Merry Christmas!

It’s time once again for our special Christmas card! Merry Christmas, everyone! We have a special card just for you:

http://www.tolaris.com/xmas/xmas2013.php

(In case you miss it the first time, try reloading or clicking the button.)

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Craig released BackupPC 3.3.0 earlier this year. This version adds a number of fixes, including a minor one from yours truly. It also fixes the issue with Samba 3.6.x.

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I’m in Stockholm this week, training on OTRS. OTRS is packaged as an RPM for OpenSUSE and RHEL/CentOS, but the package maintainers have left a lot of basic steps for the user to run after install or upgrade. Here are commands to install all missing Perl modules for OTRS, both optional and required.

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Proxmox is a pretty nice virtualisation solution for the medium enterprise. It’s bigger than Virtualbox, smaller than Openstack, and easy to implement on both as single machine or a whole cluster. Unfortunately, the developers are struggling to pay the bills. So with the 3.1 release they have followed the path of “Subscription versus Community.” Users without a subscription are now treated to this dialog every time they login:

You do not have a valid subscription for this server. Please visit www.proxmox.com to get a list of available options.

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At Talia, we use Skype as a backup chat mechanism in addition to our own Jabber server. When choosing corporate Skype names, we tend to match the email address, replacing the at sign as that’s invalid on Skype. So “tyler@example.com” becomes Skype user “tyler.example.com”. A while back we discovered that we couldn’t reset the password of one of our staff members, Mohamed. Mohamed could reset his password via the Skype web interface, but couldn’t login afterward.

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It was bound to happen. The IPv4 address pool has nearly run out, IPv6 adoption is moving at a glacial pace, but demand for devices to be IP-enabled is soaring. And so, the vultures have come:

Dear Mr. Wagner,

We would like to invite your company to become a REDACTED Marketplace participant, where you can purchase the rights to unused IPv4 number blocks. There is no cost to become a participant and we currently have significant listings of various size number blocks which can be easily transferred to your company under existing policy.

We are available to discuss how the marketplace works or can provide it to you in writing if you prefer. Please contact me if this interests your company.

Best regards,

XXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXX
Outreach Coordinator, European Market
REDACTED Marketplace Services

I suppose I’m being unfair. The market is simply moving to fill the demand. But this is monetisation of a resource which should be free, infinite, and available to all. And thanks to politics and bad governance, we’ll soon have to pay for even the smallest IPv4 subnet. That will be a bar to entry to individuals and smaller companies, who will find themselves on a second-tier Internet. The one with private IP space, NAT, and the limitations that come with them.

Tonight I tested a Raspberry Pi model B running Raspbian as an OpenVPN-capable router. I used an Apple USB FastEthernet adaptor as the external interface. Results are disappointing. Pushing traffic through the VPN produced 90% CPU usage at about 8 Mbit with the CPU running at 700 MHz (no CPU overclocking). That’s far below what my tests with “openssl speed” produced.

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I use Geany to develop our Puppet source. * However, Geany doesn’t support Puppet manifests natively, and I couldn’t find a working example of someone who has done it. So here it is. Come and index, search engines!

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Job openings at Talia

Talia Logo

We’re interviewing for new Linux administration and systems development positions at Talia. Do you have a few years’ experience under your belt and want a challenge? Or have you used Linux at home and want to make the switch to being paid for it? Apply here:

You’ll be working directly with me as part of a small team. You’ll have plenty of responsibility and input into what you work on, and we’re a pretty fun group.

Update 2013-08-07: We’ve filled both roles. However, you’re always welcome to send me a CV.

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You should really, really get your Cacti RRA settings right before you begin using it. Cacti defaults to polling every 5 minutes, but a lot of enterprise users change this to 1 minute in order to provide higher resolution for troubleshooting problems. Unfortunately, there is a lot of incomplete information on how to do this.

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