Debain, madwifi-ng and module assistant

I installed Debian GNU/Linux on my laptop (over Arch Linux) last week, and used module-assistant to install the Madwifi driver for my atheros-based wireless card using The Debian Way(TM).

Here is just a quick note of the commands needed to install madwifi using module-assistant under Debain GNU/Linux:

# apt-get install madwifi-source madwifi-tools module-assistant
# m-a update
# m-a prepare
# m-a a-i madwifi
# modprobe ath_pci

…and that’s all there is to it. Not quite as easy as ‘emerge madwifi-driver’ or ‘pacman -S madwifi-ng’ but still fairly straight forward.

Hmm, Blog

I recently (re-)discovered I’d actually installed a blog script, and never written anything down! Oh well, no time like the present to start – I wonder how long I will be able to keep writing entries before I:

  1. get bored with the whole ‘blog’ idea
  2. simply forget about or neglect the blog to the point that it disappears from my mind (again!)
  3. I get distracted by some project or other.

I recently managed to set up a Debian-based mail server. I originally searched google and came up with a number of guides to doing this which looked quite good, albeit long but it’s a project I’ve been planning for a while so I decided to bite the bullet and have a go. After installing Debian and playing around with various different approaches for a bit, I discovered an entry on another blog at The Tech Terminal explaining how the author had setup a Debian Mail Server. This simply said that all I had to do was enter this:

# apt-get install courier-imap
# apt-get install postfix
# postconf -e 'home_mailbox = Maildir/'
# postconf -e 'mailbox_command ='
# /etc/init.d/postfix restart

at the command line. This was certainly a lot easier that the 8-page guide I had be following previously, and it worked :).

Using other guides to install spamassassin and squirrelmail and it was all working very nicely. Fetchmail and gotmail were easy to install and configure using the man pages so I didn’t need to enlist google’s help with them. I now have a single server with 2x40GB HDDs (configured for RAID 1 using a PCI PATA RAID card) which goes and fetches emails from my 2 POP accounts and my hotmail account and delivers them to my local user on the machine (for my purposes I decided LDAP was overkill and that dropping the mail to a local user’s Maildir made more sense). This means I can now access my mail using an IMAP client on either my desktop or laptop, or I can use a web-browser from any other location.

One small snag did run into is that Maildir creates a directory for each directory on the server (as you’d expect) but doesn’t nest them. I was expecting them to nest and it took a while (and some head-banging) for me to discover that Maildir actually uses a ‘.’ to represent sub-directories.
e.g. this structure:

Inbox
:-New
:-Badgers
: :-Mushroom
: :-Snake
:-Llama

becomes this Maildir structure:

/Inbox
/Inbox.New
/Inbox.Badgers
/Inbox.Badgers.Mushroom
/Inbox.Badgers.Snake
/Inbox.Llama