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eToken with Xen (grid admin)

In BCBR, we have an eToken for automatic certificate generation.

installing the eToken on a virtual machine (Xen) is not trivial, (not so many documentation that do not agry together).

At the end, it didn't work. We could transfer otehr usb device to the virtual machine, but not the eToken. Maybe with an updated Operating System it will work... So this documentation described how we almost got the eToken fully managed by the virtual machine

1. Get your dedicated user interface up and running

2. Pass the control of the usb to the virtual machine.

2.1 Which usb port?

Plug a usb device in one of your usb slot (remember which one), and use the command lsusb (or lspci) to see which one was used. To install lsusb, try yum install usbutils. Use lshal to identify which number it is attached too. You need something like 00:1d.7 (or 0000:00.1d.7)

2.2 Start pciback module at startup

pciback module should be started.

It can be started with modprobe pciback.

To start it at boot time, in principle, the file /etc/grub.conf should be modified to looks like:

title CentOS (2.6.18-194.32.1.el5xen)
    root (hd0,0)
    kernel /boot/xen.gz-2.6.18-194.32.1.el5 dom0_mem=512M
    module /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.18-194.32.1.el5xen ro root=/dev/md1 console=tty0 pciback.permissive pciback.hide=(00:1d.7)
    module /boot/initrd-2.6.18-194.32.1.el5xen.img

But it doesn't seems to work (look at /var/log/message)

the other way that seems to work is to edit /etc/modprobe.conf

[root@enmr00 etc]# cat modprobe.conf
options pciback hide=(00:1d.7)
alias eth0 e1000
alias eth1 e1000e
alias scsi_hostadapter ahci
alias scsi_hostadapter1 usb-storage

and to do something like

mkinitrd -f --preload=pciback /boot/initrd-2.6.18-194.32.1.el5xen.img `uname -r`

but before it is better to backup the previous img

and maybe it is a good idea to also have:

[root@enmr00 etc]# cat rc.modules
modprobe pciback

But it is unclear, maybe (probably) it is not necessary.

Then, a line must be added to the xen file for the ui-robot:

[root@enmr00 etc]# cat /etc/xen/ui-robot
pci = ['00:1d.7']


And finally, the grub.conf of the virtual machine should be modified:

title Scientific Linux SL (2.6.18-238.9.1.el5xen)
    root (hd0,0)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.18-238.9.1.el5xen ro root=/dev/xvda console=xvc0 swiotlb=force
    initrd /boot/initrd-2.6.18-238.9.1.el5xen.img

Without the swiotlb=force, it crashes when the usb is plugged in.

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Cite WeNMR/WestLife

Usage of the WeNMR/WestLife portals should be acknowledged in any publication:
"The FP7 WeNMR (project# 261572), H2020 West-Life (project# 675858) and the EOSC-hub (project# 777536) European e-Infrastructure projects are acknowledged for the use of their web portals, which make use of the EGI infrastructure with the dedicated support of CESNET-MetaCloud, INFN-PADOVA, NCG-INGRID-PT, TW-NCHC, SURFsara and NIKHEF, and the additional support of the national GRID Initiatives of Belgium, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, UK, Taiwan and the US Open Science Grid."
And the following article describing the WeNMR portals should be cited:
Wassenaar et al. (2012). WeNMR: Structural Biology on the Grid.J. Grid. Comp., 10:743-767.


The WeNMR Virtual Research Community has been the first to be officially recognized by the EGI.

European Union

WeNMR is an e-Infrastructure project funded under the 7th framework of the EU. Contract no. 261572

WestLife, the follow up project of WeNMR is a Virtual Research Environment e-Infrastructure project funded under Horizon 2020. Contract no. 675858