Connect to Ubuntu server VNC from Mac OSx Sierra

I VNC into my lab server from my main Linux laptop all the time and it just works. Not so with Mac OSx Sierra.

I get an annoying error “Connection Failed: The software on the remote computer appears to be incompatible with this version of Screen Sharing.”

One suggestion on Stack Exchange involved using dbconf to turn off encryption.

My solution was to install Xenial on my macbook in Virtualbox and then from use VNC within Virtualbox to remote into the server.

Self Hosted Gitlab Enterprise on Ubuntu Xenial 16.04 for Continous Deployment into Kubernetes

Gitlab Enterprise as a Self Hosted Alternative to Github

I’ve been a big fan, and an early user, of Gitlab Community edition and recently crossed the commercial software Rubicon, and paid 39$USD for a single-user commercial Gitlab Enterprise Starter license. No, this is not an ad, or paid content. I don’t do affiliate schemes.

Gitlab in the code hosting & continuous deployment ecosystem

Gitlab Inc (Crunchbase, Bloomberg) got another round of VC funding, including a second investment from the legendary Khosla of Sun Microsystems (Java etc) & Hotmail fame. Gitlab is becoming a serious tech player in its own right. It’s an interesting example of a dual license, open core, commercial open source software licensing business model, with planet scale.

Differentiated by self-hosted, private cloud with continuous integration and continuous deployment, to warrant serious attention from engineers, sysadmins and DevOps people in coding shops, startups, IT departments and grassroots.

It’s importantly also similar enough to its mega-site competitor for serious coders. It’s a Github clone, with much much more.

The hosted SaaS also has unlimited private repositories, attacking Github’s core business revenue stream.

Gitlab has Continuous Integration, Continuous Development and now Continuous Deployment with integration into Kubernetes and via Travis CI’s deploy tool DPL into Heroku and a dozen other PAAS, SAAS, IAAS aka Hosting Providers in old speak.

It would be nice if DPL worked with Heroku-esque clones like Flynn or Dokku, it does work with Deis. A potential devops project to develop on my shiney new Gitlab server.

Installation on Xenial

I am re-installing Gitlab Enterprise Edition on VMware Workstation on my lab server, I was previously running on LXD with LXC containers, but I ran into issues with Docker inside LXD/LXC.

LXD/LXC does supports Dockerized LXC containers, but I’ve encountered issues and life is too short for troubleshooting edge case setups, especially when its your own time and dime. There is support, and there is support.

Install Dependencies

Let’s assume the fresh, clean, dedicated, Xenial server is setup. Hostname, etc/hosts, etc/network/interfaces, SSH server and DNS. A standard host or server Linux admin.

Gitlab has one of the best installers in the business, based on Chef Solo called the Omnibus.

Instructions docs for Gitlab Enterprise Starter are found

Verbatim from the docs, install dependencies, choosing Postfix “Internet Site”

sudo apt-get install curl openssh-server ca-certificates postfix

Scripted Package Installation

Add Gitlab package and pipe the install script to install the packages

curl | sudo bash
sudo apt-get install gitlab-ee

Configure and Start Gitlab EE

sudo gitlab-ctl reconfigure

Browse and Login

In your favorite internet browsing application and device go to the URL and be redirected to change root password. Login with username root and new password.

Upload Software License

FLOSS lovers will find this morally wrong, but we now upload our license. Upload License · Admin Area · GitLab

Next configure, root username to something more meaningful, gravatars, add ssh key, colors, etc.

Projects · Dashboard · GitLab

More parts to follow. 

Self hosting the Drupal web content management system with Aegir

Serious Drupal hosting SaaS such as Pantheon starts at 25$USD per site, Acquia is something like 100$+ per site.

With the FLOSS Aegir Hosting System this cost per site can be greatly reduced. Of course total cost of ownership may still be high, when technical ability and Linux admin time are factored in.

Let’s self-hosted Aegir on an LXD/LXC container and migrate off an OVH VPS using Aegir’s built-in Remote Import feature.

I’ve worked with Ansible for Aegir in the past and there are a few Ansible roles and example playbooks on github.

As far as I can tell, none are official, so, I’ll use the Debian packages on Ubuntu Trusty 14.04 with Php5 from the official docs.

Php7 on Xenial is reportedly twice as fast and is supported, but I had errors and had no time to work through the issues.

UPDATE: I did actually get Aegir 3.9 with PHP7 on Ubuntu 16.04, but not without issues, I would say there are still issues



vi /etc/hosts aegir-server localhost aegir-server aegir-server
::1 aegir-server ip6-localhost ip6-loopback

lets do an update and upgrade

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

I also add the server to Debops inventory. I want unattended upgrades of Ubuntu security releases and firewall via ferm etc.

install Postfix, choose Internet site

sudo apt install postfix


add the Debian official repositories

echo "deb stable main" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/aegir-stable.list


add the archive key to the servers keyring

wget -q -O- | sudo apt-key add - sudo apt-get update


install the Aegir 3 package

sudo apt install aegir3


the installation proceeds and you need to manually enter a mysql password (make it secure, record it in an encrypted password manager and avoid special characters)

verify URL of hostmaster frontend

re-enter mysql password

Aegir is installed and offers a login link, change username and password and email.

More parts to follow