Vagrant installation

 Vagrant Installation

  • Download Vagrant from https://www.vagrantup.com/ and follow the instructions to install it.
  • Select DOWNLOAD…
  • Select the operating system of your workstation. For
    • Ubuntu: Debian
    • RedHat: Centos

Keep multiple versions on your workstation

Vagrant has an installer, that places the bin and embedded folders to “/opt/vagrant”. To be able to keep multiple versions of Vagrant execute the following:

cd /opt/vagrant
mkdir vagrant_MY_VERSION                                 # Create a folder for the new version
sudo chown -R YOUR_USER_NAME:wheel bin                   # Set the owner, so you can move it
sudo chown -R YOUR_USER_NAME:wheel embedded              # Set the owner, so you can move it
mv bin vagrant_MY_VERSION                                # Move the folder to the version specific location
mv embedded vagrant_MY_VERSION                           # Move the folder to the version specific location
rm vagrant                                               # Delete the old version of the symbolic link
ln -s /opt/vagrant/vagrant_MY_VERSION/bin/vagrant vagrant # Create the symbolic link

Important

The default credentials of a Vagrant machine are:

  • UserName: vagrant
  • Password: vagrant

Windows in Vagrant

To test your cookbook on a Windows virtual machine locally, create one for Vagrant. See Launch Windows instances locally with Chef Test Kitchen for the details.

Configure the Windows virtual machine in VirtualBox

Enable shared folders on the virtual machine

To be able to use shared folders between the host ( your workstation ) and the Windows virtual machine.

  1. Start the Windows virtual machine in VirtualBox,
  2. Select the virtual machine window on your workstation,
  3. In the Devices menu of VirtualBox select Insert Guest Additions CD image…
  4. In the virtual machine start Windows Explorer,
  5. Open the VirtualBox Guest Additions CD,
  6. Start VBoxWindowsAdditions.exe,

  7. On the User Account Control popup click Yes,
  8. Click Next on the setup page,
  9. Click Next on the path selection page,
  10. Click the Install button,
  11. Save all your documents on the virtual machine, and allow the reboot of the virtual machine for the changes to take effect.

The shared folders will be available in the virtual machine’s Windows Explorer under Network locations as the E: drive

Important

Refresh

When an application copies or deletes files and folders in the displayed shared folder, click the Refresh button to see the new state of the directory. Windows usually does not refresh the view of the shared folder.

 

Command window

On a Windows 10 guest machine, the Git Bash and Command Prompt windows cannot see the mapped shared folders. To execute commands in shared folders, use the PowerShell window. For more see Git Bash and Command Prompt cannot see the VirtualBox shared folder on Windows 10 guest

VirtualBox installation and configuration on Windows

Download Virtual Box from https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads and follow the instructions to install it.

At the time of writing this was the section where the installer files were referenced

virtual-box-01-download

Run the downloaded installer file and accept all default values.

The installer starts the Virtual Box application.You can close it, we will use other tools to start it in the future.

To be able to launch 64-bit guest operating systems turn off Hyper-V in Windows Features

  1. In the Windows search box enter Windows Features and select Turn Windows Features on or off,
  2. Uncheck Hyper-V and click OK,
  3. Reboot the computer for the setting to take effect.

Create a virtual machine

To create a new virtual machine

Download the  OS image from the manufacturer’s web site.

  1. Start the VirtualBox application
  2. Click the New icon
  3. Enter a name, select the operating system type and version, and set the memory size,
  4. Set the initial size of the virtual hard disk
  5. Select the virtual machine icon and click the Start button,
  6. Click the Browse icon and select the OS image file in the Downloads directory,
  7. Click the Start button

Configure VirtualBox for each virtual machine

 Networking

To share the connectivity of the host computer with the virtual machine, mainly if you use VPN

  1. In Virtual box click Settings
  2. Select Network
  3. Attach the network adapter to NAT

Copy and paste

To enable copy and paste between the virtual machine and the host ( your workstation )

  1. On the General tab of the Settings page select the Bidirectional shared clipboard

Shared Folders

Specify the shared folder on your workstation

  1. In the VirtualBox menu select Preferences
  2. On the Shared Folders tab click the + icon
  3. To share the entire system drive, select the C: drive of your workstation

Configure the virtual machine OS

To configure the virtual machine operating system in VirtualBox, see Virtual machine configuration on the VirtualBox page.

