December 2006


I wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas, and a happy 2007.

I’ll try to make 2007 as good as 2006 was with new features and help you in running a stable mail and web-server for your customers, friends or family.

To get into the Christmas spirit it really helps to have some snow but here in the Netherlands that isn’t going to happen this year. So I’ve downloaded this little gem to give me some snow even it it is artificial. If you don’t have snow this year yourself you might like this program running on your Mac as well ;-)


I, like most people, am sloppy in my backup procedures. Every now and then I created a tar archive of the important stuff and burned it to a DVD for safekeeping. But the time in between those backups was usually more than six months. I was looking for a cheap solution that would solve all my problems. Buying extra external harddisks came to mind but as it is now they would mostly be used to store more movies.

Untill I found out earlier this week about the solution Alex King (of wordpress fame) came up with for his backups. The Amazon Simple Storage Service or Amazon S3 for short. It’s like a very cheap online disk using the same highly scalable, reliable, fast, inexpensive data storage infrastructure that Amazon uses to run its own global network of web sites. So it looks like it will be there for some time. It’s cheap as well, $0.15 per GB/Month and $0.20 per GB of traffic. Someone else has done the math for us and it looks like it is cheaper than buying external disks. At least it will be more reliable. The only downside is the speed at which I can up or download information.

The only thing I didn’t like about Alex’s setup was the use of JungleDisk. While doing some googling I found other solutions that could help me in my accomplish a simple off-site backup solution. I really liked the s3sync.rb solution as it resembles the rsync command which I know how to use. The only problem was that it used the language Ruby which was a big unknown to me. I’ve heard and read about Ruby on rails for some time now but never had the urge to try it out. But I was willing to give it a go.

I’ve got it all working and documented now so you can use this service as well. Currently I’m backing up like never before. The first time I ran the backup it took forever, but then after that first time only the new or altered files would be uploaded saving a lot of time and bandwidth. I’m currently backing up all my websites and the virtual maildirs on my server on a daily basis. This is about 200 MB of information which will cost my about $0.02 a Month to store plus say $0.15 for data transfer fees. Which means that I will have a full secure online backup which I can access from anywhere all the time for say $0.25 a Month !

Next up I’m going to write some scripts to upload my iPhoto stuff as well.


It’s time again for a security update. This time it’s a pure client patch and not really server related. It fixes a security hole in Quicktime. I’ve installed it on my servers and didn’t run into any issues as I expected because of the affected components. Read more about the update here.


Sorry for not posting this long but I’ve been doing to many things at once without finishing one single thing or getting somewhere with all the time put in it. I should really learn to focus a bit more. All these features of the new programs and requests I get are just to tempting not to touch. But back to the business at hand:

Wietse has got a new patch level release out for our beloved Postfix mailserver. Mostly bugfixes, some of them don’t bother us like problems with Redhat of FreeBSD but the others might. So I’ve compiled and checked it and I’m running it on my test servers and production servers without a problem. Just follow the install documentation and you’ll be alright.

Some of the bugfixes are:

  • Message headers longer than 65535 broke the Milter protocol. To
    make matters worse the cleanup server could then dereference a
    null pointer. When Milter support is enabled, the length of each
    message header is now limited to 60000.
  • Several fixes to improve worst-case behavior of the (new) queue
    manager with multi-recipient mail. The queue manager now reads
    new recipients earlier from the queue file, instead of becoming
    starved while waiting for the slowest in-memory recipients to
    complete; and it now reads recipients in smaller chunks to avoid
    spending too much time not talking to delivery agents.
  • With remote SMTP server tarpit delays larger than the Postfix
    SMTP client’s smtp_rset_timeout (default: 20s), the client would
    get out of sync with the server while reusing a connection. The
    symptoms were “recipient rejected .. in reply to DATA”.