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Using Mandrill as a relay host in CentOS using Postfix

Using a transactional e-mail provider such as Mandrill provides many benefits, such as higher deliverability, lower maintenance costs, actionable insights and lower costs. What’s particularly interesting is using Mandrill as a relay host for your CentOS Linux machines.

Read on to learn how to use Mandrill as a relay host in CentOS using Postfix

Categories: CentOS Linux.

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Disable root login via SSH

A lot of automated SSH login bots focus on the root user. The two reasons for this are simple: you don’t have to guess for a valid username and once you get lucky you directly have all the privileges you need. Therefor, leaving root login via SSH allowed is dangerous, and this is one of the very first things I disable after installing a new system.

Learn how to disable root SSH login

Categories: CentOS Linux.

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Protect files starting with a dot in nginx

One of the things you have to get used to when switching from the Apache webserver to nginx is that you don’t use local .htaccess files anymore for configuring a vhost. To speed up operations nginx doesn’t allow to locally override settings, forcing you to make the changes first and then reloading the nginx daemon, which will compile all your settings and store that in memory. However, chances are your virtual hosts will still have .htaccess files laying around and you don’t want the world to see those. What’s more, you definitely want to deny access to your .htpasswd files.
Learn how to deny access to files starting with a dot in nginx

Categories: nginx.

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Removing multiple slashes from URL with nginx

Recently I’ve began switching some of the servers I administer from Apache to nginx. The benefits are obvious: nginx is much more lightweight, allowing it to serve files faster and handling more simultaneous connections. On top of that it’s also much easier to configure than the Apache webserver. However, some things that we expect Apache to do out of the box, nginx won’t. One of these things is cleaning URIs containing multiple slashes, like: www.syn-ack.org/nginx//removing-multiple-slashes-in-nginx-config. However, fixing this is easy.
Read on to learn how to clean your URLs in nginx

Categories: nginx.

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Disable SELinux in CentOS

Although not advisable if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing, but a lot of people like to turn off SELinux protection on their servers. SELinux can be quite annoying from time to time, so you may want to turn it off.

Read on to learn how to disable SELinux protection in CentOS

Categories: CentOS Linux.

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Installing Rootkit Hunter on CentOS

Rootkits are a pain in the ass. They are very hard to discover, let alone, to get rid of. Fortunately, there are some tools available that will help you with the first of the two problems. One such tool is Rootkit Hunter (rkhunter). Rootkit Hunter is a shell script that checks your system’s integrity based on known problems (like the signatures of specific rootkits), incorrect settings (like insecure SSHd settings) and anomalies (like changes to a system since the previous run). Let’s take a look at what it is and how to install and configure this on a CentOS system.

Read on to learn how to install, update and configure rkhunter on CentOS

Categories: CentOS Linux.

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CentOS Dojo – 12 July 2013 – Aldershot, Hampshire (UK)

For all fellow CentOS lovers located in the UK (or able to travel there): CatN will host a CentOS Dojo at their offices in Aldershot, Hampshire on the 12th of July. From their website: “Talks about CentOS and other technologies such as OpenStack will be delivered by experts in the field. Come a long for a day filled with fascinating talks, great networking opportunities, an evening filled with beer and hog roast, and a free T-Shirt!”

All of that for just 10 quid. Sounds like fun! So if you’re able to make it please check out the CatN CentOS Dojo website.

 

Categories: CentOS Linux.

Monitoring the MySQL master slave replication status

If you run MySQL in a production environment chances are you are using a master/slave replication set-up. This brings two major benefits: higher availability (multiple nodes to read from) and quicker response times (when doing reads from slaves).

When you are running a master/slave replication set-up, monitoring the replication state becomes critical. Especially when doing reads from slave nodes you want them to stay in sync as much as possible. Using a simple Bash script we can easily monitor the replication link state.

Read on to learn how to detect master/slave replication problems

Categories: MySQL.

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Automatic reboot after Linux kernel panic

Kernel panics for all sorts of reasons. Both hardware failures and software failures. It is always important to investigate the reason for the kernel panic so you can resolve it. However, sometimes system update is critical and you want the system to reboot automatically after a kernel panic. Luckily this is very easy to achieve.

Read on to learn how to configure automatic kernel panic reboots

Categories: CentOS Linux.

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Override excludes and force include packages in yum

Previously I explained how to exclude certain packages from being updated when running yum update. As kernel updates require a system reboot and have a big impact on the system it makes sense to exclude kernel packages from yum update. However, when you want to do a kernel update it’s annoying that you need to change your yum config file to comment the exclude line. Luckily, there’s a handy yum switch for that.

Read on to learn how to force include excluded packages in yum

Categories: CentOS Linux.

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