All Questions

2289
votes
30answers
470k views

Our security auditor is an idiot. How do I give him the information he wants?

A security auditor for our servers has demanded the following within two weeks: A list of current usernames and plain-text passwords for all user accounts on all servers A list of all password ...
1268
votes
3answers
1.3m views

What is a Pem file and how does it differ from other OpenSSL Generated Key File Formats?

I am responsible for maintaining two Debian servers. Every time I have to do anything with security certificates, I Google for tutorials and beat away until it finally works. However, in my searches ...
912
votes
38answers
557k views

How can I sort du -h output by size

I need to get a list of human readable du output. However, du does not have a "sort by size" option, and piping to sort doesn't work with the human readable flag. For example, running: du | sort -...
747
votes
12answers
1.0m views

How to determine if a bash variable is empty?

What is the best way to determine if a variable in bash is empty ("")? I have heard that it is recommended that I do if [ "x$variable" = "x" ] Is that the correct way? (there must be something more ...
639
votes
18answers
1.9m views

Ping a Specific Port

Just a quick sanity check here. Can you ping a specific port of a machine, and if so, can you provide an example? I'm looking for something like ping ip address portNum.
594
votes
13answers
131k views

How do I deal with a compromised server?

This is a Canonical Question about Server Security - Responding to Breach Events (Hacking) See Also: Tips for Securing a LAMP Server Reinstall after a Root Compromise? Canonical ...
560
votes
10answers
670k views

Can scp copy directories recursively?

Currently I can only copy a single .tar file. But how can I copy directories recursively with scp?
502
votes
16answers
584k views

How do you find what process is holding a file open in Windows?

One thing that annoys me no end about Windows is the old sharing violation error. Often you can't identify what's holding it open. Usually it's just an editor or explorer just pointing to a relevant ...
500
votes
11answers
463k views

In Nginx, how can I rewrite all http requests to https while maintaining sub-domain?

I want to rewrite all http requests on my web server to be https requests, I started with the following: server { listen 80; location / { rewrite ^(.*) https://mysite.com$1 ...
478
votes
31answers
795k views

How do I tell Git for Windows where to find my private RSA key?

My Git setup runs fine on Linux, but when I try to set things up under Windows (using Git for Windows and TortoiseGit), I don't know where to put my private SSH key (or, better still, how to tell ssh ...
452
votes
7answers
72k views

Something is burning in the server room; how can I quickly identify what it is?

The other day, we notice a terrible burning smell coming out of the server room. Long story short, it ended up being one of the battery modules that was burning up in the UPS unit, but it took a good ...
433
votes
8answers
151k views

How does IPv4 Subnetting Work?

This is a Canonical Question about IPv4 Subnets. Related: How does IPv6 subnetting work and how does it differ from IPv4 subnetting? How does Subnetting Work, and How do you do it by ...
389
votes
5answers
171k views

What is the difference between double and single square brackets in bash?

I just wondered what exactly the difference between [[ $STRING != foo ]] and [ $STRING != foo ] is, apart from that the latter is posix-compliant, found in sh and the former is an extension found ...
388
votes
2answers
172k views

What exactly do the colors in htop status bars mean?

By default, htop shows colored status bars for processors, memory, and swap. From left to right, the bars are colored green, blue, yellow, and red depending on some thresholds. What does it mean when ...
375
votes
9answers
978k views

How to automate SSH login with password?

How to automate SSH login with password? I'm configuring my test VM, so heavy security is not considered. SSH chosen for acceptable security with minimal configuration. ex) echo password | ssh id@...
366
votes
5answers
147k views

Anyone else experiencing high rates of Linux server crashes during a leap second day?

*NOTE: if your server still has issues due to confused kernels, and you can't reboot - the simplest solution proposed with gnu date installed on your system is: date -s now. This will reset the ...
361
votes
5answers
815k views

What's the default superuser username/password for postgres after a new install?

I have just installed postgres 8.4 on Ubuntu 9.10 and it has never asked me to create a superuser. Is there a default superuser and its password? If not, how do I create a new one?
356
votes
21answers
59k views

How do you search for backdoors from the previous IT person?

