Thursday, June 27, 2013

procmail notes

debugging procmail

This applies to a linux virtual machine with imap server, squirrelmail (web access), procmail and fetchmail, with sendmail as well.  It is capable of receiving, but is not used for sending email.

Procmail is used for each of the fetchmail entities that run on my imap server.

fetchmail entities are created in the /etc/fetchmailrc which poll outside mail sources.  I have ones for each of several email entities which fetch the mail.  Google so far has free pop3, and so that + my main email are polled and sorted by procmail.

poll pop3 user me password 'password' is some-id here

some-id would be a user id on the system with a full /home/some-id structure, etc.

Fetchmail can scan for various patterns, sender id's etc., in the email headers and sort all the mailing lists into separate folders for archival or reading.

One can log into webserver squirrelmail and get to the lists anywhere, though squirrelmail has a very limited size of mailbox it can deal with, since it runs all in javascript in the browser.  Maybe later versions will be implemented with node.js and run on the server side w/o size restrictions.

create a rule to forward email for one list to another server.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

installing lamp on ubuntu 12.04

one version of the install including installing and building up from scratch is here

this uses the text install  of 12.04 LTS to install Lamp and open ssh configured.

install webmin using the instructions here

instructions for setting up on a 12.04 system w/o apache, php or mysql, putting up those parts after the fact is explained on this set of pages

 installing various goodies, such as an extension to webmin to configure security is on the calpop site

install splunk and ConfigServerFirewall


# wget
# tar xzvf csf.tgz
# cd csf
# ./
goto the Webmin Modules page and install a new module from a local directory. The module will be located at /etc/csf/csfwebmin.tgz.

dpkg install splunk*.deb
Next, start Splunk: 
/opt/splunk/bin/splunk start
Now, enter http://your-server:8000 (where your-server is obviously the hostname or IP address of your box), and you'll enter the web interface.   You might well poke around for a bit.  After you've had your fill, and converted the license to the Free Edition (see the Splunk installation documentation for instructions on how to do this, by default, it runs as a 30 day trial of the paid version), log out again.

Whether you're managing one device or 1,000, Splunk ( is a useful product as it allows you to aggregate and search diagnostic information from a variety of systems.  At CalPOP we use it as a central syslog server, allowing us to view the logs of our several hundred Cisco and Juniper switches and other infrastructure elements in one central place, search for specific events, and build reports and dashboards to track performance.   If you're operating on a small scale, you can use the Free Edition of Splunk, which allows you to index up to 500 MB of data per day.   The Free Edition will likely cover you until your environment reaches enterprise-scale (think hundreds or thousands of servers), at which time Splunk will be more than happy to take your money.
The Free Edition of Splunk has one irritating drawback, however: it lacks any form of built in user account management or authentication.  We will (partially) address that shortcoming in the course of this tutorial.
First, download Splunk from their website, and upload it to the home directory your server.  If you're running Ubuntu, which is what we use for our infrastructure within CalPOP, you can use a .deb package.  There is also an .rpm for distros like CentOS and Fedora, and a tarball for everyone else.   Once you've uploaded it, if you're on Ubuntu (and presumably Debian, although I've yet to try it on that much-venerated distribution), run this command:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

How to get rid of the new cinema / tab page in browsers

If you use VNC sessions, you know no graphics and solid colors are your friend.  The background on your desktop is another topic, but Firefox about version 12 or so suddenly changed to have an array of past web page thumbs to start up.  No warning or "oh shit how to make this go away," the usual.

The connection I use is varying in performance, and today slow enough to fix this.  The other browsers, chrome and safari that I use I will have to look up when they annoy me enough.

Starting with Firefox:

use about:config as a url to bring up configuration.  You will be challenged that you know what you are doing.  of course you don't, but answer yes anyway.

You want to change the assignment of


from about:tabs to about:blank

this disposes of Firefox.