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OpenVZ On Debian Etch For Webservers

Post date: December 26, 2006, 21:12 Category: System Views: 3262 Comments
Tutorial quote: Virtualization is a good practice for servers, since it makes things more secure, scalable, replacable, and replicable, all this at the cost of little added complexity. This guide was written during an install of a Supermicro machine with two dual-core opterons (64-bit), two identical disks (for RAID) and a load of memory. Why OpenVZ and not XEN or the recent KVM kernel module? Well, XEN is not very stable for 64-bit architectures (yet), and it comes with quite a bit of overhead (every VM runs its own kernel) due to its complexity. KVM is very simple but restricts you to run a kernel as one process, so the VM cannot benefit from multi core systems.

Benchmarking Filesystems

Post date: April 12, 2005, 07:04 Category: Benchmarks Views: 2936 Comments
Tutorial quote: I recently purchased a Western Digital 250GB/8M/7200RPM drive and wondered which journaling file system I should use. I currently use ext2 on my other, smaller hard drives. Upon reboot or unclean shutdown, e2fsck takes a while on drives only 40 and 60 gigabytes. Therefore I knew using a journaling file system would be my best bet. The question is: which is the best? In order to determine this I used common operations that Linux users may perform on a regular basis instead of using benchmark tools such as Bonnie or Iozone. I wanted a "real life" benchmark analysis. A quick analogy: Just because the Ethernet-Over-Power-Lines may advertise 10mbps (1.25MB/s), in real world tests, peak speed is only 5mbps (625KB/s). This is why I chose to run my own tests versus using hard drive benchmarking tools.

Creating Snapshot-Backups with FlyBack On Ubuntu 7.10

Post date: February 3, 2008, 13:02 Category: Desktop Views: 3333 Comments
Tutorial quote: FlyBack is a tool similar to Apple's TimeMachine. It is intended to create snapshot-backups of selected directories or even your full hard drive. From the FlyBack project page: "FlyBack is a snapshot-based backup tool based on rsync. It creates successive backup directories mirroring the files you wish to backup, but hard-links unchanged files to the previous backup. This prevents wasting disk space while providing you with full access to all your files without any sort of recovery program. If your machine crashes, just move your external drive to your new machine and copy the latest backup using whatever file browser you normally use." This article shows how to install and use FlyBack on Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon).

Choosing an I/O Scheduler for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4

Post date: July 18, 2005, 22:07 Category: Benchmarks Views: 7444 Comments
Tutorial quote: The Linux kernel, the core of the operating system, is responsible for controlling disk access by using kernel I/O scheduling. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 with a 2.4 kernel base uses a single, robust, general purpose I/O elevator. The 2.4 I/O scheduler has a reasonable number of tuning options by controlling the amount of time a request remains in an I/O queue before being serviced using the elvtune command. While Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 offers most workloads excellent performance, it does not always provide the best I/O characteristics for the wide range of applications in use by Linux users these days. The I/O schedulers provided in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4, embedded in the 2.6 kernel, have advanced the I/O capabilities of Linux significantly. With Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4, applications can now optimize the kernel I/O at boot time, by selecting one of four different I/O schedulers.

NFS over CIPE-VPN tunnels

Post date: May 23, 2005, 16:05 Category: Network Views: 2850 Comments
Tutorial quote: The Network File System (NFS) is a standard protocol for sharing file services with Linux and Unix computers. It is a distributed file system that enables local access to remote disks and file systems and is based on the client\server architecture. Although easy to configure, it is typically used only to transfer data over an intranet or LAN because of its transparency and security potholes when exposed to the risks of the Internet. However, it still can be employed -- without compromising security -- to share files over the Internet by configuring it to run on a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection. This article will show you how to set up NFS to run over a CIPE-VPN connection between two Linux systems.

Compiling Your Own Kernel

Post date: May 1, 2005, 17:05 Category: System Views: 2383 Comments
Tutorial quote: Once I decided to take the plunge and go for it, I realised it's not too hard at all. As long as you have a bootable floppy or CD to boot from if your new kernel doesn't work, you'll be OK.

For this simple guide, I'll assume that you use LILO as your boot manager.

User-Mode Linux

Post date: December 8, 2005, 13:12 Category: Software Views: 3767 Comments
Tutorial quote: One of the largest efforts involved with software engineering is testing the software to make sure that it works as designed. Testing can require several different types of system configurations and could require multiple instances of Linux. One way to create this type of environment is to use a virtual machine.

User-Mode Linux (UML) is a fully functional Linux kernel. It runs its own scheduler and virtual memory (VM) system, relying on the host kernel for hardware support. It includes virtual block, network, and serial devices to provide an environment that is almost as full-featured as a hardware-based machine. UML cannot destroy the host machine. Furthermore, the UML block devices, also called disks, can be files on the native Linux file system, so you cannot affect the native block devices. This is very useful when you're testing and debugging block operations.

Monitoring and Managing Linux Software RAID

Post date: April 15, 2005, 23:04 Category: System Views: 2732 Comments
Tutorial quote: Systems administrators managing a data center face numerous challenges to achieve required availability and uptime. Two of the main challenges are shrinking budgets (for hardware, software, and staffing) and short deadlines in which to deliver solutions. The Linux community has developed kernel support for software RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) to help meet those challenges. Software RAID, properly implemented, can eliminate system downtime caused by disk drive errors. The source code to the Linux kernel, the RAID modules, and the raidtools package are available at minimal cost under the GNU Public License. The interface is well documented and comprehensible to a moderately experienced Linux systems administrator.

In this article, I'll provide an overview of the software RAID implementation in the Linux 2.4.X kernel. I will describe the creation and activation of software RAID devices as well as the management of active RAID devices. Finally, I will discuss some procedures for recovering from a failed disk unit.

How To Backup Your Mac Intelligently

Post date: May 26, 2006, 07:05 Category: Miscellaneous Views: 6024 Comments
Tutorial quote: I’m a paranoid person when it comes to backing up my files, but it took a hard drive crash of my own to make me realize how important backing up can be. Since then, I’ve gotten very good at making sure my data is secure. The setup I’m about to describe works for me. It’s based on how I prioritize my data and on the budget I’m willing to spend to keep everything safe. It’s not perfect for everyone, so take what I say with a grain of salt - an example of where to start and what’s possible.

Linux Filesystems and Partitioning: A Primer

Post date: June 24, 2005, 14:06 Category: System Views: 2608 Comments
Tutorial quote: We recently to shed some light on Linux, particularly for users unfamiliar with the system. The article received quite a response from around the world and so we will be doing some follow-up articles to teach all those interested, the ins and outs of Linux. In this article, we will be discussing what partitioning is, how to choose a filesystem, how to have Windows and Linux installed on your hard drive at the same time, and more.
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