Archive for February, 2018
📅 February 27, 2018
“I wanted to build a new computer, but RAM and video cards are too expensive!”
Given the ridiculous skyrocketing costs (as of the time of this writing) of RAM and GPUs due to cryptocurrency mining, you might feel dismayed at the prospect of building a new computer system. Whether it be a fancy SLI gaming system or a virtualizing system hosting servers, the current costs will make it more expensive than it would have been a few months ago.
But does this mean give up and wait for prices to fall before doing anything?
There is plenty to do with your current system right now. In fact, learning to work with what you have and improve it to the best of your ability will increase your skills and knowledge.
For hardware and software, here are a few tips that will make your system more pleasant to work with and seem faster than it actually might be.
📅 February 13, 2018
Suppose you want to maintain a list of users allowed to login to an FTP server but you do not want to create user accounts for them on the Linux system. The FileZilla server has this feature built in, so is there are way to specify usernames and their passwords for FTP users in ProFTP?
One way is to use a MySQL database that ProFTP checks for allowed users. If a user is listed in the database, then he is allowed to log in.
This might sound like overkill. Why use a full-fledged relational database for FTP? Actually, you can much, much more than manage logins. Every aspect of the FTP session can be recorded and analyzed using a database. Uploads, IP addresses, last logins, login history, access count, upload/download quotas, and more are possible. Almost anything you want to record about your users is possible with ProFTP and a database, such as MySQL.
This article shows how to set up ProFTP to access a MySQL database that lists users allowed to log in without needing to create user accounts on a Linux Mint system.
📅 February 12, 2018
“What can we expect from a 256GB microSD card in Linux? Is it truly as fast as the box claims?”
MicroSD cards are increasing in capacity. The latest consumer-friendly capacity available at a somewhat reasonable price (as of the time of this writing) is the 256GB card. Yes, 256GB on an itty-bitty card so small you could lose it in a vacuum cleaner, accidentally dump it in the trash, and wonder where it went…and given its cost, you would probably cry in the meantime.
Today’s microSD card is the Samsung EVO+ 256GB with a UHS speed class of 3 (U3). The box claims “up to 100MB/s read and 90MB/s write speeds.” Hmm, we shall see. Box claims always tend to be exaggerated — especially when the fine print on the back indicates that the actual transfer speed might be lower for whatever reason.
Nonetheless, this card does produce decent results, and it is 100% compatible with Linux. Let’s look at a few benchmarks.
📅 February 9, 2018
FTP is insecure because all commands, usernames, password, and data transfers in the clear. Anybody sniffing the network can easily peek into an FTP session.
Let’s thwart that attempt by encrypting our FTP server with an SSL/TLS certificate that we generate ourselves.
With the virtual environment set up and the default ProFTP server running, let’s configure ProFTP to serve two virtual FTP hosts that allow anonymous logins each.
📅 February 6, 2018
FTP might have been around for a long time, but it remains a superb way to transfer files on a private LAN.
Fast and easy to set up, FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is something worth considering if you host files that must be accessed by nodes on your network. A local Ubuntu repository? Quick storage sharing? Maybe you need a quick and easy way to anonymously upload and download files from within Nemo or Filezilla? FTP can be configured for a variety of uses.
“But, but, but…FTP is not secure! Why would I use that?”
Yes, plain FTP transfers password and data for the viewing of anyone sniffing the network, but we are talking about a private LAN under your control. No Internet access. Of course, FTP traffic can be encrypted using SSL/TLS or SSH in order to make FTP secure.
For this project, we are going to use ProFTP to set up two virtual FTP servers in a Linux Mint virtual machine (VirtualBox) that allow anonymous logins and use SSL certificates for encryption. In addition, the ftp data will be stored on its own virtual hard drive. The practice gleaned here can be applied to real hardware.
Ready? Here is how it’s done.