A very very long day @ Barasat University

On 14 July, 2009, me ( Ratnadeep Debnath aka rtnpro) and Meejanur Rahaman ( aka meejan) and Kishan Goyal were heading towards Barasat University. Kishan took a bus from Howrah at around 8:30 AM and we started from Ruby Hospital at around 9:30 AM to Barasat. We hoped that we’ll be reaching the university at most by 11:30 AM and will have enough time to work. Our bust took a turn from Daak Bunglow. We told the conductor that we need to go to KaziPara, so the conductor said that he’ll drop us a bit ahead. We got down, enquired about the university, and no one seemed to have heard of it. Then we enquired about KaziPara, and then took a van. Then we were amidst a big traffic congestion. We were taking to Taki Road KaziPara, where we came to know that we came off the path to the university and came to now from the folks that there was another KaziPara at Jasha Road. We took a van again to Jasha Road. When we got down there, we found that this was not also the place we wanted to go. We enquired about the university from the folks out there, they were all dumb about that.

We called Kishan, who had reached the college by 12:00 PM. I told him to start all the download processes running in different screens in the running computer in the server room at WBSU. He followed the instructions over the phone and successfully started the processes. Then we asked him to enquire about the address of the college. He said that we had to get down at KaziPara. In fact, he also said to the Bus conductor of D 81 from colony more that he had to get down at KaziPara :P. Then on further enquiry from the University folks, Kishan told us that we had to come to KaziBari, not KaziPara.

We again took a van from there, came to the Bus terminal, took a D-81 bus and got down at KaziBari. Then from there, we took a van to the university. Reached the university at around 1:30 PM. It was quite some “Getting lost” experience. A one and a half hour of wondering in Barasat without knowing the place we have to go. But, in return, came to know more about the Barasat locality.

In the server room at the University, I kept monitoring the downloads plus some self study. I started two more rsync processes to pull the rpmfusion-nonfree-releases and rpmfusion-free-updates. Now I saw that the download speed of the computer increased to around 500 KBps. Though we had more bandwidth, the downloads on 13 July 2009, were just taking place at most at 250 KBps. This was mainly because the servers limited the download speed. So when I turned on multiple download processes from different servers, the bandwidth at the university was being properly utilized.

With all the processes running nicely, we left the University at 5:15 PM, took a van to KaziBari, then a overloaded bus to terminal. Finally we found seats in a bus to Ruby Hospital. We reached Ruby Hospital at 7:45 PM. From there, meejan left for our mess, I went to Tonmoy’s house. He’s got a broadband connection. SSH Logged in to the computer at the university. Found some download completed. Started new rsync download of Fedora 11 updates, rpmfusion-nonfree-updates. Left his home at 9:15 PM, ran to my mess. Had dinner and went straight to bed.

What a day!

First visit to West Bengal State University, Barasat …

Today, 13th July, 2009, we ( me , i.e., Ratnadeep Debnath aka rtnpro, Kishan Goyal, Meejanur Rahaman, Harsh Verma, Chandana Boral) led by Indranil Das Gupta and Stephanie Das Gupta, went to West Bengal State University at Barasat, Kolkata. We started at around 10:30 AM from Ruby Hospital, and after a long journey ( changing two buses, then riding on a van, with  a few drizzles  on the way), we finally reached Barasat University at around 12:30 PM.

We were then taken to the server room of Barasat University. Indradg got us introduced to the wiring and connections in the server room,  the big UPS, the batteries being charged by the UPS, the mechanism for providing back up during power cuts, switching between the two ACs periodically and finally the HP Blade Server.

The UPS is a Liebert GXT-MT 6KVA UPS with a OpenComms Web Card. The OpenComms Web Card delivers SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) and Web support to the UPS in which it is installed. Then we were acquainted with the network configuration of the University Network ( wifi + lined connection).

Next job was to download the Fedora 11 repository. We brought in another computer, placed it in place of the server and installed Fedora 10 in it and started working. We were given the required bandwidth and my job was to start the rsync. But it didn’t go well with me. I was confused with how and where to start. I did rsync locally in earlier instances and not over the internet. I started with the man page. Then googled about “rsync”. Found some good documentation at http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Infrastructure/Mirroring. It mainly dealt with setting up Fedora mirrors and how to enable rsync in them. But what I needed was just use rsync to pull Fedora 11 repository. It was quite some time, I was still stuck. Got some suggestions on configuring rsyncd.conf file, I was again redirected to the above link. Then we had some lunch and break.

I again sat working on it. Again went through the rsync man page. I found that,

$rsync [options]

gives a directory listing of the source directory. Chose rsync://ftp.riken.jp/fedora as the source. Found its directory structure using

$rsync -auvr rsync://ftp.riken.jp/fedora

I created the directory structure in my current folder ( here it was /home/$USER/f11_repo/). Now I started pulling Fedora 11 i386 release packages in the following way

$rsync -auvr rsync://ftp.riken.jp/linux/fedora/releases/11/Everything/i386/os/ /home/$USER/f11_repo/linux/fedora/releases/11/Everything/i386/os/

and it started syncing the source and destination directories.

Then we also started downloading the rpmfusion_free repositories for Fedora 11 using wget. Indradg wrote a shell script to automate the download of rpmfusion/free repository using wget. We also used screen to run the two processes in different screens so that they can be monitored remotely.

$screen -R [screen name]

In the mean time, others prepared some “Do not disturb, work in progress” labels and put them on the running computer, the server room door, etc. to make sure that no one messes with the running computer.

It was around 5:30 PM that we finally packed up. We got into the University Bus and reached Ruby Hospital at around 7:30 PM.

It was a long long day :).