VMware tools on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS from Repository

Task for today, equip a couple of dozen VM’s with VMware Tools. I hate manual labor so I hacked up this little script.

Make sure current VMware tools or open-vm tools are uninstalled and purged otherwise this will crap out.

# Fetch the key

apt-get install python-software-properties –yes
wget http://packages.vmware.com/tools/keys/VMWARE-PACKAGING-GPG-RSA-KEY.pub

# Add the Repo to APT, and remove sources (we remove all sources, but you can specify to remove only
# VMware sources (since they are not published and will end up in an error)

apt-add-repository ‘deb http://packages.vmware.com/tools/esx/5.0latest/ubuntu precise main’ && wait
# We dont want any sources by default
sed -i ‘s/deb-src/#deb-src/g’ /etc/apt/sources.list


# Install the tools

apt-get update &&
# Check Kernel version, we use 12.04 LTS ONLY, esx-nox is NO GFX support, as it should be
apt-get install vmware-tools-esx-kmods-3.2.0-23-generic vmware-tools-esx-nox –yes &&
apt-get upgrade –yes && wait


Ce’st ca, all done.

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How to install ESXi on those darn cheap-ass SanDisk Cruzer fit sticks

It took me some time to figure out, but for my next batch of ESXi hosts for our cloud platform I simply refused to go to the WanChai computer center again to buy new USB sticks, as I still had a batch of those SanDisk Cruzer Fit sticks lying around from my previous attempt. Last time, because of time constraints, I had to take the easy route and go and buy HP branded stuff for our army of BL495. But today we received another 16 or so 495′ers to fill up another enclosure, and as said, I refused to go out to the computer-center to buy sticks again, it bloody pouring out there :)

So I dug in to this and with a little help from google and the syslog logs, I figured it out, It seems that ESXi wan’t to format the USB stick with a GPT partition, which some sticks like these SanDisk Cruzers, won’t take. Now to force the installed to use classic MBR, upon install, on the boot screen press SHIFT-O for the boot options of runweasel.

Remove whatever you see there and just replace it with runweasel formatwithmbr press enter, and voila, your install will proceed, format the stick, install the binaries, and most important, boot from it on next reboot.



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Cisco 7961 headaches

Man, I never liked Cisco stuff, and after today my esteem for the SF router and switch giant has dropped another notch.  Why?. well try to get a Cisco 7961 (or 7960 for that matter) work in Asterisk, then you’ll understand. So to ease the burden of some of you out there that try to do the same, here is the Asterisk  / FreePBX template that finally made it work for me.

We used the freely available SIP41.8-4-3S fimware, just create yourself an account on Cisco support and fetch it, we tried some of the 9 versions without any luck, so stick to the 8 versions i’d say, works just fine.

Also as other blogs outline in great detail, <natEnabled>false</natEnabled> seem to be quite important :),

well good luck…

<?xml version="1.0" ?>
 <timeZone>China Standard/Daylight Time</timeZone>
 <member priority="0">
 <line button="{$line}">

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No more Nexenta CPU overload

We have all seen it, NexentaStor eating away the CPU in an ESXi environment. It’s actually not consuming the CPU cycles, but since Illuminos reserves cycles (basically telling the CPU to go through a zillion NOOPS) the CPU get trashed, eating up to 15% for each core. Not a pretty sight, and certainly something you would want to get rid off since this seriously screws up your ESXi resource scheduler.

How to go about this is actually quite easy, just disable the nmdtrace service. One small down side to that though, removing / disabling this service will kill all performance stats in the NMS, not that they are of any use anyways, they are nothing short of pathetic (sorry Nexenta), to get around that I will describe how to extend SNMP to get proper statistics into something like Cacti in a later post.

First, lets free up those NOOP cycles and kill nmdtrace. Before doing so you would like to remove the dependency of it with the NVM, so here goes (all as SU on the console of your Nexenta box of course)

svccfg -s nmv delpg nmdtrace

check the NVM service for state

svcs nmv

And if necessary, remove failure state by

svcadm clear nmv

svcadm refresh  nmv

Now we are good to go to kill the nmdtrace process by issuing

svcadm disable -s nmdtrace

If you would like to enable it (god knows why) just issue

svcadm enable s nmdtrace

See the pretty graph :)







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Local Ubuntu Mirror

We were getting tired of our Ubuntu server reaching out to the internet every day/week to fetch updates and patches. Man if you though Windoze was bad, these Ubuntu servers know their way around consuming bandwidth as well. So in the Windoze world we had something called WSUS (if it is still called that?) so i wanted something similar to keep roughly 150+ servers from going out to fetch their bits.

