Posts Tagged ‘authenticity’

How to copy / clone installed packages from one Debian server to another

Friday, April 13th, 2012

Reading Time: 3minutes

1. Dump all installed server packages from Debian Linux server1

First it is necessery to dump a list of all installed packages on the server from which the intalled deb packages 'selection' will be replicated.

debian-server1:~# dpkg --get-selections \* > packages.txt

The format of the produced packages.txt file will have only two columns, in column1 there will be the package (name) installed and in column 2, the status of the package e.g.: install or deinstall

Note that you can only use the –get-selections as root superuser, trying to run it with non-privileged user I got:

hipo@server1:~$ dpkg --set-selections > packages.txt
dpkg: operation requires read/write access to dpkg status area

2. Copy packages.txt file containing the installed deb packages from server1 to server2

There is many way to copy the packages.txt package description file, one can use ftp, sftp, scp, rsync … lftp or even copy it via wget if placed in some Apache directory on server1.

A quick and convenient way to copy the file from Debian server1 to server2 is with scp as it can also be used easily for an automated script to do the packages.txt file copying (if for instance you have to implement package cloning on multiple Debian Linux servers).

root@debian-server1:~# scp ./packages.txt hipo@server-hostname2:~/packages.txt
The authenticity of host ' (' can't be established. RSA key fingerprint is 38:da:2a:79:ad:38:5b:64:9e:8b:b4:81:09:cd:94:d4. Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)? yes Warning: Permanently added '' (RSA) to the list of known hosts. hipo@'s password:

As this is the first time I make connection to server2 from server1, I'm prompted to accept the host RSA unique fingerprint.

3. Install the copied selection from server1 on server2 with apt-get or dselect

debian-server2:/home/hipo# apt-get update
debian-server2:/home/hipo# apt-get upgrade
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
debian-server2:/home/hipo# dpkg --set-selections < packages.txt
debian-server2:/home/hipo# apt-get -u dselect-upgrade --yes

The first apt-get update command assures the server will have the latest version of the packages currently installed, this will save you from running an outdated versions of the installed packages on debian-server2

Bear in mind that using apt-get sometimes, might create dependency issues. This is depending on the exact package names, being replicated in between the servers

Therefore it is better to use another approach with bash for loop to "replicate" installed packages between two servers, like so:

debian-server2:/home/hipo# for i in $(cat packages.txt |awk '{ print $1 }'); do aptitude install $i; done

If you want to automate the questioning about aptitude operations pass on the -y

debian-server2:/home/hipo# for i in $(cat packages.txt |awk '{ print $1 }'); do aptitude -y install $i; done

Be cautious if the -y is passed as sometimes some packages might be removed from the server to resolve dependency issues, if you need this packages you will have to again install them manually.

4. Mirroring package selection from server1 to server2 using one liner

A quick one liner, that does replicate a set of preselected packages from server1 to server2 is also possible with either a combination of apt, ssh, awk and dpkg or with ssh + dpkg + dselect :

a) One-liner code with apt-get unifying the installed packages between 2 or more servers

debian-server2:~# apt-get --yes install `ssh root@debian-server1 "dpkg -l | grep -E ^ii" | awk '{print $2}'`

If it is necessery to install on more than just debian-server2, copy paste the above code to all servers you want to have identical installed packages as with debian-server1 or use a shor for loop to run the commands for each and every host of multiple servers group.

In some cases it might be better to use dselect instead as in some situations using apt-get might not correctly solve the package dependencies, if encountering problems with dependencies better run:

debian-server2:/home/hipo# ssh root@debian-server1 'dpkg --get-selections' | dpkg --set-selections && dselect install

As you can see using this second dselect installed "package" mirroring is also way easier to read and understand than the prior "cryptic" method with apt-get, hence I personally think using dselect method is a better.

Well that's basically it. If you need to synchronize also configurations, either an rsync/scp shell script, should be used with all defined server1 config files or in case if a cloning of packages between identical server machines is necessery dd or some other tool like Norton Ghost could be used.
Hope this helps, someone.

Getting around “Secure Connection Failed Peer’s, Certificate has been revoked., (Error code: sec_error_revoked_certificate)

Friday, April 8th, 2011

Reading Time: 3minutes
Certificate has been revoked, sec_error_revoked_certificate screenshot

One of the SSL secured websites (https://) which I have recently accessed couldn’t be opened with an error message showing up:

Secure Connection Failed

An error occurred during a connection to

Peer’s Certificate has been revoked.

(Error code: sec_error_revoked_certificate)

* The page you are trying to view can not be shown because the authenticity of the received data could not be verified.
* Please contact the web site owners to inform them of this problem. Alternatively, use the command found in the help menu to report this broken site.

That error catched my attention so I digged further in what the message means. Here is what I found as an explanation to what is certificate revocation online

What is a SSL Certificate revocation

Revocation of a certificate means that the Certificate Authority (CA) that issuer of the certificate for a website have decided that the certificate is no longer valid, even if it has not expired.

The information about revocation can be distributed in two ways: Certificate Revocation Lists (CRLs), or by using the Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP).

CRLs are (usually) large files that contain a list with information about all the currentely active (unexpired) certificates that are no longer valid. This file has to be downloaded from the CA by the client at regular intervals (usually at least a week apart), and may be quite large.

OCSP, on the other hand, means that the client asks the CA “Is this particular certificate still valid?”, and the server responds “Yes” or “No”. This method can usually be fairly well up to date, meaning the information is at most a few days old, as opposed to at least a week for CRLs.

All the major browsers support OCSP, but some (like Opera) does not currently support CRLs.

By this time most of the modern browsers (Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Internet explorer does support revocation lists and all of the aforementioned hsa enabled at least OCSP by default.

Why SSL revocation error might occur:

A CA can revoke a certificate due to a number of reasons:

– A new certificate has been issued to the website, meaning the old one is not going to be used anymore.
– The website with the certificate is being used for purposes that are not accepted by the CA.
– The certificate was issued based on incorrect information.
– The owner is no longer able to use the private key associated with the certificate, for example the password is lost, the key storage was destroyed somehow, etc.
– The private key has been compromised or stolen, which means traffic to the site is no longer secure.
– The certificate and key have been stolen and is actually being used for fraud while posing as a legitimate website …

Now after all above being said the error:

Secure Connection Failed Peer's, Certificate has been revoked., (Error code: sec_error_revoked_certificate)

is a sure indicator that the website which had the certificate problem as a one you could not trust to make money transactions or do any operation that has a direct relation to your personal private date.

However as there are still websites which use an SSL encryption and are entertainment websites or just a news websites, sometimes getting around the ssl revocation issue to check this website is a necessity.

Therefore to enable your Firefox 3.5 / Iceweasel browser with a website which has ssl certificate revocation issue you need to do the following:

Edit -> Preferences -> Advanced -> Encryption -> Validation

After you see the Certificate Validation screen remove the tick set on:

Use the Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP) to confirm the current validity of certificates

Now refresh the website and you will skip the certificate revocation issue error and the webpage will open up.
Note that even though this will work, it’s not recommended to use this work around!