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Ubuntu 8.04 Server (Read 8246 times)
LoTGoD
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Ubuntu 8.04 Server
Aug 21st, 2008 at 10:29pm
 
Well, I feared treading the Linux server waters for some time, but I finally had to give it a go.

Installed Ubuntu 8.04 on an older server at work last week.  Dual Athlon 1800's, and 1gb of RAM.

Seems to be running nicely at this point.

I have configured, and successfully run:
Connections via SSH
LAMP
Installed GUI just to know it better
Teamed NIC's
RAID Storage drives
phpmyadmin

It was all just a matter of search, trial, error, trial, error...

So far I love it!!  It mimics my production server that I run from a dedicated server, and I couldn't be happier.  Just today I changed the memory allocation for PHP 5, and once the reboot of Apache was done, my test forums seemed to be uber faster.  I am currently doing database streamlining on a 4.5gb forum database, so I can see what I need to do when I move it to a new website.

All in all, it was well worth the setup hassle to have this test server that way I know what to expect on the Web side of my setup.

No real questions per say, just wanted to let all of you know it was because of the great reviews of Linux here that I took the leap.
 
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Re: Ubuntu 8.04 Server
Reply #1 - Aug 22nd, 2008 at 8:49am
 
LoTGoD wrote on Aug 21st, 2008 at 10:29pm:
Teamed NIC's

Is that dual NICs?

LoTGoD wrote on Aug 21st, 2008 at 10:29pm:
It mimics my production server 

What does your production server run?
 
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Re: Ubuntu 8.04 Server
Reply #2 - Aug 22nd, 2008 at 9:52am
 
Rad wrote on Aug 22nd, 2008 at 8:49am:
Is that dual NICs?

Yes, but in addition you do some extra things so that the two links provided by the NICs act together to work as if they both had the same IP address. There are several approaches to this.

It's complicated by two things: the first is the way hosts and routers learn the mapping between an IPv4 address and a single link address (a MAC, for Ethernet networks) via ARP rather than multiple addresses, so you really want to maintain a single MAC for a teamed set of network adapters. However, in switched Ethernet, the switches are also busy learning the associations between MAC addresses and switch ports (and sometimes doing routing and such), and aren't set up for a MAC address to appear in two places at once (with good reason, since they are absolutely required to be unique).

So, in the initial attempts by vendors at teaming each NIC retained a unique MAC address, but there is a primary one for the team. Each NIC can transmit packets with the same IP source address (giving transmit load balancing across the two uplinks to the switch), and if the primary NIC in a team fails, the secondary NIC then assumes the MAC address of the primary.

[ So, you can have failover and transmit load balancing, but not receive load balancing between the NICs in a team. For most situations this is fine, since the vast majority of servers are providing more data than they receive. ]

For teaming to really work, however, you require the switches to cooperate. Teaming has been around awhile, long enough for this to be standardized as an extension to 802.3 Ethernet called Link Aggregation Control Protocol (aka 802.3ad) so that switches can learn from the downstream host that two of their ports can be logically bonded together and the switch will load balance and provide failover across the bonded ports.

This kind of operation using LACP is sometimes also called "switch assisted load balancing".
 
 
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LoTGoD
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Re: Ubuntu 8.04 Server
Reply #3 - Aug 23rd, 2008 at 9:30am
 
Rad wrote on Aug 22nd, 2008 at 8:49am:
LoTGoD wrote on Aug 21st, 2008 at 10:29pm:
Teamed NIC's

Is that dual NICs?

LoTGoD wrote on Aug 21st, 2008 at 10:29pm:
It mimics my production server  

What does your production server run?


Production server runs CentOS, but I am merely talking about data structure and method of access.  I wanted to be able to connect to my test server in the same manner and familiarity as my production server.  In my eyes, it doesn't matter much to me what OS my servers are running, as it does being familiar with the methods to administer them.  I have the same SSH, mysql, phpmyadmin setup on both servers, so I know my limitations on my production one.
 
