Two factor authentication is increasingly becoming a strongly recommended way of protecting user accounts in web applications from attackers by requiring a second method of authentication in addition to the standard username and password pair.

Although two factor authentication can encompass a wide range of techniques like biometrics or smart cards, the most commonly deployed technique in web applications is the one time password. If you have used applications like Gmail, you are probably familiar with the one time password generated by the Google Authenticator app that’s available on iOS or Android devices.

The algorithm used for the one time password in the Google Authenticator app is known as the Time-based One-Time Password (TOTP) algorithm. The TOTP algorithm is a standard algorithm approved by the IETF in (RFC 6238) totp-rfc.


Today I will be talking about ansible, a powerful configuration management solution written in python. There are many configuration management solutions available, all with pros and cons, ansible stands apart from many of them for its simplicity. What makes ansible different than many of the most popular configuration management systems is that its agent-less, no need to setup agents on every node you want to control. Plus, this has the benefit of being able to control you entire infrastructure from more than one place, if needed. That last point’s validity, of being a benefit, may be debatable but I find it as a positive in most cases. Enough talk, lets get started with Ansible installation and configuration on a RHEL/CentOS, and Debian/Ubuntu based systems.


If you want to monitor network throughput on the command line interface, use nload application. It is a console application which monitors network traffic and bandwidth usage in real time. It visualizes the in and outgoing traffic using two graphs and provides additional info like total amount of transferred data and min/max network usage.


nicstat-welcomeThe nicstat command is top like utility for network interface card (NIC). It displays information and statistics about all your network card such as packets, kilobytes per second, average packet sizes and more. It works under Solaris and Linux operating systems.

In this post, I will explain how to install and use the nicstat command to find out stats about your NICs under Debian / Ubuntu / RHEL / CentOS Linux operating systems.


The iotop command is top like utility for disk I/O. It watches I/O usage information output by the Linux kernel (requires v2.6.20 or later) and displays a table of current I/O usage by processes or threads on the system. This post expalins how to install and use iotop to find out what’s stressing (or program names) on your hard drives under Linux operating systems.