Backup with rsync using SSH Tunneling

For those of you that read my blog often, you know that I admin the cluster that our research group uses here at CU Boulder.  Because of this, I get a lot of questions from users who don’t want to take the time to solve their own problems.  Fairly recently, our RAID-6 crashed (we had a 4th drive die and had to rebuild the array).  Normally this wouldn’t be very much of a problem as most of the files saved on our storage drive are just input files that we can re-download from a separate server, or so I thought.  Personally, all my source code is in my home folder, backed up on our data server, and backed up onto my personal laptop.  For researchers in our group who are developing code, not having a backup of source code can lead to many many months of lost work.  Well, as it turns out, many of the people in our group had their source code on our data server (the one that crashed), without a backup anywhere.  So months of work had been lost.  Well, after the rebuild I have gotten many questions on how to set up an ssh tunnel so that they can backup from our cluster, through the front end, to their home computer.

(continue reading…)


Quit Terminal.app after closing last window

I use Terminal.app on a daily basis, mostly for my research as I am currently building an adjoint of the CMAQ model.  I like to have 4+ windows open at all times while working in Terminal, as it allows me to watch the progress of a simulation while also editing files, compiling, etc.  I have macros setup that will log me into and out of each terminal window.  One of the frustrating things that I ran into was that, after the macro logged me out of the final window, I wanted the Terminal application to quit.  Now, I very easily could have added the Quit Application command to the macro, however I was hoping for a solution that would also work even if the macro wasn’t called.  I surfed the web for a while and found nothing, until I got a response on my post on Apple’s forums.

I am copying te response to this website, however all credit for the material goes to François J. Perreault, who answered the question.

Here’s how to have Terminal quit automatically after closing all your shells:

  1. Create a new text file in your home folder named “autoQuitTerminal.scpt“:
    tell application "Terminal"
     
      --If there is only one tab remaining, and it contains 
      --the word "logout" then this is the final window
      if (count of (tabs of (every window whose visible is true))) = 1 then
           try
                set theContents to words of ((contents of tab 1 of window 1) as Unicode text)
                set exitLastTab to (theContents contains "logout")
           on error
                set exitLastTab to false
           end try
     
           if exitLastTab is true then
                quit
           end if
     
       else if (count of (tabs of (every window whose visible is true))) < 1 then
      --If no window remains open, then obviously we can quit the app.
      --This would occur when the final window is closed without ‘exit’
            quit
       end if
     
    end tell

    (continue reading…)


Add Infiniband interface to ifconfig

We recently had an issue where we had to rebuild our RAID-6 array.  After rebuilding the array, our cluster did not automatically locate and mount our high-capacity storage array.  In order to fix this problem, we had to add a new interface configuration file to ifconfig by following the below steps:

1. As root on the server that will be connected to the high-capacity storage server

vi /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-ib0

Add the following to the file:

DEVICE=ib0
TYPE=Infiniband
 BOOTPROTO=static
 BROADCAST=172.30.255.255
 IPADDR=172.30.1.11
 NETMASK=255.255.0.0
 ONBOOT=yes

Of course your BROADCAST, IPADDR, and NETMASK will be different from those set here.
Some Notes:

  • The filename is ifcfg-ib0 for the configuration file for device ib0 (note these are zeros, not the letter o).
  • BROADCAST  is the broadcast IP address.
  • NETMASK is the netmask IP value
  • BOOTPROTO is the boot protocol, where the value is one of the following: (a) none – No boot-time protocol should be used, (b) dhcp – The dhcp protocol should be used, (c) static – static hard set the IP.
  • IPADDR is the IP address
  • ONBOOT specifies if the interface needs to be active on boot (values: yes or no)
  • TYPE is the interface type


Frustrations of a System Admin

There are times when I absolutely love being the admin for our group’s high performance computer.  But there are also times when I would rather clean toilets all day.  This post will hopefully explain a few of the things I hate about being an Admin.

  1. Debug Support:  I’m not your personal debugger.  I know nothing of the code that you are writing, and therefore I shouldn’t be expected to help you debug your model.  With that being said, I will usually help where I can.  But don’t just send me an email saying “My model won’t compile.  I need help”.  If you really want help, send me detailed information of the problem you are having.  Better yet, send me a copy of your source code.  If you give me little to no information, then expect little to no support. (continue reading…)

How to make iOS Chrome even better

Prior to the recent release of the Google Chrome Web Browser for iOS, I was stuck using Safari.  It’s not that I don’t like mobile safari, I actually think it is an excellent browser.  But the problem is that I like having different options.  On my mac I have 5 browsers (Safari, Chrome, SRWare Iron, OmniWeb, and Firefox), and I use each one every week.  Each browser has its own benefits, and each has its own drawbacks. (continue reading…)


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