Recently I have started to take more time to learn Ansible, building role-based projects similar to what I’ve always done with Puppet, as opposed to simple monolithic playbooks. I still believe Puppet is superior to Ansible when a host has a long list of items to be managed, whereas Ansible excels for more narrowly-scoped tasks… Read More

I use Foreman for provisioning systems in both my lab and at work. For the most part I’ve had success over the years kickstarting CentOS/Enterprise Linux systems from Foreman using both PXE booting and the lightweight iPXE ISO. These include various generations of HP servers, custom-built desktops, and the following virtual machine types: Virtual Box,… Read More

Greetings! It has been a while since I’ve posted anything in my systems administration blog. In this post I will describe my process for building a newer version of the Mongo C driver for Enterprise Linux/CentOS 7. These steps were also performed on an Enterprise Linux 6 system, but this post will focus on EL7… Read More

In general, for monitoring standard MySQL replication, it is common practice to check the Seconds_Behind_Master variable. There are cases, however, where the Seconds_Behind_Master can have a low number, but replication is in fact broken. For checking this more accurately, Percona has written a program called pt-heartbeat, which continuously inserts timestamped data into a single row… Read More

One of the ways in which you can have multi-master replication with high-availability in MySQL is to set up a Galera cluster. As an interesting project in order to learn more about Galera, I decided to see if it would be possible to build out a cluster using automation with Puppet and the MySQL Forge… Read More

Suppose you would like to monitor your Windows systems alongside your Linux systems in Nagios, but want to avoid configuring every single one manually. Also, you want these systems to be removed from Nagios automatically when you decommission them. Puppet, NSClient++, and Chocolatey provide an excellent means for accomplishing this. In this post I will… Read More

Chocolatey is an apt-like package manager for Windows ( that greatly simplifies the installation of software, especially with Puppet (versus having to call MSI packages with obscure switches that may or may not work). Many of my future tutorials that involve managing Windows with Puppet will require that Chocolatey be configured. Here I will explain… Read More

Recently I decided that I wanted to setup an OpenVPN server so that I could access my lab environment at home over an encrypted connection. In order to automate the configuration of this, I decided to use the luxflux/openvpn Forge module. These directions are for a CentOS/Enterprise Linux 6 system. One thing I noticed in… Read More

Welcome to my blog! Here I will post guides to and share my experiences with various Linux and Windows systems administration tasks. Please feel free to share any suggestions, as I realize my method may not always be the best one.… Read More