The story of how to get from the Mac to the server RMM module, but not without Windows

A strange combination of circumstances forced me to make a decision today, from the category of things simple but incompatible, which I want to tell you about. As usual, I’ll start from afar, there will be a lot of thoughts, small thoughts and very microscopic distractions, so those who wish will have a wonderful opportunity to soak up the spirit of history and simultaneously think about their own. The story will be about the server, and about Windows and Mac OS, about admin weekdays and holidays, and even (a little) about Java.

First, a little about the commonplace. We all know that servers usually do not stand quite close by, say, under a table, and if the server suddenly stops responding, look “what did it pop up on the monitor?” Alas, it won’t work. No, I do not exclude the situation that the server you have is under your desk and serves office mail or 1C, if so, then maybe you (do not) need the wonders of remote access (yet) and a regular wired KVM can easily solve your problems, when you suddenly have to look at the blue / black (choose to your taste) screen. Servers in our world most often are located in data centers, access to which to “see”, if not very limited by all sorts of throughput systems, is at least inconvenient due to the fact that the data center is usually as luckless on the other side of the city. Do not run into every failure. But…

But, civilization has invented a sufficient number of ways to somehow reach out to close servers. We immediately exclude the gift of clairvoyance, telekinesis, and other isoterics, as well as communication with the technical support of the hoster: “can you connect the KVM to the 555 server? No free? Free in three hours? And here the voting is going on, help, well ... ". Well, actually, and so on. Many who keep the server on the sites, and not in such situations have fallen. But no, progress will save us all the same: there are more “ideologically correct” remote control methods that completely exclude the human factor. But here is only hope for yourself ...

Once I calmly connected the server with COM-ports “criss-cross” and they were great for managing each other. The BIOS could redirect the output to the console, the OS itself after loading, too, and since the entire exchange was completely textual, they lived and didn't know any troubles. The main thing was not to print the file for a couple of megs, and then 115,000 baud is still not the most productive connection. But all this remarkably allowed not to go to data centers when firewalls got off, ports fell off and evil dos came. Reset the server with an IP-controlled socket and there was no problem either. You want - BIOS reconfiguration, you want to load in the single user, you could even repair the raids.

But ... Remember, maybe, especially the "glamorous" BIOS on 386-486 machines that were controlled by the mouse and worked in graphical mode? I thought that I would never see such a thing again. There it was! The next new server turned out to be the RAID controller controller ... just graphic and with the mouse! I won’t understand the logic of the Adaptek engineers, but the console turned out to be more unsuitable. The picture of an ideal world was completely ruined. But here, in the study of any associated server economy, our first hero of today was found. It turned out to be a scarf the size of a photograph on a passport, with an RJ-45 connector, called RMM, which means Remote Management Module, "remote control module." It is inserted into the server, connected to the motherboard, and in addition to purely KVM things: capturing images from the screen, emulating a USB mouse and keyboard, can mount CD / DVD-ROM drives, flash drives, make the notorious Reset, and even turn the machine off and on (!). Everything was done with the help of a simple web interface and a Java application working through Web Start. The solution was so perfect that I even began to put the servers on the site “naked” and set everything remotely. In general, he lived-not-grieve, until the second protagonist of this story appeared.

I must say, I love small laptops, such that they work autonomously for a long time and do not greatly pull the shoulder in the bag. Server nasty things often happen at the most inopportune moment, no one will argue. Well, from carrying a small laptop purely for reinsurance, to creative work on the lake or, for example, the roof of the house, it did not take a long life journey. As a result, I could not imagine myself without him at that moment. For a long time I was accompanied by small asus, Sonya and even netbook acers, with Windows on board, periodically replaced by the console-friendly Linux ... Not so long ago, I got a MacBook Air 11 "in my bag, which has everything in order with mobility, and there is all the necessary software, and it works very smartly, and the experiment factor didn’t fail to affect it at the same time, and I became an “apple”.

A new life with a new laptop, as you might have guessed, I enjoyed exactly until something terrible happened and I climbed through the RMM to the server. Logged in, launched the application ... and got a suspiciously black screen. Stochastic keystrokes did not fix exactly anything. The server was bad, but it could not be so bad! As luck would have it, there was no other computer nearby, and I cursed off to the site. And, collecting the scattered raid there, I set out to figure out what it let me down like that. And then there was news after news, one more fun than the other.

At first there was Google, from which it became clear that the perverts who administer the server from the MacBooks via RMM were just a couple of people, all of whom were waiting for the answer to the question “how?”. I agree if you consider me not the most strict follower of Puritan IT-morality, but a solution was still found.

Remember I mentioned Java? This was the first thing I sinned. What did the old javist do? That's right, I got on for an update, and I found out there that Java is built into the OS on the poppy and is not installed separately! (the noise was about 10 years ago, but everything was already forgotten!) And that I already have the latest Java, 1.6. But not for long, and enthusiasts were found offering ready-made assemblies of previous versions. 1.5 and 1.4 went into action. Both JRE and JDK. Both 32- and 64-bit. The result did not differ much, except that with some of them nothing started at all. Thoughts have already gone in the direction of a virtual machine with Ubunta or something more compact (128 Gig total, hard something!). For some reason I just didn’t want to install a virtual machine.

From virtualization, I somehow quickly moved on to emulated options. Looking towards fink, I also quickly broke off, he did not install his Java packages, but clung to the system ones. It seems that Linux-like Java cannot be thrust ... Stoop! And there is still Windows! And everything with emulation is not bad - there is Wine with Winebottler and Crossover! How would I just attach the "Windows" Java to the local browser? .. When the thought came to my mind, I laughed, yes, I’m still funny, it didn’t turn out as elegant as it could be, but it worked out!

Crossover was the savior, this is a commercial version of Wine, but I do not exclude that Winebottler could also save the day. Installing just Java would be a good theoretical exercise, and I simplified my usability a bit by installing Firefox first. It’s not supported directly from the Crossover installation profiles, but without being monstrous, I got up without problems. During its installation, I created a “bottle” based on Windows XP (it’s like a working system image of the Windows environment, there can be a lot of them for different programs). And then I put the JRE for Windows in the same “bottle”, just downloading it from this Firefox and running it. The only option with the “online” installation did not work, refusing to open the URL that was vital for itself, but the “offline” installer worked without problems. Then everything went like clockwork:


Perhaps the point of this, not the shortest story, is that in the modern variety of software solutions, you can probably always find your own “explosive mixture”, which will make it possible to make friends with your incompatible initially favorite interface and your favorite laptop. Without even resorting to virtualization.

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