Wandering Thoughts archives

2017-08-23: An unexpected risk of using Go is it ending support for older OS versions
2017-08-22: Understanding rainbow tables
2017-08-21: Hashed Ethernet addresses are not anonymous identifiers
2017-08-20: The surprising longevity of Unix manpage formatting
2017-08-19: Subnets and early Unix implementations of TCP/IP networking
2017-08-18: How ZFS on Linux names disks in ZFS pools
2017-08-16: The three different names ZFS stores for each vdev disk (on Illumos)
Things I do and don't know about how ZFS brings pools up during boot
2017-08-15: How to get per-user fair share scheduling on Ubuntu 16.04 (with systemd)
2017-08-14: Chrome extensions are becoming a reason not to use Chrome
2017-08-13: Sorting out slice mutability in Go
2017-08-12: Notes on cgroups and systemd's interaction with them as of Ubuntu 16.04
2017-08-11: Some notes from my brief experience with the Grumpy transpiler for Python
Link: Linux Load Averages: Solving the Mystery
2017-08-10: On the Internet, merely blocking eavesdropping is a big practical win
2017-08-09: How encryption without authentication would still be useful on the web
2017-08-08: We care more about long term security updates than full long term support
2017-08-07: There will be no LTS release of the OmniOS Community Edition
2017-08-06: Our decision to restrict what we use for developing internal tools
2017-08-05: I've been hit by the startup overhead of small programs in Python
2017-08-04: The problem with distributed authentication systems for big sites
2017-08-03: Imposing temporary CPU and memory resource limits on a user on Ubuntu 16.04
2017-08-02: Why I'll never pick the 'sign in with a Facebook or Google account' option
2017-07-31: Using policy based routing to isolate a testing interface on Linux
Link: How does "the" X11 clipboard work?
Modern web page design and superstition
2017-07-30: Some terrible article page design elements on the modern web
2017-07-29: The differences between how SFTP and scp work in OpenSSH
2017-07-28: Our (Unix) staff groups problem
2017-07-26: The continuity of broad systems or environments in system administration
Why I care about Apache's mod_wsgi so much
2017-07-25: If you're going to use PyPy, I think you need servers
2017-07-24: Trying to understand the ZFS l2arc_noprefetch tunable
2017-07-23: Understanding a bit about the SSH connection protocol
2017-07-21: When the SSH protocol does and doesn't do user authentication
2017-07-20: I'm cautiously optimistic about the new OmniOS Community Edition
HTTPS is a legacy protocol
2017-07-19: I've become resigned to Firefox slowly leaking memory
2017-07-18: Python's complicating concept of a callable
2017-07-17: Link: NASA DASHlink - Real System Failures
Why I think Emacs readline bindings work better than Vi ones
2017-07-16: Why upstreams can't document their program's behavior for us
2017-07-14: Some people feel that all permanent SMTP failures are actually temporary
Link: ZFS Storage Overhead
SELinux's problem of keeping up with general Linux development
2017-07-12: Understanding the .io TLD's DNS configuration vulnerability
Recursive DNS servers send the whole original query to authoritative servers
2017-07-11: The BSD r* commands and the history of privileged TCP ports
2017-07-10: Ubuntu's 'Daily Build' images aren't for us
2017-07-09: Why we're not currently interested in PXE-based Linux installs
2017-07-08: I wish you could easily update the packages on Ubuntu ISO images
2017-07-07: Programming Bourne shell scripts is tricky, with dim corners
2017-07-06: Link: Survey of [floating point] Rounding Implementations in Go
My current views on Shellcheck
2017-07-05: How I shot my foot because the Bourne shell is different
2017-07-04: LinkedIn is still trying to send me email despite years of rejections
2017-07-02: Re-applying CPU thermal paste fixed my CPU throttling issues
Moving to smaller fileservers for us probably means no more iSCSI SAN
2017-06-30: Our current generation fileservers have turned out to be too big
Why big Exim queues are a problem for us in practice
2017-06-29: The TLDs of sender addresses for a week of our spam (June 2017 edition)
2017-06-28: I don't think you should increase ZFS on Linux's write buffering
