More Xen Things-- bootup, systemd weirdness

Stops systems booting up degraded, makes xendomains work.

Work in progress.

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2016/01/22 05:24 · sam

HP MediaSmart VGA/Serial Pins

Bought an HP home server with four sata bays for $20. Given that I've still got some old 500GB drives lying around, I figured I would use them for some cheap storage at my office.

Problem is, it ships with a Windows 2003 Home Server install. Obviously, not all that useful to me.

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2015/12/23 07:09


I've been running for 17 years now. I was 19 when I started it up, to put things into perspective. It started out on a couple dumpstered 486s on an ISDN line in the south suburbs of Chicago. Back then, it really was a community project. Other people used it, other people worked on it, etc. etc. We all used pine or mutt. Nontrivial processing power was devoted to tinyfugue. Most people on it used MacOS 9, or Windows 98, so shell on the desk wasn't particularly common. I was using a SPARCclassic.

Since then, it's survived marriages, a divorce, interstate moves, three start ups, podcasts, broadcasting, OpenBSD, virtualization, you name it. And I always thought of it as more than just me. So I kept my personal stuff off to the side, leaving the front door open for everyone, or at least something representative.

That changes now. With this newest version of (and the biggest change in a decade), combined with a forthcoming “New Year's Resolution” thing I'm working on, I've decided running the two websites separately is annoying. Other people still use services, and more people will use it in the future… but is me. I should reflect that.

So now, just goes to And there'll actually be something useful here. Also, the server has moved to Quebec.

2015/12/18 11:31 · sam

Studio State and Wishlist

Alright, I'm officially calling the studio “feature complete” and in production quality. Only took me a damn year. Which means, I have to stop screwing around with the studio and focus on other things. Thing is, I've got a list of things in my head I would very much like to do, because I'm a weird perfectionist.

So, here's the list, in order of importance. Anything I do with the studio must be on this list. If it's not, I need to work on something more important.

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2015/04/12 06:18 · sam

OverlayFS Home

I've configured some single use systems (raspberry pis, but also a couple intel boxes) that do one thing and one thing only. I have them set up headless, but sometimes the app they need to run requires X, which doesn't care for read only directories.

Shutting systems down is a pain in the ass, and if the system isn't required to save state, I'd rather mount the thing read only and control power using a hard switch to the power supply.

I've tried setting up the whole system to run with OverlayFS1) but mkinitcpio is less than trivial, and frankly, systemd will do it for my anyway.

Like so:





# Remount /home and /var as aufs
ExecStart=/bin/mount -t tmpfs tmpfs /var/overlay
ExecStart=/bin/mkdir -p -m0755 /var/overlay/upper /var/overlay/work
ExecStart=/bin/mount -t overlay -o rw,upperdir=/var/overlay/upper,workdir=/var/overlay/work,lowerdir=/home overlay /home


2015/04/12 04:01 · sam

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replacement for UnionFS and AUFS as of 3.18