About

I'm a Linux/Unix sysadmin with experience in High Availability, scaling and clustering, security, (Open)SSL and general linux system administration. I've worked as a sysadmin (devops) for Certificate Authorities, Hospitals, Managed Service providers, Datacenters Development shops and large Internet Service providers. I currently work for an Openstack provider. I like to design, build and manage large, complex and high available systems. I like to work with configuration management tools and version control systems. Documentation, monitoring and backups are things I do first, not when the time allows it later.
This is my personal website, please do note that these articles do not reflect opinions or policies of any of my (previous) employers, only my personal one.


Latest Items

Recap of week 04, 2016

30-01-2016 | Remy van Elst

Recap of week 04 of 2016, covering open source and sysadmin related news, articles, guides, talks, discussions and fun stuff.

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Recap of week 03, 2016

23-01-2016 | Remy van Elst

Recap of week 03 of 2016, covering open source and sysadmin related news, articles, guides, talks, discussions and fun stuff.

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Ansible playbook for GoAccess Log Analyzer

17-01-2016 | Remy van Elst

This is a small Ansible playbook to deploy the GoAccess log analyzer on Debian based systems. Next to Piwik, I use goaccess myself to get better insights in who and what visits my servers. This role is ment to be included in your webserver playbooks.

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Recap of week 02, 2016

16-01-2016 | Remy van Elst

Recap of week 02 of 2016, covering open source and sysadmin related news, articles, guides, talks, discussions and fun stuff.

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Deborphan cleanup until no more orphaned packages left

11-01-2016 | Remy van Elst

Deborphan removes packages it thinks your system doesn't need anymore. It is a great tool for package cleanup and maintenance. Sometimes, after cleaning up the packages, it will find new packages that are orphaned (because you just cleaned up). This is a small script that cleans up with deborphan until there is nothing more to cleanup.

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Recap of week 01, 2016

10-01-2016 | Remy van Elst

Recap of week 01 of 2016, covering open source and sysadmin related news, articles, guides, talks, discussions and fun stuff.

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Microsoft Office 2013 and 2010 on Linux

02-01-2016 | Remy van Elst

This guide shows you how to run Microsoft Office 2013 and 2010 on Linux using CrossOver. It guides you through the installation and gives a review on what parts of the Office suite work with Linux.

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Recap of week 53, 2015

01-01-2016 | Remy van Elst

Recap of week 53 of 2015, covering open source and sysadmin related news, articles, guides, talks, discussions and fun stuff.

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Recursively find all [installed] package dependencies

31-12-2015 | Remy van Elst

This small script shows you all packages [installed] that are a dependency from a package, and the dependencies of those packages. I installed the build-essential package, but apt-get remove-ing that package doens't remove the development tools. So I was wondering what packages were installed, including those dependencies, to remove the ones I didn't want. This small script shows you all packages that are dependencies of a package, and repeats that for those packages.

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Recap of week 52, 2015

26-12-2015 | Remy van Elst

Recap of week 52, covering open source and sysadmin related news, articles, guides, talks, discussions and fun stuff.

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IPSEC VPN on Ubuntu 15.10 with StrongSwan

20-12-2015 | Remy van Elst

This is a guide on setting up an IPSEC VPN server on Ubuntu 15.04 using StrongSwan as the IPsec server and for authentication. It has a detailed explanation with every step. We choose the IPSEC protocol stack because of vulnerabilities found in pptpd VPNs and because it is supported on all recent operating systems by default. More than ever, your freedom and privacy when online is under threat. Governments and ISPs want to control what you can and can't see while keeping a record of everything you do, and even the shady-looking guy lurking around your coffee shop or the airport gate can grab your bank details easier than you may think. A self hosted VPN lets you surf the web the way it was intended: anonymously and without oversight.

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IPSEC VPN on Ubuntu 15.04 with StrongSwan

20-12-2015 | Remy van Elst

This is a guide on setting up an IPSEC VPN server on Ubuntu 15.04 using StrongSwan as the IPsec server and for authentication. It has a detailed explanation with every step. We choose the IPSEC protocol stack because of vulnerabilities found in pptpd VPNs and because it is supported on all recent operating systems by default. More than ever, your freedom and privacy when online is under threat. Governments and ISPs want to control what you can and can't see while keeping a record of everything you do, and even the shady-looking guy lurking around your coffee shop or the airport gate can grab your bank details easier than you may think. A self hosted VPN lets you surf the web the way it was intended: anonymously and without oversight.

