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2Jul/140

Installing Sealion on Centos 5 – Python Dependency

Overview

This is a short guide containing the steps I took to install Sealion on an older Centos 5 server. Sealion is a activity monitoring service website that reports the status of your linux every 5 minutes. An agent running on your server runs a set of common commands (i.e. ps, top, vmstat, ...) and reports the results back to the sealion.com site web console where you can view the results.  The Sealion introduction video says it all.

Installation Problems

The normal agent installation is usually a one line command but it failed on my server with this python dependency error:

Performing dependency check...
Error: Python dependency check failed
File "../bin/check_dependency.py", line 19
except Exception as e:
^
SyntaxError: invalid syntax

The Sealion site didn't list the dependencies and there weren't any support documents that I could find. I emailed Sealion and they replied with a link to this article for installing Python 2.7 on RedHat or SUSE.

Installing Python 2.7 got me one step closer but failed during the make process for the sqlite module with the following error:

In function ‘_pysqlite_set_result’:
error: ‘sqlite3_int64’ undeclared

After some searching this article came up listing the error as a known bug in Python 2.7.3. I repeated the Python installation with 2.7.8 and substituted the correct Pthyon version into the agent installation curl command and all worked.

Complete Procedure

  1. wget https://www.python.org/ftp/python/2.7.8/Python-2.7.8.tgz
  2. tar -xvf Python-2.7.8.tgz
  3. cd Python-2.7.8
  4. ./configure
  5. make
  6. make install
  7. curl -s https://agent.sealion.com | sudo bash /dev/stdin -o YOURSEALIONKEY -p /usr/local/bin/python2

    Tip: The -p parameter specifies which version of python to use. Substitute /usr/local/bin/python2 with the location your make install command placed Python and YOURSEALIONKEY with the user key obtained from the Sealion add server screen.

Note: As part of the troubleshooting process I updated sqlite but I'm not certain this was required. If you have problems try:

yum install sqlite.i386 sqlite-devel.i386

This installed and started the Sealion agent and after a few minutes server and server data appeared in my Sealion.com console.

Thoughts About Sealion

This is my first attempt at evaluating the Sealion linux server monitoring service. Other servers more up-to-date distributes installed the agent without issue.

The Sealion site is beautiful, functional, but a little sparse on content. There are only sporadic references to it across the internet (as of the time of writing) when I went searching for installation assistance. The lack of community activity leaves me a little worried about the reputation of Sealion but I can't deny that the service is useful and easy to use. Their support email address responded quickly when I finally submitted my issue.

The service meets a need and has value to me. I hope to see it's reputation increases and turn into a reasonably priced service.

Revision: 2014-07-04 Minor correction thanks to feedback from Team Sealion.

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26Jun/140

NetBeans 8 Navigator Empty or Blank When viewing Drupal PHP Files

It was exciting to see NetBeans 8 released as I use it as my primary editor for PHP projects (along with Xdebug of course) but the excitement was short lived when the navigator window frame was empty for all of my Drupal project files. After a bit of googling and checking the NetBeans bug tracker I wasn't getting anywhere until I tried one last ditch generic search on Google which held the answer.

According to this blog posting it was discovered that the .install and .module files lose their content type and aren't parsed as PHP files. A simple configuration change to set the correct content type fixes the issue. Wonderful!

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19May/140

Create a Bookmark that Always Points to Today’s Freshbooks Timesheet

Do you want to access your freshbooks timesheet with as few clicks as possible? The directions below walk you through creating a dynamic JavaScript based bookmark that will always point to todays Freshbooks timesheet by calculating the correct URL to go to.

Creating such a link on your browser's bookmark bar or favorites list can be a time saving step for quickly logging in and recording your time.  To create the link follow these steps:

  1. Locate your Freshbooks domain by logging into Freshbooks account and looking at the address bar. The highlighted text in the image below indicates where your freshbooks domain is located in the URL.finding your freshbooks domain
  2. Copy the text below. This is the dynamic JavaScript URL which will always point to your Freshbooks timesheet:
    javascript: var dt = new Date();var d=dt.getDate();var m=dt.getMonth()+1;var y=dt.getFullYear();window.location='https://YOURFRESHBOOKSDOMAIN.freshbooks.com/timesheet#date/'+y+ "-" + (m<=9 ? '0' + m : m) + "-" + (d <= 9 ? '0' + d : d);
  3. Right click on the bookmark bar and create a new bookmark.
  4. Paste the text into the bookmark URL field:creating freshbooks timesheet bookmark
  5. Before saving the bookmark you must change the URL text "YOURFRESHBOOKSDOMAIN" with the Freshbooks domain found in step one. For example, if your domain was "mycoolcorpinc" the URL should read:
    javascript: var dt = new Date();var d=dt.getDate();var m=dt.getMonth()+1;var y=dt.getFullYear();window.location='https://mycoolcorpinc.freshbooks.com/timesheet#date/'+y+ "-" + (m<=9 ? '0' + m : m) + "-" + (d <= 9 ? '0' + d : d);
  6. Save the bookmark. You should now have a bookmark link or favorite that points you to the current day timesheet.

Click on the new bookmark and the browser will direct you to your freshbooks account and compute the current date of the timesheet to display. Your address should resemble the image below except 'yourfreshbooksdomain' will be replaced with your domain i.e. mycoolcorpinc and the date on the end of the URL will be today's date.

freshbooks timesheet url example

 

 

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7Apr/140

VirtualBox Error VT-x is not available VERR_VMX_NO_VMX

While setting up a new SuperMicro SuperServer 5018A-FTN4 with an Intel C2758 CPU for a small lab environment an an issue appeared with  VirtualBox. It was reporting that the VT-x processor extension wasn't available when running on Windows Server 2012 R2.

virtualbox VT-x not available

At the time of writing this Google didn't have any relevant search results for my configuration but I did find an article that suggested disabling the HardwareVirtEx directive in the virtual machines VirtualBox configuration file.  This partially worked but was incredibly slow and the VM guest eventually crashed.

According VirtualBox Support Ticket #10694 other programs can also prevent VirtualBox from accessing the VT-x extensions which cause it to report them as not installed.

The solution was to remove the Hyper-V role because it prevented VirtualBox from utilizing the processor's VT-x extensions even though I didn't have any active Hyper-V guests running.

 

 

 

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8Feb/140

OpenWRT Installation Tutorial on a N600 TL-WDR3600 Router

After several failed attempts to find a well supported router that was reasonably priced I picked up a TP-LINK N600 TL-WDR3600 router and found the right OpenWRT firmware to install on it.

As part of the project I produced my first YouTube video that walks through the process. The video walks through located the correct firmware on the OpenWRT site and upgrading the factory default firmware using the built-in web interface.

If you're going to be using the video as a guide here is the link to the OpenWRT firmware for the TL-WDR3600 router.

My thanks goes out to Michael Kuron for his blog posting about his experiences with the TL-WDR3600 and OpenWRT whose blog posting convinced me to purchase this router.

 

 

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