One problem with running a small business is that there is often no one to whom to delegate the tasks that interest me least. While I have heard from some of you about the downside of depending on system administrators, in my opinion there is more upside than downside.

As I recall, the internal DVD-ROM drive option arrived on time from Sun. However, I don't remember (and find nothing in my notes to explain) why I didn't perform the final pre-installation backup until 2009-11-11, almost a month later. Of course, I was watching baseball, but that can't account for all of the time loss. Perhaps it was the aftermath of my trip to Boston in early October. Most likely, I was doing something related to this project and just didn't write it down.

On 2009-11-18 (during Solaris 10 10/08 upgrade installation), the following error occurred while trying to initialize this system as an NIS client for domain FeldsteinResidence: ypbind cannot communicate with ypserv. This computer (jesus) had been the NIS master server for the network, and there was no slave server (now there is). jesus had been not only the server, but also a client of itself. So when the installer asked me if jesus was to be an NIS client, I answered literally (yes).

I enlisted the help of the Sun Partner Advantage Program (Cosmic Horizon is an Associate Partner). Specifically, I made use of the Developer Support offering: "Get technical assistance on product installation, configuration, new features, or bugs from one of our support specialists." Eventually (2009-11-24), the support specialist suggested that I tell the installer that there are no naming services. That got me further, so I allowed Sun to close their case. At the same time, I informed Sun about the disaster that followed.

Sun had no comment. They behaved like robots. But we are humans and a little compassion can go a long way.

The disaster had occurred during installation. I had elected to upgrade and there was insufficient space in the existing disk partitioning, so I allowed auto-layout with the assistance of local tape. Hours into this:

Unable to restore the backup.
Solaris installation program exited.

At that point, the hard drive was in an unknown state. Therefore, I reasoned that I had little choice but to perform an initial install. Also possessing the pre-installation backup, I now have a lot of work to do restoring data. Thankfully, the restorations performed so far have been successful.

Then I needed to set up jesus as the NIS master again. But after the setup was supposedly complete, no NIS client would boot. That was 2009-11-27.

It took until 2009-12-03 before I got the idea that my "network security" selection during Solaris 10 installation on jesus had been interfering with NIS. All network services, except Secure Shell, had been disabled or restricted to respond to local requests only.

Any services could have been individually enabled (using SMF commands) after installation, but I chose to use

netservices open

As soon as I did that, the NIS clients finished booting.

On 2009-12-10, I had downloaded Sun Studio 12 to another computer and wanted to use FTP to get it to jesus, but root was the only known user there and FTP responded with

530 Login incorrect.
Login failed.

Then I tried going in with SSH, but permission was denied. I needed to first generate a public/private rsa key pair. But how do I get the public key onto jesus?

The answer is that I temporarily let my guard down.

To enable remote logins by root, edit the /etc/default/login file by inserting a # (pound sign) before the CONSOLE=/dev/console entry.

The /etc/ftpd/ftpusers file lists users for whom ftp login privileges are disallowed.

The sshd(1M) daemon reads configuration data from /etc/ssh/sshd_config. The file contains keyword-value pairs. The PermitRootLogin keyword specifies whether the root can log in using ssh(1).

Sun Studio 12 requires Minimum: 1 Gbyte of swap space. It would have been better to remember this when I was installing Solaris because it's always a good idea to apply swap to a raw partition, as compared to a file system. A raw partition doesn't involve the overhead of the file system. Now, I don't have a free disk partition, so I applied swap to a file system.

After attempting a Solaris upgrade, I ended up with a naked Solaris. But my backup tapes seemed good and I was slowly putting the pieces back together. I was making progress, right?


On 2009-12-17

SC Alert: CPU_FAN @ MB.P0.F1.RS has failed

Of course, I shut down jesus until that could be fixed. I didn't want to fry my microprocessor.

A few weeks later, Sun delivered a replacement CPU heatsink/fan assembly. By 2010-01-09, the replacement and Sun Studio 12 were both fully installed.

Then I restored my local Icarus Verilog Git repository from tape and tried to run I had to first set execute permission on the file. The latest failure is

autoconf: not found