It just works on Linux

While at Sun, while developing the CEC Messaging Platform, one of my colleagues put part of the platform on Linux, because “It just works on Linux”. I was reminded of this today while repairing one of my desktop computers, which had suffered an HDD failure. The system runs Windows XP and after the hardware repair, Windows was hanging every time the Drive was referenced. This was despite mounting the disk on the e:\ mount point.

I rang Dell who support the UK today from Germany and was advised to create a Linux Live CD and see if that could mount the file system.

It could.

Also it browsed the networks, found the file server, mounted a folder and I am now busy copying the files to a remote disk.

The Dell and Alienware people who have helped me over the last two months have been both helpful and knowledgeable. There was some reticence from the Alienware people since my system is pre-merger and they classify it as “legacy”. They  diagnosed the original disk failure and guided my through replacing the disk and rebuilding the OS. They stated that fixing windows explorer was a software problem and beyond them, so they passed me over to Dell software support. Again great advice and it looks like I have recovered the data.  Now to see what happens if I format the disk.

Thanks to Linux, Dell and Alienware.

NB. Both these services were chargeable, so having to pay for two incidents was a bit poor, but I got to talk to people who know what they’re doing. Alienware gave me reason to believe that it was going to be OK, and Dell reminded me that Linux just works.

Centos 5, first thoughts

Most of yesterday I spent building a Centos 5.3 VM in virtual box on my Mac. This took longer than I’d expect, but I am not sure if its someone else’s software or me. Anyway getting the Guest Additions remade and installed was a pain, I had forgotton about enabling sudo, the keyboard selection is non-obvious and a Centos bug means that screens don’t auto resize, nor it seems can they be above a fairly intermediate size (1152×768). Still its usable and its what my hosting company use so I’d better get over it. For more see also my notes and links.

Upgrading the Qube

Three days ago, I finally received another Qube with two shiny new disks and found that at home my 5 year old PC has an ethernet controller old enough to permit the recovery disk to boot. This part of the process is really neat and hard to get wrong. (I have initialised the Qube from the OS recovery disk. This involves booting another computer using the recovery disk which is a Linux disk. This system acts as a boot server and I configured the Qube to boot from the net.) I have just finished running the upgrade process for the Qube. Given the OS was published in 2001, there are 73 upgrades and order is significant.

Laptop Diaries VII

Back to Linux. I’ve decided (a long time ago) I want a Red Hat version; the C400 is a works tool and I work in Sun’s Data Centre Practice. If I want Sun’s Java Desktop system, I can either use the corporate network or my Solaris partition. The reason I want a Linux partition is to familiarise myself with the platform of choice for many web hosting providers and many developers. Here’s my notes on what, how and why.