Posts Tagged ‘Group’

List all existing local admin users belonging to admin group and mail them to monitoring mail box

Monday, February 8th, 2021

Reading Time: 3minutes


If you have a bunch of servers that needs to have a tight security with multiple Local users superuser accounts that change over time and you need to frequently keep an have a long over time if some new system UNIX local users in /etc/passwd /etc/group has been added deleted e.g. the /etc/passwd /etc/group then you might have the task to have some primitive monitoring set and the most primitive I can think of is simply routinely log users list for historical purposes to a common mailbox over time (lets say 4 times a month or even more frequently) you might send with a simple cron job a list of all existing admin authorized users to a logging sysadmin mailbox like lets say:

A remark to make here is the common sysadmin practice scenario to have local existing non-ldap admin users group members of whom are authorized to use sudo su – root via /etc/sudoers  is described in my previous article how to add local users to admin group superuser access via sudo I thus have been managing already a number of servers that have user setup using the above explained admin group.

Thus to have the monitoring at place I've developed a tiny shell script that does check all users belonging to the predefined user group dumps it to .csv format that starts with a simple timestamp on when user admin list was made and sends it to a predefined email address as well as logs sent mail content for further reference in a local directory.

The task is a relatively easy but since nowadays the level of competency of system administration across youngsters is declinging -that's of course in my humble opinion (just like it happens in every other profession), below is the developed


# dump all users belonging to a predefined admin user / group in csv format 
# with a day / month year timestamp and mail it to a predefined admin
# monitoring address
# root@server:/# grep -i 1000 /etc/passwd
# username:x:username:1000:username,,,:/home/username:/bin/bash
# username1:x:username1:1000:username1,,,:/home/username1:/bin/bash
# username5:x:username1:1000:username5,,,:/home/username5:/bin/bash

# root@server # group_id_ID='4355'; grep -i group_id_ID /etc/passwd
# …
# username1:x:1005:4355:username1,,,:/home/username1:/bin/bash
# username5:x:1005:4355,,,:/home/username5:/bin/bash

FIL="/var/log/userlist-log-dir/userlist_$(date +"%d_%m_%Y_%H_%M").txt";
CUR_D="$HOSTN: Current admin users $(date)"; >> $FIL; echo -e "##### $CUR_D #####" >> $FIL;
for i in $(cat /etc/passwd | grep -i /home|grep /bin/bash|grep -e "$ADMINS_ID" -e "$group_id_ID" | cut -d : -f1); do \
if [[ $(grep $i /etc/group|grep $group_id) ]]; then
f=$(echo $i); echo $i,group_id,$(id -g $i); else  echo $i,admin,$(id -g $i);
done >> $FIL; mail -s "$CUR_D" $TO_ADDRESS < $FIL is ready for download also here

To make the script report you will have to place it somewhere for example in /usr/local/bin/ ,  create its log dir location /var/log/userlist-log-dir/ and set proper executable and user/group script and directory permissions to it to be only readable for root user.

root@server: # mkdir /var/log/userlist-log-dir/
root@server: # chmod +x /usr/local/bin/
root@server: # chmod -R 700 /var/log/userlist-log-dir/

To make the script generate its admin user reports and send it to the central mailbox  a couple of times in the month early in the morning (assuming you have a properly running postfix / qmail / sendmail … smtp), as a last step you need to set a cron job to routinely invoke the script as root user.

root@server: # crontab -u root -e
12 06 5,10,15,20,25,1 /usr/local/bin/

That's all folks now on 5th 10th, 15th, 20th 25th and 1st at 06:12 you'll get the admin user list reports done. Enjoy 🙂

How to connect to WiFi network using console or terminal on GNU / Linux

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Reading Time: 3minutes


Sometimes its useful to connect to Wireless Networks using console . The reasons for that might be many, one possible reason is to be able to debug, Wireless connection failures or simply omit the use of the many available GUI wifi connection programs.

