SOLVED: ProFTP will not start after install on Fedora 11

I was working on a project for VoiceIP Solutions yesterday and I required a FTP server to provision some Polycom Soundpoint IP phones. So I did my usual ‘yum install proftpd’ , followed by ‘service proftpd start’, but the service failed to start. So after some poking around – checking user assignment for that process and permissions I found nothing. So I decided to invoke the server from the command line with the ‘-t’ to check for errors:

[root@mattcom1 log]# proftpd -t
Checking syntax of configuration file
– warning: unable to determine IP address of ‘mattcom1’
– error: no valid servers configured
– Fatal: error processing configuration file ‘/etc/proftpd.conf’

The error told me right away that the issue was my ‘/etc/hosts’ file. My server name ‘mattcom1’ was not found in that file. Even though both the Network manager and Network configuration tools showed a hostname, there was actually nothing added to the ‘/etc/hosts’ file. watch out for this one!


Watch Netflix on Linux – with Windows XP Virtual Machine running Virtualbox

I signed up for a Netflix account yesterday, but when I tried to watch streaming video online I got an annoying message about hoe my Operating System is not supported.  When I found out that they didn’t support Linux I was so pissed.  Plenty of web content out there is Mac, Linux, and Windows friendly.  But they have this annoying DRM crap.  It’s not like you couldn’t just screen record it anyway, or just download a torrent… The messed up thing is I want to pay!  I’m more than willing to shell out $10-$15 a month to watch from a library of TV shows and movies.  Most people are!



Fedora 11 detects and installs on-board Intel RAID driver correctly

Do you own a Mainboard that has built-in RAID, only offers Windows drivers?  have you always wanted to use the RAID BIOS for managing disks, but only had the Linux MD Soft RAID as option?  Not anymore!  I’m using a INTEL D945 GNT Desktop board with two 160 GB, Serial ATA drives.  I entered the BIOS menu and selected the RAID option.  After a reboot a RAID BIOS menu appeared and I was able to create a RAID 0 array.

Then I booted to Fedora 11 with a Live USB device.  From the Desktop I double clicked on the ‘install to hard drive’ icon.  I was really surprised to see a single 320 GB disk!  I did the install and it booted perfectly!

Now, some naysayers will complain, “It’s still Soft RAID anyways…”.  It’s a crappy point to make, obviously it’s still Soft RAID, but the main difference is the ability to create and manage RAID disks from the BIOS as opposed to using a Linux boot disk or the OS(if you can).  Most consumer grade RAID PCI cards use Soft RAID anyways.

Also lets consider, that in the past it was necessary to have a special RAID controller for performance gains.  But modern SATA boards have the PCI bus and the processing power to make those gains negligible(except compared to very pricey cards).  The real feature most of us want is the ability to access the RAID arrays from the BIOS boot screen.  Thank You Redhat, I’m already really liking fedora 11, I don’t need to throw away $150 on 3Ware SATA RAID cards anymore!  Please post your on-board Linux RAID success stories!


Remote Upgrades on Fedora based Systems

I’m doing a remote upgrade on a test server at work(VoiceIP Solutions). So today’s article will cover upgrading from Fedora 6 to Fedora 10. Before you start, backup any important data! Every once in a while some dependency issue will crop up that blows up your server.  Also upgrading from Fedora 6 to Fedora 11 is not as easy as say, upgrading from Fedora 10 to Fedora 11.  So be careful and upgrade on a regular basis!

The Goals of this Post:

– remote upgrade from Fedora 6 to Fedora 10



How to Configure Linux ODBC Connections for MS SQL

Last week at work(VoiceIP Solutions) I did some research for Asterisk PBX integration with Microsoft CRM.  The customer likes open source Asterisk because of the cost savings, but they requires screen pop-ups, and click to dial from their Customer Relationship Management software.  So while my manager worked on the TAPI middleware, I was charged with figuring out how to connect to the MS SQL database.  This article was prompted by a desire to connect an Asterisk PBX to MS SQL, but the tutorial applies to Apache, Postfix, CRM, PHP or any Linux app that needs to do a remote query.  Also, while the focus of this article is aimed at MS SQL the same steps(with a few tweaks) can be used for connecting to Postgre, Sybase, MySQL, etc…

I’m a lot more famalier with MySQL & PostgreSQL, but MS SQL I haven’t touched since I had the silly notion about 10 years ago to become a Windows 2000 MCSE.  Incidently, I never did take the exams, because I was a broke student at the time and I was becoming increasingly interested in Linux and Cisco.

The logical choice is to use the UNIX ODBC driver.  ODBC stands for Open Database Connectivity.  ODBC is a well documented set of API’s that is available on many platforms.  However, their are subtle differences in it’s implentation and the protocols that run at application layer.  In other words ODBC is encapsulated when making calls to a database over a network (in this case, the TDS protocol).

I did some googling and found a number of incomplete tutorials for connecting Linux to MS SQL.  This article is intended to clarify some common configuration errors and will present you with example files.  For my demonstration I’m running Fedora 10 with the latest updates as of this writing.  This article assumes you have a working MS SQL datebase with the proper user permissions in mixed mode.  I put this one in bold because it stumped the MCSE database guy for a while.

Again, I want to point out I’m not a Microsoft DBA and will likely not be able to help you on that side of the configuration.  Also, there are many versions of SQL out there and the syntax to pull data differs slightly from one version to the next.  So you may need to do a little research to make the proper pulls.

The Goals of this Post:

– install ODBC and TDS on Fedora 10

– verify TDS can login into MS SQL server

– configure odbcinst.ini, odbc.ini and freetds.conf configuration files