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  1. Testing Alertmanager

    When a Prometheus alerting rule fires, the Prometheus server sends a notification to the Alertmanager, which is then responsible for processing that alert further, i.e. by routing it to an appropriate alerting channel (e-mail, Slack, ...). In order to test the Alertmanager configuration, it is useful to trigger alerts directly …

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  2. Checking Whether a Process Exists

    On Linux/Unix systems, there's occasionally the need to check whether a process is running. Some people use it for simple status checks or when building their own lifecycle scripts for startup and shutdown. I don't think it's a particularly good practice these days because all of this can be …

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  3. Vim File Type Configuration

    Vim has been my primary text editor for more than 15 years, but even though I use it on a daily basis, my configuration hasn't changed much over time. When I set up a new workstation, I stumbled upon the filetype plugin that I wasn't aware of. Using this plugin …

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  4. Keeping Your Server Secure With Unattended Upgrades

    When operating servers, you're responsible for keeping them up to date with the latest security fixes. Ubuntu comes with a mechanism that installs updates automatically so you don't have to worry about it. Obviously, this is meant for personal servers operated by hobbyists where convenience is more important than availability …

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  5. Installing Oracle's JDK on Debian/Ubuntu

    Due to licensing issues, Linux distributions don't ship Oracle Java packages anymore. In many cases, that doesn't matter since you can just use OpenJDK. But if you do need Oracle's JDK, Debian packages are a bit more convenient than handling tarballs because they integrate nicely with the rest of the …

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  6. Managing Docker Container Updates

    When running a Debian/Ubuntu-based server, it's relatively easy to figure out whether updates need to be installed. Tools based on apt work very well in this regard and even offer advanced features like unattended updates. Not so with services running in Docker containers.

    When working with Docker, you typically …

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  7. Converting Images to ASCII Art

    I've been playing with Docker a lot lately. Docker is a tool for creating lightweight virtual environments based on Linux containers. They are extremely useful for running services, but you can also use them for running one-off tasks that you don't want to run on the host system directly. Since …

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