As a first step before connecting in terminal is to look up for the wifi networks available for connection, this is done with cmd:

linux:~# iwlist wlan0 scanning
wlan0 Scan completed :
Cell 01 - Address: 00:24:01:90:8F:38
Frequency:2.442 GHz (Channel 7)
Quality=70/70 Signal level=-39 dBm
Encryption key:on
Bit Rates:1 Mb/s; 2 Mb/s; 5.5 Mb/s; 11 Mb/s
Bit Rates:6 Mb/s; 9 Mb/s; 12 Mb/s; 48 Mb/s; 18 Mb/s
24 Mb/s; 36 Mb/s; 54 Mb/s
Extra: Last beacon: 68ms ago
IE: Unknown: 00086D616764616E6F7A
IE: Unknown: 010482848B96
IE: Unknown: 030107
IE: Unknown: 32080C1218602430486C
IE: Unknown: CC0700CC020000018A
IE: Unknown: CC0700CC0300000100
IE: WPA Version 1
Group Cipher : TKIP
Pairwise Ciphers (2) : TKIP CCMP
Authentication Suites (1) : PSK
IE: IEEE 802.11i/WPA2 Version 1
Group Cipher : TKIP
Pairwise Ciphers (2) : TKIP CCMP
Authentication Suites (1) : PSK
Cell 02 - Address: 00:1E:2A:60:5E:DC

To just list the ESSID s of the wifi networks:

linux:~# iwlist wlan0 scanning|grep -i 'essid'

1. Connecting to Open Wireless Network

Now from the above output it is clear 6 wifi networks are available for connection. The default wifi network from the list is an Open network (e.g. without pass). To connect to it I use cmd:

linux:~# /sbin/iwconfig wlan0 essid 'default'
linux:~# /sbin/iwconfig wlan0 key open

After connected to configure IP, Gateway and DNS from a DHCP server running on the WIFI router, dhclient cmd is used:

linux:~# /sbin/dhclient wlan0

2. Connecting to WEP 64bit / 128bit encrypted network

linux:~# /sbin/iwconfig wlan0 key 1234-5678-9101-1213

3. Connecting to WPA / WPA2 encrypted wifi network

To connect to WPA or WPA2 encrypted network its necessery to have installed wpasupplicant package. The name of the package might vary in different distributions on Debian and Ubuntu, the name of the package is wpasupplicant, on Fedora, CentOS and RHEL the package that has to be in is wpa_supplicant :
After having installed the wpa_supplicant to connect to the network with ESSID namemagdanoz , wpa_passphrase is used first:

linux:~# /usr/bin/wpa_passphrase magdanoz Secret_Wifi_Password | tee -a /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf

As you see in above command the secret password key is generated printed on the screen and then added to /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf , necessery to establish the wireless connection with wpa_supplicant with cmd:

linux:~# /sbin/wpa_supplicant wpa_supplicant -d wext -i wlan0 -c /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf -B

-d wext instructs wpa_supplicant to use (Linux wireless extension driver).
-B tells wpa_supplicant to background the connection to prevent the wireless connection to drop off, if the console / terminal from which it is launched gets closed.

In case of succesful connection with wpa_supplicant , once again IP, Gateway and DNS is configured fetching the settings from the wifi hotspot dhcp server:

linux:~# /sbin/dhclient wlan0

General information about the wireless network and info related to the established connection can be obtained with /usr/bin/iwconfig :

linux:~# /sbin/iwconfig
lo no wireless extensions.
eth0 no wireless extensions.
wlan0 IEEE 802.11abg ESSID:"magdanoz"
Mode:Managed Frequency:2.442 GHz Access Point: 00:24:00:90:8F:38
Bit Rate=54 Mb/s Tx-Power=15 dBm
Retry long limit:7 RTS thr:off Fragment thr:off
Encryption key:off
Power Management:off
Link Quality=70/70 Signal level=-39 dBm
Rx invalid nwid:0 Rx invalid crypt:0 Rx invalid frag:0
Tx excessive retries:0 Invalid misc:0 Missed beacon:0

To configure the exact channel over which the wireless connection will be established again is done with iwconfig, for instance to configure wlan0 wifi connection established to be on wifi channel 7:

linux:~# /sbin/iwconfig wlan0 channel 11

By default iwconfig is set to automatically set the channel based on connected network ESSID , if the channel is modified to some specific number to revert it back use:

linux:~# /sbin/iwconfig wlan0 channel auto

How to quickly check unread Gmail emails on GNU / Linux – one liner script

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Reading Time: 3minutes

I've hit an interesting article explaining how to check unread gmail email messages in Linux terminal. The original article is here

