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Recent blog entries

Switzerland's scariest railway (video)

Although promoted as a funicular railway, the Gelmerbahn funicular has the appearance of a giant roller coaster and all of the fun too.

Building existing autotools C/C++ projects on Android

I recently came across a requirement to build a project involving C++ code on Android. I've done this before with small C projects, for example, patching the JNI code in Lumicall.

Google supplies a toolchain dubbed the Native Development Kit (NDK) for Android. Using the NDK typically involves using it's custom build system, usually duplicating all Makefile content into a file called Android.mk in each subdirectory.

Some further observations on init replacement

My blog about replacements for SysV init received a significant number of comments Monday, revealing a solid base of community support for systemd. One reader was even generous enough to contribute a pull request fixing the reSIProcate package systemd artifact

Linux init-systems

Several value-added init systems have emerged in recent times. Most notably, Upstart has become the default on Ubuntu while systemd is now default in Fedora.

Let's not forget the crusade to move beyond traditional init was given a big boost back in 2005 by Sun's introduction of SMF on Solaris 10 some years before the main Linux solutions gained prominence.

Practical VPNs with strongSwan, Shorewall, Linux firewalls and OpenWRT routers

There is intense interest in communications privacy at the moment thanks to the Snowden scandal. Open source software has offered credible solutions for privacy and encryption for many years. Sadly, making these solutions work together is not always plug-and-play.

Using debcheckout to build strongSwan 5.0 on Debian wheezy

Normally most people try to use packages from a stable Linux distribution because of their convenience and security support. Sometimes it's necessary to use a newer version, I recently had to do this with strongSwan and I'm sharing the procedure for other people to try.

Enabling Elliptic Curve Cryptography in OpenWRT and strongSwan VPNs

OpenWRT currently ships an OpenSSL package with Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) disabled. This is very inconvenient as ECC is now standard in other distributions like Debian and Ubuntu and it is necessary to solve certain problems such as making IPsec VPNs work reliably

Using ECC in OpenSSL and strongSwan on Fedora

Red Hat is currently not supplying Elliptic Curve Crytography (ECC) in binary packages due to concerns about patents. There are various opinions about this subject and other Linux distributions such as Debian and Ubuntu have included ECC.

Melbourne and Detroit emergency call centers simultaneously fail

A co-incidence that caught my eye this week was the failure of emergency call centers in Melbourne, Australia and Detroit, USA.

My Linux server IPv6 deployment approach

I previously discussed the ease of deploying IPv6 for Linux servers. Whether it is Debian, Fedora or another distribution the IPv6 stack should "just work" these days. However, for maintaining a production network with minimum risk of interruption, there are a few extra things to be aware of during IPv6 deployment.

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