Thursday, August 10, 2023

Building a Secure Nextcloud Deployment with NFS Backend and Nginx on CentOS 9 with SELinux

We will walk through the meticulous process of setting up a secure Nextcloud installation on your personal CentOS 9 server, utilizing NFS as a robust backend storage solution. Furthermore, we will ensure the integrity of your server environment by enabling SELinux and configuring Nginx for optimal performance.


This comprehensive guide will walk us through the meticulous process of setting up a secure Nextcloud installation on your personal CentOS 9 server, utilizing NFS as a robust backend storage solution. Furthermore, we will ensure the integrity of your server environment by enabling SELinux and configuring Nginx for optimal performance.


Before embarking on this endeavor, make sure you have the following prerequisites:

  • A server running CentOS 9.
  • Administrative access to the server.
  • Familiarity with Linux command-line operations.
  • A functional NFS server with shared storage.
  • Selinux Enabled 

Installing Nginx

Installing Nginx on CentOS 9 is a straightforward process. Before you begin, updating your system packages to ensure you're using the latest versions is good practice. Use the DNF package manager to install Nginx. After the installation, start the Nginx service and enable it to start automatically at the system boot
sudo dnf update
sudo dnf install nginx
Start and Enable Nginx:
sudo systemctl start nginx
sudo systemctl enable nginx

Configure Firewall, If you have the firewall enabled, you need to allow HTTP and HTTPS traffic through it.
sudo firewall-cmd --permanent --add-service=http
sudo firewall-cmd --permanent --add-service=https
sudo firewall-cmd --reload

Install MariaDB Server

Use the dnf package manager to install MariaDB. After installation, start the MariaDB service and enable it to start automatically on system boot. Start and Enable MariaDB after the installation. 
sudo dnf install mariadb-server
sudo systemctl start mariadb
sudo systemctl enable mariadb

Secure MariaDB Installation

MariaDB comes with a script to help you secure your installation. It will prompt you to set a root password, remove anonymous users, disallow root login remotely, and more.

sudo mysql_secure_installation
Follow the on-screen prompts to secure your MariaDB installation according to your preferences. Check MariaDB Status. Verify that MariaDB is running without any errors.
sudo systemctl status mariadb
Access MariaDB, You can now access the MariaDB command-line interface using the following command. Enter the root password you set during the secure installation.
sudo mysql -u root -p
That's it! You have successfully installed and secured MariaDB on your CentOS 9 server. You can now use MariaDB for your applications or databases.

CREATE USER 'nextclouduser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'your_password';
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON nextcloud.* TO 'nextclouduser'@'localhost';

Installing and configuring PHP

Install EPEL and Remi Repositories:

You're installing the EPEL and Remi repositories to get access to more recent versions of PHP and its extensions.
sudo dnf install -y
sudo dnf install -y

Reset PHP Module:

You're resetting the PHP module to ensure a clean installation.
dnf module reset PHP

Install PHP 7.4:

You're installing PHP 7.4 using the Remi repository.
dnf module install php:remi-7.4
dnf update

Install PHP Extensions:

You're installing various PHP extensions that are commonly used with Nextcloud and other web applications.
dnf install -y php php-gd php-mbstring php-intl php-pecl-apcu php-mysqlnd php-opcache php-json php-zip

Enable PHP-FPM:

You're enabling and starting the PHP-FPM service, which is used to serve PHP files through Nginx.
systemctl enable --now php-fpm

Additional Extensions:

You're installing more PHP extensions that can be useful for various purposes.
dnf install -y php-gd php-json php-curl php-mbstring php-intl php-xml php-zip php-pear php-soap php-bcmath php-gmp php-opcache php-imagick php-pecl-redis php-pecl-apcu

These commands set up PHP and its extensions, making your server ready to support applications like Nextcloud. After completing these steps, you should be closer to having a functional web environment for hosting your applications. Always ensure to follow official documentation and best practices when setting up your server.

Edit PHP-FPM Configuration:

You're editing the www.conf file to set the user and group for PHP-FPM.
vi /etc/php-fpm.d/www.conf

Inside the file, update the user and group settings to use nginx:
user = nginx
group = nginx

Set SELinux Boolean:

You're setting a SELinux boolean to allow PHP to execute memory-mapped shared libraries.
setsebool -P httpd_execmem 1

Enable and Restart Services:

You're enabling and starting the PHP-FPM service and restarting the Nginx service.
systemctl enable --now php-fpm.service
systemctl restart nginx.service

Create PHP Info File:

You're creating a PHP info file to check the PHP configuration.
vi /usr/share/nginx/html/info.php
Add the following content to the file:
<?php phpinfo(); ?>

