The value of consistency in server UI

Running different "platforms" often entails learning a variety of user interfaces, directory structures and the like. You can say "adios" to the difficulties with TurnkeyLinux.

When I started with TurnkeyLinux back in, I believe, 2011, I had never run anything in Linux.  I had been a Mac, Dos and Windows guy.  Before that, I likely was running some UNIX client on our timesharing systems in both High School and College.

I had run many flavors of Networking with Apple and both Dos/Windows, including for a bit, Lantastic, Novell, Appletalk, Windows NT Server and most generations that followed.   (Add to that some Cisco and other higher end routers).   Through all of that, I was very aware of the learning I needed to do to "talk the talk" and do the work in the different platforms.  It got a little tiring to be honest.

And then came Linux, and for me TurnkeyLinux.  There was certainly some learning I needed to do, especially when I wanted to build some of my own appliances, but the environment at TurnkeyLinux was ideal.  I learned quite a bit, but at the same time, it was pretty easy to get into the realm.  I used the Webmin Platform they provide perhaps longer than I needed to, but I really used their systems.  SSL Certificates.  Apache configurations.  User rights and much much more.

Turnkey offers in a standard build

  • SFTP
  • Webmin
  • Shell (SSH)
  • Webshell
  • Database Interface (and API access capabilities)
  • Backup and Migration
  • a degree of Fun.

What is important to realize that you want to roll your data but not be stuck to your server.  There are various reasons why you might want to leave a server or platform behind, but you want to access your data and work with it. 

Not that we don't have some criticizms.  Turnkey's platform is excellent.  Their methodology to move you from one Generation to another on a system like Magento or Odoo has not been ideal.  I have worked through that, and yes, it is not reasonable to put the onus of the application developers (though they are all Open Source) on to TurnkeyLinux.  That said, still, there are times when these subjects need to be taken on.  Turnkey, on their side, will provide a very well configured new Server with the new Application Generation installed, but a simple Data Move from your old server to  new server will not suffice.  You will need to take on the Data Migration tasks and sometimes that will be easy and sometimes it will be more involved.  That is not Turnkey's fault, but we will say, they do an excellent Job of migrating your Linux Debian system experience forward.

Kudo's to Turnkey, and a special kudo to Jeremy Davis who mans the main interface station there.

Posted in Turnkey Linux

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Recent Work with a VPN router

Recent Work with a VPN router

Sometimes a small project is not so small.  For some reason my Odoo Server does not pass through my Comcast Home system at all well.  Solution was to put a dedicated PC into my office... but, I didn't want to just have RDC available for all comers (who sure came fast).

I remembered that I had a VPN equipped router.  I won't say the model.  Anywy, the company who made it was aquired and the aquiring company, as they are want to do, killed most support links about the router.  Turns out there were several other routers that used the same software for access, and yes, I got it too work.  Honestly, I think it is just a small step in security, not a big one.

In the end I was able to get the correct VPN client by simply downloading the off of a link to a later, still supported router from the company.  The client is no where as nice as OPENVPN for granularity, but it does work.  

I also found that "NOIP"  ( provides a functional way to address a dynamically assigned IP address.  There are a few other ways but this was the most direct and within the budget.

Things are working for now despite the EOL from the router builders new owner.  

I had mentioned in the earlier version of this post that it might be interesting to rewirte the firmware to the Router, and get it working as a OPENVPN router.  That remains interesting but likely easier to do that with some other hardware and software.

EOL is one of the LEAST SUSTAINABLE parts of IT and I do not like the planned obsolesence which rules the industry.

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Systems under the skin of TKL

Systems under the skin of TKL

Dissecting and understanding a build process is complicated.  It is very nice to be able to look under the skin from time to tim.

At present I am needing to adjust approaches as past ways of adapting have been left by the road (not by me).  Studying a bit about what takes place in alternative builds that I may adapt to is an approach that I need to take.

Turnkeylinux is built from 2 sets os structures.  What goes out, their "apps" are prebuilt systems.
Inside of each app though are many and various components.  (the component sets)

consists of 68 Repositories at present, including...

and many more.

TKLDEV is a good way to start to understand the process as TKLDEV will build new APPS and the process can be tracked.  Still following it is complicated.

This is left here as a study note to come back to.

A good entry point to Turnkeylinux is of on their "Help Sought" page"

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MageBridge removed as well

MageBridge removed as well

Looking back at my notes, I started working with Magebridge (from Yireo) in at least 2013 and perhaps earlier.

It was a great idea fraught with difficulties.  Its purpose was to bridge Magento into Joomla

Magebridge discontinued by Yireo a few years ago now, but on my side I just disabled it.  Yireo discontinued because of the forthcoming Magento 2 and all the changes there.  I am not convinced it could not have been brought forward, but I think the greater issue was the extreme complication the program was itself.

Today, I gave it one last try.  Nope...  no go.  And now I am free.

Everything has been removed (uninstalled yes) including Compnents, Plugins, Packages, Libraries, Menu Items, Modules etc etc etc.  As the attempt also disabled the Magento server I also have a full restore running there as well (to last night's state).  I will likely kill the Magento server next.  Also not worth the hassle.

The site is fast.  I did resurrect for the time being Dynamic404 from Yireo (Yireo has gone away from all things Joomla).  It seems to have some good rerouting and be able to redirect what it cannot find in the overt redirection tables (lets see how that goes).

This is not, of course, big news, but it is news about Old and New.  I have long wanted everything to stay functioning, but sometimes we have to clear the decks...  They are clear now and we won't try that again.  (I log that I spent almost 4 hours on this attempt this morning).

And so it goes.

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Magento Sunset

Magento Sunset

I have been running Magento since about 2012 with 1.3x in my memory bank. Up to 1.9x now and really just using Magento as a repository now.

Magento 2.x (2.3x to be precise) is here.  It does not work, at present, with this CMS system so I have a linkage taking place through Filemaker from J2Store to Magento and by extension to Odoo.

I will quite likely just take the Magento system down.  It will not be supported with updates after this coming June and the time investment of getting 2.x running and keeping it running does not seem available just now).  We will see.

Anyway, for now, I am going to start redirecting the URL's to land into this system.  Lets see what a pain that becomes.  Likely worth the effort but also perhaps now.

Sad, but Magento was aquired by Adobe and like Odoo, they are making it more and more difficult to use it as a Open Source software.  Not that either are impossible, but the reigns are steering the team towards privation.

Somewhat the nature of things these days I will say.

All good software, just a bit too time intensive.

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Magento - Odoo - OCA Connector

Magento - Odoo - OCA Connector

This is a very functional system which brings the ability to work the "backend" of Magento by actually building and purchasing items you sell,

  • Functionally you get all of the aspects of Odoo, including CRM, Product Management and more
  • You also get the great E-Commerce capabilities of Magento, and its increditble extensability.

(to do:  more detail)

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