2017-06-26: Our MTAs should probably be able to create backpressure
2017-06-25: Thinking through issues a mail client may have with SMTP-time rejections
One tradeoff in email system design is who holds problematic email
2017-06-23: In praise of uBlock Origin's new 'element zapper' feature
Links: Git remote branches and Git's missing terminology (and more)
My situation with Twitter and my Firefox setup (in which I blame pseudo-XHTML)
2017-06-22: Why we're not running the current version of Django
2017-06-21: The oddity of CVE-2014-9940 and the problem of recognizing kernel security patches
2017-06-19: Plan for manual emergency blocks for your overall mail system
How I'm currently handling the mailing lists I read
2017-06-17: One reason you have a mysterious Unix file called 2 (or 1)
2017-06-16: Go interfaces and automatically generated functions
The (current) state of Firefox Nightly and old extensions
2017-06-15: Why I am not installing your app on my phone
2017-06-14: The difference between ZFS scrubs and resilvers
2017-06-12: Resilvering multiple disks at once in a ZFS pool adds no real extra overhead
2017-06-11: Why filing away mailing lists for a while has improved my life
How to see raw USB events on Linux via usbmon
2017-06-10: One downside of the traditional style of writing Unix manpages
2017-06-09: My .procmailrc has quietly sort of turned into a swamp
2017-06-08: In practice, putting SSDs into 3.5" drive bays is a big hassle
2017-06-06: A humbling experience of misreading some simple (Go) code
The IPv6 address lookup problem (and brute force solution)
2017-06-05: Another case of someone being too clever in their User-Agent field
2017-06-04: Link: The evolution of Unix's overall architecture
Why the popen() API works but more complex versions blow up
2017-06-03: The Python Gilectomy project's performance problem
2017-06-02: My views on the JSON Feed syndication feed format
2017-05-31: How a lot of specifications are often read
Why one git fetch default configuration bit is probably okay
2017-05-29: Configuring Git worktrees to limit what's fetched on pulls
2017-05-28: My thoughts on git worktrees for me (and some notes on things I tried)
Specifications are ultimately defined by their implementations
2017-05-26: Why globally unique IDs are useful for syndication feed entries
2017-05-25: Using Linux's Magic Sysrq on modern keyboards without a dedicated Syrq key
URLs are terrible permanent identifiers for things
2017-05-24: Exploiting Python's Global Interpreter Lock for atomic operations is fun
2017-05-22: Safely using Python's Global Interpreter Lock is quite tricky and subtle
2017-05-21: We use jQuery and I've stopped feeling ashamed about it
A 'null MX' is also useful for blocking forged senders from non-email domains
2017-05-20: We now have an officially standardized 'null MX' record
2017-05-19: I'm not sure what I feel about this web spider's User-Agent value
2017-05-18: A shift in the proper sizes of images on web pages
2017-05-17: Unfortunately I don't feel personally passionate about OmniOS
2017-05-15: Thinking about how much asynchronous disk write buffering you want
How we failed at making all our servers have SSD system disks
2017-05-14: People don't like changes (in computer stuff)
2017-05-13: People don't patch systems and that's all there is to it
2017-05-12: Where bootstrapping Go with a modern version of Go has gotten faster
2017-05-11: The challenges of recovering when unpacking archives with damage
2017-05-10: Building the Go compiler from source from scratch (on Unix)
2017-05-08: Some things I've decided to do to improve my breaks and vacations
2017-05-07: ZFS's zfs receive has no error recovery and what that implies
A mistake I made when setting up my ZFS SSD pool on my home machine
2017-05-05: The temptation of a Ryzen-based machine for my next office workstation
Digging into BSD's choice of Unix group for new directories and files
2017-05-04: My views on using LVM for your system disk and root filesystem
2017-05-03: Sometimes, chmod can fail for interesting reasons
2017-05-01: When a TLS client's certificate is offered to the TLS server
2017-04-30: Some more feelings on nondeterministic garbage collection
Do we want to standardize the size of our root filesystems on servers?
