Dispatches From The Geeks

News and Announcements from the MCS Systems Group

File Server Maintenance, Saturday 10/1.

We’ve scheduled this Saturday, 10/1 from 9AM onward (all day) to finally migrate the rest of our unix homes off the aging file server onto our new one. To do this, we need to take the home filesystem offline. This will not affect e-mail, web, or other services beyond the MCS linux computing infrastructure (https://wiki.mcs.anl.gov/IT/index.php/Linux). During this period, you will not be able to login to any MCS workstations or compute servers, including login.mcs.anl.gov. After the migration is complete, all linux workstations and compute servers that use this home directory server will be rebooted.

If this poses an inconvenience to you that would require us to reschedule this, please let us know now. I will make another announcement on Thursday unless we reschedule due to your requests or issues we encounter in the prep for this.


Written by Craig Stacey

September 26, 2016 at 11:36 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Emergency file server reboot

We’re still seeing issues with our primary file server, and it’s resulting in severe degradation of service at this point, to where logins aren’t being handled. We’re going to be rebooting it shortly. Some machines may require a reboot after this is done. Stand by for updates.

Written by Craig Stacey

September 22, 2016 at 5:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

File server back in operation

The previously announced outage should be resolved.

Written by Craig Stacey

September 20, 2016 at 10:19 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Unexpected file server outage

Planned power work in the data center took out our file server (which should have stayed up due to redundancy, but we think we may have a bad power supply). The team’s working to bring it back as we speak. Thanks for your patience.

Written by Craig Stacey

September 20, 2016 at 10:03 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Slight change in upgrade schedule

vanquish has a long-running job on it, so we will postpone its rebuild until we can work with the owner of the job.

crank has suffered a disk error, so its rebuild is being accelerated to this week (today).

Sorry for any inconvenience, and thanks for your patience.

Written by Craig Stacey

September 8, 2016 at 9:07 am

Posted in Uncategorized

thwomp is upgraded to 14.04. More machines tomorrow (vanquish is delayed).

Written by Craig Stacey

September 7, 2016 at 2:36 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Compute server upgrades continue

We’re pushing through on updating the remaining 64 bit compute nodes to Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty. Here’s the schedule:

This week (through Sep 9)



Next week (Sep 12-16)



Week 3 (Sep 19-23)




Week 4 (Sep 26-30)



Week 5 (Oct 3-7)


During each rebuild, the machine will be unavailable for some portion of that day. We’ll announce the shutdown on the machine itself to all logged-in users 30 minutes prior to shutdown. After the machine is rebuilt, you’ll need to recreate any crontabs you had in place. Also note /sandbox is not backed up and data will be lost – never keep data in /sandbox that can’t be easily reproduced.

If you notice software packages missing or other oddities, please report them to help@cels.anl.gov.

We’ll start this week’s batch of machines tomorrow (Wednesday, September 7).

Let us know if this presents any problems.

Written by Craig Stacey

September 6, 2016 at 9:58 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Confluence upgrade complete

Confluence has been updated. When you login to https://collab.cels.anl.gov you may get a popup pointing out some of the changes. Let us know if you have any issues.


Written by Craig Stacey

August 30, 2016 at 9:01 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Reminder: collab.cels.anl.gov (confluence service) maintenance outage: Aug 30, 2016, 5-8PM

Just a reminder the outage announced on Friday is happening at 5PM today. Thanks!

Written by Craig Stacey

August 30, 2016 at 4:02 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

collab.cels.anl.gov (confluence service) maintenance outage: Aug 30, 2016, 5-8PM

Hi, all. Our confluence server is behind the latest version by a few releases now, so we’d like to take the server down and bring it up to the current version. We’re expecting it won’t take this long, but we’re making the outage window 3 hours, from 5PM until 8PM on Tuesday, August 30. During this time, https://collab.cels.anl.gov will be unavailable. No data will be lost, though after the upgrade you may find some of the options for using it have changed (menu items may have moved, etc.)

If this timing poses a problem for you, please let us know so we can reschedule as necessary.


Written by Craig Stacey

August 26, 2016 at 10:16 am

Posted in Uncategorized