Category Archives: Administration

Administration and maintenance of computer hardware, operating systems, and software

Node.js & less on Media Temple Grid

Maybe I’m crazy, but I wanted to install Node.js in a (gs) shared hosting environment so that I could compile and save small changes to my LESS-based stylesheets via SSH without having to maintain a local working copy. That’s right. I said it. I change files in a live environment sometimes, and there’s nothing wrong […]

Getting .bashrc to work on MediaTemple’s Grid Service

I’m spoiled, guys and gals. I can’t work without my dotfiles. Watching me work in a vanilla bash shell is excruciating, like watching someone walk with those drunk-driving goggles–fumbling and stumbling through an environment completely devoid of the shortcuts and settings upon which I’ve come to rely so heavily. Even for something as simple as […]

Displaying PHP errors with Xdebug in Ubuntu Server

Ubuntu Server packages are generally pretty well-configured right out of the box–usually requiring little or no configuration for simple operation. It’s one of the reasons why, despite my preference toward Arch Linux for the desktop, I’ve long advocated Ubuntu as a great starting point for a LAMP development server. Yet, on occasion, a package ships […]

Apache and SSL – The Easy Way

It’s no secret–SSL is confusing. Creating and signing certificates is a convoluted process, especially from the command line. Fortunately, Debian-based systems have an easy way for Apache users to create, sign, and install their own SSL certs. This tutorial assumes that Apache is already installed with the default configuration. Configure SSL Step one is to […]

Shred Empty Drive Space

If you are familiar with the shred command, you know it is an easy way to make sure sensitive data is really deleted. Shred overwrites a file with random data before deleting it, so that the original data cannot be recovered. Shred works by overwriting the data in place, or over top of the original […]

SSH From the Inside

Problem I need SSH access to a particulr machine (schoolsvr) which is behind a NAT. I only need to enable access from a single client (homesvr), which has a public IP address of its own. Both machines are running sshd. I can access homesvr from a shell on schoolsvr, but not vise-versa. If I had […]

A Good SSD/HDD Partitioning Scheme

An SSD is a great investment. Data loads super fast and there are no moving parts to fail. But SSD storage space is expensive, and most users have a lot to store. A common solution is to install the OS to the SSD, and move personal data (the /home directory) to a secondary HDD. While […]

Linux Server: to Reboot or Not to Reboot?

Linux servers have a reputation as workhorses. Since very early in the development of Linux, its users have boasted in the stability of the OS. In fact, it is not uncommon to hear of Linux-based servers running for years without the need for a reboot. This raises the question: how often should you reboot your […]