Linux

Part 1: Foundations

In our journey of code, it is always useful to have a foundation. For starters you will need to make sure that you have the following PERL packages installed, as we will be using them regularly.

Net::LDAP
Authen::SASL
IO::Socket::SSL
Digest::SHA
Mail::Sendmail
Crypt::SmbHash
CGI

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Opening Message

Hello and Welcome!

Over the course of my time as an Admin I've done a lot of Google searches and writeen a lot of code that has been very helpful to me in my work. I will be posting things here that hopefully will help you in your quest to master some of these technologies (Or simply stand on the shoulders of midgets).

I by no means consider myself a Perl or LDAP expert. It has been a "Learn as you go" ordeal. No formal training, just get things done on an as-needed basis.

I assume that you have a basic knowledge of PERL and LDAP.

Enjoy!

-Sean

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xrayspx's picture

Backups

I've recently had to think about the mechanics of making idiot-proof backups on Linux and OSX. The specific machine I'm backing up is a Linux host with a 40GB drive. Historically only about 10% of the drive has been used, and the user has an IMAP mailbox, so all the mail is safe already.

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OSX vs OpenSuSE

[music | Leaether Strip - What If (Beats on classic mix)]

The Amarok discussion usually comes as a result of a wider discussion/flamewar about the "little things" that bug the shit out of me a year after dropping SuSE for OSX as my home desktop. I used Linux as my desktop for about 8 years, and before that for more "traditional" server type applications. I've had a Linux desktop since Redhat 4.1, but it didn't replace Windows completely until about 1999. That gives me a different perspective on how a computer Should Just Work. My definition of that is skewed by things like uptime and standards compliance. I have no idea what the Standard Uptime is for a Windows desktop machine. My Windows desktops have always stayed up for months and months, because they do nothing except run Outlook and specialty business software that I couldn't get to work under Wine.

So from that perspective, OSX is not particularly stable. The only time I ever rebooted my linux machines was when either the power went out or I was upgrading SuSE. Aside from that, they Just Worked. I don't count things like upgrading KDE as a reboot, because it was just an X11 restart, ctrl-alt-backspace, new DE starts, no reboot. Leopard is more stable for me than Tiger was, especially in terms of returning from standby on the laptop. However in terms of applications "beachballing" and having to force-quit things, well that kind of thing rarely happened to me in SuSE. I'd probably kill Firefox every couple of weeks because something screws up or its footprint was too huge. I have to force-quit Safari every day or two (no SIMBL or other wackiness anymore until I figure out why this is).

Here's a quick list with some detail about what really bugs me, and what I really like in OSX:

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Amarok vs iTunes

I get asked a lot why I hate iTunes and what's so much better about Amarok. This is about Amarok 1.4.7, since there is no good way to run Amarok 2 yet. When I can get any copy of Amarok 2 to load a track and play it, either via the KDE4 Live CDs or from RangerRick's KDE on OSX native project, I'll give it a spin.

Here's a quick list of beefs with iTunes:

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Tools and Hacky Stuff

Here are some tools I've written which could be of use to other folks. It's going to be mostly Cisco related, some of which is still being formatted before I upload it, more to come.

CSSManager is a tool to simplify suspending and activating services in a Cisco CSS load balancer. It adds a couple of features like the ability to "lock out" a server and to add comments to a suspended machine to give context for its suspension. More features to come.

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Cisco CSS Toy

[music | Bauhaus - Dark Entries (Live)]

This is the first of a few tools I have to release in the coming couple of weeks, mainly involving Cisco's CSS product. The purpose of me writing them is that Cisco's web interface to the CSS is both a terrible user experience and has shown itself to be vulnerable to trivial attacks in the past (in a security sense). I don't want to run the web gui on my CSS's, and most of our admins were terrified of the command line. So I wrote a bunch of tools to help do their jobs, without the possibility of screwing up the load balancers.

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Come on Apache...

[music | Sleater-Kinney]

Today's been fun. Yesterday a site run by one of my friends (wolfeboro.net) was shut down by its ISP because they got a large influx of traffic, and the ISP panicked.

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Defcon 14 Day One

[music | DJ? Acucrack]

Some photos (some good, some bad) of Defcon 14 day one.

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Of course SuSE fixed it

[music | nine inch nails - eraser]

Not without some seriously non-typical end user junk, but giving up on installing dependencies myself after seeing control-center2 relying on nautilus, and nautilus relying on control-center2, I installed using YAST and it worked fine. I know I should have forced around the dependencies, but please, someone...

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