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vmare, snapshots, etc

Before Oracle Linux hosts were unregistered from ULN and registered with an internal SpaceWalk system a snapshot was made. Now, a month later there are a large number of snapshots that have to be removed.
It is very easy to find these hosts (VMWare guests) – their names start with “EIE”.

PowerCLI in action…..

To list selected guests and their snapshots execute the following command:

get-vm | where {$ -match "EIE"} | Get-Snapshot | format-list vm,name
VM   : EIExxxx2
Name : ULN_Registered
VM   : EIEyyyy1
Name : ULN_Registered
VM   : EIEqqqq2
Name : ULN_Registered
VM   : EIEwwwww3
Name : ULN_Register

To delete a snapshot with conformation:

get-vm | where {$ -match "EIE"} | Get-Snapshot | Remove-Snapshot 

You will be asked to verify that you really mean it and only after you say “Yes” the selected snapshot will be removed.

To remove all snapshots without being asked to confirm, execute:

get-vm | where {$ -match "EIE"} | Get-Snapshot | Remove-Snapshot -Confirm:$false

Posted in LINUX.

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client not talking to spacewalk

from the set of the migrated Oracle Linux hosts two stopped communicating with Spacewalk server….. The tasks scheduled to execute would not run….. Executing /usr/sbin/osad -N -v -v -v -v allows to bring this service to the “front” and after a while of looking at the screen this message showed up:

2016-06-07 09:06:49 jabber_lib.process: 180
Error caught:
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/share/rhn/osad/", line 121, in main
  File "/usr/share/rhn/osad/", line 179, in process_forever
  File "/usr/share/rhn/osad/", line 250, in process_once
  File "/usr/share/rhn/osad/", line 1055, in process
    data = self._read(self.BLOCK_SIZE)
SSLError: ('OpenSSL error; will retry', "(-1, 'Unexpected EOF')")

2016-06-07 09:06:49 jabber_lib.main: Sleeping 108 seconds

A few seconds later Google delivers this gem of advice:

Check /etc/rhn/rhn.conf and make sure the below 2 variables match the hostname of your Spacewalk server

server.jabber_server =
osa-dispatcher.jabber_server =

Also, verify that the hostname listed in your SSL certificate matches the hostname of your Spacewalk server..


My hosts have this in place in the desired format. The next step in the article provides this advice for osad client:

# service osad stop
# rm /etc/sysconfig/rhn/osad-auth.conf
# service osad start

I do it on each of the two and they start talking with Spacewalk!!!!

By the way, this article has this advice for the Spacewalk (I did not do this step) server:

# service jabberd stop
# rm -Rf /var/lib/jabberd/db/*
# service jabberd start

Keep in mind that the advice presented here applies to both environments – Spacewalk and Satellite.

Posted in LINUX.

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migrating /boot to a larger partition

I cannot install Oracle’s Unbreakable kernel on two hosts (vmware guests) because their /boot is just too small!

# df /boot
/dev/sda1 240M 224M 0 100% /boot

they were build in a peculiar way. The first disk (/dev/sda) contains the /boot (/dev/sda1) and the second primary partition (/dev/sda2) is taken by LVM to create logical volumes used for Linux binaries, etc. Other disks have been added later to accommodate application needs. Currently our “disks” are

# ls /dev/sd*
/dev/sda /dev/sda1 /dev/sda2 /dev/sdb /dev/sdc

My plan is to get an additional ~600MB disk and using the dd command, copy the contents of /dev/sda1 to this bigger disk. Next, I will have to modify the /boot/grub/grub.conf and the box should be ready for the “unbreakable” kernel.

Since this is VMWare, then new disk attachment is simple one step operation the new disk is called /dev/sdd. The new disk is partitioned using the fdisk command.

# fdisk /dev/sdd
Device contains neither a valid DOS partition table, nor Sun, SGI or OSF disklabel
Building a new DOS disklabel with disk identifier 0xeb108be0.
Changes will remain in memory only, until you decide to write them.
After that, of course, the previous content won't be recoverable.

