Installing a Sony CRX195A1 CDRW Drive in Red Hat 7.3
Having decided to take the plunge and purchase a CD writer for my computer, I realized I didn't know the first thing about CDRW drives and Linux. So I asked around, read the CD-Writing HOWTO, checked out the cdrecord FAQ about which drives are supported in version 1.9 and read Andy McFadden's CD-Recordable FAQ. Additionally, I did a Google search for information about CD writing and Linux. All this was quite elucidating, and I quickly made a list of manufacturers whose products I would be willing to purchase: Phillips, Sony, Yamaha, Plextor and HP. I also gathered from my research several key points that would determine the endeavor's success or failure:
The Linux system must have SCSI support, which could mean you have to recompile the kernel.
The system must have IDE-SCSI emulation support; again, you may have to recompile the kernel.
There will have to be some modification to grub/lilo and modules.conf (see Listings 1 and 2 at end of article).
I made careful notes on these points and did some research on my system (Red Hat 7.3 with a stock 2.4.18-3 kernel). I learned that the default RH 7.3 kernel included all the things I needed, no recompiling necessary. With that, I began to narrow my drive selection.
After going to my local Best Buy and Circuit City and checking out a few on-line retailers, such as newegg.com, I narrowed my list down to Sony and chose the model CRX195A1. I chose this model because it was relatively new, cheap ($69.99 after a $20 mail-in rebate) and fast (40x12x48). However, this model wasn't listed as supported by anything in Linux. That gave me a moment's pause, but an earlier model (the CRX145) WAS listed in Andy's FAQ, so I felt reasonably sure I'd be okay. Still, I'm a worry wart and I wanted some assurance. So I surfed on over to Sony's support site and tried their Live Help feature (it allows you to chat on-line with a support technician). I told the tech that I knew the drive wasn't supported in Linux, but would it work? Immediately, I was told no. I thanked him and tried again with a different technician, three times to be exact, and each time I was told by a different person that the drive wouldn't work. I figured I was being told it wouldn't work because they didn't know the real answer and couldn't be bothered to check. Armed with an educated guess and a sense of adventure, I purchased the drive.
Before I physically installed the drive, I prepped my system for its imminent arrival. Per the HOWTOs and FAQs, I had to figure out where the CD writer was in the /dev/hdX chain. I have an on-board IDE controller to which my optical drives are attached and a Promise UltraATA 100 controller card to which my hard drives are attached. I mapped out the drive layout as follows:
onboard controller: /dev/hda primary master /dev/hdb CDROM primary slave /dev/hdc SONY CRX195A1 secondary master (the drive was defaulted to master) /dev/hdd secondary slave promise controller: /dev/hde primary hard drive primary master /dev/hdf primary slave /dev/hdg secondary hard drive secondary master /dev/hdh secondary slave
With this knowledge, I knew that my new CD writer would be /dev/hdc, so I added the line append="hdc=ide-scsi" to my grub.conf. This line enables IDE-SCSI emulation for /dev/hdc. I shutdown the system and opened the case. After physically installing the drive and connecting all the cables, I powered up again, making sure the system recognized the new IDE device. All proceeded well, so I logged in and began the testing phase.
The first test was to issue the command cdrecord -scanbus. No drives were listed, and my heart began to beat a little faster. Then I realized I had forgotten to add the line options ide-cd ignore="hdc" to /etc/modules.conf. This line keeps the system from loading the IDE-CD driver for the drive at /dev/hdc and allows the IDE-SCSI emulation driver to be used for that drive. A quick reboot and cdrecord reported my new drive as expected! Using the man pages for cdrecord, I was able to record an audio CD flawlessly. Other tests, such as backing up files to CD and burning ISO images, also worked using both cdrecord and xcdroast. Unfortunately, I was unable to do a CD-to-CD copy. I theorized that enabling IDE-SCSI emulation for /dev/hdb and modifying modules.conf to ignore hdb might have the desired effect, so I made the changes and rebooted. Sure enough, xcdroast and cdrecord both reported my CD-ROM and CDRW drives. After reconfiguring xcdroast a little bit, I was able to successfully do a CD-to-CD copy. After having completed all the aforementioned tests, I would have to say that the drive works. Note that I haven't tested the rewrite capabilities of the drive as I never use rewritable media.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide