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Fragmented Development

Posts Tagged With server

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GoDaddy DNS Records Create Issues For Self Hosted Email Servers

I run my own Postfix email server for my personal mail, and for several other domains via virtual hosts. Between several different software packages, protocols, standards, and 3rd parties involved in email it's difficult to track down problems in certain circumstances.

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Problems with rsync and link-dest

I use rsync to back up many servers and other machines. Because of my very different sources and targets, I have a collection of very complex bash scripts that manage these backups. When I moved one stage of these backups to a new server, it started behaving strangely - and it was difficult to discover why.

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Headless server and disk encryption

As an enthusiast of encryption, it always felt a little strange that my servers kept all of their data in the clear. But the problem with encrypting a headless server is that, inevitably, you have to reboot it. So how do you connect to your server and unlock the drive before it boots? It's quite the catch-22.

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MariaDB / mysql root password on Debian Stretch

I was a little perplexed when I installed a MariaDB server on my main desktop running Debian Stretch; it didn't ask me for a root password. This is a change from the previous Debians, which always prompt you to set the password during installation.

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Keeping keys for SSH, and passwords for SFTP

My VPS has lots of different applications residing on it, and many people need to access it in various ways. Sometimes, tightening security for one group can negatively impact another.

Read the full post: Keeping keys for SSH, and passwords for SFTP is shutting down

It is time to shut down the FragDev GNUsocial instance; it will be taken down on June 30th, 2017. I've thought a lot about this, and due to some new developments in my life and the resources an instance requires, this seems like a good time to call it quits.

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Better permissions for uploaded files in Django

Django assigns permissions to any user-submitted files it saves. If you don't explicitly set what these are, it uses an operating system default - which, in most cases, is 0600. If you're unfamiliar with unix-style file permissions, that means the following:

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My First "Let's Encrypt" Cert

Now that it is in beta, I decided that I should request HTTPS certificates through the new Let's Encrypt certificate authority. It is free, secure, and provides a unique way of requesting certificates.

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Unobtrusive Let's Encrypt requests

My only beef with the Let's Encrypt process is that, by default, the utility wants you to disable your web server in the process of requesting a certificate, so that it can listen on port 80 (or 443) for a verification challenge. I host lots of sites, many of them high-traffic, and that's kind of a deal breaker.

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GNUsocial daemons and systemd

After the migration to the new server, my old SysV init script for restarting the queue daemons needed to be updated to systemd.

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No Vacancy

With over 50 registered users, the FragDev GNUsocial instance is much larger than I ever expected it to grow. To be honest, I figured it would probably be my own personal instance and not much more.

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Fixing performance issues in GNUsocial

GNUsocial is the most demanding services I run, by far. The strain on the database from all of the different GNUsocial, Friendica, etc. instances retrieving their subscribed users' feeds is more than I anticipated. Luckily, this story has a happy ending!

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GNUsocial on nginx and Debian 8

After running GNUsocial for years, I've chiseled my GNUsocial setup into something fairly fast and respectable (mostly through consistent experimentation and breakages. Sorry, users). Newer configuration changes require Debian 8, or "Jessie", so I thought I'd make a new post explaining things.

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Why is broken

There have been lots of problems with my GNUsocial instance, starting at the very beginning with and (which rendered users unable to subscribe to me). I've learned a lot, but now I feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place.

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How was fixed

In a previous post (, I explained what happened to break subscriptions on our GNUsocial instance. Long story short: GNUsocial now forces HTTPS, which broke federation.

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Setting time, date, NTP, and timezone details on Debian

Setting date and time options on Debian has been placed under the systemd umbrella with the "timedatectl" utility. While I'm not fully convinced that everything belongs in systemd, I do think that having a single location for all time and date related configurations makes sense.

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Automatically rebooting Windows Server 2008 with task scheduler

One of the most irritating aspects of Windows servers are Windows Updates. Simple software updates require a full reboot of the machine, keeping these servers a pale shadow of their Linux/BSD-based counterparts.

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GNUsocial on nginx with PHP-FPM

UPDATED 2016-04-29: Updated for Debian 8 in GNUsocial on nginx and Debian 8.

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I am the problem

The "fediverse", as we call it, is a collection of self-hosted servers that communicate and federate with each other using open protocols. GNUsocial is one such server, and that's the one I run on my server. Friendica is another piece of software that does a similar job. These servers are designed to work together, unless I mess that up.

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Simple Spam Prevention

I wanted to mention a technique that has been the silver bullet in preventing spam on my email server. When I say silver bullet, I mean we've seen a 98% reduction in the number of spam messages that we receive. I am still a little shocked at how effective it has been.

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Backup Exec stuck at "Loading Media"

Upon logging in to our backup server this morning, I was alarmed to find our last backup job stuck with a status of "Loading Media". Our backups are backup-to-disk, so there wasn't any media to load. I quickly checked the filesystem, and it still had an enormous amount of free space. So what was holding up our backups?

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Bizarre Error, Revisited

In a previous post, I mentioned that I was receiving a bizarre error message: "Unable to create temporary work files". It turns out that it may not have been as bizarre as I had once thought.

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Bizarre Situation, Bizarre Error

Update: The plot thickens!

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Server Administration for Dummies

I finally got Postfix configured correctly (if not completely) on my VPS. It took a lot of poking, but now I can send and receive mail in SquirrelMail. While this is only the beginning of the configuration, it's a nice feeling to have something "click" and start functioning. I owe it all to the fantastic Postfix documentation - quality stuff they've got there.

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Troubleshooting: Scheduling Batch Scripts in Server 2003

For all of us stuck in a Windows Server environment, hopefully this will help a bit.

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Issues with SQL Server 2005 and PHP - Part 1

This maddening issue took quite a while to figure out, so I sincerely hope I can save somebody the time by documenting it here.

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Mind Your Versions

This blog, the main site, and many of my other sites are hosted by the "colorful" web host GoDaddy. I use them for several reasons, like reliability (100% uptime on their Linux servers) and their reasonable price. In fact, I have been an extremely happy customer – almost a fanboy – but I have run across a dilemma.

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The System Is Down

One of the perks of my job is the flexible schedule that goes along with it - I come in around ten, and nobody minds too much if I'm a couple (20) minutes late as long as I make up the time somewhere else.

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Emergency Response

I'm at work, but I'm not at work. I'm sitting in the Public Safety building, in a meeting room, with other essential staff. Certain public offices, like Public Health and the County Clerk, have a skeleton crew occupying a couple of seats. Computers and phones are set up where they're neccessary, and people come and go like it's business as usual.

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Compress Your Content

"My, loading that web site was entirely too fast for my tastes. I wish the authors of this page would slow it down a bit!"

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Oh I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay...

I've been getting IIS worker process errors lately. I can't really track them down to a certain page or a specific recurring time of the day, and it's driving me crazy. As a last resort, I re-enabled logging on the main Warren County site. It turns out that I still have quite a bit to learn about a server administrator: I should have been doing this for months.

Read the full post: Oh I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay...

Burnin' Down The House

A few days ago, the tallest building in Glens Falls caught fire. It was an electrical fire on the 10th floor, and it shut down the building and almost every office in it.

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