Table of Contents
Bought an HP home server with four sata bays for $20. Given that I've still got some old 500GB drives lying around, I figured I would use them for some cheap storage at my office.
Problem is, it ships with a Windows 2003 Home Server install. Obviously, not all that useful to me.
I've been running vis.nu for 17 years now. I was 19 when I started it up, to put things into perspective. It started out on a couple dumpstered 486s on an ISDN line in the south suburbs of Chicago. Back then, it really was a community project. Other people used it, other people worked on it, etc. etc. We all used pine or mutt. Nontrivial processing power was devoted to tinyfugue. Most people on it used MacOS 9, or Windows 98, so shell on the desk wasn't particularly common. I was using a SPARCclassic.
Since then, it's survived marriages, a divorce, interstate moves, three start ups, podcasts, broadcasting, OpenBSD, virtualization, you name it. And I always thought of it as more than just me. So I kept my personal stuff off to the side, leaving the front door open for everyone, or at least something representative.
That changes now. With this newest version of vis.nu (and the biggest change in a decade), combined with a forthcoming “New Year's Resolution” thing I'm working on, I've decided running the two websites separately is annoying. Other people still use vis.nu services, and more people will use it in the future… but vis.nu is me. I should reflect that.
So now, sam.vis.nu just goes to vis.nu. And there'll actually be something useful here. Also, the server has moved to Quebec.
Alright, I'm officially calling the studio “feature complete” and in production quality. Only took me a damn year. Which means, I have to stop screwing around with the studio and focus on other things. Thing is, I've got a list of things in my head I would very much like to do, because I'm a weird perfectionist.
So, here's the list, in order of importance. Anything I do with the studio must be on this list. If it's not, I need to work on something more important.
I decided I wanted to replace my netatalk file server2) with WebDAV, in a way that it would share the home directories and honor file permissions properly.
This is one of those where I bet the next four things I'd hear are “Why didn't you use x?!?!” where x equals NFS, SAMBA, FTP or whatnot. In short: because it works best. I used to use NFS a lot, and it has weird incompatibilities and things here and there that just don't work in this environment. My dislike of Windows administration rules out SAMBA. People understand HTTP, and it works everywhere. So: WebDAV.
Making that decision was easy, implementing it was more difficult. I ended up using the following tools
- Apache 2.4 for WebDAV and SSL
- mod_authnz_external for PAM auth
- pwauth to do the actual PAM talking
- mpm-itk to manage file ownership sanely
- h5ai for a decent web browsing experience
- PHP, mainly for the above.
This isn't so much of a HOWTO as much as it is an explanation of the difficulties I experienced for my own notes.