Preseeding Ubuntu 8.04.2 LTS With Software Raid

Since I’ve spent the better part of the weekend trying to get this work, I thought that I should share. Later I will post a more thorough description for preparing fully automated Ubuntu installations using preseeding, but for now, here’s the hard part.

If you’ve found this blog posting via google, then you’ve probably read all of the unhelpful forum posts, IRC chat transcripts (some of which I’m involved in), and mailing list posts about this. Yes, the documentation says that it is possible to setup Software Raid via preseeding, and even gives you some working preseed stanzas to do it. What the Documentation fails to admit,is that the package required to achieve this feat, partman-auto-raid, is not actually included with the Ubuntu netboot installer.

Never worry, for whenever you expect an elegant bit of pre-planned infrastructure to solve a problem, you end up with a dirty hack. This is no exception.

What you need to do is download partman-auto-raid_7_all.udeb from the Ubuntu Universe pool, and install it. The trick is to install it before the installer looks at your recipes. This is achieved with the partman/early_command hack:

d-i partman/early_command string 
/usr/bin/wget -O /tmp/raid.udeb 
  && udpkg -i /tmp/raid.udeb

With Great Thanks to Brent Chapman from Netomata , the complete and working preseed example including the ugly hacks required to partition software raid volumes are posted below. Note, there’s still one bug I haven’t ironed out yet which adds an annoying manual step. After the installer finishes partitioning, it will falsely complain about not being able to reread the partition table, with this error:

“The kernel was unable to re-read the partition table on /dev/md0 (Invalid argument).
 This means Linux won’t know anything about the modifications you made until you reboot.
 You should reboot your computer before doing anything with /dev/md0.”

If anybody knows how to suppress this error,  please let me know.  Below is the complete preseed file.

 Continue reading 

Details on this week’s Bulk Dedicated Server special

Here at BitPusher we’ve got a team of highly-trained monkeys working around the clock for new ways to provide awesome infastructure services at competitive prices. The latest addition to our suite of services is bulk dedicated servers. That’s why every week from here-on out we’ll be offering a new bulk dedicated server deal. New offers will come so frequently that  you will be able to set your broken watch by it.

Details on BitPusher’s bulk dedicated server deal for the week of January 12th.

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Email for more infomation

The “new guy” – Sales addtion to BitPusher!

Hi, my name is Eric Purviance…

I have the privilege of becoming BitPusher’s Sales Director this year as of Oct.

For the business side of my life I have spent the last 10 years in the semiconductor industry, serving from junior to senior sales positions. During my job growth I traveled often to South East Asia, responsible and supporting sales directly in both North America and Philippines.

I have a wide and diverse background that began spending 7 years in the U.S.Navy, most of that as a SEAL. During my time traveling through Asia, Africa and Middle East, I learned the value of honesty and humility, which enabled me to understand people, while training to be fiercely goal oriented.

I enjoy a good drink, joke and fine dining.

Conference pictures from TechCrunch 50

TechCrunch50-Day1 (19 of 19)

Originally uploaded by bitpusher

I attended TechCrunch 50 in San Francisco a few weeks ago. I wasn’t able to spend much time taking pictures because there was such an incredible amount of content with over 50 presentations in three days. One or two shots happened to come out OK though, this one seems to be the best of the bunch.