Time Machine for Arch Linux

I’ve been using Arch Linux for some years, and it’s still my favorite Linux distribution. The feature that distinguished Arch from others is its rolling release which means there’s no such a thing called version in Arch. Using latest packages in Arch is the norm.

However living on the edge means it’s not quite safe. After I installed a bunch of updates including Gnome Shell 3.28, my XPS 15 laptop had trouble to bring up external monitor. It even froze when I plug the HDMI in hot.

I tried to revert some packages like

sudo pacman -U /var/cache/packman/pkg/some-package-1.0.xx.pkg.tar.xz

But it didn’t solve the problem because there were hundreds of packages in last update.

Almost going to panic, I found this instruction to revert all packages to a snapshot in time. And it actually worked wonders for me.

Only surprise is when downgrading packages, I saw errors like

 package-name: /path/to/package-file exists in filesystem

Guess it’s a safe guarding mechanism of pacman but since I know what I was doing so I simply deleted those files. The final command is

sudo pacman -Syyuu

which will bring Arch Linux back to a point of time and the issue has been fixed 🙂


前院花坛的短墙是我刚刚搬家进来时修的, 当时比较仓促, 所以墙上有些砖缝比较不合格. 没想到今年夏天一窝马峰在此安家了, 日子还过的不错. 老婆在除草时显然惊扰了马蜂, 被蜇了一下慌忙撤退.

我本来想雇人搞定, 但在 YouTube 上搜了一下, 很多人都是自己动手不求人的. 当然方法很重要, 被马蜂群攻击是有生命危险的. 最重要的就是一定要夜袭, 因为夜间蜂群是回窝休息的, 附近没有巡逻兵. 我买了一瓶消灭蜂窝的干粉, 看起来像过期的白面. 一个宁静的晚上我悄悄接近蜂窝, 居然有些马蜂还在窝口处乘凉, 我把大量干粉喷洒在蜂窝口就迅速原路撤回, 因为一些马蜂已经起飞准备战斗了.

第二天早上我再去查看时, 那群马蜂已经玩完了 🙂

Kubernetes External Service with HTTPS

This is a quick example to assign an SSL certificate to a Kubernetes external service(which is an ELB in AWS). Tested with kops 1.8 and kubernetes 1.8.

apiVersion: v1
kind: Service
 name: my-https-service
 namespace: my-project
   app: my-website-ssl
   service.beta.kubernetes.io/aws-load-balancer-ssl-cert: "arn:aws:acm:ap-southeast-2:xxx:certificate/xxx..."
   service.beta.kubernetes.io/aws-load-balancer-backend-protocol: "http"
   service.beta.kubernetes.io/aws-load-balancer-ssl-ports: "https"
   service.beta.kubernetes.io/aws-load-balancer-connection-idle-timeout: '3600'
 type: LoadBalancer
   app: my-website
   - name: http
     port: 80
     targetPort: 80
   - name: https
     port: 443
     targetPort: 80


Get access to a container in Kubernetes cluster

With Kubernetes(K8s), there’s no need to do ssh [email protected] anymore since everything is running as containers. There are still occasions when I need shell access to a container to do some troubleshooting.

With Docker I can do

docker exec -ti <container_id> /bin/bash

It’s quite similar in K8s

kubectl exec -ti <container_id> -- /bin/bash

However in K8s containers have random IDs so I need to know the container ID first

kubectl get pods

Then I can grab the container ID and do the `kubectl exec` command. This is hard to automate because picking up the expected container ID using `grep` and `awk` commands can fail if the matching condition is too strict.

Given a deployment like this

apiVersion: extensions/v1beta1
kind: Deployment
 name: my-app-deploy
 replicas: 2
       app: my-app

the K8s way to query the container will be

kubectl get pods --selector=app=my-app -o jsonpath='{.items[0].metadata.name}'

A chained one-liner could be

kubectl exec -ti $(kubectl get pods --selector=app=my-app -o jsonpath='{.items[0].metadata.name}') -- /bin/bash

This doesn’t check for errors, eg. if no container matching `app=my-app` was found, but a better script can be easily crafted from here.