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Re: Ubuntu 8.04 Server
Reply #4 - Aug 24th, 2008 at 12:54pm
 
Quote:
There are several approaches to this.

I continue to be impressed by your scope of knowledge. And such cool stuff, too. Would love to borrow your brain for a few a days.

LoTGoD wrote on Aug 23rd, 2008 at 9:30am:
Production server runs CentOS

The Rad server runs CentOS 5, which I thought of installing locally to learn and play, but I think that won't be necessary, since I can learn/use the command line with Ubuntu desktop.

LoTGoD wrote on Aug 23rd, 2008 at 9:30am:
I have the same .. so I know my limitations

Yes, I understand what you're saying.
 
 
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Re: Ubuntu 8.04 Server
Reply #5 - Sep 28th, 2008 at 10:58pm
 
LoTGoD,

Welcome to the world of Linux, and congrats on your successful install and setup. I have two installations of Ubuntu 8.04 Server running; it's become my platform of choice for my development work (java, J2EE). It's nice and stable, and compared to Win2K Advanced Server it's far faster on the same hardware. Community support is outstanding. Chances are, whatever you're trying to do there's someone out there who's done it and written a tutorial on it.

I use Apache Tomcat as a java application server and also have Oracle Application Server 10g installed. I use MySQL and Oracle 11g databases, both of which are running great on 8.04 Server.

Great to see some Linux posts on the venerable RAD site.

Cheers!
 

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Re: Ubuntu 8.04 Server
Reply #6 - Sep 30th, 2008 at 9:59pm
 
Regarding Javanut's post:

Quote:
Board-certified digital surgeon

Made me smile. Funny. Clever.

My brother is B-C orthopedic surgeon (Chattanooga). So if you ever need an operation .. I can probably get you a good deal.  Smiley
 
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Re: Ubuntu 8.04 Server
Reply #7 - Sep 30th, 2008 at 10:51pm
 
Rad,

Many thanks to you for making this site the resource that it is. Your passion shows. I switched to SCSI drives after reading your "Boot from a Beast" article back in 2001. Evidently it sunk in; as I look around my office I've got 19 Ultra320 drives spinning. The heat they generate takes the edge off the cold weather that sets in here in Minnesota around this time of year. Nice for storing and accessing data, too. Smiley

I'm completely off-topic here (but I don't see a natural home for it anywhere else in these boards), but I seem to remember reading in a post that you're writing some of your own php code these days. Good for you. You might want to look into a versioning server for your code to help alleviate some frustration. Subversion http://subversion.tigris.org/ is my favorite, but there are other options. Maybe you're way ahead of me and are already on it like a wet dress on a fat girl.

Thanks again for the inspiration and good advice over the years. And the offer of your brother's services is a generous one. As a test, I might send him my ex; if he can implant a sense of humor in her, I'd happily go to him for any ortho work I need done. He'd need to prove his skills no further.
 

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Re: Ubuntu 8.04 Server
Reply #8 - Oct 1st, 2008 at 12:07pm
 
javanut wrote on Sep 30th, 2008 at 10:51pm:
The heat they generate takes the edge off the cold weather that sets in here in Minnesota  

Made me chuckle. Feels good to laugh.

During winters here, every so often I'll see people at the beach (Crystal Cove), jumping in the ocean, while I'm bundled in a sweatshirt and hood (and still freezing). So I'll ask, "Where you folks from?"

Often they'll reply, "Minnesota."

Been to Wisconsin, but never Minn.

javanut wrote on Sep 30th, 2008 at 10:51pm:
You might want to look into a versioning server  

I installed Tortoise, as recommended by Nigel.

http://radified.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1218417792

Been distracted by personal stuff lately. Plan to finish the VPS guide, then move into programming. Heard learning one language helps learning other languages. Nigel has been v. helpful.

javanut wrote on Sep 28th, 2008 at 10:58pm:
I use Apache Tomcat as a java application server and also have Oracle Application Server 10g installed. I use MySQL and Oracle 11g databases

This is v. cool stuff. Very powerful. I'm kinda jealous. Didn't know Oracle made an app server. Thought they just did database server.

