March 2006 Archives

I am trying to setup some new 500GB disks with RAID on my Mac.

Previous lessons taught me to partition my large-ish drives to make it easier to backup -- and I don't need all of the 500GB mirrored.

So I wanted to setup a ~270GB mirrored partition (easy to backup on a 300GB drive), a smaller ~120GB mirrored partition and then get a ~180GB striped partition across the two drives for fast "scratch data".

However, Disk Utility completely doesn't work. It lets me set the second mirrored partition up and says it's working on that in one window and then that it's rebuilding the first mirror in another window.

diskutil is a lot less frustrating to work with (Lesson: Just skip Disk Utility for OS X RAID setup, just go with diskutil) won't let me setup two Apple_RAID partitions on one physical disk? It doesn't give any useful error messages.

[root@g5 ~]# diskutil createRAID mirror Extra \
   "Journaled HFS+" /dev/disk0s5 /dev/disk1s5
Marking partition 'disk0s5' for RAID
Marking partition 'disk1s5' for RAID
Preparing partition 'disk0s5' for RAID
2006-03-30 12:55:54.871 DiskManagementTool[9167] \ 
  Made bootable had an error on disk disk0s5 Extra 2 {
    Error = 16; 
    MapChanged = 0; 
    NewName = "Apple_RAID_OfflineV2_Untitled_2"; 
    NewSlice = 5; 
Adding disk 'disk0s5' to new RAID set
2006-03-30 12:56:25.392 DiskManagementTool[9167] \
  Could not find disk with partition map name, we will not make it bootable
disk1s5 Extra 1 BuildRAID1
Preparing partition 'disk1s5' for RAID
2006-03-30 12:56:42.882 DiskManagementTool[9167] \
 Made bootable had an error on disk disk1s5 Extra 1 {
    Error = 16; 
    MapChanged = 0; 
    NewName = "Apple_RAID_OfflineV2_Untitled_3"; 
    NewSlice = 5; 
Adding disk 'disk1s5' to new RAID set
Creating RAID Set
Bringing RAID partitions online
Waiting for new RAID to come online
Waiting for new RAID to come online
Waiting for new RAID to come online
Waiting for new RAID to come online

Error -9983 encountered updating or creating raid on disk  

Not fun.

I thought "diskutil enableRAID" would mark a partition as Apple_RAID, but it's not working:

diskutil enableRAID mirror /dev/disk0s5 
changing filesystem size on disk 'disk0s5'...
The filesystem may need to be modified to make this partition bootable
2006-03-30 13:43:54.632 DiskManagementTool[9865] \
Made bootable had an error on disk disk0s5 Extra 2 {
    Error = 16; 
    MapChanged = 0; 
    NewName = "Apple_RAID_OfflineV2_Untitled_2"; 
    NewSlice = 5; 
The disk has been converted into a RAID

But with diskutil "list" and "info" it shows up unchanged.

Any ideas?

diskutil pocket guide:

  • list - show the partition maps, note that the slice number is the number at the end of the line, not the first number.
  • info - show information about a specific disk or disk slice
  • checkRAID - show the RAID set status. (For me typically degraded because it likes to rebuild the mirror after I make the second one, gah).
  • enableRAID - supposed to convert a slice/Volume to a RAID partition, but it's not working for me (on the second partition)
  • createRAID put together a RAID set/disk from multiple slices/partitions.

Buy my iPod

| 1 Comment

Buy my iPodI got an extra 60GB iPod that you need to buy. Now go bid on it, you know you want it. It's all brand new and shrink wrapped.

Vani found these cool looking cases. The display doesn't (visibly) scratch, but the rest of it gets to look pretty battered a little too fast.
Apple puts some sort of dinky pseudo-case in the package. It's better than nothing, but to use the iPod - or even just to charge or sync it - you have to take it out. Not useful.

In other words, there's a reason a billion companies make cases. Get one for your new iPod.

Recently I've been working on a large-ish project where all of the UI is written in Javascript. That, in itself, is great. The environments (the browsers) are crappy crappy for development though. Sure, there are Firefox extensions etc etc to help, but it's Just Not Great. Javascript = Great. Ajax = Yay. Browsers = Bah.

Over the weekend I spent all sorts of time getting a simple Rails application running with Apache and mod_fcgid. When I gave up and tried making it work with lighttpd I got server error galore. Yay. What was wrong? My fastcgi? The fcgi Ruby extension? My ruby installation is in /pkg/packages/ruby-1.8.4 or some such and the gem tool couldn't find its own libraries after being installed there. Maybe something similar for something else? I have no idea, I got no error messages anywhere. Ruby = Great. Rails = Very nice1. Ruby Gems = It sure is no FastCGI/lighttpd/etc = Loosely coupled? No mister, you have some way to go.

Sorry, there's not really any point to this. :-) It's fun to get out of the Apache/mod_perl/Perl environment once in a while, but it sure can be frustrating too.

On a lighter note: I've been installing and upgrading MySQL a bunch of times in various odd configurations over the last month and the MySQL installation tools are getting Really Slick. Very nice! Now if only the RPM packages would be nicer about not needing to de-install old versions of the libraries or if they could always come with old compat versions...

Recent favorites: mysqld_multi and the mysql instance manager

1 For the right applications etc etc.

Sun T2000 Server


I got a Sun T2000 server from their test drive program a few days ago. I didn't have the right serial adapter to get to the console port at home and my 30 minutes of trying to stitch together the right cable didn't work out, so I am taking it down to the rack instead of playing with it at home.

I took a few pictures and uploaded them to flickr.


I don't know if we get to keep it, but if we do then it's probably going to be in that rack anyway, so... (crossed fingers - if you work for Sun please put in a good word for me with your marketing department :-) )

When we get it up we'll try setting it up as a perl5 and parrot smoke test server. With the Solaris zones we might be able to have it safely run tests of everything uploaded to CPAN too; I'll have to look into that. It'll also be fun to see how well it can do some MySQL benchmarks (despite the 2.5" drives)

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