• Step by step method for updating BIOS on an 11th gen Dell Server (R510, R610, R710 etc)

    Dell has removed the ability of 11th Gen servers to download BIOS updates from ftp.dell.com - damn. This is a problem if you care about security, but then I guess if you cared that much you’d be using a newer (read: supported) server. Unlike me, the cheapskate.

    So - using Dell’s Lifecycle Controller (press F10 when rebooting) - we can mount an ISO image from Dell with all the nice updates bundled in. This is very handy.

  • A simple guide to EVE-NG Networking

    EVE-NG is a really neat way to virtualise networking stuff - routers, switches, load balancers etc.. I’m not going to harp on about it. However, when you start to run some more demanding labs (like the JNCIE/CCIE labs) - you might want to start running it on a server of your own (or that you rent from a bare-metal server provider in the cloud).

    You’re a network engineer, or at least a wannabe one. You know how to stick a BGP peering on a thing or make a devastating broadcast storm - but do you know enough about Linux networking to save the president set up EVE-NG in your own LAN and maybe build a simple lab topology? Well.. If not, you can follow along with my garbled process below!

  • Self-hosted WordPress - FTP for updates/plugins

    If you are a cheapskate, and want to host WordPress yourself, on a Raspberry Pi sitting on your bookshelf - then good for you (me?). What you might find, when installing WordPress on your own LAMP box, is that installing plugins/themes etc requires an FTP account - credentials WordPress asks you for. This isn’t ideal, as in my self-hosted case I don’t have a Linux ‘user’ specifically for my WordPress instance, and I can’t figure out the arcane magic required to set up a specific FTP user that also shares access with my /var/www/whatever.com directories, messing with groups and permissions and whatnot..

  • One of my favourite apps - ssh-tunnel-manager

    Way back in the day, I had a need to browse a web service I had running at home - from work. As I didn’t really want to open the service up to every man and his dog (i.e with DST-NAT and Masq on my router) - I decided to run a SOCKS proxy on my work machine, which connects to a VM in my home network via SSH, and can then let me access this stuff - sort of like a budget version VPN. (Note - this was allowed by my employer! Don’t do it if you haven’t asked!)

  • Adding a VLAN in Ubuntu 18.04


    For some reason, networking in Linux keeps on changing. Not only changing the well known naming scheme for ethernet interfaces (why), but now the way to manually set up IP addressing, VLANs etc in Ubuntu 18 has changed. Gone is the simple to use /etc/networking/interfaces file, and in its place some YAML and a new tool, netplan. Fine..