FreeBSD - How to format & partition additional hard disk

While housekeeping the external hard disk laying around, I managed to squeeze out one spare hard disk out of this cleaning practice. The size is big enough to act as a backup media for my FreeBSD server & desktop workstations. The external hard disk partition layout preferred would be 3 partitions. The 1st (backup of OS & data) & 2nd partition (data backup) will be FreeBSD UFS & the 3rd will be FAT32 (for media transfer).

Since my workstation doesn't support FreeBSD UFS file system, I'll partition & format it using the FreeBSD server. All tools involve are command line utilities and can be done through remote secure shell. This post can also be serve as a guide for adding new/used additional hard disk to FreeBSD server.

Here goes :


FreeBSD - How to setup & configure jail with ezjail

OS virtualization is a technology that enable multiple copies of guest OS to run on top of a host OS. Why do we wanna do this?
- partition resources to share across multiple guest OS (current hardware to run multiple light guest OS. e.g. FreeBSD & Linux)
- enhance security (guest OS are isolated and thus hacking into a guest OS leaves other OS safe)
- saves power & money (hosting rack space & power are minimize)
- creating environments (application or OS testing, backup, legacy apps, admin delegation)
- improves server management (guest OS within virtualization are easier to move, copy, backup & remove)

FreeBSD Jail first appear in FreeBSD 4.x, introduced by Poul-Henning Kamp. Jail is a powerful OS virtualization that achieves security, cost, management & flexibility. Because of all these advantages, jail can some time be quite complex to setup & configure. Ezjail offers the simplicity to configure & maintain jails, without the complexity of getting our hands dirty. :p

Ezjail is a framework that controls jail. Ezjail takes care of the complicated part and makes setting up & maintenance of jail fun. Ezjail is develop by Dirk Engling, thanks Dirk. :)

FreeBSD jail does have its limitation. Here are the ones I've bump :
- resource control, e.g. ram & processor cannot be partition, they are all equally being shared. But hard disk space can be separate and control by implementing hard disk partition (or slice).
- all guest OS have to use the same kernel version as the host OS

Okay, enough of talking. Here's a simple step-by-step guide on how to setup Ezjail. Firstly, install Ezjail from sysutils/ezjail using Portmanager then proceed the below steps:


N900 - A phone running open source OS & programs

N900 is the latest offering from Nokia that answers the open source crave for software freedom, it runs Maemo, an OS based on linux, specifically Debian. Maemo also uses "apt" as package manager. Its GUI is fantastic, with accurate touch screen experience. Command line comes with it by default, to access the very core of the OS. And not like some other OS that hides hard to NOT let user touch it (even that, users managed to "jailbreak" it so to access the command line :p).

The N900 hardware runs a fast ARM cortex A8 processor (overclockable), 32GB internal storage with expandable micro MMC external storage card, touch screen with 800 × 480 pixel resolution, QWERTY slide hardware keyboard, 3.5 mm audio jack, A-GPS, WiFi, bluetooth, 3G internet connectivity and the long list goes on.

A big note here, the Maemo community is active & generous to its user that wants to have software freedom. Freedom to choose software from a community that offers alternatives, community that patches and write software just so that we all can use freely and not bow our heads to companies that charges software, even minor function. The Maemo community is active in providing patches both to the OS & 3rd party programs.

We all know that Debian is a hacker friendly linux distribution that seems more and more linux distribution derived from. e.g. Ubuntu family, Knoppix, Damn Small Linux, here & here. Maemo is based on Debian.

The price is unbeatable consider that it comes with such fast & furious hardware, OS and most importantly, the active & friendly open source community.

This post will list out my other blog post that's written based on N900. Here are some of it :
  1. N900 - How to ssh into N900 using OpenSSH
  2. Perl - A happy note, on N900 
  3. N900 - How to overclock the processor speed of N900
  4. N900 - How to clear all the phone data & settings
  5. Stay tuned, this list will be update periodically.

Adios !!!


Perl - A happy note, on N900

The Nokia N900 runs perl :

~ $ perl -v

This is perl, v5.8.3 built for arm-linux-gnueabi-thread-multi

Copyright 1987-2003, Larry Wall

Perl may be copied only under the terms of either the Artistic License or the
GNU General Public License, which may be found in the Perl 5 source kit.

Complete documentation for Perl, including FAQ lists, should be found on
this system using `man perl' or `perldoc perl'. If you have access to the
Internet, point your browser at http://www.perl.org/, the Perl Home Page.

Cheers !!!


N900 - How to ssh into N900 using OpenSSH

Since the Nokia N900 runs on Maemo, Debian based Linux, it also offers open source programs. The secure shell is one of open source gems. Maemo offers the OpenSSH variety of secure shell.

OpenSSH on Maemo not only offers encrypted secure remote shell, it also comes with functions that runs like the desktop version. Such as ssh socks 5 tunneling, that can be used to encrypt traffic transmit of the programs that supports socks 5 proxy.

Here's how to do it :