1. Btrfs mount issue

    I decided to bootstrap my new machine with btrfs as filesystem instead of ext4 LVM volumes. By following the excellent arch-wiki btrfs page I successfully crafted a base system with sub volumes, limited on size and snapshots enabled.

    Everything went fine, installed all the other stuff I needed, pulled in my data and was ready to go.

    Obviously on that very moment disaster happened.. Due to an unexpected interrupt the journal went corrupt. When trying to boot I got stuck right after decrypted the disk failing to mount my btrfs root volume.

    Uncool, unpleasant, .. I almost got insane..

    So back …


  2. Simple monitoring

    As I already wrote about in the past I have a raspberry pi running at home. I do also have a VPS running somewhere on the interweb for an owncloud instance.

    Being a sysadmin I wanted to know when my home devices become unreachable and when the owncloud instance is down. By mail in the first place if possible by sms message for free in the ideal world.

    And guess what, I managed to reach the ideal world to monitor my instances. Over here I'll describe how I managed to do so.

    msmtp

    First of all you need to install …


  3. vagrant-setup

    In this article I'll try to describe how I use vagrant in my daily tasks as an operations dude as well as I deployed it at one of our customers to help the developers focusing on the coding part rather than the operations part.

    Vagrant

    Since the beginning of my career at inuits I'm using vagrant almost everyday. If I got payed every time I spin up a box I could have bought that tesla already some years ago! But unfortunately I'm not :)

    For almost 99% of the use cases I use this nifty tool it's related to puppet. Writing …


  4. Github mirroring

    As an enthusiastic open-source addict I use github on a regularly base to share my knowledge with the world, to explore new software tools, to enhance software with new features, to fix bugs, to collaborate with others, and above all to live the open source way!

    But I also have to admit that their are some disadvantages too, from time to time the availability, well lacks availability.., you have to pay for private repositories used for testing purposes and github enterprise can't be used publically anymore..

    Self-hosted git

    Using your own git instance makes your software less accessible, since like …


  5. Ansible orchestration

    I do use puppet as our main configuration management tool. Together with puppetdb all our services are automatically configured from bottom to top.

    And it rocks, getting automated as much as possible it is like easy as hell to get a server up and running. The only feature it lacked in my opinion is orchestration. I do know about collective which is made for this purpose.

    Only it's yet again using an agent which fails from time to time and eating resources which can be avoided. It's the same reason I don't use the puppet agent daemon but trigger puppet …


  6. Wifi QR code

    To make the process of connecting to our local wifi at home a bit less complex I decided to create a qr code for it. That way people can easily use their camera of their smartphone to connect to our network without typing in the WPA key.

    So I looked on the net for a qr generator and started by typing in our SSID, when realizing it can't be secure to fill in our wpa key too.. It may be a bit paranoia but well I don't trust anything on the interweb most of the time.

    Doing some further research …


  7. Rsnapshot backup

    Some weeks ago I removed some files on my system I wish I didn't cause I still needed them.

    Since I use some encrypted containers in dropbox I figured I could recover them from this nifty service. But in the logs of dropbox those files are obviously also encrypted. So that was a no go.

    Therefore I started looking for backup solutions. The first one I tried was backintime, very easy to use, clean GUI interface but failed multiple times in restoring some files.

    Looking for a more decent piece of software I found rsnapshot

    And hell I like it …


  8. Nest

    A few years ago I discovered the nest thermostat. It looked nice, is connected to the internet, self learning but a bit expensive and not so much documentation if it will work in Belgium nor with the boiler we have installed (Vaillant TurboTec).

    Doing some research on the internet I figured that they have updated their system software and are supporting European countries including Belgium. A solution for the power has also been found by an ICY converter so it could easily be implemented in setups where no power is transferred over those wires.

    So I had only to tackle …


  9. Raspberry pi setup

    Since I discovered the joy of linux servers over desktop distributions a few years ago I revived an old portable and promoted him to be my home server.

    Connected him our router in the little storage room on a top shelf gathering dust I could test, configure, break (and pass sleep) a huge variety of open-source software.

    Many of those adventures I also used to provide my blog with content. After a while I figured this setup isn't really needed to be powered on 24h a day 7 days a week. So I bought myself a raspberry pi which would …


  10. Octoprint

    At our office we have an ultimaker installed, we have it now for some weeks and already printed out a bunch of stuff. It's cool to see, amazed by the technology.

    Expect the manner to start a print job, you have to save your generated gcode files onto an SD card, stick it into the ultimaker and use the rather simple menu from the tiny display to start the print job.

    The time of a print job is rather long depending on the object you want to print, so many times you got up and went seeing if everything went …


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