cron.weekly issue #96: LogDevice, qmail, redis, Linus, HAProxy, libraries, concert, restic & more

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Mattias Geniar, September 03, 2017

Follow me on Twitter as @mattiasgeniar

Welcome to cron.weekly issue #96 for Sunday, September 3rd, 2017.

There’s some old-skool Linux news in this one with qmail & some Apple history, even more open source venture rounds & some practical guides for monitoring & securing containers. Should keep you occupied for at least a morning coffee.

Take care!


The qmail security guarantee

In 1997 a $500 bounty was offered to whoever found a security hole in qmail. To this day, that still goes unpaid. This post gives a good reminder of the security practices put in place by qmail too, which is a fascination read in and of itself.

Breaking up the Container Monolith

This post looks at what’s underneath the a ‘container’, looking at individual components that make up the wider concept of a container. Covers image formats, registry interactions, execution, storage, … as high level topics.

The Sizzle

Struggling to keep up with the tsunami of tech news? Need to improve your signal to noise ratio? One email a day, five must read tech news stories, sent in time for your commute home. Stay in the loop without burning all your free time. Read the first two weeks for free, no credit card required. (Sponsored)

Linux creator turned down Apple job offer from Steve Jobs

This was some interesting trivia; Linus Torvalds turned down a job from Apple, as it would have required he stopped working on his own Linux kernel.

In the Beginning was the Command Line

This is a big article (some call it a book) about the history of computers (Apple vs. Microsoft) and the rise of GUI’s vs. command line interfaces, in all its forms.

How I replicated an $86 million project in 57 lines of code

The power of open source: this is the story of how one person managed to rebuild a $86.000.000 (!) project with open source tools. That ‘57 lines of code’ is of course an exaggeration, as the open source tools it’s built on have thousands more – but the cost savings are real.

Database Provider Redis Labs Raises $44 Million

The company behind popular key/value store Redis raises quite a bit of money, securing the long(er) term support of Redis.

HAProxy adds experimental HTTP/2 support

It’s considered highly experimental, but the popular load balancer adds support for the HTTP/2 protocol in its latest update.

Restic cryptography analysis

In this post, the author looks at the crypto used in the Restic back-up tool. Short version: looks like it’s fairly solid!

Multiple vulnerabilities in RubyGems

The RubyGems project has disclosed several critical vulnerabilities, you’ll want to make sure you’ve updated to the latest versions to ensure system & user safety. open source discovery service

Libraries helps you find new open source libraries, modules and frameworks and keep track of ones you depend upon. It includes a search engine to search by license, keyword, language, …

Tools & Projects

Datadog: all your infrastructure, in one place

Track & alert on the health and performance of every server, container, and app in any environment, with Datadog. Sign up for a free 14-day trial(Sponsored)

Void Linux

A rolling release distro, comparable to Arch Linux, which uses runit as the service manager (as opposed to systemd/sysvinit).

Kubernetes cri-o

An Open Container Initiative (OCI) based implementation of Kubernetes Container Runtime Interface.


Concert is a console based certificate generation tool for Let’s Encrypt is a free (as in free beer), automated, and open certificate authority.

JuNext Linux

JuNest (Jailed User NEST) is a lightweight Arch Linux based distribution that allows to have an isolated GNU/Linux environment inside any generic host GNU/Linux OS and without the need to have root privileges for installing packages.


This is a plugin to enable Kubernetes as an OpenFaaS backend. The existing CLI and UI are fully compatible. It also opens up the possibility for other plugins to be built for orchestation frameworks such as Nomad, Mesos/Marathon or even a cloud-managed back-end such as or Azure ACI.


FeedHQ is a simple, lightweight web-based feed reader written in Python.


‘eg’ will give you useful examples right at the command line. Think of it as a companion tool for man.


innotop is a ‘top’ clone for MySQL with many features and flexibility, showing expensive queries, replication lag, monitoring multiple hosts, …


An interactive kubernetes client featuring auto-complete.


This is Facebook’s solution for logging at their immense scale (read: it’s probably overkill for us mere mortals). This post contains a lot of interesting details about the implementation and challenges involved of running it at such a scale.

Guides & Tutorials

Jenkins vs. GoCD

GoCD or Jenkins? In this blog, we compare GoCD with Jenkins on philosophy, getting started, continuous delivery, and plugins. Understand more about how these CI/CD tools fit your needs. (Sponsored)

Kubernetes on Ubuntu

This post covers installation of Kubernetes 1.7 on an Ubuntu 16.04 (LTS), giving you practical CLI commands to get you started.

Monitoring Linux performance with Grafana

This is a basic install that incorporates collectd, InfluxDB, and Grafana on the same host, on CentOS.

Getting started with Puppeteer and Chrome Headless for Web Scraping

This is a fun guide on how to build your own web-scraping but (you know, for fun & profit) using the new ‘Puppeteer’ tool to run the Chrome Browser headless.

Hardening Docker Hosts and Containers

Lots of explanations in this post about how to secure both host and container, giving you details on where the vulnerabilities might lie. Contains lots of practical commands too to implement the suggestions.

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