Posts Tagged ‘piece of cake’

Adding another level of security to your shared Debian Linux webhosting server with SuPHP

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Reading Time: 3minutes

suphp_improve-apache-security-protect-against-virus-internal-server-infections-suphp-webserver-logo

There are plenty of security schemes and strategies you can implement if you're a Shared Web Hosting company sysadmin however probably the most vital one is to install on Apache + PHP Webserver SuPHP module.

# apt-cache show suphp-common|grep -i descrip -A 4

Description: Common files for mod suphp Suphp consists of an Apache module (mod_suphp for either Apache 1.3.x or Apache 2.x) and a setuid root binary (suphp) that is called by the Apache module to change the uid of the process executing the PHP interpreter to the owner of the php script.

So what SuPHP actuall  does is to run separateCPanel / Kloxo etc. Users with separate username and groupid permissions coinciding with the user present in /etc/passwd , /etc/shadow files existing users, thus in case if someone hacks some of the many customer sites he would be able to only write files and directories under the user with which the security breach occured.

On servers where SuPHP is not installed, all  systemusers are using the same UserID / GuID to run PHP executable scripts under separate domains Virtualhost which are coinciding with Apache (on Debian / Ubuntu  uid, gid – www-data) or on (CentOS / RHEL / Fedora etc. – user apache) so once one site is defaced  exploited by a worm all or most server websites might end up infected with a Web Virus / Worm which will be trying to exploit even more sites of a type running silently in the background.  This is very common scenarios as currently there are donezs of PHP / CSS / Javasripts / XSS vulnerability exploited on VPS and Shared hosting servers due to failure of a customer to update his own CMS  scripts / Website  (Joomla, Wordpress, Drupal etc.) and the lack of resource to regularly monitor all customer activities / websites.

Therefore installing SuPHP Apache module is essential one to install on new serverslarge hosting providers as it saves the admin a lot of headache from spreading malware across all hosted servers sites ..
Some VPS admins that are security freaks tend to also install SuPHP module together with many chrooted Apache / LiteSpeed / Nginx webservers each of which running in a separate Jailed environment.

Of course using SuPHP besides giving a improved security layer to the webserver has its downsides such as increased load for the server and making Apache PHP scripts being interpretted a little bit slower than with plain Apache + PHP but performance difference while running a site on top of SuPHP is often not so drastic so you can live it up ..

Installing SuPHP on a Debian / Ubuntu servers is a piece of cake, just run the as root superuser, usual:
 

# apt-get install libapache2-mod-suphp


Once installed only thing to make is to turn off default installed Apache PHP module (without SuPHP compiled support and restart Apache webserver):
 

# a2dismod php5 …

# /etc/init.d/apache2 restart


To test the SuPHP is properly working on the Apache Webserver go into some of many hosted server websites DocumentRoot

And create new file called test_suphp.php with below content:

# vim test_suphp.php
<?php
system('id');
?>

Then open in browser http://whatever-website/test_suphp.php assuming that system(); function is not disabled for security reasons in php.iniyou should get an User ID, GroupID bigger than reserved system IDs on GNU / Linux e.g. ID > UID / GID 99

Its also a good idea to take a look into SuPHP configuration file /etc/suphp/suphp.conf and tailor options according to your liking 

If different hosted client users home directories are into /home directory, set in suphp.conf

;Path all scripts have to be in

docroot=/home/


Also usually it is a good idea to set 

umask=0022 

Tightening PHP Security on Apache 2.2 with ModSecurity2 on Debian Lenny Linux

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Reading Time: 4minutes

Tightening-PHP-Security-on-Apache-2.2-2.4-with-Apache-ModSecurity2
In this article you'll learn how I easily installed and configured the ModSecurity 2 on a Debian Lenny system.
First let me give you a few introductionary words to modsecurity, what is it and why it's a good idea to install and use it on your Apache Webserver.

ModSecurity is an Apache module that provides intrusion detection and prevention for web applications. It aims at shielding web applications from known and unknown attacks, such as SQL injection attacks, cross-site scripting, path traversal attacks, etc.

