Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Celebrating new year with our first beta

I'm celebrating the new year with the first mysql-ha beta release.

I've split the releases in two packages:
  • mysql-ha, which continues with the release numbering we've used until now, and includes only the code needed in order to run the cluster. You must install and configure the cluster manually, following this guide. This package is now on beta.
  • installer, which is still alpha, and is numbered from 0.1.0 again.

I hope that this split will encourage more people to try out the cluster, by isolating the code that had more bugs and caused more troubles (the automatic installer) from the almost stable cluster code.

Friday, December 22, 2006


My first plan9 system is installed.

The installation went smoothly on a somewhat old system (Celeron w/96 MB RAM).
I tried running it on an even older system (you can install it on 32 MB RAM) but it didn't
detect the videocard properly.

You can just follow the instructions from the installer and you'll be up and running in short time
(little less than two hours in that hardware, but the disk is really slow).

I was amazed at the fast boot procedure, but reading the docs, it just loads a very minimal kernel
(read this) and you can load additional servers on demand.

The main ideas about plan9 is that everything is a file.
If you're like me, you might say 'I thought everything was a file in UNIX already'
Go read that link where they explain what's wrong with UNIX's model of 'everything is a file', and how it's broken.

As I said, everything is indeed a file in plan9, and files can be accessed regardless of their location (local/net).

If I'm not making much sense yet, it's because I'm still figuring this out myself, and because I haven't got much sleep in the last two days (You gotta be interested in OS design in order to try plan9, but you really gotta be interested in os design in order to try a new OS while a 5 month old baby is on the house!).

Still, I managed to take a screenshot just to document my first system, and I already broke it, too. I can't connect from my gnu/linux box anymore. Apparently I fucked up keyfs, which is good, really; I learned many things about UNIX by fucking things up too..

Here you can see me surfing the mysql-ha site using abaco, one of plan9's browsers.
As you can see, the goal of the system is not to be used as a desktop (though several people at bell labs use it as their only system..). In fact, the recommended way to browse the web is to vnc to another (non plan9) node and use that browser.

However, I'm not interested in using this as a desktop, but rather as a platform to develop service monitoring solutions, and as a way to learn more about OS design.

Don't worry, though, I won't discontinue mysql-ha anytime soon :)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

cpu fan cooler issues, and my plan B...

I'm about to take a short break for the holidays, but this last few days have been extra slow due to continuous issues with the server which hosts the mysql-ha project.

Last night the cpu fan cooler died on us, and we're using a borrowed (we're that much in need of hardware! hehe) one until tomorrow.

This week I intend to get the site back to stable, with a geographically distant (3 km) backup node in case anything goes wrong with the server. (One node is in my dad's house, the other in our office, but 'geographically distant' sounds fancier, right?)

Our network link is also to blame for a lot of our issues but there's not much we can do about that, unless you can figure out a way to break a state owned monopoly!

Anyway, as you can see, right know work is focused on mundane sysadmin tasks (but a few nice scripts and maybe another project might come out of this), but by next weekend I intend to have what will probably be the last release of 2006, and hopefully the last alpha.........

BTW, I'm making good use of my (very little) spare time, so while running some backups on our server, I'm installing plan9 in our older server (we had to take that box out of duty a couple of months ago due to the heavy traffic new interest in the project produced!).
I haven't seen much of it so far, but I have a feeling I'll be getting a crush real soon now..

I intend to document my experience with this system on this blog too, so I hope the seven people that read me regularly (I read my stats!) find this interesting too.

Happy Hacking!

Monday, December 04, 2006


This post is long overdue.
alpha-0.6.5 has been out for almost two weeks (despite the wrong release date in our server, which I'll fix soon enough).

From the promises made on 0.6.4, we have:
- sudo
- ssh-agent
What we don't have (yet) is heavy testing under CentOS 4, but we're starting with that today, so expect
lots of commits and maybe a couple of small releases this week.

I think we'll feature freeze here and focus on stabilty so we can get to beta ASAP.

Some testers would be fine :)

Kind regards, etc.