When I work with any organization that has more than a couple people who aren’t sitting right next to each other, I almost always recommend adopting an instant messaging service in order to communicate.  It’s more suited to a discussion format than email, can be used on both workstations and mobile devices, provides an easy way to quickly share document text snippets and pictures, and has a searchable history that users can refer back to if need be.

My favourite IM solution is Openfire, from Jive Software’s community software organization Ignite Realtime.  It’s open source, free, based on the XMPP (Jabber) transport open standard for easy integration with other tools and clients, has decent user community forums, is actively developed and is widely used.  They also offer a really nice Java based IM client Spark, which has some great features like file sharing and screen capture sharing.

So I recently needed to move an installation using MySQL running on an Ubuntu server to a new PBX in a Flash (CentOS) server. On Debian systems this is a breeze as the package is well maintained in the repositories, but getting Openfire running on CentOS is a little more involved. Here’s how I did it: Continue reading “Moving Openfire Instant Messaging to a New Server” »

GNOME has always been my go-to window manager on Linux, usually on Ubuntu.  However, it does have a few annoying quirks and deficiencies.  One of the most aggravating ones is the ease with which one can accidentally turn on Mouse Keys with a keyboard shortcut, rendering your keyboard numpad useless for data entry.  (Mouse Keys turns your numpad into a mouse controller)  I’ve triggered it accidentally often enough to go to the trouble of disabling the keybinding permanently. Continue reading “Disable Numpad Mouse Keys on Linux+GNOME Permanently” »

Recently I needed to install Asterisk with FreePBX on an existing Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Lucid Lynx) 64 bit server.  Since Asterisk is really targeted at CentOS this was a bit of a challenge, especially as FreePBX isn’t really designed to be installed as a standalone anymore.  However with a little research and quite a bit of fiddling I managed to get Asterisk up and running with FreePBX on Ubuntu server. Continue reading “Installing Asterisk 1.8 and FreePBX 2.9.0 on Ubuntu 10.04” »

I dislike Ubuntu’s built in remote desktop service, and use x11vnc instead. Recently I was having a terrible time recently remotely accessing an Ubuntu+Gnome workstation: when I connect from a Windows machine using the TightVNC client, shift keys simply stopped working! Turns out this is common across several VNC clients (Real, Ultra, etc). Fortunately, there is an easy solution. Continue reading “Getting Shift Key Working With x11vnc and VNC Clients” »

vsftpd can cause trouble with  slow directory listings or timeouts, but with a little configuration magic you can get this working properly on a CentOS box. Continue reading “Fix vsftpd Slow Directory Listings & Timeouts” »

Ubuntu with GNOME has been a popular desktop Linux distro for a few years now.  However, despite a great deal of excellent work by Canonical, there are still annoyances that crop up.  For instance, it incorporates the most annoying yet easy to enter keybinding in the world: SHIFT + NUMLOCK. This turns on Mouse Keys in the Keyboard Preferences, rendering your numeric keypad completely useless.  This is not the most obvious keybinding in the world… and if you do it by accident, you may NEVER figure out how to get it back.  Fortunately, you can disable it permanently. Continue reading “Linux Tip: Permanently Disable NumPad Mouse Keys” »