This page is
continually under construction, and
provides various bits of information for new and old members of CAIA.
Primary file store and compute
Our web server and ssh gateway to the outside Internet is caia.swin.edu.au, a
FreeBSD 'jail' host.
www.caia.swin.edu.au and caia.caia.swin.edu.au are aliases for
Our internal file server and compute server is mordor.caia.swin.edu.au.
All user accounts are on this machine. Access to mordor
is either via ssh login
SAMBA support for WinNT file sharing
Swinburne ITS does not support
WinNT file sharing across their switched-ethernet/VLAN domains
(officially we use Novell Netware). However, within CAIA we use SAMBA to export mordor.caia.swin.edu.au home directories as WinNT file shares.
You'll need to log into mordor (as
a unix user, using ssh from another unix box or, e.g., PuTTY from a
WIndows box) and run smbpasswd in order to initially setup your
Windows file sharing password before accessing mordor as a Windows file
server. The workgroup
will show up as CAIA, and mordor.caia.swin.edu.au will be (naturally)
Your mordor home directory is
shared as: \\mordor\<username>
(where <username> is your unix login)
File backup strategy
backups of all user
accounts on mordor occur once an hour during the day. Backups go to two
separate machines running FreeBSD 8.x, eight 2TByte drives in a RAID-Z2
configuration (two drives may fail without loss of data).
While logged into mordor itself, you can find the most recent version of your home directory at
Every hour a local snapshot is taken on raidserv2, and kept under
where "<date_time>" is in the form YYMMDD_HHMM (year, month, day, hour and minute of the desired snapshot -- e.g. the 8pm snapshot of March 8th 2011 would be 110308_2000)
After ~48hrs the hourly snapshots are deleted, but we keep midnight
snapshots for two weeks. After two weeks we delete the midnight
snapshots except those occurring on day 7, 14, 21, or 28 of the month.
We delete all snapshots that are over ten weeks old. To some degree
these time boundaries are arbitrary -- the main goal is to keep hourly
snapshots for a smallish period of time (allowing people to recover
from accidental deletion during a work day) while not keeping too many
copies of older snapshots.
/backups_bydate/mordor on mordor is an NFS-mount to the
remote machine on which these backups physically reside. This allows
users on mordor to have direct access to their backups without manual
intervention by system administrators.
(See CAIA Technical Report
020927A for a discussion of the previous scheme CAIA used between 2002 and 2010)
up a CV on caia
On the public website our CVs are expected to be at
To achieve this, create a ~/public_html/cv directory on mordor, and
inside this directory there should be (at minimum) an index.html file.
The contents of each user's ~/public_html/cv directory are copied over
to caia's http://caia.swin.edu.au/cv/ every 30 minutes (on the hour and
Creating your public CV is as simple as writing an index.html, placing
it into your ~/public_html/cv directory on mordor, and waiting.
A sample index.html can be retrieved from here.
Network bootable tools
Many types of motherboards support 'network
boot' (or 'pxeboot') capabilities. On the CAIA network a machine using
pxeboot will receive an IP address from the DHCP server, and then be
directed to load and launch gpxelinux.0 from pxeboot.caia.swin.edu.au.
The pxeboot'ing machine will then be offered a collection of basic
tools via a simple on-screen menu. As of November 2011 these tools
include memtest86+, clonezilla, DBAN (BootAndNuke) and network bootable
versions of FreeBSD 8. (People on our intranet can poke around here to see what's on offer.)
This service is intended for development
or experimental purposes only -- once your machine is functioning
correctly, please switch to using a static IP address as assigned by
the centre director.
FreeBSD is supported in our lab
environment. It is a free,
complete, and open-source version of Unix. FreeBSD provides a
flexible and proven platform for prototyping advanced networking
protocols and services. In addition, FreeBSD's
Linux-binary compatibility means most user-space applications compiled
for Linux will run out of the box. And perhaps most importantly for
budding entrepreneurs, FreeBSD source is released under the "BSD"
license. Unlike GPL, the BSD license allows derivative works to be
commercialised (without releasing the source modifications) or released
openly as the authors see fit.
familiar with the installation
instructions from chapter
2 of the online FreeBSD documentation. Pay special attention to
instructions for creating an installation CD or DVD from a binary CD or
DVD image file. Image files are available locally under
booting from an installer CD or DVD you may chose to continue the
installation direct from the local CD or DVD, or pull the required
content over the network (if the CD drive noise annoys you).
