About Us

The Mesh

was formed by a group of Darwin based enthusiasts sharing common interests in computing, wireless, communications and electronics for tropical, remote regions and beyond.

We promote the use of Open Source Software and creative I.T solutions.

The goal of The Mesh is to assist in the collaborative foundation and promotion of Open source and alternative technologies and ideas. Including but not limited to community computing projects, education, ad-vocation and Community Wireless.

This site has been created to provide a centralised collection of web based resources to facilitate these goals.

The Mesh is fully commited to;

Open Source - Not for Profit

Through Open Source mechanisms we hope to advocate, encourage and support the construction of community based wireless networks and solutions.

All contributions are welcome! Check out the Wiki and our Forum.

The great winter migration...


Just a quick update to let you know that once again www.the-mesh.org is on the move!

We are migrating our services from Linode over to TransIP.eu

At the time of writing IRC is now being hosted from Europe. Over the coming weeks the remaining web applications will be moved and finally authentication will be fixed!

If there are any dramas you find feel free to harass me at kahn at this domain or hop in IRC.



SmartOS Home Datacenter - Update 1


Update 1: Alternative Migration Method via DD

Turns out when it came time to put my previous backup/restore doco to the test it failed with a "disk.*.0" JSON error from vmadm receive. I haven't looked into it yet though I thought I would list what I used to recover my firewall image


Recover /opt and /usbkey files 


1) All the hardware migration was complete so I had one of the two "zones" disks sitting on a USB 2 caddy. However now you have two zpools called "zones" what do to?


  zfs import zones usbpool


  NOTE: I had to use -f but excluded it so you can read the implications yourself first!


2) Mounting ZFS to a mountpoint (my GNU\Linux heritage showing) is a two step process.


  zfs set mountpoint=legacy usbpool/opt

  mount -F zfs usbpool/opt /opt/usb


3) Fortunately at this point I had a backup copy of the firewalls JSON (created with "vmadm get UUID >> vm.json").


  vmadm create -f /opt/usb/firewall.json


For me step three recreated the firewall image with a new UUID other than that specified in the JSON. It didn't really impact me but was not something I expected.


Recover VM images


1) Now my VM has been created at a new UUID we can migrated the disk image


  dd if=/dev/zvol/dsk/usbpool/19a7af4f-5441-4b3e-bedf-fd3a2c6223df-disk0 if=/dev/zvol/dsk/zones/471c4e6c-8feb-11e2-8bff-e33695415b08-disk0


2) Once complete you can disconnect your USB disk with


  umount /opt/usb

  zfs export usbpool

Building a SmartOS home data center

For the main bulk of my short career as a Systems Administrator I have been squarely sat in the Redhat Enterprise Linux (and friends) camp, however recently I became disheartend with a QNAP TS-410 hosting all of my production guests and data at home given a number of problems with the device such as:

  • Weak hardware leading to sad NFS and iSCSI response times
  • Administration that is relatively painful via its GUI interface
  • Generally suffering from security issues in the firmware
  • Uses no battery backed cache for the RAID10 (write cache disabled furthering the performance pain)
  • I am paranoid about loosing things so the appeal of # zfs scrub is very high!

Finally the primary reason for looking into a solution to replace my existing/old kit was:

  1. Wife Agro - My existing kit makes far too much heat in our small office during a typical Queensland summers day. It had to get consolidated!

So I needed to consolidate the following hardware:
2x Intel E8200 hosts running as KVM hosts on CentOS
1x Intel E4200 host running as a dedicated Sophos UTM 9 gateway
1x QNAP TS-410 with 4x 1TB SATA disks with a further 2x external 1TB standalone disks

Maintenance during Februrary

Hi All,
Kahn here again with a quick update.
1) Due to flooding and storm damage caused by the ex-cyclone Oswald I have had to take a number of locally hosted servers offline. This includes supporting hosts for the-mesh.org so for the time being we will have slight changes to accomodate! These will be primarily background and probably won't be noticed amogst all the other things I still need to attend too!
2) I don't really have a point two!

Checking in!

Hi All,
This is just a quick post to summarise a bit of work going on lately.

  1. We have recently implemented DNSSEC on the-mesh.org zone. There will be documentation to follow but for now you can be sure your talking to the our host.
  2. Continued effort goes into restoring archived content. There is currently a rather lengthy spider process running and will be made available soon
  3. We have implemented Piwik for web site analytics to help pinpoint resources we should focus on getting available again and to make dead links more noticeable (after all there are many!).

Lots more work is needed though we are slowly making our way through it all. If there is something particularly that your looking for jump in IRC and I can try to help you out.

Site is back up

As you may have already noticed, the site is back up and running. Big thanks to kahn for his efforts in getting things working again.

We're planning on being a little more active on the security side of the site, so with any luck we shouldn't have any future breaches.

Please let us know if you spot anything that's broken. Currently the user accounts are unavailable, but that should be sorted shortly once we restore our ldap database.

Will keep you posted.

The Mesh Crew

Layar has Landed - Being a Territory

Layar has landed as part of the DCA / Frontline / Being a Territory projects.




Once upon a time there was a dead snow leopard....

I'll tell you all a story about a magic environment where everything just works....

That is to say in Apple's ideal world where they can control everything and everyone only uses the software that they spoon feed them.

So that fact aside, unlike the frothing masses that bought Apple's OS X 10.7 Lion release just because it had shiny (not to mention useless, invasive and down right annoying) features I happened to be keen to take advantage of the native full disk encryption and explore what could be done to generally make my Apple products better.

The adventures of a HP client

Hi all,

While I normally wouldn't engage in such idle posting given my frustration today at work I figured raising a little awareness can't be a bad thing.

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