About 8 people showed up for this meeting. We had to fight for chairs with the Annapolis Linux knitters who seem to be getting really big.
Amanda Tape backup system. Dustin, a new guy from Zamanada , gave a basic description of
the Amanda backup system. In summary, Amanda does backups as if data chunks were on tapes. Amanda does this on disks with virtual tapes.
The advantage of using Amanda over other types of backups is easier retrieval amanda keeps a database of all the backups. Having a database allows the backup admin to find files and archives faster, which can result in faster recovery turn around. Dustin went on to state that he was working on the Zamanda Mac ports and also wrote modules that allow people to backup their virtual tapes to Amazon’s s3 storage. Amazon’s s3 , cloud storage, costs about .15 cents per GB to store and upload data. This could be a cost effective way for developers and small businesses to store their data.
Amazon Kindle book was brought in by Nick. Th Kindle book is a hand held electronic book reader. It looked pretty neat, but too fragile for me.
A new guy, TC came with some NFS problems. He was trying to move from Samba shares to NFS with NIS. Although this did seem more complicated and I would have personally recommended LDAP with NFS, we recommended he try and use rpcinfo a NFS command to help debug NFS issues. rpcinfo is a program that gets run on the client to tell if a server share is viewable. It also shows the ports seen. NFS needs a large amount of services to work. There is nfslock, rpc, portmapper, and the NFSserver ports just to name some. It is one of the more complicated services to setup.
Mark brought in a problem he was having with the network manager. He used the network manager on his laptop as an easy means to connect to wireless networks. The problem was when he turned on his machine it would automatically connect to the first network it saw. This would mean that he would have go into the Network Manger and change the network on each boot. Dave thought this might be a setting that could be changed, but nobody was familiar enough with the Network Manager to solve the problem.
Additionally, Marc said he was having problems with some projectors while using Linux. More specifically, when giving presentations some overhead projectors would work with no issues while others did not. It seemed as if some of the older and less expensive projectors had to be told what resolution to do. To help allow for on the fly resolution changing Dave recommend that he try Xrndr.
Difference between Grub and LILO.
Dustin explained how Grub was different than LILO. Both are similar in that they are used to boot up a system. However the way they work is completely different, he said. On the LILO side, LILO rights blocks to the MBR. Every time the kernel is changed, updated, or when a new operating system is added the boot blocks need to be updated. In contrast, grub has two parts. It right blocks that tell the machine to load grub then grub tells the machine what to load. For example, inside the /boot/grub directory there is stump code for loading ext2, ext3, and rieser file systems. The stump code allows users to edit a config and not have to write these changes to the MBR as in Lilo. This feature creates a lot of confusion for people that go from Lilo to Grub. But, it also makes Grub easier and less dangerous to a system for a beginner admin.