2017-04-29: Some versions of sort can easily sort IPv4 addresses into natural order
2017-04-28: Hardware RAID and the problem of (not) observing disk IO
2017-04-27: Understanding Git's model versus understanding its magic
2017-04-26: Coming to a better understanding of what git rebase does
2017-04-24: What we need from an Illumos-based distribution
Corebird and coming to a healthier relationship with Twitter
2017-04-23: How I rebased changes on top of other rebased changes in Git
2017-04-21: OmniOS's (suddenly) changed future and us
Link: Rob Landley's Linux Memory Management Frequently Asked Questions
A surprising reason grep may think a file is a binary file
2017-04-20: The big motivation for a separate /boot partition
2017-04-19: Some things on how PCs boot the old fashioned BIOS way
For me Chrome clearly wins over Firefox on Javascript-heavy websites
2017-04-17: Shrinking the partitions of a software RAID-1 swap partition
Link: Introduction to Certificate Transparency for Server Operators
What I mostly care about for speeding up our Python programs
2017-04-16: Migrating a separate /boot filesystem into the root filesystem
2017-04-14: Planning out a disk shuffle for my office workstation
Sometimes laziness doesn't pay off
2017-04-12: On today's web, a local Certificate Authority is fairly dangerous
Generating good modern self-signed TLS certificates in today's world
2017-04-10: How TLS certificates specify the hosts they're for
2017-04-09: A single .jar recognized as several types of malware at once
2017-04-08: Doing things the clever way in Exim ACLs by exploiting ACL message variables
Wayland is now the future of Unix graphics and GUIs
2017-04-07: Spammers probably aren't paying any particular attention to you
2017-04-05: Making your SMTP rejection messages be useful for you
Why the modern chown command uses a colon to separate the user and group
2017-04-03: Some DNSBL developments I've just heard about
Why modules raising core exceptions mostly hurts, not helps, your users
2017-04-02: The Spamhaus CSS includes more than dedicated spam ranges
2017-03-31: I quite like the simplification of having OpenSSH canonicalize hostnames
What I know about process virtual size versus RSS on Linux
2017-03-30: What top's SHR field means in quite modern Linux kernels
2017-03-29: The work of safely raising our local /etc/group line length limit
2017-03-28: What affects automatically removing old kernels on Ubuntu
2017-03-27: Link: The Unix Heritage Society now has the 8th, 9th, and 10th editions of Research Unix
We're probably going to upgrade our OmniOS servers by reinstalling them
2017-03-26: Your exposure from retaining Let's Encrypt account keys
2017-03-24: An odd and persistent year old phish spammer
2017-03-23: ARM servers had better just work if vendors want to sell very many
2017-03-22: Setting the root login's 'full name' to identify the machine that sent email
Making sure you can identify what machine sent you a status email
2017-03-20: Modern Linux kernel memory allocation rules for higher-order page requests
My theory on why Go's gofmt has wound up being accepted
2017-03-19: Using Firefox's userContent.css for website-specific fixes
2017-03-18: Part of why Python 3.5's await and async have some odd usage restrictions
2017-03-17: Overcommitting virtual memory is perfectly sensible
2017-03-16: How we can use yield from to implement coroutines
2017-03-15: Sorting out Python generator functions and yield from in my head
2017-03-13: OpenSSH's IdentityFile directive only ever adds identity files (as of 7.4)
What should it mean for a system call to time out?
2017-03-12: CSS, <pre>, and trailing whitespace lead to browser layout weirdness
2017-03-11: Your live web server probably has features you don't know about
2017-03-10: Malware is sometimes sent through organized, purchased infrastructure
2017-03-09: I wish you could whitelist kernel modules, instead of blacklisting them
2017-03-08: An AMD Ryzen is unlikely to be my next desktop's CPU
2017-03-06: Modern X Windows can be a very complicated environment
2017-03-05: Why I (as a sysadmin) reflexively dislike various remote file access tools for editors
2017-03-04: Should you add MX entries for hosts in your (public) DNS?
