June 2013

Monthly Archives

Racing to launch with ArduSat

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A few months ago CatN became the sole platinum sponsor of the ArduSat satellite project on Kickstarter.

ArduSat is an Arduino powered satellite which allows the general public to design and run their own experiments in space. There’s a huge range of sensors and options on the device so part of the fun is seeing what crazy experiments people come up with.

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CatN to host UK CentOS Dojo in July

centos-dojo-catWe are delighted to announce that we will be hosting a UK Centos Dojo meet up at our offices in Aldershot on Friday 12th July 2013.

The CentOS Linux distribution is at the core of almost all of our operations at CatN. This website is hosted on our vCluster stack which is built on CentOS, most of our client work involves CentOS as the base OS, and we have 4 Red Hat Certified Engineers on site at Aldershot, so you can see that we are big fans of the distro.

Our CTO Mark attended the last European CentOS Dojo in Antwerp and loved it, so we thought it would be great to host one closer to home. This would also allow us to give something back to the project, on which a lot of our business depends.

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Generating a CSR with Apache OpenSSL

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CatN have been offering hosting services for a number of years now, with one common request from our customers being the ability to provide and install SSL Certificates for their hosting products. The first stage in the process is to generate an RSA Private Key and and CSR, which can be used by an SSL Authority to generate you an SSL Certificate.

We will use the Apache OpenSSL toolkit to generate both the RSA Private Key and Certificate Signing Request. The following instructions require that OpenSSL is installed on your server, as this is a common package it should be available on most of the major distributions through their package installer.

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Who let the cat out of the blog?

The old adage ‘content is king’ has never been more relevant, especially with Google evolving in the way it is. High value content is not only vital for attracting visitors and engaging with communities, it is also an incredibly useful tool for sharing knowledge in a fast moving, agile workplace.

There are always good intentions when it comes to blogging – whenever I suggest that we spend some time on technical blogs all the members of the team are enthusiastic and offer up plenty of suggestions for a title or topic. The problem is finding the time amidst the demands of the numerous software development projects we have on the go.

Operations Director, Paul Maunders came up with the perfect solution. He proposed a ‘blog day’ – essentially a day out from normal tasks to focus entirely on a mini, day long project which should result in a blog, guide, video or webcast. The only caveat is that (of course!) we continue to manage support and respond to priority enquiries.

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Working with Virtual Machine images

CatN engineers spend a lot of time working with virtual machine images. We have put together this useful list of commonly used commands and procedures to help you get started on your next project.

For simplicity we assume to work with VM images created using the centoskvm.sh shell script, as explained on my previous post “Automated CentOS Virtual Machine Image Creation”.

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Add a virtual storage device to a Virtual Machine

Following our previous article about resizing virtual machine images, we now look adding an additional storage device to an existing VM. If instead you wish to extend the existing VM storage volumes, please consult the article “Resize a CentOS Virtual Machine Image“.

For simplicity we assume that the VM image you wish to extend has been created using the centoskvm.sh shell script, as explained on my previous post “Automated CentOS Virtual Machine Image Creation“.

The file-based virtual storage device acts as a virtualized hard drive for virtualized guests and its creation is quite quite straightforward.

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Resize a CentOS Virtual Machine Image

Following our series of articles about virtual machine images, we now look at a common problem faced by system engineers – what happens when you run out of disk space on your virtual machine? This guide addresses this issue and explains how to expand a CentOS Virtual Machine image, resizing any partitions contained within.

We assume that the VM image to resize has been created using the centoskvm.sh shell script, as explained on my previous post “Automated CentOS Virtual Machine Image Creation“. This is because the resizing script (resizevm.sh) assumes details about storage volumes that rely on the centoskvm.sh having be used. In any case all the steps are illustrated here so you can adapt the commands to your needs.

The resizevm.sh shell script is part of the CentOS-KVM-Image-Tools project that you can clone on your machine using the following command:

git clone git://github.com/fubralimited/CentOS-KVM-Image-Tools.git

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