Backing Up Tons of Email

MailStore HomeI have about a dozen email accounts I try to manage locally with Thunderbird.  By and large, things run pretty smoothly until I need to move it all, as I did recently when upgrading from XP to Vista.

I have been a big fan of MozBackup in the past, but as my email accounts grew and I had more and more email stored in folders, MozBackup started taking a long time to process it all.  After my move to Vista, I realized I had over 2GB of mail backed up, and restoring it from Mozbackup didn’t work.  It recreated all my accounts and folders, but all the folders were empty.

After the initial panic faded, I found some forum threads discussing the manual opening of MozBackup archives and restoration of email.  I finally got it all back, but it wasn’t without more than a few sweat bullets hitting the keyboard.

Since this episode, I have been looking for something to put my mind at ease in regards to email storage, backup, and even reduction. I don’t know why I had never heard of it, but I stumbled across MailStore, which offers a free home version called, get this, MailStore Home.

MailStore Home will back up and archive email from many different clients, including Outlook, Thunderbird, Exchange, GMail, Yahoo mail, and others. At first I thought it was too good to be true, but after installing it I was quickly impressed with the simplicity and ease of use.

I had soon archived my two biggest email accounts, and even burned them to DVD through the MailStore application itself. Knowing DVD’s aren’t indestructible, I also backed up the archive using Carbonite (another of my favorite apps).

Going back into a MailStore archive is very easy, and it lets you read email, open, and even search mail and contents of attachments.

Once I was convinced that I had succesfully archived and backed up all my email, I was able to go through my Inboxes and delete over 1GB of email.  Hopefully, this will allow MozBackup to run more smoothly, if I ever really need it again in the first place.

If you find yourself with an unweildy inbox and a nagging feeling that you haven’t done anything to back it  up, go grab MailStore Home now.

mailStore Home: http://www.mailstore.com/en/mailstore-home.aspx

Apple Attacks On The Rise?

We here at Geekamongus are by no means partial to one operating system over another.  We love Macs, we love Linux, we love Solaris, and we love those other guys.  Seriously, in no way do we ever intend on taking sides, and articles such as this one are not to be mistaken as an attack upon a particular vendor, nor should they be misconstrued as a statement proclaiming that we prefer other platforms.

That said, some news items of late have raised a few eyebrows upon the foreheads of the security-minded regarding Apple and their operating system, OS X.  For example, there seems to be a new variant of an OS X trojan out there, according to the folks at macnn.com.

Judging by the responses from the opinionated users at the bottom of that article, the Mac fan base may be smart enough to avoid such malicious software.  Cynicism aside, it is clear there is an entirely untapped user base upon which Phishing attacks may be starting to prey.  One must consider the fact that people who have used Macs their whole lives may not be as familiar with such vulnerabilities, where web sites attempt to trick you into downloading a plugin with ulterior motives in mind, and that they could be more easily fooled into taking the bait.  Heck, it would seem the folks at Apple could use some tutelage about Microsoft viruses too.

Seeing as Apple still considers themselves to be rather impervious to viruses, trojans, worms, and their ilk, I don’t forsee this getting better any time soon, even though they did briefly post a note about using antivirus software on their website.  One thing Microsoft users have going for them is that they are by-and-large more aware of common Internet vulnerabilities because they run into them more often, and they must take steps to avoid them.  Some may even have received training in the workplace or from a geeky neice or nephew.

Granted, OS X is based upon a relatively secure Unix kernel and the Apple marketshare is much smaller than that of Microsoft.  That can certainly help when talking about the prevention of spreading traditional viruses, trojans, and worms.  However, when a user is unaware and clicks “OK” to download and install seemingly legitimate plugin, all bets are off.  And who know what evil is brewing in the basements of evildoing jerkfaces to target OS X itself in ways which Windows users are unfamiliar with.

Setting up Samba Shares on RedHat Enterprise 5

My goal was to set up a network share on a RHEL5 server using Samba, so that our Windows users could access the shared folder from their desktops.  It was difficult to find any information on doing this and nothing else, such as setting up Samba as a domain controller, which I was not interested in.  Sometimes Google gives you more than you want.

If you are running RedHat Enterprise 5, and are interested in setting up Samba shares for Windows users to access, read on.  This may work for other flavors of Linux, and older versions of RHEL, but I can’t vouch for that.

First, make sure the correct Samba packages are installed:

If these are not installed, use yum to grab them and install them.

You may need to open ports in the system firewall so that all of this will work.  The ports that need to be open for Samba to work are:

It’s easiest to do this from your RedHat gui (System > Administration > Security Level and Firewall).

Next, set up the smb service to run at boot time:

In RedHat, this will also cause the nmb service to run, which is fine.

Now, start Samba:

Now, create the directory you want to share.  For this example, I will make it simple:

Set permissions accordingly.  In my scenario, I wanted our developers to all be able to access this directory from Windows, and they were all part of the ‘developers’ group on my RedHat server, so I set the permissions like so:

In order to get Samba to share this directory, I had to add the appropriate policies for SELinux, which are mentioned in the smb.conf file.  Assuming you are running SELinux (it’s default with RedHat Enterprise 5), these can be added at the command line.

Since you created a new directory that will be shared with Samba (the ‘dv1’ directory you created earlier), a label must be set for that as well.  Using ‘dv1’ as the directory name, run this:

To set a label use the following:

Now to configure the Samba configuration file.  Always make a backup of the original before editing any config file!

To edit the config file, do this:

Under [global] settings, uncomment the necessary lines and make changes so that it looks something like this:

Leave everything else in that section the way it is.

Note:  the 192.168.1.  address needs to be that of your local network.

Then under Standalone Server Options:

I commented out all Printer sharing crap since I didn’t use any of that.

Lastly, under Share Definitions:

Obviously, swap out user1,user2,user3 with the users who will be accessing this share.  You put the username for the RedHat box you are on, not the Windows username (unless it’s the same).

Save the file and go back to the command line. Test it out by running this:

You shouln’t see any error reported.  If all is good, run this:

You will see smb and nmb stop and restart.  There should be no errors or “FAILED” notices.

Assuming your users already have accounts on your RedHat box, you need to add them to Samba like so:

I set a temporary password here, then ask them to change it next time they log into the server at the command line by running this:

It will prompt them for their old password (the temporary one you just gave them), and for the new one.

Once all that is done and you have set your own Samba password, you should be able to do this from Windows:

Go to Start and select Run.  Type in the hostname of your RedHat server (which you specified in the smb.conf file) like so:

You will be prompted for a username and password, and you should enter the RedHat server login name and the Smaba password that you just created.

If all goes well, a window will appear which shows the dv1 directory.  You can now drag, drop, copy, and paste to and from this folder as if it were on your Windows machine!