email Exim exim4 filter outgoing Ubuntu

Saving away outgoing emails in Exim

In our office we use internet fax by who are simply excellent btw. Stay away from the other guys.

Incoming faxes are dropped into a common folder via a bit of procmail script in a common user’s home folder. This user has shared folder setup, see my other post on setting up shared folders in this way.

However, from time to time there is a need for staff to see a fax, which has been sent by another colleague. Usually one colleague had to forward the e-mail to the other so they could view it.

Today, I decided that was a small simple issue that could easily be resolved. We use Exim4 as our e-mail transport. Exim4 is excellent, but I find its documentation a little on the terse side. But I persevered and found two blog entries which helped me out immensely.

The first blog explains how to setup a filter file to truly blind copy all outgoing mail from a user to another user. However for Ubuntu users the file setup mentioned will not work. Ubuntu uses the flat-file configuration to make life simpler for user, and it does! So this blog  entry sorts it all out for us.

Now if you’d rather copy it to the shared folder, and your user’s have rights you can use the Exim save command documented here. I plopped it through as e-mail and let procmail take care to drop it into the correct box.

I hope you find this of great use to you and if you have other solutions, feel free to let me know by posting below.

APIC crash hang kernel logs network Ubuntu

Random crash of Backup server

I have been trying to nail down an issue with my backup server. I thought I had solved it with a boot option of noapic , because the server worked fine after this setup. It booted reliably up each time.

Until yesterday, when it did something that it had done before. That is the NIC seems to turn off all by itself and then the OS sort of hangs. Before this point the server had sent out its e-mails and even started a couple of backups. I’m not able to login at the console, so the only option I have is a power off and then a boot.

Checking through the logs reveals nothing. DMESG, syslog, messages reveals nothing. No panic, nothing. All I can see is that after sometime backuppc can no longer ping machines and then backuppc soon stops – perhaps because the server is now hung. Pinging the backup server does not work either, so the server really is locked up.

It is very annoying to say the least. The previous server was rock-solid in this regard. It was extremely slow, but at least it booted and stayed up. This maybe because it had a more modern BIOS than the current unit. Which makes me think I will now have to hunt down a updated BIOS.

This really is the first Ubuntu/Linux unreliability I have had in over four (4) years of using Linux.

If anyone has some place to begin, please don’t hesitate to comment. I am running Ubuntu 10.04 LTS server edition. Its only purpose is to run Backuppc and this server is woken by WOL each night to start the backup and then shutsdown early morning when all backups are done.

edit: Just to let you know that this appeared to be a hardware issue and I have switched everything over to the original backup machine. Which is much slower but at least works. I now need to wonder what the problem is.

boot clonezilla GRUB Linux MBR Ubuntu

Conezilla and GRUB a match

The backup server in the office is obviously a quite critical machine. Its the only thing preventing user’s from permanently losing their data. The machine was an old machine that I had bought from a charity. I replaced the powesupply and the internal fans and upgrade the NIC and installed a RAID.

Well I had been checking the drive health by SMART using the LINUX package smartctl. I don’t fully understand the statistics in this package but it did look like the drive was wearing and due for a replacement. So I’d heard of Clonezilla and thought this was the perfect solution.

I had a 160GB drive I bought over a year ago for just this purpose. So I installed it and turned off the RAID while I figured things out.

I fired up clonezilla and went through the steps. I ran into a couple of hitches along the way.
Clonezilla failed to copy one of the partitions because it wasn’t clean. I had to fsck that partition and start over.

The second was that I asked Clonezilla to copy over the GRUB in the MBR – but this also failed as I was still on GRUB 1.x and Clonezilla wanted to put in GRUB 2.0. So on the reboot the machine did not boot. It dumped me into a min-GRUB command line. This didn’t have all the commands of the OS version. So I was a bit stuck.

Now the frustrating bit. Somehow as I was rejigging the cables and devices the machine failed to POST, which was sad indeed. I have a spare but this sad as this machine really had been a workhorse for four years now.

I now have to use another unused machine (lucky me) to take over the backup duties. I did try the Ubuntu repair-system process but this failed to install GRUB for some reason. Which does worry me a lot. Obviously another way would be to re-install Ubuntu fresh to the disk and clone over the partitions. That would be a last resort.

Any advice would be most welcome.