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Local stuff

Securing ssh with iptables

This is an old post. It may contain broken links and outdated information. In the previous post, I discussed one possible method of keeping undesirables from connecting to your server via ssh: using the DenyHosts TCP wrapper to watch authentication attempts and block remote hosts based on conditions you set. DenyHosts (and other TCP wrappers) are easy to set up and don't require much maintenance, but the block list files they generate can grow to a not-insignificant size; further, your web server must spend resources matching incoming ssh connection attempts against the block lists. If you're…

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Securing your server with DenyHosts

This is an old post. It may contain broken links and outdated information. Running any kind of server at all is a risk, because the internet is a bad place full of bad people who like to destroy things for fun (and if you don't believe me, read this). It becomes a matter of risk management—you have to expose certain things, like TCP ports 80 and maybe 443, for your web server to be reachable; you also probably need to expose at least one management port somewhere so that your server can be poked and prodded should things go wrong with it. This usually means exposing port 22 for ssh if you're…

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Running BIND9 and ISC-DHCP

Most people use a NAT router at home for connecting to the Internet, and most consumer-grade NAT routers offer some limited version of DHCP for automatically handing out IP addresses to desktops and laptops and game consoles and smartphones and some limited version of DNS for making sure all the devices on the network know what all the other devices are called. However, the feature set and functionality of these cut-down DHCP and DNS instances are almost always too limited to handle more than the simplest of network designs; sometimes, you need to be able to do more. For example, if you wanted…

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Serving Minecraft on Ubuntu

This is an old post. It may contain broken links and outdated information. The first thing I ever saw of Minecraft was this video of an impossible waterslide which stretched up across the sky and down through footless caverns. I was entranced, and started playing shortly after that. Minecraft is primarily a sandbox game where you dig for resources and build things, all in glorious faux 8-bit graphics. Of late its creators have tried to turn it into a really bad Zelda clone, but fortunately it's possible to ignore all the worthless stupid shit they keep adding and instead play it in the proper…

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Postfix, Google Apps, and you

This is an old post. It may contain broken links and outdated information. All the cool kids have web servers, but all the REALLY cool kids have web servers with the ability to send e-mail. In days of yore, when dragons roamed the Internet and a web page with a graphical background was considered a novelty, sending e-mail from your home was as easy as setting up sendmail (or your preferred MTA) and letting 'er rip. Things are different these days, though, as spammers long ago ruined it for everyone and made doing your own e-mail a lot more difficult. If you're doing your web hosting through…

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