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{ Category Archives } Linux

Linux news and information.

Using Symantec NetBackp With A Fedora 12 Live CD

At work, we use Symantec NetBackup for all our full and incremental backups to tape. With currently about 100 servers in operation, and roughly 300+ virtual development environments on the horizon using RHEV, NetBackup and Bare Metal Restore, also from Symantec, will be crucial in our operations. Recently, we had some virtual servers take a […]

Connecting To Serial Null Modems With GNU Screen

The motivation for this post, actually, is that I had heard of the BSD-licensed tmux. I've heard it's far more configurable than GNU screen and lighter on resources. So, I thought I'd install it on my Debian machine, and give it a quick test drive. The first thing I wanted to test, was not attaching […]

How Travelers Can Protect Their Data

I used to travel quite extensively around the country, and even had the opportunity to leave the country and go abroad. My laptop was always with me. As a result, I was very concerned for the integrity and safety of my data. As such, I took the necessary precautions that travelers can take when their […]

The Meaning of 'su'

When I taught for Guru Labs, part of the students training was covering different ways of becoming the root user, such as using "su", "sudo" and taking advantage of the wheel group. Login shells versus non-login shells were also covered. The idea was to help the student understand the real nature of the shell and […]

Keeping Time In Debian With Virtualbox

I've been encountering an interesting issue recently with Debian running as a guest in side of VirtualBox on Windows XP. When I initially installed Debian, I told it to adjust the hardware clock to UTC. Of course, this was the mistake I made. Windows operating systems want the hardware clock set to local time, then […]

Get Your Unix Beard On

Today is the day, my friends. The day where the boys are separated from the men. The day tech support is separated from the system administrators. The day God smiles from on High. What am I referring to? Why, Whiskerino 2009, of course. The concept is simple. Whiskerino is an Internet beard growing contest that […]

Scrubbing Hard Disk Data

I've recently had the opportunity with wiping 13 SCSI drives. The drives are small- 36 and 18 gigabyte drives, and they do contain sensitive data. They will be sent off to a third party for physical destruction, but we need to make sure that the data is completely overwritten on the disk in a secure […]

Mobile LVM

Today, as my wife and I were headed into Target, I thought of the cheap USB thumb drives they usually have on sale, and I was tempted to purchase some. Then I got to thinking: what if I could use those thumb drives as one disk, using LVM, and have the ability to take that […]

The Official Root Certified, LLC Launch!

Today is a big day. Christer Edwards and I have gone into business with each other starting a Linux and Unix company here in Utah. We're named "Root Certified, LLC". We specialize in Linux hosting, Linux and Unix consulting and auditing. You can find more about us at our page: If your company is […]

GnuPG Up And Close

Every GNU/Linux distribution ships with GnuPG by default. While they all don't ship with the same GUI frontend, they do ship with the the same CLI backend. So, we'll be interfacing with that throughout this informational session. I'm not presenting this as anything necessarily useful. Rather, I hope you find it informational/educational, and learn a […]

Password Policies Suck

I've been getting a flurry of emails at work, reminding me that my passwords are about to expire on several Unix and Linux machines in our production datacenter. They have a policy in place, where the password much be changed every 90 days, and I have to keep my current password for at least 7 […]

Ubuntu 9.04 Torrents

Tommorow is the Big Day for GNU/Linux, when Ubuntu goes through it's regularly 6 month upgrade. Ubuntu 9.04, codenamed "Jaunty Jackalope" is due for release. The consequence is, these servers will get slammed, meaning that's it's difficult for people who use other distributions on some mirrors to update their distribution. As a result, rather than […]

Spacewalk/RHN Satellite Registration Script

At work, we have an RHN satellite that is registered against RHN, and pulls down all the updates as necessary for the 32-bit and 64-bit RHEL servers that we have in our network. We currently have 34 RHEL servers in operation, with the expectation to grow past 40, all without virtualization. When we really start […]

Use The Tools

When I taught Linux system administrators, I would go through a series of rules, and rule #1 was always: Whenever you're editing config files, and a tool exists to make the change, use the tool instead of editing the config by hand. The logic is easy to follow. We as humans are capable of error. […]

Server Migration From Ubuntu 8.04 To Debian 5.0

Last night, I spent a few hours migrating this production server from Ubuntu 8.04 "Hardy Heron" to Debian 5.0 "Lenny". Many have asked me online and in person why I would make the switch, especially being a heavy Ubuntu advocate. I hope I can explain that in a clear manner in this post. But first, […]