VirtualBox installation and configuration on Macintosh

Download VirtualBox from https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads and follow the instructions to install it.

At the time of writing, this was the section where the installer files were referenced

virtual-box-01-download

Run the downloaded installer file and accept all default values.

The installer starts the application.

 

Create a virtual machine

To create a new virtual machine

Download the OS image from the manufacturer’s website.

  1. Start the VirtualBox application
  2. Click the New icon
  3. Click the Expert Mode button
  4. Enter the name, select the operating system type and version, and set the memory size,
  5. Set the initial size of the virtual hard disk, and click the Create button,
  6. Select the virtual machine icon and click the Start button
  7. Click the Browse icon and select the OS image file in the Downloads directory,
  8. Click the Start button,

Configure VirtualBox for each virtual machine

Networking

To share the connectivity of the host computer with the virtual machine, mainly if you use VPN

  1. In VirtualBox select the virtual machine icon and click Settings
  2. Select Network
  3. Attach the network adapter to NAT

If your company use automated software installation and updates, set up a second network connection using the Bridged Adapter. This way the virtual machine will get an independent IP address in the same IP address range as the host machine.

  1. Select the Adapter 2 tab,
  2. Select the Enable Network Adapter checkbox,
  3. Select the Bridged Adapter in the Attached to drop-down,
  4. In the Name drop-down list select the fastest network connection of the host machine.

Copy and paste

To enable copy and paste between the virtual machine and the host ( your workstation )

  1. On the General tab of the Settings page select the Bidirectional shared clipboard

Shared Folders

Specify the shared folder on your workstation

  • In the VirtualBox menu select Preferences
  • On the Shared Folders tab click the + icon
  • Select your home folder on your workstation

Configure the virtual machine OS

To configure the virtual machine operating system in VirtualBox, see Virtual machine configuration on the VirtualBox page.

How to create a bootable USB drive to install Windows

If the computer you want to install Microsoft WIndows on, does not have a DVD drive, you can install Windows from a USB drive. To start the computer from the USB drive, you need to prepare the drive to make it bootable.

Microsoft has a free tool that can download the edition of the WIndows operating system you need, format the USB drive, make it bootable, and place the installer file on it.

  1. Using a web browser navigate to https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10,
  2. Click the Download tool now button to install the Microsoft Media Creation Tool,
  3. Start the downloaded MediaCreationTool.exe program and follow the prompts.

Cannot restart the Atlassian Confluence service on Windows

When the Atlassian Confluence wiki is installed on a Windows server, it frequently becomes unavailable. Sometimes it is possible to restart the Atlassian Confluence Windows service, but most of the time the Stop phase times out with:

Windows could not stop the Atlassian Confluence service on Local Computer.
Error 1053: The service did not respond to the start or control request in a timely fashion.

To make Atlassian Confluence work again

  1. Open Task Manager,
  2. End the tomcat…exe process,
  3. Start the Atlassian Confluence Windows service.

Splunk installation

Install Splunk

  1. Navigate to the Splunk website at splunk.com,
  2. In the upper right corner select the Free Splunk button,
  3. If you don’t yet have a Splunk account, register to create one, otherwise log in,
  4. Select the Free Download in the Splunk Enterprise frame,
  5. Select the tab with the operating system of your machine.

Linux

  1. The simplest way to install Splunk on Linux is with wget in the command line. Click the Download via Command Line (wget) in the upper right corner in the Useful Tools box.
  2. Copy the command to your clipboard from the popup window,
  3. Execute the wget command in a terminal window to download the tar archive,
  4. It is recommended to install Splunk in the opt directory, untar the archive there.
    sudo tar xvzf splunk.tgz –C /opt

Windows

  1. Download the .msi installer for your operating system (32 bit or 64 bit),
  2. Run the installer, follow the prompts, and accept the license agreement,
  3. Use Local System to run Splunk under.

