Archive for June, 2008

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Posted by: peter

Bruce Schneier brings us his perspective on a future filled with kill switches; from OnStar-equipped automobiles and city buses that can be remotely disabled by police to Microsoft’s patent-pending ideas regarding so-called Digital Manners Policies. In Schneier’s view, these capabilities aren’t exactly high points of our potential future. From the article:

Once we go down this path β€” giving one device authority over other devices β€” the security problems start piling up. Who has the authority to limit functionality of my devices, and how do they get that authority? What prevents them from abusing that power? Do I get the ability to override their limitations? In what circumstances, and how? Can they override my override?
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Posted by: peter

I just bought a new server today from the very excellent folks at Server Beach who I have been using for 4 or 5 years now for all my hosting needs (Anyone who signs up with them after reading this please use referrer code 5C2APE5ZPX). Server Beach offers servers of all sizes running any of a fairly large range of Linux versions (or Windows) for a monthly fee, however unfortunately none of the versions of Linux offered are SUSE. Now, a lesser geek would pick one of the available Linux versions, grumble about it a bit, then get on with using the server, however a fully certified ubergeek like myself will have nothing of that, and immediately starts exploring reinstallation options.. Now, the logistics at first glance appear to be a little daunting: * Server is in USA * Server has no CD ROM Drive * No remote access to Server BIOS, Keyboard or Video * Geek is 8000km away in Istanbul, Turkey

Now, the answer of course is the McGyver method of: * Provision the Server with whatever Linux is available (CentOS for example) * Login to the server with SSH * Download an openSUSE installation image to the server’s hard disk * Set the server to boot directly into the openSUSE installation image configured with SSH access * Cross Fingers * Reboot the server * Wait impatiently for the server to (hopefully) reappear on the internet * SSH to the server and kicking off the openSUSE installation

Now, the first and last time I did this proceedure was just over 2 years ago, and it took me 2 goes to get it right, after reading, rereading, and modifying some obscure instructions on the net pointed out to me by some friends working at SUSE. (Hi Darix.. Hi Henne..) Now, having not carried out the proceedure for 2 years, given that it is a little complex, I first checked though my bookmarks in vain, then did a google search to try and find the original instructions. Unfortunately, the original instructions I followed no longer seem to exist, but luckily someone else had bothered to write up the exact proceedure I was looking for. Upon closed inspection it turned out that it was me who wrote the document, and it is hosted on the server that I am planning to obsolete after I finish installation of the new server… Are other people this absent minded as well, or is it only me?

Anyway, without further ado, here is HOWTO Install SUSE Linux Remotely without Physical Access

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