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What if I Want to Send Email from an Ubuntu Server Through Gmail?

I've written before about getting email to send from dumb devices through a Windows Server host to gmail (Google Apps). That works fine in a lot of small offices because there is often a Windows Server sitting around somewhere, even if just for file services.

However, there are times when you DON'T have a Windows Server around and need to send email through a Linux server.

Here's what I do when I want to send email via gmail (Google Apps) and I have an Ubuntu box available...

Raspberry Pi Configuration Considerations

The raspberry pi is an awesome little device with an awesome community. Because of what you can do with it and its very low cost, I think it is the current "playground" for future programmers, devops, and other technical professionals. The kids playing with raspberry pi's today are the tech leaders of tomorrow. What I would have done, if I could have built a linux server for $40 when I was a kid! Or even a server FARM! I'm thinking a data center under my twin bed would have been so much more awesome than that yeast experiment gone bad...

I ordered some for my kids as part of their homeschool curriculum and brought the RPi's home. I left them in the shipping box in the kitchen. When I came home that night, both kids had the RPi's running and spent the afternoon learning how to program!

While designed for kids and education, they also make great project boxes and embedded systems. Thousands of software packages available with a simple "apt-get install" command which lets you build a tiny little server capable of anything a big server can do, limited only by 512MB of memory and an overclocked 950mhz processor.

I've deployed a couple RPis as network monitors and remote support boxes and continue to experiment with them.

There is tons of information available about the RPi and getting started with it, so I'm not writing another tutorial. I wanted to document what I had to figure out that was scattered around and took me a while to figure out. Also, some of my best practices.

Here are a couple of recipes for building an RPi useful in these environments...

Tip: Largest Files in Linux

Here's a quick tip on how to find the largest files on your Linux system. If you are running low on disk space, knowing your largest files can be very handy for getting rid of especially large unneeded files and getting things going, again. I know I sometimes set aside a backup of a database that might be 20GB or more, such as during a migration or upgrade or debug session, then end up forgetting I have it sitting there. When space gets tight, I look for the largest files first, then I don't have to spend a lot of time getting things back where they belong.

This command will list the 30 largest files on your system and sort from largest file size down in size. This 2015 version is improved and takes into account filenames with spaces or escaped characters:

find / -mount -type f -printf '%s|"%h/%f"\n' | \
 awk '{FS="|"; printf "%10d MB\t%s\n",($1/1024)/1024,$2}' | \
 sort -rnk1 | head -30

Run it as all one line.

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