- The local NFS
mount location is archive.caia.swin.edu.au:/cdroms/freebsd/XX (or
you have DNS problems), where XX represents the desired distribution. (e.g. "FreeBSD-8.1-RELEASE-i386-dvd1" for the i386 version of FreeBSD 8.1 installer DVD, etc --see http://archive.caia.swin.edu.au/isos/freebsd for available images, but drop the .iso extension when NFS-mounting a particular installer disk)
you're up and running the primary installation of FreeBSD you can
NFS-mount other disks with:
selection of pre-compiled FreeBSD packages can be found under
<your_local_mount_point>/packages and installed with pkg_add
<package.tgz>, or by running /stand/sysinstall configPackages and
specifying the NFS mount location of the
disk from which you want to grab and install packages.
images for various FreeBSD releases (required to burn your own
installer CD or DVD) are available via http:
server on archive.caia.swin.edu.au will only serve requests that come
from the following internet networks 136.186.228/24, 136.186.229/24 and 136.186.230/24. HTTP access to the ISOs and
CDROMs is limited to 136.186.228/24 and 136.186.229/24.]
Printing to the CAIA Print Server
CAIA has its own CUPS print server
at http://printserver.caia.swin.edu.au:631/. This server shares the
local Lab printer as well as other printers in the local photocopy
Secure access to lab network
If you are running FreeBSD or Linux (which use CUPS), you only need to
add the following line in /etc/cups/client.conf:
All printers shared by the printserver will be available locally, to
such as Acrobat, which do not use the desktop manager's printer
You may need to restart the applications before they recognise the new
To set Gnome to use the CAIA CUPS server (for Gnome applications), go
to System->Administration->Printing and select Server from the
top menu, and then Connect..., and type printserver.caia.swin.edu.au
into the text box.
The printer EN603_Cannon in the photocopy room can print double sided.
If using Windows, browse to http://printserver.caia.swin.edu.au:631/
(without going through the Swinbure proxy server) and select printers,
then select the printer you would like to add.
Copy the URL from your browser window, and create a new printer with
the Add Printer Wizard.
When prompted, paste the URL you copied as the printer URL. Proceed to
select a suitable driver and finish the wizard.
If you are adding the Canon Photocopier, the correct driver is
Secure access to the lab network
is provided through a secure shell (ssh) service on caia.swin.edu.au -
contact Grenville for an
account. Ssh clients are available from OpenSSH.org, and are included in
current FreeBSD and Linux distributions. You should not need to
manually install ssh unless you're running a Windows platform.
Ssh is preferred for all
situations where you might have used telnet in the past, inside or
outside the CAIA network. Scp (rcp over ssh) is the preferred method
for file transfers inside and outside the CAIA network
(caia.swin.edu.au and mordor.caia.swin.edu.au do not support any
telnet, rsh, rcp, etc...)
X11 under Windows (Cygwin/XFree86)
The open source (and free) implementation of XFree86 under Cygwin allows X11
clients on other machines in CAIA to be accessed from your Windows
desktop. We do not have local copies here, but the network-based
installation runs quite smoothly. Go to the Cygwin/XFree86 page and click
on the "Install now" link.
VNC (Virtual Network Computing [note: wikipedia link -- may not always be trustworthy])
allows you to remotely access a Windows desktop as a window on a local
X11 server, or access an remote X11 desktop through a window on a local
Windows machine. VNC was developed by AT&T Labs (Cambridge, UK)
[shut down as of April 2002, archived here
and commercialised here].
a number of VNC server and client applications available online and in
the FreeBSD Packages and Ports collections. Check out:
TightVNC, UltraVNC or RealVNC
Accessing Website Statistics
Comprehensive usage statistics of this website are
available to those inside CAIA. AWstats web based statistics for www.caia.swin.edu.au
can be accessed here.
(Note: Statistics will not be accessable if you are using the Swinburne