OS

I had previously setup a few FreeBSD systems to act as PPTP servers for places that I had them acting as firewalls using mpd. However, I was constantly running into problems with “No buffer space available” and packets would drop, connections would be sluggish, etc.
I was just doing some system upgrades and decided to look at other options. I found a port called poptop “the pptp server for linux” in the ports distribution, and even a howto online detailing what my configs should look like. So I gave it a shot:

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Having just acquired some new hardware at work, I decided to do some tests to see how well this system would run. Here are the specs of the system running the benchmark:

  • Supermicro X7DA3+ MB w/Intel 5000X (GreenCreek) chipset
  • (2) Intel Xeon Quad-Core E5450 (3.00GHz/1333FSB/2x6MB) CPU
  • 3Ware Escalade 9650SE-16ML PCI-E 256MB w/16 PORTS + BBU
  • (8) Kingston 2GB PC2-5300 DDR2-667MHz FB ECC CL5 (16GB)
  • (12) Western Digital Raptor X WD1500AHFD 150GB 10000 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 1.5Gb/s Hard Drive (RAID 50 array)

To test it out I installed FreeBSD 7.0-RELEASE AMD64. Install completed flawlessly, so it was time to do some compiling.
A vanilla make buildworld: 48 minutes
Not bad.. but not amazing either. So I decided to do some threaded compiles to stress the system a little bit. Since it’s an 8 core system, I used the following:

time -h make -j8 buildworld

The resulting time of: 12m 33s was nothing short of impressive.
Following up with a:

time -h make -j8 buildkernel KERNCONF=GENERIC

Resulted in: 52s
Quite impressive.

Gentoo 2007.0 has been out for some time, but I just now got a chance to setup a few new Gentoo systems. Previously I’ve always installed via the 2006.1 installation media, either the LiveCD or LiveDVD, and used the GTK installer. While the 2006.1 GTK installer was certainly buggy, I was able to get a process worked out that allowed the system to be loaded fairly consistently each time. However, it was *much* more difficult with the 2007.0 LiveCD and DVD.
Here are some of the trials that I ended up going through..

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While looking for an easy way to keep my Slackware install up to date, I just ran across this article:
http://www.linux.com/article.pl?sid=06/10/12/1337224
Now that Slackware 11.0 is out, you may wonder what is the best way to update the distribution. Swaret is an open source project that aims to keep various versions of Slackware up-to-date. I use Swaret and some cron scripts to keep my servers current automatically.

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