Archive | Linux

Installing Minio as a Service on CentOS 7.3+


This document outlines the procedures to install Minio as a Service on a new CentOS 7.3 Minimal server. It provides a little more detail to the procedures in the references at the bottom of this article.

My Test Environment

I’m using VirtualBox on a Windows 10 Workstation, with a fresh install of CentOS 7.3 Minimal. Also installed is a copy of Git Bash for Windows.

The reason I use Git Bash is because I can copy/paste text from the examples below into the Git Bash prompt.
Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

Cloudberry Backups to an SFTP server

Backing up your data to a Linux based SFTP server is an inexpensive method that separates network shares (which can be attacked by crypto viruses) from your backups. You can configure Cloudberry’s SFTP backups with either password based access or with a shared cryptographic key so that regular passwords aren’t used. This document provides steps on using both methods to access an SFTP server with Cloudberry Backup.

SFTP advantages:

  • Linux is easy to install.
  • Doesn’t require advanced hardware.
  • SFTP comes pre-configured with CentOS 7 server.
  • Can easily be run on a cloud server, such as Digital Ocean or Linode.
  • On systems with multiple mounted drives, you can specify the storage locations.

SFTP disadvantages:

  • Not as fast as some other protocols, such as Minio

Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

More Backups and Synchronization

I have spent rar too much time this past week reviewing and updating the backup procedures on my development workstation. In the past, I was:

  • Using Acronis to backup the files on drives C, D to drive Z.
  • Using Syncback to occasionally copy Videos, Music and Photos to an SMB share on a Synology DS209J.
  • Using the Synology DS209J as a media server.

The challenges I faced:

  • Acronis has failed in the past, so I need to either trust it again or dump it.
  • The Synology server is embarassingly slow. File copying is slow, and videos occasionally stutter.
  • I’m concerned about SMB shares being trashed by a possible Cryptowall virus.
  • Am a bit low on disk space in areas.

Hardware changes made:

  • Replace the Synology with a CentOS 7 VM running on an existing ESXi server, and install Plex on it.
  • Add a 4TB WD Red drive to the ESXi server, create a 4TB ext4 volume and attach it to the CentOS VM.
  • Replace an existing 10/100 ethernet switch with a 10/100/1000 ethernet switch.

Functionality to test:

  • Disk and file backups with incremental and block level support for extra large files.
  • Cataloging of the backups.
  • Directory/file synchronization.
  • Cloud and SFTP support.

Software tested:

  • Syncback (I have been using Syncback free)
  • Syncovery
  • Acronis Backup/Recovery (I already own this)
  • Acronis True Image
  • Cloudberry


A Realization

It slowly dawned on me that when performing occasional full backups with Syncback, what I really wanted to do was to perform file synchronization. In this case, I didn’t want incrementals or the ability to restore an old version. I just wanted a source and destination synchronization of my media directories. It also turns out that dedicated backup software such as Acronis or Cloudberry don’t really support that functionality. So, let’s look at each of the packages I tried.



There are several versions of this product, and Syncback free has allowed me to backup across SMB shares without any problems in the past.

It does not support block level backups, which I felt were important with the number of Virtual Machines I’m using.

In order to Synchronize to the CentOS server via the more secure SFTP, I needed to purchase Syncback Pro (and not SE).

Being about same price, the block level support of Syncovery put it ahead of Syncback Pro.


This product costs about the same as Syncback Pro, but does support block level backups, as well as file/directory synchronization.

I ended up buying a copy of this to use strictly for synchronization with the new media server. Maybe I’ll use it for full backups down the road once it gains my trust. I’m not there yet.

Acronis Backup/Recovery

I already own this product, so I spent time determining if I wanted to continue using it or replace it with an alternate. After significant testing, I decided to update it and use it for backups. One of the main reasons was that using the catalog for file recovery was easier to use than the alternatives.

Acronis True Image

This package had great reviews, however the simplistic interface was not for me. I ditched it early on.


This product performs backups to various local and Cloud services and worked very well. I have a client that uses it and it’s a good product. In order for me to purchase Cloudberry, Acronis Backup/Recovery had to fail in some significant fashion and the only weakness I could see with Acronis (other than the fact that it’s huge), was that the version of Acronis I own does not support Cloud Services. Fortunately for me, that was not a requirement and as a result, Cloudberry was off the table.


Current Status

Acronis now performs custom daily/weekly backups of drive C and drive D to drive Z as well as to the CentOS server via SFTP. One of the advantages of the custom configuration is that I can tell it to purge old backups when the destination drive gets full. At 4TB, that should take a while.

Syncovery synchronizes the Photo, Music and Video directories to the CentOS server via SFTP for use by the Plex media server. It also does so at a MUCH faster clip with the new gigabit switch.

Oh, and I’m also running Crashplan as a backup of last resort. When it comes to backups, you can never have too many.



Continue Reading

Backing up my web sites

I’ve implemented web sites of varying types, including:

  • Static
  • Drupal
  • Joomla
  • WordPress
  • Media Wiki
  • Probably a couple of others

With the exception of the static sites, these ALL run in databases and invariably they ALL need to be backed up, files and databases included.

Many web site administrators will either rely on their web host provider to perform these backups and/or implement a backup plug-in for their CMS of choice.

The advantage of webhost provider based backups is that it’s a complicated matter that you don’t have to worry about. The drawback for the webhost provider based backups is that backup and recovery for YOUR site is now out of your hands. Let’s hope your webhost provider has got it right. Otherwise, you may not have a site to recover. In addition, if your site gets hacked, you could have a real difficult time finding where the bad code is, and I’ll cover this later.

