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Ubuntu Linux – Apache and Self Signed Certificates

Whether it is on your desktop or server installation of Ubuntu, there will come a time that you may need to work with Apache and certificates. We will go into full certificates from Certificate Authorities (like Verisign or Entrust) as well as exploring some of the ‘Open Source’ Certificate Authorities (read: free) in a later article. Today we are discussing how to prepare Apache to answer HTTPS requests in the VHOSTS as well as installing and configuring the pieces. Finally, we will install a self signed certificate and access our system over HTTPS to verify it all works.

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Netstat: network analysis and troubleshooting, explained

The netstat command gives you a set of tools to answer the question “What in blazes is going on on my network?” when things go wrong. To be able to use it effectively at such an occasion, however, you might want to learn how it works right now, so you’ll be prepared. Besides, it never hurts to understand your network just a little better. Read on to find out exactly what netstat is, what you can use it for and how it can help you solve problems and understand your network.

A bundle of network tools
The netstat command doesn’t really do unique things. It can print network statistics, but ifconfig can do so, too. It can print routing tables, but route can do that, too. It can print open connections, but lsof does that, and more. So why use netstat at all? There are two main reasons:

  • netstat bundles a few often-used network analysis actions in a single command and
  • netstat is multi-platform.

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Ubuntu and Multiple Monitors – AMD Edition

There are several ways to end up with a satisfactory experience on the desktop with Ubuntu despite their recent confusion of the user interface. We will discuss some of those another day (KDE vs. Gnome vs. Cinammon vs. Unity). Today we are going to talk about setting up your desktop environment for multiple monitors. This article assumes you are running Ubuntu 12.04 LTS or 12.10, however, the process should work equally well back to version 10.04 LTS unless otherwise noted.

Assuming you have installed Ubuntu and are successfully sitting at the desktop (the window manager at this point is irrelevant), a couple of questions will now come to mind. What am I going to be using my linux desktop environment for? If you are going to be running office applications, email, basic web browsing and the occassional movie, you might be done. The default (read: Open Source) binary video drivers for both AMD (radeon) and Nvidia (nouveaux) are perfectly acceptable for all of those things. In fact, recently, they both have picked up some compositing support (so you can run the nifty 3D window effects in Compiz or KWin) as well as support for gaming. However, that support is spotty and performance still leaves a lot to be desired.

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Tux Hired!

How to Get a Linux (Related) Job

Working in Information Technology over the last twenty years (and the last ten or so as a senior engineer or team lead in various organizations) has exposed me to a lot of resumes over that time. Over the last five years, one of the more common questions I am asked is “how can I get a Linux related job?”. I will attempt to address that in this space.

The most important thing to remember is that your quest for a Linux position at any organization is really no different than applying for any other I.T. position. Once you have identified the company and the posting (and a great place to get an idea of who is looking for Linux talent and with what experience, is The Linux Foundation), you need to focus on the attributes and experience you have that are directly applicable to the position you want. Your resume should then be tailored to highlight that experience throughout your career as much as possible.

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Linux Penguin

Changing MySQL User Password

Alright, so you’ve created a new MySQL Database, you’ve added a user, even granted permissions to the user. Yet, that user forgot the password to their MySQL user account. How do you change the user’s password? There are several ways to do this, one of which we can do without even entering the MySQL command console. This quick tutorial will show you three separate ways to change a MySQL user password

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Configuring A Fresh Install Of MySQL On CentOS: Start Service, Set Password, Set Runlevels

On some distributions, MySQL is installed without asking you to set the default root password for the MySQL server. If you’re running Debian or Ubuntu, the MySQL install will prompt you to create your password. However, some distributions such as CentOS aren’t as friendly. When MySQL is first installed on CentOS, it finishes without any user interaction. In fact, it finishes without a set root password, without starting the MySQL service, and without configuring the MySQL service to start on system reboot/boot.
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Conditions in bash scripting (if statements)

If you use bash for scripting you will undoubtedly have to use conditions a lot, for example for an if … then construct or a while loop. The syntax of these conditions can seem a bit daunting to learn and use. This tutorial aims to help the reader understanding conditions in bash, and provides a comprehensive list of the possibilities. A small amount of general shell knowledge is assumed.

Difficulty: Basic – Medium (more…)

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VI Shortcuts & Commands For Newbies

This is a collection of some of the basic VI commands and shortcuts for newbies. You’ll find yourself needing this if you are coding or scripting inside of the unix/linux command line using VI.

Command Mode: Accepts commands, which are usually in the form of individual letters. Example, a and i.
You can use h, j, k and I to navigate in similar ways as the up and down arrow. Not needed if you have an up and down arrow on your keyboard.
Yank – Term used to copy files. Use YY to yank text. Navigate to the line you wish to yank and type yy make sure you are in command mode.
2yy will yank 2 lines, 4yy will yank 4 lines. Precede the YY command with the number of lines you would like to yank.

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Adding EC2 instances to Route53

Today’s nifty bit of code is a startup/shutdown script for linux that allows you to add an EC2 instance to Amazon’s Route53 DNS automatically when you start up the instance, and remove it when the instance is knocked down. This script also allows you to add the instance to a weighted round-robin group.

This makes use of the very useful Python-based boto tool which is available in both Yum and Debian repositories under the package name python-boto.

Create this script in /etc/init.d and make it executable, and then add it to the requisite rcX.d directory for startup/shutdown.

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