As you can see from ModSecurity’s description it’s a priceless module add on to Apache that is able to protect your PHP Applications and Apache server from a huge number of hacker attacks undertook against your Online Web Application or Webserver.
The only thing I don’t like about this module is that it is actually a 3rd party module (e.g. not officially part of Apache). Some time ago I remember there was even an exploit for one of the versions of the module.
So in some cases the ModSecurity could also pose a security risk, so beware!
However if you know what you'rre doing and you keep a regular track of security news on some major security websites, that shouldn’t be a concern for you.
Now let'ss proceed to the install of the ModSecurity module itself.
The install is a piece of cake on Debian though you'll be required to use the Debian Lenny backports

Here is the install of the module step by step:

1. First add the gpg key of the backports repository to your install

debian-server:~# gpg --keyserver pgp.mit.edu --recv-keys C514AF8E4BA401C3
# another possible way to add the repository as the website describes is through the command
debian-server:~# wget -O - http://backports.org/debian/archive.key | apt-key add -

2. Install the libapache-mod-security package from the backports Debian Lenny repository

debian-server~:~# apt-get -t lenny-backports install libapache2-mod-security2

Now as a last step of the install ModSeccurity install procedure you have to add some configuration directives to Apache and restart the server afterwards.

– Open your /etc/apache2/apache2.conf and place in it the following configurations


<IfModule mod_security2.c>
# Basic configuration options
SecRuleEngine On
SecRequestBodyAccess On
SecResponseBodyAccess Off

# Handling of file uploads
# TODO Choose a folder private to Apache.
# SecUploadDir /opt/apache-frontend/tmp/
SecUploadKeepFiles Off

# Debug log
SecDebugLog /var/log/apache2/modsec_debug.log
SecDebugLogLevel 0

# Serial audit log
SecAuditEngine RelevantOnly
SecAuditLogRelevantStatus ^5
SecAuditLogParts ABIFHZ
SecAuditLogType Serial
SecAuditLog /var/log/apache2/modsec_audit.log

# Maximum request body size we will
# accept for buffering
SecRequestBodyLimit 131072

# Store up to 128 KB in memory SecRequestBodyInMemoryLimit 131072
# Buffer response bodies of up to # 512 KB in length SecResponseBodyLimit 524288
</IfModule>

The ModSecurity2 module would be properly installed and configured as an Apache module.
3.All left is to restart Apache in order the new module and configurations to take effect.

debian-server:~# /etc/init.d/apache restart

Don’t forget to check the apache conf file for errors before restarting the Apache with the above command for that to happen issue the command:
debian-server:~# apache2ctl -t

If all is fine you should get as an output:

Syntax OK

4. Next to find out if the Apache ModSecurity2 module is enabled and already used by Apache as a mean of protection you,
you might want to check if the log files modsec_audit.log and modsec_debug.log files has grown and doesfeed a new content.
If they’re growing and you see messages concerning the operation of the ModSecurity2 Apache module that’s a sure sign all is fine.
5. As we have the Mod Security Apache module configured on our Debian Server, now we will need to apply some ModSecurityCore Rules .
In short ModSecurity Core Rules are some critical protection rules against attacks across almost every web architecture.
Another really neat thing about Core Rules (CRS) for ModSecurity is that they are written with a performance in mind.
So enabling this filter rules won’t be a too heavy load for your Apache server.

Here is how to install the core rules:

6. Download latest ModSecurity Code Rules

Download them from the following Code Rule url
At the time of writting this article the latest code rules are version modsecurity-crs_2.0.6.tar.gz

To download and install this rules issue some commands like:

debian-server:~# wget http://sourceforge.net/projects/mod-security/files/modsecurity-crs/0-CURRENT/modsecurity-crs_2.0.6.tar.gz/download
debian-server:~# cp -rpf ~/modsecurity-crs_2.0.6.tar.gz /etc/apache2/
debian-server:~# cd /etc/apache2/; tar -zxvvf modsecurity-crs_2.0.6.tar.gz

Besides physically storing the unarchived modsecirity-crs in your /etc/apache2 it’s also necessery to add to your Apache Ifmodule mod_security.c block of code the following two lines:

Include /etc/apache2/modsecurity-crs_2.0.6/*.conf
Include /etc/apache2/modsecurity-crs_2.0.6/base_rules/*.conf

Thus ultimately the configuration concerning ModSecurity in your Apache Server configuration should look like the following:

<IfModule mod_security2.c>
# Basic configuration options
SecRuleEngine On
SecRequestBodyAccess On
SecResponseBodyAccess Off

# Handling of file uploads
# TODO Choose a folder private to Apache.
# SecUploadDir /opt/apache-frontend/tmp/
SecUploadKeepFiles Off

# Debug log
SecDebugLog /var/log/apache2/modsec_debug.log
SecDebugLogLevel 0

# Serial audit log
SecAuditEngine RelevantOnly
SecAuditLogRelevantStatus ^5
SecAuditLogParts ABIFHZ
SecAuditLogType Serial
SecAuditLog /var/log/apache2/modsec_audit.log

