CategoryLinux Stuff

Solid.pw Updated

A few days ago, a friend of mine sent me a message letting me know that he liked my http://solid.pw site. I had written about it here a few months ago, Solid.pw, and he had used it somewhat regularly for password generation.

After his note to me, I went back and looked at it, and it looked horrible! I was surprised that I never went back and did anything else to it, but I did that this weekend. It is much more presentable now, and I have added some more things to it that make it work a little better for the user. If you a need a password, I think that it is an even better option now.

Here is a screenshot of it.

Screenshot 2014-03-22 22.31.35

 

– Drew

ISPConfig 3 Script Updated

Over the past few years, I have maintained an installation script for ISPConfig3. The script is hosted over on Github, ISPConfig-3-Debian-Installer, and I recently made a few changes to it. I had wanted to make it just work better, and a few issue were submitted in a row that made me take a look at it again. It now works in just one file, and I think that is the biggest improvement. If you have an empty VPS or Server, you should give the script a shot. The control panel that it installs is pretty cool, and it is actively maintained over at How To Forge.

If you use the script and find any issues, feel free to send me an email here or open an issue at GitHub. Either way, I will take a look at it.

– Drew

Solid.pw

A few weeks ago, a person at a forum that I visit regularly gave away a pretty cool domain name. When I saw it, I instantly wanted to get it and make a password generator out of it. I use one all the time for random stuff, and I wanted something that I know how it works. So, I did just that. You can find the site over at http://solid.pw. It uses freely available open-source software, and you can find more information about this on the About page.

The site is a pretty simple site that allows you to generate random passwords based on different settings. It is really nothing to write home about, but it is mine! I will use it pretty heavily, and I hope that other people can find some use for it.

Let me know what you think.

– Drew

Updated ISPConfig 3 Theme

Yesterday, I took the time to update my ISPConfig 3 Theme. I call this theme ISPConfig Clean. It just seemed like a good idea at the time, and you can’t really go back on that. It is a cleaner version of the default theme that ships with ISPConfig 3. I use or used the styling that is on the ISPConfig website as a base, and I am still working on it. I will be converting it over to SASS and Compass pretty soon. I just have to clean up a lot of things that are still in there. I will be constantly pushing updates to the Github Repo as I have time. This version will only work with 3.0.5. The older version for 3.0.4 is still available, but I will no longer be maintaining it.

Here are some pics of it.

ISPConfig-Login

 

ISPConfig-Dashboard

 

ISPConfig-DNS

 

My Site – Now on Version Control

It seems to me that everyone is starting to do this, and I thought that I should jump on the bandwagon as well. I don’t really know why I did it, but I am now running this bad boy with Git, BitBucket, and a shell script that runs to automatically pull the repository on my server. It seems to work pretty well so far, but I have only been using for a few hours.

The reason that I set this up is because I have made a lot of changes to theme of my website, and I got tired of having to use FTP/SFTP to put the files there. It does not seem like the efficient thing to do, and I didn’t want to do that anymore. After searching on the Internet for an hour or so I found a solution using a script called deploy.php, but I did not like that anyone could get access to it.

There had to be a better way, and I think that I found it using the Linux cronjob and bash script to run some commands for me. It might put some minimal extra load on my VPS, but I don’t think that it will be noticeable. I would like to set up something like WP Stack, but it seems like it is a pain to set up. I might look into it more later, but I think that I will stick with this for a few days or weeks. It is way better than what I have.

The only bad thing about doing this is having to update my plugins in development first. I am not super thrilled about that. I guess that I could exclude that directory, but I have a custom plugin for this site that I do some work on at times. It handles my Custom Post Types, and I try to tweak it to make it slightly better now and then. I am also not sure how to handle the database changes that the plugin might need to make. I guess I will have to find some way to dump the database and then import it to the production server. I do not want to get into the habit of taking a dump and uploading it constantly. That is not fun!

 

Ubuntu and Broadcom Drivers

The past few days have been quite an experience trying to install Ubuntu on an old Dell D620. The machine can’t run Windows effectively anymore, but I thought that it might still be able to handle the load of Linux. I was right about that, but it has been a pain in the butt getting the wireless card working on the machine. Everything that Google returns offers different answers, but I am going to list what I have done to get it fixed.

  1. Get rid of the driver installed by Additional Drivers.
    • Go to System Settings -> Additional Drivers
    • Remove the Driver that was installed
  2. Install the Broadcom Drivers through Software Manager
    • sudo apt-get install b43-fwcutter
  3. Edit the Modprode Blacklist
    • cd /etc/modprobe.d
      nano blacklist.conf
    • Find the line that mentions bcm43xx and place a # before it.
      #blacklist bcm43xx

Decrease Me

For awhile, I have wanted to run my own URL shortener, and I made that desire a reality a long time ago. I just never posted about it. I am not really sure why. I was pretty excited about it, but I never told anyone. There are still some people that have found it, but I was hoping that I could open it up to people who happen to read this blog.

The hardest part about the whole thing was finding the correct name. I wanted something that was short and easy to understand. This is where dcrs.me comes in. It is the word decrease without the vowels. I thought that it was pretty clever. If you want to use it, go ahead. It has a public interface for it, and I can set you up a secret key so that you can automatically post to it. It is what I use for this site.

So check it out at http://dcrs.me!dcrs.me

ISPConfig 3 Theme

Since I moved over to ISPConfig 3, I decided to create a theme for it. The theme was not that hard to create, and I am not sure that I did that great of a job on it. It looks way better than the default theme that comes with the control panel. You can find it over on my GitHub. I don’t want to waste my bandwidth on it because I don’t have a lot.

The repo can be found here: ISPConfig_Clean

Out of the LowEndBox Segment

For the past year and a half, I have run several sites on really low ram virtual servers. When I say low ram, I mean 128MB with a burst of 256MB. To be honest, this was fun for a little while, but it created a headache for me. I had about 7 or 8 boxes that I had to take care of, and I just don’t want to do it anymore. It is easy enough to login to them, but I hate trying to fix all the little issues that seem to pop up.

To cure this LowEndBox overload, I have gotten rid of all of them, and I have consolidated everything down to a single 1GB box. The monthly cost is essentially the same, and I only have to check on one box. I have also installed ISPConfig 3 on the box so that it is easier for me to manage them. If you need any hosting, just let me know. I can do it pretty easily, and you get a nice interface to do it with. It is easier than the command line that I was wrangling around with earlier.

Server Status Page

As most people know, I have really gotten into Linux servers and web hosting over the past couple of years. It started with having a couple of actual servers in my home, and I then decided to just get some small virtual servers with people. These servers are like containers that house all of my information, and I can make changes and tweaks to them. It is still a form of shared hosting, but I have all of the control over what is being used to serve my sites. To keep track of all of them, I have recently installed a status page. This page can be found at status.clardyhost.com. This page shows all of my servers that I currently have, and it give you a general idea of what is on each one.

The status page is a fork from SCRD and Status on github, but it is maintained now by Nick Moeck. You can read more about it here, OpenStatus. It is really a packaged version of those other two projects that has been cleaned up, enhanced, and made easier to manage. I think that it is a great tool for anyone who has a bunch of servers, and they don’t want to pay for a service like pingdom. Just make sure that you have a reliable provider to run your status page on. My status page has been up for close to 60 days now. The last time that it was restarted was me messing something up.