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Recap of week 51, 2015

19-12-2015 | Remy van Elst

Recap of week 51, covering open source and sysadmin related news, articles, guides, talks, discussions and fun stuff.

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Forward or save outgoing email with Exim

16-12-2015 | Remy van Elst

I have a specific server where requirements state that all outgoing email should be saved for archival and auditing purposes. The server uses the Exim mail transfer agent, which makes this easy to configure. The outgoing email is also forwarded to an off-site mailbox, both for backup and easy consulting. This captures all outgoing email, sent by PHP scripts or cronjobs, or user accounts that send via exim. This tutorial also shows how to forward or save all outgoing email for a specific domain.

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Recap of week 50, 2015

12-12-2015 | Remy van Elst

Recap of week 50 of 2015, covering open source and sysadmin related stuff.

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Generate hashes of files with rhash for archival storage

11-12-2015 | Remy van Elst

Recently I had to archive a large amount of files to archival storage. To save space and reduce the amount of files I decided to create archives with tar. The files will be stored to tapes and DVD's, and will be restored in full, so random access times are not an issue, therefore the tar.gz choice. I do want to make sure that when the files need to be restored they still are correct. I first dabbled with some long shell commands to create checksums and verify them, but then I found the `rhash` tool in the repositories. It allows you to create checksums of files and folders, recursively, with all sorts of checksums, like CRC, MD5, SHA1 and many more. It also makes bulk validation very simple. This small article shows you how to create an archive file with the checksums included and shows you how to validate these checksums later on.

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Let's Encrypt with DirectAdmin or other Web Control Panels

10-12-2015 | Remy van Elst

Let's Encrypt is a new certificate authority, recognized by all major browsers. They make it a breeze to set up TLS certificates for your web server. And for free! Let's Encrypt is supported by major players like Mozilla, Akamai, Cisco, the EFF, the Internet Security Research Group and others. Let's Encrypt provides free, automatic and secure certificates so that every website can be secured with an SSL certificate. This article shows you how to setup Let's Encrypt with the DirectAdmin web control panel. The guide is generic, so it works for other controlpanels as well. For now it works with the beta, and required some linux knowledge and root access to the hosting server.

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Linux Containers

12-11-2015 | Jonathan Robe

This article goes over Linux Containers. It touches both bare linux cgroups and namespaces and goes over LXC (linux conrainers).

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Encrypt and decrypt files to public keys via the OpenSSL Command Line

10-11-2015 | Remy van Elst

This small tutorial will show you how to use the openssl command line to encrypt and decrypt a file using a public key. We will first generate a random key, encrypt that random key against the public key of the other person and use that random key to encrypt the actual file with using symmetric encryption.

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Sign and verify text/files to public keys via the OpenSSL Command Line

09-11-2015 | Remy van Elst

This small guide will shows you how to use the OpenSSL Command Line to sign a file, and how to verify the signing of this file. You can do this to prove ownership of a key, or to prove that a file hasn't been modified since you signed it. This works both with small text files as well as huge photo's, documents or PDF files.

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Make OpenELEC/Kodi work with the Sitecom CN-524/ Cambridge Silicon Radio (CSR) 8510 A10 Bluetooth USB adapter on the Raspberry Pi.

01-10-2015 | Remy van Elst

Recently I set up a Kodi (XMBC) media center on a Raspberry Pi. The setup is mounted on a flatscreen TV and uses a small Wifi dongle for network access and a small Bluetooth dongle for a Rapoo E6700 wireless bluetooth keyboard/touchpad. This is a nice bluetooth keyboard/mouse combo for a media center, it charges via micro USB. That saves a lot of battery hassle. The bluetooth adapter is a Sitecom CN-524, which was the only one my local electronic store had available. It however does not work with linux/Kodi by default. This is because the device boots in a wrong mode. This guide shows you how this can be fixed and the necessary software changes for OpenELEC.

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