Cron: pam_unix (cron:session): session opened/closed for user root by (uid=0)

This is my week of playing around with mail servers and I have been keeping an eye on the logs on a regular basis. I noticed that the auth.log was riddled with millions of these pointless (from my POV anyhow) log entries:

CRON: pam_unix(cron:session): session opened for user root by (uid=0)
CRON: pam_unix(cron:session): session closed for user root

Cyrus sasld testsaslauthd connect() : No such file or directory 0

While trying to debug a postfix authentication issue in Debian 6, I had to use testsaslauthd to test things out:
testsaslauthd -s smtp -u foo@example.com -p test

only to get the following error:
connect() : No such file or directory 0

This is apparently because a lot of people (and authors) follow the same guide for configuring postfix and saslauthd. One of the steps missing is to symlink and saslauthd directory to a location within postfix. To fix:

Nagios: error: Could not stat() command file /var/lib/nagios3/rw/nagios.cmd

I've been trying to .. empower .. the Nagios 3 web interface in Ubuntu/Debian to allow me to turn off service checking at will. I do this when I am checking logs etc. to debug some issue and all the spam from Nagios' polling is getting in the way. Nagios comes with an option to "disable active checks of this service" which when click should, well, disable active checks of the service. Clicking it, however, resulted in the following message:

Nagios is currently not checking for external commands.

Drupal: PHP Fatal error: Undefined class constant 'MYSQL_ATTR_USE_BUFFERED_QUERY'

While setting up Drupal on a friend's Ubuntu server, I ran into the following error message:

PHP Fatal error: Undefined class constant 'MYSQL_ATTR_USE_BUFFERED_QUERY' in /var/www/mysite/includes/database/mysql/database.inc on line 42

This basically simply means that the PHP PDO extension has not been installed. It can be installed via something along the lines of:
sudo aptitude install php5-mysql

While you are at it, make sure that all the other PHP extensions that Drupal requires are also installed.

Server checking resources: DNS, mail servers etc.

The following are some tools I'd like to note down that are handy when it comes to checking server configurations and security:

Postfix/Sendmail: Frequent emails from smmsp to root

I just finished setting up postfix on a Debian 6 machine. All is peachy. However, when I checked my mail logs to see how things were going I noticed a number of entries for messages being sent from smmsp@example.com to root. Checking root's mail led to messages with the following content:
/usr/share/sendmail/sendmail: line 880: /usr/sbin/sendmail-msp: No such file or directory

Enabling multiple user profiles in mIRC

mIRC is by far the most popular IRC client in the world. However, it's a bit of a pain to use if you connect to different networks with different nicks and so on, as mIRC only supports one user profile. One of the ways to get around this is to have multiple mIRC installations for each profile. But as you can well imagine, this is a pain. However, salvation is here as a friend on IRC put me on to this nifty trick to get his happening without all the brute-forcing. Here's how it is done.

Debian: apt-get perl: warning: Please check that your locale settings:

I repeatedly ran into the following warnings while trying to update my Debian box using apt-get.

Debian/Ubuntu: Loading iptables rules on boot

If you've ever worked with Debian or Ubuntu servers, you've very likely had to set up a firewall at some point or the other. However, any changes that are made are not saved and loaded if the server is ever rebooted. The following is a quick guide on how to get this happening:

(root or sudo access is required)

Command-line downloading files behind an authentication wall

I often find myself in situations where I want to download a file from the command-line using tools such as wget. While there are many reasons to doing so, today I needed to do it due to the size of the file and the fact that I needed it on a webserver of mine. So instead of downloading it first to my desktop and then uploading it to my server, I wanted to simply download the file directly from my webserver via the command-line.

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