Archive for the ‘Various’ Category

Configure rsyslog buffering on Linux to avoid message lost to Central Logging server

Wednesday, January 13th, 2021


1. Rsyslog Buffering

One of the best practice about logs management is to send syslog to a central server. However, a logging system should be capable of avoiding message loss in situations where the server is not reachable. To do so, unsent data needs to be buffered at the client when central server is not available. You might have recently noticed that many servers forwarding logs messages to a central server do not have buffering functionalities activated. Thus I strongly advise you to have look to this documentation to know how to check your configuration:

Rsyslog buffering with TCP/UDP configured

In rsyslog, every action runs on its own queue and each queue can be set to buffer data if the action is not ready. Of course, you must be able to detect that "the action is not ready", which means the remote server is offline. This can be detected with plain TCP syslog and RELP, but not with UDP. So you need to use either of the two. In this howto, we use plain TCP syslog.

– Version requirement

Please note that we are using rsyslog-specific features. The are required on the client, but not on the server. So the client system must run rsyslog (at least version 3.12.0), while on the server another syslogd may be running, as long as it supports plain tcp syslog.

How To Setup rsyslog buffering on Linux

First, you need to create a working directory for rsyslog. This is where it stores its queue files (should need arise). You may use any location on your local system. Next, you need to do is instruct rsyslog to use a disk queue and then configure your action. There is nothing else to do. With the following simple config file, you forward anything you receive to a remote server and have buffering applied automatically when it goes down. This must be done on the client machine.

# Example:
# $ModLoad imuxsock             # local message reception
# $WorkDirectory /rsyslog/work  # default location for work (spool) files
# $ActionQueueType LinkedList   # use asynchronous processing
# $ActionQueueFileName srvrfwd  # set file name, also enables disk mode
# $ActionResumeRetryCount -1    # infinite retries on insert failure
# $ActionQueueSaveOnShutdown on # save in-memory data if rsyslog shuts down
# *.*       @@server:port

Short SSL generate new and self-signed certificates PEM, view and convert to and from PKCS12 to java key store cookbook commands cheat sheet

Tuesday, January 12th, 2021

Below is a short compilation of common used openssl commands (a kind of cookbook) helpful for sysadmins who has to commonly deal with OpenSSL certificates.

Lets say you have to generate new certificate / key and a PEM files, prepare self-signed certificates, show CSR / PEM or KEY ssl file contents, get information about certificate such as expiry date a type of encryption algorithm or sign certificate with self-signed authority convert PEM to PKCS12, convert from PKCS12 file format to .PEM, convert java X509 to java key store SSL encryptionor convert java key store format certificate to PKCS12, then below will be of use to you.

1. Generate Private RSA Key with 2048 bits

# openssl genrsa -out $ (hostname -f) .key 2048

2. Create CSR file

# openssl req -new -key $ (hostname -f) .key -out $ (hostname -f) .csr

3. Create a Self Certified Certificate:

# openssl x509 -req -days 30 -in $ (hostname -f) .csr -signkey $ (hostname -f) .key -out $ (hostname -f) .crt
Enter password:

# openssl rsa -in key.pem -out newkey.pem

4. Show CSR file content

# openssl req -in newcsr.csr -noout -text

5. Get Certificate version / serial number / signature algorithm / RSA key lenght / modulus / exponent etc.

# openssl x509 -in newcert.pem -noout -text

6. Server certificate as CA self signeded

# openssl ca -in newcert.csr -notext -out newcert.pem

7. Generate a certificate signing request based on an existing certificate

# openssl x509 -x509toreq -in certificate.crt -out CSR.csr -signkey privateKey.key

8. Convert .pem / .key / .crt file format to pkcs12 format

# openssl pkcs12 -export -in newcert.pem -inkey newkey.key -certfile ca.crt -out newcert.p12

9. Convert pkcs12 pfx to common .pem

# openssl pkcs12 -in mycert.pfx -out mycert.pem

10. The Formats available

# openssl x509 -inform the -in certificate.cer -out certificate.crt

11. Convert a pkcs # 7 certificate into PEM format

# openssl pkcs7 -in cert.p7c -inform DER -outform PEM -out certificate.p7b
# openssl pkcs7 -print_certs -in certificate.p7b -out certificate.pem

12. Convert X509 to java keystore file

# java -cp not-yet-commons-ssl-0.3.11.jar org.apache.commons.ssl.KeyStoreBuilder pass_for_new_keystore key.key certificate.crt

13. Convert java keystore file to pkcs12

# keytool -importkeystore -srckeystore keystore.jks -destkeystore intermediate.p12 -deststoretype PKCS12

Install certbot on Debian Linux 10 howto and generate Apache / Nginx SSL certificates

Monday, December 21st, 2020

letsencrypt certbot install on any linux distribution with apache or nginx webserver howto</a>
Let's Encrypt is a free, automated, and open certificate authority brought to you by the nonprofit <a  data-cke-saved-href=
Internet Security Research Group (ISRG). ISRG group gave initiative with the goal to "encrypt the internet", i.e. offer free alternative to the overpriced domani registrer sold certificates with the goal to make more people offer SSL / TSL Free secured connection line on their websites. 
ISRG group supported Letsencrypt non-profit certificate authority actrively by Internet industry standard giants such as Mozilla, Cisco, EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation),  Facebook, Google Chrome, Amazon AWS, OVH Cloud, Redhat, VMWare, Github and many many of the leading companies in IT.

Letsencrpyt is aimed at automating the process designed to overcome manual creation, validation, signing, installation, and renewal of certificates for secure websites. I.e. you don't have to manually write on console complicated openssl command lines with passing on Certificate CSR /  KEY / PEM files etc and generate Self-Signed Untrusted Authority Certificates (noted in my previous article How to generate Self-Signed SSL Certificates with openssl or use similar process to pay money generate secret key and submit the key to third party authority through a their website webadmin  interface in order to Generate SSL brought by Godaddy or Other Certificate Authority.

But of course as you can guess there are downsides as you submit your private key automatically via letsencrypt set of SSL certificate automation domain scripts to a third party Certificate Authority which is at A security intrusion in their private key store servers might mean a catastrophy for your data as malicious stealer might be able to decrypt your data with some additional effort and see in plain text what is talking to your Apache / Nginx or Mail Server nevertheless the cert. Hence for a high standards such as PCI environments Letsencrypt as well as for the paranoid security freak admins,  who don't trust the mainstream letsencrypt is definitely not a choice. Anyways for most small and midsized businesses who doesn't hold too much of a top secret data and want a moderate level of security Letsencrypt is a great opportunity to try. But enough talk, lets get down to business.

How to install and use certbot on Debian GNU / Linux 10 Buster?
Certbot is not available from the Debian software repositories by default, but it’s possible to configure the buster-backports repository in your /etc/apt/sources.list file to allow you to install a backport of the Certbot software with APT tool.

1. Install certbot on Debian / Ubuntu Linux


root@webserver:/etc/apt# tail -n 1 /etc/apt/sources.list
deb buster-backports main

If not there append the repositories to file:


  • Install certbot-nginx certbot-apache deb packages

root@webserver:/ # echo 'deb buster-backports main' >> /etc/apt/sources.list


  • Install certbot-nginx certbot-apache deb packages

root@webserver:/ # apt update
root@webserver:/ # apt install certbot python-certbot-nginx python3-certbot-apache python-certbot-nginx-doc

This will install the /usr/bin/certbot python executable script which is used to register / renew / revoke / delete your domains certificates.

2. Install letsencrypt certbot client on CentOS / RHEL / Fedora and other Linux Distributions


For RPM based distributions and other Linux distributions you will have to install snap package (if not already installed) and use snap command :



[root@centos ~ :] # yum install snapd
systemctl enable –now snapd.socket

To enable classic snap support, enter the following to create a symbolic link between

[root@centos ~ :] # ln -s /var/lib/snapd/snap /snap

snap command lets you install, configure, refresh and remove snaps.  Snaps are packages that work across many different Linux distributions, enabling secure delivery and operation of the latest apps and utilities.

