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Tue, Feb 07, 2006 10:05 pm

Lists of Blacklists

One way to combat spam at the email server level is to use blacklists, aka blocklists, which are lists of IP addresses of systems known to regularly transmit spam or at least to have recently transmitted spam. Various organizations and companies throughout the Internet create their own lists and then, frequently, to help other email server administrators combat spam, will provide access to those lists to others on a real-time basis.

To find out whether your IP address is on such a list or to see what lists you might use for your own email server, I've created a list of sites that provide links to multiple blocklists from one webpage and also my own list of sites.

[/network/email/spam/blocklists] permanent link

Tue, Feb 07, 2006 9:34 pm

Setting up Apache on a Solaris 10 System

First you need to create an httpd.conf configuration file. There is an example configuration file, httpd.conf-example in /etc/apache2. You can use it as a starting point.

# cd /etc/apache2
# cp httpd.conf-example httpd.conf

Apache will run with the username of webservd and the group of webservd when using the default configuration provided when Solaris 10 was installed, which means you will find the following two lines in the httpd.conf file.

User webservd
Group webservd

With the default setup, you should also have the following entries in /etc/passwd and /etc/group.

# grep webservd /etc/passwd
webservd:x:80:80:WebServer Reserved UID:/:
# grep webservd /etc/group
webservd::80:

You should find the following line within httpd.conf and modify the email address to be the email address which you would like to use to receive email related to problems with the web server.

ServerAdmin you@yourhost.com

Next find the following line.

ServerName 127.0.0.1

ServerName is the name that the server uses to identify itself. It should be set to a valid DNS name for your host, e.g. www1.example.com, or, if no DNS name is available, then the IP address for the system. Note: this does not preclude having multiple domain names handled by one server through virtual hosts. This name should be the primary name for the system if you will have multiple websites hosted on the system with unique domain names. You can also include a port number after the name, e.g. www1.example.com:80.

Next find the following line.

DocumentRoot "/var/apache2/htdocs"

This specifies the directory out of which you will serve your documents. If instead, you would like to place your website under /home/www, you would change the line accordingly. Don't put a slash at the end of the directory name.

With the default configuration, if someone visits your website, the IP address of her system will be stored in Apache's log files. If you want the Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) stored as well, change the following line from "Off" to "On". E.g., if you would like www.apache.org as well as 204.62.129.132, you would change the value to "On".

HostnameLookups Off

Changing the value to "On" means it is more apparent from the log files where your visitors are coming from, but adds additional bandwidth usage, because every time someone visits the website, the server must perform an IP address to name lookup. If you are likey to get only a few hundred or less hits on the websites on the server per day, then the name lookups will be adding little traffic, but if you expect hundreds of thousands of hits a day, it might be preferable to leave HostnameLookups off.

If someone tries to access a webpage on the server, but it doesn't exist or there is some other problem accessing the webpage, errors will be logged in the log file specified below by default. You can have the error log somewhere else on the system by changing the ErrorLog value.

ErrorLog /var/apache2/logs/error_log

A web server can tell browser clients the language that is used for webpages on the server when one is not listed specifically on webpages residing on the server. With the default configuration, the DefaultLanguage value is commented out, i.e. there is a "#" at the beginning of the line.

#DefaultLanguage

If you know all of the pages on your web server will be in one language, you can change this line. E.g., to indicate that all pages on the server are in English, I could change the DefaultLanguage line to the one below.

DefaultLanguage en

When you start Apache, it records its process identification number, aka Pid, in a specified location. The location is controlled by the value of PidFile. Make sure the directory exists. If you use the default value of /var/run/apache2/httpd.pid, you will need to create the /var/run/apache2 directory.

PidFile /var/run/apache2/httpd.pid

I use /var/run/httpd.pid, instead, since the /var/run directory already exists and is used to store other pid files and I don't see a need to have a separate directory under it just for Apache's httpd.pid file, so I have the following line in httpd.conf.

PidFile /var/run/httpd.pid

You will also need to remove the "#" from the beginning of the following line, so that it is no longer commented out.

#LockFile /var/apache2/logs/accept.lock

Otherwise, Apache may not start and you may see lines like the following in error_log

[Tue Feb 07 17:57:40 2006] [emerg] (2)No such file or directory: Couldn't create accept lock

If you want to have multiple websites residing on your web server with each pointing to a different set of documents, then you need to set the VirtualHost configuration parameters. E.g., you might wish to have www.example.com and www.someother.com accessible on the same web server. To have such virtual hosts, first remove the comment from the line below.

