Articles 11 to 20

A Few Words about Monit

By Jimmy Bonney | October 13, 2013

In order to monitor a few other important services on our servers, we are relying on Monit. This is an excellent utility tool that ensures that everything is running properly – and should anything happen, it will attempt to fix the problem “on its own” (based on some configuration options that have been defined).

We are probably only scratching the surface of what Monit can do for us so the configuration options that I’ll discuss below might really be some basic settings. But as usual, it will act as a reminder for myself and hopefully it might help someone else in the process.


Legit: An Alternative Git Workflow

By Jimmy Bonney | October 12, 2013

I am using GIT on a daily basis and I already shared some configuration options in a previous article. This article will shortly present a new tool – Legit from Kenneth Reitz – that provides some helpful additional git commands that can simplify your git workflow.


Learning Backbone / Marionette with Rails

By Jimmy Bonney | October 6, 2013

I recently did some research to learn more about single page applications. I had quite a good global overview about the main frameworks that were available but I wanted to find out more about the pros and cons of each one of them. Not surprisingly, I ended up mainly reading about:

This is obviously just the tip of the iceberg and many more frameworks are available (see for instance here), but in this article I just wanted to share one great resource that I stumbled upon.


A Practical Guide to Google Authorship

By Jimmy Bonney | September 15, 2013

I’ve been meaning to fix an issue with Google authorship on this website for a while and I finally managed to do it (well, I hope so at least). The solution is actually really easy to put in place, but many of the sources out there – including Google’s – are not really that clear about how to proceed.

Rick DeJarnette wrote a complete article some time ago explaining the three different methods that exist in order to identify oneself as an author on Google:

  • the 3-link method
  • the 2-link method
  • the email verification method

All methods have however one common requirement: it is necessary to have a Google account and a profile properly filled in for the author.


Automatic Application Deployment with Mina

By Jimmy Bonney | August 17, 2013

It has been a while I meant to write something about Mina, a “really fast deployer and server automation tool” as the team behind it describes it.

The concept behind Mina is to connect through SSH to your remote server and execute a set of Bash instructions that you define in a local deployment file (deploy.rb). There is only one SSH connection, making it faster than other tools that encapsulate each instruction inside their own SSH transaction.

Using such a tool limits the number of manual operations required to deploy a new version of the application on a remote server. All tasks to be executed are gathered in one place and this allows reducing the risk of forgetting something or typing the wrong command.


Pencil Mockup Export

By Jimmy Bonney | July 20, 2013

As discussed in a previous article about flow charts and mock-ups applications, Pencil is a great application to realize quick mock-ups. The application is available on all platforms (MacOS, Linux and Window) either as a stand alone application or as an add-on for Firefox.

Unfortunately, I realized recently that export to PNG files didn’t work any longer from Pencil 2.0.3 (at least not in Ubuntu 12.04). Based on the two links provided in the sources section below, this bug appeared when Firefox 17 was released and can easily be fixed.


Column Header Rotation in CSS

By Jimmy Bonney | July 19, 2013

Last month, D-Sight Web was updated with a pretty awaited feature: spitting the work between experts when evaluating alternatives and defining preferences in a decision process. In other words and without going into too much details (for that, read the release announcement), this typically allows for a technical expert to only provide input for technical criteria and for a legal expert to focus on legal criteria – for instance.

Such a change required the possibility to assign users to criteria in a pretty limited space. Indeed, this assignation is done in a modal window and the the basic idea for such assignation is simply to have a table where:

  • The users are displayed in rows
  • The criteria are displayed in the different columns


Manage Crontab on Synology

By Jimmy Bonney | June 15, 2013

As we’ve seen before, Synology’s NAS offer a Linux distribution that can be enhanced with many applications. As all Linux distributions (at least as far as I can tell), it comes with cron which allows to easily schedule tasks that need to be run on a regular basis.

We’ve shown previously how to add a task to cron but I have noticed that some of the tasks that I set up were disappearing on reboot. The crontab file was simply containing the default entries and I had to add again my custom tasks after each reboot. As this doesn’t really happen so often, it is easy to forget about it meaning that if those tasks are supposed to run backups for instance, then you might end up in situation were your backups do not run for a while.


Configure Nano Syntax Highlighting on Synology

By Jimmy Bonney | June 15, 2013

Nano is a small text editor available from the console. It is an alternative to editors like vi or pico but comes packed with features making it more user-friendly – especially for beginners. Nano is available from pretty much all Linux distributions. In this article, we’ll focus on installing and configuring its syntax highlighting feature on a Synology NAS.

Install nano

In order to install nano, ipkg needs to be installed. If it isn’t, have a look at this previous article or go directly to the Synology forum.

Once ipkg is installed, simply run the following commands as root:

ipkg update
ipkg install nano

Now, nano is simply available from the command line.


Fix Postfix SASL Authentication Failure

By Jimmy Bonney | June 9, 2013

I discussed recently how to install a minimal LAMP stack environment on a virtual server. The installation was based on TurnKey Linux Lamp distribution, which is based on Debian. However, I noticed some time ago that when trying to send emails through sendmail, nothing was sent out.

When looking through the mail logs (located at /var/log/mail.log), the recurring error was the following:

lamp postfix/smtp[2113]: warning: SASL authentication failure: No worthy mechs found

In order to fix that, it is necessary to install libsasl. Before you do that, you might want to empty the existing mail queue in order not to receive all pending mails once everything is set up properly. To do so, go to the webadmin interface or execute a postfix -f from a console or a SSH session in order to purge the queue from all existing mails.