Warning: invalid flag 0x0000 of partition table 4 will be corrected by w(rite)

WARNING: DOS-compatible mode is deprecated. It's strongly recommended to
switch off the mode (command 'c') and change display units to
sectors (command 'u').

Command (m for help): p

Disk /dev/sdd: 629 MB, 629145600 bytes
64 heads, 32 sectors/track, 600 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 2048 * 512 = 1048576 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xeb108be0

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System

Command (m for help): n
Command action
e extended
p primary partition (1-4)

Partition number (1-4): 1
First cylinder (1-600, default 1):
Using default value 1
Last cylinder, +cylinders or +size{K,M,G} (1-600, default 600):
Using default value 600

Command (m for help): a
Partition number (1-4): 1

Command (m for help): p

Disk /dev/sdd: 629 MB, 629145600 bytes
64 heads, 32 sectors/track, 600 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 2048 * 512 = 1048576 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xeb108be0

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdd1 * 1 600 614384 83 Linux

Command (m for help): w
The partition table has been altered!

Calling ioctl() to re-read partition table.
Syncing disks.

A new primary partition is created first and next it is marked as the “bootable” one (with the a toggle). To keep the changes, they must be written to the disk (the w does it)!

There is no longer need for /dev/sda1 to be marked as the boot-able one.

# fdisk /dev/sda

WARNING: DOS-compatible mode is deprecated. It's strongly recommended to
switch off the mode (command 'c') and change display units to
sectors (command 'u').

Command (m for help): p

Disk /dev/sda: 75.2 GB, 75161927680 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 9137 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00084012

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 1 33 262144 83 Linux
Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sda2 33 9138 73137152 8e Linux LVM

Command (m for help): a
Partition number (1-4): 1

Command (m for help): w
The partition table has been altered!

Calling ioctl() to re-read partition table.

WARNING: Re-reading the partition table failed with error 16: Device or resource busy.
The kernel still uses the old table. The new table will be used at
the next reboot or after you run partprobe(8) or kpartx(8)
Syncing disks.

Time, to edit the /boot/grub/grub.conf

In this file activate the boot line containing reference to /dev/sda and replace it with /dev/sdd:




Modify existing kernel with the new boot disk info.

# mkinitrd /boot/initramfs-`uname -r`.img `uname -r` --force

Copy the contents of old boot partition to the new one.

# dd if=/dev/sda1 of=/dev/sdd1 conv=sync
524288+0 records in
524288+0 records out
268435456 bytes (268 MB) copied, 74.2698 s, 3.6 MB/s

The dd command copies “verbatim” – the new disk gets the same UUID as its “source”, and the file system still has as much capacity as /dev/sda1.
To make /dev/sda1 UUID again unique:

# tune2fs /dev/sda1 -U `uuidgen`

Now, let’s resize the /boot file system on /dev/sdd1 to get ready for the new kernel.

# resize2fs /dev/sdd1 500M

Let’s reboot the host and validate that /boot is now mounted on /dev/sdd1.

Now, I can proceed with loading the “unbreakable” kernel.

# yum -y install uptrack-updates-`uname -r`

and whatever comes next.

Posted in LINUX.

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registering ULN 5 with SpaceWalk2.4

For a Oracle Unbreakable Linux 5.x host which previously has been registered with ULN and now you want to register it with you local SpaceWalk server you have to remove these packages:

# rpm -e --nodeps  pirut, up2date up2date-gnome

While still registered with ULN, download (they could be missing) these rpms

# yum install python-dmidecode python-ethtool

Next, create a SpaceWalk tools repo, like for example

name=Spacewalk Client 2.2 for Oracle Linux 5 ($basearch)

With this repo in place, install the following new packages which are the ones that make SpaceWalk registration possible:

# yum install rhn-client-tools \
rhn-check rhn-setup rhnsd m2crypto yum-rhn-plugin

Finally, use the rhn_register to register with your SpaceWalk

Posted in LINUX.

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Migrate from RedHat to Oracle ULN

I have a bunch of RedHat 6.7 hosts registered with Satellite 5.7 which I am moving to Oracle ULN 6.7 and simultaneously registering with Oracle’s SpaceWalk2.2
Scheduling reboots for patching is just too much pain in a neck.

