Iptables >= 1.4.16 and fwbuilder doesn’t work

If you use fwbuilder to configure the firewalls on your server, then don’t upgrade to iptables 1.4.16 but keep 1.4.15. Version 1.4.16 does work, but you will see a lot of warnings like:

WARNING: The state match is obsolete. Use conntrack instead.

The syntax of several iptables and ip6tables commands will change, and fwbuilder needs an upgrade so that the correct rules will be generated again. It’s just a matter of time until it really doesn’t work anymore. To stop upgrading, add IgnorePkg = iptables in /etc/pacman.conf until a fwbuilder will be released that generates the new syntax. The iptables package only depends on glibc, and as long as there is no major glibc update you can safely use the 1.4.15 version.

Network configuration is much better now.

About a year ago I wrote an message about the deprecation of net-tools. Finally after a little more then a year the “new” scripts can do almost anything what the old scripts could do. The Arch Wiki is not yet up to date, but at least the network configuration now works for regular servers. It only doesn’t work on the Home Server itself if you use a virtual gateway server. Then you must still use the old network-legacy package that you can download from this site.

I have updated the articles that used the network-legacy method as temporary solution.

Web server using nginx

There are two new articles added, one about how to setup a web server with nginx, and one that explains how to migrate from apache to nginx. I finally did take the time to study how to do things the “nginx” way after years of using apache for a web server. It was just a matter of learning how to run php and cgi scripts. The only thing left to do is the way the mercurial repository is served, but it works for this moment. Of course this server is now serving this site using nginx.

The site itself got some cosmetic changes. The static header is replaced with random photographs that I made around the place where I live. More will follow when I take more panorama type pictures that will to fit in the header without losing important parts. Amazing how few from 12000 pictures can be used for a header.


Making backups using Amanda.

I think that Amanda is one of the better backup solutions for small and large systems. The backups itself are written using standard *nix tools and can be used to restore even without amanda itself. The backups can be written to real tapes, disks simulating a tape changer, and into the cloud using Amazon S3 storage.

Because using amanda can be complicated and simple at the same time, I have split the whole story in three articles. The first is about the server part, which is also good for single machines. The second adds a *nix client, and the last article describes some practical commands such as maintenance and restore data.

You may expect an article about Amanda Recovery Manager, this is a backup solotion for your MySQL database and is a better alternatice then what I have written in the MySQL article.

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.