Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Two disks, no CD drive and a Disk Crashes

Both disks were bootable. One failed. How hard can it be even though the system had no cd drive?

I removed the failed hard disk and it just would not boot. The system insisted on mounting the file systems on the disk which was no longer present.

It allowed me to go into maintenance mode and fix the problem. But the root file system was read only. No matter how hard I tried, I could not fix /etc/fstab.

I am sure that there will be an option in grub or somewhere which would have helped me. However, that is not a very useful option for a person who now needs the help of the dir command to program in Python.

I had to disconnect the cd drive from another system, connect it to this one. Boot in recovery mode, fix the fstab file, etc.

I am not about to buy another cd drive. However, having finally understood the automount, not a single partition will be mounted in fstab unless absolutely essential.

This does bring up the question - why is automount not used more often? Any drawbacks?
Something more to learn.

It's simple after one knows

I have a small network at home and have been wondering about the easiest way to ensure that the packages and cached updates are easily shared.

I prefer Fedora simply because I am comfortable with it. I have a local repository from the downloaded cd's, have set the Keep Cache option in yum.

NFS seemed the most convenient way to share but mounting these exports at boot time was not viable. The 'server' may not be up. Manual mounting is irritating. Automount is obviously the solution but I had not tried it for years.

Once I realized that the first entry in the sample auto.misc was for an NFS file system, in spite of the server name being 'ftp...', the rest was trivial.

I exported the local repository as a read only file system and the yum cache directory as read-write with no root squash.

I can't recall why I had given up on automount a few years ago. Quite possibly there was no access to google to help me over the minor hurdles.