Being able to read your latest gmail emails in terminal/console is great thing, especially for console geeks like me.
Here is the one liner script:

curl -u \
--silent "" | tr -d '\n' \
| awk -F '' '{for (i=2; i<=NF; i++) {print $i}}' \
| sed -n "s/

Linux Users Group M. – [7] discussions, [10] comments and [2] jobs on LinkedIn
Twitter – Lynn Serafinn (@LynnSerafinn) has sent you a direct message on Twitter!
Facebook – Sys, you have notifications pending
Twitter – Email Marketing (@optinlists) is now following you on Twitter!
Twitter – Lynn Serafinn (@LynnSerafinn) is now following you on Twitter!
NutshellMail – 32 New Messages for Sat 3/31 12:00 PM
Linux Users Group M. – [10] discussions, [5] comments and [8] jobs on LinkedIn
eBay – Deals up to 60% OFF + A Sweepstakes!
LinkedIn Today – Top news today: The Magic of Doing One Thing at a Time
NutshellMail – 29 New Messages for Fri 3/30 12:00 PM
Linux Users Group M. – [16] discussions, [8] comments and [8] jobs on LinkedIn
Ervan Faizal Rizki . – Join my network on LinkedIn
Twitter – LEXO (@LEXOmx) retweeted one of your Tweets!
NutshellMail – 24 New Messages for Thu 3/29 12:00 PM
Facebook – Your Weekly Facebook Page Update
Linux Users Group M. – [11] discussions, [9] comments and [16] jobs on LinkedIn

As you see this one liner uses curl to fetch the information from's atom feed and then uses awk and sed to parse the returned content and make it suitable for display.

If you want to use the script every now and then on a Linux server or your Linux desktop you can download the above code in a script file here

Here is a screenshot of script's returned output:

Quick Gmail New Mail Check bash script screenshot

A good use of a modified version of the script is in conjunction with a 15 minutes cron job to launch for new gmail mails and launch your favourite desktop mail client.
This method is useful if you don't want a constant hanging Thunderbird or Evolution, pop3 / imap client on your system to just take up memory or dangle down the window list.
I've done a little modification to the script to simply, launch a predefined email reader program, if gmail atom feed returns new unread mails are available, check or download my here
Bear in mind, on occasions of errors with incorrect username or password, the script will not return any errors. The script is missing a properer error handling.Therefore, before you use the script make sure:


are 100% correct.

To launch the script on 15 minutes cronjob, put it somewhere and place a cron in (non-root) user:

# crontab -u root -e
*/15 * * * * /path/to/

Once you read your new emails in lets say Thunderbird, close it and on the next delivered unread gmail mails, your mail client will pop up by itself again. Once the mail client is closed the script execution will be terminated.
Consised that if you get too frequently gmail emails, using the script might be annoying as every 15 minutes your mail client will be re-opened.

If you use any of the shell scripts, make sure there are well secured (make it owned only by you). The gmail username and pass are in plain text, so someone can steal your password, very easily. For a one user Linux desktops systems as my case, security is not such a big concern, putting my user only readable script permissions (e.g. chmod 0700)is enough.

What is the facebook recommended profile picture (logo) size for better SEO Marketing / Few basic Facebook marketing tips

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Reading Time: 4minutes

Facebook marketing Likes good recommended logo sizes, Facebook profile logo

I hate facebook, from the deepness of my guts! However, unfortunately in one of the companies I'm employed, occasionally I have to use it as an advertisement media to improve the Search Engine visibility for their websites (gather them some more likes). As a not big lover of facebook, I'm also not a facebook-pro, anyways with this circumstances, I'm starting to learn basic tips on, making a facebook page / profile more user friendly and hence more attracting to facebook users.

From what, i"ve read there are plenty of factors that can affect on how attractive a facebook page / company profile , anyways some of the factors are more important to tamper than others. Such two factors of top importance are:

Let me evaluate a bit on each of the three aforementioned fb marketing weight factors.

