Home Server

Home server related articles.

Home Server Scripting 4: Wrapping DTrace (and other scripts) Into SMF Services

NewMusicSMF.jpg

In the last couple of posts, we used DTrace to notify our media servers and perfected our script a bit.

But the script is still not ready to be used on our home servers yet: It requires manual start and stop, not quite the service oriented automatism we're used to in the Oracle Solaris world.

The next step is to wrap our DTrace script inside a Service Management Facility (SMF) service, then wrap everything into a shell script that will easily install or remove the service whenever we need it.

How To Automatically Update Your Home Media Server Library With DTrace

New Music!

Before we continue with our Home Server Scripting Series, let's throw in a simple but useful DTrace hack.

One of the most typical uses for a home server is to serve music or videos to home entertainment equipment. In my case, I'm using the Firefly Media Server to serve music to my Roku Soundbridge and Mediatomb for videos.

The Media Server Update Problem

Whenever I upload new music or videos to my OpenSolaris home server (typically by rsync-ing my laptop home directory), both Firefly and Mediatomb need to be restarted so they detect that new files are sitting in their directories, waiting to be served.

OpenSolaris ZFS Home Server Reference Design

Blueprint

When I blogged about my OpenSolaris Home Server a while ago, little did I know that this would become my most popular entry in my old blog!

In fact, R.G. was so kind to call my setup "perilously close to being an AMD reference design". Thanks, R.G.! Read about his final setup here. And BTW, if you're into e-guitars, check out his GEOFEX page, a great resource for guitar effects.

So let's review our reference design and discuss some modifications to better suit your needs:

OpenSolaris Home Server Scripting 3: Managing Package Repositories

Package Scripting

OpenSolaris OS comes with the Image Packaging System (IPS) for managing installation and additional software. By default, it is configured to pull packages from the /release repository, but of course there are many other interesting repositories with software to install from.

Chris Gerhard recommends adding at least the /extras repository (free, registration required) so you can easily install VirtualBox, Adobe Flash, TrueType Fonts etc.

If you have a support contract or are an Oracle/Sun employee, you may want to switch your preferred repository to the supported one. The more adventurous may want to switch to the development repository.

Then, the Software Porting Community on OpenSolaris.org has a hierarchical system for making open source software available on OpenSolaris through two repositories: /pending and /contrib.

And then there are a couple of more repositories from user groups, private people, companies offering commercial packages and so on.

One way to register package repositories with the IPS on your home server is by using the package management GUI, or by using the pkg(1) command (See also: "How to Add or Update a Publisher").

But of course we want to stick to our "Script Everything" philosophy and write ourselves a small script that takes care of all of our package configuration needs.

OpenSolaris Home Server Scripting 2: Setting Up Power Management

Power Management Scripting

Last week, we looked at how essential scripting is for administering home servers (one of the 7 tips for home server bliss) and we wrote us a little script for enabling automatic snapshots.

Another thing that you'll almost certainly want to do on your OpenSolaris home server is enabling power management. This will ensure your server spends as little power as possible when idle, while still being powerful when needed.

OpenSolaris Home Server Scripting Howto Part One: Intro and a Simple ZFS Auto-Snapshot Enabling Script

ScriptingHomeserver.jpg

One of my OpenSolaris Home Server Tips is to script everything. That triggered quite some interest. So let's start a short series around OpenSolaris home server scripting.

Today, we'll talk a little bit about the "why?" of home server scripting, then run into a small surprise while we write a small script that will enable/disable the OpenSolaris ZFS Auto-Snapshot Service for us.

Seven Useful OpenSolaris ZFS Home Server Tips

AMD Athlon II X2 240e

A lot of people have read last year's article "A Small and Energy-Efficient OpenSolaris Home Server" (Thanks a lot to Andre Lue from the EON project for linking to it!) and there was quite some discussion on different RAID options as a result of my RAID-Greed article.

So let's continue the theme and have a look at the following home server tips that helped me a lot during my own home server planning, building and installing: