Category: system administration

"Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative."

Taskomatic troubleshooting, systems always show available updates – Spacewalk 2.3 / Satellite 5.x

Lately one of my projects at work is to get a patch management solution in place for our RHEL/CentOS Linux systems.  Since Red Hat’s Satellite product doesn’t manage CentOS systems, and because there is no easy method of configuring the pieces that Satellite 6 is based on, we decided to go with Spacewalk.  For longer …

Running Linux commands on many servers at a time

I’ve been busy at work lately… setting up a new patch process to include implementation, migration from our old, counter-intuitive system (apt on Red Hat servers, :|), so lots of registering systems with Spacewalk has been necessary (until we finish a Puppet module that is). During our regularly scheduled patching, we have to do blocks …

New TrueAbility tests WordPress and Linux administration skills

Update (1/26/15): The final results are in, and I ended up at 23rd out of 189 challengers. Not bad, I get (another) TrueAbility Linux shirt. TrueAbility has added a new Linux challenge, Hard Pressed, that challenges IT pros’ WordPress skills.  I’ve been using WordPress for a little while now on my own personal site here, …

Minor victory at work after months of boredom

It’s been a while since I’ve been happy to do nothing at work.  For a short while, I didn’t mind sitting here with next to nothing to do, while upper management wrangled with their finance people over how we could ever afford to outsource our e-mail environment to Microsoft’s Office365 product. That conversation began November …

Hiring companies: if you want it written in X, ask for it to be written in X

I recently took an online AbillityScreen through TrueAbility for a remote position, and one of the tasks was to program some generic automation scripts to do various file operations and so on. In the description, it stated to complete the task in whatever language you wanted as long as it worked.  I set about doing …

TrueAbility Linux Showdown #6! Part 2

Day 2 of TrueAbility’s Linux Showdown #6 hit us with some MySQL stuff. Again, some things I had never touched but I’ve done enough MySQL in my time to have figured it out quicker than 250 others who tried. I’m currently at #10, with 100% and finishing in 33 minutes 49 seconds, only 3 seconds …

TrueAbility Linux Showdown #6! Part 1

Almost forgot about TrueAbility’s Linux Showdown… Having never touched an nginx config file in my life, I’m happy to have finished the challenge and got all of the questions in ~49 minutes. Many others didn’t finish at all. I got an 83%, which puts me at 34th out of 279 others that attempted it so …

Quite possibly the best answer to an old interview question we had at CSC

The question was: “What is the difference between hard and soft mounts when using NFS?” I will copy and paste a reply I found today with the notice that this is not my own answer, but I thought it thorough and informative enough to post here… From an hp.com forum post: Honored Contributor Matti_Kurkela Honored …

Google (GMail team specifically) randomly decides to enforce strict SSL for external POP3/IMAP accounts

After Google announced it was doing away with personal (or was it trial?) Google Apps accounts, I’m getting the impression they want to get rid of freeloaders (like me). I have a free GMail account, which I’ve setup to retrieve messages using POP3S from my e-mail server at home. This allows me to get better …

DNSMasq breaks DNSBL! Fixed…

So this was driving me nuts, and was effectively stopping me from turning off GMail and using my own e-mail server with RoundCube/ZPush. Basically, I get a ton of spam. One of the reasons I’d been using GMail is because the spam detection is great. To block spammers, there are RDNSBLs (Reverse DNS Black Lists) …