1. Using Page likes for popularization.

– Lets say that you would like to make marketing to a company websites which is involved in Financial or Investment market.
Enter with the company created page or profile and facebook and think for and search for as many keywords related to the company business as possible.
Check each of the results if the Page / Group is liked by hundred thousands of other people, then just give it a like too.
By doing so for a couple of seconds all this (hundred thousands or millions) of people who has also liked it will see for a second (or less), what hangs on your Facebook profile 😉
The chance someone gets interested into what is your profile saying here is high especially if this pops up to a some 100 000+ of logged people who previously liked a fb page 🙂

2. Joining groups as a way to drive more visitors to a facebook profile

Joining big groups consisting ot thousands or millions's logic is the same like with the page likes. The only difference is some groups are kept private the so called (Closed Group).
Finding a number of similar (Open Groups) to your company activities and joining them will possibly display your company facebook profile to as many profiles as the group has.
Most of the groups are not too active therefore joing groups as a way to drive attention of facebook users to a desired profile is not so efficient as with Page Likes Adjusting a profile picture logo dimensions to a wide skyscraper.

It might seem strange but actually the size of profile picture set to pages or profiles in facebook matters, different profiles dimensions could have impact on Page Likes 🙂
The reason for the fb picture profile having influence on the marketing is very simple. If you have a wider picture you can graphically include more data visible for the user that is always stuck to the page and hence seen by the user.

I've realized this after, I've red few articles online on the same topic along with that I've noticed many big brand pages on Facebook like for instance BMW (Cars) with over 8 000 000 of likes, Adidas and Nike – with over 6 000 000 likes, have set up this wide skyscraper dimensions logos.

Here is a crop taken displaying the wide skyscraper profile picture set by BMW cars.The profile picture used by BWM (cars) has an image dimensions of: 180×500 heigh x widthAdidas's profile logo has a size of 180×489.

Nike uses a bit of unstandard 390×720 (but while uploaded facebook website automatically crops the image to a size which is fittable for a wide skyscraper) with dimensions like (200×400)Another franchising company with big likes base, I've seen is McDonald's with 19 900 000+ likes! again with a banner logo consisting of wide scraper with picture dimenions (180×439 – height / width )There are some comparatively big user base facebook pages, like Ubuntu's non-profit organization with 555 000+ thousands of likes, and their logo has dimensions of 180×181 pixels.

Not all of the highly liked (visited) facebook pages however use a wide skyscraper as a profile logo and still has enormous number of likes.
One contra-example showing that there is no clear relation between facebook profile picture dimensions and page popularity (number of likes) is Metallica (Musician/Band) fan page – (, which as of the time of writting this article has the UNIQUE HIGH NUMBER of 23,725,897 LIKES! 🙂

As far as, I've further red on many blogs, there are two general facebook standard banner profile picture recommendations:


1. One is facebook square like profile picture

– (this is the classics), if you just place a picture that is not too wide automatically facebook upload scripts will tailer the picture to have dimensions like: 180×180 pixels

The other recommended facebook pictures size is the wide wide-scraper and it should possess an image dimensions size similar to:
width x height -180×500 pixels

This is pretty much the few basics I  so far, know of can help to easily gather a custom fb company Page Likes.
As facebook is really HUGE nowdays  fb marketing has advanced tremendously.

I'll be glad to hear some cool tips & tricks you know?which can help a facebook page / profile popularity rise up.
Looking forward to hear for your good or bad facebook experiences 🙂

  • Likes of pages, which are liked by thousands of hundreds or millions of people
  • Belongings to groups / Membering to big groups (consisting of thousands)
    which hold similar interest or business activity
  • Profile picture logo dimensions

BSD (Berkley Software Distribituion) use by distribution type (FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, DrangflyBSD) use percantage charts

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

Reading Time: 2minutes

I've hit an interesting article in Wikipedia called Comparison of BSD operating systems
The article explains basic difference between different BSD (Berkley Software Distributions) and what is the primary accent of each of the BSD (free software OS) distributions. It also reveals basic details about the history and how each of the BSD's came to existence. I recommend to anyone interested in free software as it is just a great reading for everybody interested in FOSS.

