It has been quiet the last months here, but there were reasons for that. The most time consuming reason was that I started to brew beer, but there were some other projects too.
The home server project got some big changes. The virtual machines were migrated from VirtualBox to LinuX Containters. This makes the system a whole lot faster, and makes that you can use lighter machines to run this project. The new Raspberry should do fine. Anyway, it took some time before I could document it all, but now it’s ready (I hope).
The firewall configuration is replaced. I used to use firewallbuilder, but that project was abandoned. So I decided to write some scripts that generates the firewall rules using some configuration files. These are available as Slackware package too.
I removed the two telephony articles. They were never finished. In today’s world there are better ways to communicate with each other, there is no Linux server needed to do that. I also cleaned out the Slackware packages maintained by me and removed the 14.0 branch.
I wrote a new article about how you can add protection to malware hosts on your home server. It uses lists published by the Malware Domain Blocklist site. A script will keep your system updated. Currently this list contains a little bit more then 20000 malware sites.
An interesting thread can be read at DoctorBeet’s Blog about LG smart TV’s sending private information to several Internet sites. In the article about the basic network setup I did create a hook in the setup of dnsmasq, the name server for your internal network. The setup has the following line:
This means that any file dropped in that directory is read when dnsmasq starts. To block the sites mentioned at DoctorBeet’s Blog, create the file /etc/dnsmasq.d/80-lg-block with the following contents:
# # LG smart TV spy networks # address=/ad.lgappstv.com/127.0.0.1 address=/yumenetworks.com/127.0.0.1 address=/smartclip.net/127.0.0.1 address=/smartclip.com/127.0.0.1 address=/smartshare.lgtvsdp.com/127.0.0.1 address=/ibis.lgappstv.com/127.0.0.1
The restart dnsmasq using /etc/rc.d/rc.dnsmasq restart. If you use the IP address of your home server instead of 127.0.0.1 you can see all these requests in the log of your own internal web server. But if you use 127.0.0.1 you won’t see a thing, the TV will be talking to itself.
This option is also useful to block sites you don’t want to contact such as these irritating popup (poker/sex) sites.
The site became slow again, nothing new. This time it was caused by the nextgen gallery plugin. The 2.xx series had new features that causes the slowdown. In the meantime, there is a fork made from the latest pre 2.xx code called nextcellent gallery. This is almost a drop in replacement, so it is easy to “downgrade” the gallery.
In another post I wrote about a new download plugin, today I removed it. I am using an external site again. One of the missing things with an external site (nginx with autoindex) was that it didn’t produce data for piwik. Today I found out that there is a new experimental feature that can do logfile analyses. This works and now every hour a cron job runs that tool.
The article about certificate management that uses scripts is replaced by a version that uses XCA to manage the certificate creation. This makes this a lot easier, especially if you keep in mind that you won’t need to do this very often. Some related articles that use certificates are updated as well.
It is a long time ago when I last updated this site, but here are some new updates. One of the projects hosted on this site is the MBSE BBS package. I was still running a Fidonet connected BBS but I finally decided to shut it down because I almost never used it and the MBSE BBS package is 99% finished. I have been a member in Fidonet for about 20 years, but today other media are more used by me. All pages for the MBSE BBS software and related pages will stay on this site.
About a year ago I had written a WordPress plugin that displays a widget and can retrieve amateur radio call sign information from several sources. I decided that it was time to make this plugin available for everyone. This ‘callsignquery’ plugin is now in the official WordPress repository so that everyone that wants to use it can install it using plugins -> new plugins settings in WP. You can see this plugin in action on this Dutch dstar site.
The site became dead slow the last days. The main reason was an update in a WordPress plugin called tinyMCE. Although the writer claims that he had fixed all things slowing down websites, rolling back to an earlier release is the solution that really works to return to the speed we were used to.
Another thing that looked like slowing down the site was the Facebook plugin, these “Like” buttons that were all over the site. Now that really didn’t slowed down the site because the call was asynchronous, fact was that it looked a bit strange that after a page was loaded, the page was reformatted again when the buttons arrived and were parsed. Almost nobody used these buttons, so now only the generic Facebook button in the header is still there.