The APT-MIRROR package to the rescue. Setup is quite easy, but i did not find any ‘cook book’ that fitted all my needs.

First off I need to store these mirrors on a nice de-duplicated NFS server (Nexenta/ZFS) to keep it from consuming to many GB’s. So what we did is create a NFS export on one of our SAN’s with root access for the Mirror server, simple enough.

On the server side

On the server we install APT-MIRROR with a simple apt-get command;

apt-get install apt-mirror

This installs the package and creates the structure in /var/spool/apt-mirror

Now we mount our NFS mount-point to the /var/spool/apt-mirror/mirror from the FSTAB in the usual way

<hostname>:/volumes/pool1/mirror /var/spool/apt-mirror/mirror nfs auto,noatime,nolock,bg,nfsvers=3,intr,tcp,actimeo=1800 0 0

(yes, our NFS is still V3, since it serves some ESXI hosts as well)

Now it is time to configure our /etc/apt/mirror.list, we ended up with

############# config ##################
set base_path /var/spool/apt-mirror
set mirror_path $base_path/mirror
set skel_path $base_path/skel
set var_path $base_path/var
set cleanscript $var_path/clean.sh
set postmirror_script $var_path/postmirror.sh
set run_postmirror 1
set nthreads 10
set _tilde 5
set defaultarch amd64

############## end config ##############

deb http://tw.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise main restricted universe multiverse
deb http://tw.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise-security main restricted universe multiverse
deb http://tw.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise-updates main restricted universe multiverse
deb http://tw.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise-proposed main restricted universe multiverse
deb http://tw.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise-backports main restricted universe multiverse
deb http://tw.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise main main/debian-installer restricted restricted/debian-installer universe universe/debian-installer multiverse multiverse/debian-installer

clean http://tw.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu

Now how did we decide to go for http://tw.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu to fetch our mirror, for us this was the best performing (not necessarily closest) mirror that is up-to-date. A way to determine your fastest mirror is with the handy netselect tool. how to install and use;

First fetch the latest binary (at time of writing 0.3.ds1-25

wget http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/pool/main/n/netselect/netselect_0.3.ds1-25_amd64.deb

Then throw it against the mirror lists from launchpad, and add some grep magic to make the output readable

netselect -v -s10 -t20 `wget -q -O- https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+archivemirrors | grep -P -B8 “statusUP|statusSIX” | grep -o -P “(f|ht)tp.*\”” | tr ‘”\n’ ‘ ‘`

For us it came back with the Hong Kong Chinese University and some others, the Taiwan repo was at the 3rd place, We decided to use the Taiwan one since the Hong Kong archives tend not up to date, maybe we should open up ours to have an up-to-date repo down one here :) . Anyway, you should verify your results against the mirror list on https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+archivemirrors to get your close and up to date repo.

It is now time to do a first time population of the repository by manually executing

apt-mirror -c apt-mirror

This can take some time as we will pull down

Now the newly downloaded repo can be made available through a web server of choice (Apache for us). We just linked the ubuntu folder to the /vat/www, we could also share the folder out as an RSYNC repo on the Nexenta storage server, maybe at a later time, not today.

ln -s /var/spool/apt-mirror/mirror/tw.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu /var/www/ubuntu

Now all that is left to do on the server side is to add the update script to your cron tab for scheduled execution, this is made easy as the package provides this schedule file in /etc/cron.d/apt-mirror, the only thing you need to do there is to uncomment the line

On the Client Side

On the client side we need to edit the /etc/apt/sources.list. Here we commented every deb repo and left the deb-src pointing to the us repositories. Then on the top of the file we added the deb repe’s for our own mirror.

deb http://<domain>/ubuntu precise main restricted universe multiverse
deb http://<domain>/ubuntu precise-security main restricted universe multiverse
deb http://<domain>/ubuntu precise-updates main restricted universe multiverse
deb http://<domain>/ubuntu precise-proposed main restricted universe multiverse
deb http://<domain>/ubuntu precise-backports main restricted universe multiverse

#deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise main restricted
deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise main restricted
#deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise-updates main restricted
deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise-updates main restricted
#deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise universe
deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise universe
#deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise-updates universe
deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise-updates universe
#deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise multiverse
deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise multiverse
#deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise-updates multiverse
deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise-updates multiverse
deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise-backports main restricted universe multiverse
#deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise-backports main restricted universe multiverse
#deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise-security main restricted
deb-src http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise-security main restricted
#deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise-security universe
deb-src http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise-security universe
#deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise-security multiverse
deb-src http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu precise-security multiverse

now run an apt-get update / apt-get upgrade, and all should be coming from your own repo

As always, hope this helps someone save time, if it does not work out for you, pleaee  leave a comment and we’ll try to help where possible

- Fault



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Cacti script to get temperatures from an ILO device.

