Linux and UPS

We had an outage here at eigenmagic, and as I was at a customer site I couldn’t attend to the cause until just now. We had thunderstorms here in Melbourne, and I suspected that it may have knocked out the power to the house where eigenmagic.com lives. It happened, very briefly, on the weekend, and one of the other machines didn’t come back by itself. Taking J.D.’s recent post about his laptop hard-disk dying to heart, I bit the bullet and went out and got myself an APC brand Uninterruptible Power Supply, or UPS. I’d wanted one for ages, but never went and did it.

It turns out that the Netgear ADSL2+ modem I have was to blame. It seems to be very sensitive to line voltage on the phoneline, and every couple of months it loses the link, and won’t re-establish it by itself, which sucks.

No more! The BACK-UPS CS 500 that I now proudly own is feeding this desktop machine right now. The server is next, so expect a small outage as I migrate it to protected power. But here’s the best bit: Linux supports it!

Specifically, Ubuntu Feisty Fawn. I didn’t need to install any software; the little icon just popped up as soon as I plugged in the USB cable that came with the UPS. Neato! I can even set the shutdown delay via a little GUI menu thingo that pops up if I right-click on the toolbar icon. Totally sweet. I’m glad a bought a decent brand of UPS now, as it’s made my life that much easier.

Well done to the Ubuntu folks who made this piece of software work the way it should!

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