# Maximum request body size we will
# accept for buffering
SecRequestBodyLimit 131072

# Store up to 128 KB in memory
SecRequestBodyInMemoryLimit 131072
SecRequestBodyInMemoryLimit 131072

# Buffer response bodies of up to
# 512 KB in length
SecResponseBodyLimit 524288
Include /etc/apache2/modsecurity-crs_2.0.6/*.conf
Include /etc/apache2/modsecurity-crs_2.0.6/base_rules/*.conf
</Ifmodule>

Once again you have to check if everything is fine with Apache configurations with:

debian-server:~# apache2ctl -t

If it’s showing once again an OK status. Then you’re ready to restart the Webserver.
debian-server:~# /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

One example goodness of setting up the ModSecurity + the Core rule sets are that after the above described installationis fully functional.

ModSecurity will be able to track if somebody tries to execute PHP Shell on your server .
ModSecurity will catch, log and block (forbid) requests to r99.txt, r59, safe0ver and possibly other hacked modifications of the php shell script

That’s it! Now Enjoy your tightened Apache Security and Hopefully catch the script kiddie trying to h4x0r yoU 🙂

12 must have Joomla extension plugins / Essential modules for new Joomla CMS install

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Reading Time: 10minutesJoomla bundle of must have extensions picture

These days very often I have to install, plain new Joomla based websites. I’ve realized that since there is no structured guide to follow describing the most essential plugins that every new fresh new joomla installation is required to have.
Thus I took the time and wrote this post, as it will be useful to myself in my future new joomla based websites establishment, I also believe these guide will be useful to other Joomla enthusiasts or administrators in their daily work.

Below I will describe in short the installation, configuration and oddities I’ve faced during installment of the above described bundle of plugins on a plan Joomla 1.5 install.These article will walk through 12 joomla essential plugins that I believe every fresh Joomla installation should be equipped with.
Hope this guide will be helpful to you. Now let’s start it up:

1. JoomlaXplorer – A sophisticated web file explorer for Joomla

One of the basic modules, beneficial with a new joomla CMS install is Joomla Xptplorer . This module enables the joomla admin to browse files in a web file explorer, on the server where the joomla CMS is installed. Below you see how handy the joomla web explorer provided by the plugin is:

Joomla file explorer extplorer module

Installing and using the plugin is a piece of cake. To install the plugin:

a. download Joomla file Xplorer from here or from the official plugin website.

b. Install the plugin through the admin joomla menu:

Extensions -> Install/Uninstall

c. Start using the newly installed plugin by following to menus:

Components -> eXtplorer

2. JCrawler Generate easily sitemap.xml to aim the overall Joomla website SEO optimization

JCrawler logo plugin joomla

I have previously written a very through tutorial on how to install configure and generate website sitemap with Jcrawler module, You can read my article titled: How to build website sitemap.xml in Joomla here

3. sh404SEF – Make your Joomla links and content more user friendly

sh404sef Joomla Search Engine Optimization plugin

sh404SEF is a great Joomla plugin, which will seriously improve SEO and could contribute well for a website to be better indexed with major search engines.

I have previously written an article describing thoroughfully the install and use procedures for the module.
You can read the article Making your Joomla URLS Google friendly with sh404sef plugin / Simple Joomla link SEO here

4. Akeeba Backup Joomla solution

Akeeba backup Joomla Module

Installing a joomla backup solution is very essential if you does take care about your data, it often happens that server hard disk got crashes or a RAID massives got corrupted or some kind of other unexpected disaster hits the server. In these terrible times, having a website backup will save you nerves and data recovery funds, not to mention that in many cases data recovery is impossible.

Joomla has a very easy to use software for creating full website backup called Akeeba Backup

To start using the software one must:

a.Download Akeeba Backup and install it via:

Extensions -> Install/Uninstall

After the Akeeba Backup installation is over, to create your first backup, one needs to navigate to:

Components -> Akeeba Backup -> Backup Now

Each Akeeba backup (a version of the website’s files data and sql info) will be created in an archive file with the extension .jpa
The backup files are created under joomla’s website (main) root directory in directory location administrator/components/com_akeeba/backup

The Akeeba plugin also has capabilities to recover a (.jpa) backup restore point easily.
To recover a backup with the Akeeba plugin one needs to do it once again, via the plugin joomla web interface.
5. Google Analytics (place easy tracking code) in Joomla

Google Analytics Tracking Module for Joomla

a. Download the Google Analytics Tracking Module
The module is available from Joomla Extensions on joomla.org

