An introduction to the attic backup program

Posted by Steve on Tue 23 Dec 2014 at 11:09
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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".

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A brief introduction to publish-subscribe queuing with redis

Posted by Steve on Wed 17 Dec 2014 at 16:46
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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.

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Setting up your own graphical git-server with gitbucket

Posted by Steve on Tue 14 Oct 2014 at 09:18
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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.

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Using the haproxy load-balancer for increased availability

Posted by Steve on Wed 27 Aug 2014 at 14:12

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.

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Automating the Debian installer with PXE and preseeding

Posted by Steve on Sat 23 Aug 2014 at 12:34

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.

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Disabling Apache logging of particular requests

Posted by Steve on Thu 7 Aug 2014 at 10:26

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.

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GNU Make 4.0 released, including support for plugins

Posted by Steve on Sun 11 May 2014 at 11:31
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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.

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Debian 7: 7.5 released

Posted by ajt on Sat 26 Apr 2014 at 18:27

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.

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OpenSSL Heartbeat, a.k.a. Heartbleed Bug

Posted by ajt on Tue 8 Apr 2014 at 22:24
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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.

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A brief introduction to server-testing with serverspec

Posted by Steve on Thu 13 Mar 2014 at 10:16

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.

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