New Box

Posted on Mon 18 February 2008 in geek

I have a new hosted Xen box in Germany now. I decided that it was worth the rather small hosting fee to have at least one box I could configure that was unlikely to have it's incomming and outgoing ports filtered, limited or otherwise manipulated by consumer ISPs. I didn't help my setup though modifying the root password while tired and enjoying a rather fine wine with the household last night. I was sure I'd set it to a variant of one of my other passphrase based passwords but after a further 20 minutes of fruitless guessing I admitted defeat and had to start again. It is now set to a more random password but this is stored in several encrypted password safes. I have also got some ssh-key based logins set-up, I trust the maths more than my memory (or rather the memory of my long ssh key passphrase that I use every day to one I haven't used that much yet).

As it lives on the big bad 'net and is totally exposed to the outside world I need to spend a few days locking it down well. I'll need to be especially careful crafting the iptables firewall rules so I don't accidentally knock out my ssh access to the box on a firewall restart. I'm considering limiting the addresses that can ssh to it as an additional precaution.

The principle goal of the exercise is to migrate all my mail to the new box. This way I should solve the problem of Virgin Media rate limiting my outgoing/forwarded aliased email. I'll also be able to upgrade to a newer email MUA without knocking out the current service. This brings me to the choice of MUA. Do I go with the next gen exim (exim4) or Postfix (as used on my Dad's Ubuntu box)? Any suggestions from the geeks?