[nycphp-talk] Advice on setting for testing server

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Tue Aug 25 13:07:14 EDT 2009

Chris Snyder wrote:
> Congratulations! I've always thought that system administration skills
> are a necessary part of any web programmer's toolkit.

I couldn't agree more--the need for it has become clearer & clearer as I
 inch my way forward. The company I work for is an outfit of network
security consultants, so my boss is totally on board with me learning
more about Linux sys admin skills.

Now that I've had a couple of weeks to poke around in Ubuntu's innards,
I find it fascinating. Now Windows kinda is starting to seem like
Linux's idiot cousin.

Still, it's a big paradigm shift for me, you know? Last week it took me
like 2 hours to figure out how to gain write access to a mounted logical
drive because I wasn't grasping the whole ownership/users/groups thing.
Now it makes more sense and I can see why it's more secure.

> Read the online administration manuals for Ubuntu. Definitely read man
> pages. No matter how dry they seem, the investment will pay off over
> time.

LOL, yeah, I usually tend to just jump in with both feet, but that's
clearly NOT going to work in this case. Linux is just too different form
what I'm accustomed to for that approach to work.

> You will definitely want a guide to Linux or Unix system
> administration. Pro Linux System Administration was published in June,
> and seems to successfully walk the line between the command-line and
> point-and-click administration schools:
> The classic guide to unix system administration is Essential System
> Administration:

Thanks. Man, Amazon is going to get a lot more of my money next month...

> You could skip the FTP server and use SFTP, which you got for free by
> installing OpenSSH. If you decide to set up FTP for the experience,
> please make sure you use an SSL-enabled version. Ditto for your mail
> services. Cleartext passwords are a strong indicator of an
> irresponsible sysadmin.

Duh--I didn't even realize SFTP came with OpenSSH. *headdesk* I've
managed to connect now using PuTTY, so thanks for pointing that out. I
guess I'll forgo the FTP & mail services for now since the Ubuntu box is
on my home LAN and I don't really need them.

I also managed to set up my computer's wake-on-lan feature. It's so cool
to be able to control the web server from any computer in my apartment
(I work from home and don't foresee any need to access it from outside
my LAN). I have a mostly wired network with my single wireless access
point & laptop set up by one of our engineers to ensure that it was
secure, so I guess that should be good enough.


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