We wanted to experiment with different airflow scenarios in our DC and did not want to get in to expensive data center power management tools, so we decided to use a simple cacti server and the ILO temperature measurements from servers in certain spots in the racks to get a historic graph of inflow air temperatures, you get the idea.

But man!, Cacti can be a pain in the butt!, and so can be the HP/ILO SNMP implementation. As you might have noticed the SNMP/OID does not push out measured temperature sensors, sigh.. To get around this hurdle we had to hack up a quick script, and since it took me quite some time to google all components together i’d thought why not put them here for others to enjoy, saving the world some time here.

Our setup, a simple vanilla Ubuntu 12.04 LTS VM,  with Cacti from the Ubuntu Repo (0.8.7i), I assume I don’t need to explain how to set this up. So to get stuff working, first we get the HP Lights-Out XML PERL Scripting Sample (I fetched this one) for Linux, untar and install.

Copy out the files Get_EmHealth.xml and locfg.pl to the /usr/share/cacti/site/scripts folder, chown them to root (as Cacti runs its scripts as root)

Add your ILO credentials to the EmHealth.xml, I could go as far as parameterizing them for Cacti to provide, but since we use the same across all ILO’s in a separate management network, i did not bother

<LOGIN USER_LOGIN=”your user name” PASSWORD=”your password“>

Next, I created this little PERL script

$command = “/usr/bin/perl -X /usr/share/cacti/site/scripts/locfg.pl -s $ARGV[0] -f /usr/share/cacti/site/scripts/Get_EmHealth.xml”;

#$command = “/usr/bin/perl -X /usr/share/cacti/site/scripts/locfg.pl -s -f /usr/share/cacti/site/scripts/Get_EmHealth.xml”;

$output = `$command`;

@lines = split(/\n/,$output);

foreach $line(@lines){
if (index ($line ,”LOCATION VALUE”) != -1) {
$line =~ s/\s+/_/g;
if ($line =~ /”(.+?)”/) { print”$1:”;}}
if (index ($line ,”CURRENTREADING VALUE”) != -1) {
if ($line =~ /”(.+?)”/) { print”$1 “;}}

What this basically does is parse the XML (ish) output from locfg.pl, find the Location Value and CurrentReading Value (which are sensors and values) and write them out as a valid Cacti script return string for by DL385g5 this is:

CPU:62 CPU_1:50 CPU_2:44 Memory_a:57 Memory_b:46 System:62 Ambient:21

As you can see I also trip out all spaces and replace them by underscores to keep the output valid for Cacti. So now we can run this script in a Cacti Data Input Method, see this link on how to do that, and as long as we provide the EXACT output fields, we will get values back to push in to RDD. I am only interested in the Ambient sensors, but maybe you like to graph more..

Hope this helps someone save some time





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Posted in Cacti, HP, Linux

Setting IOPS for HP/EVA devices, the dirty ESXCLI way.

Stumbled upon the “Best practices for HP EVA, vSphere 4 and Round Robin multi-pathing” by Ivo Beerens or the VMware community article “Very slow performance on EVA4400” and wondered how to hack this in to an ESXi box without a service console. (tried Ivo’s solution in the ‘Engineering SSH shell, but for some reason it failed on the grep command’. Of course you can use the horrid windows power(s)hell and fiddle around with that, or for dinosours like me that live in old DOS/Command line worlds, download the VMware ESXCLI package for windoze (or Linux, but then this script wont work)  and copy and paste this script in to a .cmd file

@echo off
esxcli --server <hostname> --username=root --password=*** nmp device list | find "HP Fibre Channel Disk" >dev.lst
for /F "tokens=1,2 delims=()" %%G IN (dev.lst) DO esxcli --server <hostname> --username=root --password=Nipples@Sandpaper nmp roundrobin setconfig --type "iops" --iops=1 --device=%%H
del dev.lst

Remember to replace the obvious username,password and servername values and off you go!.

Of course you can get creative and make a loop around this to go through your servers automatically, but I had only 8 to worry about so I didn’t bother.

Good luck,

– Fault

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