Category Archives: Automation

Elegantly resizing a Linux LVM volume in a virtual machine…

I’ve seen many articles on how to resize a LVM volume after increasing a virtual disk capacity. Most write-ups call for adding partitions and simply adding them to the volume group. While it is simple, it’s not future proof since the number of partitions is limited.

Here’s the way I do it. I hope you enjoy!

  1. Resize your virtual disk (this depends on your hypervisor, I use VMware so YMMV)
  2. Shut down the VM, find an ISO that has GParted. I use PartedMagic but the GParted Live ISO works too.
  3. Boot from the ISO, start GParted.
    1 GParted
  4. Select the LVM physical volume, right click on it then click on deactivate.
    2 Deactivate
  5. Then right click on Resize/Move
    3 Resize
  6. Resize the partition (here, sda2, yours might be different)
    4 Resize
  7. Apply the changes by clicking the green checkmark in the toolbar at the top. Click Apply in the popup.
    5 Apply
  8. Don’t forget to reactivate the LVM physical volume.
    6 Activate
  9. In the terminal, enter the following commands (volume group names may vary) do an ls /dev/ if you’re not sure.
    #extend the volume
    lvm lvextend /dev/lv_hostname/lv_root /dev/sda2
    #check the filesystem for inconsistencies
    e2fsck -f /dev/lv_hostname/lv_root
    #resize the filesystem
    resize2fs /dev/lv_hostname/lv_root
  10. Shut down the VM, unmount the iso.
  11. You’re done.

Namaste.

Quick MDT 2012 facts

I’ve been quite busy lately so I’ll try to be quick… I would like to share my discoveries on MDT 2012 and the information I gathered while I was migrating from MDT 2010.

  • Mikael Nystrom’s step by step on how to update BIOS in MDT still works perfectly.
  • Andrew Barnes’ how to integrate BGInfo into WinPE still works, and even better, MDT 2012 comes with a 64-bit version of BGInfo (located at %deploymentshare%\Tools\x64).
  • It is no longer needed to have a custom pane to set local administrators in MDT 2012. Instead use the “SkipAdminAccounts=NO” property in CustomSettings.ini. Please note that the administrators accounts page only appears if you selected “Join a domain” as I mention on the TechNet Forums.
  • Thanks to Michael Niehaus, DaRT integration is now fully supported in MDT 2012. I talked about this earlier but it’s always good to reiterate the benefits of software assurance.
  • A very interesting new feature of MDT 2012 is monitoring. It can be enabled in a few simple steps: Navigate to your deployment share properties, go to the last tab called “Monitoring”, check the box called “Enable monitoring for this deployment share”. Then click OK. It should work right away… A good way to check is to look at your CustomSettings.ini for a new line called “EventService=http://myserver.corp/contoso.com“. Is you run into issues there is always this good troubleshooting article. Used in conjonction with DaRT, you can remotely control deployments from a central location.
  • Another feature that might not be actually that new but still useful is the “SLSHARE=” property. It allows you to set a network share where the logs are written during the deployment. This is particularly useful when your helpdesk people forget to capture logs if a deployment fails. A good security practice it to set a sticky bit, using the user directory technique on that particular folder since logs may contain sensitive information.
  • You are now able to use only one (32-bit) boot image to initiate both 32-bit and 64-bit deployments. A word of caution, though, if you need to use DaRT to repair an install you will need to boot the appropriate architecture.

Namaste.

How to install iTunes on Windows with MDT

I came across the need to deploy iTunes using MDT (2010 or 2012). Unfortunately, there is no way to run the usual setup file with switches.
The key is to expand the installer (using 7-zip) and then create hidden applications for each component (that also allows you to prevent Bonjour or Apple Software update from installing…).
Install the MSI files in this order:
ApplicationSupport.msi
MobileDeviceSupport.msi
SoftwareUpdate.msi
Quicktime.msi
Bonjour.msi
iTunes.msi
Using this command: msiexec /i XXX.msi /qb REBOOT=ReallySuppress
(where xxx is the msi filename, of course)
It also works for the 64-bit version. Every time there is an update of iTunes, simply overwrite the files on your network share.
Namaste.

How to set the network adapter order from the command line.

You will notice that now matter how you install your operating system, the network adapters order is very likely to be wrong, usually with the wireless adapter at the top.

How to find out:
  • Open the Control Panel.
  • Open “Network and Sharing Center”.
  • On the left pane, click on “Change Adapter Settings”.
  • Press the Alt key on your keyboard then on the menu bar that appears, click Advanced > Advanced settings.
  • On the first tab, “Adapters and Bindings” check what connection is at the top.
Now, there’s a way to automate this for enterprise deployment: Hyper-V Network VSP Bind Application.
This utility is not intended to be used on client Operating Systems but indeed works great. All the info is here: http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/nvspbind
Simply copy the executable to a known location and execute the following command:
nvspbind /++ “Local Area Connection” *
Where /++ puts the adapter named “Local Area Connection” at the top for all protocols with *
Namaste.