Posts Tagged ‘system administrator’

Check if server is Physical Bare Metal or a Virtual Machine and its type

Tuesday, March 17th, 2020

Reading Time: 4minutes

check-if-linux-operating-system-is-running-on-physical-bare-metal-or-virtual-machine

In modern times the IT employee system administrator / system engineer / security engineer or a developer who has to develop and test code remotely on UNIX hosts, we have to login to multiple of different servers located in separate data centers around the world situated in Hybrid Operating system environments running multitude of different Linux OSes. Often especially for us sysadmins it is important to know whether the remote machine we have SSHed to is physical server (Bare Metal) or a virtual machines running on top of different kind of Hypervisor node OpenXen / Virtualbox / Virtuosso  / VMWare etc.
 

Then the question comes how to determine whether A remote Installed Linux is Physical or Virtual ?
 

1. Using the dmesg kernel log utility


The good old dmesg that is used to examine and control the kernel ring buffer detects plenty of useful information which gives you the info whether a server is Virtual or Bare Metal. It is present and accessible on every Linux server out there, thus using it is the best and simplest way to determine the OS system node type.

To grep whether a machine is Virtual and the Hypervisor type use:

 

nginx:~# dmesg | grep "Hypervisor detected"
[0.000000] Hypervisor detected: KVM


As you see above OS installed is using the KVM Virtualization technology.

An empty output of this command means the Remote OS is installed on a physical computer.

 

2. Detecting the OS platform the systemd way


Systemd along with the multiple over-complication of things that nearly all sysadmins (including me hate) so much introduced something useful in the fact of hostnamectl command
that could give you the info about the OS chassis platform.

 

root@pcfreak:~# hostnamectl status
 
 Static hostname: pcfreak
         Icon name: computer-desktop
           Chassis: desktop
        Machine ID: 02425d67037b8e67cd98bd2800002671
           Boot ID: 34a83b9a79c346168082f7605c2f557c
  Operating System: Debian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)
            Kernel: Linux 4.19.0-5-amd64
      Architecture: x86-64

 

 

Below is output of a VM running on a Oracle Virtualbox HV.

 

linux:~# hostnamectl status
Static hostname: ubuntuserver
 Icon name: computer-vm
 Chassis: vm
 Machine ID: 2befe86cf8887ca098f509e457554beb
 Boot ID: 8021c02d65dc46b1885afb25fddcf18c
 Virtualization: oracle
 Operating System: Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS
 Kernel: Linux 4.4.0-78-generic
 Architecture: x86-64

 

3. Detect concrete container virtualization with systemd-detect-virt 


Another Bare Metal or VM identify tool that was introducted some time ago by freedesktop project is systemd-detect-virt (usually command is part of systemd package).
It is useful to detect the exact virtualization on a systemd running OS systemd-detect-virt is capable to detect many type of Virtualization type that are rare like: IBM zvm S390 Z/VM, bochs, bhyve (a FreeBSD hypervisor), Mac OS's parallels, lxc (linux containers), docker containers, podman etc.

The output from the command is either none (if no virtualization is present or the VM Hypervisor Host type):

 

server:~# systemd-detect-virt
none

 

quake:~# systemd-detect-virt
oracle

 

4. Install and use facter to report per node facts

 

debian:~# apt-cache show facter|grep -i desc -A2
Description-en: collect and display facts about the system
 Facter is Puppet’s cross-platform system profiling library. It discovers and
 reports per-node facts, which are collected by the Puppet agent and are made

Description-md5: 88cdf9a1db3df211de4539a0570abd0a
Homepage: https://github.com/puppetlabs/facter
Tag: devel::lang:ruby, devel::library, implemented-in::ruby,
root@jeremiah:/home/hipo# apt-cache show facter|grep -i desc -A1
Description-en: collect and display facts about the system
 Facter is Puppet’s cross-platform system profiling library. It discovers and

Description-md5: 88cdf9a1db3df211de4539a0570abd0a
Homepage: https://github.com/puppetlabs/facter

