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A childhood’s dream

Six months since my latest blog post is definitely a lot and reminds me how difficult this year has been for me in many ways. Back in June 2015 I received a job proposal as a Systems and Network Engineer from a company located in Padova, a city in the north-east part of Italy which is around 150km (around 93 miles) away from my home-town. The offer looked very interesting and I went for it. The idea I originally had was to relocate there but the extremely high costs of rents (the city is well…

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Three years and counting

It’s been a while since my last “what’s been happening behind the scenes” e-mail so I’m here to report on what has been happening within the GNOME Infrastructure, its future plans and my personal sensations about a challenge that started around three (3) years ago when Sriram Ramkrishna and Jeff Schroeder proposed my name as a possible candidate for coordinating the team that runs the systems behind the GNOME Project. All this followed by the official hiring achieved by Karen Sandler back in February 2013. The GNOME Infrastructure has finally reached stability both in terms of reliability and uptime,…

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The GNOME Infrastructure Apprentice Program

Many times it happened seeing someone joining the #sysadmin IRC channel requesting participation to the team after having spent around 5 minutes trying to explain what the skills and the knowledge were and why this person felt it was the right figure for the position. And it was always very disappointing for me having to reject all these requests as we just didn’t have the infrastructure in place to let new people join the rest of the team with limited privileges. With the introduction of FreeIPA, more fine-grained ACLs (and hiera-eyaml-gpg for securing tokens, secrets,…

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Kerberos over HTTP: getting a TGT on a firewalled network

One of the benefits I originally wanted to bring with the FreeIPA move to GNOME contributors was the introduction of an additional authentication system to connect to to the services hosted on the GNOME Infrastructure. The authentication system that comes with the FreeIPA bundle that I had in mind was Kerberos. Users willing to use Kerberos as their preferred authentication system would just be required to get a TGT (Ticket-Granting Ticket) from the KDC (Key Distribution Center) through the kinit command. Once done authenticating to the services currently supporting Kerberos will be as easy as…

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The GNOME Infrastructure’s FreeIPA move behind the scenes

A few days ago I wrote about the GNOME Infrastructure moving to FreeIPA, the post was mainly an announcement to the relevant involved parties with many informative details for contributors to properly migrate their account details off from the old authentication system to the new one. Today’s post is a follow-up to that announcement but it’s going to take into account the reasons about our choice to migrate to FreeIPA, what we found interesting and compelling about the software and why we think more projects (them being either smaller or bigger) should migrate to it.…

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The GNOME Infrastructure is now powered by FreeIPA!

As preannounced here the GNOME Infrastructure switched to a new Account Management System which is reachable at https://account.gnome.org. All the details will follow. Introduction It’s been a while since someone actually touched the underlying authentication infrastructure that powers the GNOME machines. The very first setup was originally configured by Jonathan Blandford (jrb) who configured an OpenLDAP istance with several customized schemas. (pServer fields in the old CVS days, pubAuthorizedKeys and GNOME modules related fields in recent times) While OpenLDAP-server was living on the GNOME machine called clipboard (aka ldap.gnome.org) the clients were configured to synchronize…

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Back from GUADEC 2014

Coming back from GUADEC has never been easy, so much fun, so much great people to speak with and amazing talks to watch but this year has definitely been harder as I totally felt in love with the city that was hosting the event. Honestly speaking I’ve been amazed by how Strasbourg looks like: alsace houses and buildings are just delightful, the cathedral is stunning and people have been so welcoming during my whole stay. (cooks at the Canteen even prepared a few italian dishes and welcomed us in italian every time we were heading…

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Adding reCAPTCHA support to Mailman

The GNOME and many other infrastructures have been recently attacked by an huge amount of subscription-based spam against their Mailman istances. What the attackers were doing was simply launching a GET call against a specific REST API URL passing all the parameters it needed for a subscription request (and confirmation) to be sent out. Understanding it becomes very easy when you look at the following example taken from our apache.log:

As you can the see attackers were sending all the relevant details needed for the subscription to go forward (and specifically the full name,…

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Fedy’s installation of Brackets bricks your Fedora installation

I wanted to give Fedy a try yesterday, specifically to install the Brackets code editor designed for web developers. I’m pretty lazy when it comes to install external packages (from the Brackets.io’s homepage it looked like only a DEB file was available) and after asking a few friends who made heavy use of Fedy in the past about its stability and credibility I went ahead and followed the provided instructions to set it up. The interface was pretty straightforward and installing Brackets was as easy and clicking on the relevant button. Before starting the installation I gave a…

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Fedora 20 on a Samsung Chronos Series 7

It’s been a while now since the very first time I posed my hands on this shiny new Samsung Chronos Series 7 laptop and oh dear… how much pain did my metallic-grey fellow take me in order to figure out how properly have every single piece of the hardware working as expected? What I did right after unboxing it was dropping Windows 8 with a copy of Fedora 20 (yeah, stupid me, I could have booted Windows 8 at least once to check for UEFI / firmware updates) and setting everything up as usual. Right…

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