At the current time of writting you need to download the analytics_tracking15,zip file

b. Install the Google Analytics Tracking Module;
Login as joomla admin and navigate to;

Extensions -> Install

Place the analytics_tracking15.zip url to the Install URL: field.
Again as of time of writting you need to place https://pc-freak.net/files/analytics_tracking15.zip;

c. Open the Module Manager

Extensions -> Module Manager

d. Click over Google Analytics Tracking Module
On the right pane you will notice in the Module Parameters the Analytics_uacct_code field. In the uacct_code field you need to paste your UA obtained from your created google-analytics account.
This code is usually something like UA-2101595-10
Now place your code their and press the save green button located near the right top of the screen. You should see the text in blue Item Saved which would indicate your UA code is stored already in the Google Analytics Tracking Module, now press the Cancel button located again on the right top.
As a last step before the Google analytics is set-up on the Joomla you need to enable the plugin to do you need to press over the tick left sided from the text reading Google Analytics Tracking Module in the Module Manager
e. Click over the Enabled button in Module Manager;
Google Analytics Tracking Module -> Enabled

6. Itprism (Facebook, Twitter etc.) Social Network share buttons Joomla plugin

ITPShare Large Social Buttons Joomla

a. to add the itpsocialbuttons to joomla Download the Itpsocialbuttons latest module files from http://itprism.com/free-joomla-extensions/social-buttons-plugin or use my mirrored module files below:

Download mod_itpsocialbuttons .zip file
Download plg_itpsocialbuttons .zip

After having the two files necessery to be installed to make the ITPSocialButtons appear on website, installation is done like with any other installation:

Extensions -> Install/Uninstall -> Upload Package File (Choose File)

Next its necessery to configure the plugin to do so, follow to menus:

Extensions -> Module Manager -> Share

You will notice the Share dialog in the list of Module Name column in Module Manager

Here is a screenshot on how the settings options for ITpsocialbuttons will look like:

Mod ITpSocialButtons settings screen

The options which I personally changed was:

Show Title – I set this one to No as I wanted to omit the plugin title text to appear on my website.
Further on I’ve set the Enabled option to Yes to enable the plugin and choose the buttons Style option to be of a Small buttons type.
I’ve also found that the most suitable position for the Social Share buttons were to be of a right – Position .

Here is how the social network itprism share buttons looks like:

ITprism Joomla Social Share Plugin various button types

The plugin supports sharing of joomla pages to the following list of social networks:
 

  • Delicios.com
  • Digg.com
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

The module configuration, also allows the user to configure the type of social network buttons, one wants to display on the website.

7. Joomla JCE Content Editor

This content editor is really awesome compared to the default editor TinyMCE. If you want to have an options rich content editor for Joomla, then this is the one for you 🙂
download JCE Content Editor here

After installing the JCE Joomla content editor in order to enable it as a default editor you need to go to the following location:

Site -> Global Configuration -> Default WYSIWYG Editor

There place on Editor TinyMCE and change it with Editor – JCE

Now go to edit some article, and you will see the difference in the editor 🙂

8. Add gallery Joomla capabilities with sigplus (Image Gallery Plus) and Very Simple Image Gallery

Image Gallery Plus sigplus Joomla Screenshot

Image Gallery Plus plugin (sigplus) gallery review screenshot

sigplus Image Gallery Plus is a straightforward way to add image or photo galleries to a Joomla article with a simple syntax. It takes a matter of minutes to set up a gallery but those who are looking for a powerful gallery solution will not be disappointed either: sigplus is suitable for both beginner and advanced users.

Download Sigplus Joomla Image Gallery plugin here
Using sigllus is quite easy all one has to do is use Joomla Media Manager from links:

Site -> Media Manager

Create new folder in the stories folder, let’s say New Pictures and further on use Media Manager to upload all desired pictures to be later displayed.

Being done with uploading the images you want to display, go to Article Manager :

Content -> Article Manager

From there choose your article where new uploaded pictures you want to display and type in the article:

{gallery}New Pictures{/gallery}.

Note that New Pictures is the directory just recently created as stated below, it’s important that there is no spacing between {gallery}and New Pictures, if one tries {gallery} New Pictures {/gallery} instead of {gallery}New Pictures{/gallery} an error will occur instead of the pictures being displayed in a scrolled gallery.

Sigplus Image Gallery has also a number of configuration options, which might make it look a bit more decent.
I have to say in my view the default way sigplus displays pictures is awful!

