  If this is correct it suggests the problem is either with the software elements of phase 1 and/or issues with your hardware.  It is not really an eBox issue.

Your hardware is unknown to me and I have never experienced GRUB problems with eBox.  Therefore I can only offger generic as opposed to specific advice.
  • Be methodical in your troubleshooting.
  • Try to eliminate as many variables as possible.
  • Try to obtain a known-to-be-good condition.

Suspected Incompatibility
...i think the installer is not compatible to my motherboard?
  • Contact your motherboard manufacturer for reported incompatibility with Ubuntu 8.04 Server LTS.
  • Contact Ubuntu for reported incompatibility with your hardware.

Verify to condition of your installation sources
  • Check the md5 value corresponds to the value for the ebox-installer ISO.  Download again if they differ.
  • Check the integrity of the CD-ROM at the ebox-installer main menu.  Burn again if errors are reported.

Verify the condition of your RAM
  • Check using the option on the ebox-installer main menu.  Replace if faults are reported.

Verify the condition of your hard disks
  • Download Parted Magic (PM) from
  • Use the PM tools to check the health of your hard disks.  Repair or replace if needed.
  • Wipe your disks using the PM tools.
  • Create a new partition table on each disk again using PM.

At this point you will have established a good, clean base from which to start.

Installation Test1
  • Install 1 x hard disk in your machine and set as master.
  • Boot from the ebox-installer CD-ROM and begin the installation procedure.
  • At the partitioner screen select the option to allow the installer to automatically partition the disk.

If the machine boots normally proceed to next stage.

Installation Test 2
  • Create a new partition table on each disk
  • Install 2 x hard disks in your machine and set each as master.
  • Boot from the ebox-installer CD-ROM and begin the installation procedure.
  • At the partitioner screen choose the option to partition manually and create the scheme you require.

The general idea is to progress using small steps from a known-good position.

Installation and Upgrades / Re: Partitioning eBox for RAID1?
« on: April 21, 2010, 11:22:01 am »
1 x eBox data (/boot, /) on your first disk
1 x user data (/home) on your second disk

 In Case my first harddisk is fail how can i repair?
As mentioned previously:
Quote from: SamK
The eBox data may be recreated by reinstalling on a new disk.
You will also need to reconfigure eBox manually.

Alternatively, if you have a backup of the eBox data, this could be restored to the new disk.

if my 2nd disk have a /home? i need to install new harddisk?
I do not fully understand this question.  If one of your disks fail only the failed disk will need replacing.

...i try to set onboard RAID and set this to RAID1, then i install ebox 1.4, on installation the other harddisk is still there? they have something wrong to my setup? what i can do?
While you are experimenting and learning you might find it easier not to use hardware RAID devices built into your motherboard/daughter-board.  eBox uses software named mdadm to create the RAID arrays.  Try connecting each hard disk directly to separate motherboard channels and deactivating on-board RAID.  Each disk should be a master.

i try this to Raid

1 x eBox and user data (/boot, /, /home) on your first disk          (120GB)
1 x eBox and user data (/boot, /, /home) on your second disk     (160GB)

 and how i can setup a Raid in Ebox 1.4? because
As mentioned previously:
Quote from: SamK
The tools to do this (mdadm) are contained in the ebox-installer CD-ROM in the same section used to partition a disk.  With this system you decide which partitions you want to create but would not dedicate your second disk to /home.

When booted from the ebox-installer CD-ROM, this must be conducted manually in the partitioner section.  The basic steps are:
On the first hard disk
  • Create the partitions
  • Mark one as bootable
  • Mark each to use in RAID
On the second hard disk
  • Repeat the steps conducted on the first hard disk, making sure the partition sizes are identical on both disks
Configure the RAID Arrays
  • Specify array type as RAID1
  • Add the components in pairs - one from each disk
Format each array
  • Create your choice of filesytem on each array

To increase your chances of success, and reduce the number of difficulties, you may find it helpfull to research about software RAID, RAID1 arrays, mdadm, and Ubuntu 8.04 Server LTS.  Keep your initial experiments as simple as possible (only / and swap).  Once you understand how things work you can start again from the beginning and build the system you require.