[root@centos ~ :] # snap install core; sudo snap refresh core

Logout from console or Xsession to make the snap update its $PATH definitions.

Then use snap universal distro certbot classic package

 [root@centos ~ :] # snap install –classic certbot
[root@centos ~ :] # ln -s /snap/bin/certbot /usr/bin/certbot


If you're having an XOrg server access on the RHEL / CentOS via Xming or other type of Xemulator you might check out also the snap-store as it contains a multitude of packages installable which are not usually available in RPM distros.

 [root@centos ~ :] # snap install snap-store


snap-store is a powerful and via it you can install many non easily installable stuff on Linux such as eclipse famous development IDE, notepad++ , Discord, the so favourite for the Quality Assurance guy Protocol tester Postman etc.

  • Installing certbot to any distribution via script

Another often preferred solution to Universally deploy  and upgrade an existing LetsEncrypt program to any Linux distribution (e.g. RHEL / CentOS / Fedora etc.) is the script. To install acme you have to clone the repository and run the script with –install

P.S. If you don't have git installed yet do

root@webserver:/ # apt-get install –yes git

and then the usual git clone to fetch it at your side

# cd /root
# git clone
Cloning into ''…
remote: Enumerating objects: 71, done.
remote: Counting objects: 100% (71/71), done.
remote: Compressing objects: 100% (53/53), done.
remote: Total 12475 (delta 39), reused 38 (delta 18), pack-reused 12404
Receiving objects: 100% (12475/12475), 4.79 MiB | 6.66 MiB/s, done.
Resolving deltas: 100% (7444/7444), done.

# sh –install

To later upgrade to latest you can do

# sh –upgrade

In order to renew a concrete existing letsencrypt certificiate

# sh –renew

To renew all certificates using script

# ./ –renew-all


3. Generate Apache or NGINX Free SSL / TLS Certificate with certbot tool

Now lets generate a certificate for a domain running on Apache Webserver with a Website WebRoot directory /home/phpdev/public/www


root@webserver:/ # certbot –apache –webroot -w /home/phpdev/public/www/ -d -d

root@webserver:/ # certbot certonly –webroot -w /home/phpdev/public/www/ -d -d

As you see all the domains for which you will need to generate are passed on with -d option.

Once certificates are properly generated you can test it in a browser and once you're sure they work as expected usually you can sleep safe for the next 3 months ( 90 days) which is the default for TSL / SSL Letsencrypt certificates the reason behind of course is security.


4. Enable freshly generated letsencrypt SSL certificate in Nginx VirtualHost config

Go to your nginx VirtualHost configuration (i.e. /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/ ) and inside chunk of config add after location { … } – 443 TCP Port SSL listener (as in shown in bolded configuration)

server {

   location ~ \.php$ {
      include /etc/nginx/fastcgi_params;
##      fastcgi_pass;
      fastcgi_pass unix:/run/php/php7.3-fpm.sock;
      fastcgi_index index.php;
      fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME /usr/share/phpmyadmin$fastcgi_script_name;



    listen 443 ssl; # managed by Certbot
    ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/live/; # managed by Certbot
    ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/live/; # managed by Certbot
    include /etc/letsencrypt/options-ssl-nginx.conf; # managed by Certbot
    ssl_dhparam /etc/letsencrypt/ssl-dhparams.pem; # managed by Certbot


5. Enable new generated letsencrypt SSL certificate in Apache VirtualHost

In /etc/apache2/{sites-available,sites-enabled}/ you should have as a minimum a configuration setup like below:


NameVirtualHost *:443 <VirtualHost>
    HostnameLookups off
    DocumentRoot /var/www
    DirectoryIndex index.html index.htm index.php index.html.var



CheckSpelling on
SSLEngine on

    <Directory />
        Options FollowSymLinks
        AllowOverride All
        ##Order allow,deny
        ##allow from all
        Require all granted
    <Directory /var/www>
        Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
        AllowOverride All
##      Order allow,deny
##      allow from all
Require all granted

Include /etc/letsencrypt/options-ssl-apache.conf
SSLCertificateFile /etc/letsencrypt/live/
SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/letsencrypt/live/


6. Simulate a certificate regenerate with –dry-run

Soon before the 90 days period expiry approaches, it is a good idea to test how all installed Nginx webserver certficiates will be renewed and whether any issues are expected this can be done with the –dry-run option.

root@webserver:/ # certbot renew –dry-run


– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
** DRY RUN: simulating 'certbot renew' close to cert expiry
**          (The test certificates below have not been saved.)

Congratulations, all renewals succeeded. The following certs have been renewed:
  /etc/letsencrypt/live/ (success)
  /etc/letsencrypt/live/ (success)
  /etc/letsencrypt/live/ (success)
  /etc/letsencrypt/live/ (success)
  /etc/letsencrypt/live/ (success)
  /etc/letsencrypt/live/ (success)
  /etc/letsencrypt/live/ (success)
  /etc/letsencrypt/live/ (success)
** DRY RUN: simulating 'certbot renew' close to cert expiry
**          (The test certificates above have not been saved.)
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –


7. Renew a certificate from a multiple installed certificate list

In some time when you need to renew letsencrypt domain certificates you can list them and choose manually which one you want to renew.

root@webserver:/ # certbot –force-renewal
Saving debug log to /var/log/letsencrypt/letsencrypt.log

How would you like to authenticate and install certificates?
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
1: Apache Web Server plugin (apache)
2: Nginx Web Server plugin (nginx)
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Select the appropriate number [1-2] then [enter] (press 'c' to cancel): 2
Plugins selected: Authenticator nginx, Installer nginx

Which names would you like to activate HTTPS for?
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Select the appropriate numbers separated by commas and/or spaces, or leave input
blank to select all options shown (Enter 'c' to cancel): 3
Renewing an existing certificate
Deploying Certificate to VirtualHost /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/

Please choose whether or not to redirect HTTP traffic to HTTPS, removing HTTP access.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
1: No redirect – Make no further changes to the webserver configuration.
2: Redirect – Make all requests redirect to secure HTTPS access. Choose this for
new sites, or if you're confident your site works on HTTPS. You can undo this
change by editing your web server's configuration.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Select the appropriate number [1-2] then [enter] (press 'c' to cancel): 2
Redirecting all traffic on port 80 to ssl in /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Your existing certificate has been successfully renewed, and the new certificate
has been installed.

The new certificate covers the following domains:

You should test your configuration at:
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

 – Congratulations! Your certificate and chain have been saved at:

   Your key file has been saved at:
   Your cert will expire on 2021-03-21. To obtain a new or tweaked
   version of this certificate in the future, simply run certbot again
   with the "certonly" option. To non-interactively renew *all* of
   your certificates, run "certbot renew"
 – If you like Certbot, please consider supporting our work by:

   Donating to ISRG / Let's Encrypt:
   Donating to EFF:          


8. Renew all present SSL certificates

root@webserver:/ # certbot renew

Processing /etc/letsencrypt/renewal/
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Cert not yet due for renewal


– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

The following certs are not due for renewal yet:
  /etc/letsencrypt/live/ expires on 2021-03-01 (skipped)
  /etc/letsencrypt/live/ expires on 2021-02-28 (skipped)
  /etc/letsencrypt/live/ expires on 2021-02-28 (skipped)
  /etc/letsencrypt/live/ expires on 2021-03-01 (skipped)
  /etc/letsencrypt/live/ expires on 2021-02-25 (skipped)
  /etc/letsencrypt/live/ expires on 2021-03-21 (skipped)
  /etc/letsencrypt/live/ expires on 2021-02-28 (skipped)
  /etc/letsencrypt/live/ expires on 2021-03-01 (skipped)
No renewals were attempted.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –



9. Renew all existing server certificates from a cron job

The certbot package will install a script under /etc/cron.d/certbot to be run that will attempt every 12 hours however from my experience
often this script is not going to work, the script looks similar to below:

# Upgrade all existing SSL certbot machine certificates


0 */12 * * * root test -x /usr/bin/certbot -a \! -d /run/systemd/system && perl -e 'sleep int(rand(43200))' && certbot -q renew

Another approach to renew all installed certificates if you want to have a specific options and keep log of what happened is using a tiny shell script like this:


10. Auto renew installed SSL / TSL Certbot certificates with a bash loop over all present certificates

# update SSL certificates
# prints from 1 to 104 (according to each certbot generated certificate and triggers rewew and logs what happened to log file
# an ugly hack for certbot certificate renew
for i in $(seq 1 104); do echo "Updating $i SSL Cert" | tee -a /root/certificate-update.log; yes "$i" | certbot –force-renewal | tee -a /root/certificate-update.log 2>&1; sleep 5; done

Note: The seq 1 104 is the range depends on the count of installed SSL certificates you have installed on the machine, that can be seen and set the proper value according to your case when you run one time certbot –force-renewal.

How to Configure Nginx as a Reverse Proxy Load Balancer on Debian, CentOS, RHEL Linux

Monday, December 14th, 2020


What is reverse Proxy?

Reverse Proxy (RP) is a Proxy server which routes all incoming traffic to secondary Webserver situated behind the Reverse Proxy site.

Then all incoming replies from secondary webserver (which is not visible) from the internet gets routed back to Reverse Proxy service. The result is it seems like all incoming and outgoing HTTP requests are served from Reverse Proxy host where in reality, reverse proxy host just does traffic redirection. Problem with reverse proxies is it is one more point of failure the good side of it can protect and route only certain traffic to your webserver, preventing the behind reverse proxy located server from crackers malicious HTTP requests.

Treverse proxy, which accepts all traffic and forwards it to a specific resource, like a server or container.  Earlier I've blogged on how to create Apache reverse Proxy to Tomcat.
Having a reverse proxy with apache is a classical scenarios however as NGINX is taking lead slowly and overthrowing apache's use due to its easiness to configure, its high reliability and less consumption of resources.

One of most common use of Reverse Proxy is to use it as a software Load Balancer for traffic towards another webserver or directly to a backend server. Using RP as a to mitigate DDoS attacks from hacked computers Bot nets (coming from a network range) is very common Anti-DDoS protection measure.
With the bloom of VM and Contrainerizations technology such as docker. And the trend to switch services towards micro-services, often reverse proxy is used to seamessly redirect incoming requests traff to multiple separate OS docker running containers etc.

Some of the other security pros of using a Reverse proxy that could be pointed are:

  • Restrict access to locations that may be obvious targets for brute-force attacks, reducing the effectiveness of DDOS attacks by limiting the number of connections and the download rate per IP address. 
  • Cache pre-rendered versions of popular pages to speed up page load times.
  • Interfere with other unwanted traffic when needed.




1. Install nginx webserver

Assuming you have a Debian at hand as an OS which will be used for Nginx RP host, lets install nginx.

[hipo@proxy ~]$ sudo su – root

[root@proxy ~]#  apt update

[root@proxy ~]# apt install -y nginx

Fedora / CentOS / Redhat Linux could use yum or dnf to install NGINX

[root@proxy ~]# dnf install -y nginx
[root@proxy ~]# yum install -y nginx


2. Launch nginx for a first time and test

Start nginx one time to test default configuration is reachable

systemctl enable –now nginx

To test nginx works out of the box right after install, open a browser and go to http://localhost if you have X or use text based browser such as lynx or some web console fetcher as curl to verify that the web server is running as expected.


3. Create Reverse proxy configuration file

Remove default Nginx package provided configuration

As of 2020 by default nginx does load configuration from file /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default on DEB based Linuxes and in /etc/nginx/nginx.conf on RPM based ones, therefore to setup our desired configuration and disable default domain config to be loaded we have to unlink on Debian

[root@proxy ~]# unlink /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default

or move out the original nginx.conf on Fedora / CentOS / RHEL:

[root@proxy ~]# mv /etc/nginx/nginx.conf /etc/nginx/nginx.conf-distro


Lets take a scenario where you have a local IP address that's NAT-ted ot DMZ-ed and and you want to run nginx to server as a reverse proxy to accelerate traffic and forward all traffic to another webserver such as LigHTTPD / Apache or towards java serving Application server Jboss / Tomcat etc that listens on the same host on lets say on port 8000 accessible via app server from /application/.

To do so prepare new /etc/nginx/nginx.conf to look like so

[root@proxy ~]# mv /etc/nginx/nginx.conf /etc/nginx.conf.bak
[root@proxy ~]# vim /etc/nginx/nginx.conf

user nginx;
worker_processes auto;
worker_rlimit_nofile 10240;
pid /run/;
include /etc/nginx/modules-enabled/*.conf;


events {
#       worker_connections 768;
        worker_connections 4096;
        multi_accept on;
        # multi_accept on;

http {

        # Basic Settings

        sendfile on;
        tcp_nopush on;
        tcp_nodelay on;
        #keepalive_timeout 65;
        keepalive_requests 1024;
        client_header_timeout 30;
        client_body_timeout 30;
        keepalive_timeout 30;
        types_hash_max_size 2048;
        # server_tokens off;

        # server_names_hash_bucket_size 64;
        # server_name_in_redirect off;

        include /etc/nginx/mime.types;
        default_type application/octet-stream;

        # SSL Settings

        ssl_protocols TLSv1 TLSv1.1 TLSv1.2; # Dropping SSLv3, ref: POODLE
        ssl_prefer_server_ciphers on;

        # Logging Settings

        access_log /var/log/nginx/;
        error_log /var/log/nginx/;

        # Gzip Settings

        gzip on;

        # gzip_vary on;
        # gzip_proxied any;
        # gzip_comp_level 6;
        # gzip_buffers 16 8k;
        # gzip_http_version 1.1;
        # gzip_types text/plain text/css application/json application/javascript text/xml application/xml application/xml+rss text/javascript;

        # Virtual Host Configs

        include /etc/nginx/conf.d/*.conf;
        include /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/*;

 include /etc/nginx/default.d/*.conf;

upstream myapp {
    server weight=3;
# Uncomment and use Load balancing with external FQDNs if needed
#  server;
#   server;
#   server


#mail {
#       # See sample authentication script at:
#       #
#       # auth_http localhost/auth.php;
#       # pop3_capabilities "TOP" "USER";
#       # imap_capabilities "IMAP4rev1" "UIDPLUS";
#       server {
#               listen     localhost:110;
#               protocol   pop3;
#               proxy      on;
#       }
#       server {
#               listen     localhost:143;
#               protocol   imap;
#               proxy      on;
#       }


In the example above, there are 3 instances of the same application running on 3 IPs on different ports, just for the sake to illustrate Fully Qualified Domain Names (FQDNs) Load balancing is also supported you can see the 3 commented application instances srv1-srv3.
 When the load balancing method is not specifically configured, it defaults to round-robin. All requests are proxied to the server group myapp1, and nginx applies HTTP load balancing to distribute the requests.Reverse proxy implementation in nginx includes load balancing for HTTP, HTTPS, FastCGI, uwsgi, SCGI, memcached, and gRPC.
To configure load balancing for HTTPS instead of HTTP, just use “https” as the protocol.

To download above nginx.conf configured for High traffic servers and supports Nginx virtualhosts click here.

Now lets prepare for the reverse proxy nginx configuration a separate file under /etc/nginx/default.d/ all files stored there with .conf extension are to be red by nginx.conf as instructed by /etc/nginx/nginx.conf :

We'll need prepare a sample nginx

[root@proxy ~]# vim /etc/nginx/sites-available/reverse-proxy.conf

server {

        listen 80;
        listen [::]:80;

#index       index.php;
# fallback for index.php usually this one is never used
root        /var/www/    ;
#location / {
#try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php?$query_string;

        location / {


location /application {
proxy_pass ;

proxy_http_version                 1.1;
proxy_cache_bypass                 $http_upgrade;

# Proxy headers
proxy_set_header Upgrade           $http_upgrade;
proxy_set_header Connection        "upgrade";
proxy_set_header Host              $host;
proxy_set_header X-Real-IP         $remote_addr;
proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For   $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Host  $host;
proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Port  $server_port;

# Proxy timeouts
proxy_connect_timeout              60s;
proxy_send_timeout                 60s;
proxy_read_timeout                 60s;

        access_log /var/log/nginx/reverse-access.log;
        error_log /var/log/nginx/reverse-error.log;


##listen 443 ssl;
##    ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/live/;
##    ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/live/;
##    include /etc/letsencrypt/options-ssl-nginx.conf;
##    ssl_dhparam /etc/letsencrypt/ssl-dhparams.pem;


Get above reverse-proxy.conf from here

As you see config makes all incoming traffic towards root ( / ) NGINX directory for domain on port 80 on Nginx Webserver to be passed on

      location / {

Another set of configuration has configuration to reverse proxy to Webserver on Port 8080 /application.


location /application {
proxy_pass ;

proxy_http_version                 1.1;
proxy_cache_bypass                 $http_upgrade;

# Proxy headers
proxy_set_header Upgrade           $http_upgrade;
proxy_set_header Connection        "upgrade";
proxy_set_header Host              $host;
proxy_set_header X-Real-IP         $remote_addr;
proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For   $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Host  $host;
proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Port  $server_port;

# Proxy timeouts
proxy_connect_timeout              60s;
proxy_send_timeout                 60s;
proxy_read_timeout                 60s;

        access_log /var/log/nginx/reverse-access.log;
        error_log /var/log/nginx/reverse-error.log;


– Enable new configuration to be active in NGINX


[root@proxy ~]# ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/reverse-proxy.conf /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/reverse-proxy.conf


4. Test reverse proxy nginx config for syntax errors


[root@proxy ~]# nginx -t


nginx: the configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf syntax is ok
nginx: configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf test is successful

Test connectivity to listen external IP address


5. Enable nginx SSL letsencrypt certificates support


[root@proxy ~]# apt-get update
[root@proxy ~]# apt-get install software-properties-common

[root@proxy ~]# apt-get update
[root@proxy ~]# apt-get install python-certbot-nginx


6. Generate NGINX Letsencrypt certificates


[root@proxy ~]# certbot –nginx

Saving debug log to /var/log/letsencrypt/letsencrypt.log
Plugins selected: Authenticator nginx, Installer nginx

Which names would you like to activate HTTPS for?
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Select the appropriate numbers separated by commas and/or spaces, or leave input
blank to select all options shown (Enter 'c' to cancel): 1
Obtaining a new certificate
Performing the following challenges:
http-01 challenge for
Waiting for verification…
Cleaning up challenges
Deploying Certificate to VirtualHost /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/reverse-proxy.conf

Please choose whether or not to redirect HTTP traffic to HTTPS, removing HTTP access.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
1: No redirect – Make no further changes to the webserver configuration.
2: Redirect – Make all requests redirect to secure HTTPS access. Choose this for
new sites, or if you're confident your site works on HTTPS. You can undo this
change by editing your web server's configuration.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Select the appropriate number [1-2] then [enter] (press 'c' to cancel): 2
Redirecting all traffic on port 80 to ssl in /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/reverse-proxy.conf

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Congratulations! You have successfully enabled

You should test your configuration at:
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –


7. Set NGINX Reverse Proxy to auto-start on Linux server boot

On most modern Linux distros use systemctl for legacy machines depending on the Linux distribution use the addequate runlevel /etc/rc3.d/ symlink link on Debian based distros on Fedoras / CentOS / RHEL and other RPM based ones use chkconfig RedHat command.


[root@proxy ~]# systemctl start nginx
[root@proxy ~]# systemctl enable nginx


8. Fixing weird connection permission denied errors

If you get a weird permission denied errors right after you have configured the ProxyPass on Nginx and you're wondering what is causing it you have to know by default on CentOS 7 and RHEL you'll get this errors due to automatically enabled OS selinux security hardening.

If this is the case after you setup Nginx + HTTPD or whatever application server you will get errors in  /var/log/nginx.log like:

2020/12/14 07:46:01 [crit] 7626#0: *1 connect() to failed (13: Permission denied) while connecting to upstream, client:, server: , request: "GET / HTTP/1.1", upstream: "", host: "localhost"
2020/12/14 07:46:01 [crit] 7626#0: *1 connect() to failed (13: Permission denied) while connecting to upstream, client:, server: , request: "GET / HTTP/1.1", upstream: "", host: "localhost"
2020/12/14 07:46:01 [crit] 7626#0: *1 connect() to failed (13: Permission denied) while connecting to upstream, client:, server: , request: "GET / HTTP/1.1", upstream: "", host: "localhost"
2020/12/14 07:46:02 [crit] 7626#0: *1 connect() to failed (13: Permission denied) while connecting to upstream, client:, server: , request: "GET / HTTP/1.1", upstream: "", host: "localhost"

The solution to proxy_pass weird permission denied errors is to turn off selinux

[root@proxy ~]# setsebool -P httpd_can_network_connect 1

To permanently allow nginx and httpd

[root@proxy ~]# cat /var/log/audit/audit.log | grep nginx | grep denied | audit2allow -M mynginx
[root@proxy ~]# semodule -i mynginx.pp


[root@proxy ~]# cat /var/log/audit/audit.log | grep httpd | grep denied | audit2allow -M myhttpd
[root@proxy ~]# semodule -i myhttpd.pp

Then to let know nginx and httpd (or whatever else app you run) be aware of new settings restart both

[root@proxy ~]# systemctl restart nginx
[root@proxy ~]# systemctl restart httpd

Howto install Google Chrome web browser on CentOS Linux 7

Friday, December 11th, 2020

After installing CentOS 7 Linux testing Virtual Machine in Oracle Virtualbox 6.1 to conduct some testing with php / html / javascript web script pages and use the VM for other work stuff that I later plan to deploy on production CentOS systems, I came to requirement of having a working Google Chrome browser.

In that regards, next to Firefox, I needed to test the web applications in commercial Google Chrome to see what its usercan expect. For those who don't know it Google Chrome is based on Chromium Open source browser ( which is available by default via default CentOS EPEL repositories.

One remark to make here is before installing Google Chrome, I've also test my web scripts first with chromium, to install Chromium free browser on CentOS:

[root@localhost mozilla_test0]# yum install chromium
Loaded plugins: fastestmirror, langpacks
Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
 * base:
 * epel:
 * extras:
 * updates:
Resolving Dependencies
–> Running transaction check
—> Package chromium.x86_64 0:85.0.4183.121-1.el7 will be installed
–> Processing Dependency: chromium-common(x86-64) = 85.0.4183.121-1.el7 for package: chromium-85.0.4183.121-1.el7.x86_64
–> Processing Dependency: nss-mdns(x86-64) for package: chromium-85.0.4183.121-1.el7.x86_64
–> Processing Dependency: for package: chromium-85.0.4183.121-1.el7.x86_64
–> Running transaction check
—> Package chromium-common.x86_64 0:85.0.4183.121-1.el7 will be installed
—> Package minizip.x86_64 0:1.2.7-18.el7 will be installed
—> Package nss-mdns.x86_64 0:0.14.1-9.el7 will be installed
–> Finished Dependency Resolution


Dependencies Resolved

 Package                              Arch                        Version                                   Repository                 Size
 chromium                             x86_64                      85.0.4183.121-1.el7                       epel                       97 M
Installing for dependencies:
 chromium-common                      x86_64                      85.0.4183.121-1.el7                       epel                       16 M
 minizip                              x86_64                      1.2.7-18.el7                              base                       34 k
 nss-mdns                             x86_64                      0.14.1-9.el7                              epel                       43 k

Transaction Summary
Install  1 Package (+3 Dependent packages)