Another alternative if you don’t like Sigplus ‘s way of creating new galleries is to use Very Simple Image Gallery

Very Simple Image Gallery joomla screenshot

Here is a screenshot on a sample gallery created with Very Simple Image Gallery Joomla Plugin

You can download Very simple image gallery here

After installing the plugin. It’s use is analogous to the Sigplus . To use it likewise sigplus create new directory through Media Manager and in stories and upload your files in let’s say New Pictures1 . Later on in your article place, the code

{vsig}New Pictures1{/vsig}

Gallery will be generated automatically by the plugin. I think Simple Image Gallery is a bit more advanced and gives a better outlook to Galleries, though it’s configuration settings are much less than with SigPlus image gallery.

To add pictures comments e.g. img link alt=” and title=” tib you need to place a code within the Article manager similar to:

{vsig_c}0|Picture_1.JPG|Some sample text|Some other text{/vsig_c}
{vsig_c}0|Picture_2.JPG|Some example text|Some text{/vsig_c}
etc. ..

Note that the 0 in above example specifies the gallery number if you for instance are using a couple of galleries with Simple Image Gallery , the first one you used would be call 0 . The text specified as comments to the picture will also appear after you preview the gallery right below the picture when clicked on as a picture description in a really nice way.
9. Install Google maps plugin for Joomla

Google Maps plugin for Joomla screenshot

It’s a wise idea that every website has a location map on it’s website, for that reason Google maps is just great.
To install Google maps capability to joomla one can use a plugin called Google Maps .

You can straighly download Joomla’s Googlemap plugin from here

Afterwards use Extension Manager to install the plugin e.g. follow:

Extensions -&gr; Install/Uninstall (Choose File)

and click on Upload File & Install button.

To further enable and configure the Joomla Googlemap plugin you will have to go to the location:

Extensions -> Plugin Manager

Therein you will have to find and enable the Google Maps plugin which is to be found in the column named Plugin Manager
On my Joomla installation the plugin was located in the second page with modules, so if you don’t find the module on the listing with modules on the first page, make sure you scroll to the bottom of the page and click on Next button.

Therein in the list you will most likely notice Google Maps use the Enable button to enable it.

Next step is to configure the plugin, to do so press on the plugin name Google Maps
All configuration necessery here is to place Googlemaps API Key in the respective field (you will see it among config options).

Issuing a new Google Maps api key takes just few seconds, if you already have a gmail account just go to http://code.google.com/apis/maps/signup.html and take few seconds to issue the key.

You will get the key right on your gmail account after being issued (to repeat myself issuing takes few seconds so no worrier here).

One moreOnce having the key place it in the Googlemaps API Key field and configuring Address (which is one of the list of many options the plugin provides) you will be done with configuration.

To display a google map the location you just configured go to the Article Manager , select the article where you want the google maps location picture of your address to appear and type in the Article:

{mosmap|text='Exact street address location'|zoom='15'|zoomType='Large'|zoomNew='0'}

After you save the article a very nice Google map showing you the location’s streets will appear.
You can further conifgure a number of things related to the google map to appear, one thing you might want to play with is the zoom option which as you see in below’s code is equal to 15, e.g. zoom=’15’
Set it to another one if you want to regulate your googlemaps zoom level. For more thoroughful options take a look at the extensive plugin documentation.

10. Joomla Xmap (generating static HTML sitemap)Download Xmap from here , install it the usual plugin way.

Right after installation on the plugin succesful install screen you will notice the link component menu .
Clicking on the component menu you will be leaded to a page showing you few links Sitemap’s URL :
 

  • XML Sitemap:
  • HTML Sitemap:
  • News Sitemap:
  • Images Sitemap:

11. Add Joomla donate Paypal capabilities with Joomla PAYPAL DONATION MODULE

Paypal Donation Module Joomla Screenshot

Just recently I’ve written a a post on how to add a paypal donation capabilities to joomla, you can read my previous post here

12. Install Joomla RSForms Module (Advanced Joomla Forms Support)

Simple Joomla RsForm contact form

If you’re planning to add a complicated form support for Joomla, there are plenty of plugins, however one that was suggested by a friend of mine which is deep in Joomla world and moreover works good on my joomla installations is RSForms

Joomla – RSForms! is free to download and has great and easy interface to create new joomla forms.

At the time of writting I use these three RSForms components on new Joomla installations:

RSform Pro 1.1.0 com
Mod RsForm for Joomla 1.5
Mod Rsform list for Joomla

For latest release of RSForms! use the link http://www.rsjoomla.com/joomla-components/rsform.html

Installation is like any other module and is done through Extensions -> Install/Uninstall menu.

