page feed



4 June, 2019

Oak moving to the cloud

Over the next couple of weeks I will be migrating the user accounts and network services that currently run on oak to a new cloud-based server.

This includes:

  • email
  • matrix
  • user accounts


12 June, 2018

Jabber/XMPP decommissioned

As discussed, the jabber service is now EOL. RIP.


12 March, 2018

Decommissioning Jabber/XMPP

The XMPP (jabber) server is in a rather sorry state. It has not been operational since an upgrade at the end of last year broke it. The database needs to be upgraded to a new format, and neither the Debian package maintainers nor the upstream ejabberd project provide such a facility. I had always intended to manually migrate the data, but this now seems unlikely, give the constraints on my time.

To that end, I plan to retire the waxworlds XMPP (Jabber) services on 12th June 2018.

We also now host a matrix server for chat. Matrix (and riot) have proved to be a very successful alternative to jabber that also works well on mobile platforms, handles multiple connections better, facilitates posting images/files/links and is generally much more modern in its approach to chat. Essentially, I would propose that he Jabber service is also now redundant and my recommendation, going forwards, would be to use matrix anyway.

If there are any significant reasons why you think I shouldn't EOL the jabber service, or why you think I should attempt to manually migrate the data and revive it, please get in touch before 12th June.


16 January, 2018

New Oak SSH Host Keys

Oak has two new SSH host keys, which were generated today. So the next time you ssh to oak with a recent ssh client you will most likely get warnings that the host key has changed.

The new host keys have the following SHA256 hashes:

  • afl7rHgG55VCJNETep/aNZHzPnEssuWpEwx4JPrHr64 (ECDSA)
  • nP2GP+gQ3AQNcbMzMpql9iy0MKP8e3guFUTCQNG0ci8 (ED25519)


12 December, 2017


Apologies for any spam received over the past couple of days. Due to a power failure, oak was restarted and Spamassassin didn't come back up. It is now running again and the issue preventing it restarting is resolved. I will be monitoring it next time oak restarts.


28 October, 2017

Procmail fixed

There was an issue on mail.waxworlds.org that was preventing procmail from running. This is now fixed.

Procmail is probably configured, amongst other things, to send your mail to SpamAssassin to be checked. So appologies to those of you who were receiving more spam.


22 October, 2017

Scheduled maintenance

oak.waxworlds.org will be down for approximately 30 minutes on the evening of Tuesday 24th October somewhere between 7pm and 11pm whilst work is carried out on electrical systems.

This will briefly affect mail.

Update: oak is now down... [2017-10-24 9:00pm]

Update: oak is back. All maintenance is finished. [2017-10-24 9:22pm]


4 October, 2017

SSH password two-factor authentication

Anyone SSH-ing in to theor accounts on oak.waxworlds.org with a password will now also find that they need to enter a verification code in addition to their password.

We're using Google Authenticator (which is a procedure to perform time-based one-time password authentication, not a Google service).

If you use SSH with keys, these will continue to work as before. Two-factor authentication is only used alongside password authentication.

ol { list-style-type: lower-alpha; }

Users wanting to be able to SSH in with a password will need to either

  1. contact me, and I will set up a secret key for your account, or

  2. run google-authenticator from the command line on oak to set it up for themselves. The command will generate your secret key, ask you a few questions and then save a local ~/.google_authenticator configuration file.

You will probably want to install the Google Authenticator app on your phone/tablet/watch (it is free/libre and open source and available on F-Droid). There are also several other FOSS OTP authenticator apps that are compatible.


31 July, 2017

Server update

oak and ash have both been updated to latest stable version of Debian (stretch). This should mark a big improvement over the software that was running on them, which was becoming quite dated.

As a result, several services have been affected by the update and have required some maintenance. These are:

  • Web services
  • MySQL
  • Matrix
  • mail (and spam filtering)
  • SSH
  • XMPP (jabber)

Outstanding issues are:

  • The XMPP server is down and will require some work to fix.

I will update below as and when problems are resolved. If you notice anything awry, please let me know immediately.

UPDATE: Web services are working again (they were only down briefly) [2017-07-31]

UPDATE: MySQL has been migrated to Maria and there was briefly an authentication, which has been resolved. [2017-07-31]

UPDATE: The Matrix server is now working again. [2017-07-31]

UPDATE: Mail is working again and should start to come through. No mail should have been lost. [2016-07-31]

UPDATE: The issue with SSH keys has been resolved. [2016-08-01]

UPDATE: The remaining issue with URL rewriting has been resolved. [2016-08-01]

UPDATE: The spam filter (spamassassin) works again. [2016-08-01]


3 July, 2017

Matrix server

The matrix server, running at matrix.waxworlds.org, will probably be intermittent for a couple of days while I upgrade it.

If anyone isn't using Riot, you can get a client for Android, iOS, the web and your desktop (although the desktop client is a bit shoddy, so I use the website, which integrates well with desktop notifications, sounds, etc).

If you want an account adding at matrix.waxworlds.org, please email me.