Forensic SysAdmin

I had to adjust the default mail on a Moodle system that I switched from one domain to another. I changed it last in August of 2015 and apparently forgot how it worked. So today I am going to mention that forensic sysadmin work, or finding configuration files is a real challenge.

Yes, I have made copies of all of the configuration files and ended them in a TLA of my initials and yet when I ran locate I forgot or chose not to run updatedb and well, it isn’t in cron anymore as I rarely search for anything and it uses less power to not catalog repeatedly.

Having not found anything appropriate with my initials, although the file was actually there, I proceeded to work for hours on every single configuration setting in Moodle as well as every Moodle post on email I could stomach.

Nagging in the back of my mind was the fact that this year I eliminated ALL of the cruft on Moodle by simply starting it from scratch and as I kept a record of every change I made, I thought I could find it. I kept focusing on the OAuth configuration as I was using GMail.

Just before shutting the server off for the year, truly, I stopped to think through the architecture and realized I had to be using native Linux mail, that I always choose Postfix and a quick search indicated I was configured to use GMail’s less secure method of authenticated SMTP. I made the changes and everything worked great.

I held up this post to decide on how to explain what to do correctly. I had hoped for inspiration about documentation, or flow charting processes. The issue is that I simply don’t perform the same amount of sysadmin work I used to, which was enormous, so recalling all the bits and pieces and troubleshooting it, was more work than expected.

I am glad I did it, it reactivated a confidence in my skills and an awareness of troubleshooting steps and an entire plethora of interconnected systems that I would have forgotten about otherwise.

On The Bench: Google AIY Voice & Raspberry Pi

Setup my recently arrived Google AIY/Voice Project and am busy going about customizing the interface.  Short a MicroSD card but Amazon will fix that soon enough.

Note:  Enjoying the Linux nature of Raspberry Pi as well as all the Python tools and use.  Clearly a Confluence Project.

Another Great Way to Learn Linux

via Mashable

Linux Foundation Or edX Course

linux shortcuts linfoucourse   11 Shortcuts For Learning Linux In Record Time

If you’d like to get a formal introduction to Linux, there’s no better way than to take part in the Introduction to Linux course presented by the Linux Foundation or the version provided via edX. In this course, you’ll learn all the basics you should know to become highly confident in your ability to use Linux.

The best part is that while you can pay a fee in order to formally complete the course, you’re also able to simply audit the course for free (via edX; a full free version of the intro course is coming soon via the Linux Foundation). This allows you to look at all the materials and partake in the lectures, but you won’t have any official certification that you’ve completed the course. If you’re just interested in taking the course for at-home Linux use, then there’s absolutely nothing wrong with going with the free, audit route.

Unsung Heroes of Linux

From Carla Schroder, here, on comes a multi-part series entitled the Unsung Heroes of Linux.  What caught my eye was the inclusion of Lady Ada whose products I have purchased starting soon after she started selling them as my son found them, and the Linux Wireless project, which, for those of us with early WaveLAN cards who worked through all the variations really came to appreciate.  You probably have other favorites, but a fun start to a list.  Head over to the site to see the full article.

Everyone knows and loves Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux. Mark Shuttleworth, the creator of Ubuntu Linux, is pretty famous. Richard Stallman, the founder of the Free Software Foundation and creator of the GPL, is equal parts famous and infamous. But surely there is more to Linux and Free/Open Source software than these three. And indeed there are thousands upon thousands of people toiling away fueling the mighty FOSS engine; here is a small sampling of these important contributors who make the FOSS world go ’round.

Lady Ada, Adafruit Industries

Lady Ada is Limor Fried, electronics engineer and founder of Adafruit Industries. My fellow crusty old-timers remember way way back when Radio Shack was actually about do-it-yourself electronics hacking instead of the passive brain-decay of cell phones and big-screen TVs.

Adafruit Industries is a welcome replacement for us weirdos who like to take things apart and figure out how they work. Adafruit Industries sells Arduino boards, kits, and related parts and tools. Even more valuable is the wealth of well-illustrated tutorials. You can start from scratch, with no electronics knowledge, and get a solid fundamental education in a few days’ of reading and hands-on hacking.

Akkana Peck, Rennaissance Nerd

Akkana is one of my favorite people. She used to race cars and motorcyles, flies little radio-controlled airplanes, is into astronomy, mountain biking, kayaking, photography, and all kinds of fun stuff.

Akkana is a versatile and talented coder who has worked at cool-sounding places like Silicon Graphics and Netscape, and currently works for a startup doing embedded Linux and Android work. Akkana wrote the excellent Beginning GIMP book and a bunch of first-rate Linux howtos for Linux Planet. She also writes all kinds of amazing technical articles on her Shallow Sky blog. What earned Akkana a place on this list is her generosity in sharing knowledge and helping other Linux users. Learning, doing, and sharing – isn’t that what it’s all about?

John Linville, Linux Wireless

The Linux Wireless project is a model that more FOSS projects should emulate. Back around 2006 or so kernel developer John Linville and his team took on the task of overhauling the Linux wireless stack. It was a mess of multiple wireless subsystems (Wavelan, Orinoco, and MadWifi). Drivers were all over the map in what functions they handled, sometimes conflicting with the kernel.

In just a couple of years, without fanfare, it was all significantly streamlined and improved, with a common driver base (mac80211) and assistance for vendors and end users. There are still some odds and ends to be worked out, but it’s at the stage where most wireless network interfaces have plug-and-play native Linux support.

Jean Tourillhes, Wireless Tools for Linux

Jean Tourillhes was the core maintainer and primary documenter of the old Linux WLAN drivers and userspace tools. If it were not for Mr. Tourillhes wi-fi on Linux would have been brutish and nasty. (WLAN and wireless-tools have been replaced by the new Linux Wireless project.)

Ken Starks, the Helios Initiative

Ken Starks does the kind of hard, hands-on advocacy that delivers the best results: rehabbing computers with Linux and giving them to children who can’t afford to buy their own computers. Since the Helios Project moved into spiffy new quarters in Taylor, Texas they’ve expanded to building a computer lab and teaching classes

INFOGRAPHIC : The History Of Linux


Today’s infographic comes from BlogSearchEngine and it shows the history of Linux, starting in 1971 with Richard Stallman who would go on to set up the Free Software Foundation.  Later would come the operating system called MINIX and in 1989, the Finnish student Linus Torvalds wanted to upgrade MINIX and, finding he was barred from doing so, wrote his own OS called Linux.  The rest, as they say, is history.



From: MakeUseOf