Debian - Setup HTTPS WebDav share and client configuration

Debian

For some reasons, I need to access some of my home server files from outside when I am on the move.

That access can be done from various places :

  • some friends or relatives ADSL boxes,
  • a public Wifi access
  • my 3G connection with unlimited data plan.

Some of these accesses can be very restrictive, allowing only web access (port 80 and 443 only) and some can also even check your user agent (my 3G data plan).

So to be sure to be able to access my files from anywhere & anytime, I decided to setup a secured WebDav share. This share will be accessed by using the HTTPS protocol on port 443. As a matter of fact, it should be allowed with no restriction by any access type.

This article will explain how to setup such WebDav share on an existing Apache2 server. It will also explain how to setup a Windows and a Ubuntu client to be able to use that access.

This setup has been done on Debian Squeeze, but it should be compatible with any following version.

Read more: Debian - Setup HTTPS WebDav share and client configuration

Debian - Realtek RTL8111/8168 on Intel D945GCLF2

Debian

Having upgraded a D945GCLF2 motherboard to Debian Squeeze, I started to have lot of troubles & serious problems with the integrated network interface Realtek RTL 8111/8168.

For example, the mt-daapd music server was totally unstable, having difficulty to serve more than one Roku music player. The multicast functionality was totally broken.

After some search, it appears that the driver used by the 2.6.26 kernel for that NIC was the wrong one. Instead of using a proper r8168.ko module, the 2.6.26 kernel was using the r8169.ko module.

If your kernel is 2.6.30+, you don't need to follow this guide anymore as the kernel includes a proper driver.

If you update your kernel to 2.6.30+ and you had followed this guide before, be careful to remove the blacklist of r8169 module in /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf before reboot, or you won't get any network support ...

Read more: Debian - Realtek RTL8111/8168 on Intel D945GCLF2

Debian - Install a server on a Compact Flash memory

Debian

This article will explain how to install Debian on a server using a Compact Flash memory card as a primary drive. All the above procedures are based on the Lenny distribution, but they should work on other Debian flavours and even for Ubuntu.

The first question to ask is : Why to do that ?

When you install such a server, after sometimes you realize that it has become a backbone in your house as it hosts :

  • a family web site
  • a music server for appliances like Roku Soundbridge
  • a file server for other PCs
  • a web based torrent manager & amule manager
  • an access filter proxy for the kids surf
  • an asterisk telephony exchange
  • ...

Then, you start to have nightmares about the fact that your server's hard disk may fail and that you will need to reinstall everything.

One simple, efficient & cheap solution is to replace your hard disk by a Compact Flash memory in association with an IDE to CF adapter. As CF memory have no mecanical parts, they are known to be much more reliable.

But, on the other side, they are known to have limited write cycles (between 100 000 and 1 million times).

Read more: Debian - Install a server on a Compact Flash memory

Debian - Convert a EEE 701 as a server with embeded UPS

EEE 701 & Debian

Having a spare Asus EEE 701 netbook, I've converted it as a home server for music streaming, DVB-T streaming, web server, ...
This netbook is consuming very little power and is running under Debian in console mode without any graphical interface.

As every netbook, the EEE 701 is having an inbuilt battery, which can be used a very KISS (Keep It Simple and Stupid) Uninterrupted Power Supply system.


With proper scripts, it is possible to detect power failure and to follow the battery level &  to initiate a clean shutdown process when battery level is too low after a long power failure.

This article will explain how to :

  • detect power failure
  • check battery level
  • start a shutdown process when battery level is reaching predefined low level

With that, your server will shutdown properly whatever happens with its power supply.

Read more: Debian - Convert a EEE 701 as a server with embeded UPS

Debian - Automatic backup with USB disk

Debian

You are hosting a server (or a workstation) with some important files that sould be backed-up regularly on some external storage ?

This article will explain how to use the fantastic possibilities of UDEV & RSync to automatise some files backup on an external USB hard disk.

The concept is as follow :

  1. You insert an external USB disk on one of your server USB port
  2. Your server recognise the inserted disk & mount it
  3. According to some backup rules associated with that specific disk, your server starts a differential backup
  4. When backup is over the disk is unmounted & the server beeps you the indicate that the backup is over

And, with this approach, you can use as many backup disks as you want, as the backup is done according to rules associated with a specific disk.

We will use :

  • UDEV to recognize the disk and start the associated backup script
  • RSync to do a very fast differential backup

This setup has been done on Debian Squeeze, but it should be compatible with any following version.

Read more: Debian - Automatic backup with USB disk

Thunderbird - Fully sync with Gmail services (Email, Calendar and Contacts)

Thunderbird for Gmail

Nowadays, more and more smartphones and tablets are running Android OS, which is tightly linked to google Gmail services.

These devices are designed to be fully synchronised with main Gmail services :

  • email
  • calendar
  • address book

On the other end, you are having a computer at home were you are also handling emails, calendar and personal address & phone book.

This guide will explain how to fully setup your Thunderbird client to get it fully synchronised with your Gmail account for all associated services.

With this setup, you will be able to handle your emails, calendar events and personal address book entries from any of your Android device (smartphone and/or tablet) and your personal computer.

And ... all of them will always be fully synchronised. Whatever you do on one side will be forwarded to all others.

All this guide has been tested on a Ubuntu desktop, but it should work on any Linux or Windows Thunderbird client.

Read more: Thunderbird - Fully sync with Gmail services (Email, Calendar and Contacts)

Joomla - Cross-Browser Personalised Web Fonts

Joomla

Nowadays, site design is taking more and more importance. Before, sites were expected to provide information ... now they also have to be sexy. They can't hold that 90s look anymore. They need fancy design.

When you analyse what people like about a site page, one of the main thing is … nice fonts. Till date, web fonts were always on the dark side of the design, belonging to the same team : arial, times new roman, …

But one revolution has come few years back and is starting to spread all over the web : personalized web fonts.

With their help, your visitor will be able to display your site pages with the fonts displayed as you expect them to be displayed, whatever fonts are installed on their computer !

This guide will explain breafly how to setup your web site to use a font provided by a standard True Type Font (.ttf). This sentence is displayed using this technic.

Let's start.

Read more: Joomla - Cross-Browser Personalised Web Fonts

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