Ethernet Hang

     I was able to stop the Ethernet hang by disabling some some of the hardware offload functions of the Ethernet chip.  So things are stable again with current kernels.  This comes at the expense of some performance but not a lot as I was able to leave CRC32, which is more CPU consuming than just moving the data, enabled.

Maintenance Completed

     Things went south in a big way.  The new kernel they provided caused so many other I could not let it run long enough to see if it fixed the problem because it broke NFS, broke the console, broke the mouse.  Getting the system back up on the old kernel was a challenge.

     There was another experimental kernel in the developers repository.  I am running on it now.  It does not fix the problem but it provides much more detailed diagnostics that hopefully will enable that process.

     It is 6:30AM now, so I will not be available until after around 3pm this afternoon.  Please feel free to leave a message or mail and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Maintenance Work Early Wednesday Morning

   Commencing shortly after midnight and lasting anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours, depending upon how smooth things go,  There is a problem with the 3.15.0 kernel  drivers for E1000 Ethernet chips which my machines happen to use that causes them to periodically hang for about ten seconds.  Most people will experience this as pause in I/O but some non-Linux versions of ssh will timeout and disconnect.  I have been working with Canonical to come up with a fix.  The first kernel they provided did improve the situation so that it happened a few times a day instead of a few times an hour.  They have another kernel for me to try.

     So tonight, I will be installing that kernel and rebooting to make it active.  I am going to attempt this remotely but in the past sometimes network would not come up after a reboot and if that happens I will need to drive down to the co-lo facility and it will take longer.  This will interrupt all services as it affects both the machines hosting the virtual machines and the NFS servers that hold your home directory, mail directory, and a few other common file systems.

     I plan to start this work around 12:30AM and if things go well, I should be finished by 1AM, if not it may be as late as 3AM Pacific time.

Ubuntu Studio

      I have installed Ubuntu Studio on ubuntu.eskimo.com.  The section with Audio Production, Graphic Design, and Video Production are all part of Ubuntu Studio.  Each is a separate menu of tools dedicated to those functions.  For instance the tool I used to cut out and reduce a 1.2 MB menu image was gimp.  It is included in the graphics design section although I had previously installed it stand-alone in Graphics.

     Anyway, take a look and explore these new menus and see if they don’t contain some items you find useful.  Because these are all graphical elements you will need x2go installed on your machine.  You can get x2goclient from http://x2go.org.

     The video production facilities will require a high speed connection to the Internet, I would recommend 20mbit/s download speeds or more.  (Lower speeds will result in choppy playback but this will not effect the final video output file).

Kernel Updates Completed

     Tonights work rebooting machines into a new kernel, 4.15.0-20.21, to fix an issue with the Ethernet controller wedging went cleanly and initial indications suggest that it was a success.  The real test will come later this afternoon and evening with heavier traffic but so far so good.

Ticket System Broken

     Our ticket system is currently broken.  The Administrative interface login will not let me login.  Please do not use the ticket system until further notice.  Instead e-mail support or call 206-812-0051 (leave a message if I am not here).  Thank you.

Ubuntu Bionic Ethernet Hangs

     The folks at Canonical have kicked out a new kernel for me to try to hopefully fix the E1000 Ethernet hangs.  Since this bug affects our host computers, I will need to reboot pretty much everything tonight to bring up the new kernel on the machines that use the Intel E1000 Ethernet interface chips.

Ethernet Wedges

Ubuntu Bionic Ethernet Hangs

     We are experiencing periodic Ethernet hangs on our machines since upgrading to kernel 4.15.0 which is part of Bionic 18.04 LTS.  I have filed a bug report with bugs.launchpad.net, Bug #1766377.

Social Networking Project

     I’m just writing to let those of you who have an interest in knowing what I’m up to next, know.  For quite some time I’ve wanted to put together some sort of social networking function.  Thus far I have not really found a platform that is workable.  Recently, I found out about a content  management system (CMS) geared towards exactly this sort of thing called “ELGG”.

     I’ve put together a new server with the latest and greatest everything and installed ELGG upon it.  If you would care to take a look, https://social.eskimo.com/.  I am also using this as an experimental server to try new things on so that I’m less inclined to break the main server.

     Right now it is very bare-bones, just have the very basic frame work installed, but you are all welcome to check it out and make suggestions.  If any of you might be interested in working on this with me let me know.

     To give you some idea of what I have in mind, I started Eskimo North as a BBS back in 1982, and we had a good strong community back then.  When we went to a Xenix platform in 1985, it was not nearly as user friendly and we lost a lot of non-technical folks then.  Ever since then I’ve been looking for ways to bring it’s user friendliness back up to that level.

     In my view, a good social networking platform could evolve out of the functionality we had way back then, a very good messaging system with e-mail, upload / download, chat, an games, add to that the ability to have video, pictures, sounds, and a way to relate people with common interest, friending, groups, etc.  Right now I’m still working on very basic infrastructure, being able to upload and view videos for example.  Aesthetics will come later.

Corebird

     Corebird, a graphical twitter client with filtering capability, has been installed on Debian, Mint, MxLinux, Ubuntu, and Zorin.

     It is a graphical client so in order to take advantage you will need to connect with X2Go.  If you do not have X2Go free X2Go clients are available for Linux, Windows, and MacOS at x2go.org.  If you have Linux, many common flavors already have it in the distribution and you need only type:

     apt install x2goclient (for debian OSs)

     yum install x2goclient (for Redhat derived OSs)

     zypper install x2goclient (for OpenSuse)