Build 333: read/write support
Monday, June 29, 2009

It's been a while again, but here 's another intermediate version of TRK. I don't have much time to work on it, so this is unfinished but usable.
Main reason to release this is that people are asking me for newer driver support. So there's a pretty recent kernel in it. But the biggest feature is the rpm support which allows you to install packages of your own.

Below is a description of the new features
-mclone version 1.1: this version of mclone supports network compression during transfer. This option adds more cpu load but saves on network bandwidth. Use only on powerful machines. This version of mclone is different from the old one so I changed the ports on which it connects so both can 't get mixed up. Version 1.0 is still available as /bin/mclone1.0
Oh yes: I used mclone at work between IBM Bladecenters hooked to fibrechannel SANs and transferred 25Gb of data in 5 minutes with an average of about 700mbit. The bladecenters booted fine afterwards, so there 's an option for a site move or disaster recovery.
-newer kernel although in the meantime kernel 2.6.30 is out, I have to freeze the TRK kernel somewhere. This TRK also uses a custom Qlogic driver for ql2xxx based cards since the stock driver behaved unreliably on my jobs IBM Bladecenters under heavy i/o.
So a newer kernel should mean newer drivers. I always enable drivers that are out of the experimental phase. If your driver isn't loaded, it must mean he's either unavailable or still in experimental phase.
-read/write support in all areas of TRK: TRK now uses aufs over squashfs which incorporates a cowloop (Copy On Write). In human terms it means that you can write to read-only media by actually making the writes in a temporary, writable location. Cramfs was replaced by squashfs because of numerous reasons. This also means better compression, so the TRK iso has become relatively smaller (119Mb, fits on 128Mb sticks again).
-RPM support: since TRK is now completely writable, I squeezed in RPM support. This means you can install any binary 32-bit rpm. Beware that TRK's RPM database is emtpy, so dependencies will almost always fail. Installing an RPM thus requires the option --nodeps and YOU to test whether the program works. Please don't mail me about an RPM that might not work (except when some file is missing after running updatetrk). Post it on the forum and try to figure it out yourself, otherwise I'm too busy solving custom stuff. On the other hand, a donation might work wonders on that ;-). The only RPM I tested so far -but it's a big one- is the IBM Tivoli SM 5.5 backup client and that seems to work fine.
-because of the above features, there are significant changes in the internals of TRK and not everything got thouroughly tested. Especially the bootscripts were heavily modified. CD booting and USB disk booting were tested and debugged, so this should be ok. Network booting was untested, so please report me any problems with that.
-updatetrk: again, because of all of the above, updatetrk was modified so any changes made can be saved for later use. If you install an rpm, you need to run updatetrk. I've now added the option to skip all updates like antivirus and such. Run 'updatetrk -s all' to just write back whatever has changed without any online added features. It will also rebuild the big trkramfs file which holds most of TRK.
-added screen and now all local consoles run under their own screen session. This allows you to remotely take over a local console over ssh by invoking f.i. screen -x tty1, which will duplicate the output to the local console as well as your ssh session. Handy for admins who need to cooperate with remote hands.
-fixed broken grub by adding missing /usr/bin/cmp
-added script, a utility that allows you to record all console commands and save it in a textfile.

Please note that I haven 't got to work on the antivirus support in TRK, which is largely broken because the vendors changed their version and internals. This will be the next big thing todo.

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