[lug] Problematic Debian server

Nate Duehr nate at natetech.com
Thu Jul 15 00:39:05 MDT 2010

On Jul 14, 2010, at 5:23 PM, Maxwell Spangler wrote:

> I'm guessing because it's remote and you have no network access you're
> not seeing that, so some eyes on the box will be required.

And while you're there, start working on wiring up a way to see the console port and learn how to redirect it to a serial TTY... no production Unix system at a remote location should ever be without a way to get to the boot console... 

If the PC server is new/smart enough and has BIOS to serial port redirection, figure that out too, and implement it.  

If you want as little downtime as possible on a non-redundant configuration, you must have this, long-term.  It can even be as simple as "cross-wiring" server 1's serial port to server 2's in a very cheap two server environment.  If you only have one server... hmm, that's harder.  But you really need some visibility to the console on remote machines that are mission critical for your tasks that they do.

> Bring a cdrom/usb stick so you can boot from a rescue disk if you need
> to do some serious work!

Yup, been there, done that... too many times... 

I'm always saddened by the cheap PC machines not having good ways to do consoles... "business class" Unix systems of the 80s and 90s had remote access built-ins with on-board diagnostics, etc... (thinkin' like Sun RSE cards here, etc...)  They were going the way of the dodo bird until big names like Dell, Compaq/HP, etc... started putting "integrated management" into cheap pizza box 1RU PC servers and charging an arm and a leg for them again in the late 90s early 2000s...

PCs weren't built to run Unix... but they do such a decent job of it, we lose niceties like built in hardware to fix the things remotely.  Sun (and HP and others, but I'm mostly a Sun guy) had this remote repair stuff "down" 10 years or more ago... and knew that when you need to get to the Console... you need to get on the Console!  :-)

Nate Duehr
nate at natetech.com

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