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Updating DELL Server firmware on Redhat based Linux Servers

It has become quite simple to upgrade the Servers firmwares if you’re running Linux on them.

Find the repos from Linux portal of Dell.
# set up repos
wget -q -O – https://linux.dell.com/repo/community/bootstrap.cgi | bash
wget -q -O – https://linux.dell.com/repo/firmware/bootstrap.cgi | bash

Install the firmware tools

yum -y install firmware-addon-dell

And here you go. Update BIOS updates/firmwares easily.

# install BIOS update
yum -y install $(bootstrap_firmware)
update_firmware

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[cPanel-News] Tech Advisory: BIND: Red Hat and CentOS

Here is an update on BIND for cPanel server admin’s

Recent versions of Bind distributed by RedHat and?CentOS enable strict zone checking at startup time. This setting can potentially cause problems for Bind users with a large number of zone files or syntax errors in individual zone files. In these circumstances, users may experience an inability to restart Bind after a shutdown.?cPanel has produced and distributed an autofixer for this condition. This repair will run automatically on all systems with updates enabled. However, cPanel checks only occur at specific times and depending upon update schedules, users experiencing issues restarting Bind may benefit from manually executing the code to disable strict zone checking. You may safely execute the autofixer at your discretion by running the following command:

/scripts/autorepairbind_disable_checkzone

Source: cPanel Blog

Troubleshooting RPM issues

While working on Redhat based operating systems, its common to face few issues related to RPM. Rpm database gets corrupted. It might segfault, it might cause lots of issues while installing or updating packages.

First step to resolve RPM related issues is to rebuild the rpm database. This can be done by removing the __db files from /var/lib/rpm folder and then running the following command in console as root.

#rpm --rebuilddb

At times, this might not work and you might require some more verbose information. You can get it by adding -vv switch to above command as follows:

#rpm -vv --rebuilddb

Here is an example, I was not able to understand which package wass giving the following error.

#rpm --rebuilddb
error: rpmdbNextIterator: skipping h#909189228 blob size(11): BAD, 8 + 16 * il(1882857574) + dl(1769480289)

To identify the package, I had to run the same command in verbose mode to understand which package was resulting this error.

Following is the extract from the output which displayed the corrupted package.

adding “pure-ftpd” to Name index.
D: adding 46 entries to Basenames index.
D: adding “System Environment/Daemons” to Group index.
D: adding 17 entries to Requirename index.
D: adding 4 entries to Providename index.
D: adding 7 entries to Conflictname index.
D: adding 7 entries to Dirnames index.
D: adding 17 entries to Requireversion index.
D: adding 4 entries to Provideversion index.
D: adding 1 entries to Installtid index.
D: adding 1 entries to Sigmd5 index.
D: adding “3f19ec3bbf01667e0e7458df2c6d68f2765f91ba” to Sha1header index.
D: adding 46 entries to Filemd5s index.
error: rpmdbNextIterator: skipping h#909189228 blob size(11): BAD, 8 + 16 * il(1882857574) + dl(1769480289)
Killed

After looking at this, I thought of removing the above package to get it reinstalled. I did a query on the same package via rpm command

#rpm -qa  pure-ftpd

And found that the package has been installed humpty number of times. Again I ended up with an another issue here because I was unable to remove this package easily like any other rpm package.

To remove all the occurrences of the package from the RPM database, you can use the --allmatches switch as follows.

#rpm -e --allmatches --nodeps pure-ftpd

This command did work and successfully removed the package. Once this was taken care, packages started working fine. I was able to install other packages successfully.

Running out of SWAP? Add swapfile

If you’re running out of RAM, swap and if there is no more room to create a new swap partition, you’re still left with one more option. Create a swapfile. Here are the steps to follow.

  1. Determine the size of the new swap file and multiple by 1024 to determine the block size. For example, the block size of a 64 MB swap file is 65536.
  2. At a shell prompt as root, type the following command with count being equal to the desired block size:
    dd if=/dev/zero of=/swapfile bs=1024 count=65536
  3. Setup the swap file with the command:
    mkswap /swapfile
  4. To enable the swap file immediately but not automatically at boot time:
    swapon /swapfile
  5. To enable it at boot time, edit /etc/fstab to include:

    /swapfile swap swap defaults 0 0

    The next time the system boots, it will enable the new swap file.

  6. After adding the new swap file and enabling it, make sure it is enabled by viewing the output of the command cat /proc/swaps or free.

Source : Redhat

OpenSSH compromised on RHEL and Fedora?

Couple of weeks back few of Fedora servers have been compromised or there was a security breach. It has been confirmed by Fedora project leader via mailing list post. This security breach has compromised OpenSSH packages on Fedora distributions. The issue is being investigated by Fedora team.

Today here is an another update from Security Tracker:

OpenSSH for Red Hat Enterprise Linux Packages May Have Been Compromised

RedHat confirms that this compromise does not affect the content distributed via Red Hat Network.

Solution: Red Hat has issued a fix.

Red Hat has published a list of the tampered packages and how to detect them a
t:

https://www.redhat.com/security/data/openssh-blacklist.html

The Red Hat advisory is available at:

https://rhn.redhat.com/errata/RHSA-2008-0855.html