 


– Install facter on Debian / Ubuntu / deb based Linux

 

# apt install facter –yes


– Install facter on RedHat / CentOS RPM based distros

# yum install epel-release

 

# yum install facter


– Install facter on OpenSuSE / SLES

# zypper install facter


Once installed on the system to find out whether the remote Operating System is Virtual:

# facter 2> /dev/null | grep virtual
is_virtual => false
virtual => physical


If the machine is a virtual machine you will get some different output like:

# facter 2> /dev/null | grep virtual
is_virtual => true
virtual => kvm


If you're lazy to grep you can use it with argument.

# facter virtual
physical

 

6. Use lshw and dmidecode (list hardware configuration tool)


If you don't have the permissions to install facter on the system and you can see whether lshw (list hardware command) is not already present on remote host.

# lshw -class system  
storage-host                  
    description: Computer
    width: 64 bits
    capabilities: smbios-2.7 vsyscall32

If the system is virtual you'll get an output similar to:

# lshw -class system  
debianserver 
 description: Computer
 product: VirtualBox
 vendor: innotek GmbH
 version: 1.2
 serial: 0
 width: 64 bits
 capabilities: smbios-2.5 dmi-2.5 vsyscall32
 configuration: family=Virtual Machine uuid=78B58916-4074-42E2-860F-7CAF39F5E6F5


Of course as it provides a verbosity of info on Memory / CPU type / Caches / Cores / Motherboard etc. virtualization used or not can be determined also with dmidecode / hwinfo and other tools that detect the system hardware this is described thoroughfully in my  previous article Get hardware system info on Linux.


7. Detect virtualziation using virt-what or imvirt scripts


imvirt is a little script to determine several virtualization it is pretty similar to virt-what the RedHat own script for platform identification. Even though virt-what is developed for RHEL it is available on other distros, Fedoda, Debian, Ubuntu, Arch Linux (AUR) just like is imvirt.

installing both of them is with the usual apt-get / yum or on Arch Linux with yay package manager (yay -S virt-what) …

Once run the output it produces for physical Dell / HPE / Fujitsu-Siemens Bare Metal servers would be just empty string.

# virt-what
#

Or if the system is Virtual Machine, you'll get the type, for example KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) / virtualbox / qemu etc.

#imvirt
Physical

 

Conclusion


It was explained how to do a simple check whether the server works on a physical hardware or on a virtual Host hypervisor. The most basic and classic way is with dmesg. If no access to dmesg is due to restrictions you can try the other methods for systemd enabled OSes with hostnamectl / systemd-detect-virt. Other means if the tools are installed or you have the permissions to install them is with facter / lshw or with virt-what / imvirt scripts.
There definitely perhaps much more other useful tools to grasp hardware and virtualization information but this basics could be useful enough for shell scripting purposes.
If you know other tools, please share.
 

Finding top access IPs in Webserver or how to delay connects from Bots (Web Spiders) to your site to prevent connect Denial of Service

Friday, September 15th, 2017

Reading Time: 8minutes

analyze-log-files-most-visited-ips-and-find-and-stopwebsite-hammering-bot-spiders-neo-tux

If you're a sysadmin who has to deal with cracker attemps for DoS (Denial of Service) on single or multiple servers (clustered CDN or standalone) Apache Webservers, nomatter whether working for some web hosting company or just running your private run home brew web server its very useful thing to inspect Web Server log file (in Apache HTTPD case that's access.log).

Sometimes Web Server overloads and the follow up Danial of Service (DoS) affect is not caused by evil crackers (mistkenly often called hackers but by some data indexing Crawler Search Engine bots who are badly configured to aggressively crawl websites and hence causing high webserver loads flooding your servers with bad 404 or 400, 500 or other requests, just to give you an example of such obstructive bots.

