The Recent Rise, Fall, and Rise of

Sep 02 2011


So .. The funny thing about Linux and only having a Command Line Interface (CLI) is that syntax, REALLY, matters…

After launching this site on a Dell sitting at home, one might say “Now what?” Most of my friends logically concluded that, well, I should start blogging. This would be all well and fine, except I had a shiny new toy. A website, a Linux box, a host of tools to configure then secure.

In the process of setting everything up, and still without having done much blogging, I was once again attempting to configure more server-side softwares, modifying config files left and right.

That’s when it happened .. That’s when everything went wrong… While attempting to clean up and remove sample configuration files from the production box, I swapped the placement of two very important characters while inputing a ‘rm -r’ command (That’s remove, recursively) from well within my folder structure. I was logged in as root, and if you can’t guess what happened next, it started deleting every single custom config file, from the root down… Just like that, the system files not currently in use by the system, gone.

I CTRL-C’d that command quickly after reviewing undesired output from the console, fast enough to prevent [at least] the /var directory from being removed. Enough to install a WordPress plug-in and export my data to an external drive, before rebooting to reinstall the OS.

Fully configured softwares lost to this tragic event:
Apache, PHP, MySQL, bind, pptpd, sshd, postfix, WordPress, yourls, DynDNS, Rsyslogd, netatalk, and probably more

All of this before being able to add backup or redundancy of any kind to the list.

The new ‘box’ you might ask?

As cool as it is to have web traffic coming to a dynamically assigned IP address and resolving that to a personally hosted Linux box inside my network really as (and to me, it really is), I opted to take advantage of Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) free-tier hosting.

As some of you may have noticed, the blog was down for approximately 12 – 14 hours before any glimpse of the blog’s restoration became apparent, and probably a total of 21 hours to a ‘full restore’ of the web server softwares, content, and configuration (I do have to sleep and work).

Now with AWS I have a virtual box in the cloud, up and running, 94% back to what it once was on physical hardware. The best part!? A snapshot! It’s a manual backup, but until I can implement a more automated solution, a snapshot will do. Not only that, but a snapshot can do SO much more, but more on that later.

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