Total download size: 113 M
Installed size: 400 M
Is this ok [y/d/N]: y
Downloading packages:
(1/4): minizip-1.2.7-18.el7.x86_64.rpm                                                                               |  34 kB  00:00:00     
(2/4): chromium-common-85.0.4183.121-1.el7.x86_64.rpm                                                                |  16 MB  00:00:08     
(3/4): chromium-85.0.4183.121-1.el7.x86_64.rpm                                                                       |  97 MB  00:00:11     
(4/4): nss-mdns-0.14.1-9.el7.x86_64.rpm                                                                              |  43 kB  00:00:00     
Total                                                                                                       9.4 MB/s | 113 MB  00:00:12     
Running transaction check
Running transaction test
Transaction test succeeded
Running transaction
  Installing : minizip-1.2.7-18.el7.x86_64                                                                                              1/4
  Installing : chromium-common-85.0.4183.121-1.el7.x86_64                                                                               2/4
  Installing : nss-mdns-0.14.1-9.el7.x86_64                                                                                             3/4
  Installing : chromium-85.0.4183.121-1.el7.x86_64                                                                                      4/4
  Verifying  : chromium-common-85.0.4183.121-1.el7.x86_64                                                                               1/4
  Verifying  : minizip-1.2.7-18.el7.x86_64                                                                                              2/4
  Verifying  : chromium-85.0.4183.121-1.el7.x86_64                                                                                      3/4
  Verifying  : nss-mdns-0.14.1-9.el7.x86_64                                                                                             4/4

  chromium.x86_64 0:85.0.4183.121-1.el7                                                                                                     

Dependency Installed:
  chromium-common.x86_64 0:85.0.4183.121-1.el7            minizip.x86_64 0:1.2.7-18.el7            nss-mdns.x86_64 0:0.14.1-9.el7           


Chromium browser worked however it is much more buggy than Google Chrome and the load it puts on the machine as well as resources it consumes is terrible if compared to Proprietary G. Chrome.

Usually I don't like google chrome as it is a proprietary product and I don't even install it on my Linux Desktops, neither use as using is against any secure wise practice and but I needed this time ..

Thus to save myself some pains therefore proceeded and installed Google Chromium.
Installion  of Google Chrome is a straight forward process you download the latest rpm run below command to resolve all library dependencies and you're in:



[root@localhost mozilla_test0]# rpm -ivh google-chrome-stable_current_x86_64.rpm
warning: google-chrome-stable_current_x86_64.rpm: Header V4 DSA/SHA1 Signature, key ID 7fac5991: NOKEY
error: Failed dependencies:
    liberation-fonts is needed by google-chrome-stable-87.0.4280.88-1.x86_64 is needed by google-chrome-stable-87.0.4280.88-1.x86_64
[root@localhost mozilla_test0]# wget
–2020-12-11 07:03:02–
Resolving (…, 2a00:1450:4017:802::200e
Connecting to (||:443… connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response… 200 OK
Length: 72280700 (69M) [application/x-rpm]
Saving to: ‘google-chrome-stable_current_x86_64.rpm


100%[==================================================================================================>] 72,280,700  11.0MB/s   in 6.6s   

2020-12-11 07:03:09 (10.4 MB/s) – ‘google-chrome-stable_current_x86_64.rpm’ saved [72280700/72280700]

[root@localhost mozilla_test0]# yum localinstall google-chrome-stable_current_x86_64.rpm
Loaded plugins: fastestmirror, langpacks
Examining google-chrome-stable_current_x86_64.rpm: google-chrome-stable-87.0.4280.88-1.x86_64
Marking google-chrome-stable_current_x86_64.rpm to be installed
Resolving Dependencies
–> Running transaction check
—> Package google-chrome-stable.x86_64 0:87.0.4280.88-1 will be installed
–> Processing Dependency: liberation-fonts for package: google-chrome-stable-87.0.4280.88-1.x86_64
Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
 * base:
 * epel:
 * extras:
 * updates:
–> Processing Dependency: for package: google-chrome-stable-87.0.4280.88-1.x86_64
–> Running transaction check
—> Package liberation-fonts.noarch 1:1.07.2-16.el7 will be installed
–> Processing Dependency: liberation-narrow-fonts = 1:1.07.2-16.el7 for package: 1:liberation-fonts-1.07.2-16.el7.noarch
—> Package vulkan.x86_64 0: will be installed
–> Processing Dependency: vulkan-filesystem = for package: vulkan-
–> Running transaction check
—> Package liberation-narrow-fonts.noarch 1:1.07.2-16.el7 will be installed
—> Package vulkan-filesystem.noarch 0: will be installed
–> Finished Dependency Resolution

Dependencies Resolved

 Package                             Arch               Version                      Repository                                        Size
 google-chrome-stable                x86_64             87.0.4280.88-1               /google-chrome-stable_current_x86_64             227 M
Installing for dependencies:
 liberation-fonts                    noarch             1:1.07.2-16.el7              base                                              13 k
 liberation-narrow-fonts             noarch             1:1.07.2-16.el7              base                                             202 k
 vulkan                              x86_64                  base                                             3.6 M
 vulkan-filesystem                   noarch                  base                                             6.3 k

Transaction Summary
Install  1 Package (+4 Dependent packages)

Total size: 231 M
Total download size: 3.8 M
Installed size: 249 M
Is this ok [y/d/N]: y
Downloading packages:
(1/4): liberation-fonts-1.07.2-16.el7.noarch.rpm                                                                     |  13 kB  00:00:00     
(2/4): liberation-narrow-fonts-1.07.2-16.el7.noarch.rpm                                                              | 202 kB  00:00:00     
(3/4): vulkan-filesystem-                                                                   | 6.3 kB  00:00:00     
(4/4): vulkan-                                                                              | 3.6 MB  00:00:01     
Total                                                                                                       1.9 MB/s | 3.8 MB  00:00:02     
Running transaction check
Running transaction test
Transaction test succeeded
Running transaction
Warning: RPMDB altered outside of yum.
  Installing : vulkan-filesystem-                                                                                  1/5
  Installing : vulkan-                                                                                             2/5
  Installing : 1:liberation-narrow-fonts-1.07.2-16.el7.noarch                                                                           3/5
  Installing : 1:liberation-fonts-1.07.2-16.el7.noarch                                                                                  4/5
  Installing : google-chrome-stable-87.0.4280.88-1.x86_64                                                                               5/5
Redirecting to /bin/systemctl start atd.service
  Verifying  : vulkan-                                                                                             1/5
  Verifying  : 1:liberation-narrow-fonts-1.07.2-16.el7.noarch                                                                           2/5
  Verifying  : 1:liberation-fonts-1.07.2-16.el7.noarch                                                                                  3/5
  Verifying  : google-chrome-stable-87.0.4280.88-1.x86_64                                                                               4/5
  Verifying  : vulkan-filesystem-                                                                                  5/5

  google-chrome-stable.x86_64 0:87.0.4280.88-1                                                                                              

Dependency Installed:
  liberation-fonts.noarch 1:1.07.2-16.el7         liberation-narrow-fonts.noarch 1:1.07.2-16.el7       vulkan.x86_64 0:      
  vulkan-filesystem.noarch 0:      


Once Chrome is installed you can either run it from gnome-terminal

[test@localhost ~]$ gnome-terminal &


Or find it in the list of CentOS programs:

Applications → Internet → Google Chrome


Last step to do is to make Google Chrome easily updatable to keep up VM level on high security and let it get updated every time when apply security updates with yum check-update && yum upgrade
for that its necessery to create new custom repo file

[root@localhost mozilla_test0]# vim /etc/yum.repos.d/google-chrome.repo

Now letes import the gpg checksum key

[root@localhost mozilla_test0]# rpmkeys –import

That's all folks google-chrome is at your disposal.

How to backup Outlook Mailbox / Export Exchange Mail backup to .pst

Tuesday, November 17th, 2020


In the corporate world most of us are forced to use as a desktop environment some kind of Windows version 7 / 8 / 10  version with Outlook configured to use Microsoft Exchange MailServer mailbox set to use POP3 or IMAP account.
Sometimes for new employees for Knowledge transfer purposes having a backup copy of some employee who was laid off or as most of the times has left the company for a better position or simply due to boredom.

Even just for backup purposes in case if by mistake you have deleted some mails out of your mailbox it is useful thing to create a Mailbox backup of whole mail address data especially as with time the amount of Emails grows to many, many thousand of emails year by year and under some circumstances where you have a Mailbox data Limit to up to lets say 4 Gigabytes per mailbox it is useful to periodically clean up old mails, but for the historical reference to create a backup of old email.

