If a man speaks in a forest, and his wife's not there, is he still wrong?

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Yet another disk failure - FreeBSD to the rescue!

Last week, I suffered yet another disk failure in my NAS. I'm running 10x500GB disks on an OpenSolaris box in a raidz2 configuration. This allows me to survive the failure of two disks without losing any data. I'd already had a disk fail and was awaiting a replacement from WD when I suffered another complete failure and, at the same time, a 3rd disk effectively failed as it starting throwing up read errors on several sectors. This caused my 4TB zpool to disappear, "losing" all data stored on it. Bugger!

However, the third disk was not totally unusable; I was able to read from most of the disk. What I needed to do was copy as much as possible from the "bad" disk onto a new disk, put it back in the zpool and cross my fingers.

Enter FreeBSD.

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Mac4Lin on Solaris

I came across the Mac4Lin project this week.


I'm installing it on OpenSolaris 2008.11 - so far so good!

I need to install a few packages that are not available in current OpenSolaris repositories. Apparently, the best way to do this is to build them using SFE. Details here:

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zfs volume as VirtualBox guest virtual disk

Here's how to use a zfs volume as a virtual disk for a VirtualBox guest:

First, create the volume:

zfs create -V 10G data/zvol_ubuntu_8_10

I run VirtualBox in user-space, so make sure I have write permission to the new volume:

chown robin /dev/zvol/rdsk/data/zvol_ubuntu_8_10

Create the vmdk "wrapper" around the raw device:

/opt/VirtualBox/VBoxManage internalcommands createrawvmdk \
    -filename ~/.VirtualBox/ubuntu_8_10.vmdk \
    -rawdisk /dev/zvol/rdsk/data/zvol_ubuntu_8_10

Register the new disk with VirtualBox (you can also do this from the GUI)

/opt/VirtualBox/VBoxManage registerimage disk ~/.VirtualBox/ubuntu_8_10.vmdk

The resulting disk will be available for selection when you create a new guest.

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OpenSolaris 2008.11 installation

I've decided to give OpenSolaris 2008.11 a go as my main desktop environment.

These are some notes I made detailing the process, including some gotchas I ran into.

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Setting zfs permissions for CIFS/NFS/local interoperability

I've had a Solaris NAS for some time now, with data shared over NFS (for linux clients) and CIFS (for Windows clients). I've always had problems with permissions, i.e. getting files created from Windows to be accessible to Linux clients, and vice versa.

I've always sort of known what the issue was - I needed to understand the ACLs used in ZFS and to set the right ACLs at the top-level of the shared data store.

Well, over the weekend, I cracked it!

Here's what I did...

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Replacing a failed drive in zfs on Solaris

I have a NAS box at home running OpenSolaris (currently using snv104). It has 2x80GB drives (mirrored) as the system area and 10x500GB drives (using raidz2) as the data store, both using zfs.

I've recently installed all the 500GB drives in caddies so they are easily removable/replaceable and I wanted to see what happened when I pulled a drive from the live system. The short answer: not a lot! The data zpool was marked as degraded, and the system kept running quite normally. Adding the drive back took some additional Solaris shenanigans though.

Here's what I did:


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root access to zfs datasets shared over NFS

One of the great things about zfs on Solaris is how it integrates with NFS, thus making it very easy to manage NFS shares.

By default, the root user on a client machine has restricted access to an NFS-mounted share.

Here's how to grant full access to local root users to NFS mounts:

zfs set sharenfs=rw=@,root=@ space

This gives full access for root users on any machine in the subnet to the zfs dataset "space".


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