Migrating from Ubuntu + ZFS File Server to unRAID

For years I have had a Dell Inspiron 537 with Ubuntu hosting a ZFS RAID 1 file-share. I’ve used it to be a BitTorrent Resilio Sync server, a Plex Media Server, Apache web server, ssh relay and more. But, it started to show its age with Plex. I was content to let it struggle for another year until I found unRAID from https://lime-technology.com.

After trying a demo, I decided to upgrade and shuffle the Inspiron over to my parents – retiring a hacked together computer lovingly called ‘Frankenpoot‘ –  and build a new computer to be a NAS server for me.

The main reasons to use unRAID over something like FreeNAS or Ubuntu again was ZFS’s (and like filesystems’) need for equal-sized disks. That requirement is limiting on a budget. The old Dell, called in its early days Zod (bad guy from Superman) and then Zorg from the movie The 5th Element, had a ZFS RAID1 pool of 2x 2TB drives called “ZorgZFS”. It worked great, no issues or complaints about ZFS. But the chassis of the Inspiron 537 had only room for 2x 3.5″ drives and a SSD boot drive haphazardly attached with only one screw. As I was going to build my own, I could have as many drive bays as I can afford. unRAID can handle drives of any size — as long as the parity drive is the largest.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be documenting configuration, setup and other knowledge relating to unRAID.

OpenVPN Troubleshooting

Recently I tried installing and setting up OpenVPN on my home server. I ran into a problem I had had before. Both the installation of the .deb package and the init script would hang.

I found the –verbose switch to the /usr/local/openvpn_as/bin/ovpn-init command. it would always hang right after “Generating init scripts auto command”. As generating the init scripts should be instantaneous, this was frustrating. At one point in the script is calls /usr/local/openvpn_as/bin/_ovpn-init and attempts to list the iptables config with iptable –list and put it into a variable. My iptables list is LARGE and uses the hostnames of several IPs I want blocked. (Think asian and Russian sites.) That iptables command it uses does DNS on every hostname. It should use (and I changed the script) to use iptables –list -n which skips DNS.

Now the ovpn-init script runs and doesn’t hang.

rake gitlab:check complains about git version

With the 5.2 version of gitlab, the

bundle exec rake gitlab:check RAILS_ENV=production

command complains about the current distro’s version of git:

Your git bin path is “/usr/bin/git”
Git version >= 1.7.10 ? … no
Try fixing it:
Update your git to a version >= 1.7.10 from 1.7.9
Please fix the error above and rerun the checks.

Checking GitLab … Finished

Here’s how to compile from source to a local (or system wide) location.

Continue reading “rake gitlab:check complains about git version”

Fixing gitlab errors with git operations

Recenlty, I was able to install the 5.2 branch of gitlab for work.

I ran into the following error when cloning a repo:

git pull
fatal: Could not read from remote repository.

Please make sure you have the correct access rights
and the repository exists.

yet, ssh and ssh keys were working:

ssh -T git@gitlab.lib.unc.edu
Welcome to GitLab, Anonymous!

It took a while, but I found a way to check what gitlab-shell is doing:


Check GitLab API access: FAILED. code: 302

Check directories and files:
/home/git/repositories: OK
/home/git/.ssh/authorized_keys: OK

This does make sense because it set up SSL in the apache conf for gitlab using the example conf file. It seems that gitlab-shell isn’t smart enough to handle a redirect to the https side. So in the gitlab-shell/config.yml make sure the gitlab_url setting has https set. Also, you may need to make sure your /etc/hosts has the name of the virtual host (if you are running it that way) pointing to the right interface.

Keep in mind, gitlab-shell doesn’t play nice with self-signed certs. I had to revert some things on another gitlab install.

After fixing this, ssh-ing into the server worked right:

ssh -T git@gitlab.lib.unc.edu
Welcome to GitLab, <user>!