Tag Archives: debian

Adding a Storage Drive to Gigastrand NVR

Using a secondary storage drive was not originally in the design for the Gigastrand NVR software however, it is a critical feature for many users to be able to separate out the video storage from their main system drive. It also solves a host of other issues with storage and even allows for an external device or a RAID to be used for storage.

At some point we will release a script file to do this automatically. For now, this is how you can do it manually. NOTE: This could result in data loss if not done properly. If you are not comfortable doing this on your own, Gigastrand can help you remotely.

  1. Format and setup the drive (using Parted or Gparted)
    1. NOTE: If you format the drive EXT3, the rest of the instructions will work fine. Otherwise, in step 4, change ext3 to the file system that you set the drive up with.
  2. Mount secondary drive (ex. sdb1, sda2) in /etc/kmotion/images_dbase
    sudo mount sdb1 /etc/kmotion/images_dbase

    1. NOTE: Rename the folder (ex. images_dbase2) before mounting if you want to copy information over later.
  3. edit fstab (/etc/fstab) as root (right-click on the file>Root Actions>Open As Text)
  4. Add the line:

    /dev/sdb1 /etc/kmotion/images_dbase ext3 relatime,errors=remount-ro 0 2

  5. Save the file
  6. Open the drive
  7. Change ownership to active user (right-click>Root Actions>Ownership to Active User)
  8. Edit /etc/apache2/envvars as root
  9. add the following 2 lines
    export APACHE_RUN_USER=user
    export APACHE_RUN_GROUP=user
  10. restart Apache

    sudo service apache2 restart

It wouldn’t hurt to restart the computer to make sure all the settings took hold but that is optional. Be sure to stop the NVR before you start and start the NVR (icons on the desktop) once complete.

 

Gigastrand NVR: Drive Full, not recycling

Twice we have seen where the drive appears to fill up but there is no apparent reason for the drive being full. Three of the reasons we have seen so far are caused by 3 different but related issues.

1. Apache errors – for some unknown reason, the Apache log file (located in /var/log/apache2/) grows to an incredible size. Deleting the log file resolves this issue.
2. Virtual Ramdisk error – The Gigastrand NVR has a virtual ramdisk where it caches images. Sometimes (especially if the motion daemon is fiddled with) the ramdisk will start writing to the user folder. Deleting the files and and NVR restart will resolve that issue as well.
3. If you have a full compliment of cameras, the default storage size of 20Gb will fill up very fast (less than 12 hours in some cases). This is too fast for the machine to effectively clean up. This issue manifests itself in the same way as the other 2 issues, but the system is essentially working.

To fix the third issue, edit the /etc/kmotion/kmotion_rc file and change the images_dbase_limit_gb to something higher than 20Gb but less than your available storage.

 

Gigastrand By the numbers 2016

The stats are in for 2016 and this is what they say.

In 2016, Windows PC sales accounted for 0% of all sales. All personal computer sales were 100% Gigastrand OS.

In 2016, for every Windows-based video security device sold, Gigastrand sold 3 Gigastrand NVR systems.

Revenue in 2016 doubled from 2015.

New unit sales were up 400% in 2016.

Conversions (taking a customer PC and upgrading it to Gigastrand) was up 400% over 2015.

January 2016 saw a new sales record. January 2017 is projected to beat it by 50%.

We have had an incredible 2016 thanks to our customers. Here is to a very bright 2017!

 

Gigastrand NVR: Refresh Repositories Before Install

If you attempt to install Gigastrand NVR immediately after a fresh install of Gigastrand OS, you will want to refresh the package list before you do. If you don’t, the NVR software will look like it installs, but will miss several critical steps resulting in failure.

You can refresh the package list in 2 ways.

1. Open a terminal and type

sudo apt-get update

2. Open Apper; click on Updates; click Check for New Updates.

This will refresh the packages so you can install the NVR software fully. The operating system will refresh the packages automatically – eventually. This is a bit faster.

Gigastrand to Give Away Over 400 Copies of OS

Gigastrand will give away over 400 DVD copies of its OS from December 1 – 31. Once gone, Gigastrand will cease production of individual DVD copies except in the case of specific products.

The copies will be distributed both online and locally. Some will be retail packages, but most will be individual discs. Copies bought online will be at a reduced price to cover shipping and handling.

This giveaway is a part of the annual holiday giveaway to promote the Gigastrand OS and do something special for our customers. It is a fantastic opportunity to get a copy of Gigastrand OS with all the improvements we’ve done recently.

