a collection of little things

2014-07-08 | #General #sysadmin

I have a terrible method for collecting all of the little tips and tricks I use at work. The method is this: I’ll mention that I did a cool thing on my work log. Thats it. No standard tips and tricks wiki page, or github gists, nothing. So, here they are FreeBSD PKG Query When we upgrade systems from 9 to 10, part of that step is to ensure all packages have been upgraded.

happy 4th


todo I thought I would at least show that I still have a family life beyond Salt and other work duties :) This weekend, I went up to the East Bay (Antioch) to stay with the in-laws and enjoy some super hot weather, some pool time with the kids, and fireworks with Owen. I only took one picture, but Owen and I did a little mini-hike up to the Contra Loma Regional Park to get a better view of the fireworks… and the rest of Antioch burning down.

unified infratructure management with salt


Preamble I gave this talk at SaltConf2014, but I felt I still did not convey how killer salt has been at Bay Photo Lab. This post will be sort of the Directors Cut, where I’ll flesh out the slides. I’ve worked in a few different environments, and oddly, each position change at LLNL had an entire evolution of systems management. So, I’ve worked for teams that did everything the manual (ie:hard) way, and then I’ve worked with teams that had many specialists for each discipline of IT.

skepical conference 2014


This is now a thing. A thing I do with Caralyne. todo I took Caralyne last year and we had a fun time. It was a little over her head, but since she enjoyed listening to Eugenie Scott so much, I knew there was great potential to bring her back. Plus, and most importantly, it’s a day her and I get to spend time together. We joke around, I ask her questions about what we heard, what does she think about that.

a new industry blackcap textiles


My Wife makes some incredible bags. She even made me a canvas backpack which I use daily. Since I have not completely destroyed it, I feel that is a real testament to the build quality. For a little over a year, Michele has fallen in love with creating small purses and large Tote bags. It has been amazing to see her progression, her first items started out as reusable shopping bags.

managing samba shares with salt


Since I attended SaltConf, I had all sorts of motivation to help out with the [https://github.com/saltstack-formulas](Salt Stack Formulas on Github), which I did. I’ve found out that my brain, and work environment, does not always lend itself to that. For certain states (or a combination of states) to work, but also be decoupled from each other, I can’t always easily create a one-off git repo that is self contained. We manage a few (5) sizable Samba servers (>20TB).

saltconf 2014


todo I went to SaltCont2014 last week, and not only did I have a blast, it was one of the best and well organized conferences I’ve attended. I also was fortunate enough to be a speaker there, and I took the pre-conference training as well. All in all, it was very productive. Not because of my talk, or because of the training. It was the people I met and talked it that was the most important.

active directory authentication with salt


I typically manage two different authentication realms: Interal, usually Active Directory External, LDAP (OpenLDAP or now, OpenDJ) So at minimum, I have two completely separate authentication mechanisms for our FreeBSD/Linux system based upon their function Setting this all up in Salt was pretty easy so we’ll start with the pillar basics Pillar Data I have a few pillar values, ad-auth, ext-auth and is-public. AD Authentication Lets take a look at ad-auth:

tools have made me lazy er


I’ve finally become a dinosaur, near extinction. There are two problems I face: I’m not a cloudy-cloud person. I love hardware. I can’t keep up with how Linux does things. I’ll work on the first, becaused after we moved a datacenter 10 miles over one night, I really wished everything we had was in EC2. The second… I’m not going to at all. Let me explain. I was building a new KVM environment using oVirt, which so far has been pretty cool.

postgresql salt state


This post will not just be about how I’ve decided to manage our PostgreSQL servers, but my journey into Jinja templating. Tuning PostgreSQL is pretty much a neccessity (especially on FreeBSD), because out of the box its tuned for a small server with <1GB of physical memory. The default configuration (postgresl.conf) does not assume it will be a dedicated SQL server, which is fine with me. The convention I came across is to simply use pgtune.