I have to take Mint down for a short period to increase available disk space as it has grown to where there is no space left in the root partition.

Mail Forgeries

     I’ve discovered a situation in which it is possible to forge the from address with some mail clients.

     The person wishing to forge the e-mail provides a fake “From: ” header but a real address in the envelope.  Because postfix only checks the envelope it does not prevent these kind of forgeries if the e-mail client displays the last From: line in the mail.

Saturday Morning Upgrades

     I will be upgrading the physical host machines to Ubuntu 18.10 early Saturday morning.  The upgrade process is rather long and grueling and during at least part of it breaks NIS.  However, these machines are all NIS slaves and I will time the upgrades such that only one will be affected at any given time so all of the client machines should be okay.  However, all will go down several times during the upgrade process,  Normally Linux upgrades require only a single reboot however to work around bugs in the upgrade process regarding NIS, it will be necessary to de-install / re-install nis and reboot possibly more than once.  So there may be multiple outages between 12:01 – 6:00 AM on Saturday the 27th.  This upgrade is important as it fixed the issue of NFS not mounting reliably at least with all the machines with modern kernels.  It will not fix the old CentOS 6 machine that everyone loves however.

Possible FTP / WWW IP Lockout

     After the upgrade caused NIS issues, I’ve discovered some users are locked out of access to web and ftp services here.  If you’re reading this you are probably okay but if you’ve got a weather station or something else automatically doing periodic logins to ftp, you may be blocked.  If this is the case please initiate a support ticket with your IP address or e-mail support with your IP address and indicate that you can not reach the web and/or ftp server and I will manually remove the block for you.

Web Server Issues

     We upgraded our main web server to Ubuntu 18.10 Cosmic Cuttlefish early this morning.  I did not become aware until later this morning that the upgrade broke NIS which is how the system propagates information about users between machines.  This has been corrected as of about 10:45 AM this morning the 22nd of October, 2018.

Incoming Mail Servers Upgraded

    I managed to get everything working on new mail servers based upon Ubuntu 18.04 and for me at least spam filtering is working much better.  Prior to the upgrade I was getting between 1/3rd and 1/4th of spam in my INBOX rather than spam box, now I am getting 1/25 spams in my INBOX the rest to the spam box and so far no false positives.

     The new servers bring new versions of just about all of the spam control facilities, new versions of spamassassin, postgres, dkim, spf milter, clamav, etc.  It’s still older version of postfix, procmail, and smartlist because I can not get the newer versions to play together well owing to the fact that they each want to operate in their own chroot jail which unfortunately doesn’t give them access to each other which they need to function.  I think eventually I will be able to get the newer version of postfix working but the new procmail is too broken.

Julinux.Yellow-Snow.Net Fixed

    The shell server is now back in operation.  After going down a lot of rabbit holes, I thought to ask systemd the status of nis, and low and behold it was disabled.  I re-enabled it and now all is well.  So when you do an upgrade of ubuntu or a Ubuntu-derived distribution that is something to lookout for.

Julinux Temporarily O/S

     Julinux kicked out a new release based upon Ubuntu-Mate 18.10, but this is about three months premature and predictably it broke things, most notably NIS.  Without NIS users can not authenticate on this machine. So for now that machine is down.  I’ll try to troubleshoot NIS and if I can’t fix it revert to the 18.04 version.


Mail Server Configuration Changes

     I have made several changes to mail server configurations and DNS that should reduce spam and viruses.

  • No mail will be accepted to via any of the mail servers.
  • SPF records are now published for  This should prevent forgeries since SPF records are checked on all of our servers.
  • The issue which prevented the clamav anti-virus database from being updated has been repaired.
  • Fail2ban was not starting on mail allowing that machine to be used for brute force password guessing attacks.  This has been fixed.