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July 2024
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Today’s key learning point…

I use fedora: I like it, there are a great many cool things you can do for very little effort.

OK, don’t know what you’re talking about…

Linux – there are several key flavours of Unix out there, and as a preference, I like the ones based on the Fedora definition.  I get some powerful tools, such as disk encryption and the main webservers all packaged up and held ready for me to install if I want them.

Most interestingly, it has an Active Directory like server for IAS (identification and authentication services) called FreeIPA.  This works out of the box but it’s obvious that the producers of the toolset are not focused on a home set up like mine!

What do you mean?

In other areas of life, you buying a white loaf bread does not make it impossible for you to buy some rye or brown bread.

FreeIPA assumes it is sitting on a dedicated, probably virtual, server.  Which is great if you can do that, but I am definitely running a single, non-virtualised server and it is running many web servers and the like to provide some of the tools I use to manage various aspects of my life.

That has caused a bit of disruption to my web presence over the past 24 hours and I still don’t have FreeIPA up and running!  Joy.

How so?

FreeIPA wants to install its own tomcat server.  50% of my services are supplied via tomcat – that’s hidden to my users through use of a proxy and a firewall.

I have a couple of other web servers too making it easy for me to deploy the right tool in the right location.

While FreeIPA cannot be configured to run else where, my servers can and this is the stage I am now at: everything has stepped asside ready for FreeIPA to do its thing.

Not sure I get the why and wherefore…

I am not a huge fan of Windows but Active Directory is pretty wow.  It provides a network with a means of authenticating all users and machines access a domain (a closed network).

It’s had few competitors in the PC world and indeed for Unix.  This is where Fedora comes in: think of Fedora and being the equivalent of a Windows Server.  Other Unixes are more like Windows PCs with some server capabilities and often “home cooked”.

The most famous versions of Fedora are RedHat Enterprise Linux (recently bought by IBM), Oracle Enterprise Linux and of course Amazons Linux available on their cloud servers.  The opensource version is called Centos.

RedHat kicked off development of IPA and released it through Centos.

Which is where my server comes in.  I have moved all my public services (30 minute job) but cannot get FreeIPA to install and run effectively.  Back to the drawing board!

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