This is the procedure I follow.

a. disable any repositories found in /etc/yum.repos.d of the host about to be converted.
b. make copies of up2date and systemid files located in the /usr/share/rhn folder just in case, why am I doing it – paranoid?
c. install the keys required by the SpaceWalk and ULN registration process

# wget -q -O /usr/share/rhn/RHN-ORG-TRUSTED-SSL-CERT  \

# wget -O \

# cd /etc/pki/rpm-gpg; rpm --import RPM-GPG-KEY-oracle

d. register with SpaceWalk executing the following snippet

# rhnreg_ks \
--sslCACert=/usr/share/rhn/RHN-ORG-TRUSTED-SSL-CERT \
--serverUrl= \
--activationkey=1-15506df7d95db,1-bf89408ea391c867 \

e. clean yum cache and show new repos

# yum clean all; yum repolist

f. remove old version of vmware tools, install the latest vmware-tools repository

# for pkg in `rpm -qa | grep vmware`
  rpm -e -vv --allmatches --nodeps --noscripts --notriggers $pkg

# cd /usr/lib
# rm -rf ./vmware-tools
# cd /etc
# rm -rf ./vmware-tools

# rpm -ivh

# rpm --import

g. install Oracle logos

# yumdownloader oraclelinux-release.x86_64 \

# rpm -Uhv --force oraclelinux-release*

# yum install oracle-logos.noarch

h. install ULN support packages, install vmware, etc.

# yum -y shell
remove libreport-plugin-rhtsupport php-common-5.3.3-46.el6_7.1.x86_64 
remove kernel-firmware.noarch
update libreport abrt
install php55 php55-ldap 
install kernel-uek kernel-uek-firmware uptrack-offline
install vmware-tools-esx-kmods vmware-tools-esx

# yum -y install uptrack-updates-`uname -r`;yum -y update

The running kernel is still the “old” one

# # uptrack-uname -r

Check that the kernel in force following the next reboot is the Unbreakable one.

# cat /boot/grub/grub.conf
password --encrypted $1$NaCl$BQ1C3cAnHEG4PprqLREJa1
title Oracle Linux Server Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (3.8.13-118.4.2.el6uek.x86_64)
        root (hd0,0)
        kernel /vmlinuz-3.8.13-118.4.2.el6uek.x86_64 .....

Posted in LINUX, NonAix, Satellite.

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the latest take on installing/patching VMWare tools

I have a set of rel6.x RedHat and Oracle Linux guests with outdated and some with no “tools” installed at all. Bellow, is my latest take on on “patching/re-installing”.

Just in the case the this has previously been installed.


Just in the case, there are vmware packages laying around.

# for pkg in `rpm -qa | grep vmware`; do rpm -e -vv --allmatches --nodeps --noscripts --notriggers $pkg; done

Remove any previous “leftover” directories.

# cd /usr/lib
# rm -rf ./vmware-tools
# cd /etc
# rm -rf ./vmware-tools

Install VMWare repository of the appropriate version.

# rpm -ivh 

Just in the case the keys have never been installed or they are gone.

# rpm --import

Finally, we are ready to roll and do the install.

# yum -y install vmware-tools-esx-kmods vmware-tools-esx

As the last step, login to vCenter GUI and see the tools running under the guest management.

Posted in LINUX.

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OSA-dispatcher failing with Invalid password

There was no communication between SpaceWalk 2.2 server and its clients and the contents of the /var/log/rhn/osa-dispatcher.log were showing these messages:

2016/03/28 11:46:58 -04:00 16874 osad/jabber_lib.__init__
2016/03/28 11:46:58 -04:00 16874 osad/jabber_lib.setup_connection('Connected to jabber server', '')
2016/03/28 11:46:58 -04:00 16874 osad/jabber_lib.register('ERROR', 'Invalid password')
2016/03/30 11:15:06 -04:00 873 rhnSQL/driver_cx_Oracle.connect('Connecting to database', 'spacewalk@//localhost/spacedb')

These steps resolved all issues:

# service jabberd stop
# service osa-dispatcher stop
# rm -f /var/lib/jabberd/db/*
# service jabberd start 
# sleep 10
# service osa-dispatcher start

Posted in Satellite.