As a starting point this tutorial might be helpful:

Good luck.

Installation and Upgrades / Re: Partitioning eBox for RAID1?
« on: April 20, 2010, 10:37:07 am »
...i think i need extra hardisk for my /home
This is indeed an improvement on a single disk system.  However, doing this will give you only a single copy of your data:
  • 1 x eBox data (/boot, /) on your first disk
  • 1 x user data (/home) on your second disk
In the event of either disk failing the data it contains may be lost.  The eBox data may be recreated by reinstalling on a new disk.  This cannot be done for your user data; unless you have a backup copy it may be permanently lost.

You might find it helpful to investigate an alternative use for your second disk, as a mirror of your first disk.  This configuration is known as RAID1. The tools to do this (mdadm) are contained in the ebox-installer CD-ROM in the same section used to partition a disk.  With this system you decide which partitions you want to create but would not dedicate your second disk to /home.

The main benefit of this is that your system will dynamically create a copy of all your data:
  • 1 x eBox and user data (/boot, /, /home) on your first disk
  • 1 x eBox and user data (/boot, /, /home) on your second disk
In the event of either disk failing the data it contains may be lost but your system will still function using the mirrored copy.  Replacing the failed disk will then return you to the position of having two full data sets.

Regular backups should still be made as RAID is not a replacement for a backup system - it is protection against hard disk failure.

...i create 3 partition (/ , /boot and /home)...
When installing Linux the conventional practice is to include a partition to be used as swap space in addition to any other partitions you create.  To illustrate this, the majority of Linux installers offer to automatically partition your disk as part of the installation process.  Choosing this option will usually create only two partitions (/, and swap).  A swap partition of 1GB will be suitable in most cases.

Installation and Upgrades / Re: Partitioning eBox for RAID1?
« on: April 19, 2010, 02:45:02 pm »
Hi haliparotin,

I see alvinquah is giving you some good advice here.

There is no single, universal partitioning model to use.  The number and size of partitions really depends on what you want to achieve, and the amount of your data.

It is perfectly possible to put everything (except swap space) under /.  If you do not intend to go as far as using LVM on RAID arrays, /boot can also be included under /.  As mentioned by alvinquah the main advantage of having multiple partitions is that the data within one may still be accessible in the event of a different one becoming corrupt.  This is why it is widely accepted to be good practice to put /home on its own partition even when this means your system will have only three partitions (/, /home, swap).

Partitioning, however, does not provide protection against the failure of a disk.  In your original post you mention a 120GB disk.  Is this the only disk in your system?  If yes, and the disk itself fails it is quite possible that everything it contains may be lost irrespective of the way in which it is partitioned.

Installation and Upgrades / Re: All Apps/Roles on One Server
« on: April 18, 2010, 03:18:40 pm »
I cannot speak to the core of your query as I have not attempted to install all the available modules on a single box.  The following are some of the more fundemental frustrations that you may encounter.  These should not be seen as an attempt to denegrate eBox as it is a developing product.

System Installation (ebox-installer based on Ubuntu 8.04-LTS)
The creation of disk storage using LVM in conjunction with RAID frequently fails.  This seems to be related to the underlying Ubuntu OS.  This may be relevant to your use of a single machine as some form of RAID redundancy may be appropriate.  Additionally, the ability to dynamically grow, shrink, and add storage space may become important with a single box system.

The current implementation has problems with the diversity of printers available.  This can sometimes be worked-around by configuring the underlying CUPS system (although this somewhat reduces the benefit of having ebox configured printing).  Additionally, USB connected printers can be problematical as this appears to be broken within eBox currently.  Lastly, a single, cental PDF printer available to both Linux and Windows clients is not provided by default.

