Kernel Upgrades Completed

     The kernel upgrade to 5.19.0 went amazingly smooth this evening with only one service (dovecot) not starting on one machine (mail) and that because a dovecot upgrade had overwritten my systemd start-up file so that it tried to start before all of the necessary file systems were mounted.

     There was also one virtual private server that failed to start two services but that was because the customer has an SSL certificate configured in but the certificate file was not present.

Comcrap Router Borked

     My Comcrap Cable router (with Cisco firmware) has had a melt down and is NAT’ing me to an address of 71.197.179.184.  Since many of the servers I need to access to do ordinary maintenance are hard-wired to only allow connections from my IP address, I can not access many of them.  Comcrap is supposedly coming out at 8-9am, when I would normally be asleep, to replace this piece of crapola with a new piece of crapola.  Don’t know if it was hacked or a firmware update went bad, or something upstream on their network that pushes the static IP’s to the unit when south but for now I’m very restricted in what I can do to pretty much the same things that you can.  I have an even more colorful term for Comcrap but I am afraid delicate ears will be offended.

Fedora – No Outside Access

     I am taking outside access away from fedora until fail2ban can be made operational again.

     Fedora upgraded the python instance to 3.11 but fail2ban will not work with python greater than 3.10, so until this is fixed I am waking away access from the outside to prevent brute force password attacks.

     You can only access by logging in to one of the other shell servers and then from there ssh to fedora or from the web client.

Kernel Upgrade Friday August 5th 11pm Pacific Daylight Time (GMT-0700)

     I am tentatively scheduling a kernel upgrade for all eskimo.com services this Friday pending successful testing of 5.19.0.  I’ve only installed it on two machines at present, the web server because it is really heavy on context switches and uses many computer language used in web programming, including C, C++, java, python, php, ruby, and context switching is often where Linux either barfs or has efficiency issues, and on my workstation where I also have several virtual machines and thus can test kvm-qemu which is heavily used to provide our services.

     This will affect all Eskimo North services including private virtual servers, web hosting, shell servers, and mail.  It will affect our public services including https://friendica.eskimo.com/, https://hubzilla.eskimo.com/, and https://nextcloud.eskimo.com/, and our website https://www.eskimo.com/.

     So far I am highly optimistic.  It’s cut the load time for our PHP page down to 76ms cached, 82ms uncached.  Pingdom Tools won’t give you these numbers because there is too much latency in their tools, but Firefox web development tools will, and this is coming from a different network (Comcast).  This is at least an order of magnitude better than our fastest competitor and as much as two orders of magnitude better than our slower competitors so I am very happy with these results.

     We skipped 5.18 because it had stability issues with kvm-qemu but so far these have not manifested in 5.19.  I am particularly impressed with the results because 5.19 added many new device drivers and debug tools as well as other tools.  Usually when you increase the complexity of a kernel to this degree it doesn’t result in good things for performance, but not the case with 5.19.

     These are tickless kernels, I always build them this way because why waste CPU cycles rescheduling tasks when there is nothing in the run queue?  If you care to try them and perhaps assist with testing or just want to maximize the performance of your hardware, I make them available at https://www.eskimo.com/kernel/.  Please take the time to read the README file as it describes the differences in the various kernels available.  The .config’s are also present should you care to build yourself.  These are all compiled with the most current release of gcc, gcc 12.1.

 

Router Maintenance

     This affects all eskimo.com services including our shell servers, virtual private servers, https://friendica.eskimo.com/, https://hubzilla.eskimo.com/, https://nextcloud.eskimo.com/, and https://www.eskimo.com.

     This evening there will be several times when I/O will freeze for router reboots.  I am trying to upgrade software but having some difficulty so need to follow a procedure given to me by Ubiquiti that will require at least two reboots.  This machine isn’t the fastest when it comes to reboots so outages may be as long as five minutes in duration.

Mail List Recommendations

     I am looking for some suggestions for open source mail list software capable of running under Linux to replace the SmartList mail lists we are currently hosting.

     SmartList has several fundamental problems.  First, neither it nor procmail which it relies on has not been under active development for at least a decade.  This means it may be deprecated at any time which would be bad.

     Second, SmartList does not re-write the sender address and in situations where the sender’s domain signs their e-mail with SPF, DKIM, or DMARC records, and mail list recipients domains check these things, the e-mail is rejected, dropped, or marked as spam as a result of the server the mail is coming from (ours) not matching the domain of the sender which is still in the header.

     Third, many people prefer to administer their lists from a web interface, SmartList provides no method for Web Admin.

     Fourth, I’ve had a number of requests for mail list software that has a web archive of lists.  SmartList lacks this capability.

     So with these things in mind, I attempted to implement Mailman, and I was able to install it but Mailman relies on Python 2.7 which is deprecated and will go away soon, and I was unable to get it to properly recognize the fully qualified domain name and it kept trying to create lists with just the hostname.  I was unable to figure out why this is since I do not have just the hostname alone configured anywhere in the software.

     So then the next thing I looked at was Mailman3, mailman3 is based upon Python 3.x so current software is supported, BUT it’s split into pieces and does not have a native web interface, this is provided by some separate third party software such as Kitty, Kitty is hardwired to NgNix, and I have a very highly customized and optimized Apache2 that beats NgNix for security, speed, and capability that I prefer to stick with.  Second problem with Mailman3 is the documentation is sparse to non-existent and has huge gaps in it’s installation instructions.

     So I’m looking for something else, recommendations would be much appreciated.