Voting and the upcoming elections

I recently had a very interesting conversation with some young people, all high school graduates, all intelligent humans. They asked some very interesting questions.

Everything you wanted to know about voter registration can be found here:

Q: If I register to vote Republican, do I have to vote for the Republican candidate?
A: No. Once you register to vote, since your vote is made secretly, you can vote for whomever you want. Registering with a particular party listed on your registration allows you to vote in the Primary for that party. Registering with no party affiliation means you cannot vote in the primaries, but you can still vote in the regular elections. 

Q: I heard I cannot vote by absentee ballot where I live. 
A: Every state has absentee voting.

Q: Can I even vote?
A: At a minimum, you must be 18 years of age and a U.S. citizen to be eligible to vote.

Q: Why bother? All these politicians are stupid. 
A: What is something that you really care about? Find a politician that also cares about that. Vote for them. 

Q: All politicians are evil. Can I just vote for the lesser of two evils?
A: Yes, but you are still voting for evil. 


Do your own research!     

Explore the candidates’ websites to see where they allegedly stand on your hot-button issues.

If one of the candidates is an incumbent in the House of Representatives or Senate, go to and research their voting records, find out what issues they concentrate on, and how to contact them.

Attend campaign events, including town halls (or participate in them  by phone or online) and informal coffees and other stops the candidates might be making in your community. Local party offices, public libraries and other community organizations usually have information on such events.

Find the campaign office and call or drop in. Candidates want your vote. Make them work for it. Ask to speak to the candidate or her or his representative and get your questions answered about the issues that matter to you.

Check the candidates’ answers on important issues., which is run by the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, keeps track of candidates’ statements and claims. Cross reference their facts with other sites to find conflicting information. 

Do a Google search for “[your congressional district] debates.”

Try this site:

Or this one:

RHEL 8 is now Generally Available

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0 is now GA!

Here are some things to consider:

RHEL8 uses the dnf command instead of yum with an identical syntax (yum is an alias for dnf).

The  Btrfs file system, once in technical preview, is no longer available.

Most of the system scripts are still written in the Python language, however version 3.6 will replace Python 2.7.  More details here:

LDAP: The OpenLDAP package is no longer available. You'll have to use the 389 LDAP server or something else.

You cannot remove NetworkManager from your configuration. This was already the case with the Gnome graphical environment in RHEL 7.5.

KDE is removed from the desktop. KDE is deprecated according to the RHEL 7.6 release notes.

A new mechanism called application stream is introduced. More details are available here:
Many videos and articles about RHEL8 and RHEL8 Beta have been released:
The writing is on the wall...

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has released their newest product: Amazon Linux 2

Find out all about it here: Amazon Linux 2

April Fools Day is Canceled!

For the first time in many years, I will not be playing any pranks on April Fools Day. I cannot come up with anything that can compete with all the craziness that is already happening in the real world. 

BASH Cheatsheet/Reference

There is an excellent BASH cheatsheet/reference available online here: Click HERE

This reference was made for Vim 8.0: Click HERE
I Am A: True Neutral Human Ranger (7th Level)

Ability Scores:







True Neutral A true neutral character does what
seems to be a good idea. He doesn't feel strongly one way or the other when it comes to
good vs. evil or law vs. chaos. Most true neutral characters exhibit a lack of
conviction or bias rather than a commitment to neutrality. Such a character thinks of
good as better than evil after all, he would rather have good neighbors and rulers than
evil ones. Still, he's not personally committed to upholding good in any abstract or
universal way. Some true neutral characters, on the other hand, commit themselves
philosophically to neutrality. They see good, evil, law, and chaos as prejudices and
dangerous extremes. They advocate the middle way of neutrality as the best, most
balanced road in the long run. True neutral is the best alignment you can be because it
means you act naturally, without prejudice or compulsion. However, true neutral can be a
dangerous alignment when it represents apathy, indifference, and a lack of conviction.

Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short
generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse
as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles,
fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.

Rangers are skilled stalkers and hunters who make their
home in the woods. Their martial skill is nearly the equal of the fighter, but they lack
the latter's dedication to the craft of fighting. Instead, the ranger focuses his skills
and training on a specific enemy a type of creature he bears a vengeful grudge against
and hunts above all others. Rangers often accept the role of protector, aiding those who
live in or travel through the woods. His skills allow him to move quietly and stick to
the shadows, especially in natural settings, and he also has special knowledge of
certain types of creatures. Finally, an experienced ranger has such a tie to nature that
he can actually draw on natural power to cast divine spells, much as a druid does, and
like a druid he is often accompanied by animal companions. A ranger's Wisdom score
should be high, as this determines the maximum spell level that he can cast.