Desktop Workstations
If you intend to use Linux workstations presently there is only a proof of concept package (ebox-desktop) available to configure the client machines.  At the moment only Ubuntu workstations are supported.  This package appears to be broken as 9.10 (Karmic) workstations do not authenticate against a 1.4x eBox PDC.

The use of a single box may not be ideally suited to the storage of backups.  If off-site storage is required eBox currently provides the access to (fee paid) data storage on the web.  Otherwise a second eBox server may be created as a backup machine.  Presently, no facility is available for users to conduct a single or multiple file restore from backup.

A quick search of the forum posts may be helpfull and turn up some of the ways in which the eBox community has dealt with some of these matters.

Installation and Upgrades / Re: Partition harddrive
« on: April 08, 2010, 08:00:34 pm »
Have a look at Parted Magic it is a very useful live mini distro and has a variety of booting methods.

Hi J. A. Calvo,

Well, eBox desktop is a different product, the published roadmap only affects to eBox platform. Eventually we will announce a roadmap for ebox-desktop once it is known.
OK, I understand that it is a different product, but one with the single purpose of being used in conjunction with an eBox PDC.  This intimate link implies that a change in the server will generate a corresponding change in ebox-desktop.  The enquiry is really whether you foresee both the server and desktop software will be available at the launch of eBox 2.0.

eBox 2.0 will be based on the new Ubuntu 10.04 LTS. It will come with new versions of all the software packages that eBox relies on. Also, this new distribution will greatly decrease the number of problems supporting new hardware.
Will the support for new hardware also extend to peripherals, specifically printers.  This is a longstanding issue which regularly crops up in the forum.  It is not mentioned as a separate feature in the roadmap for version 2, is it included as part of one of the listed features?

As this main change is going to take us a lot of time, the amount of new features is lesser than in previous eBox releases. And, in fact, our efforts are also going to be centered in make the existing eBox features more robust.
Will this extend to ebox-desktop (10.4) becoming a mainstream package rather than a proof of concept and coincide with the release of eBox v 2.0?

The two questions raised relate to existing eBox features; the decision to consolidate the progress made to date is one which I support.  Hopefully, the wider community will also register its support for this as it will provide the firmest foundation on which additional functionality may be added in the future.

Followed this guide without success:

After many failures and in an attempt to create a clean environment a test network has been created comprising
  • a non ebox gateway/firewall
  • an ebox 1.4 PDC
  • a single Ubuntu Karmic workstation
All available updates have been applied.

The modules enabled on the PDC are:
  • Network
  • Software Management
  • Users and Groups
  • File Sharing
  • User Corner
  • Printer Sharing

The name of the domain is EBOX
The static IP of the gateway/firewall=
The static IP of the PDC= (name=Svr01)
The IP of the workstation (name=PC01) is dynamically allocated from the gateway/firewall
A single test user has been created=user1

Samba Info
Code: [Select]
smbclient --list= --user=user1%password

Domain=[EBOX] OS=[Unix] Server=[Samba 3.4.6]

Sharename       Type      Comment
---------       ----      -------
ebox-internal-backups Disk      
ebox-quarantine Disk      
print$          Disk      Printer Drivers
IPC$            IPC       IPC Service (EBox Samba Server)
user1           Disk      Home Directories
Domain=[EBOX] OS=[Unix] Server=[Samba 3.4.6]

Server               Comment
---------            -------
SVR01                EBox Samba Server

Workgroup            Master
---------            -------
EBOX                 SVR01
The same report is received if the name Svr01 is used in place of the ip-address.

Code: [Select]
Base DN: dc=Svr01,dc=EBOX
Password: kC/PGgUny7i38W/A
Users DN: ou=Users,dc=Svr01,dc=EBOX
Groups DN: ou=Groups,dc=Svr01,dc=EBOX

The user home share can be accessed via gigolo and a desktop link displayed but not via ebox-desktop as there is no authentication.