Macintosh OSX

  1. Select the .dmg installer for simpler installation,
  2. Follow the prompts to install the application,
  3. At the end of the installation select Start and Show Splunk to start the application and view the user interface in a browser.

 

To start, stop, and administer Splunk

Linux

  1. In a terminal window navigate to the Splunk bin directory
    cd /opt/splunk/bin
  2. To Start Splunk and accept the license agreement during the first start
    ./splunk start --accept-license
  3. The terminal window displays the Splunk web interface address in the The Splunk web interface is at … line. Open a browser to navigate to the address.
  4. To start, stop, and restart the instance, and get help execute
    ./splunk start
    ./splunk stop
    ./splunk restart
    ./splunk help

Macintosh OSX

  1. In a terminal window navigate to the Splunk bin directory
    cd /Applications/Splunk/bin
  2. To start, stop, and restart the instance, and get help execute
    ./splunk start
    ./splunk stop
    ./splunk restart
    ./splunk help

Logging into Splunk the first time

The initial credentials after installation is
Username: admin
Password; changeme

 

Upgrade a server on an AWS EC2 instance with minimum risk and downtime

When you need to upgrade an application on an AWS EC2 instance with minimum downtime, there are many options.

Upgrade an EC2 instance

  1. Stop the application, so users don’t make more changes,
  2. Create a backup of the database (snapshot of the RDS instance),
  3. Create a backup of the server (backup image of the EC2 instance),
  4. Upgrade the application on the server,
  5. Start the application,
  6. Test the new version of the application.

In case the upgrade fails, or the post-upgrade test fails

  1. Stop the application,
  2. If you use RightScale to launch servers:
    1. stop the RightLink service on the failed server to prevent RightScale auto terminating the restored server
      (When RightScale finds a new identical server instance, it automatically shuts it down to avoid multiple instances with the same identifier.)
    2. Terminate the failed server
  3. Stop the failed server,
  4. Restore the database from the pre-upgrade backup with a new name,
  5. Restore the server instance from the pre-upgrade backup,
  6. Start the restored server,
  7. Change the database address in the application’s config file to point to the restored database,
  8. Start the application,
  9. Test the restored version of the application.

To make the backup image of the AWS EC2 instance

  1. Open the AWS console and navigate to EC2, Running instances
  2. Find the server instance you want to backup
  3. Right-click the row of the instance and select Image, Create Image

  4. Name the image and click the Create Image button
  5. Save the image Id from the popup

Test your RightScale script without creating unnecessary revisions

There are certain functions in RightScale scripts (RightScripts) that you cannot test without launching a new instance. To test your script:

  1. Edit the Head revision of the RightScale script and save it,
  2. Attach the Head revision of the RightScale script to the Head revision of the RightScale Server Template,
  3. In your Self Service CAT file reference revision 0 (zero) of the Server Template (Head revision),
    ( “server_template_revision”  => “0”, )
  4. Upload the Self Service CAT file to Self Service, but do not publish it,
  5. Launch a server instance from Self Service using the RightScale Self-Service Designer page, not the Catalog.

If the script has some errors, modify the Head revision of the RightScale script and launch a new server instance using the RightScale Self-Service Designer page.

When the script works perfectly:

  1. Commit the RightScale script, creating a new RightScale script revision,
  2. Attach the committed revision of the RightScale script to the Server Template’s Head revision,
  3. Commit the Server Template, creating a new Server Template revision,
  4. Publish the new revision of the Server Template,
  5. Reference the new revision of the Server Template in your Self Service CAT file.

Windows 10 can’t connect to this network

If your Windows 10 computer can successfully connect to some wireless networks, but cannot connect to certain wireless networks, it is possible, that the stored credentials are out of date. To force Windows 10 to ask you for the updated username and password

  1. In the Start Menu select Settings,
     
  2. On the Windows Settings page select Network & Internet,
  3. On the left side select Wi-Fi,
  4. On the Wi-Fi page select Manage known networks,
  5. Select the network you are not able to connect and click the Forget button,
  6. In the lower right corner of the screen select the Wi-Fi network icon, select the network, and click the Connect button.