Debian Lenny to Squeeze upgrade

Debian Lenny to Squeeze upgrade

Debian 6 i.e. “Squeeze” was released almost a month ago. Although there are still about 11 months more before Debian 5 “Lenny” is no longer supported, I figured I would upgrade one Debian Lenny Xen-based VPS hosted on a Rackspace Cloud,  currently functioning as an OpenLDAP server, as a weekend project. The upgrade steps were straightforward: 1. Edit /etc/apt/sources.list and change all instances of lenny to squeeze. 2. Run the following commands in succession in terminal sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install apt dpkg aptitude sudo apt-get dist-upgrade Surprisingly enough the upgrade went well with Apache and even OpenLDAP migrated successfully. Just the following issues related to phpldapadmin were encountered: 1. The upgraded...

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Unattended updates on CentOS

Unattended updates on CentOS

Having recently had to clean up after the Exim4 vulnerability that did not get patched on a server in time, one of the first things I do on a new VPS is set up automatic unattended updates. The steps are clearly documented for Debian/Ubuntu, but for CentOS it was a little harder to find the information. Here are the steps: In a terminal session run yum install yum-updatesd Next you need to edit /etc/yum/yum-updatesd.conf and edit the following lines to hold the values in bold emit_via = email # automatically install updates do_update = yes # automatically download updates do_download = yes # automatically download deps of updates do_download_deps = yes and also enter the following lines # who to send the email to: email_to = myself@myemaildomain.com # who send...

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WordPress updates without FTP login prompts

WordPress updates without FTP login prompts

One gripe I have about running WordPress on a VPS is that it keeps prompting me to enter the FTP password every time I do an update. As it turns out, you can save your FTP login credentials in wp-config.php so that you never get asked again! Simply add the following lines to wo-config.php // ** FTP SETTINGS FOR AUTO-UPDATE ** // define('FTP_HOST', 'YOUR-HOSTNAME-HERE'); define('FTP_USER', 'YOUR-FTP-USERNAME'); define('FTP_PASS', 'YOUR-FTP-PASSWORD'); Remember to change the values above accordingly.

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Appending country code to all contact numbers

Appending country code to all contact numbers

And so I got the LG Optimus One for a family member and transferred over his contacts easily thanks to Mac OS X Address Book’s built-in ability to synchronize with Google Contacts. The Google Android platform certainly has some excellent features not found in the iPhone ‘s iOS – but more of that in another (future) post. The only problem was that the Optimus One could not seem to identify  a caller if his contact entry did not have the country/area code appended. As the family member’s previous phone was an old non-smartphone candy bar type, almost all his contacts did not have the country code! I was dreading the need to spend an entire afternoon doing data entry when I chanced upon an elegant solution on the Apple discussion forums....

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Solving “No Service” problem on the iPhone 3GS

Solving “No Service” problem on the iPhone 3GS

When I left for my holidays in China, I made sure to disable 3G on my iPhone 3GS to avoid getting bill shock. Once back in Singapore though, I couldn’t seem to get the iPhone to connect to the cellular network with 3G enabled. It kept saying “No Service”! This is how I solved it 1. Disable 3G in Settings/General/Network 2. Power off the iPhone by holding the top lock button down and then sliding to power off. Leave the phone off for 30 seconds 3. Power on the iPhone 4. Reset network settings in Settings/General/Reset 5. Turn on 3G No more “No service” problem now!

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Aztech HL110EP HomePlug

Aztech HL110EP HomePlug

HomePlug devices have been around for almost a decade now but I have never even considered them before. After all, with Wifi adaptors being built into just about every computing device nowadays, why purchase additional adaptors just to get wired networking running? But as it turns out, I found a real use for these and you just might too. I picked up a pair of Aztech HomePlug HL110EP at the recent SITEX at a special price of S$49 each. Unlike most other HomePlug devices, the Aztech is very very small and is will not block an adjacent AC socket. More importantly, at this time it is the only HomePlug device that features AC Pass-Through. This means you needn’t dedicate one AC socket to this HomePlug, the way you would need to with others! I decided to test the...

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Logwatch, Exim4 & SSH Attack Dictionary Prevention on Debian Lenny VPS

Logwatch, Exim4 & SSH Attack Dictionary Prevention on Debian Lenny VPS

Thanks to the excellent tutorials over at Slicehost, I got an idea of some the things you need to do to secure your brand new virtual private server (VPS) straight away.  To me, the main takeaways with regard to security would be: 1. create a privileged user with Sudo access 2. disable the root account login 3. use strong passwords e.g. a combination of letters in upper and lower case, numbers and other characters 4. setup iptables firewalls I had no idea how well these steps were working though in preventing unauthorised access and I don’t really have the time to access the the system logs every day. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a way you could just receive a daily email summarising significant security-related server activities? Well there is!...

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