The advantage of plug-ins is that, depending on the plug-in, you can get a LOT of functionality, such as file/database backup and recovery, site migrations and much more. The disadvantage is that the site needs to be RUNNING in order to use it.

For the past few years, I’ve been logging into my sites via ‘ssh’ and have been performing file/database backups to a remote host. I’ve been performing daily as well as weekly backups and have kept about 3 months worth of backups for these sites. The advantage is that I can go back several months to restore a site and have used this to compare recent and old site files to find a site hack. In addition, it doesn’t matter WHICH CMS I’m using or even if it’s running. As long as I can ssh into the site and dump the files and database, I’m good to go. The disadvantage is that each backup is a FULL backup and these can consume considerable disk space.

Really, what I need is a decent backup utility that:

  • Can access multiple sites via ssh or rsync
  • Can backup files
  • Can backup the databases
  • Is automated
  • Doesn’t matter which CMS I’m using
  • Supports incremental backups (thus saving huge amounts of disk space)

In the Linux world, Bacula is very popular, however I’ve chosen an application called rsnapshot. This uses perl scrips and the rsync command to create a repository of backups and I’ve been able to configure it to access multiple sites and databases and to backup much more data than I otherwise would have been able to with FULL daily/weekly backups.



Continue Reading

Some ‘yum’ Commands for CentOS

The instructions in this article do not work with Ubuntu and its’ variants, such as Debian or Mint, as they use apt-get instead of yum. Read on if you’re a CentOS or related user.

When I first started using CentOS 7, I often selected the advanced packages during the graphical installation process, such as ‘Web Server’ or ‘GNOME Desktop’. The problem, was that I wanted to create a LAMP server with Samba, Git and phpMyAdmin for web development and none of the options seemed to fit. As a result, I eventually chose a minimal install and manually downloaded individual packages with the CentOS/RedHat specific ‘yum’ command.
I’m happy with how that went and have thoroughly documented this with my ‘A CentOS Web Development Environment’. In the meantime, I wanted to delve a little further into the ‘yum’ command to find out a bit more about the available packages.
Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

A Web Development Environment

Update: Working on a new version, which isn’t ready yet. It should contain:

  • Secure backups
  • Review of all content
  • Linux Mint
  • Git update with database migration and serialization
  • I’ve created a document that describes setting up a web development environment using a Windows 7 workstation, an Ubuntu 12.04 Virtual machine along with a Hostgator Reseller account and, most importantly, Git.

    This document provides lots of examples. Feel free to provide constructive feedback to

    Topics covered include:

    Oracle Virtualbox phpMyAdmin
    Hostgator Web Hosting vim
    Drupal Git
    WordPress drush
    Site Migration wp-cli
    FTP Samba
    Apache SSH
    PHP NetBeans

    I have now released version ‘1.0‘ of this document as well as a sister document for installing Virtualmin and Webmin on Ubuntu 12.04.


Continue Reading

Ubuntu and Mint on VirtualBox

I use Oracle’s VirtualBox to run VM’s on my Windows 7 machine. I use it for web site development with WordPress, Drupal and have several tools to support this, such as Git, NetBeans, Samba and so forth. Unlike VMWare Player, VirtualBox provides Snapshots, which allow you to quickly backup and restore your VM.

I’ve been trying different versions of Ubuntu and Mint to find out which works best with VirtualBox (for me) and am finding that Linux Mint with Mate seems to be coming out on top.

  1. Ubuntu 12.04 worked OK, that is, until you applied patches. Sometimes, re-installing the Guest Additions fixed any graphics issues, and sometimes they didn’t.
  2. Ubuntu 12.10 required patches in order to work with VirtualBox at all.
  3. Ubuntu 12.04 kind of worked with the seamless mode, but then again, it kind of didn’t.
  4. Linux Mint with Cinnamon was problematic graphic wise with VirtualBox.
  5. Linux Mint with Mate seemed to work the best. It survived updates and the seamless mode works like a charm. In addition, it uses the same ‘apt-get’ features of Ubuntu.
  6. I haven’t spent much time with Ubuntu 13.04, but did have some initial installation/graphics issues with it.

Unless something else comes up, I’m switching over to Mint for my LAMP development environment.

Continue Reading

Finding the Right Linux Distro

Quite often, I use the Pareto principle of spending 20% of the effort to get 80% of the results. On other occasions, I spend far too much time to get something just right.

From DOS 1.0 in 1981 to Windows 8 and Linux today, I’ve installed dozens of micro and minicomputer operating systems over the years. To me, an OS needs to fit like a glove, which is why I’ve spent considerable time looking for a version of Linux that will complement my Windows 7 desktop environment. Being on a tight budget, I use Oracle’s VirtualBox instead of VMWare Player as it includes a Snapshot facility.

The VPS I rent for my web sites uses CentOS, so I thought I’d use the popular Ubuntu and CentOS distributions as my starting point. Unfortunately, both had issues with VirtualBox, and I don’t have the patience to fiddle around with a host of settings and updates.

This was followed a raft of distributions such as Kubuntu, Mint, Suse, Debian, Xubuntu, Fedora, Elementary, and more. In addition, there were Gnome, KDE and XFCE options for several of these.

Currently, my top pick is Mint 15 with Mate. With the Kernel updates disabled, Mint runs smoothly out of the box under VirtualBox, and provides excellent support for VirtualBox’s seamless display mode. It also doesn’t require the installation of VirtualBox’s VBOXADDITIONS package. That being said, I DO perform the updates, but not before taking a snapshot and doing so in a controlled manner.

I continue to read threads about the pros and cons of various Linux distributions and would love to find the perfect fit. In the meantime, Mint with MATE works well enough for me and I need to start getting some work done.

Then again, some others look pretty promising. . .

Continue Reading