mchirico is currently certified at Journeyer level.

Name: Mike Chirico
Member since: 2003-07-09 00:34:25
Last Login: 2011-09-05 02:07:17

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Google Gmail on Home Linux Box using Postfix and Fetchmail If you have a Google Gmail account, you can relay mail from your home linux system. It's a good exercise in configuring Postfix with TLS and SASL. Plus, you will learn how to bring down the mail safely, using fetchmail with the "sslcertck" option, that is, after you have verify and copied the necessary certificates. You'll learn it all from this tutorial. And you'll have Gmail running on your local Postfix MTA. There is also a follow-up article Postfix 2nd Instance for Sender-based Routing: Multiple Gmail and Comcast Accounts.

Breaking Firewalls with OpenSSH and PuTTY: If the system administrator deliberately filters out all traffic except port 22 (ssh), to a single server, it is very likely that you can still gain access other computers behind the firewall. This article shows how remote Linux and Windows users can gain access to firewalled samba, mail, and http servers. In essence, it shows how openSSH and Putty can be used as a VPN solution for your home or workplace.

Create a Live Linux CD - BusyBox and OpenSSH Included : These steps will show you how to create a functioning Linux system, with the latest 2.6 kernel compiled from source, and how to integrate the BusyBox utilities including the installation of DHCP. Plus, how to compile in the OpenSSH package on this CD based system. On system boot-up a filesystem will be created and the contents from the CD will be uncompressed and completely loaded into RAM -- the CD could be removed at this point for boot-up on a second computer. The remaining functioning system will have full ssh capabilities. You can take over any PC assuming, of course, you have configured the kernel with the appropriate drivers and the PC can boot from a CD. This tutorial steps you through the whole processes.

SQLite Tutorial : This article explores the power and simplicity of sqlite3, first by starting with common commands and triggers, then the attach statement with the union operation is introduced in a way that allows multiple tables, in separate databases, to be combined as one virtual table, without the overhead of copying or moving data. Next, the simple sign function and the amazingly powerful trick of using this function in SQL select statements to solve complex queries with a single pass through the data is demonstrated, after making a brief mathematical case for how the sign function defines the absolute value and IF conditions.

Lemon Parser Tutorial: This article explains how to build grammars and programs using the lemon parser, which is faster than yacc. And, unlike yacc, it is thread safe.

How to Compile the 2.6 kernel for RedHat 9 and 8.0 and get Fedora Updates: This is a step by step tutorial on how to compile the 2.6 kernel from source.

Linux System Admin Tips: There are over 200 linux tips and tricks in this article. This article is updated weekly.

Virtual Filesystem: Building A Linux Filesystem From An Ordinary File. You can take a disk file, format it as ext2, ext3, or reiser filesystem and then mount it, just like a physical drive. Yes, it then possible to read and write files to this newly mounted device. You can also copy the complete filesystem, since it is just a file, to another computer. If security is an issue, read on. This article will show you how to encrypt the filesystem, and mount it with ACL (Access Control Lists), which give you rights beyond the traditional read (r) write (w) and execute (x) for the 3 user groups file, owner and other.

Working With Time: What? There are 61 seconds in a minute? We can go back in time? We still tell time by the sun?


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Dec 31 18:59:59 kernel: Clock: inserting leap second 23:59:60 UTC

11 Nov 2008 (updated 11 Nov 2008 at 15:17 UTC) »

I'm starting to understand the hype about twitter. They were smart opening up their API to a simple bash script. See below for a sample that allows you to easily tweet from the command line.

curl -s -u username:password -d status="${TEXT}" >/dev/null

I guess the value comes from finding interesting people to follow. Suggestions?

7 Nov 2008 (updated 7 Nov 2008 at 01:14 UTC) »
Project Euler (

I've solved 50 problems at this site, and I'm not even rated as a novice. Instead, I'm a level 2 cube. You're not considered an expert until you hit level 5, which requires you to solve over 200 problems. So, it looks like I'll be at it for awhile.

The problems require the use of induction and the use of a computer. My language of choice for this is Python, but you'll see, once you enter your answer, how other people have solved the problem. Some people use assembly.

You might want to take a quick look see. Careful, it's addictive.

Linksys SRW248G4 (Switch) - Dumped for Soekris net5501

I wasn't happy with Linksys SRW248G4 switch. After using it for over a year, which is the length of the warranty, it slowly began to fail. It finally got to the point where it would only handle 10baseT/Half, and even with that setting, a lot of packets were dropped. In addition, the ssh interface is limited. Instead, the main interface is an http interface which requires Microsoft's IE (with low security for ActiveX controls).

So, I replaced the Linksys switch with a Soekris Net5501 computer, with SanDisk Extreme III 8.0GB CompactFlash card,a wireless mPCI card from Netgate( 802.11a/b/g), and a lan1641 (PCI Quad ethernet board). You have to install an operating system on the device. A lot of people choose OpenBSD, but Linux (Fedora 8 with a custom kernel config) works just fine.

The first thing that impressed me was lack of noise. Since the Soekris Net5501 doesn't require a fan, it's completely silent. Second, you get complete control over the setup -- how you're going to handle bridging, firewall rules and additional software. There is enough power on the device to run a mail server, Apache, and even compile programs on the device in a reasonable amount of time. In fact, I ended up compiling Postfix from source directly on the device. For kicks I compiled the Linux kernel, but that took the better part of the night. This device is really a small computer (bogomips 999.79).

29 May 2008 (updated 29 May 2008 at 14:46 UTC) »
Google App Engine

Anyone can sign up and use the Google App Engine. It works nicely on Linux.

You have to have Python 2.5, and you download their Software Development Kit. The applications that you build are in Python. After testing the application locally, it can be uploaded to Google. Of course, you can also point your own domain name to where the application lives as well, so no one will know that you're using Google.

Yeah, they do limit the amount of content to 500MB, which is enough for development. They're talking about increasing the content for a fee. So, you have plenty of space for development; but, when you land a contract, for your work, you'll have the option to increase the amount of space and pass the expense along to the client.

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