March 2008 Archives

Alternate title:  Chris is smart.

So, upon opening my e-mail this evening (I'm still a little shell-shocked from dayjob pager last week, so I'm getting a late start of it.)    I see a support question from a customer who complained of the above error.  I see nothing obvious;  Chris looks at it and immediately notices that xenconsoled is not running.    as root:

/usr/sbin/xenconsoled

problem solved. 

payment methods

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prgmr.com doesn't currently have an accounting system beyond comments in the xm config files, or a ticketing system beyond my inbox. Paypal recurring payments is a fairly easy way for me to keep track of things, and it also means that my users don't need to trust me with credit cards.

If you really hate paypal, I'll take personal checks or money orders (anything I can deposit at the ATM) but I think I'd want a minimum check amount of $50; so if you wanted to pay for a year at a time of the small ones, I'll take a check- but I don't want to deal with accounting for a bunch of $5 checks.

Right now, prgmr.com is woefully understaffed (and I think that shows some in our pricing) Right now, I don't have the resources to do this right, so I'm picking and choosing what falls behind. I'd rather sacrifice the convenience of multiple payment methods than sacrifice technical quality (though to be honest, some of that is happening as well.)

debian kernels working

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first, I added:
xennet
xenblk
to /etc/modules

Then, I installed the linux-image-xen-686 package, and finally I added the following to /boot/grub/menu.lst:

title Debian
        root (hd0,0)
        kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.18-6-xen-686 root=LABEL=PRGMRDISK1 ro
        initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.18-6-xen-686

Ubuntu images

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ah. so, ubuntu images are up, including ubuntu kernels;  I took the jailtime image, added
a /boot/grub/menu.lst, added xennet and xenblk to /etc/modules,  and installed the xen-server kernel (the xen-generic kernel is non-pae, as far as I can tell)

Next I'm going to see if I can get debian images to use debian kernels by fixing /etc/modules (or modprobe.conf or whatever debian calls it)  

Use strong passwords

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Passwords that are random enough to resist dictionary attacks are quite difficult to create, and even harder to remember. Personally, I think writing down your password, while suboptimal, is far superior to using a weak password. Bruce Schneier reccomends that you write down your password

personally, I think that even if you leave the (strong) password on a post-it on your monitor (please don't do that) it's still safer than using a weak password. Nobody in China can see the post-it, but anyone in the world can try passwords against your server.

The possibility of a dictionary attact is not an idle threat; see below for evidence from my servers.

movable type is up and working

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I created a 128mb xen image w/ centos5.1;

yum install httpd

uncommented
AddHandler cgi-script .cgi

and added ExecCGI to the

  Options line within the
<Directory "/var/www/html">

bit of httpd.conf;  made /var/www/html writable to apache, unziped the mt open source tarball in to /var/www/html/mt


yum install mysql
then
mysql >  grant all on movabletype.* to 'mt'@'localhost' identified by '****' 

then I went to http://wiki.xen.prgmr.com/mt and followed the instructions.  Easy peasy.