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RE: [irlp-embedded] Re: Swapping SSD - Safe to do?

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  • Rick Bates
    Mike, It sounds like you want to play with linux more than create a new node. While the practice would generally be a good thing, you won t be able to do a
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 15, 2011
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      It sounds like you want to play with linux more than create a new node.  While the ‘practice’ would generally be a good thing, you won’t be able to do a proper install without a valid node number, key and a few other pieces (part of what’s in the backup_for_reinstall file).  However I would suggest that you can load linux onto the ‘spare’ computer so that you can learn some basics (structure, command) without fear of trashing/crashing a node.  If you do, make it the same version (CentOS 4.8) as your node so it’s similar to your node and the lessons can be applied.


      By the way, computer overkill isn’t bad.  It’s linux and you can always add more ‘features’ and still have plenty of computing power left (IRLP doesn’t require much).  Just avoid the graphic interfaces or anything that uses the parallel port or sound card. 


      Also, while linux is robust and fairly secure, the more features (processes) you add, the greater the risks (note for example that there is no email ability in a stock node; that’s for a few reasons and one is security).  Except for IRLP, change ALL your port numbers for any service you enable (i.e. ssh).  http (port 80) for remote control is fairly safe (it won’t run remote apps or allow user app installs by default) so it doesn’t have to be changed.   BE PARANOID, jerks exist, evidenced by spammers.  Many have tried but none have broken into mine yet (my front line of LAN defense is a linux box, it tattles on them and I can still tighten the defense if need be).


      Here are some answers to your questions, subject to comments by the more knowledgeable.


      1) the board is a fairly passive device, no memory whatsoever.  It is pure interface (well, pretty close).  Jumpers, not flash memory.

      2) the hostname doesn’t have to be a “Fully Qualified” name, but can simply be your call or whatever name you choose; it doesn’t matter.  To use IRLP, it has to ‘phone home’ to a server every once in a while to keep the current IP address updated (connect/online status) and that info is tied to your node number (not any call or hostname but verified by key).

      3) for new install, you have to enter info you won’t have.  For reinstall, you need the ‘backup_for_reinstall file.  You can’t put two nodes on the same IP or two same node numbers on at the same time.  If you want to transfer, you have to backup_for_reinstall, copy that file into a flash drive (shut down) and ‘recover’ that info on the new computer (reinstall).  Reverse the process to move it back.

      4) You can copy the file to a flash drive or use WinSCP (or linux native scp) to copy the file to a safe place.  You should have already done this on your existing node (stored to a flash drive) in case it crashed.  Otherwise, you’d have to file a ticket with the support team for reinstall.

      5) answered above

      6) it’s immediate, once online from a reinstall (close enough to immediate anyway).


      The steps would be:

      On your existing node, run backup_for_reinstall and put the file onto a flash drive (part of the script already; it leads you by the hand).

      Do a graceful shutdown of your existing node (as root: ‘shutdown –h now’); it will power down when done.

      Load linux on the new computer from the install CD and ‘get-irlp’.  When asked, select reinstall.  It will ask you to plug in the flash drive (part of the get-irlp script).

      When completed, the node is now on your new(er) computer and you do the “after the install” settings (like audio levels, ID’er etc.) if you moved (or added) the IRLP board.


      If you want your old node back online, shut down the new one and bring up the old one.


      I suspect that other than creating your backup file (which is normal maintenance and SHOULD BE DONE to protect your node and scripts) that what you’re looking for is more linux knowledge.  That doesn’t require a board or the IRLP code, just the OS itself on the new computer to play with it (your node would be safely running apart from your activity).


      There are web pages (links on the IRLP.net page) that can explain this in greater detail.


      Rick WA6NHC

      #3598, 7962


      From: Mike, KC7VE

      I think I'm going to try something a little different, instead of messing with my existing node. This question isn't really about the embedded node but something you said in this post, makes it relevant to my question.

      I have another spare computer that has no OS. It's way overkill for IRLP but it's free and available.

      I downloaded and installed CentOS 4.8, on it and everything went smoothly. I have not installed the IRLP software yet, as I haven't installed the IRLP board yet. But I was thinking. I could borrow my IRLP board from my other node, just for a test. I am not going to create a new node, just a backup computer to understand the install process and linux. A few questions:

      1) Is the IRLP board changed in any way by this install? I mean, by that, does it have any flash or other memory that might be changed? I'd like to be able to simply put it back into my original node, and have that node back up and in operation. Is it safe to swap IRLP boards between systems, without any reconfiguration?

      2) One of the things the install instructions says I will need is the hostname. Where do I find/get that?

      3) There are only 2 options for installing: 1) New install and 2) install from backup. Since this is a fresh install, I assume that is the option I want to take. I assume this will create a new node number but I really don't need a new node number. I would prefer to use my existing node number 4581.

      How would I accomplish this temporary transfer of my node number to the new node? I assume it means changing the node number somewhere (where) and you mentioned the encryption file? Where is that found?

      4) You mentioned the difficulty of transferring the encryption file. How would I copy it? I assume I could just use WinSCP and make a copy but will I be able to get it into the right location using WinSCP from my network connected computer? OR must I take other steps?

      5) The install IRLP files script assigns the IRLP number and creates a key. If I put my existing key, into the computer (somehow), along with my old IRLP number, will this be accetpted by the system?

      6) If I do make this transfer of node info and key, will I still have to wait the couple of days or will the system immediately recognize the node?

      6) Since a NEW node number was generated in the install, how would I go about releasing that node number back so that it's not assigned to me?

      7) I'm thinking the steps would be:

      a) CentOS 4.8 already installed and working.
      b) Install the IRLP board in the 2nd system
      c) Run the get-irlp-files script, get new node number
      d) change node number in the computer and copy 4581 encryption file to new computer.

      Have I missed something? The one thing I want to avoid is making my original 4581 node non-operational. Will any of this make my old node non-operational, if I put the IRLP board back in it?


      --- In irlp-embedded@yahoogroups.com, "ve7ltd" <dcameron@...> wrote:

      > No, there are no issues with doing that. You will have to do a new install
      from CD onto the new SSD, and then overwrite the given node number with your old one, and copy the security key file from the embedded SSD to the new one. That will be the tricky part.
      > Other than that, an embedded node with 2G or 4G SSD is the same as any
      other node built from scratch, just using a more efficient motherboard than most :)
      > Dave Cameron

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