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This weblog brings you news on Greenhost and recent developments in the areas of sustainability, privacy, web hosting, Internet and anything else we think is relevant.

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Reason for Outage 26 August 2021

Incident summary

During routine maintenance, the movement of a network cable brought to light a dormant issue in one networking component, resulting in a degraded connection. Later, while trying to fix this issue, an unrelated network cable was accidentally disconnected for a few seconds. As our infrastructure is built redundantly, both incidents should have had no impact. However, a software malfunction prevented another connection to take over on both system. This put them into an unstable state that resulted in a partial unavailability of our services between 15:20 and 19:45 CEST.

Resolution...

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Totem security audit call for proposals

Totem is an online learning service focused on digital security training for activists and journalists. Totem aims for optimal security of the platform to protect its users and partners. For that reason, we are looking for a security auditor that can make sure our server has been setup securely, and that no information leaks out of the Open edX platform.

Launched in 2016 by Free Press Unlimited and Greenhost, it currently has more than 30 courses in five languages. Totem uses a MOOC platform called Open edX which is set up as a combination of Docker containers, orchestrated with Tutor. In addition...

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Totem UX call for proposals

Totem is an online learning service focused on digital security training for activists and journalists. Launched in 2016 by Free Press Unlimited and Greenhost, it currently has more than 30 courses in five languages. Totem is composed of the learning service itself, based on Open edX, and a bespoke landing site - totem-project.org - that helps visitors, learners and trainers find the courses they need.

As the platform keeps growing with new courses, new and returning learners, and new partners designing and delivering their courses, we wish to improve our UX, in order to make discovery and...

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Greenhost VPSs now support cloud-init

It is now possible to use cloud-init with our VPS's. Cloud-init scripts define what needs to be done immediately after a VPS is started for the first time. These files can be used to automate the setup of a VPS. This can range from small tasks — like configuring the machine or adding more users — to more complex tasks like installing software.

Cloud-init is a technology that is supported by many cloud providers. In addition to cloud-init scripts that you might find anywhere on the internet, Greenhost offers a repository with scripts that you can use to automate certain steps in setting up...

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Greenhost is joining the climate strike on 27 September

Greenhost is joining the global climate strike organised in Den Haag on September 27, 2019. Because our employees will be in Den Haag, our office and help desk will be closed on that day and we will not answer the phone. Outside of the time we demonstrate, we will still attempt to handle as many emails as possible and there is somebody on call for technical emergencies.

Why are we striking?

Greenhost provides sustainable hosting and focuses on sustainability on all other aspects in our company. However, we alone are not going to solve the climate crisis. It is time for governments all over the world to take action, and they are not doing enough yet.

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Adjustment Phone Hours

We think it is of the highest importance to quickly support our customers with their questions and requests. In the past, we could achieve this by having rather wide opening hours. Our customers appreciated this immediate personal contact. Over time, our customer base has changed and more requests enter through email. As a result, focus for our support team also shifted towards email.

We feel that in email conversations, we can better anticipate our customers needs. We can directly look into customer details, chances for misunderstandings are smaller and when we need written confirmation to...

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Basic firewalling on your VPS

By default we do not filter traffic. However, if you have a VPS, you maybe want to block unwanted traffic or you would like to only allow traffic from specific sources. This blog explains a bit the basics of firewall configuration on a Greenhost VPS. This document assumes a Debian or Ubuntu based system, however, the basics are similar on all Linux based operating systems

What is a firewall

A firewall controls traffic flowing into, leaving or going through your VPS. This manual will discuss only traffic going into your VPS and does not focus on filtering outgoing or forwarding/routing traffic...

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Unencrypted connection closed for POP, IMAP and FTP

From now on it it's no longer possible to make an unencrypted connection with our servers (POP, IMAP and FTP). As mentioned in our newsletter about the GDPR we had to close the unencrypted connections with our mail-server and ftp-server for security reasons.

This means that email programs with incorrect settings are no longer able to fetch email from our server. This is for both POP3 and for IMAP connections. Also email programs on smart phones and tables need to have an secured connection with our servers from now on.

FTP programs who still use an unencrypted connection for FTP, can't reach...

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PHP 7.2 available

From today, PHP 7.2 is available in our Service Centre. Log in with your admin account in the Service Centre and go to Hosting, Management and adjust the PHP version to PHP 7.2 for your entire hosting package.

On our helpdesk pages you will find a manual on how to change this setting.

After switching the PHP version, we recommend to check for any problems immediately. There is a small chance to experience problems due to deprecated functions on your site(s). We also advise to immediately update your CMS (Content Management System, for example WordPress or Joomla) and all plug-ins you may have...

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Newsletter GDPR

On May 25th 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect.

This European regulation is designed to better protect citizens from data breaches and privacy violations. The new law is amongst other things stipulating how companies must handle their customers' data.

Many of our customers chose Greenhost exactly because privacy has always been one of our core values. As a result there are not many significant changes we have to make. However, we do want to take the opportunity to scrutinise some of our designs and see in which ways we can still do better in safeguarding your privacy.

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