Getting older, not necessarily wiser!
In the previous post we ran across a couple of issues while spinning up a Virtual machine (VM) for our Networked Attached Storage (NAS) testing. In this post we will perform some initial troubleshooting and configuration. Then we will install some software to make the VM more user friendly.
Doing a search through the dmesg file using grep, I identified a couple of startup errors. These may be the result of using the Debian testing distribution instead of the stable distribution. When we get to the actual hardware part, I am pretty sure that Debian 12 will have been released as stable. In the mean time, we will do what we can. None of the errors I am seeing are critical, so we could safely ignore them if we wanted too.
Once we have the Operating System (OS) running to our liking, we will be installing a few pieces of software for improved functionality and ease of usage.
dmesg | grep -i ERROR
This will only print out lines form the kernel log with the word “ERROR” in them. You can probably think of a few more key words, like fail or warn, to search for. I use the -i option to ignore the case of the keywords.
One I found was the “drm:vmw_host_log” error. I have seen this one before. It is related to how the OS interacts with the virtual graphics driver. It is non critical, but easy enough to fix. We want to edit the /etc/default/grub file, and look for the following line.
This line needs to have nomodeset added to it.
This does not resolve the problem, but makes the error go away. Since we are not using a GUI, nomodeset will not hamper us in any way.
The next error is a “systemd invalid DMI fields header”. I have not found much information on this particular issue, but it appears to be non critical. So for the moment I am leaving it alone.
From the previous post you should know that our attempt to manually setup a static IP address with the installer did not work. This is another problem I am unclear about. But I suspect it may have to do with the interaction between the installer and the Virtualbox (VB) application. Regardless we can do a manual setup.
To manually set a static IP address, we need to edit the following file; /etc/network/interfaces (recommend making a backup before editing this file). Since this is going to be a server, I am going to use the Debian method, which means we will also need to create files in /etc/network/interfaces.d. If you look in the interfaces file, you will see the first un-commented line references the interfaces.d directory. We want to delete everything below this line.
After saving the file, move to the interfaces.d directory. Here I want to create two files, one for our local loop back adapter, and one for our actual network adapter. I can name theses whatever I want, but chose something appropriate for the situation.
touch net.adapter.conf touch net.lo.conf
The net.lo.conf file, in addition to your comments about what this file is and does, should contain the following.
auto lo iface lo inet loopback
The net.adapter.conf file, in addition to comments, should contain the following (adjust for your system ip address, gateway, and adapter name).
auto adapter iface adapter inet static address 192.168.?.? netmask 255.255.255.0 gateway 192.168.?.? dns-nameservers 192.168.?.?
Now when we reboot, we should come up with the correct static ip address.
We need to add some additional software packages to our server to allow normal users to execute administrative commands, and to remotely access the server.
apt install sudo openssh-server
The sudo program allows a normal user to execute system commands (in Debian 12, spo far, sudo is activated by default so no need to edit the sudouser file). Once the program is installed we need to add our normal user to the sudo group (remember this was created during install).
usermod -aG sudo user
This command uses the -a or add option, and the -G or group option. The group is sudo, and is being added to user.
If you want to know what groups a user is in, then when logged in as that user, type groups at the command prompt.
The openssh-server command installs a ssh server. The ssh server allows us to log remotely with a program like PuTTy, or any other ssh client. In Debian it should be set up to run on install by default.
Enter your server ip address and port 22 into your ssh client, and you should be able to log into our server. Note that by default in Debian, root ssh login is disabled (hence the need for sudo).
apt install cockpit cockpit-pcp xz-utils
Once it is installed, restart your system. Then point your web browser (make sure you are on the same network segment) to the server IP address and port 9090.
Log in with your user account. Look around a bit, and try a few things. We will dive into Cockpit a bit in our next post.
In this post we did some basic troubleshooting of some non critical errors, and added some additional software to make managing the server easier. Nothing to fancy so far.
In the next post we will cover remotely managing our server with the cockpit application we installed. We will also look at some of options available with cockpit.
In future posts we will cover the subjects adding a drive, sharing that drive across the network, RAID configurations, and some non Raid methods to accomplish similar results. So stay tuned.
Hodgepodge 3xNAS Part 4 Initial Configuration