Upgrade in progress

I’ve been working on upgrading my web server this week. This was no small task since I migrated from FreeBSD 8.4-STABLE to FreeBSD 10.1-STABLE, from apache 2.2 to apache 2.4, from Wt 3.2.0 to Wt 3.3.4, php 5.5 to php 5.6, etc.

The operating system upgrade went smoothly (I build from source since I run a custom kernel configuration) other than one glitch during pkg2ng.

The apache upgrade was more work since the configuration has changed a bit. It’s done and working.

It took me a bit to bring my changes from wt-3.2.0 into wt-3.3.4. All of these changes were in the Chart classes, but there had been some refactoring that I had to handle. I’m done and rebuilding my apps to use wt-3.3.4.

I am going to abandon gallery3 and deploy my dwmgallery software very soon. Uploading is much more graceful with my software, and gallery3 was abandoned over a year ago. As a bonus, my software does not need mysql. I will likely eventually ditch WordPress too, only because I’d like to ditch mysql. All in the name of more efficient computing; I’d like to keep using my low-power server (Intel Atom 510) for as long as possible. I will eventually move to a Xeon E3-12XX, only to gain addressable memory in ECC form.

depot: new backup/media server

I’ve slowly but surely been working on a new server in my rack. The intent of this server is to consolidate copies of some of my backups, and provide a place to store media files (music, movies, etc.). This new machine is known as depot.

The intent is to run FreeBSD 9.1 and ZFS. I will likely start with a single pool of 6 drives in raidz2, and later add a second pool.

As part of this process, I’ve migrated to a Startech RK2536BKF rack.

Secured my mail server

I’m near done configuring my mail server. Last night I got sendmail configured to use STARTTLS, and to require it for SMTP AUTH. I now don’t allow cleartext passwords, so I can feel safe using my iPhone to send mail through my server when I’m not at home. Not enforcing STARTTLS wasn’t a big deal for my desktop since it’s on a secure wired LAN with my mail server, but there are times when I want to use my iPhone and laptop to send mail when I’m away from home, and hence I need to enforce crypto for SMTP AUTH.

All works fine using Mail on my hackintosh, Mail on my MacBook Pro, Outlook on my hackintosh, and of course my iPhone. I need to write up everything I did so I can repeat it in the future if necessary.

running my own mail server again

Many years ago, I ran my own mail server for my domains. I eventually stopped, mostly because I wasn’t happy with the amount of effort it required. I also wasn’t happy with the mail user agents that would easily work with it at the time in a secure manner.

Last week I decided I wanted to set up mail service again, mostly because I missed having explicit control and ownership of my mail. So I configured sendmail once again ay my mail transfer agent, and for IMAP I’m using dovecot. I’m using a chain of procmail and dovecot’s deliver as my sendmail local delivery agent, to drop my mail in Maildir format. I’m not switching over to it just yet, but it appears to all be working after many days of configuring and tweaking. I won’t say this is easy; getting it all working after years of not doing any mail administration involved a fair amount of trial and error.

The good news is that I will soon be reachable via a new, shorter email address and will in all likelihood switch to using it as my primary address. Now that I have OS X as my desktop and an iPhone as my smart phone, I have no MUA issues. I don’t need a web browser interface to my mail, though I may install SquirrelMail at some point just to test it.

One of the issues I ran into while doing this… dovecot wanted some newer versions of libraries I already had installed. Those libraries were dependencies of a LOT of software I had already installed from the FreeBSD ports tree. Hence the whole process took me much longer than expected, with a lot of midnight oil burned when portupgrade failed to do what I needed.