server admin foray

I put down some money and finally switched on a VPS instance of my very own. Previously, I had played with a free-trial VPS and used it to borrow the BBC for a few hours. The setup for that operation was accomplished by following a blog post walk through.

This post involved simple firewall rule addition using ufw and a bit of configuration with squid proxy. It was all quite easy. I was familiar enough with Ubuntu, the command line, and vim to cruise through it and it was exhilirating.

This time around, I plan to keep the VPS running...I even paid for a year in advance. Apart from occasional BBC shenanigans, I want to use the server to host a personal blog, my silly podcast, and a few random websites and projects. I followed Linode's security documentation more closely this time, which included the addition of some iptables rules. Now, when I tried to give the BBC setup another try, I got a connection timeout...d'oh.

I realized that the previous iptables rules were somehow trumping the ufw settings, even though ufw is built on top of iptables. So at 8pm on a weeknight, halfway through a burrito, I'm faced with trying to unpack the counter-intuitive syntax of iptables rules. It's certainly deeper into administration than I was planning to delve on my second day with the server.

Oh well, I'm now able to say that I have experience constructing basic iptables rules, so maybe there's hope for me yet.