Charly's Column – Zint

Article from Issue 247/2021

Doing a hardware inventory in a data center is anything but a piece of cake. In order to quickly assign devices to the appropriate database entry, Charly provides each newly acquired system with a QR code sticker with the help of Zint.

When you need to manage large numbers of devices, there is no avoiding centralized data management. In the simplest case, this can be a wiki, with one entry per system. This will include, for example, the date of purchase, the length of the warranty period or maintenance contract, any repairs that have already been made, and the rack number where the device is installed (finding the hardware in a larger data center can be time-consuming). I then encode the URL of the wiki entry as a barcode or QR code, print it on self-adhesive film, and stick it on the device.

I generate the codes for this with Zint [1]. Many distributions have Zint on board; if not, it is quickly compiled from the GitHub repository. You must have libpng in place; otherwise, Zint will not generate images. Those who now want to generate codes are spoiled for choice: Zint knows dozens of variants (Figure 1). With zint -t, I can display their names.

Figure 1: Zint can generate these codes.


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