Even at some times it is useful to create a whole backup of mailbox every year and then delete the content of Mail data for this year from Outlook.

Export of mail data in Outlook configured email is exported to .PST file format – [ MS-PST ]: Outlook Personal Folders.

Each Personal Folders File (.PST) represents a Message store that contains an arbitrary hierarchy of Folder objects, which contains Message objects, which can contain Attachment objects. Information about Folder objects, Message objects, and Attachment objects are stored in properties, which collectively contain all of the information about the particular item.

If you want to back up the message folders locally to work PC (in addition to keeping them on the Exchange server), you can automatically move or delete older items with AutoArchive (feature of Outlook) or export the items to .pst file that you can restore later as needed and use by importing.

So how to backup / export your Email correspondence to .PTS?

1. Select File -> Open & Export -> Import/Export


2. Select Export to a file, and then select Next.


3. Select Outlook Data File (.pst), and select Next.


4. Select the mail folder you want to back up and select Next.


5. Choose a location and name for your backup file, and then select Finish.


To ensure no one has access to your .pst files, after finish you'll be prompted to enter and confirm a password (or if you don't want pass leave pass field as empty), and then select OK.

The produced .pst file will be stored by default under C:\Users\Username\Documents\Outlook Files.

The messages that you keep in a .pst file are no different from other standard messages in outlook. You can forward, reply, or search through the stored messages as you do with other messages.

Find largest files on AIX system root / show biggest files and directories in AIX folder howto

Friday, November 6th, 2020


On an AIX server if you get a root directory ( / ) to be completely full problem and the AIX running services are unable to write their pid files and logs for example in /tmp /admin /home /var/tmp /var/log/ and rest of directory structure or the system is almost full with mounted filesystems which shows it is 90% or 95%+ full on main partition,  the system is either already stuck or it is on the way to stop functiononing normally. Hence the only way to recover IBM AIX machine to a normal behavior is to clean up some files (if you can't extend the partition) or add more physical Hard drive, just as we usually do on Linux.

So How can we clean up largest files on AIX?

Lets say we want to find all files on AIX larger than 1 MB.

aix-system:/ $ find / -xdev -size 2048 -ls | sort -r +6
12579 1400 -rw-r—–  1 root      security   1433534 Jun 26  2019 /etc/security/tsd/tsd.dat
 9325 20361 -rw-r—–  1 root      system    20848752 Nov  6 16:02 /etc/security/failedlogin
21862 7105 -rwxr-xr-x  1 root      system     7274915 Aug 24  2017 /sbin/zabbix_agentd
   72 7005 -rw-rw—-  1 root      system     7172962 Nov  6 16:19 /audit/stream.out
24726 2810 -rw——-  1 root      system     2876944 Feb 29  2012 /etc/syslog-ng/core
29314 2391 -r-xr-xr-x  1 root      system     2447454 Jun 25  2019 /lpp/bos/bos.rte.filesystem/
21844 2391 -r-xr-xr-x  1 root      system     2447414 Jun 25  2019 /sbin/helpers/jfs2/logredo64
21843 2219 -r-xr-xr-x  1 root      system     2271971 Jun 25  2019 /sbin/helpers/jfs2/logredo
29313 2218 -r-xr-xr-x  1 root      system     2270835 Jun 25  2019 /lpp/bos/bos.rte.filesystem/
22279 1800 -rw-r–r–  1 root      system     1843200 Nov  4 08:03 /root/smit.log
12577 1399 -rw-r–r–  1 root      system     1431685 Jun 26  2019 /etc/security/tsd/.tsd.bk
21837 1325 -r-xr-xr-x  1 root      system     1356340 Jun 25  2019 /sbin/helpers/jfs2/fsck64
29307 1325 -r-xr-xr-x  1 root      system     1356196 Jun 25  2019 /lpp/bos/bos.rte.filesystem/
   12 1262 -rw——-  1 root      system     1291365 Aug  8  2011 /core


Above finds all files greater than 1 MB and sort them in reverse
order with the largest files first.

To search all files larger than 64 Megabytes under root ( / )

aix-system:/ $ find / -xdev -size +131072 -ls | sort -r +6
65139 97019 -rw-r–r–  1 root      system    99347181 Mar 31  2017 /admin/

Display 10 largest directories on system

aix-system:/ $ du -a /dir | sort -n -r | head -10

Show biggest files and directories in a directory


aix-system:/ $ du -sk * | sort -n
4       Mail
4       liste
4       my_user
4       syslog-ng.conf
140     smit.script
180     smit.transaction
1804    smit.log

Below du display the size of all files and directories in the current directory with the biggest being at the bottom.


List all largest files in dir decrasingly. If a directory is matches show all sub-dirs largest files.

aix-system:/ $ ls -A . | while read name; do du -sk $name; done | sort -nr

Below ls + while loop command sorts disk usage for all files in the current directory by size, in decreasing order. If the file we suspect happens to be a directory, we can then change into that directory, and re-run the preceding command to determine what is taking up space within that directory.

Continue these steps until you find the desired file or files, at which point you can take appropriate actions.

If the bottom-most item is a directory, then cd into that directory and run the du command again. Keep drilling down until you find the biggest files on your system and get rid of them to save some space.

Set Domain multiple alias (Aliases) in IIS on Windows server howto

Saturday, October 24th, 2020

On Linux as mentioned in my previous article it is pretty easy to use the VirtualHost Apache directive etc. to create ServerName and ServerAlias but on IIS Domain multiple alias add too me a while to google.

<VirtualHost *>

In click and pray environments as Winblows, sometimes something rather easy to be done can be really annoying if you are not sure what to do and where to click and you have not passed some of the many cryptic microsoft offered ceritification programs offer for professional sysadmins, I'll name a few of them as to introduce UNIX guys like me to what you might ask a M$ admin during an interview if you want to check his 31337 Windows Sk!lls 🙂


  • Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP)
  • Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) –
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)-
  • Microsoft Specialist (MS) etc. –

A full list of Microsoft Certifed Professsional program here

Ok enough of  balling.

Here is  how to  create a domain alias in IIS on Windows server.

Login to your server and click on the START button then ‘Run’¦’, and then type ‘inetmgr.exe’.

Certainly you can go and click trough the Administrative tools section to start ISS manager, but for me this is fastest and easiest way.


Now expand the (local computer), then ‘Web Sites’ and locate the site for which you want to add alias (here it is called additional web site identification).

Right click on the domain and choose ‘Properties’ option at the bottom.

This will open the properties window where you have to choose ‘Web Site’ and then to locate ‘Website identification‘ section. Click on the ‘Advanced’¦’ button which stands next to the IP of the domain.

Advanced Web site identification window (Microsoft likes to see the word ‘Advanced’ in all of the management menus) will be opened, where we are going to add a new domain alias.


Click on the ‘Add’¦’ button and ‘Add/Edit website (alias)identification’ window will appear.


Make sure that you will choose the same IP address from the dropdown menu, then set the port number on which your web server is running (the default is 80), write the domain you want, and click ‘OK’ to create the new domain alias.

Actually click ‘OK’ until you have ‘Advanced Web site identification’ and the domain properties windows closed.

Right click on the domain again and ‘Stop’ and ‘Start’ the service.
This will be enough the IIS domain alias to start working.


Another useful thing for novice IIS admins that come from UNIX is a domain1 to domain2 redirect, this is done with writting an IIS rule which is an interesting but long topic for a limited post as like this, but just for the reference of fun to let you know this exist.

Domain 1 to Domain 2 Redirect
This rule comes handy when you change the name of your site or may be when you need to catch and alias and direct it to your main site. If the new and the old URLs share some elements, then you could just use this rule to have the matching pattern together with the redirect target being


That's all folks, if you enjoyed the clicking laziness you're ready to retrain yourself to become a successful lazy Windows admin who calls Microsoft Support everyday as many of the errors and problems Windows sysadmins experience as I heard from a friend can only be managed by M$ Support (if they can be managed at all). 

