Maintenance Sunday Morning Midnight – 0400 AM

     I will be rebooting all servers early Sunday morning to make a kernel upgrade effective, and then taking select servers down for a period to perform imaging, a form of backups that basically captures the entire state of a machine so it can be quickly restored in the case of severe corruption.

     Brought to you by: Run On Sentences R Us.


     I was never able to get Gnome to work on Zorin, Gnome is usually one of the easier desktops to get functioning.  I am going to re-install Zorin on the assumption that something probably went wrong.  It will be down for a couple of days.  We will also be going from the free Zorin Core to the paid Zorin Ultimate.  It is reasonably priced at about $21 US ($19 EU) and includes a Gnome 2 and Mac OS Desktop layout as well as 1.5GB of other software not included in core so I think it will be a good upgrade.



      The shell server mxlinux is now back online.  It is also now available from the the web and audio works.  Not all of the application software has been re-installed yet, this will take some time.  If there is something you need, please let me know and I will prioritize it.

CentOS 6 – Sublime-Text

     The application sublime-text has been removed from CentOS 6 because the authors have changed it to required GTK-3 and CentOS 6 has Gnome-2 and thus no GTK-3.

     If you need this application use ANY other shell server EXCEPT Centos 6 and Scientific Linux both of which have Gnome 2.

MxLinux will be down until further notice

     In the process of trying to re-install mxlinux, one of the software repositories is broken so I am able to obtain all of the necessary components.  As a result, will be down until they fix the issue with their repository.

     In the meantime please use,,, or which are all similar in terms of their functionality although perhaps not quite as pretty.  Actually julinux is pretty nice from an aesthetic standpoint so would be a good alternative.

MxLinux Maintenance

     Something is broken in MxLinux and I’m not sure if an update broke it or my attempt to configure it to work with guacamole.  There are too many variables to troubleshoot each individually.  I am going to restore it from backup.  There will be a short downtime while it reboots from a backed up image. If it works properly I will then re-apply the updates and see if it still works.  If so I’ll again attempt to configure it to work with guacamole.

Connecting to with a modern ssh

     Because modern ssh has disabled some older less secure encryption protocols, by default you will not be able to connect with the shell server ‘’.  To fix this add the following to your /etc/ssh/ssh_config file:

     KexAlgorithms +diffie-hellman-group1-sha1

     This will enable diffie-hellman-group1-sha1 encryption protocol just for this specific host.

Guacamole Fixed

     Fixed the boot start up problems with guacamole, in the process learned a bit more about systemd unit files including how to specify the user ID the program runs as and how to specify what must be started and running before the program in question is started.

     The root of the problem is the systemd unit file was starting guacamole with a user id that did not have permission to read the encryption keys and it was not waiting for an NFS mounted partition which contain the keys to be mounted before it tried to access them.

Guacamole / Web Availability

     I am working to correct some issues that cause guacamole not to start automatically on reboot.  This unfortunately requires rebooting of the server to test and finding the issue causing it to fail has been quite difficult requiring many reboots.  My apologies for the interruptions but it is necessary to insure that this service starts correctly after a reboot.


Scientific 7 Added to Host Desktop or Terminal

     The feature Host Desktop or Terminal allows you to connect to one of our shell servers either as a full graphical desktop or a simple text terminal from the web.

     This feature is full encrypted end to end.  The only possible security threat with a public system is if a keystroke logger is installed on the machine you are originating from.

     Scientific Linux has just been added to the hosts you can access this way.

     When you first connect, Guacamole, the software used to make this connection, will ask for a login and password.  The login and password are both “public” for our public Linux shell hosts.  The individual host will then prompt for your login and password, this is the same login and password that you use to access e-mail or via ssh.

     You can get to this feature via the “Web Apps” pull down menu on our website at or you can go directly to  Please note that the terminating ‘/’ is necessary in this case.