Entries posted in December 2011

The final updates of 2011

Saturday, 31 December 2011

I've been informed by a couple of people that the Debian Administration site is down. Sadly it is; at the moment the host isn't showing anything on the serial console and remotely power-cycling it isn't showing any signs of life.

At this time of year I don't want to drag anybody in to take care of it, so ETA on recovery/replacement hardware is Monday/Tuesday.

In other news I've made it to year five of the KVM hosting sub-project/thing. Originally started as a Xen host its been running happily for quite some time. I suspect next year, or the year after that the price/specification ratio will end up losing out and we'll cancel the whole thing - but there are no immediate reasons to make any change.

Finally I knocked up a simple tool to validate my TinyDNS records prior to uploading them. It is simplistic, but adequate to catch the kind of mistakes I make:

Honestly it probably wants to be rationalised a little more - and check records more carefully. e.g. Ensure that the host a CNAME refers to itself exists, and making sure that the nameservers specified are valid.

I just wanted to make something quick after accidentally uploading a zonefile where I'd managed to fat-finger several important records. le sigh.

Oddly enough asking on serverfault.com showed no real suggestions - other than actually running tinydns locally and doing a zone-xfer to validate records. Overkill and harder than I'd like.

Happy New year if you care about such things..

"I finished growing up, Léon. I just get older. " - Leon

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So I'm a peddler of smut nowadays.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Over the Christmas period I've not been doing too much.

December was a month that started out pretty well, in the first 10 days I had five models/friends/random-folk come to pose for me. (I have a few folk lined up for mid-January, but things tailed off quickly this month due to people having little free time).

I spent a while mulling over what I was doing with images, as I've recently been doing a fair number of more NSFW images - In December this and this were my two favourite shots.

I've posted NSFW images in various places over the past year (with permission; some volunteers/victims/friends don't want me to share anything, so I don't. They just hang on my walls.) but I was never consistent.

Anyway I realised that .xxx domains are now available, so I figured I'd snarf one up and use that. That lead to tasteful.xxx - which is mostly full of images I didn't actually take, but that will change. (Sadly "artistic" was gone!)

In more on-topic news I reported #651896 - a trivial security issue in another setgid(games) binary. I've got a couple more of those to tidy up and report in the near future.

ObQuote: "Bright light. Bright light." - Gremlins

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So I removed some more software from my host

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Today I was idly performing some maintainence upon one of my hosts, and it crossed my mind to look beneath /etc in there I found:

/etc/python
/etc/python2.4
/etc/python2.5
/etc/python2.6

That made me look more closely at the contents of /etc - the following command output was surprising:

steve@steve:~$ ls /etc | wc -l
187

Is that average? Heavy? Light? I have no idea, but I purged a hell of a lot of software today. Now I have only python v2.6 although for some reason I still have:

python
python-apt
python-apt-common
python-central
python-minimal
python-support
python2.6
python2.6-minimal

I suspect I could drop the pything2.6-minimal package, but for the moment I'm done. I have to make pretty people look exceptional with my magical camera.

Anyway as part of this cleanup I ran a quick sanity-check on which processes are running and I think, short of kernel processes, I'm as minimal as I can be. I understand the purpose and reason for every running service:

UID        PID  CMD
root         1  init [2]
pdnsd    14091  /usr/sbin/pdnsd --daemon -p /var/run/pdnsd.pid
root     14199  /usr/sbin/monit -c /etc/monit/monitrc -s /var/lib/monit/monit.state
root     14206  /usr/sbin/syslog-ng -p /var/run/syslog-ng.pid
root     14234  /usr/sbin/cron
102      14595  /usr/sbin/exim4 -bd -q30m
redis    14627  /usr/bin/redis-server /etc/redis/redis.conf
root     14637  /usr/sbin/sshd

These are basic services; I use monit to ensure those essential daemons keep running. The only oddity there is probably the local DNS cache, but it is useful if you run any kind of DNS blacklist-using service, for example.

root     14794  /sbin/getty -L ttyS0 9600 vt100

I need a serial console login for emergencies.

root     14796  runsv node-reverse-proxy
root     14797  /bin/sh ./run
root     14799  /opt/node/bin/node node-reverse-proxy.js --config ./rewrites.js

These three processes combine to run my reverse proxy which routes incoming HTTP requests to a number of local thttpd instances.

qpsmtpd  27309    /usr/bin/perl -Tw /usr/bin/qpsmtpd-prefork --port 25 --user qpsmtpd --pid-file /var/run/qpsmtpd/qpsmtpd.pid --detach
..

The perl SMTP daemon which runs my incoming mail, passing it to exim4 which listens upon 127.0.0.1:2525. You can read about my setup in the out-of-date writeup Chris & I put together.

 /usr/bin/memcached -m 64 -p 11211 -u root -l 127.0.0.1

Memory cache for transient items.

s-blog    thttpd -C /etc/thttpd/sites.enabled/blog.steve.org.uk
1030      thttpd -C /etc/thttpd/sites.enabled/edinburgh-portraits.com
s-hg      thttpd -C /etc/thttpd/sites.enabled/hg.steve.org.uk
s-ipv4    thttpd -C /etc/thttpd/sites.enabled/ipv4.steve.org.uk
s-ipv6    thttpd -C /etc/thttpd/sites.enabled/ipv6.steve.org.uk
s-kvm     thttpd -C /etc/thttpd/sites.enabled/kvm-hosting.org
...

One thttpd instance is launched for each distinct HTTP site my server runs. Each site runs under its own UID, with its own chrooted directory tree. This is important for security.

Each local instance listens upon 127.0.0.1 - and the reverse proxy previously mentioned rewrites connections to the appropriate one.

1016     28812     /usr/bin/perl -I./lib/ -I./ /usr/local/bin/blogspam

My anti-spam filter for blog comments.

Here is my christmas challenge. Can you identify each service upon your host? Do you know why you're running what you're running?

Me? I had no idea I had a dbus deamon running. Now I've purged it. Ha!

ObQuote - "I owe everything to George Bailey. Help him, dear Father." - It's a wonderful life.

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