Diary (October)

October 29th, 2001

There is a silly bug in Compare Mode, which causes the first archive set of each CD to be reported as bad. It is an erroneous error. Ignore it.

October 28th, 2001

Mondo v1.18 and Mindi v0.44 are out. They are bug-fix releases, for the most part.

October 21st, 2001

The new releases (v1.17-3 and v0.43-3) work on RH6.2; that's the biggest change. There are a few clean-ups and big-fixes incorporated in them but nothing spectacular.

October 20th, 2001

I am looking at replacing LILO with SYSLINUX as Mondo's boot loader. SYSLINUX has a nifty picture which pops up when it first loads. If I can make SYSLINUX behave identically to LILO but with a pretty boot screen then it would be groovy. I doubt I shall give the restore phase an X interface but it wouldn't hurt to make the initial boot-up screen a little more attractive.

I am also trying to get Mondo to work with a stock Red Hat 6.2 distro. Call me a masochist: I shan't argue with you. Anyway, the stock kernel won't boot on my Duron. I am installing 2.2.19 to see if that makes a difference. However, if I cannot boot RH6.2 then I'm buggered if I know how I'm supposed to support the thing.

[Update] Okay, Mondo v1.17-3 and Mindi v0.43-3 appear to work with Red Hat 6.2. I've backed up part of my RH6.2 installation and booted from the CD; it looks kosher. I don't have time to do exhaustive testing. Any volunteers?

October 18th, 2001

Well, my first unwitting words to my new boss were, "Ay yo, trip!" Oops. Don't ask. It's a long story.

October 17th, 2001

Updated the web site. Somehow I forgot to upload Mondo v1.17-r2; nice one, Hugo. For your next trick, tell your supervisor, "Baby, you got back!"

October 15th, 2001

Mondo v1.17-r2 and Mindi v0.43-r2 are out. They are only relevant to you if you want to use Mindi's failsafe kernel.

October 14th, 2001

Making Mindi use its own kernel instead of yours (if you want) and install the corresponding modules - e.g. its lvm-mod.o, its raid1.o, etc. - was hard, really hard. However, I do believe I have done it. This won't make a difference to you unless your kernel is broken and you dont know how to roll a good one; however, if you are in that position then you would be SOL unless Mindi came with its own kernel (and it does!).

I fixed some important bugs and gave Mindi a new 2.4.12 kernel. I am still running some intensive backup/restore/compare tests but so far the code is behaving very well. All bug reports are gratefully received. Please do tell me what sort of PC you're using, what sort of hardware it has, etc.

October 13th, 2001

The next Mindi will include a 2.4.12 kernel with lots of lovely SCSI modules. Of course, if Linux vendors would only bundle stable, sane kernels with their distros then Mindi wouldn't have to come with a kernel at all. Until that happy day comes, I shall be hacking away at a 1600-line bash script...

October 11th, 2001

Bruno Cornec submitted patches to add a useful switch to Mondo. If the user calls Mondo with '--cd-recovery yes' then the bootable CD will basically say, "OK, type RESTORE to nuke your computer," but it is more diplomatic. :-) Mondo v1.17 and Mindi v0.43 will include Bruno's patches.

October 10th, 2001

Mondo v1.16-r2 and Mindi v0.42-r2 fix some very minor bugs (minor unless you use Linux-Mandrake 8.1 and have some RAID partitions).

Other than that, it has been disturbingly quiet...

October 9th, 2001

Happy men have no tales to tell. I guess that's why I have had only 2 e-mails from Mondo users this week. I guess the new release actually worked!

October 7th, 2001

Ugh. New Mondo good. New Mindi good. Unf. Grr. Must download and try. Is Klingon way. Rurrr. Bff. Must eat squiggly live things. Pshhcth.

Man, I spent so long chasing dependency problems in Linux-Mandrake 8.1, only to find I had made a mistake in my 'make' script. Oops.

Anyway, the latest releases work perfectly with LM8.1 and RH7.1; I shall try them on SuSE when I have time and energy. I am proud to have made Mindi work with pre-2.4.6 (i.e. severely b0rken) kernels. It also copes with gzipped modules.

LVM support is experimental - in other words, I couldn't be bothered to regression test it - so use it at your peril. Before you use it, run /usr/share/mindi/analyze-my-lvm to see if it generates a sane set of commands to regenerate your volumes.

October 6th, 2001

I am telling you, you are going to love the new releases. Mindi used to choke on all kinds of distros and their stock kernels; now it handles them with ease. I have fixed a ton of bugs, including some that didn't even presented themselves until I integrated Busybox into Mindi. Mondo now supports tape streamers and LVM. It works with out-of-the-box Linux Mandrake 8.1 and Red Hat 7.1 distros, even though the former uses devfs and the latter comes with a severaly b0rken kernel.

October 5th, 2001

OK, the new releases are nearly ready. The best news is that they work on standard, out-of-the-box Red Hat 7.1 and Linux-Mandrake 8.1 distros, even with RH7.1's b0rken 2.4.2 kernel and Mandrake's semi-devfs kernel. Oh, and you can now backup to tape with Mondo. Oh, and LVM is now supported.

October 4th, 2001

Some users have reported problems with v1.15/v0.41. The new release might cure them; it might not. The problems are peculiar to specific distros under specific circumstances and I am unable to reproduce them. So, I am testing the new releases with every distro I can lay my hands on. So far, v1.16/v0.42 pass muster with Red Hat 7.1 and Linux-Mandrake 8.1. Next I'll try SuSE 7.1.

October 1st, 2001

I cannot replicate the problems that a couple of users have been having with prepping and formatting their drives, so I've beefed up the logging a bit, in the hope of catching whatever bug they're experiencing.

Checksums. Ugh. Still trying to nail those suckers down. Actually, the last time I backed up and restored, I didn't see any checksum-related oddities. I hope that is the start of a trend.

LVM support is on its way. Some guy in Zurich is nagging me to support it & frankly it turned out to be so easy that I thought, "What the heck, why not?" I doubt anyone uses it much but I could be wrong.

I've managed to rewrite the kernel module handling code in Mindi so that the boot floppy comes with only the floppy-specific modules, the boot CD (floppy image) comes with only the CD-specific modules, and everything else goes on the data disks (or data tarballs on the CD). The result is that the boot disk is NEVER overloaded with modules. Either your kernel fits on the floppy (or CD), or it doesn't. No matter how many modules you have, they'll just go on the data disks like everything else. Only the stuff that you need in order to access the floppy (or CD) will go on the boot floppy/CD.

Click here for September's gossip