Imapd and Pop3 E-mail

      There are some versions of Outlook, and I don’t know which yet, that forces SSL encryption even if a customer selections non-encrypted mail and it tries to use a version not supported by our servers, causing mail retrieval to fail.

      People who are affected have systems that do not support TLS (mostly very old) and only support a version of SSL that our server won’t accept. If you are retrieving mail okay at present then your machine isn’t affected.

      In order to try to resolve this issue for others, I’m going to be  upgrading Dovecot from version 2.0.8 to 2.2.16 around 5pm today. I’ve got the software built and ready to go but don’t want to install it in the middle of a business day in case something goes wrong and have to back it out. We’ve been using the version that was part of the CentOS distribution and it is out of date.

      If there is an interruption, it should be brief, (I have saved the old configuration and can re-install the CentOS supplied version in seconds if need be) but I wanted to let you know in advance just in case.


Often what starts as a little problem has a way of growing.  What I found out today, it’s not only newer kernels I build but also the kernels that exist in any non Redhat 6 based Linux, so idmapd is not working properly on Centos7, Scientif7, Fedora, Debian, Mint, or Ubuntu.  Oddly, an actual operation on a file seems to work correctly, if I su to a user and touch to create a file, then go back and look at it on the server, it is created with the proper UID even though it isn’t displayed correctly with ls on the client.  This is why the problem has essentially gone unnoticed for so long.

As near as I can tell there is some fundamentally different way that idmapd works under RedHat 6, then any other Linux distribution or even later versions of Redhat.  I’ve found copious documentation of this bug but no fix that actually works except to revert to NFSv3.  The problem with NFSv3, it does not have mandatory locking that works.

3.5.9 Kernel – idmapd issues

     With a 3.5.9 kernel, idmap fails to resolve some UIDs but does not generate the error messages the 3.9.x kernel did.  This may be a configuration issue however as I did see an option relating to idmap.  It would be good to get it to work because it does significantly reduce the load time of web objects.  Faster is good because Google gives a higher ranking to faster servers.

     So I’m going to go stare at configuration options some more, make some tweaks and try again.Error

Kernel Build

     I am attempting a kernel build of a 3.5.9 kernel.  I’ve read that it will work with CentOS 6.x and still provide some features that hopefully will provide better performance although initially it’s going to be built with pretty much the same options as the old kernel so that I can differentiate problems caused by the kernel version from problems caused by operator malfunction.

     This may cause the web server to operate slightly slower during the build although I’ve checked with Firebug and it doesn’t seem to be affecting it greatly so far.

The Matrix

KDE – The Plot Thickens

While KDE doesn’t work for me (and another customer) on Mint, it does work for a different customer using X2Go, which suggests it may be a settings issue.  However, I deleted everything in .kde and it still doesn’t work correctly for me.  I still think something is wrong with the install but haven’t been able to figure it out yet.

KDE / FreeNX / X2Go Debian

We have three Debian based shell servers:

  1. – Debian Wheezy
  2. – Mint 17 Qiana
  3. – Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

On the Debian server, KDE works with both freenx and X2Go. On the Ubuntu server, KDE works with X2Go but not with freenx. With freenx, after login you’ll get an initial black screen then it exits. On the Mint server, KDE will not work with either freenx or X2Go. On freenx it just exits, with X2Go, you get a wallpaper but no panels or widgets. Right mouse click brings a pull down menu but most of the objects including add panel and widgets do not work. On all of these systems mate gnome and xfce work (although gnome is gnome-fallback and painfully slow, mate is much better).


I have not been able to find anything in system logs or searching with DuckDuckGo or Google that gives me a clue was to why these problems with KDE.  Whatever broke KDE happened some time ago as I re-installed Mint from a backup about a month ago and still the same problems.

Even with Debian, Synaptik complains about an old version of Xinput but I can’t find anything that provides this with synaptic package manager.

I invite any suggestions that may help me determine why this is failing and resolve it.  It’s odd because all three machines are derived from the same code base.


     I am in the process of restoring Mint from backups.  It will be back to Mint 17, I can not get 17.1 to work easily.  You’d think they’d test this stuff before they kicked out a distribution, and normally I would before attempting an install but since Mint 17 had issues with KDE anyway I attempted without first testing.

     For now I’m going to put it back to Mint 17, build a new virtual machine to work on 17.1 on, and when I figure out how to get it working I’ll upgrade the existing machine.

     Sorry for the inconvenience everyone.  This was really bad judgement on my part, owing largely to lack of sleep (I got up at 4:50AM and attempted this around midnight, too many hours up).

Mint 17.1 Not Going Well

     So far the upgrade to Mint 17.1 is not going well.  NFSv4 idmapd functionality seems entirely broken, and even going to NFSv3 where UID’s are mapped properly, I still can not login with an NIS login using either freenx or x2go and nothing is showing up in the logs to give an idea why.

     I do remember there was some program that was supposed to cache authentication responses to speed up logins that never did work properly with NIS and I had to remove it from the other machines, but I can not remember the name of it.


     The KDE Desktop on Mint is broken.  I attempted to re-install, but it still didn’t work.  Since a newer version of Mint-Mate is out now (17.1), I think I’m going to take this opportunity to upgrade rather than spend a lot of time troubleshooting.

     If you need a Debian based shell server in the meantime, please use either Ubuntu or Debian.


CPU Module for SS-10

    If anyone either wants to donate or knows where I can get one cheap, I’d really like to replace this with a good module that doesn’t necessitate the occasional drive to the co-location facility.  I know there are quite a few of you that would like to keep this old machine alive.

     The module I had before I think was a Ross RTK-625, these are after-market modules that come in higher speeds.  I’ve had 90Mhz to 125Mhz in various machines over the years, not sure what the last one was.  The stock CPU’s are 40Mhz.

     The last CPU was destroyed by a shield that detached itself from the case lid, fell on the CPU module and broke three of the four screws holding the heat sink in place, causing the CPU to overheat and fail.  I don’t know the proper Sun part number for these or if there even is one.They look like this although I’m not sure if this module would work in an SS-10.