Yes that's it the great and wonderful life of the avarage sysadmin. Long live computing … it's great! Everyday something broken needs to get fixed everyday something to rethink / relearn / reupdate and restructure or migrate a never ending story of weirdness.

A remark to  make, the idea for this post is originated based on a task I had to do long time ago on IIS, the images and the description behind them are taking from a post originally written on Domain Aliasing in IIS originally written by Anthony Gee unfortunately his blog is not available anymore so credits goes to him.

Delete empty files and directories under directory tree in Linux / UNIX / BSD

Wednesday, October 21st, 2020


Sometimes it happens that you end up on your server with a multiple of empty files. The reason for that could be different for example it could be /tmp is overflown with some session store files on a busy website, or due to some programmers Web executed badly written PHP / Python / Perl / Ruby code bug or lets say Content Management System ( CMS ) based website based on WordPress / Joomla / Drupal / Magento / Shopify etc. due to a broken plugin some specific directory could get filled up with plenty of meaningless empty files, that never gets wiped out if you don't care. This could happen if you offer your users to share files online to a public sharing service as WebFTP and some of the local hacked UNIX user accounts decides to make you look like a fool and run an endless loop to create files in your Hard Drive until your small server HDD filesystem of few terabytes gets filled up with useless empty files and due to full inode count on the filesystem your machine running running services gets disfunctional …

Hence on servers with shared users or simply webservers it is always a good idea to keep an eye on filesystem used nodes count by system are and in case if notices a sudden increase of used FS inodes as part of the investigation process on what caused it to check the amount of empty files on the system attached SCSI / SSD / SAS whatever drive.

1. Show a list of free inodes on server

Getting inodes count after logged is done with df command

root@linux-server:~# df -i
Filesystem        Inodes   IUsed     IFree IUse% Mounted on
udev             2041464     516   2040948    1% /dev
tmpfs            2046343    1000   2045343    1% /run
/dev/sdb2       14655488 1794109  12861379   13% /
tmpfs            2046343       4   2046339    1% /dev/shm
tmpfs            2046343       8   2046335    1% /run/lock
tmpfs            2046343      17   2046326    1% /sys/fs/cgroup
/dev/sdc6        6111232  6111232   0   100% /var/www
/dev/sda1       30162944 3734710  26428234   13% /mnt/sda1
/dev/sdd1      122093568 8011342 114082226    7% /backups
tmpfs            2046343      13   2046330    1% /run/user/1000


2. Show all empty files and directories count


### count empty directories ### root@linux-server:~# find /path/ -empty -type d | wc -l

### count empty files only ### root@linux-server:~# find /path/ -empty -type f | wc -l


3. List all empty files in directory or root dir

As you can see on the server in above example the amount of inodes of empty inodes is depleted.
The next step is to anylize what is happening in that web directory and if there is a multitude of empty files taking up all our disk space.

root@linux-server:~# find /var/www -type f -empty > /root/empty_files_list.txt

As you can see I'm redirecting output to a file as with the case of many empty files, I'll have to wait for ages and console will get filled up with a data I'll be unable to easily analyze

If the problem is another directory in your case, lets say the root dir.

root@linux-server:~#  DIR='/';
root@linux-server:~# find $DIR -type f -empty > /root/empty_files_list.txt

4. Getting empty directories list

Under some case it might be that the server is overflowed with empty directories. This is also a thing some malicious cracker guy could do to your server if he can't root the server with some exploit but wants to bug you and 'show off his script kiddie 3l337 magic tricks' :). This is easily done with a perl / python or bash shell endless loop inside which a random file named millions of empty directories instead of files is created.

To look up for empty directories hence use:

root@linux-server:~# DIR='/home';
root@linux-server:~# find  $DIR . -type d -empty > /root/empty_directories_list.txt


5. Delete all empty files only to clean up inodes

Deletion of empty files will automatically free up the inodes occupied, to delete them.

root@linux-server:~# cd /path/containing/multiple/empty-dirs/
root@linux-server:~# find . -type f -empty -exec rm -fr {} \;


6. Delete all empty directories only to clean up inocommanddes

root@linux-server:~# find . -type d -empty -exec rm -fr {} \;


7. Delete all empty files and directories to clean up inodes

root@linux-server:~# cd /path/containing/multiple/empty-dirs/
root@linux-server:~# find . -empty -delete


8. Use find + xargs to delete if files count to delete is too high

root@linux-server:~# find . -empty | xargs rm -r

That's all folks ! Enjoy now your Filesystem to have retrieved back the lost inodes from the jump empty files or directories.

Happy cleaning  🙂

Saint Petka Paraskeva of Bulgaria of Epivates Thracia (famous as St. Petka of Tarnovo) feast day 14 October

Friday, October 16th, 2020


The inhabitants of Thracia are of a great and royal origin and due to recent historical studies, Thracians have been one of the most developed nations for its time they're developments and achievements especially in crafts such as vessel creation even up to day are perhaps the most unique.
It is still unknown of the exact technology used to create such a elegant and precise vessels. A little is known of the Thracians society as they have reached their bloom in a high speed and the place of the later Roman Empire province Thracia has been in a place where it was destroyed to the ground and robbed at multiple times eradicating unique piece of one of the best created ever forms of art.
Territories of Thrakia has been geographically today located in Southeast Europe, now split among Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey, which is bounded by the Balkan Mountains to the north, the Aegean Sea to the south, and the Black Sea to the east.


Territy of Thracia shown on a contemporary European (Balkans Maps)


One of the most famous piece of such art is the World Famous Thracian's Treasuary.


The thrakians Empire and civillization has its bloom from 5th – 4th century before Christ era (B.C.). 
Saint Petka of Epivates region Thrakia was of a Bulgarian origin and lived much later in Xth – XI-th century A.D in Thracia. It is known she was of Bulgarian origin (her mother and father was of Bulgarian origin.) of the first generations who has received in 9-th century Baptism, in the times of the Baptism of Bulgaria conducted by the Apostle equal Saint King Boris I the Baptizer of Bulgaria in year 864 AD.  Thracians as an ancient and a blessed nation in craftship and arts was among the nations who received baptism on a good 'soil', as the seed of beauty and goodness has already been in their civillization.

The short Living of Saint Petka of Bulgaria (of Epivates)

Out of this Christian atmosphere has rised Saint Petka also known as (Parashkeva). Saint Petka name means literally translated Friday and due to being born in Thracia on today territory of Balkans she is been venerated highly not only in Bulgaria but across all Orthodox Christians nations on the Balkans – Bulgarians, Romanians, Serbs, Greeks, Macedonians. Due to that Saint Petka is also famous as "Saint Petka of The Bulkans".
Saint Petka could be therefore heard to be called often Petka of Serbs (of Belgrade), Saint Petka of Moldova (of Iași), Mother Paraskeva / ParashkevaParascheva the New, Parascheva the Young, Ancient Greek: Ὁσία Παρασκευὴ ἡ Ἐπιβατινή, Greek: Οσία Παρασκευή η Επιβατινή ή Νέα, Romanian: Cuvioasa Parascheva, Bulgarian / Serbian : Света Петка / Sveta Petka or Петка Параскева / Petka Paraskeva, Paraskeva Pyatnitsa, Parascheva of Tirnovo).

The first information about her living is found in a local educated person (writter) which as of the time were too little and writter  in Greek in short. It did not follow the Church cannons and due to that by an order of Patriarch of Constantinople Nikolas IV Musalon of Constantinople deacon Vaslik has described in a more well systemized way her living, the Greek original unfortunately is now lost. At the time of writting her biography, she has been mostly popular in the realms of Byzantine Empire Thracia.


The Bulgarian Empire during the reign of Ivan Asen II. Atlas of Dimitar Rizov year 1917

Since the time of King Ivan Asen II a new biogprahy of saint has been written in Bulgarian which included narration of the transfer of her holy relics to Medieval Capital of Bulgaria Tarnovo. However peak and the key towards the immerse veneration to St. Petka that is evident to this very date has played the biography written by last Bulgarian Patriarch also a saint – st. Euthymius of Tarnovo. in year 1385 AD short before the fall under Turkish Slavery of Bulgaria in y. 1393.

