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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair

Regular blog here, 'microblog' there

Many of my traditional blog post live on this site, but a great majority of my social-style posts can be found on my much-busier microbloging site at updates.passthejoe.net. It's busier because my BlogPoster "microblogging" script generates short, Twitter-style posts from the Linux or Windows (or anywhere you can run Ruby with too many Gems) command line, uploads them to the web server and send them out on my Twitter and Mastodon feeds.

I used to post to this blog via scripts and Unix/Linux utilities (curl and Unison) that helped me mirror the files locally and on the server. Since this site recently moved hosts, none of that is set up. I'm just using SFTP and SSH to write posts and manage the site.

Disqus comments are not live just yet because I'm not sure about what I'm going to do for the domain on this site. I'll probably restore the old domain at first just to have some continuity, but for now I like using the "free" domain from this site's new host, NearlyFreeSpeech.net.

Sun, 14 Jul 2019

Set umask in vsftpd so incoming files have 644 permissions

If you are setting up an FTP server (I'm using vsftpd in Debian Buster), setting the umask is the way you get incoming files to "take" the right permissions.

For text files, I like the permissions to be 644, which is rw-r--r-- (read-write for user, read for group, read for the world).

To get this in vsftpd, uncomment this line:

Sat, 13 Jul 2019

Permissions are hard

Figuring out file and directory permissions on a server is hard.

You have to balance security with functionality (meaning what are the most restrictive permissions you can set and still have everything work).

Setting up FTP on my Pi

Running your own servers — be they VPSes on Google, AWS or Digital Ocean, or Raspberry Pis in the closet — is a learning experience. You have to put on your sysadmin hat and get to work.

Today I'm trying to figure out the ftp server. I've used a hundred of them but never installed and configured one. The hardest part to figure out is the SSL encryption.

If you see this file, it means I've made some progress.

Thu, 15 Mar 2012

I'm thinking VPS

I can't say I really, truly need it just yet, but I'm thinking of getting a virtual private server (aka VPS).

While shared hosting is doing the job for me right now, the ability to know exactly what kind of resources I can rely on and set up services exactly the way I want is compelling.

I would consider a BSD-based VPS provider, but right now I'm looking at Linode, which allows users to run a number of different Linux distributions.

On the other hand, a good shared-hosting provider (like Hostgator, which I use) does tend to take care of you in terms of maintaining things. You don't get to chose what version you want of many things (though you can jump from PHP 5.2 to 5.3, as I did to tap the Calendar app in OwnCloud).

And for good or ill, Hostgator has been very forgiving, technically, in allowing me to run Perl scripts, create MySQL databases, etc., with less fail than other servers and sites. And though it may be boring, the CentOS Linux distribution upon which Hostgator builds its servers is extremely reliable.

But what if I wanted to experiment with nginx, thttpd (or Perl 5.12 or 5.14)? For that, a VPS would be perfect.