How to Setup Unattended Upgrades on Debian Stretch

Debian is a volunteer project that has developed and maintained a GNU/Linux operating system for well over a decade. Since its launch, the Debian project has grown to comprise more than 1,000 members with official developer status, alongside many more volunteers and contributors. Today, Debian encompasses over 50,000 packages of free, open source applications and documentation. The popular distribution Ubuntu builds on the Debian architecture and infrastructure and collaborates widely with Debian developers, but there are important differences. Ubuntu has a distinctive user interface, a separate developer community (though many developers participate in both projects) and a different release process.

If you decide to use a Debian server for your project (good idea – it’s secure, robust and fast), then you should always have the latest security patches and updates, whether you’re asleep or not. This is actually pretty easy to do. Here’s how.

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Using a local APT Repository for your Student VM

Advanced Package Tool, or APT, is a free software user interface that works with core libraries to handle the installation and removal of software on Debian, Ubuntu and other Linux distributions. APT simplifies the process of managing software on Unix-like computer systems by automating the retrieval, configuration and installation of software packages, either from precompiled files or by compiling source code.

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Send Email from a Virtual Server in DkIT

The Cloud Virtualisation Platform we have built at https://xoa.comp.dkit.ie is a fantastic resource, comparable to AWS, Digital Ocean etc but yet free and importantly, secure because  it is inside the DkIT Firewall. However, this same security can prevent useful features most server can do easily, like sending email.

This tutorial details how to configure your virtual server in DkIT to send email via the Microsoft Outlook Mail Server (which is actually the other side of the firewall).

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Basic Git Commands

Git is a source code versioning system that lets you locally track changes and push or pull changes from remote resources. GitLab, GitHub, and Bitbucket are just some of the services that provides remote access to Git repositories. In addition to hosting your code, the services provide additional features designed to help manage the software development lifecycle. These additional features include managing the sharing of code between different people, bug tracking, wiki space and other tools for ‘social coding’.

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Saving your Git credentials

If Git prompts you for a username and password every time you try to interact with GitHub or a GitLab server,  you’re probably using the HTTPS clone URL for your repository.

Using an HTTPS remote URL has some advantages: it’s easier to set up than SSH, and usually works through strict firewalls and proxies (like here in DkIT). However, it also prompts you to enter your credentials every time you pull or push a repository!

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