cron.weekly issue #143: gitify, nano, cfgdiff, Envoy, SQL & more

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Mattias Geniar, August 02, 2020

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Hi everyone! ๐Ÿ‘‹

Welcome to cron.weekly issue #143.

Back after a little break, feels good to write again! Had loads of bookmarks saved up from the past few weeks, heavily stripped to give you this summary.

All in all, it looks like many people are having some time off, enjoying summer, … and it’s a bit quiet on the foss/webdev/linux news. Making that up with more projects & guides this time, though.

As always, grab your โ˜•๏ธ and happy reading!

News & general ๐Ÿ—ž

Announcing the HashiCorp Linux Repository

Good news for anyone running Vault, Nomad or Consul: there are now official repositories you can use to download & install the software from. Sort of makes you wonder what took them so long. :-)

Linux & BSD to remove whitelist/backlist references

Two major commits in the last few weeks:

I love seeing progress being made here. Easy wins for a more inclusive ecosystem. ๐Ÿ’ช

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Fadi Chehadรฉ is now co-CEO of Ethos Capital

I wrote about the .org TLD sale a few times already, but here’s a funny little anecdote:

Former ICANN CEO is now a co-CEO of the private equity firm that tried to buy .org.

Small world, right?

Tools & Projects ๐Ÿ› 

nano 5.0

A new major release for the nano text editor. I’ll admit I don’t quite know the changes as I’m mostly just a vim user, but nano is my second choice on servers that don’t have vim installed. :-)


Clutch is a new infrastructure tool coming from Lyft, that allows you to manage your operations on AWS, Envoy or Kubernetes.


Klum allows you to manage your Kubernetes users in a more simple way.

Portmaster - Open-source privacy

With Portmaster, you get full control over your computer’s network connections. Choose to enforce DNS-over-TLS system-wide and block unwanted connections on a per-app basis. Available for Ubuntu, Windows. Mac OSX coming soon.

And the best part? It’s completely open-source! ๐Ÿ’ช Sponsored


Get your GitHub notifications straight in your menu bar, on Mac, Windows & Linux.


Several similar tools already exist, but this just makes it super simple: stop being distracted and overwrite your /etc/hosts to block out sites like Twitter, Reddit, … with a few simple Linux commands.


Ventoy is an open source tool to create bootable USB drive for ISO files. With ventoy, you don’t need to format the disk again and again, you just need to copy the iso file to the USB drive and boot it. You can copy many iso files at a time and ventoy will give you a boot menu to select them.


A new diff tool, specific for configuration files. It understands INI, JSON, YAML and XML for smarter diffs.

Guides & Tutorials ๐ŸŽ“

How we migrated Dropbox from Nginx to Envoy

A fun read on how Dropbox moved away from Nginx to Envoy, the challenges they saw along the way and what to look out for.

Monitoring demystified: A guide for logging, tracing, metrics

A nice summary post with lots of links to keep you busy for a while.

Some SQL Tricks of an Application DBA

I liked this one, lots of practical content about dealing with constraints/indexes, practical SQL query tips, partial indexes & plenty more. Deep technical stuff!

Measuring and examining TLS 1.3, IPv4, and IPv6 performance

A practical study on the effects of TLS 1.3 and the differences between IPv4 and IPv6 connections to the popular site.

Bash tricks: History, reusing arguments, files and directories, functions

Some very good basic tips if you’re just starting out with Linux or Bash!

Doing Stupid Stuff with GitHub Actions

This contained a fun number of things you can do on Github Actions, quite cleverly found. :-)

How to make simple Geolocation service

This is a clever and cheap way of getting your own Geo-IP API available on CloudFlare workers. A HA, redundant and fast API for under $5? Nice!

Nmap’s super-fast UDP scan mode ๐Ÿฆ

A great tip from Daniel:

Periodic reminder that Nmap 7.40 and newer have a super-fast UDP scan mode that gives similar results to masscan/unicornscan and other asynchronous scanners: nmap -sU --defeat-icmp-ratelimit

PHP 7.4 up to 37% faster on ARM CPUs ๐Ÿฆ

Good news for future ARM adoption!

Whoa. On top of @ARM’s ~30% better performance-per-dollar in @awscloud, it’s now additionally up to 37% faster on PHP-7.4 than it was on PHP-7.3 with more coming in PHP-8. Amazing. #PHP

An introduction to the Rust language

An extensive write-up, trying to explain the details of the Rust language in plain English.

Monitoring your own infrastructure using Grafana, InfluxDB, and CollectD

Step-by-step instructions on getting started with Grafana!

Measuring linux performance - how to avoid typical mistakes

A 4-part series that covers how to debug and look at the most fundamental resources in your Linux server: CPU, memory, network & disk I/O.

Interesting environment variables to supply to scripting language interpreters

An interesting security read, as many interpreted languages change behaviour depending on the environment variables that are set. Some, when mis-used, allow code execution!

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