Category: Computing

Nitrous.IO


Image representing Nitrous.IO as depicted in C...

Image by None via CrunchBase

I’ve had the Pixel for a few months now. The most surprising thing that I’ve realised is how much time I have been using this without modifications. In the first month, I immediately dropped into devmode, installed Gentoo, Debian and my own builds of ChromiumOS.

In the end, I decided to use the Pixel with devmode off, while I sacrifice shell access to the local filesystem, the extra security of the verified boot is nice. This isn’t that restrictive for me because the crosh shell (ctrl+alt+t) has a ssh client which is enough for me to do my “real” computing on a server somewhere else.

When at home, I have a server at home, at work I have a small cloud and workstation to connect to. But sometimes, I wonder if I really can get away from these support servers and make the most of the ChromeBook environment.

I don’t care about picture or video editing. There are some HTML5 games too. What will matter to me most is an IDE and collaboration tools (groupware). I’ll save groupware for later.

Introducing Nitrous.IO. This is going to be one of those multi-page blogs.

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AMI


English: Cloud Computing

English: Cloud Computing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Modern cloud computing doesn’t install the same way that “bare-metal” and traditional virtualisation system use. As I have discussed before, they may not even be using a boot loader. This has a dramatic effect on the way cloud servers (aka. instances) are booted.

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Base


OpenStack

OpenStack (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I think I’ve done it. I now have my own home IaaS.

I went for the OpenStack approach, Packstack with RDO on Scientific Linux. In the future I want to replace SL6 with Gentoo on the bare metal, and install the OpenStack packages from portage, but I’ll wait for the work from a Gentoo dev who knows what he’s doing.

This also means that the running hypervisor is KVM, not the Xen that I would rather be using. Technically, there isn’t much difference to them, but Xen is the hypervisor used by AWS, PV images can be booted without fiddling with partitioning and bootloaders. That’s so ’90s.

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Core


Bios

Bios (Photo credit: Henrique Vicente)

 

I’m a big fan of the stage3 install method.

 

Prepare partitions, format filesystems and make a mount point. Extract a root filesystem into place. Add a kernel and boot loader, reboot and done. The rest is configuration.

 

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filesystems


Raspberry Pi and Chromebook Pixel

Raspberry Pi and Chromebook Pixel

I haven’t had a commercially backed Linux device that I’ve been excited to use as much as my Pixel.

One of the things that brightened my day today was the realisation that Chromebooks support Linux filesystems for SDCards and other removable media.

This opens up a lot of Pi hackery possibilities.

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Encrypted


#!/bin/bash

echo -n "Passphrase:"
read -sr p
gpg -d --batch --passphrase "$p" "$0" | python

exit $?
-----BEGIN PGP MESSAGE-----
Version: GnuPG v2.0.19 (GNU/Linux)

jA0EAwMClL8rFOkU2Nm0yTK6hn6pQXkvOV1Q6Zn4fSrdAA4hrsOfYKkN5YMsJEIS
khru8d9rbGU1nLVnso1VhGJWpg==
=9G1r
-----END PGP MESSAGE-----

Maybe I should combine this with puppet.

TCR


Chromebook Pixel

Chromebook Pixel: Konami Code compliant (Photo credit: Stratageme.com)

 

Went into the Tottenham Court Road store today. If it weren’t for the slight risk of dipping into my overdraft, I would be posting this reply from a pixel.

 

To maintain objectivity, I brought along a techy-minded friend from work along to review the shit specs out of it.

 

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