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Unix+clones Installing and securing Squid
Post date: March 13, 2006, 10:03 Category: Software Views: 67
Tutorial quote: Squid is a high-performance proxy caching server for web clients, supporting FTP, gopher, and HTTP data objects. Unlike traditional caching software, Squid handles all requests in a single, non-blocking, I/O-driven process. Squid keeps meta data and especially hot objects cached in RAM, caches DNS lookups, supports non-blocking DNS lookups, and implements negative caching of failed requests. Squid supports SSL, extensive access controls, and full request logging. By using the lightweight Internet Cache Protocol, Squid caches can be arranged in a hierarchy or mesh for additional bandwidth savings.

After the installation and base configuration of squid we will add another layer of security by chrooting it.
Debian Monitoring Servers and Clients using Munin
Post date: April 4, 2006, 16:04 Category: Installing Views: 36
Tutorial quote: "Munin" means "memory".

Munin the tool surveys all your computers and remembers what it saw. It presents all the information in in graphs through a web interface. Its emphasis is on plug and play capabilities. After completing a installation a high number of monitoring plugins will be playing with no more effort. Using Munin you can easily monitor the performance of your computers, networks, SANs, and quite possibly applications as well. It makes it easy to determine "what's different today" when a performance problem crops up. It makes it easy to see how you're doing capacity wise on all limited resources.

It uses the excellent RRDTool and is written in Perl. Munin has a master/node architecture in which the master connects to all the nodes at regular intervals and asks them for sdata. It then stores the data in RRD files, and (if needed) updates the graphs. One of the main goals has been ease of creating new plugins (graphs).
Linux Sawing Linux Logs with Simple Tools
Post date: April 14, 2005, 08:04 Category: Security Views: 37
Tutorial quote: So there you are with all of your Linux servers humming along happily. You have tested, tweaked, and configured until they are performing at their peak of perfection. Users are hardly whining at all. Life is good. You may relax and indulge in some nice, relaxing rounds of TuxKart. After all, you earned it.

Except for one little remaining chore: monitoring your log files. [insert horrible alarming music of your choice here.] You're conscientious, so you know you can't just ignore the logs until there's a problem, especially for public services like Web and mail. Somewhere up in the pointy-haired suites, they may even be plotting to require you to track and analyze all sorts of server statistics.

Not to worry, for there are many ways to implement data reduction, which is what log parsing is all about. You want to slice and dice your logs to present only the data you're interested in viewing. Unless you wish to devote your entire life to manually analyzing log files. Even if you only pay attention to logfiles when you're debugging a problem, having some tools to weed out the noise is helpful.
Linux Building a Linux video jukebox for an anime convention
Post date: November 25, 2005, 16:11 Category: Miscellaneous Views: 125
Tutorial quote: I wrote this little whitepaper a while back for Amy Zunk to document the function of the VideoKeg/VideoJukebox boxes. Documented here for posterity. The primary goal of the video keg was to build a reliable video box that was easy to transport with enough space to store 3 days worth of Anime fan-subs.

The secondary goal of the video keg was to make a home PVR system for video playback and time-shifting, along with a video arcade and perhaps a web browser. The tertiary goal of the video keg was to find an affordable hardware platform so that we could buy 4 of them immmediately to service the primary goal's need for 4 separate video rooms.

For a PVR, the machine neeed to be small, quiet, low-heat, and still fast enough to run the software video player and arcade games. For portability, we decided to go with a smaller mini-ITX style cube box.
Linux Upstream Provider Woes? Point the Ping of Blame
Post date: April 14, 2005, 08:04 Category: Network Views: 42
Tutorial quote: Your users are complaining that "the Internet is, like, all slow." Users are always complaining, but you're seeing a lot of timeouts when you check mail, surf the Web, or try to log in for remote administration. Or even worse, latency is so bad that you keep getting killed all to heck in your favorite gory violent online multi-player game, so you know there is a problem. But there a lot of potential bottlenecks between your PC and the outside world, like your Internet gateway, proxy server, firewall, Internet service provider, and so forth, so where do you begin?

One of the best and most versatile network tools you can have is a notebook PC running Linux. This lets you plug in anywhere to run tests and find out what is going on. Make it a nothing-to-lose box--don't keep data on it so you can wipe and reinstall the operating system as necessary, because you want to be able to run tests outside of firewalls. Don't run any services. You can put a minimal iptables firewall on it, as there is no point in being totally exposed, but keep it simple. (Use MondoRescue to make a system snapshot for fast restores.)
Yellow+Dog Installing Linux on the Mac mini
Post date: May 11, 2005, 08:05 Category: Installing Views: 112
Tutorial quote: The Mac mini is an ideal low-cost, high-performance PowerPC development platform for numerous applications. Learn how to install and configure Linux on the mini. Future articles will add the software required to make it into a stand-alone multimedia appliance.

This short series of articles shows you how to take a conveniently inexpensive, high-end PowerPC® platform (specifically, an Apple Mac mini) and build it into a home multimedia appliance using Linux™. At the end of the series, you'll have a stand-alone device that can play slide shows of images, audio, and movies, and that is controlled and administered from another machine using a standard Web browser.

The PowerPC platform is very well-suited to this type of multimedia application, and the G4 with AltiVec used in the Mac mini is an exceptionally powerful and flexible choice. This first article introduces you to the hardware's capabilities and walks you through installing and configuring Yellow Dog Linux so you can delve into some application code in the next article.