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Hi all!

Four months have passed since last update, I shall shortly summarize what happened during this time:

  • A lot of updates to the server: kernel -> 2.6.32 + grsec, glibc 2.11, gcc 4.4
  • Now running on ~amd64 gentoo
  • Removal of a lot of cruft from the server: unused users, applications, databases, configuration files etc
  • Shifted all partitions to XFS filesystem to allow much lesser fragmentation and much more reliability (compared to ext3); I personally don’t really care if one or two temporary files get zero-ed out upon power failure (which is extremely unlikely to happen anyway)
  • Set up an automatic fully incremental backup script for the whole system based on app-backup/rdiff-backup; I will release it in few days, time needed to study a little and remove the internal references to the paths. Its name is “rdiff2ftp” because once done, it shifts everything to the FTP backup service granted by OVH
  • Now running the BOINC platform to support @home distributed computing programs, specifically: SETI@home and MilkyWay@home; they are both sharing the same single-core processor
  • Re-design the setup of the directories served by Apache webserver, which allows for much easier management of Joomla and does, in general, improve security
  • Blogs were shut down, no word was ever written here anyway due to lack of interest and time; if I’ll ever need to open up one again, I know it can be easily done
  • Added the link for the official forum thread for the liveCDs in the dedicated section
  • Added the PayPal donation button to the site

This summary covers everything that’s been done to the server. If you ever noticed some slowdowns or out-of-service conditions, one of these tasks was being executed.

Now, some information about the next release: as stated in the official thread@gentoo forums, there is currently no reiser4 patch for 2.6.32 kernel available and I’m waiting for the rebuild time to diff it from zen-sources (hopefully working). If I’m unable to diff it I will stick with 2.6.31, though I would regret to leave out the indipendent block-device queueing introduced in 2.6.32 series. That would be a great performance boost for the disk operations usually done from a liveCD. Likewhoa contacted me for testing his JustBOOT liveCD generator script, I will test it without a doubt during the building of the release. I’m also planning to wait some more time for the release: about the 15th of March should be a reasonable date. The fact is that next week university exams begin and I’ll be forced to stay away from the machines for a while. This will also provide some more time to debug and test the reiser4 code in zen-sources, which should allow for a smoother diff/transaction.

Fabio Scaccabarozzi

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