Installation and Upgrades / Re: A GUI For an eBox Machine?
« on: March 06, 2010, 10:33:07 am »
Hey SamK, mind removing my name from your quotes in that post? Thanks!

Installation and Upgrades / Re: 1.3.15 software management bug
« on: January 30, 2010, 11:46:55 am »
...if there's a button to force apt-get
This was added to the wishlist back in May 2009.  Hopefully it will be implemented soon.  Have a look here:

Installation and Upgrades / Re: Add-On: BackupPC request.
« on: January 17, 2010, 06:02:16 pm »
BackupPC offers the pooling feature to reduce the size of the backups, the eBox backup system will not do this.  If this important to you it is another good reason to continue its use.

Installation and Upgrades / Re: Add-On: BackupPC request.
« on: January 17, 2010, 04:54:51 pm »
I have no clue what duplicity is but I know they're using that and rsync in 1.4.
Have a look here

On the irc #ebox channel, foolano recently indicated that version 1.4 will allow backups to be stored on a remote LAN server or a web based one.  User conducted restores via a web interface will not be included but will be available in a later eBox release.  Disaster recovery will be catered for by a bootable CD that includes networking and duplicity.

Installation and Upgrades / Re: Add-On: BackupPC request.
« on: January 17, 2010, 03:04:07 pm »
The LDAP one is the one I'm hoping for the most since I haven't, and probably won't, create BackupPC users until 2 things are fulfilled, LDAP users sync'd with eBox users and HTTPS connections.
It looks like bad news; the Devs have decided not to integrate LDAP user authentication with BackupPC.

Installation and Upgrades / Re: Add-On: BackupPC request.
« on: January 17, 2010, 01:20:41 pm »
Nice to see you back. I was hoping to hear back from you SamK :P.
Kind of you to say so, although I have never really been away - just not posting.

You have written a couple of extensive posts here - did you get anything else done on that day? (Work for instance)

I haven't used BackupPC in the last couple of years so my comments may not reflect the current version.  For that matter they may not be entirely accurate as they depend on my ability to remember accurately.  At that time I was only interested in backing up non-eBox, Ubuntu servers to a central BackupPC machine. The LAN workstations were predominately Ubuntu (a few MS-Windows workstations).  User home dirs were located on a PDC (no storage of local data at all).  The BackupPC pooling feature was of secondary interest; the ability for users to conduct restores of single/multiple files via the web interface was a high priority.  Also of interest was the inbuilt ability of BackupPC to automatically create copies of the backups.  These were committed to encrypted, external disks for off-site storage.

...I think Javi saw one of my LDAP+BackupPC posts a long time ago and added a ticket request for it.
...the best way to integrate it is to just connect to the BackupPC CGI interface through the eBox BackupPC module (which doesn't exist), and then configure LDAP user association so you don't have to setup your users in two places. That would allow you to use both BackupPC and eBox together without having to go crazy and add in 100 users (larger network) with passwords and then have to manage changing passwords in two places instead of one.
In the above scenario, each user needed an account to be created in BackupPC as a requirement of them being able to restore their own data.  Authentication would usually be conducted by BackupPC.  If I recall correctly, applying the appropriate PAM module allowed authentication to be conducted by the PDC which used synchronised Unix and Samba accounts.  It is likely to be that a PAM moudule exists that works with LDAP.

ext4 is massively faster than ext3 in both initialization, filetransfer, and so many other things.
It sounds worth investigating - thanks.  How well is it supported by filesystem maintenance/recovery tools.  (From memory, the Ubuntu installer CD includes ext3 support tools for rescue situations.)

My tests did cover restores on both Windows and Linux machines, but only file and folder restores, not the OS.
If you do decide to conduct tests on restoring the OS it will be interesting to here the results.  Does the BackupPc documentation give guidance on this?

Your posts contain a lot of information that might be useful to the eBox community.  Extract it to a HowTo perhaps?

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