#NameVirtualHost *:80

Then copy the "VirtualHost example" section below that line and make whatever chanes you desire. You don't need to specify a unique ErrorLog and CustomLog, but I would normally recommend having separate log files for each website hosted on the server, rather than having all log entries go into an access and error log shared by all sites hosted on the server. An example VirtualHost section is shown below.

<VirtualHost example.com>
ServerName example.com
ServerAlias www.example.com example.com
ServerAdmin webmaster@example.com
DocumentRoot /home/jsmith/www
ErrorLog /home/jsmith/www/logs/example-error_log
CustomLog /home/jsmith/www/logs/example-access_log common
</VirtualHost>

You can have aliases for a particular website by specifying names after ServerAlias. E.g. in the example above, someone could put either http://www.example.com or http://example.com in his browser and be taken to the same website.

Be sure the directores where the log files will be stored have been created before you start the Apache web server. And the DocumentRoot directory should exist also.

Once you have finished editing the /etc/apache2/httpd.conf file, you can start the Apache web server with the command below. Be sure you are logged in as root before issuing the command.

# /usr/apache2/bin/apachectl start

If you made a mistake in the httpd.conf file or want to modify the file for another reason, you can edit it and then restart Apache with the following command.

# /usr/apache2/bin/apachectl restart

Note: if you use the apachectl command to start Apache, it won't restart automatically when you reboot the system, unless you have enabled it as a service or have a script on the system that starts Apache which gets executed at system startup. To enable Apache to run as a service and have it restart when the system reboots, use the command svcadm enable apache (See Using the svc and svcadm Commands ).

Where do you look if Apache won't start? Look in the default error_log file. For instance, if you left the value of ErrorLog for the primary site in /var/apache2/logs, check the error_log file there.

For instance, when I first tried starting Apache it wasn't starting. I looked in the error_log file and saw the following.

[Tue Feb 07 17:38:15 2006] [error] httpd: could not log pid to file /var/run/apache2/httpd.pid

I realized the /var/run/apache2 directory didn't exist and changed the PidFile value in httpd.conf to be /var/run/httpd.pid, instead. When I then tried starting Apache again, as before I didn't get any error message on the terminal indicating it had failed to start, but it wasn't running. I looked in the error_log again. This time I didn't see any additional entries for the above error message, but did see the one below.

[Tue Feb 07 17:57:40 2006] [emerg] (2)No such file or directory: Couldn't create accept lock

So I looked through httpd.conf for any references to "lock". I found #LockFile /var/apache2/logs/accept.lock. I removed the "#" at the beginning of the line and attempted to restart Apache. It then started successfully.

Some additional problems you might encounter

Perhaps you get Apache running successfully, but then attempt to access a website on the server and get the following error message.

Forbidden

You don't have permission to access / on this server.

Additionally, a 403 Forbidden error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.


Apache/2.0.52 (Unix) DAV/2 Server at example.com Port 80

Check the permissions on the directory that contains the root of the website. Suppose that the website is housed under /home/jsmith/www. If you see permissions like the following, then the permissions are the cause of the problem.

# ls -ld /home/jsmith/www
drwxr-xr-- 4 jsmith staff 512 Feb 7 18:24 /home/jsmith/www

In this case you would need to change the permissions on the www directory from 754 to 755 so that everyone has execute permission for the directory. And not only do you have to change it for the www directory, but for the directory above it as well, i.e. the user's home directory.

# chmod 755 /home/jsmith
# chmod 755 /home/jsmith/www

[/os/unix/solaris] permanent link

Tue, Feb 07, 2006 9:06 pm

Verizon Tech Support Phone Numbers

If you need technical support from Verizon for dial-up access, DSL service, or ISDN support, you can use the telephone numbers below:

CompanyNumberDescription
Verizon 1-800-567-6789 Dial-up Access/ISDN (24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week)
 1-800-567-6789Consumer DSL (Dynamic IP)
 1-888-649-9500Business DSL (Static IP)

[/network/Internet/ISP] permanent link

Tue, Feb 07, 2006 12:02 am

Foxconn 661M03-G-6L Motherboard Memory

If you have a motherboard with a BIOS ID string of 10/28/2004-SiS-661-6A7I4FK9C-00, then you have a Foxconn 661M03-G-6L motherboard. The Foxconn 661M03-G-6L Motherboard has two 184-pin DIMM slots. You can use PC 3200, PC 2700, or PC 2100 memory in the slots. The motherboard manual states that it supports 128 MB, 256 MB, or 512 MB modules for a maximum capacity of 2 GB, but if it only supports upt to 512 MB per slot, then the maximum memory you can support is 1 GB.

[ More Info ]

[/pc/hardware/motherboard] permanent link

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