AWS Micro Instance WordPress Tuning

Recently I registered a new domain,, for the purpose of testing AWS using the 12 month free tier offer. That gives you 750 hours per month to run a micro server, 1GB RAM, 8GB hard drive and 1 vCPU basically for free for a year. What’s not to like about that?! After the 12 months, each micro server is $0.012 per hour, that’s cheaper than a lot of web hosting and you get a dedicated server.

After spinning up my little VM with a CentOS 7 image I installed:

  • Apache with all the wordpress pre-requisites
  • MariaDB

Securing OpenSSH

I was recently researching the latest guidance on securing OpenSSH and came across a web page on a popular site espousing that the easiest way to protect OpenSSH is to define a login banner. While a login banner is useful, especially in a enterprise setting, it’s useless for securing SSH. So, here is my recipe for securing OpenSSH. While testing these, ALWAYS keep a connection open. It’s very easy to break something and if you don’t already have an open connection, you will have successfully locked yourself out.

Linux LUN Resize

I recently had someone ask me how to rezise a LUN in RHEL without rebooting. The “go-to” method for this admin was to reboot! This is easily accomplished in AIX with “chvg -g”, but how to do this in Linux wasn’t so obvious.

In my example, I’m using LUNs from a SAN attached XIV storage array, using dm-multipath for multipathing and then LVM for carving up the filesystems. After the LUN is resized on the storage array (96Gb to 176GB in my case), we have to scan for changes on the SCSI bus. I’m assuming you have the sg3_utils package installed to get the scsi-rescan command. The simplest thing is to just rescan them all, though you can do them individually if you want:

Installing the XIVGui on Fedora 16

I’ve been running the XIVGui on a Windows7 VM so that I have it available from anywhere. That does work, but then I have to launch an rdesktop session, login, then launch the XIVGui, and login again. I finally got tired of the extra steps and decided to load the XIVGui when I upgraded to Fedora 16. I considered making an RPM, but I’m sure IBM would frown on redistributing their code. These manual steps work great on Fedora 16, should work fine on Fedora 15. I haven’t tested it with RHEL or other versions.

Static DHCP IPs with KVM Virtualization

When building a virtualization lab system, I’ve found that I want static IPs assigned to my guests. You could just assign static IPs in the guest OS, but then you should document what IPs are in use for what hosts. It would be easier to just assign static IP entries in the DHCP server. There doesn’t seem to be a straight-forward way to get this done.

What I’ve found works is to destroy the network, edit it directly, and then restart it.