Archive for 'Hosting'

This might be a no-brainer, but I thought it would be nice to mention it here anyways..

By default, when using English as your Zimbra webclient language, all time notations ( in your calendar or mails for example ) are in AM/PM notation. This can be quit annoying since us Europeans don’t use this system. πŸ˜‰

The simple fix is to go to Preferences -> General -> Login Options -> Language, and select English ( United Kingdom ).

A simple reload later, and you’re still using your English webclient, but now with time in 24 hour format!

By default, at the top of your Zimbra 5.x webclient, there is a Yahoo search bar present. I never use Yahoo to search, so i don’t want it. I also don’t want my webgui cluttered with Yahoo nonsense. Since 5.0.2 however, you can remove it by executing the following commands on your zimbra server console:

# su – zimbra

# zmprov mc default zimbraFeatureWebSearchEnabled FALSE

When you reload the webinterface, the Yahoo search bar is gone πŸ™‚

Very good news! IMO the best XMPP ( Jabber ) server available is going fully open source! The server itself has been opensource for as long as i can remember, but several nice-to-have plugins and features were only available to paying “enterprise” customers. Which is a valid point of business and a good way to earn money while maintaining a great project like OpenFire. It seems along the road, the good folks at Igniterealtime found another way to provide income, and found out that maintaining 2 projects was too much work. So in 2-3 weeks, most of the enterprise grade features will become opensource too! I for one welcome our new opensource overlords! Let’s hope the most-wanted feature ( multidomain support ) gets implemented soon πŸ˜‰

Over at Sliceo, people like the smallest VPS available for things like DNS hosting or IRC proxying. This means that a daemon keeps the connection to the their favorite IRC servers/channels open and logged in, as if the user was online 24/7. Instead of connecting directly to said servers and channels from normal clients ( like X-Chat ), the user connects to the irc proxy instead, and continue his/her chat sessions just as he never went offline.. In the line of Sliceo duty, i helped to stabilise a setup that was going to be used for this exact purpose.

We tried several bouncers, like psybnc, ircproxy, to no avail. Most would crash after a while, and would overall be horrible in the stability-department. But then we found BIP. It had a few bugs as well, but some personal contact to its’ author quickly solved every bump in the road. Now, 0.7 is out, which incorporates all the fixes to the problems we were having.

The result: a bouncer that has been serving the needs for mutiple IRC users for many weeks now without a single crash or hickup! People looking for a solid IRC bouncer should really check out BIP!

Using a system like Symfony for your website creation needs has a lot of advantages, no doubt about that.

But you also need to be aware that you’re unwillingly creating a pattern that can be abused when you aren’t paying attention. I got caught by one of these myself for a few weeks now.. πŸ™‚

Let me explain.. For a couple of weeks, one of my sites was cursed with some strange voodoo. I had a list of some items on a page, and 1 of these items ( always the same one ) kept disappearing on a daily basis, while i was the only one with access to the database. I was puzzled until some mysql logging cleared things up. Some asian IP was executing my website like this: http://mysite.be/item/delete/id/$nr where $nr are the id’s from the list. ( Basic and easy-to-try standard crud thing, available from most frameworks, so if you know Symfony, you could guess that item had a delete, create, edit, show and list action πŸ™‚ )

Because the item module was forgotten in my security.yml frenzy, everyone could browse to that URL, and delete my items πŸ™‚ But why did only one item disappear? Well, the other delete requests were denied because of foreign keys, while the deleted one wasn’t coupled to any other field, so it was successfully removed every time.

Anyways, i plugged the hole with a security.yml as follows:

delete:
is_secure: on
credentials: admin

create:
is_secure: on
credentials: admin

edit:
is_secure: on
credentials: admin

One less thing to worry about πŸ˜‰

Zimbra desktop, hit or miss?

First of all, let me say I’m a big Zimbra fan. Open-Xchange is shaping up to be a nice collaboration suite, but still not up to par with Zimbra. But then there is the Zimbra desktop… In my opinion, resources that should have been spent on other things.

In short, Zimbra desktop is a Jetty server running the ZCS on your desktop machine, which regularly syncing with your main server. Which means you’re running a bloaty Java beast on your PC, sucking up all those nice RAM and cpu cycles. And in the end, you are still using the webclient..

In the meantime, Thunderbird, Zindus and Sunbird are a match made in heaven for Zimbra users, providing free and open source calendaring, mail, tasks and contacts on every Thunderbird-supported platform. Putting half the manpower on that threesome and helping with bug fixing and implementing new features there would do a lot more good then trying to throw together a half-baked Java daemon and announcing it like it’s the holy grail of collaborative messaging.

For the record, Sunbird is about to release version 0.8 πŸ˜‰

Sliceo Linux VPS Hosting

Yep, my first shameless plug πŸ˜‰

I’ve been working on my Sliceo project for quite some time now, but I’m finally getting to the point where everything starts falling into place.

There are still a lot of things to do, but people looking for a virtual server ( Xen ofcourse πŸ˜‰ ) might want to visit the Sliceo website. Hosting-wise everything is up and running, with several people already enjoying their own cheap – but quality-soaked πŸ˜‰ – VPS.

I’ll be posting updates about the progress now and then from now on!

Finally the last commit is done in the Zimbra repository to enable 64bit Ubuntu builds, something that was sorely missing for quite a while, as seen in bugs like this one. Up until now, I had to use a CentOS 5.1 x86_64 server to host my zimbra, which always felt pretty icky to me… The new build isnt out yet, but at least i know it will arrive Real Soon Now ™! And there was much rejoicing!