OpenVPN Setup on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

I could not remember exactly when I setup OpenVPN for the first time. As far as I remember, it was not an easy task. But, I need to have it installed, and I found it easier. Probably, because it’s easier to setup on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS?

I need to have it setup because I have some sites blocked by my internet provider. Using Google’s DNS (8.8.8.8) or even ClouFlare’s 1.1.1.1. did not help either. Changing the DNS made my internet connection do not work.

So, I need to set OpenVPN up somewhere. I was thinking of having it setup on my own cloud server at Linode. Lucky that there is a straight-forward tutorial on how to setup OpenVPN on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. I will write it down also here for my personal documentation.

Installation

First, update the system by running apt-get update and then apt-get upgrade. For me this is optional.

How to Merge Two Blogs Using WordPress 3.0 Multi-Site Feature

Now, WordPress installation in this domain (orangescale.com) powers my other blog — in Bahasa Indonesia, using WordPress 3.0 Multi-Site feature. I decided to use this method so that I don’t have to manage two separated WordPress installation. In short: orangescale.com and thomas.or.id are now using a single WordPress installation, using orangescale.com as the primary blog.
This method works on my blog, but I don’t guarantee that you will have the exact process depending your own installation:

  • First, enable WordPress 3.0 Multi-Site feature
  • You should have access to modify domain DNS record. If your webhosting provider provide “Add-on domain” feature, it should work.
  • Create a new site under First Blog, you can use any address first.
  • Export contents from blog you want to move using WordPress export feature.
  • Import the export file you have to Second Blog.
  • Copy all media files from Second Blog to firstblog.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/files/X/ (Note: “X” is the Site ID).
  • Check all settings, escpecially the image locations in your posts. Later, the uploaded media files will use this path: seconddomain.com/files/path/to/image.jpg (the path might be different). If you have broken image path, check the settings and paths again.
  • Install WordPress MU Domain Mapping plugin. Follow the instruction. It’s easy.
  • Modify Second Blog DNS settings. Basically, you need to create an A record. Point your Second Blog domain to an IP address used by First Blog.
  • Check all plugins, blog settings, and permalink.
  • Enjoy!

I don’t know whether it’s an easy process or not, but here I want to show you that WordPress 3.0 Multi-Site feature can be useful. If you’re still comfortable to manage multiple blog installations, you don’t need to use this method.
It’s not a problem-free solution, of course. And it might be tricky sometimes. For example, about the plugin activation. Which plugins should be installed ‘globally’ or ‘locally’. Some plugins might work without any modifications. Here, I still have a plugin that does not work on my Second Blog. It works well on my primary blog, but not on the secondary. So far, I’m happy with the result.

Using CloudBerry Explorer to Manage Amazon S3 Account

In my previous post, I mentioned an Amazon S3 tool called CloudBerry S3 Explorer. I also have S3Fox organizer addon installed. I use them both, and I feel that I’m more comfortable with CloudBerry Explorer.

CloudBerry Explorer makes managing files in Amazon S3 storage EASY. By providing a user interface to Amazon S3 accounts, files, and buckets, CloudBerry lets you manage your files on cloud just as you would on your own local computer. (source)

Now, I want to share how I use CloudBerry S3 Explorer to manage my Amazon S3 Account.
CloudBerry Explorer is availble as a freeware software. We can download it for free. It offers many features we need to manage Amazon S3 account, from a simple to complicated tasks. After I downloaded and installed it, I can start using it. First, I need to add my Amazon S3 account into the application. Go to File > Amazon S3 Accounts.

Using MyBrand Feed URL by Feedburner

Feedburner MyBrand
After Feedburner offered their MyBrand (and TotalStats) features for free, I contacted Feedburner for MyBrand feature activation. And today, I got an email informing that it has been enabled for my accounts. I sent my request on July 5th and I got this feature activated today, July 7th. Thank you Google!
To use this feature, you need to have access to your domain DNS records. The only thing you need to do (after having this feature enabled) is add a new CNAME record for your domain. I want to use something like http://feeds.orangescale.com/OrangescaleJournal instead of http://feeds.feedburner.com/OrangescaleJournal. So, I add a new record for my domain:

feeds CNAME feeds.feedburner.com.

If you want something other than feeds.yourdomain.com e.g. rss.yourdomain.com, you only need to change the feeds.
Everything should work now. About this MyBrand feature, you need to know first that:

  • You need to have access to your domain DNS management. If not, contact your hosting provider/domain registrar.
  • If you have CNAME functionality, both feed addresses will work. You can have two feeds URL; they are the same. This CNAME is for redirection.
  • You can add up to 5 domains in your MyBrand page feature (for every single Feedburner account).
  • Yor branded RSS addresses are based on your feed address generated from Feedburner. So:
    • http://feeds.feedburder.com/MyBlog will be http://feeds.yourdomain.com/MyBlog
    • http://feeds.feedburder.com/OtherBlog will be http://feeds.yourdomain.com/OtherBlog
    • http://feeds.feedburder.com/myblog/one will be http://feeds.yourdomain.com/myblog/one

I personally love this feature. If you want it too, just make a request. If you think this feature is useless, because the original feed URL looks good for you, you have the option not to use this feature.

A theory: Google and Spam

A theory: Google as a spammer database and DNSBl