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.

The Advantages Of Choosing Linux Web Hosting

Linux web hosting refers to web hosting services that are based on a server that is running the Linux operating system. It is probably the most widely used type of web hosting, especially for individuals and small to medium sized businesses, simply because Linux web hosting is cheaper than other options like Windows based hosting. The reason for this is that Linux is an open source software product and as such does not incur the high licensing fees that other operating systems do; you can freely download and use it at no cost. On the other hand, a web hosting service that offers Windows based hosting has to pay for the software and maintenance fees.

Some of the advantages of Linux web hosting are: cheaper than Windows, support for PHP scripts and MySQL databases and some hosts may offer telnet accounts at no or little additional cost. In many circles Linux is believed to be more secure than Windows, and for that reason it is also the more popular choice for web designers and programmers. Linux web hosting also offers users many configuration and customization options.

The Linux operating system is also very stable, so you can expect high uptime from a Linux web hosting service. Linux supports most scripting languages and types of web files, and you can use files with all the following extensions: .html, .htm, .pl, .php, .shtml, .asp, .xml and others. The biggest disadvantage of a Linux based web hosting solution is that it is not compatible with Microsoft technologies, like ASP scripts.

On the other side of the coin is Windows based hosting, which is generally more expensive, but it does support ASP and, usually for an extra fee, can support Cold Fusion, Access databases and SQL Server databases.

In conclusion, if you are new to building websites and web design, Linux web hosting is the better, and cheaper, option. However, if you need specialized services that are Windows specific, then you will have to use a Windows web hosting service.

Linux, your iPhone and your pictures

I suppose this might work for an iPod touch as well, but the ones I have and have seen don’t have cameras.  OK, on to the tip!  Recently I wanted to get all of my pictures copied off of my iPhone and onto my computer running Linux, specifically Debian 5.0.  Normally with something like a USB thumb drive this is easy, once you plug it in, even if it doesn’t auto mount itself you can at least look in your messages file to see the actual device path in order to mount it manually.  However, what I noticed with my iPhone (3GS version 3.1.2) is that not only did it not auto mount, my messages file didn’t list any information about a device path for me to mount it manually.

From here naturally I turned to Google, but everything I came across talked about installing iFuse and some kind of ipod-convenience package or said it couldn’t be done, or my favorite that you had to have a jail-broken phone in order to do it.  Now, I didn’t want to install a bunch of packages I wasn’t familiar with just for this, and I darn sure didn’t want to jail-break my phone either.  If for no other reason than because I was convinced that if I could do it in Windows (connect to my iPhone and copy my pics off), there had to be a way to do it in Linux too, without having to alter the device.  I am hard headed that way, but in this case it worked.

Now this might be obvious and simple to everyone else, and if so I am sorry to bore you, but it wasn’t something I was familiar with.  I did have an inspiration though, something so simple I just knew it wouldn’t work but I decided to try it out anyway.  I fired up gthumb which was conveniently installed already, and is a tool for doing just what I wanted to do, importing pictures from a digital camera among other things.  I then plugged in my iPhone and gthumb picked it up immediately and started pulling up a list of all my pics on the phone.  From there I could import, rotate, delete originals and more, easy as pie.  It worked perfect, and was very simple, just like it should be.

In the end, I found that I didn’t have to install any software hacks or jail-break my phone, just use the right tool for the job.  Ain’t Linux grand?

Solarum’s MySQL Reference

Heads up, I have added something that I think you will find useful.  I have added a MySQL reference to the Library!  This is more than a cheat sheet, I try to explain the things that are going on in there as we do it, so it should be a good way to not only see how to do specific things, but also understand them as well.  Check it out here and see what you think, if you see anything wrong with it or you have some tip of you own you’d like me to add, drop a line and let me know.  Enjoy!

Nice Usenet News Reader For Free

XanaNews Screenshot

XanaNews Screenshot

I was looking for a good, solid and preferably open source news reader (usenet client) whilst booted into Windows XP on my laptop earlier, and I found a dandy. I found a lightweight client called XanaNews, which although lightweight, not over burdened or bulky, it is also solid and easy to use. Throw in that it is open source and free, and it’s a nice application.

I looked at the screen shots and it looked like it was along the lines of what I wanted, so I decided to download it and give it a try.  After running the installer I easilly configured my news server (Giganews, if you aren’t using them and you want AWESOME usenet access, check these guys out! Like NOW!) and off I went, effortlessly subscribing to groups and reading posts on procmail.  That’s what I was working on at the time.

Well, I liked XanaNews so much, that I decided to install it on my main machine running Ubuntu.  I fired up Wine and ran through the same install steps and it again worked like a charm.  So now I can use this dandy little news reader on Windows and Linux.  I felt like I just had to share with everyone, because it seems like good usenet clients are hard to find unless you want to try and use something bundled into a web browser or email client which I usually don’t.  Give me an app made especially for what I want to use it for, and it’s probably going to do a better job of it every time.  Not always, but most of the time I would say.  Hope you enjoy it!