Open and the right to repair and modify

The right to repair the hardware we purchase is as basic and important as the right to see and modify the code for the open source software we use. One vendor has embraced that with a passion. System76 of Denver, Colorado, builds a complete line of repairable desktops and laptops. They’re also in the process of designing a new laptop that uses components that can be upgraded as well as repaired.

How to configure multiple websites with Apache web server

Here’s how to host two or more websites on Apache, a popular and powerful web server. With name-based virtual hosting, you can use a single IP address for multiple websites. Modern web servers, including Apache, use the hostname portion of the specified URL to determine which virtual web host responds to the page request. This requires only a little more configuration than for a single site.

SpamAssassin, MIMEDefang, and Procmail: Best Trio of 2024

This trio of applications can be combined to manage server-side email sorting in a beautiful and elegant way. They are my “Best Trio,” because resolving the problem I set out to fix—effective server-side email sorting—took three pieces of software working together. Here’s how I got everything to work using SpamAssassin, MIMEDefang, and Procmail–three common and freely available open source software packages.

Using the Alpine Linux email client to access messages from any network

Sometimes when I’m traveling, I have trouble sending email from my devices that typically connect to my ISP at home via hardwire or WiFi. This is because some ISPs do not like outbound email to leave their network unless it is routed through their own email servers. But you need to have an account with the ISP in order to send outbound email through their servers.

This intentional blocking of outbound port 25 for email is usually aimed at preventing hijacked hosts from acting as spambots and sending email over the ISP’s network.

Read about how I circumvented that problem.

Replacing rc.local in systemd Linux systems

Missing rc.local for adding commands to run on startup?

The rc.local file was—and in some cases still is—the place for Linux sysadmins to put commands that need to be run at startup. Use of the rc.local file is not only deprecated but after a couple of hours worth of attempts, was not working in any event. This despite the fact that the systemd documentation mentions the use of a “generator” that generates systemd services from an rc.local file if one exists.

Here’s how to set up similar functionality with today’s systemd.

Problem solving strategies for SysAdmins

Solving complex problems is not a straightforward proposition.

I’ve participated in plenty of technical interviews with people who had passed many certification tests and who had fine resumes. I also participated in many interviews in which we were looking for Linux skills, but very few of those applicants had certifications. Very few of the Linux applicants were yet certified.

Few of the Windows certificate owners could reason their way through the scenarios we presented while a very large percentage of the Linux applicants were able to do so.

Managing devices in Linux

There are many interesting features of the Linux directory structure. In this article I cover some fascinating aspects of the /dev directory.

Device files are also known as device special files. Device files are employed to provide the operating system and users an interface to the devices that they represent. All Linux device files are located in the /dev directory, which is an integral part of the root (/) filesystem.

Get started with Midnight Commander, a visual shell and file manager for Linux

Midnight Commander (MC) is a text-based Command Line Interface (CLI) program. It is particularly useful when a GUI is not available but can also be used as a primary file manager in a terminal session even when you are using a GUI. Midnight Commander can be used to interact with local and remote Linux computers using the CLI.

The man page for Midnight Commander calls it a visual shell because it’s capabilities are greater than the file manager we usually use it as. This article will provide you with enough information to get started using Midnight Commander as a file manager as well as its other capabilities.

How to build rpm packages

Over the years I have created a number of Bash scripts, some of which have separate configuration files, that I like to install on most of my new computers and virtual machines. It reached the point that it took a great deal of time to install all of these packages, so I decided to automate that process by creating an rpm package that I could copy to the target hosts and install all of these files in their proper locations.

Save time and effort installing files and scripts across multiple hosts.