Saint Patriarch Eutymious was the last person who in 1393 has actively parcipated in the protection of the fortified Tarnovo and see with his eyes the fall down of the city (by treachery).

When asked by the terrified people 'To whom do you leave us holy father, when the Turkish were taking him away?' He replied heart tearingly 'To the Holy Trinity The Father, The Son and The Holy Trinity our God I leave you and to the most Blessed Mother of God Theotokos now and For Eternity !!!'


Saint Patriarch Eutymius (Evtimij) blessing the people in Medieval Bulgarian city Tarnovo for a last time before the Turkish took him away for imprisonment
Picture source

St Euthymius of Tarnovo work is one of the most unique bibliographies and a precious piece of medieval literature it is innovative for its time and spectacular, emotion rich creation, who become famous far before the borders of Bulgaria in the whole Slavonic world of that time, especially in todays territory of ex soviet countries Romania, Moldova, Ukraine and even far Russia.


Saint Patriarch Eutymious of Bulgaria
Picture source

The veneration of Saint Petka of Bulgaria as a protector of family and a warm prayerer for all those who venerate her in this country has slowly spread in the coming centuries by pupils of St. Euthymius of Tarnovo who according to some historians whose works came to us in the form of the a bit more standardized Church Slavonic used in the Eastern Orthodox Churches as a fruit of the works of St. Euthymus.

The Living of Saint Petka Parashkeva


Saint Petka Parashkeva Picture source

Tropion 4-th voice

 Desertous and silent living you loved after Christ your groom, diligently you ran to and his good yoke you took in your younghood,
with the Sign of the Cross against the thought enemies you have manly armed, with fasting feats and prayer and with tear drops the coals of passions extinguished oh highly famed Paraskevo. And now in the Heavenly halls with the wise virgins you stay in front of Christ, pray for us who venerate your holy remembrance.

Kontakion, voice 6

Let us piusly sung our reverend  mother Saint Petka, because by living the corruptable in live, received the imperishable in eternity, becoming holy intercessor for all in trouble and exhausting from the evils of life. For the reason she received from God imperishable fame, glory and grace to be a wonder worker.


NB ! St. Petka of Epivates has not to be confused with Saint Petka (from Inokia who lived in 303 AD venerated on 28 of October) or  St Petka the Roman (feast day 26 July).

St. Petka's  has been born in city of Epivates in Byzantium (today city called Selim Pasha nearby Odrin's Aegian City) in 10-th Century from a famous and respectful family, her father Nikita has been very rich landowner.

She lived in the second part of X-th century. According to hear living by Patriarch Eutymious, her smaller brother Eutymious who become a monk has been a Metropolitan of Maditos for 40 years and in year (989 – 996) died aged 81 and is shortly after canonized as saint, his younger sister St. Paraskeva passed away after him in the new 11-th century and is aged at least 85 in the time of passing in the city of Kallikrateia. 

The living continues that near the age of 10 year old she heard in a Christian temple a voice by Jesus Christ himself in resemblance to Saint Apostle Paul and said the Evangelical New Testamental words:
"Whoever wants to walk after me, let him deny himself, to take his cross and follow me !".

The unexpected vision convinced the young Paraskeva to immediately exchange her new clothes to a beggers to leave all her belongings to the poor and live a silent living similarto begger for a time in work and prayer, though she did not leave her parents home. On a few occasions all she had worked for has been distributed to the poor.


Greek typical depiction of Saint Petka of Epivates

When her parents died, her brother as already a monk and Bishop. St. Petka leave her house and travelled to Constanople and received a nun tonsure and as a nun she lived for 5 years near the deserted Church of the "Protection of the Virgin Mary" in the capital suburb of Heraklia. She travelled to the Holy lands visiting Jerusalem and Church of Holy Sepulchre.
Following the example of the blessed famed Saint Mary of Egypt, she lived in Jordan's desert many years till eldership.

Feeling and foreseeing her death, she travelled back through Constantinople to city of Epivates. Settle near the Church "Holy Apostles", where after 2 years of living in deep prayer and fasting labours living in solitary in holiness passed away silently to Christ in heavenly life. Compassionate Christians immediately buried her body of the nun outside of the city walls as a foreigner. A shortly after numerous miracles started happening on her grave.


Saint Petka Parashkeva Bulgarian Icon from Klisura Monastery located nearby Sofia Bulgaria

In 1230 King Ivan Asen II the most powerful South-eastern European ruler demanded from the the Knights of the Crusaders to submit him her holy relics who are found still in Tracian city Kaliakratea ruled at that time by the Holy Latin Empire. King Ivan Asen II together with the patriach Joachim the first receives her holy relics with honor and settles her incorruptabilities into the newly creates Church in honour of herself St. Petka behind Tsarevets Fortress. Saint Petka became from that point considered as a protectress of the city, the throne and the country.
Her holy relics arrived from Kallikrateia in Tarnovo, the Capital of Second Bulgarian Empire in year 1230 AD, she has been thus called Paraskeva of Tarnovo and has been venerated as a protectress of the Tarnovo city the Bulgarian nation and the country. The attitude towards Saint Petka Tarnovska as a protectress of Bulgarian nation and contry is been clearly seen by the mention in the Bulgarian and International acts (documents) and manuscripts of that XII – XII century.


Romanian Monks and Priests venerate the holy relics of Saint Petka of Epivates in Iashi Romania

In subsequent years, St. Petka Paraskevi’s holy relics were transferred to various churches in the region.

In 1393 due to the fall of Bulgarian capital to save them her holy relics were transferred to fortress of Bdin today city of Vidin Bulgaria, but 3 years later 1396 Vidin's fortress also fall under the ungodly yatagan of  the muslim enslaver and to protect the relics they were again transferred to Belgrade, specifically the Ružica Church. When Belgrade fell to Ottoman forces in 1521, the relics were transferred to Constantinople. In 1641, the relics were transferred to Trei Ierarhi Monastery, in Iaşi, Moldavia (nowadays, eastern part of Romania). In 1888, they were transferred to the Metropolitan Cathedral of Iaşi.

Since 1888 they are kept in Romanian city of Iaşi and are a target of pilgrims from all around Romania, Bulgaria and other Orthodox Christian countries of the Balkans. For the day her memory is remembered in the Romanian Church usually about 200 000 people mostly from Romania and others travel to Iaşi's Cathedral in the Trei Ierarhi Monastery (Three Hierarchs – saint John Crysostom, St. Basilius the Great and St. Gregory the Great) of the  for a blessing and to beg the saint for her families, personal issues, curings especially of eye diseases

A severe drought in 1946-47 affected Moldavia, adding to the misery left by the war. Metropolitan Justinian Marina permitted the first procession featuring the coffin containing the relics of Saint Paraskevi, kept at Iaşi since then. The relics wended their way through the drought-deserted villages of Iaşi, Vaslui, Roman, Bacău, Putna, Neamţ, Baia and Botoşani Counties. The offerings collected on this occasion were distributed, based on Metropolitan Justinian's decisions, to orphans, widows, invalids, school cafeterias, churches under construction, and to monasteries in order to feed the sick, and old or feeble monks.

In the historical document with Venezia as of (year 1347), King Ivan Alexander of Bulgaria swears in the name of most holy considered matters, the document says – quote "in the name of God, The Most Holy Theotokos, The Holy Cross and The Most Holy Paraskeva of Tarnovo".

Since Second Bulgarian Kingdom, St. Petka has been venerated as a main patroness and protector of Bulgarian nation and country, protectress of countries of Moldova, Romania and Bulgarian cities of Veliko Tarnovo, Gabrovo and Troyan.

In Bulgaria it is an old tradition to name our childs in favour of Saint Petka, my grand-grand mother God Forgive us has also been called Parashkeva in favor of Saint Petka.

Holy Mother Petka Paraskeva (Parashkevo) Pray the Lord Jesus Christ to have mercy on All us the sinners !