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RedHat 7 and vmware-tools

If vmware Redhat “guest” will be used as a template or it could be relocated as part of SRM than it has to have the open-vm-tools-deploypkg package installed. To do it requires the following steps.

a. Download VMware Public keys

# wget
# wget

b. Import each of the two keys (that’s a double dash in front of import):

# rpm –import
# rpm –import

c. Create the yum repository by creating a file called /etc/yum.repos.d/vmware-tools.repo containing the following text:

name = VMware Tools
baseurl =
enabled = 1
gpgcheck = 1

d. Remove the already installed open-vm-tools (comes with RedHat ISO image).

sudo yum remove open-vm-tools

e. Install open-vm-tools-deploypkg, which will pull in the correct version of the package you removed in the previous step.

# yum -y install open-vm-tools-deploypkg

f. To start vmware service:

# systemctl on vmtoolsd

g. To start it with the guest power on:

# systemctl enable vmtoolsd

This is all.

Posted in Linux, LINUX.

linux – installing packages without access to repos

Apparently to install Spacewalk on Oracle Linux box it must not be registered with ULN, which means no trace of Oracle repos in the /etc/yum.repos.d….
I am configuring Spacewalk. It accepts all the info it needs (TNS name, user, password, remote host, etc) by eventually it fails saying that it cannot manipulates tables …..
I open a ticket with Oracle. Over twenty-four our later Oracle sup
ports calls me asking for the SOS report …..
I installed this machine with a very minimal number of packages, I did it intentionally and as the result this box does not have spacewalk on board.

How am I going to get the sos package installed if this host should not be registered with Oracle ULN?

I have many Oracle ULN and Red Hat boxes around. So after login into one Oracle ULN host, I execute the following command:

# yumdownloader --destdir /var/tmp sos

The SOS above is the package name containing the sosreport command.

# ls -l /var/tmp
total 312
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 316936 Feb  9 04:45 sos-3.2-28.0.1.el6_7.2.noarch.rpm

After moving this rpm to the future Spacewalk machine, it is installed by yum, which is instructed to look for it locally.

# yum -y localinstall sos-3.2-28.0.1.el6_7.2.noarch.rpm

Finally, I can create the report and send it to Oracle Support.

Posted in LINUX.

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enable Ruby environment on RHEL (ULN)

So far, I did Lisp, C, csh/ksh/bsh, perl. Now it seems to me that the wind is blowing stronger in the “infrastructure” than in the “administration” direction, which for me indicates the need for ruby…. or maybe it is just a fashion thing. I am not sure about it but I am sure that the time has come to learn Ruby, really.

On my RHEL 6 box, after a few installs of different ruby packages, I still could not get irb (the interactive ruby environment) to work…

# yum list installed | grep ruby | awk '{print $1}'

It absolutely sucks! And it does it just the same every time I attempt to do something new without reading first the instruction to use! Well, what else can I say but – it is so entertaining!
Let’s start cleaning my own mess.

# yum -y remove ruby200 ruby200-ruby-libs ruby200-runtime

Next, I spent several minutes reading this link –

I proceed anew, with the freshly acquired knowledge:

# yum install rh-ruby22

For this process to work, the host has to subscribe to the rhel-x86_64-server-optional-6 channel of your spacewalk/satellite or rhn. For RHEL 7 the 6 in the repo name changes to 7.
Now, I will use scl (Setup and run software from Software Collection environment) to enable and to add the just installed RH-Ruby 2.2 to my environment.

# scl enable rh-ruby22 bash

Next, the ultimate test – do i have irb or not?

# irb
irb(main):001:0> puts "Hello, Red Hat Developers World from Ruby " + RUBY_VERSION
Hello, Red Hat Developers World from Ruby 2.2.2
=> nil
irb(main):002:0> quit

Sweet! I have what I need to continue reading the “Computer Science Programming Basics with RUBY” by Ophir Frieder, Gideon Frieder, and David Grossman. Well, it is time to turn another page.

Posted in Linux.

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