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Debian Administration RSS
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Tips for a Debian GNU/Linux System Administrator.
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Performing IMAP queries via curl

Debian Administration RSS - Thu, 14/01/2016 - 10:04am
Most people are familiar with curl, the tool that allows you to make HTTP-requests, and FTP-requests, via the command-line. Recently it gained the ability to perform IMAP operations, and this brief article demonstrates how that is done.

Simplifying repetitive Apache configuration with mod_macro

Debian Administration RSS - Wed, 09/12/2015 - 1:04pm
Apache is one of the more flexible webservers, and most of this is achieved via the use of various extension modules bundled with it, or externally available. mod_macro is a great module allowing you to simplifying configuration of multiple virtual hosts enormously.

Enabling swap on debian based system

Debian Administration RSS - Tue, 08/12/2015 - 7:03pm
Recently I found myself without a swap partition (having installed another OS and reworked my disk-setup) so I wanted to share a quick guide to enable swap again.

Offering IPv4-only services over IPv6

Debian Administration RSS - Sun, 29/11/2015 - 10:04am
Although IPv6 is clearly the way of the future there are some software services which only support IPv4 access. Here we'll show a simple approach to exporting them to IPv6-based clients.

Analysing performance problems with systemd

Debian Administration RSS - Sat, 26/09/2015 - 7:03pm
Now that Systemd is the default init-system in fresh installations of Debian GNU/Linux it is worth highlighting some of the new features.

Validating SPF and DKIM at SMTP-time with exim

Debian Administration RSS - Tue, 04/08/2015 - 10:05am
In our recent articles we've discussed creating SPF-records to avoid spoofed mails, and the creation and setup for DKIM-signing emails, for a similar purpose. Here we'll look at the other side of the coin; performing DKIM and SPF testing on your incoming email.

Tying together SPF and DKIM with DMARC

Debian Administration RSS - Mon, 03/08/2015 - 10:05pm
When it comes to increasing deliverabiity of email, and preventing spoofed/forged emails the preferred solution these days is DMARC, which allows the use of SPF and DKIM to be enforced for domains in a unified manner.

Avoiding mail-spoofing with SPF

Debian Administration RSS - Sat, 01/08/2015 - 7:06pm
The Sender Policy Framework, or SPF, is an email-validation system which is designed to allow spoofed mails to be indentified. In this brief introduction we'll look at how you can configure your outgoing emails to take advantage of this validation.

DKIM-signing outgoing mail with exim4

Debian Administration RSS - Wed, 29/07/2015 - 7:04am
There have been several systems designed to prevent mail spoofing over the years, the two most prominent solutions are DKIM and SPF. Here we're going to document the setup of using DKIM to signing outgoing mails with Debian's default mail transfer agent, exim4.

Setting up a personal secure apt repository

Debian Administration RSS - Sun, 24/05/2015 - 10:06am
Packages under development aren't always ready to be in the main Debian archive. But that doesn't mean it should be hard for people to install them. When asking people to test programs, it is most convenient to present it in the

Preventing SPAM connections with bird.

Debian Administration RSS - Fri, 22/05/2015 - 10:04am
Bird is an Internet routing daemon with full support for all the major routing protocols. It allows you to configure hosts to share routing information, via protocols such as BGP, OSPF, or even statically. Here we're going to look at using it to automatically blacklist traffic from SPAM-sources.

Using the rubocop ruby code and style analyzer

Debian Administration RSS - Mon, 09/03/2015 - 3:20pm
If you're developing code that you expect others to read and work with then it is very important to pick a consistent style, and having a style-checker can make enforcing your choice much less painful. Here we'll take a look at the rubocop analyzer for Ruby.

Easily working with multiple repositories (git, hg, etc)

Debian Administration RSS - Sun, 08/02/2015 - 8:05pm
There are situations where it is ueful to checkout multiple repositories, which might use different revision control systems, and operate upon them as a groupapt. This is what the mr tool was designed for.