While we're on the topic, do you have any insight into a plan/strategy for learning programming, primarily for the web. I mean, it seems PHP/MySQL represents biggest bang for time spent. No?
 
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Re: Ubuntu 8.04 Server
Reply #9 - Oct 1st, 2008 at 7:07pm
 
Rad,

I've read a bit about your travails. I feel for you, and bless you for thinking of the Bug first before your own impulses. Hope things turn around a bit soon.

PHP/MySQL on Linux (referred to commonly as LAMP - Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) is the way to get the most "bang for the buck," you're quite correct. Another technology to have a serious look at is Ruby and Rails. I've used the Java-based equivalents (Groovy/Grails) and found them to be nice. Whatever gets your pages together quickest - with the main caveat that you don't want to write a bunch of "spaghetti code" and later have to straighten it out in order to build on to it.

This is presuming you're pursuing programming as an avocation. If you're considering a career switch, PHP is still a good place to get your feet wet to see if you like this sort of stuff before moving toward more (alas, how to say it without appearing snobbish?) more substantial, industrial-grade stuff like the MS .NET and Java worlds.

The O'Reilly publishing company has an excellent selection of books to pick from, or just read the reviews on Amazon.com. I used to rely solely on online materials for gathering information when exploring new technologies/tools, but lately I've added some big honking books to my library that I find very useful. Must be a tactile thing. And a book, since it's somewhat linear in nature, tends to help me stay on track when I need to, rather than jumping around and confusing myself - not that that's difficult to do. Whatever works for you. You've mastered technical subjects before; whatever strategy worked then will also work for programming.

That's the nice thing about being in those wonderful post-Clearasil, pre-Cialis years. We know ourselves fairly well by now, and what we lack in youth and elasticity we make up in wisdom and treachery. Smiley

Good luck!
 

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Nigel Bree
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Re: Ubuntu 8.04 Server
Reply #10 - Oct 1st, 2008 at 9:45pm
 
Rad wrote on Oct 1st, 2008 at 12:07pm:
Heard learning one language helps learning other languages.

This depends somewhat on the depth of learning we're talking about.

Really, most programmers - those who think of themselves as "working" programmers - actually tend to only learn a small enough part of a single language to "get by" with, and stop there. When such folk "learn" a second language, all they really do is try and find the equivalent small getting-by subset of the second one that lets them keep doing what they did before, just with a little bit of surface dress-up. The bulk of people in industry never really extend themselves past that, and indeed most never really gain much awareness of just how small their "getting by" subsets are compared to the full monty.

[ And this is the way it's always been; the old observation that "You can write FORTRAN in any language" came from the fact that many of the people who learned FORTRAN coding in the 60's and 70's never moved beyond the habits they formed from that first exposure. The kinds of folks who are never satisfied with what they already know, and pursue deep and complete learning instead of just cruising on the minimum to get by, are rare creatures.

Not to say that it's not a valid decision to learn just enough to get by, mind you; you have to draw a line somewhere! It's just that in programming in particular, a cursory level of knowledge is the norm amongst working practitioners, and furthermore those folk typically aren't even aware that their knowledge is pretty superficial. Stevey writes more entertainingly about this; I'm sure I've pointed at that one before, and it's very much true. ]

Also, as I've mentioned before, the most "popular" computer languages are from a pretty narrow tradition, and most work similarly enough to each other that at the "getting by" level there really isn't that much significant difference between any of them anyway.

It's a different kettle of fish entirely if the two you learn are from different design traditions entirely; for instance, Scheme or Prolog or Haskell, are so completely different from other entrants (in good ways, for good reasons) that those who take a kind of "getting by" approach to programming get a rude surprise when they encounter them, since their "comfort zone" just isn't there and they have to learn a whole new way of thinking (which most importantly of all, typically involves unlearning a whole lot of things).
 