1. Dealing with bad Search Indexer Bots (Spiders) with robots.txt

Just as I mentioned hackers word above I feel obliged to expose the badful lies the press and media spreading for years misconcepting in people's mind the word cracker (computer intruder) with a hacker, if you're one of those who mistakenly call security intruders hackers I recommend you read Dr. Richard Stallman's article On Hacking to get the proper understanding that hacker is an cheerful attitude of mind and spirit and a hacker could be anyone who has this kind of curious and playful mind out there. Very often hackers are computer professional, though many times they're skillful programmers, a hacker is tending to do things in a very undstandard and weird ways to make fun out of life but definitelely follow the rule of do no harm to the neighbor.

Well after the short lirical distraction above, let me continue;

Here is a short list of Search Index Crawler bots with very aggressive behaviour towards websites:

 

# mass download bots / mirroring utilities
1. webzip
2. webmirror
3. webcopy
4. netants
5. getright
6. wget
7. webcapture
8. libwww-perl
9. megaindex.ru
10. megaindex.com
11. Teleport / TeleportPro
12. Zeus
….

Note that some of the listed crawler bots are actually a mirroring clients tools (wget) etc., they're also included in the list of server hammering bots because often  websites are attempted to be mirrored by people who want to mirror content for the sake of good but perhaps these days more often mirror (duplicate) your content for the sake of stealing, this is called in Web language Content Stealing in SEO language.


I've found a very comprehensive list of Bad Bots to block on Mike's tech blog his website provided example of bad robots.txt file is mirrored as plain text file here

Below is the list of Bad Crawler Spiders taken from his site:

 

