SSL Certificate Expiration Checking

We just had an issue with an expired SSL certificate. Although the customer had a monitoring system in place, this system failed to inform the administrators of the upcoming certificate expiration which the leads to a system downtime this morning.

In order to be independent of the customer monitoring, I created a short Linux shell script which does the certificate checking by itself and sends out a notification mail if the certificate expiration date is less than x days away.

We are running this script every week via a cron job and let us warn 60 days in advance of the expiration date. So hopefully this will not happen again in future …

Here is the code of the script:


HCL Connections 6.0 CR6

The first CR release of Connections since the takeover by HCL has just arrived. It is still a little difficult to find the right links for doumentation and download, but this will hopefully improve in time.

Here are the main links for HCL Connections 6.0 CR6:

HCL Connections 6.0 Documentation

What’s new in HCL Connections 6.0?

Update Strategy for Connections 6.0

HCL Connections 6.0 CR6 Fix List

Download Connections 6.0 CR6 from the HCL FlexNet portal

Download Connections 6.0 CR6 Component Pack 6.0.09 from the HCL FlexNet portal

There are no database updates required for CR6.

WAS FP 15 is still the recommended WAS fixpack version , so you do not need to upgrade WAS if you have FP15 installed with CR5 already.

It is a long time ago since I updated my Connections Wiki. I will now start collecting all links to HCL Connections again here

Papercut – Simple Desktop SMTP Server

The problem

If you ever send emails from an application or web site during development, you’re familiar with the fear of an email being released into the wild. Are you positive none of the ‘test’ emails are addressed to colleagues or worse, customers? Of course, you can setting up and maintain a test email server for development — but that’s a chore. Plus, the delay when you are waiting to view new test emails can radically slow your development cycle.

Papercut to the rescue!

Papercut is a 2-in-1 quick email viewer AND built-in SMTP server (designed to receive messages only). Not only does it not enforce any restrictions how you prepare your email, but it allows you to view the whole email-chilada: body, html, headers, attachment down right down to the naughty raw encoded bits. Papercut can be configured to run on startup and sit quietly (minimized in the tray) only providing a notification when a new message has arrived.

IBM Docs: Error with Conversion Server on Linux

If you install the IBM Docs Conversion Server on a Linux environment as described in this article, it could be that the Symphony tasks will not start. In the error log file (/opt/IBM/ConnectionsDocs/Conversion/symphony/sym_monitor/error.log) you will see an error message that the XWindows system could not be startet:

In this case you need to add the parameter “-headless” to the template file “/opt/IBM/ConnectionsDocs/Conversion/symphony/sym_monitor/” so that it then looks like that:

After that, reboot the machine and then the Symphony soffice tasks should be running.

[Thanks to Nico]

Enabling IPv6 with Netgear Switch GS116E

Just a note to myself as I spent many hours in finding out why my clients did not get an IPv6 address from my pfSense router/firewall:

If you are using a Netgear switch (I am using here a Netgear GS116E), you need to make sure that the option

“Block Unknown Multicast Address” is set to DISABLED.

If you have that option enabled the IPv6 router advertisement (RA) packets seem to be filtered out. For me this was not very obvious …

IBM Connections Content Manager: Installation and Configuration with Java 8 installed

If you want to install IBM Connections Content Manager, the IBM Documentation  requests you to switch to Java 6, install and configure CCM and then switch back to Java 8 again. The same procedure is needed you want e.g. to update the CCM installation.

However, if you have installed WebSphere with Java 8 support only, you cannot switch back to Java 6 later and you also cannot install Java 6 afterwards.

To solve that problem, without the need to reinstall your complete environment, you can install the WebSphere iFix PI71397 on all your WAS instances including the Deployment Manager.

After that, you are able to install and configure CCM with Java 8 enabled and without the need to switch back to Java 6.

[Thanks to Michele for that hint!]


A useful collection of tools for IBM Connections admins

ConnectionsAdminTools is a set of administrative scripts designed to make life easier for Connections administrators. The scripts contain both user-friendly wrappers around existing administration tools and new tools that don’t already exist in the product.

Tools exist for both Connections Blue (WebSphere) and Connections Pink (Kubernetes). You can install the full set of tools on on every Connections node in the environment without worrying about which ones target Blue and Pink. Each tool understands its dependencies and will report an appropriate error message if you try to run a tool on a system that doesn’t host the target component.