 
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Re: Ubuntu 8.04 Server
Reply #11 - Oct 3rd, 2008 at 9:34pm
 
javanut wrote on Oct 1st, 2008 at 7:07pm:
Another technology to have a serious look at is Ruby and Rails.

Yes, I've been reading bits and pices here-n-there and like what I hear. It interest me.

javanut wrote on Oct 1st, 2008 at 7:07pm:
This is presuming you're pursuing programming as an avocation.

Can ppl get a job knowing only PHP/MySQL?

javanut wrote on Oct 1st, 2008 at 7:07pm:
You've mastered technical subjects before; whatever strategy worked then will also work for programming.

The simple technique which I've found which works best:

1. put butt in chair
2. put head in book
3. begin plowing

javanut wrote on Oct 1st, 2008 at 7:07pm:
That's the nice thing about being in those wonderful post-Clearasil, pre-Cialis years. We know ourselves fairly well by now, and what we lack in youth and elasticity we make up in wisdom and treachery.

You have a good sense of humor.  Smiley

Quote:
"working" programmers - actually tend to only learn a small enough part of a single language to "get by" with, and stop there.

I would've thought professional prgm'ers would have to know the entire language pretty well.

Coming out of the nuclear industry, where they expect you to know everything to a "gnat's @ss" level of detail .. it's hard to imagine a professional prgmer knowing only the bare minimum.

I was discussing a similar topic with my buddy, the Dog. He feels for someone to excel .. to learn far more than the expected norm, someone either has to:

a. LOVE what they do (which most ppl don't)
b. be professional enough to continue educating themselves .. a little every day (which most don't)

So it would seem that most ppl are stuck with a skill set demanded on them by whatever learning institution they attended (college), and whatever additional skills their employer demand (and paid for).

I enjoy learning about cool technology .. the more powerful the better.

As a mere point-of-interest .. what language would you say is the most POWERFUL .. from a web-programming standpoint?
 
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Re: Ubuntu 8.04 Server
Reply #12 - Oct 3rd, 2008 at 11:53pm
 
Rad wrote on Oct 3rd, 2008 at 9:34pm:
Can ppl get a job knowing only PHP/MySQL?

Absolutely, even at quite modest levels of skill (just being able to form an SQL query in your head without needing to hit a reference manual).

There's still lots of work with databases and the web that is largely the same kind of work that has always been the mainstay of "IT"; CRUD applications. And for all that it's about as intellectually stimulating as a bowl of oatmeal is gastronomically stimulating, it employs a lot of people. It may be unglamorous, but it's still useful.

Rad wrote on Oct 3rd, 2008 at 9:34pm:
The simple technique which I've found which works best:
1. put butt in chair
2. put head in book
3. begin plowing

Since the personal discipline to plow through a reference manual is more than most people have, that learning style is an edge, right there.

Incidentally, I'm much the same - the real learning, of course, happens in step 4 when one applies the things one reads about, forming and testing hypotheses about things implied by the base knowledge.

Rad wrote on Oct 3rd, 2008 at 9:34pm:
I would've thought professional prgm'ers would have to know the entire language pretty well.  

Indeed, but it ain't so. People are lazy (and there's good lazy and bad lazy, and mostly it's the bad lazy).

[ Good lazy being the person who thinks: "man I'm sick of doing this, maybe I can make a tool to make it easier", leading to creating something which automates drudgery. ]

And even with a good will, it's easy to misunderstand something as "simple" as computer arithmetic. Back about 15-20 years ago, before the IEEE 754 standard for floating-point arithmetic came on the scene (thanks largely to Prof. William Kahan), it was common to find programmers who had been working for a decade or more who had no idea about the basic limits of numeric precision at all. I recall one particular incident some 15 years ago when (using the original Turbo Pascal/Delphi software floating point) where some gentleman (a real idiot, who nonetheless thought he was a genius) was shocked, *shocked* to find that 1/3 * 9 didn't come out as exactly 3! Of course, the reason he was shocked that he simply had no idea how the computer did what it did, it was magic to him.