Check PHP and FPM Status:

You're checking thestatus of the PHP-FPM service.
netstat -pl | grep php
systemctl status php-fpm

Update PHP Configuration:

You're editing the PHP configuration file to adjust some settings.
nano /etc/php.ini
Uncomment and/or modify the following lines:

Further, Adjust PHP-FPM Configuration:

You're modifying the www.conf file for PHP-FPM to fine-tune its settings.
nano /etc/php-fpm.d/www.conf 
user = nginx
group = nginx
Uncomment these lines by removing the ‘;’.
env[PATH] = /usr/local/bin:/usr/bin:/bin
env[TMP] = /tmp
env[TMPDIR] = /tmp
env[TEMP] = /tmp 
Follow the instructions you provided to set the user, group, environment variables, and process manager settings for PHP-FPM.

Edit OPCache Configuration:

You're editing the OPCache configuration file to optimize PHP performance.
nano /etc/php.d/10-opcache.ini
Uncomment and adjust values for various OPCache settings.

Downloading and Configuring NextCloud

Install wget, You're installing wget, which is a good idea for downloading files. Download and Extract Nextcloud, You're downloading and extracting the Nextcloud archive. Remember to adjust the version number in the URL to the latest version.

sudo dnf install wget
sudo dnf install unzip -y
unzip -d /usr/share/nginx/

Set Ownership

You're setting ownership of the Nextcloud files to the nginx user. This is needed for Nginx to have the appropriate permissions.

sudo chown -R nginx:nginx /usr/share/nginx/nextcloud

Adjust PHP Permissions

You're adjusting permissions for PHP directories. However, it seems like you're trying to adjust /var/lib/php paths. If this is related to your PHP configuration, ensure that these paths match your actual PHP setup.

sudo chgrp -R nginx /var/lib/php/{opcache,session,wsdlcache}

Create Nextcloud Data Directory

You're creating the data directory for Nextcloud. This is where Nextcloud will store user data and files.

sudo mkdir /usr/share/nginx/nextcloud/data

Installing and Mounting NFS

Install NFS Utilities:

You're installing the NFS utility package, which is necessary for working with NFS shares.
sudo dnf install nfs-utils

Show Available NFS Exports:

You're using the showmount command to list the available NFS exports on a remote server with the IP address
showmount -e ""
This will display a list of directories that are shared through NFS on the specified server.

Mount NFS Share:

You're mounting an NFS share from the remote server with the IP address The share path is /Volume2/Media, and you're mounting it to the local directory /etc/plex/media.
sudo mount /usr/share/nginx/nextcloud/data

This command mounts the remote NFS directory onto the local /etc/plex/media directory on your CentOS 9 server. The contents of the remote directory will now be accessible from the local directory.

Enabling the SELINUX

Change Ownership:

You're changing the ownership of the Nextcloud directory to the nginx user and group.
chown -R nginx:nginx /usr/share/nginx/nextcloud/

Configure SELinux Contexts:

You're using the semanage fcontext command to adjust SELinux file contexts for various Nextcloud directories and files. This allows SELinux to work with these files without causing permission issues.
semanage fcontext -a -t httpd_sys_rw_content_t '/usr/share/nginx/nextcloud/data(/.*)?'
semanage fcontext -a -t httpd_sys_rw_content_t '/usr/share/nginx/nextcloud/config(/.*)?'
semanage fcontext -a -t httpd_sys_rw_content_t '/usr/share/nginx/nextcloud/apps(/.*)?'
semanage fcontext -a -t httpd_sys_rw_content_t '/usr/share/nginx/nextcloud/assets(/.*)?'
semanage fcontext -a -t httpd_sys_rw_content_t '/usr/share/nginx/nextcloud/.htaccess'
semanage fcontext -a -t httpd_sys_rw_content_t '/usr/share/nginx/nextcloud/.user.ini'

Adjust Data Directory Permissions:

You're again changing ownership of the Nextcloud data directory.
chown -R nginx:nginx /usr/share/nginx/nextcloud/data

Restore SELinux Contexts:

You're using the restorecon command to restore SELinux file contexts for the Nextcloud directories and files you've adjusted.
restorecon -Rv '/usr/share/nginx/nextcloud/'

Set SELinux Boolean for NFS:

You're using the setsebool command to enable the httpd_use_nfs boolean. This allows the HTTP server (httpd) to access NFS shares.
setsebool -P httpd_use_nfs=1

Getting the SSL for Domain

Obtain SSL/TLS Certificate:

You're using Certbot in manual mode with the DNS challenge. This means Certbot will prompt you to add a specific DNS TXT record to your domain's DNS configuration as a way to verify that you have control over the domain.

sudo dnf install certbot -y 
sudo certbot --manual --preferred-challenges dns certonly -d

In this command, -d specifies the domain for which you want to obtain the certificate.
Following this command, Certbot will provide you with instructions on what DNS TXT record to add, where to add it, and how to proceed. This process might involve temporarily adding the TXT record to your DNS zone and then waiting for DNS propagation before Certbot can validate it.