Find out What Kind
of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?
, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)

CompTIA Linux+ CE

Got my CompTIA Linux+ CE Tests (2) done, which fulfills the requirements for two more WGU Classes! Now I have completed 6/18 classes. One third of the way to graduation!

More Certs!

Two more certifications added to my collection. Why did I get these entry-level certifications? Because I am now a full-time student at Western Governors University! Some of the classes that are required for my bachelors degree program use industry standard certification exams as their final exam. So I will eventually end up with both a list of certifications, and a Bachelor of Science, Cloud and Systems Administration degree from an accredited university!

For more information on what can be accomplished at WGU, visit their website at

"We are the IBM. Lower your firewalls and surrender your servers. We will add your financial and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile."

Show contents of a file without commented out lines and blank lines

A customer asked me how to display the contents of a text file, in 
this case a configuration file, without showing any blank line, nor 
any lines that started with a "#" character (commented out lines).

We can do this at the Linux command line, using sed, 
if you know how to craft the regex:

sed -e '/^ *#/d' -e '/^$/d' /dir/file.conf

For further reference:
There are thousands of resources online: GOOGLE

2018 Nebraska Cornhuskers Football Schedule

============    ==============  =================
Sat, Sept 1     Akron           Canceled
Sat, Sept 8     Colorado       
Loss 33-28
Sat, Sept 15    Troy            Loss 24-19
Sat, Sept 22    @ #21 Michigan  Loss 56-10
Sat, Sept 29    Purdue          Loss 42-28
Sat, Oct 6      @ #5 Wisconsin  7:30pm
Sat, Oct 13     @ Northwestern  12:00 PM ET
Sat, Oct 20     Minnesota       TBD
Sat, Nov 3      @ #4 Ohio St    TBD
Sat, Nov 10     Illinois        TBD
Sat, Nov 17     #15 Mich. St.   TBD
Fri, Nov 23     @ Iowa          12:00 PM ET FOX


How to configure Postfix on CentOS 7 to relay email via Gmail

Postfix is a flexible mail server that is available on most Linux distributions. Although Postfix is a full feature mail server, it can also be used as a simple relay host to relay email to another mail server or smart host for processing. This tutorial will describe how to configure Postfix as a relay through Gmail.
Simple Authentication and Security Layer (SASL) is a standard authentication framework supported by many services including Postfix.


  • CentOS 7
  • A Valid Gmail account or Google App credentials (I recommend creating a credential just for this use)

Install Packages

Ensure Postfix, the SASL authentication framework, and mailx are all installed:
yum -y install postfix cyrus-sasl-plain mailx
Postfix will need to be restarted before the SASL framework will be detected.:
systemctl restart postfix
Postfix should also be set to start on boot:
systemctl enable postfix

Configure Postfix

Open the /etc/postfix/ file in your favorite text editor (vi!) and add the following lines to the end of the file:
myhostname =   #The hostname of your server
relayhost = []:587
smtp_use_tls = yes
smtp_sasl_auth_enable = yes
smtp_sasl_password_maps = hash:/etc/postfix/sasl_passwd
smtp_tls_CAfile = /etc/ssl/certs/ca-bundle.crt
smtp_sasl_security_options = noanonymous
smtp_sasl_tls_security_options = noanonymous
The myhostname parameter is optional. If the hostname is not specified, Postfix will use the fully-qualified domain name of the Linux server.
Save the file and close the editor.

Configure Postfix SASL Credentials

The Gmail credentials must now be added for authentication. Create a /etc/postfix/sasl_passwd file and add the following line:
[]:587 username:password
The username and password values must be replaced with valid Gmail credentials. The sasl_passwd file can now be saved and closed.
A Postfix lookup table must now be generated from the sasl_passwd text file by running the following command:
postmap /etc/postfix/sasl_passwd
Access to the sasl_passwd files should be restricted:
chown root:postfix /etc/postfix/sasl_passwd*
chmod 640 /etc/postfix/sasl_passwd*
And finally, reload the Postfix configuration:
systemctl reload postfix

Test the Relay

Use the mail command to test the relay:
echo "This is a test." | mail -s "test message"
Instead of, use a valid email address. Check your email!

Troubleshoot Delivery Issues

Postfix will log to /var/log/maillog, and this file can be reviewed if the test message is not successfully delivered. Open a separate shell window to watch the maillog using this command:
tail -f /var/log/maillog

Now re-run the email test in the original terminal window. Watch the log entries.
If there are not enough details in the log to determine the problem, then the debug level can be increased by adding the following lines to the /etc/postfix/ file:
The Postfix configuration must be reloaded after updating the file:
systemctl reload postfix
Do not leave those settings in the configuration file long term, or your log files will get excessively large, which can have a negative impact on server performance.