Linux Labors

I have been using Linux since September 1998. I have used Red Hat 5.1, 6.1, 6.2, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, and 8.0. My current configuration is a generic 486-DX2/100 as an Internet gateway and firewall, a Gateway Pentium II MMX 200 as a Intranet web server, IMAP, time, and Samba file server, and a Gateway G6-200 Pentium Pro as a network file mirror/backup server. Following are some observations from my notes.

April 2002 - Configure DCC for Maildrop

Spam is getting worse all the time. I have used the Maildrop Spam Filter since August 2001. Recently, I came across DCC at Freshmeat. A DCC client generates a fuzzy checksum on a mail message and sends that checksum to a DCC server; the server returns counts associated with that checksum. If enough others have sent in messages with that checksum, the DCC client can reject it based on a specified threshold.

DCC documentation provides instructions to configure the DCC client with Sendmail and Procmail, but not with Maildrop, which I use as part of Courier. The maildrop xfilter option could be used to call the dcc client dccproc, but when the checksum threshold count is exceeded, dccproc returns a non-zero exit code, which will cause maildrop to exit. I wrote a bash script that adds a header line that maildrop can detect that indicates a spam threshold result and then returns with a zero exit code to keep maildrop happy.

Configure DCC for Maildrop - my bash script and some statistics on spam detection

April 2001 - Adding a big hard disk

I added a 30 GB Maxtor to my file server, replacing an old Quantum 3.8 GB I wasn't using. It was much easier than I expected. I went through a lot of steps that weren't needed and made one reference error that wasted several hours. The file server is running a recently-installed Red Hat Linux 7.1.

Add big hard disk - next time - how I would do it next time.

April 2000 - Installing Linux on a Maxtor drive with MaxBlast

I recycled my Gateway Pentium II/MMX 200 mHz machine once the three-year warranty was up. I removed Windows 98 and installed Linux and now use the machine as a Samba file server, intranet web server, time server, IMAP server, and SMTP server. It allowed me to remove these functions from my 486 Internet gateway.

I had a 10 gigabyte Maxtor drive on the Pentium machine and since the BIOS only supported up to 8 GB, I had used Maxtor's MaxBlast boot software to fool the BIOS and Windows 98 into recognizing the 10 GB. Maxtor claimed on their web site that MaxBlast was not compatible with Linux, but through some suggestions on Deja, I got it to work.

I installed MaxBlast and then when I configured LILO, I did not select the MBR (master boot record) location, since that is where MaxBlast resides. Instead, I directed LILO to put its boot sector in the Linux partition.

Booting from the hard disk, Maxblast boots first and then LILO boots. I follow the MaxBlast special booting sequence when I need to boot from floppy and all works fine.

I had to select the Linux partition choice for the LILO location option again when I upgraded to Red Hat 7.1, as the boot location option had returned to default.

ref. Almesberger, Werner, LILO Generic boot loader for Linux, Version 21, User's Guide, p. 5-7,

Last modified on 2003 March 09

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