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Convert flv to mp4 using ffmpeg

FFmpegThere are many tools, including free ones that allow for video conversion, however, many of them use GUIs and don't allow for automation of tasks. FFmpeg is a command line based tools which allows to do very neat video manipulations.

We would like to share this small script, which our IT specialists have used for one of our video conversion projects. It parses a directory, finds all flv (Flash video) files and converts them to mp4. This script can be added to a cronjob to run on a scheduled basis. Converted videos can be moved elsewhere upon completion. 

As mentioned, we've used ffmpeg to accomplish this task, running under Ubuntu 14.04. FFmpeg doesn't come with Ubuntu 14.04 and a package repository needs to be added manually first. 

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Software RAID check - slow system issues

If you are unlucky enough to have a software raid running on your Linux server, you've probably noticed the occasional slowing down of the system. This is because of periodic redundancy checks of MD devices.

It is a cronjob that runs weekly and scans the MD devices for consistency. This can have a serious effect on the system, especially if you are running IO intensive virtual machines. (Such as Microsoft Exchange or SQL). 

One way to solve this problem is to lower the dev.raid.speed_limit_max. By default, it is set to this:

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Postfix: drop a particular email

postfix-emailSometimes we have emails going to a particular address, which cannot be stopped. There are many reasons, but most common is an invalid address, which pollutes the mail queue with invalid entries. The simplest way to solve this is by adding a DISCARD directive for postfix. 

If you don't have it already, add this line in main.cf

header_checks = regexp:/etc/postfix/header_checks

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MailScanner: skip certain email checks

One of our IT Support clients asked us why some emails are coming in with extra HTML content. After some searching, we've discovered that is was due to the MailScanner antispam system: it was parsing emails improperly and adding extra junk. We have decided to solve this by skipping the email from that domain from being scanned altogether.

One way to do so is to change the Scan Messages directive in MailScanner.conf from:

Scan Messages = yes

to

Scan Messages = %rules-dir%/scan.messages.rules

Then, in your rules directory, create a file called scan.messages.rules. In that file, be sure to add the line for scanning all by default:

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Fix NTFS partition errors under Linux

ubuntu10We'll use Ubuntu for this example, but essentially you need an ntfs-3g package, which contains ntfsfix. Under Ubuntu, run the following to install it:

sudo apt-get install ntfs-3g

Then this (where /dev/sdd1 would be your ntfs disk):

ntfsfix /dev/sdd1

Depending on what you are trying to fix, you may want to use options -b and -d.

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Create a PDF from a series of images

pdf-logoWe often get asked, if there's a simple way to join PDFs from many images under linux. The task is very trivial, if you have 1-2 images, as you can use many of the graphical applications. If you have 10-20 or more, we recommend pdfjoin. It runs under Linux on a command line and allows for a quick images to PDF combine.

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Schedule nightly reboot in linux

Linux IT SupportSometimes it is a good idea to schedule a regular reboots, to clear the memory and remove any crashed processes.

This can be easily achieved by adding the task to a cron tab (Linux scheduling system):

First, open the crontab (as a root):

crontab -e

and add a line similar to this:

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Mount windows share in Linux (fstab)

Ubuntu Support and Consulting

This works on any modern distribution of Linux, but we are using Ubuntu 14.04 for the process. First, install CIFS/Samba tools, required to mount the share point:

In Ubuntu:

apt-get install cifs-utils

Now let's create the credentials file:

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