Update the Nginx Config

cat /etc/nginx/sites-available/nextcloud.conf 
upstream php-handler {
    server unix:/run/php-fpm/www.sock;

server {
    listen 80;
    # enforce https
    return 301 https://$server_name:443$request_uri;

server {
    listen 8443 ssl http2;

    ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/live/;
    ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/live/;

    add_header Strict-Transport-Security “max-age=15552000" always;
    add_header Referrer-Policy "no-referrer" always;
    add_header X-Content-Type-Options "nosniff" always;
    add_header X-Download-Options "noopen" always;
    add_header X-Frame-Options "SAMEORIGIN" always;
    add_header X-Permitted-Cross-Domain-Policies "none" always;
    add_header X-Robots-Tag "none" always;
    add_header X-XSS-Protection "1; mode=block" always;
    fastcgi_hide_header X-Powered-By;

    # Path to the root of your installation
    root /usr/share/nginx/nextcloud;

    access_log /var/log/nginx/nc_access_log;
    error_log /var/log/nginx/nc_error_log;

    location = /robots.txt {
        allow all;
        log_not_found off;
        access_log off;

    rewrite ^/.well-known/webfinger /nextcloud/public.php?service=webfinger last;
    rewrite ^/.well-known/nodeinfo /nextcloud/public.php?service=nodeinfo last;
    location = /.well-known/carddav {
      return 301 $scheme://$host:$server_port/remote.php/dav;
    location = /.well-known/caldav {
      return 301 $scheme://$host:$server_port/remote.php/dav;

    # set max upload size
    client_max_body_size 512M;
    fastcgi_buffers 64 4K;

    # Enable gzip but do not remove ETag headers
    gzip on;
    gzip_vary on;
    gzip_comp_level 4;
    gzip_min_length 256;
    gzip_proxied expired no-cache no-store private no_last_modified no_etag auth;
    gzip_types application/atom+xml application/javascript application/json application/ld+json application/manifest+json application/rss+xml application/vnd.geo+json application/ application/x-font-ttf application/x-web-app-manifest+json application/xhtml+xml application/xml font/opentype image/bmp image/svg+xml image/x-icon text/cache-manifest text/css text/plain text/vcard text/vnd.rim.location.xloc text/vtt text/x-component text/x-cross-domain-policy;

    location / {
        rewrite ^ /index.php;

    location ~ ^\/(?:build|tests|config|lib|3rdparty|templates|data)\/ {
        deny all;
    location ~ ^\/(?:\.|autotest|occ|issue|indie|db_|console) {
        deny all;

    location ~ ^\/(?:index|remote|public|cron|core\/ajax\/update|status|ocs\/v[12]|updater\/.+|oc[ms]-provider\/.+)\.php(?:$|\/) {
        fastcgi_split_path_info ^(.+?\.php)(\/.*|)$;
        set $path_info $fastcgi_path_info;
        try_files $fastcgi_script_name =404;
        include fastcgi_params;
        fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
        fastcgi_param PATH_INFO $path_info;
        fastcgi_param HTTPS on;
        fastcgi_param modHeadersAvailable true;
        fastcgi_param front_controller_active true;
        fastcgi_pass php-handler;
        fastcgi_intercept_errors on;
        fastcgi_request_buffering off;

    location ~ ^\/(?:updater|oc[ms]-provider)(?:$|\/) {
        try_files $uri/ =404;
        index index.php;

    location ~ \.(?:css|js|woff2?|svg|gif|map)$ {
        try_files $uri /index.php$request_uri;
        add_header Cache-Control "public, max-age=15778463";
        add_header Referrer-Policy "no-referrer" always;
        add_header X-Content-Type-Options "nosniff" always;
        add_header X-Download-Options "noopen" always;
        add_header X-Frame-Options "SAMEORIGIN" always;
        add_header X-Permitted-Cross-Domain-Policies "none" always;
        add_header X-Robots-Tag "none" always;
        add_header X-XSS-Protection "1; mode=block" always;

        access_log off;

    location ~ \.(?:png|html|ttf|ico|jpg|jpeg|bcmap)$ {
        try_files $uri /index.php$request_uri;
        access_log off;

Now restart the Nginx and Start Initializing the NextCloud

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Demo Rancher - K8s Platform

Rancher is a complete software stack for teams to manage, deploy, and scale containers in production. It's built on Kubernetes and provides a streamlined interface for deploying, scaling, and managing Kubernetes clusters.

