Check Out Linux Mint

Linux Mint Operating SystemI have to share something with everyone now. Anybody and everybody that knows me, knows that I am a die hard UNIX and Linux fan. I made the majority of my career managing UNIX and Linux boxes, with a server to admin ratio of sometimes 100 to 1. Everyone also knows that I am a die hard Debian fan, my distro of choice for my servers and my desktops is Debian, hands down. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t use or like other distributions, I mean every one has it’s place and purpose. I really dig Ubuntu and SuSE and I cut my teeth on Red Hat and CentOS just as an example.

That being said, the purpose of this post is to tell you about another distro that I just recently checked out called Linux Mint. I know a lot of people have found it since it is in the number one slot over at distrowatch. On the recommendation of my friend Steve, I tried it out and I have to tell you that I was absolutely blown away by it. It’s based on Ubuntu which itself based on Debian so right there is a plus in my book, it has a solid core and foundation, but that’s not what blew me away.

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Debian and Ubuntu Sources List Generator

That title sounds pretty cool doesn’t it?  Yes, it sure does!  I found this nifty little tool and saw right away that I just had to share it with everyone.   It’s a really cool web interface to a tool that lets you point and click your release information as well as your resource/branch preferences, and then BLAMMO, a new source list is made, just right for your Debian or Ubuntu box!  In case someone reading this doesn’t know what a source list is, in Debian (and releases based on Debian, like Ubuntu) it is the file that tells the package manager (apt, dpkg, aptitude, etc) where to look for software you want to install, upgrade, and maintain automatically.  The file name is:


Having a good source file can go a long way towards helping with easy and simple system administration.  The URL for the site is:  for the Debian Generator and for the Ubuntu Generator

So, go check it out and see what you think.  I thought it was really cool and I got some good information from it.

Anoying RAID messages in logs on Debian

Recently I ran into an odd recurring message in the log files of some 64-bit Debian servers I had setup, and although it wasn’t causing me any problems per se, I hate for things to just go on like that and not know why and what to do about it. Now, these were virtual machines (VMs on ESX 4), running the latest Debian Linux 64-bit, and therefore being virtual they had to specialized RAID hardware or anything like that dedicated to the servers themselves. The servers just had your regular virtual SCSI disks as if it was a physical box with single drives in it.

What I noticed in the logs was an error pertaining to mpt-statusd, and that it was detecting “non-optimal” RAID status. Well, duh, there’s no RAID in it! Of course it won’t be optimal. Here is what I was getting, and you can see from the time stamps of this snippet that I was getting quite a few:

Aug  3 18:58:36 mail mpt-statusd: detected non-optimal RAID status
Aug  3 19:08:36 mail mpt-statusd: detected non-optimal RAID status
Aug  3 19:18:36 mail mpt-statusd: detected non-optimal RAID status
Aug  3 19:28:36 mail mpt-statusd: detected non-optimal RAID status
Aug  3 19:38:36 mail mpt-statusd: detected non-optimal RAID status
Aug  3 19:48:36 mail mpt-statusd: detected non-optimal RAID status
Aug  3 19:58:36 mail mpt-statusd: detected non-optimal RAID status
Aug  3 20:08:36 mail mpt-statusd: detected non-optimal RAID status
Aug  3 20:18:36 mail mpt-statusd: detected non-optimal RAID status
Aug  3 20:28:36 mail mpt-statusd: detected non-optimal RAID status

After I did some digging into this mpt-statusd package, I found that it’s main purpose is to check on the RAID status out of mpt and other controllers, which explains why it was complaining since as I said above, there was no RAID installed. Here is the full description of mpt-statusd:

“Description: get RAID status out of mpt (and other) HW RAID controllers The mpt-status software is a query tool to access the running configuration and status of LSI SCSI HBAs. mpt-status allows you to monitor the health and status of your RAID setup. Tag: role::program”

The fix for this is to uninstall mpt-status, assuming you don’t have RAID setup on your server. Once I removed the package, my log files where free from the unnecessary clutter!  I still don’t know what the trigger was that got it installed in the first place, but at least it was easy enough to remove once I found out I didn’t need it.