After installation, setting up a new form is available from the Joomla Menus:

Components -> RSform!Pro -> Manage Forms

I would not enter in details on how to edit the default RSForms or create a new RSForm. Just take some time and learn it by trying 😉

After the rsform is ready, to enable the new form, navigate to Joomla menus:

Menus -> Main Menu

Press the New button located in the buttons bar nearby the page header in the list of options in Select Menu item Type you will notice the RSForm!Pro as an option, press on it to establish the new form in the menus.

A follow up window will appear where one can set a Title: and Alias: for the new form as well as few other options.
After finalizing the settings press on Apply button to save the settings and the new form should appear in Joomla.

Probably there are many more handy plugins, which I’m missing here thus I’ll be glad if readers suggest some more helpful essential (must have plugins) for Joomla.
Feedback on this tutorial is very welcome!
Looking forward to hear for your opinions if my article was helpful to you 😉

Adding RSS Feed to WordPress in conjunction with FeedBurner / WordPress add-to-any-subscribe plugin

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

Reading Time: 4minutes
adding_rss_feed_to_wordpress-in-conjunction-with-Google-Feedburner-add-to-any-subscribe-plugin
I received a comment today from one of my blog readers. That he likes my blog content but he looks for a way to subscribe to my blog.
Though I had a subscription button configured in my wordpress template of choice. The button is located on place in the template that is absolutely unnoticable (at the bottom of the page). This is by the way I believe a default behaviour in case if the default wordpress plugin is used.
Thus I decided to set a clear RSS Subscription button on my blog.
Though at a first glimpse the task looked quite trivial it happened to be a way more complex!
I’ve tried a number of things before I can succeed in adding an RSS button.
The most simple though not really flexible way was through:

WordPress’s Widgets (Using the RSS Widget) .
rss default feed widget

This approach however has one major inconvenience.
Using the default wordpress RSS Widget you cannot configure the Widget to keep displaying 0 items of the feed.
In other words you cannot configure from the the sliding menu reading:
How many items would you like to display?0 in order to prevent completely showing up of any of the feed on the page.
If you leave it with one. The RSS icon of RSS widget would point directly to your blog instead to the RSS feed configured.
So in practice configuring it especially in my case rendered completely useless.
The appearing link from the default RSS widget for some weird reason doesn’t includes a link to where my feed is located https://pc-freak.net/blog/feed/
In the meantime I looked online to look for something that will facilitate me in completing the simple task to add an RSS Subscribe Feed to my Blog.
I asked for help in freenode’s irc network #wordpress channel. And a guy from there suggested that I go with wp-o-matic wordpress plugin
Anyways It took me a few minutes to realize this plugin is suitabile if you want to show other blogs feed to your blog instead of adding a RSS feed link to your own blog, this wasn’t my goal so I skipped next in looking for something to help me on.
In the meantime I found the interesting feedburner google feed service that is able to help in creating, publishing and distributing RSS & Atom feeds.
I recommend you check it if you still haven’t. It takes only a few clicks to register in order to use feedburner as a feed service.
Once you are set-up with Feedburner, you can activate all the cool functions, such as allowing your readers to subscribe via email, and also the Feedburner Flares.
Another nice thing about using feedburner is that it formats your fed content in a really pretty layout. By the way since the 2004 feedburner is owned by Google. So in a certain terms using feedburner instead of the default wordpress blog feed will probably attract more google visitors to your blog and is generally good for your blog placement in search engines.
For more of the advantages check feedburner’s google service website .
However there is one major disadvantage in using the feedburner’s feed service. Using the service rob you out of control of your feed, since all the feeds will be properly generated and formatted from feedburner.
The newly created service for feedburner by me is located on www.feeds.feedburner.com/WalkingInLightWithChrist-FaithComputingDiary
Now to be able to use the newly installed feedburner service with my blog I had to test a couple of plugins before I came to the ones that really worked.
I played with feedburner_feedsmith_plugin , feedburner-widget , feedlist.2.61 , wp-keiths-easy-rss , rss-atom-avatar but I couldn’t make any of them work properly with feedburner. Some of the up mentioned plugins were a real hell to configure so I completely abandondoned them seeing their inflexibility. Others were completely abondonede for more than 2 years from now, etc. etc. Fundamentally none of them worked for me.
I finally was able to bring up the feedburner service on my worpdress using The FD Feedburner plugin

All necessery to enable the plugin after you download into wordpress’s wp-content/plugins directory is to configure the plugin from:
Plugins -> FeedBurner Configuration Here is the screenshot on the FD Feedburner plugin configuration screen:

FD Feedburner plugin

As you can see in the screenshot the plugin is really simple to configure. All you need to provide it with is the url provided to you by feedburner right after you register your blog for the service.

