Debian/Ubuntu Tips and Tricks

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Debian/Ubuntu Tips and Tricks

Archive for the 'Softwares' Category

How-To: using Python Virtual Environments

Posted by chantra on 3rd September 2013

A nice thing about Python is that there is tons of modules available out there. Not all those modules are readily available for your distro and even if there were, chances are that a newer release with new features is already out there.

You might not always want to install those modules system wide, either because there might not be any need for it, or because they could clash with the same module install via package management.

To answer this problem, python has a virtualenv that will let you create multiple virtual python instances within which you will be able to install whichever modules you might need. All this without requiring root pribileges.

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How-To: Bash Parameter Expansion and String Manipulation

Posted by chantra on 19th February 2013

Last time we saw how bash can help us in handling default values out of the box using parameter expansion. This time we will see how basic string operations (nonetheless common and useful) can also be achieved using bash.

There is many ways to do string manipulation with bash, like finding a filename extension using expr, separating the directory part from a filename using dirname and basename.... or even more sophisticated ones based on regex, sed....

Why using a sledgehammer to crack a nut when you could use bash builtin functionalities!

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How-To: Bash Parameter Expansion and Default Values

Posted by chantra on 28th January 2013

Bash is a sh-compatible command language interpreter that executes commands read from the standard input or from a file.
There is much more to bash than running a sequence of commands, one of the features bundled with bash is parameter expansion.

Any shell user has most likely used shell variables, be it $1 or $myvar, to save values... but there is more to it. This tutorial will cover a subset of shell parameter expansion that can become really handy and save you a lot of time.

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How-To: OpenVPN on Debian Squeeze with Username/Password authentication

Posted by chantra on 16th January 2013

Creating the configuration

Now that we have our certificates ready, we need to create a set of config for the server and the client.

Server side

On the server side, you will need to create the file /etc/openvpn/server.conf and edit it with:

dev tun
proto udp
port 1194
# since OpenVPN 2.1 we can use topology subnet
topology subnet
# if we want to change the temp directory location
; tmp-dir /dev/shm
# certs
ca keys/ca.crt
cert keys/server01.crt
key keys/server01.key
dh keys/dh1024.pem
# TLS
tls-auth keys/ta.key 0
# Keepalive
# Ping every 10 seconds, assume that remote
# peer is down if no ping received during
# a 120 second time period.
keepalive 10 120
comp-lzo
# Write operational status to this file
status openvpn-status.log
# Drop privileges
user nobody
group nogroup
# As we dropped privileges, make sure we dont
# close/reopen tun interface amd re-read key files
# accross SIGUSR1
persist-key
persist-tun
# Our subnet
server 10.8.0.0 255.255.255.0
# Redirect all traffic to our OpenVPN server
push "redirect-gateway def1 bypass-dhcp"
# We want client to use our DNS server
push "dhcp-option DNS 10.8.0.1"
ifconfig-pool-persist ipp.txt
# If you want OpenVPN clients
# to be able to connect directly
# to each others
; client-to-client
# Use PAM authentication
plugin /usr/lib/openvpn/openvpn-auth-pam.so login
# we dont want to use client certificate
client-cert-not-required
username-as-common-name
# enable mgmt over telnet
management localhost 1194 mgmt-pw-file
verb 3

Then, we need to copy the certificates/keys in the keys directory of /etc/openvpn:

mkdir /etc/openvpn/keys
cp /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa/2.0/keys/{ca.crt,server01.crt,server01.key,dh1024.pem,ta.key} /etc/openvpn/keys/

And, in order to be able to manage openvpn from a telnet connection, we will create a file called /etc/openvpn/mgmt-pw-file with password "password":

echo password > /etc/openvpn/mgmt-pw-file
chmod 700 /etc/openvpn/mgmt-pw-file
chown root:root /etc/openvpn/mgmt-pw-file

Everything should be setup for the server side, now we need to edht /etc/default/openvpn to make sure that this configuration get started when using the init script. So, edit that file and make sure it contains:

AUTOSTART="server"

O'rite, you can now restart openvpn service with:

# /etc/init.d/openvpn restart

Now, our server should be up and running. If anything went wrong, /var/log/daemon.log is the place to look into.

At this stage, you should also be able to connect to localhost on TCP port 1194 using telnet. You will be prompted for a password, this is the password you have set in /etc/openvpn/mgmt-pw-file.
Once you logged in, you will be able to access the management interface of openvn!

Enabling IP forwarding

As we will be routing packets, we need to enable IP forwarding. To do this create a file called /etc/sysctl.d/forwarding.conf which contains:

net.ipv4.ip_forward=1

And apply the change with:

root@ovpnrouter:~# sysctl -p /etc/sysctl.d/forwarding.conf
net.ipv4.ip_forward = 1

IPTable

At this stage, the openvpn server could handle clients, forward packets, but packets would be routed with their original private IP. To give proper network connectivity to our OpenVPN clients, we will need to NAT the traffic.
This can be done by using the following command:

root@ovpnrouter:~# iptables -t nat -I POSTROUTING -s 10.8.0.0/24 -o eth0 -j MASQUERADE

Configuring Iptable is not in the scope of this article. You might want to refer to IPtables: how to share your internet connection.

Anyhow, let's move forward and set up a client!

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Terminator is getting a plugin system

Posted by chantra on 16th June 2010

I already spoke about Terminator a while back. Since then,, quite some time has passed and lots of features were added...

In the last 7+ months, cmsj as worked a lot on getting the whole architecture re-implemented in a more object-like architecture which makes the different component of Terminator interact together more naturally.

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How-To: Changing the default text editor

Posted by chantra on 16th September 2009

There is a few software that will use the editor command to find out what text editor to use. Example commands will be dch to add a new .deb changelog entry, revision control softwares when prompting for a commit message ...

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Vmware Workstation: DNS not working with NAT

Posted by chantra on 8th April 2009

Lately, I have been experiencing a funny network issue when using VMware Workstation VMs with NAT interface. Roughly, the IP network was working fine, but DNS resolution was not anymore. It happened intermittently, but I could see that this mainly happened when I was suspending my laptop, going to another location and resuming.

Forcing the VM to use a public DNS would solve the issue.

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How-To: Setting up BGP on Vyatta — page 3 — Setting BGP

Posted by chantra on 2nd November 2008

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series How-To: Setting up BGP on Vyatta

3. Setting BGP

As told earlier on, vyatta-bgp1 will advertise AS 1 with network 1.1.1.0/24 to its neighbor vyatta-bgp2 handling AS 2
and
vyatta-bgp2 will advertise AS 2 with network 2.2.2.0/24 to its neighbor vyatta-bgp1 handling AS 1

They will use a common password for this communication, which is BGPtutorial.

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How-To: Setting up BGP on Vyatta — page 2 — Network interfaces

Posted by chantra on 1st November 2008

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series How-To: Setting up BGP on Vyatta

2. Setting the network interfaces

During this part, we are going to set up the 2 Border Gateway routers'network interfaces. In vyatta world, you need to enter the interactive configuration shell by typing:

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How-To: Setting up BGP on Vyatta

Posted by chantra on 1st November 2008

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series How-To: Setting up BGP on Vyatta

Vyatta is a Linux based distro that ease the set up of VPN, Routers, antivirus.... It has a really small footprint on your system as it only requires something like 800M to be installed and is based on Debian. On the top of that, it offers configuration wrappers to facilitate service settings.

This tutorial will explain how to set up 2 Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) boxes to route the traffic from one Autonomous System (AS) to the other using Vyatta.
Vyatta Community Edition 4.1.4 was used during this set up.

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