Here are the steps to deploy Rancher on a Linux machine:

Step 1: Provisioning a Linux Host

The requirements for the Linux Host are as follows: Any modern Linux distribution. Ubuntu 18.04 is commonly used for this purpose.
  • A minimum of 4GB RAM.
  • A minimum of 2 CPUs.

Step 2: Install Docker

You can install Docker on your Linux machine by following the official Docker installation documentation for your respective Linux distribution.

For Ubuntu, you can install Docker using the following commands:

sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install apt-transport-https ca-certificates curl software-properties-common curl -fsSL | sudo apt-key add - sudo add-apt-repository "deb [arch=amd64] $(lsb_release -cs) stable" sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install docker-ce

To verify that Docker is installed correctly, run the following command
sudo docker run hello-world

Step 3: Install Rancher

Run the following Docker command to install Rancher
sudo docker run -d --restart=unless-stopped -p 80:80 -p 443:443 --privileged rancher/rancher:latest
This will pull the latest Rancher server Docker image and start a container.

Step 4: Access Rancher

Rancher operates an HTTPS server on port 443 and HTTP on port 80 of the host machine. You can connect to Rancher using a web browser at the host's IP address or DNS name.

Step 5: Set the Admin Password and URL

The first time you access Rancher, you'll be prompted to set a password for the admin user, and then confirm the server URL.

Step 6: Creating a Kubernetes Cluster

From the Global view, navigate to Clusters and click on "Add Cluster". You will have a list of options to choose from for where to deploy your Kubernetes cluster. It could be on existing nodes, an infrastructure provider, or hosted Kubernetes providers.

After the selection, just follow the respective on-screen instructions to proceed with the cluster creation.

Step 7: Deploying Workloads

Once your cluster is active, you can start deploying workloads. This can be done from the 'Default' project within your cluster.

These steps should allow you to deploy Rancher on a Linux machine and manage other Kubernetes clusters. Note that Rancher's flexibility allows for many other configurations, which may vary based on your specific requirements.

Friday, April 14, 2023

Installing Brew in Mac

Homebrew is a free and open-source package manager for macOS that simplifies the process of installing, updating, and managing software packages on your Mac. It allows you to easily install and manage a wide range of software packages, libraries, and tools that are not included in macOS by default.
Homebrew uses a command-line interface to install packages and dependencies, which means that you can easily manage and customize your software installations using simple commands in the Terminal.
Some of the benefits of using Homebrew on your Mac include:
  • Easy installation of software packages and dependencies
  • Automatic updates of installed packages
  • Uninstallation of packages and dependencies
  • Ability to customize software installations with different options and versions
  • Access to a large and active community of developers who contribute to Homebrew's package repository
Following are commands to install the brew and add it to CLI.

xcode-select --install
/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL" 
Following will be at the end of the installation, Copy and run that in the Mac CLI. 
  (echo; echo 'eval "$(/opt/homebrew/bin/brew shellenv)"') >> /Users/<Username>/.zprofile\n    eval "$(/opt/homebrew/bin/brew shellenv)"

xcode-select --install is a command that installs the command-line tools for Xcode on your Mac. Xcode is a development environment for macOS that provides tools for developing software for macOS, iOS, watchOS, and tvOS. The command-line tools for Xcode include a variety of tools and libraries that are necessary for building and compiling software on your Mac, even if you are not using Xcode itself.
Running xcode-select --install will open a dialog box that prompts you to install the command-line tools for Xcode. This may take a few minutes to complete, depending on your internet connection speed.

The command /bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL" installs Homebrew on your Mac. Homebrew is a package manager that allows you to easily install and manage software packages and libraries on your Mac.
The installation script for Homebrew will download and install the necessary files and dependencies for Homebrew, and will configure your system to use Homebrew as your default package manager.

The last command (echo; echo 'eval "$(/opt/homebrew/bin/brew shellenv)"') >> /Users/<Username>/.zprofile\n eval "$(/opt/homebrew/bin/brew shellenv)" adds the necessary configuration to your .zprofile file to ensure that Homebrew is properly configured on your system. This command adds a line to your .zprofile file that tells your terminal to evaluate the output of the brew shellenv command, which sets up your environment variables to use Homebrew. This ensures that when you open a new terminal session, your system is properly configured to use Homebrew.