June 22, 2012

Dedicated Servers Running Virtualmin and Email SPAM

I rent two dedicated servers that run Virtualmin control panel and have to admit that though I'm very good with dealing with websites and the day to day running of a server, when it comes to fixing technical problems I STRUGGLE!

One of my dedicated servers has been having problems and by luck I think I finally solved the problem (or one of them anyway).

I have about 100 domains, about 80 on one server and 20 on the other. I used Virtualmin as the control panel which overall I'm quite satisfied with. When you setup an new virtual server using Virtualmin it automatically sets up a catchall email address, which will catch all email to @yourdoamin.tld minus any specific email addresses you setup later.

So I had 80 domains on a server with about 75 not being used by me to collect email, this meant there was about 75 domains collecting SPAM and webmaster@, postmaster@, abuse@ type emails. All these emails where building up over the last year resulting in many GBs of wasted disk space! What's much worse than the wasted disk space is each time a new email arrived it would have to be added to some quite large files which I understand results in high memory usage which is a bad thing when it comes to server management.

One domain in particular had 1/4 of a million SPAM emails! in a file over 1GB in size!

So if like me you have domains that you don't want email collected (so you don't need an email server), disable the email server.

In Virtualmin it's quite easy, go to the Edit Virtual Server page and under enable Features untick the Mail for domain enabled? box. If you have SPAM and Virus filtering enabled also untick them since you can't have those enabled when mail for domain is disabled. This will disable email collection.

If you already have a problem with massive email files under Virtualmin before you disable the email server you should delete the email since disabling the email server doesn't delete the currently collected email.

Virtualmin comes with Postfix Mail Server which can be used to delete email from the server. Unfortunately it's not completely straight forward to delete email from the server if you have 10s of thousands of emails (takes ages to load a page), so best way using Virtualmin (there's probably an even easier command line way ) is to delete all email from a server, to do this you have to make a settings change first.

Click the System Information link on the left menu.

Status link on the right, followed by the Manage Mail Server link/button under Postfix Mail Server

Click User Mailboxes and on the next page (which could take ages to load if you have a lot of mail) the Module Config link at the top of the page.

Under those settings tick the Show button to delete entire mailbox? setting, save and go back to the User Mailboxes page.

Under this page is a list of all the mailboxes on the server, if your servers been running a while there could be some very large files (the size of each file is listed). Open them one at a time (ideally in a new window so you don't have to reload the User Mailbox page) and there will be a Delete All button, click it and all the email from that server will be deleted (one down, 74 to go ).

Do this for all the large mail files you never wanted to collect email with and then disable them as described earlier. this could make a big difference to server performance.

January 23, 2006

Intelligent Design or Intelligent Deceivers you Decide

A follow up to my last post, further hunting for worthy news stories led me to http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v438/n7067/full/438422c.html page on Nature. This quote-

This hypothesis proposes that the ID movement is motivated by an 'intelligent deceiver'. Individuals who understand how to debate alternative scientific hypotheses would never intentionally promote religious dogma as science. So an intelligent deceiver must be at work, guiding proponents of ID to sow confusion over valid scientific debate.

Kind of sums up how I feel about some of those who debate creationism/intelligent design. All because someone knows how to argue their case (and they are good at arguing) does not make their case more valid. They tend to cherry pick the facts that help them ignoring the rest.

It reminds me of a recent docudrama I was watching on TV about animal rights, the scene was set in a radio station where the presenter was interviewing a scientist who experimented on animals and an animal rights activist. The scientist was calm, made a few good points, but the animal rights activist shouted her argument through the interview preventing the scientist from speaking further, she took control of the debate and won argument. As an educated person I wasn't convinced by this person, but I could see a lot of the general public would be swayed by this approach (she won).

Creationism should be taught n schools according to poll

Was looking through Google news for something interesting to read and came across a 'news' (I don't really see this as news) report titled Creationism in US schools from the Evangelical Times (UK). The report (which is short to say the least) is http://www.evangelical-times.org/ETNews/Oct05/Oct05n15.htm.

I've read statistics that 50% of Americans believe in God which isn't hard to believe is true, plenty of people in the US are deluded and in need of education. But I find it hard to believe in 2006 (2005 when the poll was published apparently)-

Nearly two-thirds of Americans in a recent poll say creationism should be taught alongside evolution in public [state] schools. About 38% were in favour of replacing evolution with creationism altogether.

So 2/3rds apparently believe in creationism, I feel as a species we muse be de-evolving to believe in such religous nonsense!

What should be required reading is books by scientific writers such as Richard Dawkins, especially his book The Blind Watchmaker which I read at University (required reading for a course) and helps dispell the claims made by the intelligent design believers.

April 03, 2002

A Lesson Re-Learned

I must have been away from USENET for too long because I forgot one of the cardinal rules: don't debate with crackpots. There's not only no way to "win", but you're liable to look just as dumb as the person you're arguing with.

More Creationist Hijinx

Apparently some creationists would rather be descended from a bullfrog http://members.aol.com/dwise1/cre_ev/bullfrog.html than a primate. Pretty hilarious stuff, and it shows the downright dishonest tactics that many (most?) creationists use to promote their cause.