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Posted by: bjb

Last year about this time I mentioned to the company that currently renews my domain names that I wanted to do the renewing myself before the year was up. We agreed that he would put the domains in my name (the admin contact etc) in October. October came and went, and eventually it became March. I emailed and asked about the progress on this.

He wrote me back and said that I owe some money and he would also be charging me $125 (ish) for 1 1/4 hours of his time to put it back in my name.

First off, I got the domains myself, and asked that company to pay the renewal bills and bill me back. There was never any need for him to put his name on my domains — he certainly didn’t call attention to himself by charging me for that “service”. But now, a month before some of them expire, he’s hitting me with the news that suddenly I have to pay an “exit fee”. No warning about it last year, no warning in October. Just a fee one month before the names expire.

The other money he claims I owe — about $30.00 — I haven’t researched that yet. I expect it will turn out I don’t owe anything, but I’m willing to do the research before I deny the charge.

I’m not happy.

Anyway, I’m “contemplating my options”. One of which is to let the names expire and get new ones. There are other options, and I’m considering all of them.

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Posted by: bjb

I’d like to add a “restore” feature to xen-create-image to go alongside the “install disk”, “install lvm” etc options. It would take an existing disk, mount it and apply some “restore” scripts to it. It would skip over the “create the disk and put stuff on it” part.

The xen-create-image script (in xen-tools) is almost all the way there. It’s fairly modular. It calls other scripts to do parts of its work (like xt-create-xen-config). Those scripts get the (extensive) list of options by inheriting them in the environment.

That means xen-create-image exports the list of config options to its environment. It does this in the exportEnvironment function — except for the ip address list. That is done in runCustomisationHooks. Most unfortunte for me, because the main part of the script goes like this:

if ( $CONFIG{'install'} ) {
    if ( $CONFIG{'hooks'} ) {
        runCustomisationHooks ();

It’s that way in xen-tools 4.2 and in xen-tools 3.2.

Unfortunately, that means that not only are the ip variables not available if I’m not installing, but neither do the customisation hooks get run. I had been hoping to make a new “distro” called “restore” in which I could put scripts like “restore-database-from-dump” and “fix-up-networking-for-new-dom0-location” and suchlike.

I’ve subscribed to the xen-tools mailing list and submitted my comments, we’ll see what happens.

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Posted by: bjb

My choir has arranged to sing at the National Arts Center on May 21, 2011. We are combining forces with our three sister choirs from Montreal and the New World Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of conductor Michel Brousseau. Our founder Maria Knapik will be singing the soprano part, and we have three other soloists as well.

We have to sell a lot of tickets to pay for this … we are also selling ads in the program, and doing some other fundraisers. Contact me if you want to get tickets or buy stuff (flower bulbs or an ad in our program, or even just a donation).

If I practice a lot between now and the concert audition, I might even get to go on stage. But it will take a lot of practicing … This choir is demanding! The performance will be awesome. Even the rehearsals are pretty good.

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Posted by: bjb

I found this procedure for starting to use IPv6 on a home network. It is specific to Debian and the SixXS tunnel broker. Many thanks to Martin Krafft for this very nice description that starts with the firewall rules and moves on from there.

Posted by: bjb

Making xen images from tar files means I get to work with large files. Sometimes I need to poke inside those files before they are made into a disk image. I found that tar on Debian lenny does not have the --occurrence keyword for stopping after the n’th occurrence of a file in the image. tar on Debian squeeze has that keyword. Unfortunately there is no tar in backports, so I get to build the tar sources from squeeze (1.23) on lenny.

I need this because I have stored some parameters into the tarfile for quick extraction at restore time. I made sure to put that file early in the tarfile, but because tar on lenny doesn’t understand the --occurrence=1 parameter it still takes something like 5 or 10 minutes to read through the whole file before moving on to the next step. That’s just a tad painful when developing and testing restore scripts.

For reference:

  • tar on Debian lenny: 1.20-1+lenny1
  • tar on Debian squeeze: 1.23-3

    bjb$ tar --help | egrep occur
          --occurrence[=NUMBER]  process only the NUMBERth occurrence of each file

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Posted by: bjb

I want to get an IPv6 address from The first step is to apply for an account. They gave me one. I tried to use the username/password credentials to log in, and was not able to read the page. I guess it must be xhtml, and it had some kind of error right after the head element. So all I got was a message in the browser saying that there was an error on line 14 character 8.

I tried logging in again today, and was able to see a page full of info.

I don’t know what the problem was. Could have been a problem on the remote end, or maybe I didn’t have cookies enabled. It works now, and I was able to apply for a tunnel. We’ll see what happens next!

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Posted by: bjb

I’m trying to run xen 4.0 but it’s not working, It seems that the input devices (keyboard and mouse) are not being supplied to the linux kernel from the xen hypervisor.

I’m keeping this here for easy reference.

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Posted by: bjb

Another bug I want to keep track of:

This one refers to the breakage of the —ip=auto in xen-create-image from xen-tools 4.2-1. Some parameter checking was implemented, and the value if the —ip option is supposed to resemble an IPv4 address (but the literal string “auto” obviously doesn’t look like an IPv4 address).

UPDATE: fixed in 4.2.1-1. Yay! Unfortunately, it’s not in Debian squeeze, it’s in unstable. To get it, but still prefer stable packages for everything else:

echo 'deb unstable main' >> /etc/apt/sources.list
echo 'APT::Default-Release "stable" >> /etc/apt/apt.conf
apt-get update
apt-get install -t unstable xen-tools
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Posted by: bjb

When learning about formsets, it was never clear to me how many submit buttons there would be:

  • one per form
  • one for the whole formset.

It turns out, there is one submit button for the whole formset.

Posted by: bjb

Using xen-create-image in a “restore from backup tgz” scenario.

xen-create-image  --dist option

can create your own distro (called option) hooks that might:

  • adjust the new ip address (add extra interfaces as on old machine)
  • restore the database from a proper dump

Don’t run the distro hooks (like lenny) that would destroy your carefully crafted old machine

Note that the --dist option is NOT ignored when you use --install tar option. You will need to make your own dist script set (on Debian, look in /usr/lib/xen-tools).

In addition, you can run extra scripts using the —role option. Roles can be combined: --role udev,pg_restore,etc

Note that the xen-create-image --config option takes a xen-tools config file, not a xen cfg file. Also, the —config option does not replace the “global” config file, it augments it.