Friday, July 20, 2012

Configuring MantisBT

Once you're done Installing MantisBT, the web interface is available.  However, in order to create/reset user accounts, you need to have email configured so emails can be sent out.  I did the following:

vi /opt/mantisbt-1.2.11/config_defaults_inc.php
search for "g_smtp_host"
change the following settings (I used one of my existing email accounts):

    $g_phpMailer_method = PHPMAILER_METHOD_SMTP;
    $g_smtp_host = '';
    $g_smtp_username = '';
    $g_smtp_password = 'THIS_IS_CLEAR_TEXT';
    $g_smtp_connection_mode = 'ssl';
    $g_smtp_port = 465;

At this point, I was able to send email to my account and get logged in with an account other than the default administrator account.

While MantisBT did well at the install, the configuration interface leaves a few things to be desired.  First, there are settings beyond getting the system to use the web server or database that cannot be configured in the web gui.  Secondly, while all of the possible settings are well documented, grep is your friend; there is no clear indication where they are located.

Total score for ease of administrative configuration: 3/10
Major failing: unable to edit full config from the web interface.

Installing MantisBT

from a fresh CentOS 6 install (don't forget yum -y update and a reboot), run the following commands:

  1. cd /tmp
  2. wget
  3. wget
  4. md5sum -c mantisbt-1.2.11.tar.gz.digests
  5. tar -xzf mantisbt-1.2.11.tar.gz
  6. mv mantisbt-1.2.11/ /opt/mantisbt-1.2.11
  7. chown -R apache:apache /opt/mantisbt-1.2.11
  8. ls -n /opt/mantisbt-1.2.11/ /var/www/html/mantisbt
  9. yum -y install httpd mysql mysql-server php php-mysql
  10. vi /etc/php.ini
  11. change line 946 to match:
    • date.timezone = "America/New_York" (should match cat /etc/sysconfig/clock output)
  12. chkconfig httpd on
  13. chkconfig mysqld on
  14. service httpd start
  15. service mysqld start
  16. mysqladmin -u root password 'newPassword'
  17. mysqladmin -u root -p -h localhost.localdomain password 'newPassword' (enter newPassword from above when prompted)
  18. iptables -I INPUT 5 -m state --state NEW -m tcp -p tcp --dport 80 -j ACCEPT
  19. iptables -I INPUT 6 -m state --state NEW -m tcp -p tcp --dport 443 -j ACCEPT
  20. now open your browser, and point it to:
    • http://yourServerOrIPHere/mantisbt/admin/install.php
  21. add newPassword from above in the password field
  22. click the "Install" button.

Total time with Cobbler from PXE boot to creating your first project: ~20 - 25 mins.  This includes the time to install the OS from scratch, update it, reboot, and go through the commands above manually.  For those interested in specs, this was run on my setup.

Once you're done here, you'll want to start Configuring MantisBT.

Total score for ease of install: 8/10

Saturday, July 14, 2012

My testing/working environment

Below is the current config that I have set up for all the testing/installing, etc. that I do as part of this blog.

2x Dell 1950 2x  Xeon 5130 @ 2.00GHz w/ 8GB RAM and 4x 73GB 10K 2.5" SAS HDD in RAID 5
runs: VMware ESXi 4.1 build-260247

2x Dell 2850 2x  Xeon DC @ 2.80GHz w/ 8GB RAM and 6x 146GB 10K 3.5" SCSI HDD in RAID 5
runs: OpenFiler 2.3 x86_64

Connecting the two is a Linksys SGE2000 running Jumbo Frames for 1GbE connections, and I'm serving up the storage from the 2850 as iSCSI storage to the 1950.

Finally, I have an APC SMX1500RM2U SmartUPS protecting everything from power bumps (I would get some occasionally that weren't enough to power off the systems, but were enough to make them reboot).  It provides about 5-7 mins of run-time currently.

Everything runs off a single 15A 120V circuit in my basement.  Total cost: ~$2600 - $3000.  This assumes you already have cooling for your room.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Cobbler DHCP config

I'm working on installing Cobbler so that I have a reliable way to automate the install of my linux systems.  Following my first post will get the software installed, so now I was ready to move on to actually getting a PXE boot to install from Cobbler.

