Sys Admin

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Easy Slicehost setup with

by Irish on April 20, 2010

For the last 2 years or so I’ve been using server slices from When you’re first learning to flex your system admin skills, setting up a server slice from scratch is fun and exciting. You don’t mind installing an OS (go Ubuntu!), locking down the server for security, adding users, installing libraries and setting up a development environment. However, once you’ve done it a bunch of times it gets repetitive, old, and boring. Even if you’re really good and can do it fast, why bother? There are now easier and faster ways to get up and running.

About six months ago my co-worker Clayton Lengel-Zigich found Thanks to the work of the guys at Clever Collie setting up a server can now be super fast, fully automated, and it’s a free service. Though they also have a “premium” option for installing services like WordPress, Drupal, Redis, and more.

After purchasing a new slice, all Slicepp needs from you is an email address they can contact you at after the setup is complete, the IP of your slice, and your slice’s root username/password. You get to select from a few popular frameworks, web servers, database, and monitoring options. Rails, Django, Apache, Nginx, Lighttpd, and monit to name a few.

Once you’ve chosen your options and press the big “Deploy” button, a in-browser terminal console pops up allowing you to watch the server be setup. Or if you’re like me you can completely leave the site and wait for the job to finish, while doing other things. You’ll get your build complete confirmation email in about ten minutes. I really like this service as you know you’ll always get the same environment setup. When working on a team it can be rather annoying when different team members are setting up servers and installing things in different locations in each instance.

Powered by Rackspace Cloud Computing

I should also mention that the other day I decided to try out Rackspace’s cloud services. Sliceapp worked great setting up an Ubuntu Karmic environment over there too. Saweet! :D


The authme, ssh key, bash function

by Irish on April 19, 2010

Often it can be a pain to remember all the username/password combinations for all the different servers we touch in our day to day development.  I’ve come to really like this lil’ bash function given to me by my co-worker Anthony DiGirolamo.

function authme {
  ssh $@ 'cat >>.ssh/authorized_keys' < ~/.ssh/

Just put it in your ~/.bash_profile file or one of the other bash settings files you may be using.

Usage is like so

$ authme

You’ll be prompted for your password then returned to the local terminal prompt. This will ssh onto the given server and concatenate your ssh public key to the authorized_keys file. Allowing you from there on out, not having to supply a password to get on the server through ssh. Good stuff