Wednesday, August 6, 2014


SOLVED: _openpam_check_error_code(): pam_sm_acct_mgmt(): unexpected return value 4

While diagnosing a server that I couldn’t SSH into using my LDAP account I ran into the below errors. I had seen it before but couldn’t remember what caused it: Jul 30 22:12:57 serverhost sshd[2195]: SSH: Server;Ltype: Version;Remote: 172.17.22.10-43231;Protocol: 2.0;Client: OpenSSH_5.8p2 FreeBSD-20110503 Jul 30 22:12:57 serverhost sshd[2195]: SSH: Server;Ltype: Kex;Remote: 172.17.22.10-43231;Enc: aes128-ctr;MAC: hmac-md5;Comp: none [preauth]… Read more »

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Intranet Server Security & Maintenance

Do internal servers really need to be monitored, maintained and updated like a public facing Internet server? There are two aspects to this question, the first being maintenance and monitoring, and the second being internal server security (which is closely related to maintenance in that updates fix security issues). Internal Server Maintenance An internal (or… Read more »

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Goodbye MB/GB/TB, Hello MiB/GiB/TiB

Since the popular rise of the personal computer users have asked the time old question: “Why does my 100 gigabyte hard drive only give me 93 gigabytes when I format it?” The answer lies with the 2nd use of the word “gigabyte” in that sentence.  In reality when we say “gigabyte” we don’t mean 1,000,000,000 bytes,… Read more »

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Using powerd(8) To Increase FreeBSD Performance By Over 10%

Modern Intel CPUs employ a technology called TurboBoost which works in conjunction with Intel’s SpeedStep technology to temporarily overclock specific cores (sometimes at over 2x the advertised speed) when thermal and power limits allow. SpeedStep is the selective and rapid slowing down, idling and possibly even sleeping of cores which are not being used or… Read more »

Friday, July 6, 2012


HOW TO: FreeBSD Partition Alignment for RAID, SSDs & 4k Disk Drives

Last Updated January 21st, 2017. This article is really popular, I’ll do my best to keep it up to date! I’ve added notes about enabling TRIM support. Aligning Partitions Under FreeBSD for Optimum Performance with RAID Arrays, SSDs and 4k Disk Drives Note: These instructions have been verified to work for FreeBSD 9.1, FreeBSD 9.2,… Read more »

Saturday, May 5, 2012


HOW TO: Installing FreeBSD with gmirror (software RAID 1) and the GPT partitioning scheme

Last Updated November 14th, 2016: Updated to include that this works under FreeBSD 11.0 as well. Really anything between FreeBSD 9 and 11 should work. April 30th, 2015: This article is really popular, I’ll do my best to keep it up to date! I’ve added notes about TRIM, alignment and GMIRROR (-h) labeling since it… Read more »

Monday, January 2, 2012


SCRIPT: Automatic CouchDB Compaction

As you probably know CouchDB will not automatically reclaim unused space, nor compact or clean up its views during normal operation.  Instead these processes are meant to be run at optimal times (ie; off peak hours) so they do not affect user performance during critical periods. Over time this obviously means that any CouchDB can… Read more »

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Why I Switched to CouchDB for Web Applications

Top Reasons to Take A Closer Look at CouchDB for Your Next Project I had been looking at MySQL alternatives for some time, and have been watching the “No SQL” movement grow.  About a month ago I finally decided to take the plunge and selected CouchDB as the default storage mechanism for my applications moving… Read more »

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