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 * Summer 2018:  * Summer 2018: Shiny new ''servers''

I am Clinton Ebadi. I am the reluctant President of the coop (someone has to do it), and the current lead sysadmin / DomTool maintainer / lo-fi AdamChlipala replacement.

1. Board Statements

See /BoardStatements

2. General Coop Goals

Unstructured musing on when/what I think the coop ought to be.

  • Summer 2018: Shiny new servers

  • Spring 2019: Ponies for everyone.

3. Contact

  • <clinton at unknownlamer dot org> (Email)

  • unknownlamer (AOL Instant Messenger)
  • <clinton at hcoop dot net> (Jabber)

  • unknown_lamer on freenode (IRC) in #hcoop

  • +1 443 538 8058 (Phone, SMS preffered as I will ignore your call if I don't have your number already and check voicemail approximately once per century)

4. Websites

5. Immediate Tasks

  • Old accounts clearing gunk
  • Migrate users to new hosting
  • Announce fastcgi php support

6. Admin Stuff

6.1. fastcgi setup notes

Notes to self about configuring fastcgi for at least php


6.1.1. Packaging

  • Depend on libapache2-mod-fcgid

  • a2enmod fcgid in postinst (the package seems to enable itself, but en/dis anyway)

  • Need to install our own mods-available/fcgid.conf

    • Do NOT enable fcgid-script script hander by default, require use of fastCgiExtension in DomTool

    • Need to configure process limits (expire fairly quickly to prevent issues with tokens/memory exhaustion)

6.1.2. Problems with openafs

Old Content: This section is from before fastcgi was implemented. Leaving so I might remember one day to try the idea of adding an suexec hook to apache.

The mod_fcgid spawner runs in its own process pool and therefore without tokens or the ability to acquire tokens for processes it launches. Thus, all fcgi processes must be wrapped to avoid surprising behavior. The FcgidWrapper directive is not very expressive: the "wrapper" is the fastcgi application that is launched and then passed any files matching the extension using SCRIPT_NAME. A wrapper wrapping script is needed to grab tokens before launching the actual wrapper, and just using {Add,Set}Handler fcgid-script won't work as expected (users could of course arrange for programs run that way to grab tokens manually).

mod_wsgid and mod_cgid have identical problems. Inspecting the apache source code makes it appear that it would be possible to fix the situation generally by adding a pre/post suexec hook. The process managers for mod_cgid/mod_fcgid/mod_wsgid are forked from the primordial apache process which I understand has all modules loaded. Modules like mod_auth_kerb and mod_waklog could then inject tickets/tokens/etc. into the environment from which external processes were spawned using the suexec hooks. Actual Implementation Notes

create-user generates wrapper scripts per user. If we turned off suexec uid/gid checking, there could be a single wrapper-wrapper (perhaps implement SuExecForceUserGroup {on|off} as a global server config option?)

php5 fastcgi works fine and will be mandatory for debian stretch servers.

fastScriptAlias works for the case of a single fcgi program handling an entire path, and uses Directory + Files internally.

6.2. Improve SSL Experience

6.2.1. The Problem

  • We are not managing certificates well
    • e.g. we don't check and warn members when their certs are going to expire
    • You have to use bugzilla/irc/email to get an intermediate certificate installed
  • DomTool's SSL support leaves much to be desired

    • No abstraction for setting up an ssl-only vhost that redirects http -> https

    • No abstraction for creating an SSL+non-SSL host that serve the same content
    • SSL type is problematic
      • use_cert takes a full pathname, it would be better to use a short name. There may be a case where a user may need to use a cert not in the primary store (is there?). If there can be no case made for domtool allowing certs to be stored outside of a single location, we can make use_cert just pass its argument through for transition.

      • Intermediate certificate handling is awful
        • Abstractions (e.g. moinMoin and wordPress) that generate vhosts can't generically let you add an intermediate certificate chain

        • sslCertificateChainFile is forced to soft-fail at run-time instead of causing a type error at compile time

        • Surface issues might be mitigated with new environment variable var SSLCertificateChain : [ssl_cacert] = [], but allowing members to choose arbitrary intermediates instead of just bundling them with the main certificate no longer seems useful.

6.2.2. A possible solution

Replace use_cert and sslCertificateChainFile with a single cert function, and store key + cert + intermediates all in one file. May still need to split out the intermediates with Apache, but each certificate can just have its own copy that is automatically used (I suspect there's negative value to allowing members to use arbitrary intermediate certs that admins have to keep up to date and grant permissions to independently).

extern type your_cert;
extern val cert : your_cert -> ssl
(* SSL = cert "mydomain.pem"; *)

6.2.3. Portal

Certificate requests should also include intermediates, ca scripts will need some updates as well.

The portal request page should display all certs a user is permitted to use already, their common name, and their expiration date.

