cPanel Removal

It's a poorly-kept secret that cPanel wants to prevent Server owners and/or administrators from being able to purge their systems from the rootkit-like software.  While they've recently made a change claiming to focus on support for primarily rpm-based Linux distributions, i.e. mainly Red Hat and CentOS; cPanel software breaks almost EVERYTHING RHEL/rpm-related on the system!

Their use of binary packages and perl scripts along with choosing to disable SELinux completely puts this outdated and soon-to-be obsolete software in direct conflict with anything Linux! I wish they had switched to support Windows instead.

In any case, here's yet another blog post online outlining the procedure attempting to, relatively cleanly, remove cPanel from a VPS running CentOS 7 in a Virtuozzo container.
yum list \*cpanel\* yum remove \*cpanel\*
Remove the line in /etc/yum.conf starting with "exclude".
# cat /etc/yum.conf [main] #; exclude=courier* dovecot* exim* filesystem httpd…

LUKS Encryption and Unattended boot on Headless Servers

The anaconda installer on Redhat-based Linux distributions provides the user with an option to encrypt the /home partition by selecting a simple check-box. This adds an obviously valuable security/privacy feature to the system if it's selected. Consequently, this prompts the user for a password during the boot process, which then decrypts the partition and mounts it in the designated location on the filesystem. The default behaviour is not very well suited for unattended reboots or on headless servers. The crypttab(5) manual page provides great information on how to facilitate the process for unattended boots: DESCRIPTION
The /etc/crypttab file describes encrypted block devices that are set up during system boot.

Empty lines and lines starting with the "#" character are ignored. Each of the remaining lines describes one encrypted block device, fields on the line are delimited by white space. The first two fields are mandatory, the remaining two …

LVM Snapshot Causes Boot Failure

If you've created an LVM Snapshot before rebooting your system and found yourself staring at the dracut rescue shell you might be stricken by the same problem as I was.  Executing init U on the dracut commandline resulted in a descriptive error message (that might also be found in the journal/logs) about a missing dm-snapshot kernel module.  I've attempted to troubleshoot the problem for a couple of hours, failing to add the kernel module in the end--as I wasn't able to get to a working kernel.  Ultimately, the only solution was to remove the snapshot Volume, which proved to be more difficult than expected. To remove the snapshot LV, one executes:
dracut #: lvm lvremove vg_name/lv_snapshot_name However, you might be confronted by an error message there as well.  It seems that the volume is locked at that time.  To get around this, simply remove the /etc/lvm/lvm.conf file from the volatile initramfs "filesystem".

dracut #: rm /etc/lvm/lvm.conf dracut #: lvm p…

OpenStack Installation on RHEL7 System

There's a simple "Get Started" Guide on the redhat website, which briefly outlines how to get a sample OpenStack system up and running in 5 steps.  The first, easily overlooked step is to start by installing a "minimum-install" version of RHEL7 on a physical system.  If you've already set up and configured a system that you're using for everyday tasks and/or work functions, be aware that the installation will repeatedly fail with errors due to incompatible options, missing dependencies, etc. 

Provided that you've followed the consequent steps in the guide to register the system and enable the pertinent repositories, the next step is to install and run the packstack script:

# yum install openstack-packstack # packstack --allinone
This is a rather lengthy python script that uses some puppet modules to install the necessary software components and configures the system as the OpenStack All-in-One server.  According to the packstack documentation, &q…

bash tips

- no title specified Little-known bash commands for the SysAdmin Toolbox finger  This is a user-information lookup program, which display information on system users.  If it's executed without an argument it will display a list of currently-logged in users: Login     Name       Tty      Idle  Login Time   Office     Office Phone   Host user1     user1     tty1     1:40  Jan  7 15:57                           (:0) user1     user1     pts/0          Jan  7 15:58                           ( Given a username as an argument it will display extended information on that user: # finger user1 Login: user1                         Name: user1 Directory: /home/user1               Shell: /bin/bash On since Thu Jan  7 15:57 (CST) on tty1 from :0     1 hour 40 minutes idle On since Thu Jan  7 15:58 (CST) on pts/0 from    4 seconds idle No mail. No Plan. chfn Similarly, use the chfn command to change the information that the finger command displays. SYNOPSIS        chfn [-f fu…

Linux date Command: Day of Week

To find the day of week (e.g. Friday) on a particular date using the Linux version of the `date` utility, execute:

$ date -d 'Jan 03 2004' "+%a" Sat

The -dflag tells the utility to display the information only, instead of setting the date, etc.

The "+%a" options are`date`'s FORMAT options, which are listed in the manpages.
So, for example, we can also have the full name of the weekday output by changing the "+%a" to "+%A". $ date -d 'Jan 03 2004' "+%A" Saturday
DATE(1) User Commands NAME date - print or set the system date and time SYNOPSIS date [OPTION]... [+FORMAT] ... ... FORMAT controls the output. Interpreted sequences are: %% a literal % %a locale's abbreviated weekday name (e.g., Sun) %A locale's full weekday name (e.g., Sunday) %b locale's abbreviated month name (e.g., Jan) %B locale's…

SELinux Failure after Fedora22 Upgrade

SELinux got somehow mangled during upgrade process from Fedora21 -> Fedora22. Some of the modules were changed between the versions and as a result my SELinux "system" is borked. It'd be nice to have more available documentation on re-installing and/or resetting SELinux on a system.  I can't use any of the normal tools to manage SELinux, as it only prints out errors like `libsepol.permission_copy_callback...`.  Attempting to relabel a filecontext, for example results in:

# semanage fcontext -a -t system_dbusd_var_lib_t /var/lib/dbus/machine-id libsepol.context_from_record: type radicale_port_t is not defined (No such file or directory). libsepol.context_from_record: could not create context structure (Invalid argument). libsepol.port_from_record: could not create port structure for range 5232:5232 (tcp) (Invalid argument). libsepol.sepol_port_modify: could not load port range 5232 - 5232 (tcp) (Invalid argument). libsemanage.dbase_policydb_mo…