VNC article and other things

Today I added an article about using VNC as remote graphical console to the headless home server. Original I used Thinstation booting from the PXE server, but that was a complicated and slow way to get the console. VNC is much easier and there are clients available for Linux, Windows and more.

In the meantime the server locked up a few times in the last days for no known reason. Read More …

Network problems

During the latest changes for the Home Server articles I replaced the VirtualBox network drivers with the kernel’s virtio drivers. This was around the same time I was experimenting with traffic shaping and some other things, so when network problems would show up it was not right away clear what caused it. All the other computers had no problems while they were several virtio drivers in the path.

What exactly caused the troubles is a bit of a mystery, but it seems to work well again.

Slow Home Server updates?

Not that I’m on holiday now, it’s just that I’m busy doing research about traffic shaping, better firewall protection, and improving internal network performance. Most of these results will end up in their own articles, but some parts that are already written will get some changes.

My main server is now using traffic shaping on the Internet side, but also between two of the virtual servers. That last one is necessary because the nightly backup otherwise would almost kill this web server. It seems to perform much better now during the night since the network traffic for the backup is classified as lowest priority.

For the external side, it looks that traffic to and from the Internet responds better, even while a torrent is handled at full up and download speed. In a few weeks everything will be tuned well enough to publish the results.

There is also a low memory version of the Home Server in the making, less features of course and no virtual servers inside, but it should do just enough to be useful.

Home Server – dropping tcp_wrappers support

Soon in Arch Linux tcp_wrappers support will be dropped. It wasn’t used much these days, it is always the best to try to limit access to network services using the internal configuration and protect the network traffic itself with iptables. The following Home Server articles are updated:

  • Home Server MySQL Database server
  • Home Server PXE Server
  • Home Server NFS4 Shares

For the time being, put ALL: ALL in /etc/hosts.allow.

Home Server article updates

Lately I have not written any new articles for the Home Server series but updated some of the existing ones to make the contents more accurate.

The Minidlna article is updated for the local web server configuration.

The Home Server Linux installation has some fixes about the RAID and SMART setup.

The Home Server IPv4 article has most updates about the setup of the bind name server, it now uses /srv/named instead of /var/named as a working directory. This is because the /var directory won’t be included in future backup scripts.

The MySQL article is updated with information to backup the databases.

The Postfix article has some cosmetic changes.

The download file is updated.

Arch Linux and deprecation of net-tools.

In June 2011 the Arch Development team decided that network setup should be done with other tools then net-tools because net-tools is now deprecated. Why the flexible configuration scripts should be gone because of that is something that I and a lot of Arch usersĀ  simply don’t know and understand. Init-scripts have nothing to do with the network tools, they simply should have been rewritten to use the iproute2 package.

The consequence of this is that complex network configurations like used in the Home ServerĀ  articles on this site, are almost impossible to do with the “new” style of configuring. Add to that that the wiki still describes the old method (but it displays a warning now), and that some things are still not straitened out for the current packages, I decided to keep on using the old style scripts or a while.

Read More …

Home Server reorganisation

They way that I originally organized the Home Server articles didn’t work because the menu would fall off the screen and you could not select all the articles anymore. To fix this I decided to insert another menu level in the tree. Unfortunately this has the effect almost all pages in the Home Server series now have a new url. I guess it takes a few days before all search engines catch up with these changes.

The menu system itself is changed too, I have now more control about what is displayed in the drop-down menus and the titles of the pages. This should make navigation a bit more friendly.

Mail server articles

In the Home Server article series the mail server and delivery articles are finally ready. The mail server is a multi-instance postfix setup. Mail delivery is the done with dovecot LDA. Users can fetch mail from the server using the IMAP protocol.

Dovecot is installed with pigeonhole for sieve message filtering. It is also setup for private, public and shared malboxes.

If there are any errors (I’m sure there are some), please let me know. And next, spam filtering using dspam …

Home Server articles series

The first two series of articles about building a Home Server with Arch Linux are ready. The first serie is about planning and installing the Operating System with RAID and LVM. The second series is all about network setup including IPv6.

The third series of articles are about installing services for the users computers such as file sharing, email, printing and a lot of other things. In the index you can see what should come and what is already written.