All Posts By

Steven McDonald

Putting OpenBSD in the cloud

By | Technical | 3 Comments

One of my recent personal interest projects was to get OpenBSD cloud images running on our OpenStack cluster. I used and extended the same pcib software we use for building our Linux images. In doing so, I learned some cool new things about OpenBSD and learned more about its limitations. Overall, I found adapting OpenBSD to the cloud to be a surprisingly straightforward experience, given that the OpenBSD developers eschew the complexity of x86 virtualisation. I credit this to the OpenBSD project’s approach of emphasising simplicity, correctness and portability in its design choices. Bootstrapping OpenBSD We begin with the tedious, yet rewarding task of putting all the bits into place which extract an OpenBSD filesystem tree into a chroot and make it bootable. The bulk of this work happened in…

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Round ’em up with Jessie

By | Technical | No Comments

A new version of the Debian operating system, version 8 (codename “Jessie”) was released over the weekend. Just as we did two years ago with Wheezy, we are now immediately offering Debian Jessie as an option for new customers. This includes our new OpenStack infrastructure, where Jessie is our recommended option for Managed Operations and Unmanaged instances. If you already have a Debian server with us and would like to upgrade, drop us a line and we’ll be able to advise as to what’s involved to support your stack on Jessie. To find out more about the services we can offer, visit http://www.anchor.com.au/.

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Let us take your breath away with Wheezy!

By | Technical | No Comments

A new version of the Debian GNU/Linux operating system, version 7.0 (codename “Wheezy”) has been released today. Thanks to the open and transparent development cycle of Debian, we have been able to work on improving our support for this release ahead of time, and are happy to announce that we now offer our market-leading Anchor Complete support on Debian Wheezy immediately. Aside from the improvements and new software versions shipped with Debian Wheezy, we are also supporting some newer versions of software we like that didn’t make it into the release. When you choose Anchor Complete support with Debian Wheezy, you also get full support for the following: nginx 1.4 with SPDY built in Percona 5.5 (performance-enhanced MySQL fork) PostgreSQL 9.2 with massive performance gains Redis 2.6 with NDS If…

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The “chmod 777” trap: How and why to avoid it

By | Technical | No Comments

It can be a frustrating experience trying to get your web application to work. When the world seems to be working against you, and you get “permission denied” at every turn, it can be very tempting to break out the “chmod 777” — and give everyone on your server permission to write to your files. In case you’re not familiar with chmod, it’s a tool to specify access control on your files. The “7” refers to full read, write and execution privileges. The three sevens means that it applies to yourself, to other people in your group, and to everyone else on the server. While this approach does solve your immediate problem, it isn’t without its own drawbacks. They’re subtle drawbacks; you don’t notice them straight away, but given the…

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