CSP7 Setup and Notes


1. Introduction

This document briefly describes the new CSP group work station csp7. Csp7 is an Athlon 64 FX-55 based computer (the fastest processor available from AMD at the time of purchase) with a Gigabyte K8 Triton motherboard, and a Diamond Viper X600 Pro PCI Express Graphics Accelerator Card. The computer has 4 GB of RAM and 2.2 Tera bytes of disk space. Of this disk space, 760 Gigabytes are reserved for automatic nightly backups, so about 1.5 Tera bytes are actually available for use. The monitor is an Apple 20-inch Wide Screen Cinema Display. Csp7 also has DDS3 DAT drive, and a DVD burner.

The OS installed on csp7 is Fedora FC3 64bit Core.


2. Disk Drives

The csp7 user will normally deal with four disk volumes:

/ - The system drive. This is where the OS and users home directories reside. It is not recommended that large amounts of data or application activity be direct towards this drive.

/data1 – Generic 385 GB drive for data. This drive is backed-up automatically to the normally off line drive /data1_backup with a cron.daily task called rsyncbackup. This should occur at 4am every morning. It is the computer owner’s responsibility to monitor this process from time-to-time for integrity.

/data2 – Same comments as above, with the corresponding backup drive /data2_backup

/media/ieee1394disk – This is RAID-5 FireWire External drive array with a usable capacity of 655GB. It presents its own icon on the Gnome or KDE desktop. A discussion of RAID-5 is given in the manual that ships with csp7 and this drive, and the owner should familiarize himself with its capabilities and limitations. Basically, RAID-5 provides speed and data security, but not in the same way as a backup drive. I suggest that this disk be used for short term storage needs that can take advantage of its speed, but that it not be used for extended archiving of data.

Setting-up the computer is straight-forward. The connectors are constrained to work only one way and connecting the peripherals to the computer chassis is essentially self evident.


4. Users

All existing CSP are defined on csp7. These are all members of the CSP group. These need to log into csp7 within the next 90 days using the CSP non-privileged password and reset their password to the one used on all other csp machines. Their accounts will be locked in 90 days for security purposes if this does not occur. The accounts can be re-enabled by the superuser.

5. Mass Storage Usage

For reasons not yet understood, possibly having to do with the extremely buggy operating system Fedora 3, it is not yet possible to use the command line DVD writing tool growisofs (the problem has to do with DVD drive mounting). However DVD's can be conveniently written using the Nautilus File Browser, or with K3b. With Nautilus, first insert a DVD and then double-click the COMPUTER desktop icon, and then double-click the CD-RW/DVD+-R Drive icon. This opens a window into which on can simply drag and drop files and folders from other Nautilus windows such as started by double-clicking the desktop Home icon. Once dropped into the RW/DVD+-R Drive window, they are written to the blank DVD.

K3b is another option that I have tested *as working*. K3b can be started from the KDE or the GNOME desktop menus, or from a terminal window by simple typing k3b. K3b is a GUI interface to DVD and CD burning and copying that is a bit like the PC program Nero (but not nearly as fast or bug free as Nero).

The DAT drive can be manipulated using standard Linux procedures. See the examples in the WIRC IR Camera manual at http://www.ociw.edu/instrumentation/wirc/wirc.html#section_8.2


6. Some Remaining Issues

Printer setup, if desired, should be done with the help of the LCO or the El Pino system administrator.

Cross mounting exported NFS volumes from csp2 and csp2 will need to be done after the computer is established on the network at LCO.

If the MircroNet RAID drive is turned off, and csp7 is booted it will ask a question about hardware configuration (the process Kuzdu is started on bootup). Ignore this question and let the boot proceed. If for some reason csp7 boots and does not mount the MircoNet drive, shut down csp 6 and the MircoNet drive to their full power off states, including placing the standby power switch on the back of csp7 to the off position. Then turn on the MircoNet drive, followed by a power up and boot csp7 after a 10-15 second waiting time (in that order).

Software: I have been unable to get that STSDAS and TABLES packages to install successfully. This may be an issue with the ever-buggy Fedora OS – I am not sure. Some scripts for the IR data reduction may use STSDAS and TABLES, so be alert to this problem and be prepared for workarounds.