An introduction to the attic backup program

Debian Administration RSS - Tue, 23/12/2014 - 2:05pm
Over the past year or two several new backup utilities have become popular. These new tools tend to avoid the use of tar.gz files, and just store backups as collections of files. Usually these storage areas are incrementally updated and avoid wasting space thanks to the detection of duplicate content. Here we're going to look at one of them in particular "attic".

A brief introduction to publish-subscribe queuing with redis

Debian Administration RSS - Wed, 17/12/2014 - 5:05pm
In this brief article we'll demonstrate using Redis for a publish/subscribe system. There are dedicated publish-subscribe platforms out there, but Redis is reasonably performant and essentially configuration-free.

Setting up your own graphical git-server with gitbucket

Debian Administration RSS - Tue, 14/10/2014 - 11:06am
This article documents the process of configuring a git host, using gitbucket, which will give you a graphical interface to a collection of git repositories, accessible via any browser, along with support for groups, issues, and forks.

Using the haproxy load-balancer for increased availability

Debian Administration RSS - Wed, 27/08/2014 - 2:06pm
HAProxy is a TCP/HTTP load-balancer, allowing you to route incoming traffic destined for one address to a number of different back-ends. The routing is very flexible and it can be a useful component of a high-availability setup.

Automating the Debian installer with PXE and preseeding

Debian Administration RSS - Sat, 23/08/2014 - 2:07pm
This article is designed to introduce the process of PXE-booting a host directly into the Debian installer, and then automating the installation via the Debian PreSeed configuration. Both of these topics have been covered in the past, but not together - and we'll also include notes on testing this setup with KVM.

Disabling Apache logging of particular requests

Debian Administration RSS - Thu, 07/08/2014 - 11:09am
I've got a webserver which runs a particular service, and that service is sufficiently interesting and important that I run monitoring probes against it every 30 seconds. Those particular requests clutter my logs, and here is a brief note on how to avoid that clutter.

OpenSSL Heartbeat, a.k.a. Heartbleed Bug

Debian Administration RSS - Fri, 16/05/2014 - 4:06pm
A serious security flaw has come to light in the OpenSSL package used in many Linux distributions including Debian. It is considered very serious and all administrators should patch their systems at once and restart any services that rely on OpenSSL.

GNU Make 4.0 released, including support for plugins

Debian Administration RSS - Sun, 11/05/2014 - 1:06pm
The new upload of GNU Make 4.0 recently reached Debian's unstable distribution, and has also migrated to the testing distribution, currently codenamed "jessie". GNU Make 4.0 brings in several new features, perhaps the most interesting of which is support for the use of plugins.

Debian 7: 7.5 released

Debian Administration RSS - Sat, 26/04/2014 - 7:07pm
The Debian project is pleased to announce the fifth update of its stable distribution Debian 7 (codename "wheezy"). This update mainly adds corrections for security problems to the stable release, along with a few adjustments for serious problems. Security advisories were already published separately and are referenced where available.

OpenSSL Heartbeat, a.k.a. Heartblead Bug

Debian Administration RSS - Tue, 08/04/2014 - 10:06pm
A serious security flaw has come to light in the OpenSSL package used in many Linux distributions including Debian. It is considered very serious and all administrators should patch their systems at once and restart any services that rely on OpenSSL.

A brief introduction to server-testing with serverspec

Debian Administration RSS - Thu, 13/03/2014 - 1:06pm
Serverspec is the name of a Ruby tool which allows you to write simple tests, to validate that a server is correctly configured. Here we'll walk through the installation of the tool, and show how it can be used to test a server setup.

Hiding processes from other users

Debian Administration RSS - Thu, 13/03/2014 - 10:07am
If you run a multi-user system it can increase security if you hide the display of running processes, and their arguments, which belong to other users. This helps avoid problems if users enter passwords on the command-line, and similar.


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