So I’m taking a class on Python, I’m actually super excited about this class and it’s been ages waiting to get the class. For those who don’t know Python is a scripting language that is growing exponentially in popularity. It’s amazing what you can do with it, the only downside to it is that it’s not native to Windows. You can install it without any problem but it’s not out of the box which is a concern if you are dealing with locked down server environments like I do.
When you hear Python and programming language you immediately think of a snake and the dark art of coding. It summons up an image of a person dressed in black in front of a bank of monitor while a snake slithers around the desk. The fun fact about it that the guy who was creating the language liked Monty Python’s comedy show, he needed a name and the Python language was born.
So for the longest time my old development box was sitting around with an unactivated copy of Windows 10 on it and I was using RDP to VPN in and do my torrent downloading and what have you. Those are things you set and forget because it takes hours/days for the download to complete.
After jacking with the activation and not meeting success immediately, I started thinking that I’ve always wanted a Linux desktop and they’ve always been the last stop for hardware before the junk pile. Why not see what it’s like to have a screaming fast Linux desktop? So my Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4770K CPU @ 3.50GHz with 24Gb of ram and 500Gb SSD is now my premier Linux desktop.
I bounced back and forth between Mint and Ubuntu, starting with Mint, getting lost because it’s Debian and not Red Hat, then switching to Ubuntu and completely disliking the GUI there even with Cinnamon installed and finally settled back with a clean install of Mint. Scavenged a blue tooth speaker with an aux port and that works for sound from it. And I have a 32 inch curved Acer Nitro EDO series – ED320QR monitor hooked up to it. So far I’m impressed. Lots to learn with the GUI but it’s a nice change. Already have xRDP installed so I just use mstsc.exe and connect right in.
As for the computer that can sit on the VPN and do my downloading? I’ve actually got my old laptop doing that. It’s also running Mint Linux and it basically closed and sitting plugged into a Gb network dongle and power source under the desk next to the UPS. Even have the VPN running and the qBitTorrent running only on tun0, so that if it dies I’m not sitting there exposed with my torrent hanging out. It did briefly happen, let’s hope no bad comes of it.
So building on the email/imap server success. I’ve finally learned how to host multiple domains on Apache!!! Yes I know I haven’t reinvented the wheel and I’m pretty sure that I would have figured it out had I needed it earlier but still it’s bad ass to be able to do so. That in and of itself is pretty cool but what’s more amazing is the fact that using SSL is now free and accessible to the masses thanks to LetsEncrypt. For those of you who don’t know, just a few years ago having a secure site (i.e. a SSL/TLS certificate to secure traffic to and from your site) meant having to fork over $50 bucks a pop per year for each domain. Hosting sites like GoDaddy have been screwing clients for years with this. Enter LetsEncrypt, a consortium of industry heavy weights now offer free certs, they are only 90 day but thanks to Linux the update process it automated. Life is good!
So everyone knows that Linux is the ultimate toy for computer geeks, it can do anything, do it well and do it free. It was a little over two years ago I broke down and bought a Dell PowerEdge T30. I know, it’s about as entry level as you can get. 8Gb of RAM and 1 TB hard drive but it is sporting a 4x Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E3-1225 v5 @ 3.30GHz. I did upgrade the RAM to 16Gb (wow ECC memory is steep). And the coup de grace was finding 3Tb SAS drives on New Egg for $50 apiece. Bought 4 of those bad boys and spent $30 for a h310 card and have a RAID 5 striped 8Tb volume to play with. Only have mounted 1Tb and still have tons of room.
In any case, I’m super excited to have the email piece up and running using postfix and dovecot. Some people say “big deal, it’s email”, to which I just sigh. The fact that email is ubiquitous belies the complexity of actually getting one of these set up and functioning. With that said I’m super excited to say I’ve got it up and running for multiple domains both sending and receiving. OK, it’s still using flat files to map users but I’m working on getting it setup on MySQL so more to come on that end.