Upgrading Affinity systems with unreliable Internet connections

If your Affinity has a slow or intermittant Internet connection, there is a possibility of problems ocurring during a firmware upgrade. The system can enter a fault state when an upgrade takes a significantly long time or is interrupted. To guard against this, it is possible to download a mirror copy of the firmware onto the filesystem of the Affinity itself. It can then upgrade itself using this copy as the upgrade source. The process is essentially identical to using a local mirror site with the exception that it uses the device itself as its own mirror server.

The Affinity should have access to the Internet during the download step but it does not need Internet access while it is actually upgrading. If the download process is interrupted, it can be easily restarted and it will continue from the point at which it failed. The operation of the Affinity is not affected during the download (other than by creating a bandwidth requirement) so this process can be repeated safely and incrementally until it is complete.

Platinum systems use the rsync protocol to update their firmware to the latest revision. rsync is an extraordinarily flexible tool but can be rather complex. The upgrade script on the Affinity is a front-end to rsync which is used to hide this complexity and ensure the safe use of the protocol.

Setting up an Affinity as its own upgrade mirror involves four steps:

  • Downloading the mirror content;
  • Setting up the Affinity as a local rsync server;
  • Configuring the Affinity to use itself as an upgrade server; and
  • Performing the upgrade.

The procedure is slightly different for systems with different architectures so the instructions have been split into three. This set only covers Affinity systems. If you are attempting to upgrade an EAM, DM24SxEAM, *TDE instrument or MkⅡ NAM, please select one of the links below:

Downloading the mirror content

Caution: It is essential to ensure that sufficient space is available before starting the download step.

The mirror content occupies a significant amount of disk space, so it is important to check the available space before proceeding. To check the space available, log on to the command line of your Affinity and type the command:

df -h

The output consists of a table with several lines of content, such as:

DemoAffy ~ # df -h
Filesystem                Size      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/ubi1_0             542.1M    324.8M    212.5M  60% /
/dev/ubi0_0              15.3M      5.2M      9.2M  36% /boot
/dev/ubi1_1             233.8M     62.1M    166.9M  27% /usr
/dev/ubi1_2              53.2M      3.1M     47.3M   6% /var/log
DemoAffy ~

Look for the row where the value in the "Mounted on" column is "/". In the example above, the available space is 212.5 MB.

These systems require around 110 MB of free space to store the upgrade image. Only proceed if you have enough space.

Next, enter the following command sequence to download the mirror content.

mkdir /home/Pt-firmware-mirror.local
cd /home/Pt-firmware-mirror.local
GSLSRC=rsync.guralp.com/platinum-stable/CMG-DAS
rsync -EgHloprtv --exclude resolv.conf rsync://$GSLSRC .

Note: Be careful not to omit the final ‘.’ or the space before it in the rsync command above.

These commands download the appropriate firmware image from Güralp’s server. If a command fails for any reason, it can be repeated. It causes no harm to repeat a command even if it appears to have succeeded.

The final output from a successful download looks like this (although the numbers may be different):

⋮
CMG-DAS/var/spool/recdata/.keep
CMG-DAS/var/spool/to-rdisk/
CMG-DAS/var/spool/to-rdisk/.keep
CMG-DAS/var/tmp/
CMG-DAS/var/tmp/.keep

sent 52,768 bytes  received 91,126,040 bytes  6,753,985.78 bytes/sec
total size is 90,933,054  speedup is 1.00
DAS1234 ~ #

A repeated download, after a successful download, looks like this (although the numbers may be different):

DAS1234 ~ # rsync -EgHloprtv --exclude resolv.conf rsync://$GSLSRC .
receiving incremental file list

sent 418 bytes  received 74,456 bytes  49,916.00 bytes/sec
total size is 90,933,054  speedup is 1,214.48
DAS1234 ~ #

Problems?

The most common problems experienced at this stage are:

rsync reports “Temporary failure in name resolution

If you see error messages like

rsync: getaddrinfo: rsync.guralp.com 873: Temporary failure in name resolution
	rsync error: error in socket IO (code 10) at clientserver.c(122) [receiver=3.0.2]

it means that the Domain Name Service (DNS) client is misconfigured. If you are running DHCP, this may be a problem with your DHCP server not providing the address of a nameserver (or providing an incorrect one). If you are using static addressing, check and correct the namesever using the net-setup tool.

rsync reports “Network is unreachable

If you see error messages like

rsync: failed to connect to rsync.guralp.com: Network is unreachable (101)
	rsync error: error in socket IO (code 10) at clientserver.c(122) [receiver=3.0.2]

it means that the network routing is misconfigured. If you are running DHCP, this may be a problem with your DHCP server not providing a default route (or providing an incorrect one). If you are using static addressing, check and correct the default route using the net-setup tool.

rsync reports “rsync error

If you see error messages like

rsync error: received SIGINT, SIGTERM or SIGHUP (code 20) at rsync.c(541)

it means that, most probably, a firewall is blocking traffic on the rsync port. Ask your network administrator to permit the Affinity to open TCP connections to host rsync.guralp.com on port 873.

Setting up an rsync server

The rsync server is configured by creating the file /etc/rsyncd.conf using the following commands:

cat >/etc/rsyncd.conf <<EOF
port = 61616
[platinum-local-mirror]
path = /home/Pt-firmware-mirror.local
comment = Platinum firmware
numeric ids = yes
log file = /var/log/rsync.log
timeout = 600
hosts allow = *
EOF

Once the /etc/rsyncd.conf file is in place, you should start the rsync server with the command

rsync --daemon

Configuring the upgrade system to use the local server

Create the file /etc/conf.d/upgrade.local using the following commands:

cat >/etc/conf.d/upgrade.local <<EOF
RSYNC_HOST="localhost"
RSYNC_PORT="61616"
RSYNC_MODULE="platinum-local-mirror"
RSYNC_ADDITIONAL_OPTS="--no-delay-updates --delete-during"
EOF

Perform the upgrade

The system can now be updated from the mirror by using the upgrade command.

Further Reading

rsync is a fascinating and elegant solution to many file transfer problems. Further information is available from the rsync documentation page.

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