cron.weekly issue #1

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Mattias Geniar, November 07, 2015

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This is the first issue of the cron.weekly newsletter! I’ll be finetuning the content, layout and markup of the newsletter in the upcoming weeks. Don’t be alarmed if the layout changes a few times – that’s just me finetuning some things late at night. Hope you enjoy the newsletter!

Since you’re one of the early adopters of this vaguely named newsletter, I’d appreciate any feedback you have. Good content / bad content? Too much / too little? Is it what you expected?

Don’t unsubscribe yet if you don’t like it, this newsletter is still evolving and growing. Give it a chance, maybe it’ll grow on you.

Twelve Networking Truths

The IETF published a new draft that’s not really a draft. The “The Twelve Networking Truths” is a good reminder of some fundamentals of network design (and it applies to all other crafts – operations or development – too).


Nosh is a new Linux & BSD init system that’s compatible with systemd. It’s a very clean toolkit for managing daemons.

Docker 1.9

Docker has announced multi-host networking in the 1.9 release. You can now create virtual networks in Docker that span multiple hosts. The new release also includes features for better persistent storage, which has (up until now) always been a hard problem to solve correctly.

Fedora 23

Fedora 23 got released this week! Eventually Red Hat and CentOS will be based on these newer Fedora releases. If you want to stay ahead of the curve, give the new Fedora a spin.

An introduction to testing infrastructure

A great presentation given at VelocityConf 2015 with practical pointers on how to test your infrastructure in an automated way. Includes examples on using nmap to check for open ports and reporting failures.

Hitch – TLS proxy

From the creators of Varnish comes Hitch, a scalable TLS proxy. Unlike Nginx or HAProxy, Hitch only does TLS – nothing more. The documentation needs some work, but it looks easy enough to run and play around with.

Reducing system jitter: CPU isolation and thread affinity

A detailed blogpost that dives into debugging CPU performance issues. CPU power states, locking threads to individual CPU’s and then analysing its performance gains.

SHML: Shell Markup Language

HTML has CSS, Unix-like shells have ANSI/VT100 Control Sequences. SHML makes is easy to apply style to your shell scripts without trying to remember that yellow is \033[33m instead it’s $(color yellow).

SSH Implementation Comparison

This is a seriously comprehensive comparison of different SSH servers. From ciphers to key exchanges to compression formats. Our default OpenSSH doesn’t score too bad, but there are a lot of alternatives available.

Structural and semantic deficiencies in the systemd architecture

A newsletter without some systemd news cannot exist. Whether you’re pro or con systemd, this is an analysis that’s worth a read. A very structured piece of writing but you’ll have to take your time for this one – it’s incredibly detailed and long.

Identifying Phishing Attack Vectors Using dnstwist and Splunk

This blogpost covers using a new tool, DNStwist, to generate a list of phishing domains and does some interesting analysis on the results.


Moob is a new open source tool released by the kind of folks at Spotify. Moob stands for “Manage Out Of Band” and can be used to manage the DRAC remote management interfaces from physical servers. If you’ve got Dell devices in your fleet, this tool may be of use to you.

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