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Showing posts from November, 2010

RHEL6 comes prepared for vSphere

A fresh install of RHEL6 contains several vSphere-ready components: the standard kernel package contains kernel modules for the optimized VMware virtual hardware (network, storage, and memory balloon driver). vmxnet3 vmw_pvscsi vmware_balloon and just like in earlier RHEL releases, there's drivers for the VMware graphics card and the mouse driver: xorg-x11-drv-vmware xorg-x11-drv-vmmouse Especially the built-in network and storage drivers will make life easier for RHEL admins in vSphere environments. That's great news ofcourse, but I'd like to stress that this is not equivalent to a full VMware Tools install, which would include extras such as shutdown/reboot/freeze/resume scripts, IP address display in the vSphere client, etc.

Enterprise Linux and state-of-the-art hardware: a difficult marriage

A customer bought a Dell Precision T7500 recently. Beautiful machine, awesome power, running CentOS5. The videocard in the machine was the first I ever saw with nothing but DisplayPort connectors: no old-style VGA, no DVI, no HDMI. At first, a 1680x1050 screen was connected using a DisplayPort-to-DVI connector, and that worked flawlessly. But in came a new beast: a 30-inch 2560x1600 screen. The standard DVI cable can't handle this resolution, and neither can the DisplayPort-to-DVI connector, so even a dual-link DVI cable doesn't solve this issue. And I'm sure you'll agree: running such a beauty at 1920x1200 seems a waste. I tried connecting the monitor directly using a DisplayPort cable, which can easily handle the maximum resolution, but the EL5/CentOS5 xorg-x11-drv-ati driver is too old: version 6.6.3 (with some backports from 6.12.2) doesn't detect DisplayPort-connected monitors correctly. Compiling a newer driver isn't easy, because the newer ones require Xo