Howto: Configuring a homelab offline Root CA

Self-signed SSL certificates are all well and good but they’re not meant to be for the real world. The trust issues they cause can be a headache on customer projects and anything that’s going in to production shouldn’t be using them. For that reason, I thought it’d be better to change my homelab so that it uses a slightly more realistic PKI setup. The first phase of that is creating an offline Root CA as it’s something that a good number of customers use too. Step 1: DNS From a DNS perspective, my homelab is split up so that anything physical and fundamental to the lab (e.g. storage / NAS, physical hosts, switches etc) lives in its own DNS domain (home.lab). Everything else from vCenter and AD downwards is in one or more other DNS domains and on separate VLANs […]

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Removing the whitespace from text files in Sublime

I like Sublime Text, it’s my favourite text editor. Handily available for OSX and Windows. What’s annoying though is when you get given or open a text file that has loads of whitespace at the end of the lines. Aside from messing with my compulsive sense of order, there are cases when extra whitespace can cause problems for some applications. Just in case, there’s a handy configuration option that can strip out trailing whitespace when a file is saved. Here’s how to set it up… Open Sublime’s preferences – in OSX this is done by “cmd + ,” Add the setting “trim_trailing_white_space_on_save” and set it to “true” Save the preferences file Bingo! Whitespace will be trimmed when files are saved in future. Just for clarity, the full setting in a fresh config file looks like this:

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Some other TimeMachine exclusions

In my other post on the topic I excluded my local Mail app files from my TimeMachine backups because they were tripping over McAfee AntiVirus. I thought that it might be sensible to add a few other exclusions to trim down the total amount backed up and reduce the impact of frequent TM backups on my laptop. As you can see, my total backup size is about 380Gb. Included in that are a fair few transient / temporary files that aren’t needed as well as some files that are backed up elsewhere anyway plus a handful of things that maybe I don’t need or want to back up. Caches Really, you want to keep them? I thought not. They include the browser caches for Safari and Firefox amongst other things. Click the “+” button. In the finder window that’s displayed, […]

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Infected email breaking OSX TimeMachine backups

Having been away from home a lot recently, it had been a while since my laptop had been backed up by TimeMachine. After a few attempts though it got a bit annoying as McAfee kept interrupting the process. The problem seemed to be that the backups contained infected emails: McAfee was blocking TM from writing infected emails to the backup drive. As it turns out, I recalled fixing this once before (although I never blogged about it). So how could it have come unpicked? Looking at my TM backup exclusions, the exclusion that I added was still in place: But my whole mail folder should be more than 8KB!… Then it clicked. I hadn’t done a TM backup since updating to OSX El Capitan. After clicking the “+” button to add a new rule, I navigated to my mail folder. […]

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