25 March 2020

Bitnami – Set timezone

Having the correct timezone configured on your machine can save you a lot of “math headaches” when you try to comb through the machine’s event logs. It’s a pretty easy thing to configure in the overall scope of all things, yet it is one that is often over looked, even by veteran users. Never fear though… I will show you how you too can update your Bitnami instance to your preferred timezone.

Lets begin by logging in with ‘root’ priviledges to your Bitnami instance.
Once logged in, use the following command to see what timezone you are currently set to use.

date

As you can see in my example, I am currently set to the UTC timezone, also known as Universal Time.

To find our desired timezone and reconfigure this, we need to enter the following command.

sudo dpkg-reconfigure tzdata

Once you’ve entered the command above and hit ‘Enter’ it will launch a menu were we can find and select your desired timezone. I will changing my Bitnami instance to use the ‘Pacific\Honolulu’ timezone, also known as HST.

Once you click ‘OK’, the machine will show you that it has updated it’s clock to use your desired timezone.

You can further verify that your clock is set correctly by running the ‘date’ command again, just as we had at the beginning of this post.

date

Just like that, we have updated the timezone preference in Bitnami. It was simple to do just as i promised. No more “math headaches” for us when we read log timestamps!!!

NOTE: If you are just trying to update your timezone for WordPress that is running on Bitnami, then check out this post of mine: WordPress – Set Timezone

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30 November 2019

Bitnami – Disabling TLS v1.0 & v1.1

I was surprised when I ran the Qualys SSL Labs scan against my website that I got a lower score than I expected. The SSL Labs scan is a FREE deep analysis of the SSL configuration of your public facing website, that returns a score and grade of your server. It also provides some suggestions as to what you can do to improve your server’s score.

Well, it turns out there are two things that were hindering my score. One is easy to fix via a configuration change in Bitnamo, I’ll cover that in this article. The other isn’t necessarily hard, but it involves a DNS record known as a CAA, which I’m not going to cover in this article.

The quick easy fix was to change the versions of TLS that I allowed my server to use, by disabling the older versions of the TLS protocol, v1.0 and v1.1.

I used WinSCP to connect to my server, and went to the file. /opt/bitnami/apache2/conf/bitnami/bitnami.conf

Within the file you can set/remove the “SSL Protocol” directive. In my case, I set it to SSLProtocol all -SSLv2 -SSLv3 -TLSv1 -TLSv1.1

Once that change has been saved, all that’s left is to restart Apache. You can restart connecting over SSH to your server and issuing the following command sudo /opt/bitnami/ctlscript.sh restart apache

After you see Apache restart, go ahead and re-scan your website. I found that for my website, my score increased and thus my grade was better after disabling the older versions of TLS. Success!

11 November 2019

Removing the Bitnami bannner image

On a new install of WordPress on Bitnami, you’ll have a small little banner image displayed in the lower right corner of your webpage.

To remove it, you can find instructions in Bitnami’s online documentation. https://docs.bitnami.com/aws/how-to/bitnami-remove-banner/

To remove the banner link you can complete these steps:

  • Log in to into your server console using SSH and execute the following command. sudo /opt/bitnami/apps/wordpress/bnconfig --disable_banner 1
  • If you get the response: “command not found”. Try using this command instead and it should work. sudo /opt/bitnami/apps/wordpress/bnconfig.disabled --disable_banner 1
  • Restart the Web server.
    • If you’re using Apache, execute the command below: sudo /opt/bitnami/ctlscript.sh restart apache
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