6.2.4. Managing Certificates

Needs Updating Not very fleshed out, also does not consider how we're going to manage letsencrypt certs

Upon installation, certificates should be recorded in a database that stores (filename, type, subject, expiration) (where type = user | intermediate). Removal, naturally, should remove the database entry and files from all web servers.

This information could then be used to present information on a member's certs on the portal page, and make requesting CA certs easier.

6.3. etc.

  • default DirectoryIndex does not include index.shtml, should this be changed?

  • vhostDefault makes configuring the default vhost slightly unpleasant. Extend host with host_default token and eliminate?

6.4. Website

(create Website bugzilla product and move these there)

  • Convert hcoop.net into domtool config (looks trivial, a few rewrites... except for userdir support?)
    • On the topic of user dirs: allow members to register a redirect for hcoop.net/~foo?)
    • Perhaps: Move userdirs to http://users.hcoop.net/~foo (302ing from hcoop.net/~foo)

  • Replace facebook links with other "get to know the members" text
    • Inspire members to join the planet
    • Make the locations tool usable again (something we can use with Openstreetmap).
  • Give RobinTempleton access as needed

6.4.1. Wiki

6.5. domtool plans

  • Feature backlog
  • Networked domtool-tail
  • Improve fwtool as needs become clearer (FirewallTool)

6.5.1. restricted modules for apache

Inspiration: hcoop.net's vhost is non generated by domtool, and only because it enabled mod_userdir

Idea: have a set of restricted modules that can only be used by superusers. Easiest to just have another ad-hoc list setting in config for domtool. ACL example: hcoop priv www, www priv overloaded to also allow use of restricted module.

Problems: no way currently to restrict access to actions or lib files.

Deficiences: priv www is a blunt instrument. priv system in general is mediocre. It might be nice to be able to do something like hcoop priv www apache-module/userdir mail/hopper.hcoop.net (i.e. access to all www nodes, access to the userdir module only, access to hopper). Keys gain some hierarchy polluting the purity of the triples db, but it is already a bit polluted... is there any difference between adding hierarchy to priv keys and the existing implicit hierarchies in domains and paths?

Solution: might be overkill just for mod_userdir, if it looks like minimal additional code is required perhaps implement hierarchical privs (extending www and mail privs to support limiting to particular admin hosts) and restricted apache modules.

6.5.2. Pattern Matching and New Types

A vague idea that may prove to be unworkable. I think at least implementing list matching in domtool would be quite useful. Abstraction syntax would be need to be improved to support multiple clauses. case would also be needed to make it useful. Syntax would be easy enough to add except for having to deal with runtime non-exhaustive match exceptions (perhaps requiring exhaustive matches and living with the limitation). Ambitious, probably time consuming, might require adding tail call optimization to the interpreter. Example:

(* A map operator *)
val map = \action -> \list -> 
  case list of head::tail =>
      action head;
      map action tail;
     | [] => Skip;
(* Alias a list of email addresses to *)
val multiAlias = \sources -> \target -> map (\source -> emailAlias source target) sources;

I probably lack the skill/willpower in the short term... alternative idea, just implement a loop primitive in SML and magic the types away by making it a primitive construct (defining its type on DomTool/LanguageReference). Maybe implement polymorphic actions if adding then is secretly easy:

extern val map : (('a -> 'b) -> ['a]) -> [^Root];

(* Alias a list of email addresses to *)
val multiAlias = \sources -> \target -> map (\source -> emailAlias source target) sources;

Most of the gain, none of the pain.

New types: even more ambitious. Supporting at least tuples or named records, and perhaps a construct for querying the domtool acl database. Idea would be to use it for something like the firewall, where only primitive "generate one firewall rule" constructs would be needed, and then user firewalls could be constructed by querying the ports available to each user and matching/looping.

One pattern that has recurred in domtool is that of a special purpose client + server commands that operates on a simple database. E.g. spamassassin prefs, vmail users, firewall rules, and the domtool acl database. It would be useful to have a generalized serialize/unserialize sets of sml records library, perhaps with a generalized/queryable tuples database built on top of the primitive raw-records database. Even better would be to allow databases to be exposed to domtool, and simple queries performed on them. Maybe.

val writeRecord' : [('record -> 

7. Board Stuff

  • What address should we be using for the "owner" of hcoop services? It's a mix of the current treasurer, registered agent, and data center right now... is the registered agent correct? Do we need to get a PO Box or something?
  • Possible policy change: pro-rate the first month of dues for new members. It seems a bit unfair to make folks pay an entire month of dues, especially if they join near the end of the month.
    • Board did approve this, but was never implemented :-\
  • Do we need a private wiki of some sort for filing sensitive information like welcome emails for services and various credentials... is it safe enough to do that using the public moin and acls? I'm not sure sure...

8. etc

Barely formed sentences.

8.1. tt-rss at hcoop

Our postgresql does not use passwords. The installer needs a single tweak to remove the required attribute of the database password to install.


ClintonEbadi (last edited 2019-05-10 14:33:51 by ClintonEbadi)