[  It's a little more understandable for someone not to understand this nowadays since the implementations do such a good job of hiding the inevitable imprecisions, but back then if you didn't know this it tended to bite, and bite hard. Even now it can still be a surprise to folks to find that, say, (1.0 / 3.2) * (3.2 * 3.2) - 3.2 doesn't come out to zero even with IEEE doubles. ]

Rad wrote on Oct 3rd, 2008 at 9:34pm:
what language would you say is the most POWERFUL .. from a web-programming standpoint?  

The most powerful programming language in any application domain is always the one that gives you the most leverage, and in general that's whatever language does the best job of embodying the spirit of Lisp (or rather Scheme, i.e. the lambda calculus) and Smalltalk.

For instance, Javascript is in essence a quite pure Lisp/Smalltalk hybrid (more technically it's a hybrid of Lisp and an experimental research language called Self, with a C-like surface syntax, but with the Self language David Ungar was in fact trying to fuse Lisp and Smalltalk as well). To the extent Ruby is important at all, it's because it serves as an acceptable subset of Lisp/Smalltalk too (see for instance this article).

[ Java is in the interesting position of having been designed by a veteran Lisp guy who also was familiar with the important PostScript programming language. As a result, when it first appeared it was marketed as taking the best from Lisp and Smalltalk, with a C-like syntax to make it familiar. The unfortunate reality was that it was a con job: Java in fact had absolutely none of the expressive power of either Lisp or Smalltalk, although they have tried to make it less bad since. ]

The Structure and Intepretation of Computer Programs will continue to be the gold standard of learning how to program for the foreseeable future.
 
 
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Re: Ubuntu 8.04 Server
Reply #13 - Oct 4th, 2008 at 1:07am
 
By the way, since an editing SNAFU meant that when I hit "post" one of the equations above was outright wrong, in the spirit of full disclosure I can only offer it as an example of Muphry's law (no, not Murphy's!), which I learned about via this fine example of the good humour of the correspondents at The Economist (pasties being well-known throughout the British Commonwealth, and indeed being a food I remember from my childhood).
 
 
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Re: Ubuntu 8.04 Server
Reply #14 - Oct 5th, 2008 at 11:32pm
 
I concur with Nigel's assessment of most programmers' (and most peoples') level of commitment to their craft. Many stopped learning soon after they landed their first gig and have merely been trudging through the same tiny set of skills since then. It's depressing to watch. The whole reason I got into IT was because ongoing aggressive learning is (or at least should be) part of the job. That approach is, alas, not the norm among working programmers.

I used to make my living racing bicycles and in many a "bench racing" session the topic would turn to our views on the best material from which to make a bike frame. My contention was (still is) that you can make a great bike frame out of bamboo as long as you're great at working with bamboo. I think of programming languages in much the same way, and I think the analogy is valid as Nigel points out by saying "The most powerful programming language in any application domain is always the one that gives you the most leverage." My programming career has been fairly Java-centric and I haven't lately found myself unable to fulfill a project's goals using some combination of the Java family of technologies, but that hasn't always been the case and may change with the next project I work on.

When you're a "hired gun" as I am as a contract systems architect, you're often given a technology set within which you're required to craft a solution; typically a large organization has sets or "stacks" of technologies they use organization-wide and the solution I'm implementing has to fit within one of those stacks in order for the organization to maintain some sane number of technologies to manage and maintain. They tend to stick with the technologies they've had success with in the past, and ones that are common or bland enough that for the next revision of the project they'll be able to find people to staff the project and move forward with implementation without a long ramp-up time while people learn an unfamiliar technology, even though that less-familiar technology might be more suitable in the long run. Such are the concessions of the business world - results now, innovation later (usually never). It's had a limiting effect on moving good technologies into the production world.

I'm enjoying our discussion - thanks, guys.
 

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