4. Miscellanea

There are a number of  small-ish but important steps to take now…

Avoid Brutally Long SSH Login Times

Simply append UseDNS no to /etc/ssh/sshd.conf. The sshd_config man page says:

Specifies whether sshd(8) should look up the remote host name and check that the
resolved host name for the remote IP address maps back to the very same IP
address. The default is “yes”.

This means I’ll give up some security when being reached from the outside, so it would be nice to find a way to do that only for addresses that aren’t on the local ‘net. If anyone knows one, please comment!

High-Resolution, “Noisy” Consoles

It’s a server, for cryin’ out loud! I never want the consoles “quiet,” and I want a chance to read what they tell me before they scroll off the screen.
See this blog post and its antecedents.

Uninterruptible Power Supply

To get my Belkin Small Enterprise UPS to shut the server down when power goes out and the battery runs low, there isn’t much to it. I just followed this tutorial which explained everything quite nicely. There were just a few issues:

  1. In Jaunty, nut has changed a bit.  First, you simply don’t bother with upsd.conf unless you need some fancy customization. However, you will want to set up MODE=standalone in /etc/nut/nut.conf, or nothing will start
  2. I was unable to get # upsdrvctl start to work until after I had rebooted and restarted the UPS. I’m not sure which of those was actually necessary.
  3. If you do get the above to work, you’d better issue a corresponding # upsdrvctl stop, or the rest of the tutorial will fail miserably when nut tries to start the same daemon
  4. If all else fails, go back and make double-sure that you’ve changed the ownership on /etc/nut/* and not simply the permissions.  I thought I had, but I hadn’t.  It’s all good now 🙂

Network Bonding

This baby has two ethernet ports, so I want to maximize the size of the pipe that can serve files, music, etc. around my local ‘net. I get some additional reliability too: if one interface goes dead, I still have the other.

Update: apparently this bonding mode doesn’t really work unless you also configure your switch properly. Fortunately, my switch has that capability, but I had to switch this whole setup to OpenSolaris before I found that out (more on that later — stay tuned). The information is out there in Linux documentation, but there’s a heck of a lot of HOWTOs on bonding that don’t mention it.

  1. $ sudo aptitude install ifenslave
  2. Put this in /etc/network/interfaces:
    # Loopback interface boilerplate
    auto lo
    iface lo inet loopback
    # Primary network interface
    iface bond0 inet static
    pre-up modprobe bonding
    up /sbin/ifenslave bond0 eth0 eth1
    pre-down /sbin/ifenslave -d eth0 eth1
    post-down rmmod bonding
    auto bond0
  3. $ sudo ifdown eth0
    $ sudo ifdown eth1
    $ sudo ifup bond0

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