We all know it happens. A bitter old IT guy leaves a backdoor into the system and network in order to have fun with the new guys and show the company how bad things are without him. I've never ...
330
votes
3answers
224k views

ssh returns “Bad owner or permissions on ~/.ssh/config”

When I try to ssh to another box, I get this strange error $ ssh hostname Bad owner or permissions on ~/.ssh/config But I made sure that I own and have rw permissions on the file: ls -la ~/.ssh/ ...
310
votes
27answers
64k views

100% uptime for a web application

We received an interesting "requirement" from a client today. They want 100% uptime with off-site failover on a web application. From our web application's viewpoint, this isn't an issue. It was ...
301
votes
20answers
267k views

How to run a server on port 80 as a normal user on Linux?

I have googled about it for quite some time, but couldn't find it. I am on Ubuntu Linux and want to run a server on port 80, but due to security mechanism of Ubuntu, I get the following error: ...
298
votes
6answers
370k views

What permissions should my website files/folders have on a Linux webserver?

This is a Canonical Question about File Permissions on a Linux web server. I have a Linux web server running Apache2 that hosts several websites. Each website has its own folder in /var/www/. /var/...
281
votes
160answers
280k views

Useful Command-line Commands on Windows

The aim for this Wiki is to promote using a command to open up commonly used applications without having to go through many mouse clicks - thus saving time on monitoring and troubleshooting Windows ...
273
votes
45answers
67k views

What are the obstacles to providing reliable Internet access and Wi-Fi at large tech conferences? [closed]

Every tech conference I've ever been to, and I've been to a lot, has had absolutely abysmal Wi-Fi and Internet access. Sometimes it's the DHCP server running out of addresses. Sometimes the backhaul ...
269
votes
25answers
237k views

How can I get the size of an Amazon S3 bucket?

I'd like to graph the size (in bytes, and # of items) of an Amazon S3 bucket and am looking for an efficient way to get the data. The s3cmd tools provide a way to get the total file size using s3cmd ...
265
votes
15answers
23k views

I've inherited a rat's nest of cabling. What now?

You know, you see pictures like below and sort of chuckle until you actually have to deal with it. I have just inherited something that looks like the picture below. The culture of the organization ...
262
votes
6answers
291k views

How to assign permissions to ApplicationPoolIdentity account

In IIS 7 on Windows Server 2008, application pools can be run as the "ApplicationPoolIdentity" account instead of the NetworkService account. How do I assign permissions to this "...
260
votes
2answers
170k views

How do I change my private key passphrase?

I have an existing public/private key pair. The private key is password protected, and the encryption may be either RSA or DSA. These keys are the kind you generate with ssh-keygen and generally store ...
260
votes
5answers
94k views

Redirect, Change URLs or Redirect HTTP to HTTPS in Apache - Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Mod_Rewrite Rules but Were Afraid to Ask

This is a Canonical Question about Apache's mod_rewrite. Changing a request URL or redirecting users to a different URL than the one they originally requested is done using mod_rewrite. This includes ...
256
votes
4answers
138k views

How do I select which Apache MPM to use?

This is a Canonical Question about selecting the right Apache httpd MPM. I'm a little confused between the different MPMs offered by Apache - 'worker', 'event', 'prefork', etc. What are the major ...
255
votes
8answers
461k views

How to bind MySQL server to more than one IP address?

Is there a secret way to bind MySQL to more than one IP address? As far as I can see the bind-address parameter in the my.cnf does not support more than one IP and you can't have it more than once.
253
votes
12answers
81k views

Can I nohup/screen an already-started process?

I'm doing some test-runs of long-running data migration scripts, over SSH. Let's say I start running a script around 4 PM; now, 6 PM rolls around, and I'm cursing myself for not doing this all in ...
251
votes
2answers
68k views

Why is “chmod -R 777 /” destructive?

This is a Canonical Question about File Permission and Why 777 is "destructive". I'm not asking how to fix this problem, as there are a ton of references of that already on Server Fault (reinstall OS)...
247
votes
12answers
96k views

Is it bad to redirect http to https?

