Monday, October 29, 2007

Migrating Server to Slackware

Few days ago, my campus' system administrator was trying to install FreeBSD (his favorite) on a new server. This server was being planned to be a proxy server. He had a system stuck, even though the installation was a success. So he tried to use other distribution, like OpenBSD, NetBSD, even DragonFlyBSD. All of them had the same result, system freeze after rebooting the system. So he went to try for Linux distribution that was build for servers. He used Centos 5.0 and the installation was a success, but he disliked it, because it has X Window components by default. He is used to manage text-based system and this makes him uncomfortable.

So i asked him, why don't you try Slackware? He agreed to tried Slackware and this morning, i came to campus earlier to install Slackware 12.0 on the server. The server room was very cold, with 2 AC on it. I wiped out the Centos partition and re-create the partition from scratch again. This is my first time playing with servers and SCSI disk. I usually play with desktop and IDE-based disk. The installation was very smooth. Everything goes just fine as expected. I don't have the time to pick up the individual like i usually do, so i only skim the package list and remove packages that are really unneeded in a server. The rest was installed and i was planning to remove it tonight when i had more time.

I choose the huge-kernels and it was just fine. I tried to install the generic kernels and reboot, but i got a kernel panic, saying that no init has been found and mounting /dev/sda1 on /mnt failed. That strange..... perhaps it's because i didn't include the SCSI modules

So i got back to huge-kernels and finally i decided to compile from scratch (i already prepare the kernel source code on my flash disk just in case and it's worthed to bring this flash disk). I include all of SCSI options and also change the default configuration to SMP and tweak some other options, since i use my own configuration which was made for desktop. After the kernel compilation, i reboot to try the new kernel... yihaa.... everything goes back to normal again. So i started to configure the basic system and later on, i will trim the system and remove unneeded packages to save some space and ease my job to handle the server. I'm starting by syncing the packages with the latest updates to -Stable tree. I'm not going to use -Current for this one, since it will be a production server, not my testing desktop/laptops.