Attic – De-Duplicating Backup Application

Attic is a deduplicating backup program written in Python. The main goal of Attic is to provide an efficient and secure way to backup data. The data deduplication technique used makes Attic suitable for daily backups since only the changes are stored.


  • Space efficient storage
    Variable block size deduplication is used to reduce the number of bytes stored by detecting redundant data. Each file is split into a number of variable length chunks and only chunks that have never been seen before are compressed and added to the repository.
  • Optional data encryption
    All data can be protected using 256-bit AES encryption and data integrity and authenticity is verified using HMAC-SHA256.
  • Off-site backups
    Attic can store data on any remote host accessible over SSH as long as Attic is installed.
  • Backups mountable as filesystems
    Backup archives are mountable as userspace filesystems for easy backup verification and restores.

More information and Download Install instructions are available from the site:

Simple Invoices – OpenSource and Free

Simple Invoices is a free, open source, web based invoicing system that can be installed on a local server, hosted/cloud environment or even your laptop. Also add to an existing LAMP server which is what I did.

Some of the features:

  • Absolutely free, no monthly subscription
  • Browser based application you can use from anywhere
  • It’s open source, developed by the community and it’s yours
  • Easily track your finances, send invoices as PDF’s and hundreds of other great features

More details and download:

psacct Linux Utility for user activity

The psacct utility provides a way that you can monitor user or some other system activities on your Linux server. It’s handy to have when several users would have an account and access to the server such as a system that allows devs and other administrators to manage the server or add content. In addition you can also see what applications are doing.

The psacct or acct on Debian based systems contains the following sub utilities that you can use, these are:

  • sa – summarises accounting information of previous commands executed
  • lastcomm – provides information about previously executed commands
  • ac – provides statistics about users connect time


Redhat/Centos Based:

 yum install psacct 

Debian/Ubuntu Based:

 apt-get install acct 

The service may need to be started and/or you should check if it’s starting on boot with a chkconfig for Redhat/Centos systems.

 service psacct start 

or depending on your server’s distro. 

 service acct start 

sa –  summarizes accounting information:

sa summarizes information about previously executed commands as recorded in the acct file. In addition, it condenses this data into a summary file named savacct which contains the number of times the command was called and the system resources used. The information can also be summarised on a per-user basis; sa will save this information into a file named usracct.

Some quick commands using sa:

  • sa -a  —> will list all names and force sa not to sort unprintable characters.
  • sa -u  —> will list users for each command with the userid and command name.
  • sa -m —> will list user summary with the number of processes and number of                          CPU minutes on a per-user basis.
  • sa -c —> will list percentages of total time for the user commands, system and real time values.

lastcomm – info about previous executed commands:

If no arguments are specified, lastcomm will display info about all of the commands in acct (the record file). If called with one or more of command-name, username, or terminal-name, only records containing those items will be displayed. For example, to find out which users used command `a.out’ and which users were logged into `tty0′, type:
lastcomm a.out tty0

Some quick commands using lastcomm:

  • lastcomm —> will display a list of commands executed by users of the server
  • lastcomm keith –> will display a list of commands executed by a user named keith
  •  lastcomm rm –> will display each use of the rm command, might be very useful

ac – provides statistics about users connect time

ac provides a report of connect time (in hours) based on the logins/logouts of the server and provides this as a total.

Some quick commands using ac:

  • ac –> provides the total hours
  • ac -d –> provides totals for each day
  • ac -p –> provides time totals for users
  • ac -p keith –> provides time totals for the user keith

There is a lot to psacct and it’s sub utilities, and it’s not full proof, however you could look at ways of locking this down further from tampering and create scripts with cron jobs to automate the checking process!