Looked up the directions here, and the steps are pretty straight forward.  If you're continuing from my previous post, it would look something like this:

  1. insert your dvd with the distro
  2. yum -y install dhcp
  3. mount /dev/dvd /media
  4. cobbler import --path=/media --name=CentOS6 (this takes a while, press [CTRL+Z], then run bg [ENTER] to send it to the background)
  5. vi /etc/cobbler/dhcp.template
  6. edit per your network, mine looked like this:
subnet netmask {
     option routers   ;
     option domain-name-servers;
     option subnet-mask;
     range dynamic-bootp;
     filename                   "/pxelinux.0";
     default-lease-time         21600;
     max-lease-time             43200;
     next-server      ;
  1. service cobblerd restart
  2. cobbler sync

All is well, we're now ready to PXE boot clients, and Cobbler will..... what's this?

running: dhcpd -t -q
received on stdout:
received on stderr:
dhcpd -t failed
Exception occured: <class 'cobbler.cexceptions.CX'>
Exception value: 'cobbler trigger failed: cobbler.modules.sync_post_restart_services'
Exception Info:
  File "/usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/cobbler/", line 89, in run
    rc = self._run(self)
   File "/usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/cobbler/", line 184, in runner
    return self.remote.api.sync(self.options.get("verbose",False),logger=self.logger)
   File "/usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/cobbler/", line 701, in sync
   File "/usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/cobbler/", line 155, in run
    utils.run_triggers(self.api, None, "/var/lib/cobbler/triggers/sync/post/*", logger=self.logger)
   File "/usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/cobbler/", line 918, in run_triggers
    raise CX("cobbler trigger failed: %s" % m.__name__)


hmm.. well, we can see that there is an issue with dhcpd, lets try to start the service on it's own:

[root@OPS8-Cobbler ~]# service dhcpd start
Starting dhcpd:                                            [FAILED]
[root@OPS8-Cobbler ~]#

Here's the log from /var/log/messages while trying to start the service above:

Jul  2 17:38:48 OPS8-Cobbler dhcpd: Internet Systems Consortium DHCP Server 4.1.1-P1
Jul  2 17:38:48 OPS8-Cobbler dhcpd: Copyright 2004-2010 Internet Systems Consortium.
Jul  2 17:38:48 OPS8-Cobbler dhcpd: All rights reserved.
Jul  2 17:38:48 OPS8-Cobbler dhcpd: For info, please visit
Jul  2 17:38:48 OPS8-Cobbler dhcpd: /etc/dhcp/dhcpd.conf line 19: semicolon expected.
Jul  2 17:38:48 OPS8-Cobbler dhcpd:      option domain-name-servers 68.
Jul  2 17:38:48 OPS8-Cobbler dhcpd:                                                ^
Jul  2 17:38:48 OPS8-Cobbler dhcpd: Configuration file errors encountered -- exiting
Jul  2 17:38:48 OPS8-Cobbler dhcpd:

Looking at /etc/dhcp/dhcpd.conf, I realized that I'd left a comma out of the template config.  It should look like the following in /etc/cobbler/dhcp.template:

subnet netmask {
     option routers   ;
     option domain-name-servers,;
     option subnet-mask;
     range dynamic-bootp;
     filename                   "/pxelinux.0";
     default-lease-time         21600;
     max-lease-time             43200;
     next-server      ;

Now we restart the service and run a sync....

[root@OPS8-Cobbler ~]# service cobblerd restart
Stopping cobbler daemon:                                   [  OK  ]
Starting cobbler daemon:                                   [  OK  ]
[root@OPS8-Cobbler ~]# cobbler sync
task started: 2012-07-02_174015_sync
task started (id=Sync, time=Mon Jul  2 17:40:15 2012)
rendering DHCP files
generating /etc/dhcp/dhcpd.conf
running: dhcpd -t -q
received on stdout:
received on stderr:
running: service dhcpd restart
received on stdout: Starting dhcpd: [  OK  ]
[root@OPS8-Cobbler ~]#

much better.

A simple PXE test confirms that the service is working and providing addresses successfully.  However, I wasn't able to get the PXE menu to load on a network boot...  turns out that I didn't have the proper Firewall settings.  You can test by stopping your firewall (service iptables stop) and trying again; watch out for tcp/udp differences!!  After using the information under Firewall on this page  I was able to get the PXE boot menu to load and test the install.