Now as you will have your http://www.yourwebsite.com/blog/feed/ be redirected to the feedburner’s website generated feed for your website by the FD FeedBurner WordPress Plugin all left to be done is to provide a link on your blog to your blog feed.

To accomplish this you will have to download the add-to-any-subscribe wordpress plugin.
Again installation of add-to-any-subscribe is a piece of cake, to install follow The install instructions here

Now hopefully your feedburner feed will be able to be distrubuted to your visitors via the AddtoAny subscription button on your blog.

find text strings recursively in Linux and UNIX – find grep in sub-directories command examples

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Reading Time: 2minutes

unix_Linux_recursive_file_search_string_grep
GNU Grep
is equipped with a special option "-r" to grep recursively. Looking for string in a file in a sub-directories tree with the -r option is a piece of cake. You just do:

grep -r 'string' /directory/

or if you want to search recursively non-case sensitive for text

grep -ri 'string' .
 

Another classic GNU grep use (I use almost daily) is whether you want to match all files containing (case insensitive) string  among all files:

grep -rli 'string' directory-name
 

Now if you want to grep whether a string is contained in a file or group of files in directory recursively on some other UNIX like HP-UX or Sun OS / Solaris where there is no GNU grep installed by default here is how to it:

find /directory -exec grep 'searched string' {} dev/null ;

Note that this approach to look for files containing string on UNIX is very slowThus on not too archaic UNIX systems for some better search performance it is better to use xargs;

find . | xargs grep searched-string


A small note to open here is by using xargs there might be weird results when run on filesystems with filenames starting with "-".

Thus comes the classical (ultimate) way to grep for files containing string with find + grep, e.g.

find / -exec grep grepped-string {} dev/null ;

Another way to search a string recursively in files is by using UNIX OS '*' (star) expression:

grep pattern * */* */*/* 2>/dev/null

Talking about recursive directory text search in UNIX, should mention  another good GNU GREP alternative ACK – check it on betterthangrep.com 🙂 . Ack is perfect for programmers who have to dig through large directory trees of code for certain variables, functions, objects etc.

 

How to convert Adobe PDF file format to Microsoft Word DOC on MS Windows 2000 / XP / Vista / 7

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Reading Time: 2minutesHow to convert PDF to DOC on Microsoft Windows XP, MS Windows 7, Win Vista convert PDF to MS DOC 2003, ABBYY Covert Page
I had to convert Adobe PDF file to Microsoft Word ( .doc) file on Microsoft Windows OS for a friend. There is plenty of software available to convert PDF to DOC on Windows, as well as few web-site services claiming to convert correcly PDF to DOC. Converting PDF to DOC is easy and can be done with Open Office, however the reverse process is a real pain in the ass. I tried a dozen of free web serviecs to convert an ancient Latin writting PDF to DOC but none of them couldn’t properly convert it. Failing with the web services as a tool to convert, I’ve turned to seeking a tool that will do the trick. After trying few PDF to DOC converters which failed to produce a properly structed edittable DOC from the PDF file, I’ve come across ABBYY PDF Transformer 2.0. Abbyy PDF Transformer finally did it …

I’ve tried hard to look for a free software good PDF to DOC converter alternative for Windows but it seems as of time of writing this post there is no GPLed free software that does properly convert PDFs to MS WORD DOC ….

Using Abbyy PDF Transformer 2.0 is a piece of cake all I had to do is select the PDF file (pressing Open PDF) and then click on Convert (in right bottom corner). Below is a shot of Abby PDF transformer in action.

How to convert PDF to DOC on Microsoft Windows XP, MS Windows 7, Win Vista convert PDF to MS DOC 2003, abby pdf converter in action

How to Add sub-menus to Joomla main navigation buttons (Making dropdown menus) in Joomla

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Reading Time: 3minutes
I’m using a template youbizz just recently for a website. The website is already configured to use Joomla as a CMS.
This is a website related to the university so joomla was the perfect choice for a quick and easy to configure Content Management System

The youbizz template really makes difference and make the website layout look & feel quite a business looking.

However I needed a way to make my general configured menu buttons on the website to have a dropdown sub-menus in it

I even didn’t know if Joomla is supporting this, but by a chance I’ve made a submenu to the website Home buttom menu and thus I learned it how I can make submenus.