I just installed an SSL Certificate on my server. It then set up a redirect for all traffic on my domain on Port 80 to redirect it to Port 443. In other words, all my http://example.com traffic is ...
246
votes
14answers
32k views

What is this very short power cable called?

I have a couple of networking components in my rack that take giant AC adapters ("power bricks") that don't fit neatly into my rackmount PDU. I have one "thingy" that is shown below, and I need to ...
239
votes
12answers
735k views

What's the command-line utility in Windows to do a reverse DNS look-up?

Is there a built-in command line tool that will do reverse DNS look-ups in Windows? I.e., something like <toolname> w.x.y.z => mycomputername I've tried: nslookup: seems to be forward look-...
235
votes
15answers
314k views

Can I automatically add a new host to known_hosts?

Here's my situation: I'm setting up a test harness that will, from a central client, launch a number of virtual machine instances and then execute commands on them via ssh. The virtual machines will ...
234
votes
10answers
134k views

How to tell which local branch is tracking which remote branch in Git?

I would like to know if there's a way to tell which local branch is tracking which remote branch in Git. I'm using one remote server, which is named "origin".
234
votes
7answers
47k views

What’s the point in having “www” in a URL?

Other than for historical reasons, is there is reason to have “www” in a URL? Should I create a permanent redirect from www.xyz.com to xyz.com, or from xyz.com to www.xyz.com? Which one would you ...
225
votes
14answers
270k views

Copying a large directory tree locally? cp or rsync?

I have to copy a large directory tree, about 1.8 TB. It's all local. Out of habit I'd use rsync, however I wonder if there's much point, and if I should rather use cp. I'm worried about permissions ...
224
votes
13answers
125k views

Environment variables of a running process on Unix?

I need to troubleshoot some problems related to environment variables on a Unix system. On Windows, I can use a tool such as ProcessExplorer to select particular a process and view values of each ...
223
votes
7answers
364k views

How can I find out what AD groups I'm a member of?

I'm running a Windows XP desktop in a corporate environment. How can I find out what AD groups I belong to?
223
votes
4answers
126k views

How can I see which flags Nginx was compiled with?

How can I check what modules have been added to an nginx installation?
219
votes
8answers
274k views

How to force or redirect to SSL in nginx?

I have a signup page on a subdomain like: https://signup.example.com It should only be accessible via HTTPS but I'm worried people might somehow stumble upon it via HTTP and get a 404. My html/...
218
votes
15answers
643k views

Why do I get “Permission denied (publickey)” when trying to SSH from local Ubuntu to a Amazon EC2 server?

I have an instance of an application running in the cloud on Amazon EC2 instance, and I need to connect it from my local Ubuntu. It works fine on one of local ubuntu and also laptop. I got message "...
215
votes
15answers
307k views

How to get current Unix time in milliseconds in bash?

How do I get the current Unix time in milliseconds (i.e number of milliseconds since Unix epoch January 1 1970)?
215
votes
5answers
231k views

What's the difference between IP address 0.0.0.0 and 127.0.0.1?

I know that 127.0.0.1 ~ 127.255.255.254 are the loopback IP addresses for most modern operating systems, and these IP addresses can be used to refer to our own computer. But what's 0.0.0.0? It seems ...
214
votes
3answers
145k views

Moving an already-running process to Screen

My office job routinely sees me connected to a Linux box via VNC. Sometimes I start a remote job on the console, and realize later that it runs much longer than expected. (Should have started that ...
213
votes
13answers
77k views

Any benefit or detriment from removing a pagefile on an 8 GB RAM machine?

I'm running Windows 7 on a dual core, x64 AMD with 8 GB RAM. Do I even need a page file? Will removing it help or hurt performance? Would it make a difference if this is a server or a desktop? ...
212
votes
4answers
160k views

What's the best way of handling permissions for Apache 2's user www-data in /var/www?

Has anyone got a nice solution for handling files in /var/www? We're running Name Based Virtual Hosts and the Apache 2 user is www-data. We've got two regular users & root. So when messing with ...

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