Sync Google Calendar with Thunderbird

I wanted a mail client that I could use across any platform that was simple, clean and powerful because really, Gmail isn’t all that feature rich. Thunderbird offered the cross platform capability and provides great support for Gmail sync. However, I also wanted to have my calendar synced as well. I had tried accomplishing this previously with Zimbra Desktop, but it wasn’t so great. After some browsing through the Thunderbird add-ons database I found two extensions that could help me out: Lightning and Provider for Google Calendar. Find out how to do this yourself!

Is Windows 8 destined to fail?

It’s no secret that I’ve got a sweet spot for Linux, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think that Windows is a good product. Like anything they have had their missteps (Windows ME, Windows Vista), but they have had great successes as well (Windows XP, Windows 7). With Windows 8, Microsoft seems to be trying something radically different to entice consumers to invest in a greater Windows ecosystem that exists beyond the desktop, and in my opinion they are going about it in nearly every conceivable wrong direction. Continue reading to find out why!

Setting up a DNS server in Linux (Part 3)

Before reading this you may want to check out part 1 and part 2!

The final piece of the DNS puzzle is the reverse lookup zones. First we will configure the main reverse lookup zone for the domain located at /var/named/db.0.168.192. Check it out!

Setting up a DNS server in Linux (Part 2)

The previous post went into detail on how to setup the named.conf file, which is the main configuration file for DNS services on a Linux operating system. The named.conf file points to the zone files, which this tutorial will explain how to write. Zone files, such as the forward lookup zone and reverse lookup zone are used to define hostnames along with the IPs that match those hostnames (and vice versa). Click here to keep reading!

Setting up a DNS server in Linux (Part 1)

DNS is a fundamental service to a network and it is fairly easy to setup in most Linux distributions. I have done it under CentOS, but it will be very similar in Debian, SUSE or most other common server distributions.

First you must ensure the “Bind” package is installed. On CentOS you can open a terminal and input “yum install bind“, if it is not installed you can correct that. Once installed you will need to open up the named.conf file, which is the main configuration file for DNS. It contains all the zone data for your network and includes other options and features that Bind provides. Want to keep reading?

Ubuntu with a pinch of Cinnamon

So two posts ago (which I suppose was awhile ago since I don’t blog enough) I was whining and complaining about my experience with Gnome 3 and its choice of user interfaces; namely Gnome Shell and Unity. Since then however Linux Mint’s project leader Clem has begun development of a brand new Gnome 3 overlay. He is calling it Cinnamon and it has reached its first stable release in v1.2. The really interesting bit about Cinnamon is that it is doing its very best to create a Gnome 2 experience in Gnome 3, and from what I’ve seen it’s doing an admirable job. Keep reading!

Linux server project

One of the classes I am taking in my last semester is a project course. This 14 week course will involve me and a partner designing, testing and implementing an enterprise network.

The project we have chosen is, as we have named it, “Free and Open Enterprise Solutions” and the main goal of our project is to put together an enterprise business network out of nothing but free software. We’ve decided to use operating systems CentOS and Lubuntu for our servers and desktops and either PFSense or Smoothwall as our firewall OS. We also plan to use open source/freeware applications such as VMware Zimbra for our email/calendar server, OpenLDAP for our directory and common place user apps such as Firefox and LibreOffice.

Now, we’ve both been using Linux for a few years now and are no stranger to accomplishing everyday tasks with all this software and we are both comfortable managing server tasks with Windows. However, we haven’t attempted anything this level (we’ve run DNS and DHCP on SUSE, but not much more than that) and while it will be challenging, we are very excited to get the project rolling.

Now why am I talking about all of this? Well, I’ve noticed a lack of really beginner documentation for Linux server management (hey, we all have to start somewhere) and I want to share my experiences over the next few months to maybe help out other new and adventurous admins. As I get these services working (OpenLDAP, Zimbra, VPN, File Shares, etc) I will write guides on how to get them up and running and how to manage them.

So here is to adventure and lets all hope my project doesn’t crash and burn in a glorious burst of flames!

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