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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Hiding processes from other users

Posted by Steve on Thu 13 Mar 2014 at 08:58
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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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Debian 6.0: 6.0.9 released

Posted by ajt on Mon 17 Feb 2014 at 22:23

The Debian project is pleased to announce the ninth update of its oldstable distribution Debian 6.0 (codename "squeeze"). This update mainly adds corrections for security problems to the oldstable release, along with a few adjustments for serious problems. Security advisories were already published separately and are referenced where available.

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Using the prosody xmpp/chat server

Posted by Steve on Mon 10 Feb 2014 at 09:07
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Prosody is a Lua-powered chat-server, which has been around for a few years now. Prosody is very straight-forward to install and configure, and the reliability means that it is a perfect way to provide chat-services to a small office, company, or group of friends. This brief article will cover installing it, both natively and within docker, along with a few pointers to things you can do with it.

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