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Updating DELL Server firmware on Redhat based Linux Servers

It has become quite simple to upgrade the Servers firmwares if you’re running Linux on them.

Find the repos from Linux portal of Dell.
# set up repos
wget -q -O – | bash
wget -q -O – | bash

Install the firmware tools

yum -y install firmware-addon-dell

And here you go. Update BIOS updates/firmwares easily.

# install BIOS update
yum -y install $(bootstrap_firmware)

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Installing ffmpeg on CentOS/RHEL servers

You can quickly install ffmpeg on or server via dag repository.

To proceed insert following lines to /etc/yum.repos.d/dag.repo

name=Dag RPM Repository for Red Hat Enterprise





Then run:

ldconfig -v

Then run the following to install rpmforge-release info:

rpm -Uvh

Finally update yum cache and install ffmpeg as follows:

yum update
yum install ffmpeg ffmpeg-devel


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Upgrading Redhat 9 to CentOS 3.x/CentOS 4.x

Still running some old boxes on Redhat 9? Here is a way to get it upgraded.

Caution: Try this at your own risk

Before proceeding, make sure all your hardware is supported by your chosen target OS

Upgrade Red Hat 9 to CentOS 3.x:

1. Make a full backup of all your data
2. Import GPG Keys: rpm –import Install/Upgrade yum: rpm -Uvh –nodeps

4. Update Release information: rpm -e redhat-release-9-3 &&  rpm -ivh
5. Upgrade Server: yum upgrade

Upgrading to CentOS 4.x

1. Make a full backup of your data.

2. Import GPG keys: rpm –import
3. Install/Upgrade yum: rpm -Uvh –nodeps
4. Upgrade the release: rpm -i
5. Have yum update your OS: yum upgrade

Quick Source

[cPanel-News] Tech Advisory: BIND: Red Hat and CentOS

Here is an update on BIND for cPanel server admin’s

Recent versions of Bind distributed by RedHat and?CentOS enable strict zone checking at startup time. This setting can potentially cause problems for Bind users with a large number of zone files or syntax errors in individual zone files. In these circumstances, users may experience an inability to restart Bind after a shutdown.?cPanel has produced and distributed an autofixer for this condition. This repair will run automatically on all systems with updates enabled. However, cPanel checks only occur at specific times and depending upon update schedules, users experiencing issues restarting Bind may benefit from manually executing the code to disable strict zone checking. You may safely execute the autofixer at your discretion by running the following command:


Source: cPanel Blog

Kannada fonts on CentOS

To install default Kannada font (lohit_kn.ttf) on CentOS we need to install fonts-kannada package via yum as follows.

# yum install fonts-kannada
Setting up Install Process
Parsing package install arguments
Resolving Dependencies
–> Running transaction check
—> Package fonts-kannada.noarch 0:2.3.1-1.el5 set to be updated
–> Finished Dependency Resolution

Dependencies Resolved

Package                 Arch       Version          Repository        Size
fonts-kannada           noarch     2.3.1-1.el5      base               62 k

Transaction Summary
Install      1 Package(s)
Update       0 Package(s)
Remove       0 Package(s)

Total download size: 62 k
Is this ok [y/N]: y
Downloading Packages:
(1/1): fonts-kannada-2.3. 100% |===========|  62 kB    00:16
warning: rpmts_HdrFromFdno: Header V3 DSA signature: NOKEY, key ID e8562897
Importing GPG key 0xE8562897 “CentOS-5 Key (CentOS 5 Official Signing Key) ” from
Is this ok [y/N]: y
Running rpm_check_debug
Running Transaction Test
Finished Transaction Test
Transaction Test Succeeded
Running Transaction
Installing: fonts-kannada                ############# [1/1]

Installed: fonts-kannada.noarch 0:2.3.1-1.el5

Once the package is installed, reopen your browser and start browsing Kannada websites. If you want to add any other Kannada fonts, do copy them to /usr/share/fonts folder or to .fonts folder inside your user directory and run fc-cache -fv to get it installed successfully. This is also a general method followed to install any fonts on Gnu/Linux.

Troubleshooting RPM issues

While working on Redhat based operating systems, its common to face few issues related to RPM. Rpm database gets corrupted. It might segfault, it might cause lots of issues while installing or updating packages.

First step to resolve RPM related issues is to rebuild the rpm database. This can be done by removing the __db files from /var/lib/rpm folder and then running the following command in console as root.

#rpm --rebuilddb

At times, this might not work and you might require some more verbose information. You can get it by adding -vv switch to above command as follows:

#rpm -vv --rebuilddb

Here is an example, I was not able to understand which package wass giving the following error.

#rpm --rebuilddb
error: rpmdbNextIterator: skipping h#909189228 blob size(11): BAD, 8 + 16 * il(1882857574) + dl(1769480289)

To identify the package, I had to run the same command in verbose mode to understand which package was resulting this error.

Following is the extract from the output which displayed the corrupted package.

adding “pure-ftpd” to Name index.
D: adding 46 entries to Basenames index.
D: adding “System Environment/Daemons” to Group index.
D: adding 17 entries to Requirename index.
D: adding 4 entries to Providename index.
D: adding 7 entries to Conflictname index.
D: adding 7 entries to Dirnames index.
D: adding 17 entries to Requireversion index.
D: adding 4 entries to Provideversion index.
D: adding 1 entries to Installtid index.
D: adding 1 entries to Sigmd5 index.
D: adding “3f19ec3bbf01667e0e7458df2c6d68f2765f91ba” to Sha1header index.
D: adding 46 entries to Filemd5s index.
error: rpmdbNextIterator: skipping h#909189228 blob size(11): BAD, 8 + 16 * il(1882857574) + dl(1769480289)

After looking at this, I thought of removing the above package to get it reinstalled. I did a query on the same package via rpm command

#rpm -qa  pure-ftpd

And found that the package has been installed humpty number of times. Again I ended up with an another issue here because I was unable to remove this package easily like any other rpm package.

To remove all the occurrences of the package from the RPM database, you can use the --allmatches switch as follows.

#rpm -e --allmatches --nodeps pure-ftpd

This command did work and successfully removed the package. Once this was taken care, packages started working fine. I was able to install other packages successfully.

QuickFix: Too many open files

Are you troubled with “too many open files” error on your server?  Unable to run the services?

warning: cannot open : Too many open files

Here are few fixes which you can use to get the issue resolved.

  • Making sure /proc/sys/fs/file-max was big enough
  • Adding “fs.file-max = 2048″ to /etc/sysctl.conf
  • Adding “* – nofile 2048″ to /etc/security/limits.conf
  • Adding “session required” to /etc/pam.d/login and /etc/pam.d/sshd
  • Changing the limit using “ulimit -n 65536″ as root
  • Rebooting the machine several times

If you want this issue to be resolved across the reboots, 3rd option is the best solution

  • Adding “* – nofile 2048″ to /etc/security/limits.conf