Archive for December 2007
Merry Christmas, everyone!
This post is essentially an addendum to my earlier post, Mount Samba Shares on a GNU/Linux machine. I found that my system was hanging toward the end of a shutdown because the Samba shares I had mounted weren’t being unmounted properly. I was seeing strange console messages saying things like “CIFS VFS: no response for cmd 50…” and the system would sit there, apparently unresponsive, for several minutes before actually turning off or restarting. I apologize if my earlier post created this problem for anybody.
The solution is to unmount the Samba shares a little earlier in the shutdown process, when networking is still available. This is as easy as adding a couple of symbolic links to the runlevels for shutdown and reboot that point to the /etc/init.d/umountnfs.sh script, which unmounts virtual filesystems.
I’ve just finished compiling and testing out a Linux 2.6.23 kernel for a Dell Dimension 4100. I’m running Ubuntu on top of it, which seems to have gotten much more responsive as a result: with only 128Mb of RAM, this machine can’t afford to run a lot of unneeded drivers at the same time as GNOME.
All the hardware seems to work (though I haven’t actually tested the floppy drive), and all the hardware is original except for the hard drive and an additional network card. If you’re looking for a slimmed-down kernel to run on one of these machines, this .config should get you started. There may be some other drivers you can take out — I tend to err on the side of leaving things in if I can compile them as a module and I’m not sure I don’t need them — and if you succeed in slimming it down even further, please let me know!
Update: I found that these instructions were incomplete; they do mount the share correctly, but they cause the system to hang for a few minutes during a shutdown or reboot, because networking gets stopped before the shares are unmounted. Please see this later post for instructions on how to get Samba shares unmounted at the appropriate time when the system is shutting down.
Today I found myself needing to mount a Samba share in Ubuntu because I have a Bazaar repository there, and Bazaar doesn’t understand file paths that begin with “smb://”. So, even though it’s no problem to browse a Samba share in Ubuntu’s desktop file manager, I couldn’t perform checkouts or commits. To fix this, I had to do the following: Read the rest of this entry »