The most interesting part of the wiki thread is a bar chart, provided by BSD Certification Group research conducted in September 2005.

FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, Dragonflybsd usage statistics

The above diagram is showing the proportion of users of each BSD variant from the BSD usage survey prior conducted

The research is already 6 years old, and unfortunately as of time of writting seems to be the only publicly available. Though being outdated, I believe generally the bar charts distributions along different BSD variants would be mostly true. The only big difference will be probably in PC-BSD which is not even on the diagram should have outbeaten DragonflyBSD's use. Since there is no public data available for 2012 and the years 2005 – 2012 for the use percantage of each of the BSD distributions, I've thought about a pseudo way to get some general statistics on each of the BSD distributions popularity. The methodology to gather the required statistics comes to simply, type in Google each of the BSD variant "code names" (e.g. freebsd, netbsd, openbsd etc.) and look at the number of results returned. It seems logical the more results distribution keyword searched returns, the bigger the probability of more users to be involved in developing or using the respective BSD variant.

Below you see the results, I've gathered in my quick "google research":

FreeBSD NetBSD OpenBSD BSD variant (users) use diagram based on Google searches of keywords 2012

As you can see in the above dataFreeBSD is still probably leading the BSD use, the public interest to OpenBSD – BSD focused on security has significantly grow since the last 6 years. Next it is seen the PC-BSD users base has probably tremendously increased and according to the Google results returned it is probably on a 3rd place by users interest (use?) followed by NetBSD with only 1.47% of all the BSD users. Lastly with only 0.99%, orders Dragonfly BSD which no longer is so popular as a Desktop BSD based OS as it used to be back in 2005.
Again the presented diagram results are based on only on the factor of Google BSD variant popularity and hence shouldn't be consired too trustworthy, still I'm sure it gives a general idea on how used is each of the BSD variants as of Jan 2012.

Running VirtualHosts under separate user ids (uid) and group ids (gid) on Debian Lenny (Apache 2.2.x) – A substitute alternative to suphp with Apache MPM-itk

Friday, February 19th, 2010

Reading Time: < 1minute
Before we start it might be a good idea to check out apache-mpm-itk’s officialhomepage to get a general idea of what apache mpm-itk is.
So please visit Apache2-mpm-itk’s homepage here
Now let’s continue with the installation;

1. Install Apache2-mpm-itk

# apt-get install apache2-mpm-itk

2. Configure Apache2-mpm-itk
In order to configure Apache-MPM-ITK we have to do it for each of the configuredVirtualHosts, e.g. no global options are required.
There is only one configuration Directive that has to be included in each and every Virtualhost configured in your Apache.
This is the AssignUserId and takes two parameter, (user name and group name), this are the user name andgroup name that the files on the specified virtualhosts will be executed as.

3. Here is an example on how to configure it for the default Apache virtualhost and the “example” user and group id.

<IfModule mpm_itk_module>
AssignUserId web1_admin web1

So for instance edit vim /etc/apache2/sites-available/default and place there;

<IfModule mpm_itk_module>
AssignUserId web1_admin web1

4. Last step is to restart Apache for the new VirtualHost configuration to be preloaded.

# /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

The End 🙂

Group Windows on a Taskbar in Gnome (on Debian GNU/Linux) in Vista like fashion

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Reading Time: < 1minute
I wanted to have my gnome windows be handled in a Vista / XP like fashion in other words I wanted my Gnometo Group Windows (that means if many Windows originating from the same source program then let them be grouped in one Window so any time you press that Window a menu pops up letting you choose between the desired Window). This window management aproach has one main advantage it saves space on your desktop and least but not last makes it much more ordered.
Here are the steps you need to follow to achieve Gnome Group Windowing.

1. Right click on the dotted section (that’s just to the left of your windows list section) you should find that between “Show Desktop” button and the rest of the windows buttons.2. Select “Preferences” there and then choose according to your preferences either: “Group windows when space is limited” or “Always group windows”.

The same is also explained on on Lifehacker therefore credits go to the above article.