Raw packet logging with iptables and Wireshark

I've been doing a lot of work with Asterisk and SIP recently and have found that viewing the raw SIP packets in Wireshark is an incredibly useful tool when debugging. The logs that Asterisk and various phones provide tend to give fairly cryptic error messages that don't really resemble the issue, plus some problems are caused by a packet not arriving at all due to the other end sending an incorrect media address etc.

More realistic local web development server

One of the most common tools used to test and develop web projects is XAMPP. The idea is simple, you run a small web server on your local PC and use it to host a copy of the website you're working on. The problem with this is that it is not that similar to the environment that the site will actually run under, hosting companies very rarely use Windows for starters.

Budget BitTorrent seedbox using a cheap VPS

There are a number of reasons why using a seedbox is a good idea; they remove the need to upload content using your home connection, they (almost) hide your IP address from the swarm and the content stored on one can be accessed from anywhere.

Renaming network interfaces on a linux machine

The default names given to network interfaces on a Linux machine are not all that useful. Often they are something like eth0 or p4p1, but what if you are setting up a router and want to call them something more sensible like lan and wan. Luckily with udev and a bit of kernel tweaking that is possible. There are a few guides around online but none of them seem to pull all the steps together so I'm doing that here, mostly for personal reference.

Awesome incremental backups with rdiff-backup

Having a solid backup system in place for any project is pretty much essential but if you're anything like me it's something that's often neglected. Let's be honest with ourselves backups are boring, we'd much rather spend our time working on fun things than botching shell scripts that copy files around. For this reason until last night the backup system for my web server consisted of a USB hard drive connected to my home server and a single rsync command run by cron. This has always been perfectly adequate but the way it only gives one day to restore a deleted file before removing it forever is often a worry.