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Raspberry - Raspbian - First steps

Installing a new Raspberry Pi is always the same few steps, and still I have to look them up almost every time. Here is the summary.

 

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Certificate expiration date in Ansible

In one of my Ansible Playbooks I'm updating Let's Encrypt certificates. Because the Playbook is rather long, I want to make sure that Ansible is not spending cycles on a certificate which is not about to expire. Hence I wrote a small filter plugin, which receives the certificate path and the number of days the certificate must be still valid.

This plugin is used to filter out any "good" certificate which does not need to be updated.

 

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Reading data from my Scuba Diving computer after Linux removed IrDA support

When I go Scuba Diving, I use two diving computers. It's always good to have a fallback, right? My main computer is a ScubaPro Uwatec Galileo Luna. That's a wrist mounted computer with hoseless air-integration. That means that a sender is connected to the first stage of the regulator, and it transmits data to the wrist computer. In addition the computer records data like depths, consumption, temperature, alarms ect. My fallback is an air-integrated console mounted Suuntu Cobra. I check this computer too when I'm under water, but mostly for the most conservative reading for the safety stop.

The Luna computer has an IrDA port, and using a USB Infrared Adapter (I'm using an IRwave 3902B500) I was able to read all the dive logs from the computer into Subsurface. However at some point, Linux decided that IrDA is no longer worth supporting, and they removed the support and modules in Linux 4.17.

Bummer.

It's possible to read the most basic data about each dve on the computer display itself, but you won't get all the details, and the profiles.

 

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Ansible: copy a directory recursive

Recently I was looking for a way to copy a directory with all subdirectories, using Ansible. For reasons beyond this post I couldn't use the synchronize (rsync) module. So I had to find a way to copy everything with basic Ansible steps.

 

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Replace and re-add a failed drive to a Linux software RAID

Most of my systems run on a software RAID 1 configuration (that is, two disks, where each disk is mirrored to the other). This way, one of the disks can fail and still all the data is available.

If a disk failure happens, the disk is replaced with a similar disk, and then needs to be configured and re-added to the RAID.

Newer systems all use the GUID partition table (GPT), and therefore allow almost unlimited disk sized. Instructions for re-adding a disk using GPT are a bit different from the days when MBR (up to 2 TB disk space) was used, therefore I'm writing them down here for future use.

 

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Weather Forecast in openHAB based on OpenWeatherMap, using Ansible

After setting up OpenWeatherMap in openHAB, I had another project on my list: send a forecast for the next day.

That is rather easy to do with a Cron rule.

 

 

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Install OpenWeatherMap in openHAB, using Ansible

Next item on my home automation todo list: weather, and forecast. No good system without that data!

After exploring the options which openHAB supports, I settled for OpenWeatherMap. Note: you need an account with OWM, the basic functionality is free, the paid options give you more and better forecast.

And of course, I install everything using Ansible, and can just repeat the entire installation if something does not work.

This setup is also used in a weather forecast for tomorrow.

 

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Avoid "wear out" of SSD-cards in an openHAB system

You might know that problem: the brand new SSD in your system is super fast, but after a good time using it, the card is dead. Unlike spinning disks, which usually fail over time, and show I/O errors by blocks, SSD cards are prone to a problem called "Wear leveling". Blocks which are written more often will "wear out", and become unresponsible. More writes increase this risk. And a typical openHAB system does a number of writes all the time: every time an external status changes, it's written to the event log. By default the syslog is written to disk as well, and then there is a myriad of systemd services, writing status information into files.

 

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Configure a FRITZ!Box in openHAB, using Ansible

A while ago I posted about adding a Fritz!Box to openHAB, using Ansible. Now I had to use the Playbook to install another Raspberry, and found that some parts are missing in my posting. Mostly at the end, when it comes to configuring the Fritz!Box.

Therefore let's run over all the steps again, and make sure that everything is covered.

 

 

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if-up and if-down scripts with systemd

Everybody likes systemd, right? Well, not everybody. Who thought it might be a good idea to replace existing init systems with something which is big, monolithic, and not even feature complete?

A simple task: execute a script when an interface comes up, or goes down.

In the old days, on Debian or Ubuntu, one just added pre-up and post-down scripts in /etc/network/interfaces. But now, that file is gone, or empty. Ubuntu comes with netplan, which nobody else seems to use - luckily. NetworkManager is not used all the time, so one can't depend on that either. And systemd does not have an option to do something simple like taking care of interfaces coming up and down. You can write yourself a target, but that only fires for the first time, not every time.

In the end, you have to listen to D-Bus messages. And suddenly the simple task of running a simple script turns into developing a full-featured daemon with D-Bus capabilities.

Someone else already took the stab, and developed networkd-dispatcher.

 

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