Compiling nrpe in HPUX 11.31

Ok, we got our brand new HP rx8640 servers running HPUX 11.31 and needed to monitor them with nagios. As check_by_ssh turned to be a lot slower than NRPE+SSL on our former Solaris servers, we defined as policy that every server under our control should be monitored using NRPE.

Found that someone already did the nasty work of compiling it and even created a current depot (software package in HPUX terms) that works with 11.31. There are a couple of drawbacks though, it runs using inetd which is not practical when you run a lot of frequent checks and it’s compiled without the “–enable-command-args” and this last bit makes it useless for our needs.

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Compiling cnet in a hurry

Well, we have an assignment for college, the idea is to simulate a network and the tool chosen is cnet. Ideally I would build a package for it in the OpenSUSE Build Service, but the process is kind of slow and we’re in a hurry. Here’s the process to install it in your home. Building the package is on my TODO list….

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Cambio de hora en Paraguay 2010

El Gobierno Paraguayo resolvió modificar la fecha de entrada en vigencia del horario de invierno en toda la república. Con el anterior decreto vigente desde el 2004 se tenia que la hora debía retrasarse en 60 minutos el segundo domingo de Marzo (14/Mar este año) y volver a adelantarse en 60 minutos el tercer domingo de Octubre (17/Oct este año).

Con el nuevo decreto esto cambia a retrasar la hora en 60 minutos el segundo domingo de Abril (11/Abr este año) y volver a adelantarla en 60 minutos el primer domingo de Octubre (3/Oct este año).


Bueno, esto que implica para los que trabajamos con sistemas unix?. En un equipo unix se mantiene la hora interna del sistema en UTC, y se ajusta la hora local según los usos horarios (o zona horaria). Para esto se utiliza la base de datos Olson, que registra las diferentes zonas horarias y las reglas para el cambio a horarios de verano (daylight saving transition o DST) según corresponda.

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Running SCO Openserver 5.0.7 in VirtualBox

Update: As of VirtualBox 3.0.10, Openserver 5.0.7 should not require workarounds to install, only SCSI support is pending… (check the listed bugreports).

A customer required to replace and ancient SCO server used to run Foxplus, given that Openserver 5 is unlikely to be able to run with new hardware the only available route in this case was to virtualize the Openserver server. To date iBCS or ABI or whatever is the latest incarnation, didn’t work for us.

We are running SLES10SP2@x86_64 as host, but any host running VirtualBox should work. The original installation was done on 3.0.4 but this steps where tested in 3.0.8 for this article. The only missing functionality is GUI.

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Won a Netbook!, thanks Novell!!

Well, I’ve been a SuSE user for quit some time, since 7.3 days and some months ago (around January) I was accepted as a SuSE Linux Enterprise 11 (SLES11) betatester. I was happy to test the bleeding edge enterprise distribution and happy to help releasing it.

In the mail list they stated that some Netbooks would be given away to some testers as a reward (i’m not sure how many units where available and can’t remember what the rules were…). I didn’t pay much attention as I NEVER win those kind of things, EVER.

Now, 5 months after SLES11 was released, I got an email from the people at SUSE stating I won one of them!!!!, I can’t wait to receive the package, it’s like Christmas!!!!! (with a gift I will actually like).

Windows on ATMs

Well, this morning I found to be out of cash. Walked about 6 blocks to the ATM on my way to the office.

I entered the little glass box… Inserted the card and ….. nothing… Screwed around with the card reader, leaving the card for longer periods inside, then faster insertion…. The machine was operational, I could see the funky plasticine ad, but the ATM wouldn’t react to the card being inserted.

Called operations support, the machine asked me to wait… No answer after 10 minutes, second call, no go… I’m not walking another 12 blocks to the next ATM!!!! (the standard block in Paraguay is about 100 meters). I stuck the head behind the ATM, there’s a power plug! 🙂

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Rebuilding partition table

Recovering partition table from data on disk

Ok, an ex school partner brought me his laptop today and told me that it suddenly stopped working (yeah right).

Booted a linux rescue disk and after inspecting the hard disk I found it had 3 partitions:

Disco /dev/sdb: 160.0 GB, 160041885696 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 19457 cylinders
Units = cilindros of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xac23bbdb

Disposit. Inicio    Comienzo      Fin      Bloques  Id  Sistema
/dev/sdb1               1       18748   150593278+  83  Linux
/dev/sdb2           18749       19457     5695042+   5  Extendida
/dev/sdb5           18749       19457     5695011   82  Linux swap / Solaris

Hmm, Linux partition.. But how can this be?, he’s a Windows-only guy… Obviously someone screwed it big time…

Tried to mount the first partition, but it didn’t have a valid filesystem aparently. Took out the disk and mounted it on a external SATA <–> USB cage and plugged it on my laptop.

First of all tried to check what was on each partition, “file” utility only stated “data”, but “strings” on the partition showed there still was the WinXP data on the disk. Apparently someone booted the laptop with a linux installer and aborted the installation process, not before it screwed the partition table.

First thought, “well, I’ll delete the current partitions and create a single NTFS on the whole disk and the data fill just appear!”, having created the partition tried to access the data and failed miserably….

So, obviously, as it’s a laptop it probably has those so-usually-found-this-days utility partition. How can I guess the partition table from the bits on the disk?!.

After researching for a while found about TestDisk. Downloaded, installed and run it against the disk and some minutes later It found the original partition table!!!

Got lucky, but YMMV…

Faster Japanese rendering in Firefox

Need decent rendering time for japanese text in Firefox?, here’s the solution..

Years before I found that rendering japanese content in Firefox was REALLY slow, but just resigned to live with it and some time later forgot about the whole thing as I stopped accessing japanese content….

Today I found some interesting content again after reading some posts at, and suddenly was annoyed once more with this rendering slowness. After researching a little, I found this post which solves the issue. I’m not pretty sure about why this fonts help to render the pages faster than the stock fonts, should they be included in the distro?

Here’s the procedure to install them in openSUSE (tested with 11.0@x86_64):

Find a suitable repository using

Add the repository to your system (you don’t HAVE TO, but this way you can get updates later):

zypper addrepo “Japanese Fonts”

Install the packages:

zypper install ttf-wqy-zenhei wqy-bitmapfont

It will ask if it should trust and later import the key, just answer “YES” to both questions. You’ll have to restart Firefox to use this new fonts..

Pages to test rendering:

Linux support/troubleshooting

Dealing with Novell Linux support found about their supportconfig script, it’s really useful while troubleshooting systems remotely (or on-site :D).

It’s basically a bash script that collects data about a linux system (it was made for SLES, but should work with any linux). The result is a nice tarball that you can take with you to analyze the system offsite.

The software:
Basic health check guide: