“Suddenly” Firefox had begun to pin the CPU at 100% even when not doing anything. I started to uninstall related recently added software. Looks like the culprit was swfdec-mozilla, which I had added hoping to get Cooliris working (no such luck — didn’t work with flashplugin-installer either). No flash now, but also no load when browsing the web. (And no burning sensation from the laptop.) (1)

Asterisk installation

Written late in the afternoon in English • Tags: , , , ,

Just a short note on getting a minimal Asterisk environment installed on current versions of Debian and Ubuntu:

aptitude install asterisk
m-a a-i zaptel
modprobe ztdummy

Also add ztdummy to /etc/modules so it gets loaded when the system starts.

If the m-a command is not found, install the module-assistant package.

New installations of Debian have rsyslog as the system logging daemon. Upgraders, however, will be left with sysklogd — and no instructions on how to switch. I’m hoping purging the old one and adding the new one will work ok, as I’ve made no local mods to the logging configuration…

Upgrading to lenny

Written in the mid-morning in English • Tags: , , , ,

I’ve been always a fan of the robust upgrade procedure documented in the Debian release notes, which has worked without problems even over ssh to remote machines. This has made upgrading very painless (at least since sarge — I haven’t used Debian actively longer than that).

Yesterday I ran into a problem, though, which was only saved by having remote console access. I have a system with a slightly more complicated disk setup: it has two SCSI disks running as a RAID 1 array using md and lvm. Upon rebooting after the upgrade, the system didn’t reappear on the network. What I found on the console was the initramfs panic shell: the root file system had not been found. Rebooting the old etch kernel worked fine.

The workaround proved to be very simple, once I distilled it from the search engine results. Just add rootdelay=10 to the kernel options in the bootloader. I’m using GRUB so this translates to editing the kopt line in /boot/grub/menu.lst and running update-grub.

I had also added raid1 to modules in /etc/initramfs-tools and regenerated the initrd, but that (alone) didn’t help. I’m not even sure it is needed at all — it might already be included anyway when using MODULES=most in initramfs.conf.

The bridge kludge

Written late in the afternoon in English • Tags: , ,

I ran into a model symptom of lacking multicast support with IPv6: a system wouldn’t answer to IPv6 traffic it didn’t initiate. But unless you’ve run into the problem before and managed to diagnose it successfully, you might not realize it’s about multicast.

It was my second Debian Linux system with IPv6 connectivity that gave me a start. I built one more system and got the same results. I could have sworn the first one had worked fine without any tricks. I considered it, but decided I’d rather not abandon IPv6 on Linux. After all, I had it running on all the other platforms (NetBSD, Mac OS X, Windows). (more…)