Month: December 2006

  • My mail setup: Postifx, Dovecot, PostgreSQL, SASL, TLS, Amavis, SpamAssassin, and Postgrey on Ubuntu

    Part of moving from several various hosting locations to one was figuring out my mail setup. I had originally planned to manage mail with a control panel provided by my VPS provider. The 1U server that I had co-located in Maryland for several years is still sitting in the middle of the den so I figured that the easier mail was to manage the more likely I would be to get off my butt and manage it. It turns out that there were some bugs with Ubuntu and the version of the control panel I was using, so I asked the VPS provider to reinstall a fresh clean copy of Ubuntu Server and I’d take it from there.

    I have to say that I’ve been doing this Linux thing for some time now (remember downloading A, AP, D, K, etc disk sets?) and it seems like setting up a good mail server still one of the most tedious things to do, but boy does it feel good when you’re done. After quite a bit of research I settled on a virtual mailbox stack built on Postfix and Dovecot.

    I’ve found that setting up a mail server is best done in pieces. Configure something, test to make sure that it works, add another piece, break it, fix it, test it again. I started out my setup with a basic Postfix installation as described on the Ubuntu wiki. Once that was working I moved to a virtual mailbox setup with flatfiles but eventually ditched that for a PostgreSQL setup as described at L’Xtreme after trying to get PAM and SASL authentication working with my flatfile setup. If you’re looking to start from scratch with a postfix setup using virtual mailboxes I would highly recommend the L’Xtreme setup.

    The only snag I ran in to with the L’Xtreme instructions was generating CRYPTed passwords. I ended up using htpasswd from the apache2-utils package in Dapper Drake. Setting both auth_debug = yes and auth_debug_passwords = yes in /etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf helped me figure out the password mismatch that was going on.

    Once I had the basic setup working with TLS and SASL authentication via pam authenticating to Postgres, I set out to lock down the system against spam. The first thing I did was to set up Amavisd-new running it through SpamAssassin and several plugins. That did a pretty good job but spam dropped to near zero as soon as I installed Postgrey. I used these instructions from Debian/Ubuntu tips and tricks. I tweaked the config files to whitelist quicker and reduced the greylist to 60 seconds from the default 5 minutes (to be a little nicer to legit mail servers). I’ve also been using to keep an eye on stats.

    Like I said, setting up a mail server can be quite frustrating, but it sure is satisfying once it’s humming along.

  • Wii Internet Channel Drops

    Wii Internet Channel start page on the Wii Channel Wii Internet Channel: Zooming in Google Maps on the Wii Internet Channel

    The Wii Internet channel dropped early this morning. I’m rounding up some screen shots on my Wii Internet Channel flickr set.

    So far it seems pretty usable. Pages are rendered in fullscreen mode (sometimes wtih just a little scrolling if the page is wide. You scroll by hitting the B (trigger) button and moving the Wii remote. Zooming in and out is as simple as hitting the + or – keys. Due to the resolution of my TV it was necessary to zoom in on just about every page I went to. I found that the predictive text interface used while entering text in form fields to be good, definitely on par with my experiences with T9 and the Nokia 770 onscreen keyboard.

    Adding favorites was quite easy (just click the star while you’re on a page then click the add button). After browsing around the web and snapping some pictures I went over to Wiicade to play some flash games.

    I don’t see the Wii Internet Channel becoming my primary browser any time soon but I can’t wait to see more content designed for and adapted to the Wii platform.

    Update: The demo video from Opera does a really good job at taking Opera on the Wii through its paces.

    Opera on the Wii identifies itself as such: Opera/9.00 (Nintendo Wii; U; ; 1309-9; en

  • Pardon the Dust

    Sorry about the short outage there. I finally consolidated the various co-location, shared hosting, and virtual private hosting services that I was consuming every month in to one VPS account. I still have some legacy URLs to do some rewrite magic for, but the archives back to 2002 is here.

    Because my new box is very Django-oriented, I am now running WordPress via PHP5 (FastCGI) and MySQL5 on lighttpd behind perlbal.

    One of the things I really enjoyed about the move from WordPress on Apache with a really gnarly .htaccess file for URL rewriting to lighttpd was the simplicity of it all. Getting WordPress to “just work” for me on lighttpd was as simple as adding a 404 handler for the site:

    server.error-handler-404 = "/index.php?error=404"

    Everything should be smoothing out shortly and of course the eventual goal is to move this blog over to Django trunk. I did just that a few months ago but I need to revisit the code, find the importer, and give it a lot of layout love.