Fun Things To Do With An Antsle Nano!

Link: Fun things to do with an Antsle Nano!

* ANTSLE makes these really cool servers with some good virtualization software. They even have one based off the Raspberry Pi 4 with 4GB of ram. Check out Fun things to do with an Antsle Nano!

I recently got three nanos from Antsle on a buy one, get two free, deal. I have named them, predictably enough, nano-1, nano-2, and nano-3 (Well not actually, but if I told you their actual names, then blah-blah-blah would have to be done to you….)

Important: If anyone wants to donate an Antsle One, or an Antsle Two, I would very happily make sure all the things I am recommending here can also be done with these other cool appliances. Christmas is coming! πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

Introductory Message To the Antsle Community Forum

I posted this announcement about this wiki area to the Antsle Community Forum - https://antsle.com/forum/community/general/

I have definitely been enjoying my Antsle Nanos. I haven't had this much fun since my days contributing to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yggdrasil_Linux/GNU/XΒ 

I have been slowly getting up to speed on the latest things, and been hitting some bumps along the way. I have a way of tracking all the things I am doing that involves various private wiki pages structured according to kanban of tracking the various areas of things I want to do with my nanos.Β 

As I figure out many of these things, a lot the techniques can be scrubbed of private configurations, and then moved to public wiki pages. Maybe other people will get more joy from their nanos by having guides how to do these various things I am figuring out for myself.

https://www.thegarnet.net/computers/antsle_nano/start

This is a public wiki I welcome others nano related contributions. But to cut down on spam, I ask that contributors register. I am not sure if the emailing system is up or not for sending out registration verifications, so you might also ping me with the suggestion form at the bottom of the main page https://www.thegarnet.netΒ 

Add the name of your nano to the SSH login message

Article Status: Finished Applies to: All Antsle Appliances

When you ssh into the nano, you get a message of the day from the file /etc/motd.

I thought, β€œWouldn't it be nice if each nano would announce its name in that message.” And I liked the ascii text.

So I found this website https://www.coolgenerator.com/ascii-text-generator, and selected the font β€œelectronic”, and made some cool ascii text to add to tthe ssh login message of the day.

To easily edit this file, and any other configurations, I added Joe editor: Disclaimer: Be very very careful about doing any installs or configuration changes to the root login of the EdgeLinux on your Antsle nano. Antsle will not be responsible for support if you muck it up. Wherever possible, you should make changes within the antlets you create on your nano.

yum install joe

Now I can easily do:

jstar /etc/motd

 β–„β–„        β–„  β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„  β–„β–„        β–„  β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„             β–„β–„β–„β–„     
β–β–‘β–‘β–Œ      β–β–‘β–Œβ–β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–Œβ–β–‘β–‘β–Œ      β–β–‘β–Œβ–β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–Œ          β–„β–ˆβ–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–Œ    
β–β–‘β–Œβ–‘β–Œ     β–β–‘β–Œβ–β–‘β–ˆβ–€β–€β–€β–€β–€β–€β–€β–ˆβ–‘β–Œβ–β–‘β–Œβ–‘β–Œ     β–β–‘β–Œβ–β–‘β–ˆβ–€β–€β–€β–€β–€β–€β–€β–ˆβ–‘β–Œ         β–β–‘β–‘β–Œβ–β–‘β–‘β–Œ    
β–β–‘β–Œβ–β–‘β–Œ    β–β–‘β–Œβ–β–‘β–Œ       β–β–‘β–Œβ–β–‘β–Œβ–β–‘β–Œ    β–β–‘β–Œβ–β–‘β–Œ       β–β–‘β–Œ          β–€β–€ β–β–‘β–‘β–Œ    
β–β–‘β–Œ β–β–‘β–Œ   β–β–‘β–Œβ–β–‘β–ˆβ–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–ˆβ–‘β–Œβ–β–‘β–Œ β–β–‘β–Œ   β–β–‘β–Œβ–β–‘β–Œ       β–β–‘β–Œ β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„ β–β–‘β–‘β–Œ    
β–β–‘β–Œ  β–β–‘β–Œ  β–β–‘β–Œβ–β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–Œβ–β–‘β–Œ  β–β–‘β–Œ  β–β–‘β–Œβ–β–‘β–Œ       β–β–‘β–Œβ–β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–Œβ–β–‘β–‘β–Œ    
β–β–‘β–Œ   β–β–‘β–Œ β–β–‘β–Œβ–β–‘β–ˆβ–€β–€β–€β–€β–€β–€β–€β–ˆβ–‘β–Œβ–β–‘β–Œ   β–β–‘β–Œ β–β–‘β–Œβ–β–‘β–Œ       β–β–‘β–Œ β–€β–€β–€β–€β–€β–€β–€β–€β–€β–€β–€ β–β–‘β–‘β–Œ    
β–β–‘β–Œ    β–β–‘β–Œβ–β–‘β–Œβ–β–‘β–Œ       β–β–‘β–Œβ–β–‘β–Œ    β–β–‘β–Œβ–β–‘β–Œβ–β–‘β–Œ       β–β–‘β–Œ             β–β–‘β–‘β–Œ    
β–β–‘β–Œ     β–β–‘β–β–‘β–Œβ–β–‘β–Œ       β–β–‘β–Œβ–β–‘β–Œ     β–β–‘β–β–‘β–Œβ–β–‘β–ˆβ–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–„β–ˆβ–‘β–Œ         β–„β–„β–„β–„β–ˆβ–‘β–‘β–ˆβ–„β–„β–„ 
β–β–‘β–Œ      β–β–‘β–‘β–Œβ–β–‘β–Œ       β–β–‘β–Œβ–β–‘β–Œ      β–β–‘β–‘β–Œβ–β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–Œ        β–β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–‘β–Œ
 β–€        β–€β–€  β–€         β–€  β–€        β–€β–€  β–€β–€β–€β–€β–€β–€β–€β–€β–€β–€β–€          β–€β–€β–€β–€β–€β–€β–€β–€β–€β–€β–€ 

Later I might experiment with the fancy text generator on that site: https://www.coolgenerator.com/fancy-text-generator

You can use this same technique to add a cool name to the SSH login message for any antlets that you create. This can be an extra way to make sure you are doing SSH to the right location.

Avoiding having lots of idle orphaned SSH sessions

Article Status: Finished Applies to: All Antsle Appliances

I have one of my Antsle nano's exposed to the world on my public IP router address I get assigned from my internet provider. I have the router setup to DMZ to my first nano. So when I am out and about, and I have time to play with my nanos, I first SSH to my public IP address, login to the outer EdgeLinux on my first nano, and then immediately SSH to the particular antlet I want to play in, or maybe I SSH to the outer linux of one of the other nanos, and then SSH from there into one of its antlets.

Later, when my laptop goes to sleep, or when I run out of battery power, or I have to do something else, I lose the connection to that SSH, and the whole chain of SSH I had created. This results in an accumulation of lots of idle SSH sessions. You can see these when you use the ps aux command, or top command.

I found a great article about inactive SSH sessions https://haydenjames.io/kill-inactive-ssh-sessions/

There are many ways to get rid of them:

  • Use tree view for ps, and kill the process ID's of the orphaned SSH logins
  • occasionally reboot your nano.
  • change the timing of sshd to time out the ssh sessions.

After doing several builds of gcc in an antlet, I ended up with a steadily growing number of sleeping processes after the builds were finished. When you do ps or top from the outer EdgeLinux login, because the Antsle appliances use β€œbare metal” virtualization, (unlike the closed virtualization and compartmentalization of VMWare virtual machines), you will see all the processes running in the outer EdgeLinux of the appliance, and all the processes accumulating in all the running antlets. On mine, the list went from a few hundred, to close to 5000. I did not track down their cause for sleeping sessions to be left behind after builds, I decided on a reboot to eliminate all the cluttering SSH sessions and other processes.

