• Changes in prgmr.com ownership

    Fri, 02 Apr 2021 11:00:00 -0700 - Sarah Newman

    Due to diverging ideas and priorities, Luke Crawford and I are no longer associated with prgmr.com. Alan Post is now the sole owner. We thank our customers for their business and interesting technical support questions over the years.

    Prgmr.com will continue to operate and provide VPS services. If you have any questions about prgmr.com, please reach out to support@prgmr.com.

  • IPv4 network outage

    Tue, 09 Mar 2021 16:52:00 -0800 - Alan Post

    We had an IPv4 network outage starting around 2021-03-09 21:15:00 UTC and lasting until 2021-03-10 00:45:00 UTC.

    The outage was due to a bug in our router which caused flapping BGP sessions affecting both our primary and secondary transit. The mitigation we put in place, coordinated with HE, took an unusually long time to debug. HE understood what was happening and how to fix it, the delay was us.

    All customers have been issued credit for the downtime.

  • Distribution Updates February 2021

    Wed, 17 Feb 2021 11:00:00 -0800 - Brandon McGinty-Carroll

    Summary

    • Alpine Linux netboot installer has been updated to 3.13.0
    • Fedora Linux distribution and netboot installer have been updated to 33
    • FreeBSD distribution and netboot installer have been updated to 12.2
    • NixOS netboot installer has been updated to 20.09

    Alpine Linux

    We have updated the Alpine Linux netboot installer to 3.13.0. See the Alpine Linux 3.13.0 release announcement for more details. A few highlights from their announcement include:

    • cloud-images and initial cloud-init support
    • Linux kernel 5.10.7
    • PHP 8.0
    • Node.js compiled with -O2 for performance
    • Various upgrades, including Busybox, Musl, GCC, Xen and others

    Fedora

    We have updated our Fedora distribution image and netboot installer to Fedora 33. Notable Changes are:

    • Disable TLS 1.0, TLS 1.1, DH 1024, and SHA-1 for built-in cryptography
    • disable swap and switch to using a compressed RAM drive (zram)
    • Move to systemd-resolve for DNS resolution
    • make Nano the default editor
    • Upgrades in many packages, including those for Go, Perl, Python and others

    FreeBSD

    We have updated our distribution image and netboot installers to include FreeBSD 12.2. Notable changes include:

    • upgrades to many userland and third party applications such as cron, dd, and others
    • Jail can be used to run Linux inside a jail
    • read call will no longer allow to read directories without setting security.bsd.allow_read_dir=1
    • virtio_blk filesystem allows trimming

    NixOS

    We have updated our netboot installer to include NixOS 20.09. Notable changes include:

    • upgrades to GCC, Glibc, and others
    • upgrades to MariaDB, Zabbix, and others
    • added PHP-7.3, Python-3.8
    • removed Php-7.2, Python-3.5
    • added Jitsi Meet module
    • added AuthorizedKeysCommand and AuthorizedKeysUser to services.openssh.extraconfig,

    Installation

    Our distribution images and netboot installers are available from the management console of any Prgmr.com VPS.

    Note that Alpine Linux and NixOS are only available for services that use HVM virtualization. To check the virtualization mode of existing services, log in to the management console, select “system details”, and check the virtualization mode.

  • Distribution Updates October 2020

    Wed, 28 Oct 2020 21:45:00 -0700 - Brandon McGinty-Carroll

    Summary

    • Alpine Linux has been updated to 3.12.1
    • OpenBSD has been updated to 6.8
    • NetBSD has been updated to 9.1

    Alpine Linux

    We have updated the Alpine Linux installer to 3.12.1. See the Alpine Linux 3.12.1 release announcement for more details. A few highlights from their announcement include:

    • LTS kernel upgraded to 5.4.70
    • PHP updated to 7.3.22
    • python3 updated to 3.8.5

    NetBSD

    We have updated our netboot installers and documentation to include NetBSD 9.1. Notable changes include:

    • Improvements to ZFS, LFS
    • Improvements to NPF firewall
    • Fixes to GCC, OpenSSL, and tzdata

    OpenBSD

    The OpenBSD installer has been updated to OpenBSD 6.8. Some changes include:

    • Wireguard (vpn) driver included in kernel
    • OpenSSH updated to 8.4
    • LibreSSL updated to 3.2.2
    • Introduced a “dark mode” for directory listings and error pages in httpd

    Installation

    Our distribution images and installers are available from the management console of any Prgmr.com VPS.

    Note that Alpine Linux and OpenBSD are only available for services that use HVM virtualization. NetBSD is only available for services that use PV virtualization. To check the virtualization mode of existing services, log in to the management console, select “system details”, and check the virtualization mode.

  • Announcing Diffspeak - Blindly Viewing Diffs

    Sat, 03 Oct 2020 07:50:00 -0700 - Brandon McGinty

    Earlier this year, we found a bug in an internally written network service: a server was not listening on the correct port. We eventually traced this back to a single line of Python code, which considers white space at a beginning of a line significant, as being misindented.

    The misidentation got through code review. How?

    In a unified diff, a plus or minus sign at the start of a line shows additions and subtractions of new code and text, while unchanged lines are prefixed with a space. For a developer who is blind and using a screen reader this can become a problem. You can generally request a screen reader to announce the number of spaces on the left side of a line, which is required for a language with significant whitespace like Python. However, if these spaces come after a + or - sign, the screen reader doesn’t know that they should be announced.

    Therefore, we have created diffspeak. This small script annotates lines with changes of indentation, which allows efficient perusal by a user of a screen reader.

    To use, simply pipe your diff or git diff output through diffspeak: git diff HEAD^ | diffspeak

    Find diffspeak at prgmrcom/diffspeak on GitHub

    We welcome suggestions and pull requests.