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{ Category Archives } Linux

Linux news and information.

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, […]

Debian 5.0 "Lenny" Released

Debian released 5.0 codenamed "Lenny" last night, after just 1 month shy of two years since 4.0 "Etch" was released. I've been running it on my messaging server for nearly a year now, and it's great. I had one hiccup with the kernel not wanting to communicate with my HappyMeal ethernet cards, but a fix […]

Ubuntu Vs. Fedora Artwork

I've had this discussion a couple of times with some friends about which looks better: Ubuntu or Fedora. So, I decided to take a poll from my readers, and see what you think. Which vendor does a better job at artwork? I've provided screenshots of the default wallpaper for each release on both distributions. Now, […]

Operating Systems- A Baby Board Book

After about 4-5 hours last night, and early this morning, I finished creating a board book for my 15-month old daughter. Of course, what better topic to choose than that of operating systems? So, I settled with GNU/Linux, UNIX and other operating systems as the main categories for the book, and it turned out great! […]

What Are We? 12?

I've grown more and more accustomed to that phrase. Being on IRC, blogs, forums, mailing lists, and other forms of digital social gathering, it still never ceases to amaze me the responses that come out of people these days. Case in point? The tragic ending to what should have been a happy one. I'm referring […]

rm -rf /

DISCLAIMER: This works on Debian testing, Debian unstable, Ubuntu 8.04 and Ubuntu 8.10. I have not verified it to work on other systems. If you hose your box, because you gave it a try, and it didn't work, don't blame me. You're the stupid one for trying it out on a production machine. If you're […]

My Distro Is Better Than Your Distro

I was hanging out in ##linux on Freenode this morning, willing to help anyone out who needed it, and I came smack into the middle of an argument about why Gentoo is the best distribution in the world, and Debian is the worst. As the conversation progressed, it was clear that the one running Gentoo […]

Debian- What It Means To Me

I have a love/hate relationship with Debian. It is a solid operating system, with a lot of potential. When initially released in 1993, then following the subsequent years, Debian wan innovative. It was one of the first distributions to introduce package management that resolves dependencies, and it did so well. Leaving Debian decoupled, so it […]

My Linux System Administrator Hardware Tool Belt

Taking a break from the humdrum LZMA stuff, I thought I would share with you what I use in my backpack to keep my systems in line. You may or may not of thought about this, and I hope you find it useful. Bootable CDs First, on the list is CDs. Seeing as though we […]

LZMA Part II- Decompression

A couple days ago, I covered the LZMA compression algorithm as it related to compression. Well, as pointed out in the comments, we need to see the other side of compressed data, and that is decompressing the data. I've kept all my data files, so, let's decompress them with GZIP, BZIP2 and LZMA, and see […]


I've known about the LZMA compression algorithm for a little while, but I haven't really played with it. So, giving it a quick try, I thought I would sick it after all the text files in my /etc directory. I'm using GNU tar to archive the files, and the maximum compression possible with each algorithm […]

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