If you are looking for something truly free and to satisfy that desire for instant gratification, Gigastrand OS Download might be more your speed. You can burn it to a disc using a program like infrarecorder or copy it to a USB drive with unetbootin.

Regardless of how you get Gigastrand OS, get it now before these offers expire.

Please Vote for Gigastrand OS on Distrowatch

Nearly 2 years and 3 versions ago, Gigastrand OS was submitted to Distrowatch. We are listed on the site but, like some other distros, we are sort of stuck in limbo on the Distrowatch site. There is a list where you can recommend / vote for a distro to move it along in the process.

For those who do not know what Distrowatch is, it is a website that lists and tracks all of the different Linux distributions. It has been around for a long time and is the go to place for Linux enthusiasts.

We would like to see how many votes we can get from our users on the site. The first thing you have to do is go to the Distrowatch website (link below).

https://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=submit

Next find Gigastrand OS. An easy way to do this is to do a CtrL + f to open the find dialog. This will allow you to search the page and works in Chrome and most browsers.

Then, click the Recommend button next to Gigastrand OS. This will submit your vote for Gigastrand OS.

In the meantime, we are giving away the download version of Gigastrand OS for FREE until the end of the year as a thank you for supporting us through version 3.4. I personally feel that v3.4 is the best version of Gigastrand OS we have ever come out with.

Let’s see how many votes Gigastrand OS can get on Distrowatch!

We tried a web traffic service – guess what we found.

About a month ago, we tried one of the many web traffic services from fiverr and analyzed the traffic. This is what we found:

  1. The traffic being driven to the site looked like a denial of service attack (DDoS). It was all bots, all Windows desktop PCs, and all highly suspect. While it was not a denial of service attack in the sense that it crashed the website, the traffic looked very much like a DDoS attack if it were done once every few seconds or so.
  2. The visitors were from different IPs. So it looked like unique visitors and sessions, but it was all bots.
  3. The product did not significantly impact bounce rate. It remained pretty much the same. Some bots would hang around and browse a couple of links at random to keep the bounce rate low. It was pretty easy to see what were bots and what were actual people as the browsing habits were different. Time per page was different.
  4. The product was advertised as “qualified” traffic. Not in the least. Bots from compromised Windows PCs do not count.
  5. The product was advertised as “unlimited” for 30 days. We got 700 to 800 sessions per day.
  6. The product was advertised as “1000+” visitors per day. We got 700 to 800 “visitors” per day.

The product as advertised is more or less a scam. It didn’t deliver what was promised and what it did deliver was on the backs of people with compromised machines (spyware/malware/virus) and that just isn’t right. If you have a low bounce rate, it will most likely drive the bounce rate up despite some of the countermeasures.

The most annoying thing it did was make it very difficult to properly analyze the qualified visitors. When we write an article and post it, the stats spike when people look at our post. It was very difficult to tell how big of a spike we had when we posted.

So, we are only out $6 in total but well worth the lesson. We won’t ask for our money back because we feel we got what we really were after out of it.

We are unable to review it on fiverr for some unknown reason.

Gigastrand’s 12 year old computer

In 2004, about the time Gigastrand was called LinspireNetwork, we built a computer. It was a secondary computer designed to run Linspire – a Linux OS we sold at the time. When Gigastrand was formed, it became the primary PC for Gigastrand in 2006.

pcdv0005

Since then, it has performed a number of tasks. In 2012, it was a development machine for Gigastrand OS and one of the first machines to be loaded with the new OS. It later became the Gigastrand internal server. I have written about it several times on the Mr. Gigabytes Blog and on LinspireNetwork (the predecessor of Gigastrand – long since defunct).

While this is the best documented PC, it is possibly not the oldest. From 2001 – 2004, Gigabytes Computer Store used a very specific type of computer case to build their PCs. We currently have one of those computers on our shelf.

cp1

When we found it, it was pretty much as you see it in the picture. Now it has been spray painted black and once served as a media center for my home. It has been recently restored as a media center in my home.

img00018

The story of longevity does not end there. From 1997 to 2006, I owned a Gateway 2000 PC that I kept running and functional. It served as the Gigabytes Computer Store’s point of sale and was eventually painted green and sold.

greenpos 1124_002greenpos

My home DVR has run since 2009 on all original hardware (sans main hard drive) and my original Gigastrand laptop ran for nearly 9 years before giving up the ghost in 2013.

2012-10-18-23-15-42

So, when it comes to choosing your next PC, are you going to choose one mass produced that might last a year or so? Or, will you choose one from a builder that knows how to make one that lasts?