The better solution to deal with the orphaned idle SSH sessions is to configure timeout. The antsle EdgeLinux does not come configured to time out the SSH sessions.

I do want my SSH sessions to live for a long time, but not too long. I decided that having sshd check every ten minutes, and to check 10 times before killing the session, would be a good amount of time. So I put this configuration change into the outer EdgeLinux of my antsle nano:

  • /etc/ssh/sshd_config
    • ClientAliveInterval 600
    • ClientAliveCountMax 10

These settings were commented out. This configuration change should also be put in every antlet, to make sure they dont accumulate inactive SSH sessions.

I am not sure if Antsle EdgeLinux in the outer appliance comes with any editors installed. I looked at the list of packages, and spotted VIM, but I dont know VIM. I like Joe's editor, since I learned wordstar key sequences decades ago. To install Joe, in the EdgeLinux SSH, just do:

  • yum install joe

You can then edit the above configuration file with

  • jstar /etc/ssh/ssh_config

It is probably possible to modify your downloaded templates to include this so all future antlets created from the templates include this from the start. For now I will just keep this on the list of things I do to prep an antlet after I create it, like customizing the MOTD.

Other things I want to do with my Antsle Nano appliances

More stuff that I am doing that I will be moving out here once I figure everything out. I track the progress on all of these things on private pages, which when I figure out what I am doing, will bring out the important details to share here in the public pages. If there is anything you would like to add to my lists, or any thoughts you have on these projects, or their priorities, please let me know…

In-progress

  • Trying to get .NET Preview 5 to play in an antlet
    • Right now I am exploring building various versions of gcc trying to get a later version of libstdc++ that can supply some dependencies from a later version of the library that .NET preview is asking for
  • Getting .NET Core running in antlets made from various templates, such as Debian 10 and CentOS 7
    • Fixing up some things missing with libicu

Soon to start

  • Is there a reason to prefer one Linux template over another?
    • The LEMP-stack template is built on Debian 10, so I thought maybe Debian 10 would be a good choice for creating a software building antlet, with complete compiler/developer toolchains, and I could build binaries to distribute to my other antlets.
    • But, the outer EdgeLinux of the nano appliance is now based on CentOS7. So it seems like learning the ins and outs of CentOS7 could be useful for any maintenance needed outside of an antlet (yes, I know, modifying the outer EdgeLinux of the nano appliance is something to be avoided if at all possible so that you can still get upgrades and support from Antsle.)
  • Things related to storage
    • Hooking up extra storage to my nanos
    • Testing the speed of various kinds of storage with my nanos
    • How to create a new zpool
      • How to move antlets between zpools
      • Can I get some better stats on the actual bytes in my zpools than the silly antman dimensionless progress bar?
      • Do we need an antman helper on the side to get more techie into the management of the nano appliance? It appears that AntMan lives in a java process, (why else does the outer EdgeLinux running top show a java process popping up over and over at the top of the list?) Unfortunately this makes it immutable from having things like the zpool graph improved by anyone other than antsle.
    • Can I set up an SMB (Windows/Mac) accessible private cloud storage, with the reliability of zfs underneath, that is backed up between the nanos with ADS?

Future projects:

  • Setting up first nano with a reverse proxy to select which antlet on which nano serves a particular website
  • Have a graphical linux desktop running in a nano accessible via VNC?
  • ARM Windows running in a nano?
    • Note that with .NET Core running in a nano antlet, I can use the latest microsoft programming technologies without having to have any licenses for microsoft servers underneath the programming. This is exciting if you are on a shoestring budget.
  • How to restore a nano appliance from scratch, from creating the boot micro SD card from scratch, etc. - If I mess up the outer EdgeLinux of one of my nanos too badly, or I need to restore one of them to factory spec in order to apply an upgrade, I am probably eventually going to have to know how to do this.
computers/antsle_nano/start.txt Β· Last modified: 2020/07/26 17:49 by thegarnet
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