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Upgrading FreeBSD

Post date: April 1, 2006, 08:04 Category: System Views: 2671 Comments
Tutorial quote: This document started as a follow up to The Ultimate Multimedia Server Guide and how to go about keeping your server up to date and patched with the latest O/S patches and security patches. The other reason for this document was to try and create an easy to follow update guide for the not so Unix savvy users that visit my website from time to time. My first time trying to upgrade FreeBSD from sources went well but trying to understand and piece together all the other documentation was more of a daunting task than actually upgrading.
FreeBSD

How I created my own .mac replacement

Post date: February 7, 2006, 23:02 Category: Network Views: 2510 Comments
Tutorial quote: My .mac subscription is 60 days from renewal so I have to ask myself, "how useful is .mac to me?

Is .mac worth it to me? Many of the reasons I don't find .mac useful are the same reasons I encourage others to use .mac. One has to keep in mind that I'm not an "average" computer user. My needs are different and Apple wouldn't make any money trying to sell a .mac like service to guys like me. This is not an "I hate .mac" site but rather an explanation of the motivation and methods I used to provide myself with comparable services that are more usable to me. I publish it so that others may benefit from what I have learned.

This is published to help others, but don't expect free support from the author. Support requests that arrive without monetary compensation for my time will almost certainly be ignored. Instead, try using the support forums and maybe someone will help you out.

To understand why I did this, you might want to read about my use of .mac services.

Project Goals:

Retain the useful features: Regardless of whether or not I renew my subscription, I want to retain the features I have found most useful (iDisk, iSync (between computers), iCal sharing, and Backup).

Enhance the useful features: Simply retaining the useful features would be an utter failure. The most value can be found in addressing the shortcomings of each feature. For iDisk, speed and disk space are the impediments to it's usefulness. iSync already works quite well. iCal sharing works well but publish and subscribe updates are sloooow. Backup is hamstrung by the iDisk space issue.
FreeBSD

Configuring virtual domains with Cyrus+Postfix in FreeBSD 5.4

Post date: December 1, 2005, 05:12 Category: Software Views: 3471 Comments
Tutorial quote: Cyrus IMAP is an efficient IMAP server capable of handling a large number of accounts. Its biggest drawback is getting it installed and configured. This tutorial is a step-by-step guide on how to use Cyrus with the Postfix mail transfer agent (MTA). I tested these instructions with FreeBSD 5.4.

Postfix is a replacement for sendmail, the stock MTA that comes in FreeBSD. It is easier to configure and manage than sendmail. If you depend on sendmail, you can still look at the article for the Cyrus part, but you'll need to look elsewhere for the MTA configuration.

Unless otherwise instructed, perform all operations in this tutorial as root. You will need to use the port system. If you are new to it, check Chapter 4 of the FreeBSD Handbook.
FreeBSD

Lightweight Web Serving with thttpd

Post date: December 1, 2005, 02:12 Category: Software Views: 6160 Comments
Tutorial quote: The Apache HTTP Server is the most popular web server due to its functionality, stability, and maturity. However, this does not make it suitable for all uses: slow machines and embedded systems may have serious problems running it because of its size. Here is where lightweight HTTP servers come into play, as their low-memory footprints deliver decent results without having to swap data back to disk.

Similarly, these small HTTP servers are suitable to serve static content efficiently so as to allow Apache, mod_perl, mod_python, or even servlet containers to handle dynamic requests without tying up memory-hungry children to serve small images. In other words, these applications can serve as a complement to your existing full-featured web server, not as a replacement.

One of these servers is thttpd, a simple, small, portable, fast, and secure HTTP server. Among its features are support for the HTTP/1.1 standard, CGIs, virtual hosts, and IPv6. This article shows how to install and configure this software under NetBSD. I chose NetBSD not only because it is my preferred OS, but also because it has the ability to run on the most disparate old hardware, where thttpd shows its strengths. I had a Macintosh Performa 630 (a 68LC040 chip at 33MHz) running NetBSD/mac68k 2.0 with thttpd on top of it, serving pages to my home network nicely.
FreeBSD

Using Software RAID-1 with FreeBSD

Post date: November 29, 2005, 05:11 Category: System Views: 2795 Comments
Tutorial quote: Have you ever needed a software RAID solution for a low-end server install? Perhaps you've wanted your workstation to take advantage of the redundancy provided by a disk mirror without investing in a hardware RAID controller. Has a prior painful configuration experience turned you off software RAID altogether on Unix systems?


Since 5.3-Release, FreeBSD comes with gmirror(8), which allows you to easily configure a software RAID 1 solution. While tutorials on gmirror exist, I found them to require either manual calculations of partition sizes with bsdlabel or the use of a fix-it floppy on an existing system.

It made more sense to me to configure RAID during the install of the operating system. I also wanted a procedure that was easy to follow and didn't introduce human error in the form of a math miscalculation. After cobbling together the available documentation and experimenting my way through various configurations, I came across a procedure that has worked well for me on several different systems. I also received valuable feedback from Pawel Jakub Dawidek, the author of gmirror, who gave some insight into some of the not yet documented features of gmirror.
FreeBSD

Using FreeBSD's ACLs

Post date: September 29, 2005, 20:09 Category: Security Views: 2477 Comments
Tutorial quote: Five years ago (gee, has it really been that long?), I wrote a series of articles on understanding Unix permissions. Since then, FreeBSD has implemented something known as ACLs (Access Control Lists).

ACLs came to BSD as part of the TrustedBSD project. As the name suggests, they give a user finer access control over permissions.
FreeBSD

Restoring a lost root password

Post date: August 26, 2005, 21:08 Category: System Views: 2456 Comments
Tutorial quote: For some reason you have forgotten your root password
After you stopped banging your head against the wall, this is how you can fix it.
FreeBSD

Installing ProFTPD

Post date: August 26, 2005, 16:08 Category: Network Views: 2455 Comments
Tutorial quote: This document is about replacing the standard ftpd from the FreeBSD kernel with the fancier ProFTPd.
FreeBSD

Setting up a Secure Subversion Server

Post date: May 17, 2005, 11:05 Category: Network Views: 2694 Comments
Tutorial quote: This article demonstrates how to create a secure repository using Subversion. The next installment will show how to train your users to access the repository using a GUI client.
FreeBSD

FreeBSD Working Document for Installation, Setup

Post date: May 9, 2005, 00:05 Category: Miscellaneous Views: 2438 Comments
Tutorial quote: This is a working document that we use to set up and maintain FreeBSD. We hope you find it useful, and that it encourages more use of FreeBSD in general. The first section of the document is a series of steps we take during initial installation to produce a useful machine, from our perspective of course. The second section lists commands related to specific applications or situations.
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