2017-03-03: Why exposing only blocking APIs are ultimately a bad idea
Some notes on ZFS per-user quotas and their interactions with NFS
2017-03-01: Cheap concurrency is an illusion (at least on Unix)
2017-02-28: Using Certificate Transparency to monitor your organization's TLS activity
2017-02-27: The conflict between wildcard TLS certificates and Certificate Transparency
2017-02-26: In Python, strings are infinitely recursively iterable
How recursively flattening a list raises a Python type question
2017-02-25: A single email message with quite a lot of different malware
2017-02-24: What an actual assessment of Ubuntu kernel security updates looks like
How ZFS bookmarks can work their magic with reasonable efficiency
2017-02-22: ZFS bookmarks and what they're good for
Sometimes it can be hard to tell one cause of failure from another
2017-02-20: Some notes on moving a software RAID-1 root filesystem around (to SSDs)
Some views on the Corebird Twitter client
2017-02-19: Using pup to deal with Twitter's increasing demand for Javascript
2017-02-17: robots.txt is a hint and a social contract between sites and web spiders
Sometimes, firmware updates can be a good thing to do
2017-02-16: Waiting for a specific wall-clock time in Unix
2017-02-15: Another risk of hardware RAID controllers is the manufacturer vanishing
2017-02-14: Does CR LF as a line ending cause extra problems with buffers?
2017-02-13: What file types we see inside singleton nested zipfiles in email
2017-02-12: I'm too much of a perfectionist about contributing to open source projects
2017-02-11: Different ways you can initialize a RAID-[567+] array
2017-02-10: Python won't (and can't) import native modules from zip archives
2017-02-09: Malware strains may go away sometimes, but they generally come back
2017-02-08: How to see and flush the Linux kernel NFS server's authentication cache
2017-02-06: Systemd's slowly but steadily increased idealism about the world
Our advantage in reliable backups is that we get restore requests
2017-02-05: Systemd should be better than it is, but it is still our best init system
2017-02-04: My views on X (Windows)
2017-02-03: What it's sensible to use a bunch of Unix swap space for
2017-02-02: Link: Four Column ASCII
Sometimes you get lucky and apparently dead disks come back to life
2017-01-31: Email attachments of singleton nested zipfiles are suspicious
2017-01-30: Why having CR LF as your line ending is a mistake
How you can abruptly lose your filesystem on a software RAID mirror
2017-01-29: How Unix erases things when you type a backspace while entering text
2017-01-28: What we still use ASCII CR for today (on Unix)
2017-01-27: Conversations, conversational units, and Twitter
2017-01-26: Things that make Go channels expensive to implement
2017-01-25: I think docstrings in Python are for everything, not just public things
2017-01-23: Linux desktops and pre-packaged machines from big vendors
My still-mixed feelings about Python's docstrings
2017-01-22: An Ubuntu default Bash setup that irritates me, especially for root
2017-01-20: Why tiling window managers are not really for me (on the desktop)
Spam and virus filtering on email is a risk (although likely not a big one)
2017-01-19: Thinking about how to add some SSDs on my home machine
2017-01-18: Exim, IPv6, and hosts that MX to localhost
2017-01-17: Making my machine stay responsive when writing to USB drives
2017-01-16: Linux is terrible at handling IO to USB drives on my machine
2017-01-15: Link: Let's Stop Ascribing Meaning to Code Points
Some notes on 4K monitors and connecting to them
2017-01-14: My picks for mind-blowing Git features
2017-01-13: The ZFS pool history log that's used by 'zpool history' has a size limit
2017-01-12: Modern ad networks are why adblockers are so effective
2017-01-11: ZFS's potentially very useful 'zpool history -i' option
2017-01-10: Picking FreeType CJK fonts for xterm on a modern Linux system
2017-01-09: Making modern FreeType-using versions of xterm display CJK characters
2017-01-08: One downside of a queued IO model is memory consumption for idle connections
2017-01-07: How ready my Firefox extensions are for Firefox Electrolysis
2017-01-06: Web adblockers and the potential for recreating the Usenet killfile problem
2017-01-05: Mail submission by users versus by your machines
2017-01-04: Make sure that (system) email works on every machine
2017-01-02: Software should support configuring overall time limits
ZFS may panic your system if you have an exceptionally slow IO
By month for 2017: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug; before 2017.

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