Couple of days back, I got an email from Amazon Abuse Desk, that botnet spammers were abusing NSFW.in. Our IP on the AWS EC2 was added to The Spamhaus Block List. Some Russian botnet spam gangs were creating automates short url at NSFW.in.
Abhinay created a PHP Client for SURBL. Now, NSFW.in short-link creation just need to look up the domain against SURBL to see if a domain is blacklisted or not.
In our previous article – Thinking about career in Linux? Part 1, we saw some of the prerequisites which shall help you build a career in Linux, or the Open Source technology. As promised, we move on from where we took a pause, to discuss some more tools/applications which fall under the same category.
Perl: It is one of the best known scripting languages for system management tasks. It is optimized for scanning arbitrary text files, extracting information from them, and printing reports based on that. Perl is known to be easy to use, efficient, and complete within itself. Several administration tasks can be completed with less pain and trouble with the advent of Perl scripts. Being a Linux admin, you may have to use this feature of Perl to master your network and system upgradation processes.
You may prefer reading the Perl manual, for that matter.
PHP: PHP is a recursive acronym for ‘PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor.‘ This again is a widely-used Open Source general-purpose scripting language with special inclination towards Web development paradigm. It can be easily embedded into HTML and hence widely used. Having a good hands-on over PHP, Apache and MySQL is essential to get your favorite Linux job.
Postfix: It is a mail transfer agent (MTA) used on Linux analogous to Sendmail and Qmail. It is known to handle the routing and delivery of emails. If you’re handling a Linux network, particularly a mail server, you need to have a knowledge about this very MTA. You must master the art of configuring postfix main.cf and master.cf files along with troubleshooting other postfix errors.
rsync: It is a powerful tool to greatly speed up file transfers when the destination file is being updated. Rsync uses uses a remote-update protocol which basically copies only the difference of files that have been changed. It is a great tool for backing up files to another Linux host. An aspirant should atleast be aware of the syntax used with rsync to copy files to another host machine.
Samba: I’m sure you would have probably come across this name while working on Linux and reading articles over the web. The Samba software suite is a collection of programs which implement the Server Message Block(SMB) protocol for *NIX systems. This protocol is often referred as the Common Internet File System or CIFS. A lot of companies which run over a Linux based environment use Samba to share files across the network. As Linux career enthusiast, you should master Samba to perfection. The preliminaries include – installing and configuring Samba server, adding and maintaining users, setting up Samba shares, et al.
SCP: It helps copy files between hosts within a network. It uses ssh for data transfer with same authentication and security as ssh. scp asks for pass-phrases if they are needed for authentication. One needs to know scp if he/she needs to copy files between Linux hosts over a public or private network with security concerns.
This list is however never-ending. I have tried to cover the minuscule number applications which I believe one must be familiar with if he/she is eying on a Linux job. One may not use all of the tools/applications mentioned in this article on daily basis, but these are some of the widely used applications in Linux administration and related Linux jobs.
We shall acknowledge an addition to this list via your comments. Wishing you a great career in Linux!
Free BeerWe love free beer as much as we love free softwares.
Most of us admire free beer and free softwares? The former might not be true for all, but I’m sure you all would agree to the software thing! Has it not been true, more than 60% of the internet users would have not been hitting the websites offering cracks and serials (and they would have not mushroomed to an such an extent. Thanks to Google’s Adsense!)
But what if you are a proud owner of a software — be it an application software, a system software or a game that’s free, and may even be registered to you? This was the idea which created the first impression about Free and Open Source Softwares (FOSS) into the minds of the developers around the world who were busy working great, but under the slavery of softwares which were of closed source and high acquisition cost.
FOSS has risen to great prominence. Briefly, Open Source Softwares and Free Softwares are programs whose licenses give users the freedom to run the program for an indefinite time period, to study and modify the program, and to redistribute copies of either the original or modified program (without having to pay royalties to previous developers).
Open source is inevitable as it gives control to the customer. Bugs are more quickly discovered and fixed. And when a customer doesn’t like how a vendor is serving him, he can choose another without overhauling his infrastructure. No more monopolies. No more technology lock-in.
What exactly happens with the closed source softwares?
In the proprietary closed source model, the entire development cycle evolves within a single company. Programmers write code, hide it behind binaries and charge the customers to use the software. Thereafter, they add fee for the after-sales support — to fix the software if and when it breaks. No one ever gets to know how bad the software really is!
Taking about Open source, we talk about a large, Internet-connected, worldwide community which backs up the entire project. It involves geeks, students, working-from-home engineers and entrepreneurs, tech savvy moms, and anyone you can think of!
To have an idea of how has the fan following for FOSS increased, look at the graph below. Apache’s Tomcat leads the way. Yes, it’s yet another FOSS!
Why Open Source?
This is what RedHat has to say on this;
All software is written with source code. With open source software, the code is protected by a special license that ensures everyone has access to that code. That means no one company can fully own it. Freedom means choice. Choice means power.
The entrepreneurs may still rely on paid products and services but the geeks, students and dare-to-do computer professionals are definitely eying on FOSS. It is like a revolution in the field of computing that people have started to believe in sharing information rather than conserving it or hiding it from the world. This concept has led to a movement — to attain new heights and achieve new goals, which were previously overshadowed due to the reign of closed source softwares.
Talking about the developers and would-be-developers, the platform and support for tools and framework is a key concern guiding them to decide an Operating System. Now-a-days, A new web server infrastructure — LAMP is the cynosure of all eyes.
The acronym LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQl, PHP/Perl/Python) refers to a solution stack of software, usually FOSS, which is used to run dynamic websites or servers. The well-defined tools of LAMP web development exist in nearly every Linux distribution. They include:
TagThisAn effort to allow collective crowd tagging
Ever since the first public beta of WordPress 2.3, a nagging itch had kept me worried — “How and who the hell will tag my old articles?” Tags are awesome but ‘are you sure you have tagged your post effectively?’, ‘will you go back and be able to tag all your older articles?’
Well, I searched for a similar or near-similar plugins which can accomplish this feat of tagging by your reader, and blog visitors. Unfortunately, Google was unable to find me anything I can use. I went ahead and drafted a plan for a custom plugin. I approached few ‘awesome’ WordPress Plugin developers and about five of them agreed to collaborate with me to come up with a plugin which we can release to the public under the GPL license. The good part was that most the developer were ready to do it for free. With schedule clashes and mis-timings with the other developers; I finally ended up with a kick-ass developer — Anirudh Sanjeev.
The development took way longer than anticipated due to many timeline hurdles, project clashes and yes, we got a bit lazy along the way. Fortunately, with a refreshed iteration of the project, a WordPress Plugin to allow your blog readers and visitors to tag your posts (articles) is ready — “TagThis”.
OpenID 2.0 OpenID is a free and easy way to use a single digital identity across the Internet.
The open identity system OpenID 2.0 was yesterday finally launched at the Internet Identity Workshop in Mountain View. The new version improves security and usability — and will hopefully be the catalyst for more Internet companies to adopt it.