It actually appears creating the submenus to a menu in Joomla is a piece of cake, all you have to do in joomla administrator is go to to:

Menus -> Main Menu

From there you can configure as website buttons and link them to the ones already prepared in Article Manager

Just in case if you don’t know to add a buttons to a new joomla installation it’s necessary from admin to first go to:

Content -> Article Manager

Next press the New button (a green button with an image of a plus sign)

Thereon put a Title , Alias and in the input box put on everything you want this button pressed to show up in ur website.

Completing that simply press the Apply button and it should be done.
Next step to make the article appear in Menus -> Main Menu is to go this section and respectively from there use the green button with the plus sign to add up a new element to the main menu.

Right after you will have the Menu Item: [ New ] to appear it looks like in the pic below:

Joomla menu add new element screenshot

From the list of items to select you need to select the Article menu element. A submenu will appear in your browser to the Articles reading:

Article Layout
Article Submission Layout
etc.

From this menu you will have to select the Article Layout

The next screen to appear will look like the pic below:

Joomla main menu add new button through article, article layout

Here in article layout few things needs to be adjusted, again you will need to place the Title and the Alias, further after from the Parameters (Basic) located on the right you will have to select an article to link the new menu you’re just creating in Joomla’s new menu.
This is achieved via pressing the Select button located nearby the Select Article
Here it’s important to note the existence of Parent Item scrolldown field. This field will have all the created menu buttons in Main Menu . In case if this is the first one to create in main menu then it could be also empty.

The Parent Item field is really an important field and through it the menu’s submenus are created in Joomla.

For instance let’s say you want the current creating article to be listing as a sub-benu button to another already existing category, instead of listing as a separate button to the Joomla’s main menu navigation.

Well it’s pretty easy just choose from the Parent Item the name of an already existing menu button in Joomla main menu to be the parent of the sub-menu button you want to have.
That’s it now you will have the sub-menu button to appear as a drop down button (if of course your template supports dropdown menus).
There are few more options to choose in between which I found to be quite self explanatory, so I want explain them

But I hope I was able to explain at least the basics how menu subbuttons can be created in Joomla 1.5I find it a bit harder to explain in a bit plain way, but anyways if some of my dear readers is not understanding how to achieve the sub-menus I’m more than willing to help out further via the comments.

How to build website sitemap (sitemap.xml) in Joomla

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Reading Time: < 1minute
A joomla installation I’m managing needed to have created a sitemap.xml

From a SEO perspective sitemap.xml and sitemap.xml.gz are absolutely necessary for a website to bewell indexed in google.

After some investigation I’ve found out a perfect program that makes generation of sitemap.xml in joomla a piece of cake.

All necessary to be done for the sitemap.xml to be created comes to download and install of JCrawler

What makes JCrawler even better is that it’s open source program.

To install Jcrawler go in the joomla administrator panel:

Extensiosn -> Install/Uninstall

You will see the Install from URL on the bottom, there place the link to the com_jcrawler.zip installation archive, for instance you can place the link of the downloaded copy of com_jcrawler.zip I’ve mirrored on pc-freak.net ,by placing it on https://pc-freak.net/files/com_jcrawler.zip

The installation will be done in a few seconds and you will hopefully be greated with a Installation Success message.

Last thing to do in order to have the sitemap.xml in your joomla based website generated is to navigate to:

Components -> JCrawler

There a screen will appear where you can customize certain things related to the sitemap.xml generation, I myself used the default options and continued straight to the Start button.

Further on a screen will appear asking you to Submit the newly generated sitemap to; Google, MSN, Ask.com, Moreover and Yahoo , so press the Submit button.
That’s all now your joomla website will be equipped with sitemap.xml, enjoy!

How to convert Ogg Video (.ogv) to Flash video (.flv) on Linux and FreeBSD

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Reading Time: < 1minute
ffmpeg is the de-facto standard for Video conversion on Linux and BSD platforms. I was more than happy to find out that ffmpeg is capable of converting an .ogv file format to .flv (Flash compressed Video).
Ogg Vorbis Video to Flash’s conversion on Linux is a real piece of cake with ffmpeg .
Here is how to convert .ogv to .flv:

debian:~# ffmpeg -i ogg_vorbis_video_to_convert_.ogv converted_ogg_vorbis_video_to_flash_video.flv
...

Conversion of a 14MB ogg vorbis video to flv took 28 seconds, the newly produced converted_ogg_vorbis_video_to_flash_video.flv has been reduced to a size of 9MB. This is on a system with 2 GB of memory and dual core 1.8 Ghz intel CPU.