# robots.txt to prohibit bad internet search engine spiders to crawl your website
# Begin block Bad-Robots from robots.txt
User-agent: asterias
Disallow:/
User-agent: BackDoorBot/1.0
Disallow:/
User-agent: Black Hole
Disallow:/
User-agent: BlowFish/1.0
Disallow:/
User-agent: BotALot
Disallow:/
User-agent: BuiltBotTough
Disallow:/
User-agent: Bullseye/1.0
Disallow:/
User-agent: BunnySlippers
Disallow:/
User-agent: Cegbfeieh
Disallow:/
User-agent: CheeseBot
Disallow:/
User-agent: CherryPicker
Disallow:/
User-agent: CherryPickerElite/1.0
Disallow:/
User-agent: CherryPickerSE/1.0
Disallow:/
User-agent: CopyRightCheck
Disallow:/
User-agent: cosmos
Disallow:/
User-agent: Crescent
Disallow:/
User-agent: Crescent Internet ToolPak HTTP OLE Control v.1.0
Disallow:/
User-agent: DittoSpyder
Disallow:/
User-agent: EmailCollector
Disallow:/
User-agent: EmailSiphon
Disallow:/
User-agent: EmailWolf
Disallow:/
User-agent: EroCrawler
Disallow:/
User-agent: ExtractorPro
Disallow:/
User-agent: Foobot
Disallow:/
User-agent: Harvest/1.5
Disallow:/
User-agent: hloader
Disallow:/
User-agent: httplib
Disallow:/
User-agent: humanlinks
Disallow:/
User-agent: InfoNaviRobot
Disallow:/
User-agent: JennyBot
Disallow:/
User-agent: Kenjin Spider
Disallow:/
User-agent: Keyword Density/0.9
Disallow:/
User-agent: LexiBot
Disallow:/
User-agent: libWeb/clsHTTP
Disallow:/
User-agent: LinkextractorPro
Disallow:/
User-agent: LinkScan/8.1a Unix
Disallow:/
User-agent: LinkWalker
Disallow:/
User-agent: LNSpiderguy
Disallow:/
User-agent: lwp-trivial
Disallow:/
User-agent: lwp-trivial/1.34
Disallow:/
User-agent: Mata Hari
Disallow:/
User-agent: Microsoft URL Control – 5.01.4511
Disallow:/
User-agent: Microsoft URL Control – 6.00.8169
Disallow:/
User-agent: MIIxpc
Disallow:/
User-agent: MIIxpc/4.2
Disallow:/
User-agent: Mister PiX
Disallow:/
User-agent: moget
Disallow:/
User-agent: moget/2.1
Disallow:/
User-agent: mozilla/4
Disallow:/
User-agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; BullsEye; Windows 95)
Disallow:/
User-agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 4.0; Windows 95)
Disallow:/
User-agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 4.0; Windows 98)
Disallow:/
User-agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 4.0; Windows NT)
Disallow:/
User-agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 4.0; Windows XP)
Disallow:/
User-agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 4.0; Windows 2000)
Disallow:/
User-agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 4.0; Windows ME)
Disallow:/
User-agent: mozilla/5
Disallow:/
User-agent: NetAnts
Disallow:/
User-agent: NICErsPRO
Disallow:/
User-agent: Offline Explorer
Disallow:/
User-agent: Openfind
Disallow:/
User-agent: Openfind data gathere
Disallow:/
User-agent: ProPowerBot/2.14
Disallow:/
User-agent: ProWebWalker
Disallow:/
User-agent: QueryN Metasearch
Disallow:/
User-agent: RepoMonkey
Disallow:/
User-agent: RepoMonkey Bait & Tackle/v1.01
Disallow:/
User-agent: RMA
Disallow:/
User-agent: SiteSnagger
Disallow:/
User-agent: SpankBot
Disallow:/
User-agent: spanner
Disallow:/
User-agent: suzuran
Disallow:/
User-agent: Szukacz/1.4
Disallow:/
User-agent: Teleport
Disallow:/
User-agent: TeleportPro
Disallow:/
User-agent: Telesoft
Disallow:/
User-agent: The Intraformant
Disallow:/
User-agent: TheNomad
Disallow:/
User-agent: TightTwatBot
Disallow:/
User-agent: Titan
Disallow:/
User-agent: toCrawl/UrlDispatcher
Disallow:/
User-agent: True_Robot
Disallow:/
User-agent: True_Robot/1.0
Disallow:/
User-agent: turingos
Disallow:/
User-agent: URLy Warning
Disallow:/
User-agent: VCI
Disallow:/
User-agent: VCI WebViewer VCI WebViewer Win32
Disallow:/
User-agent: Web Image Collector
Disallow:/
User-agent: WebAuto
Disallow:/
User-agent: WebBandit
Disallow:/
User-agent: WebBandit/3.50
Disallow:/
User-agent: WebCopier
Disallow:/
User-agent: WebEnhancer
Disallow:/
User-agent: WebmasterWorldForumBot
Disallow:/
User-agent: WebSauger
Disallow:/
User-agent: Website Quester
Disallow:/
User-agent: Webster Pro
Disallow:/
User-agent: WebStripper
Disallow:/
User-agent: WebZip
Disallow:/
User-agent: WebZip/4.0
Disallow:/
User-agent: Wget
Disallow:/
User-agent: Wget/1.5.3
Disallow:/
User-agent: Wget/1.6
Disallow:/
User-agent: WWW-Collector-E
Disallow:/
User-agent: Xenu’s
Disallow:/
User-agent: Xenu’s Link Sleuth 1.1c
Disallow:/
User-agent: Zeus
Disallow:/
User-agent: Zeus 32297 Webster Pro V2.9 Win32
Disallow:/
Crawl-delay: 20
# Begin Exclusion From Directories from robots.txt
Disallow: /cgi-bin/

Veryimportant variable among the ones passed by above robots.txt is
 

Crawl-Delay: 20

 


You might want to tune that variable a Crawl-Delay of 20 instructs all IP connects from any Web Spiders that are respecting robots.txt variables to delay crawling with 20 seconds between each and every connect client request, that is really useful for the Webserver as less connects means less CPU and Memory usage and less degraded performance put by aggressive bots crawling your site like crazy, requesting resources 10 times per second or so …

As you can conclude by the naming of some of the bots having them disabled would prevent your domain/s clients from Email harvesting Spiders and other not desired activities.


 

2. Listing IP addresses Hits / How many connects per IPs used to determine problematic server overloading a huge number of IPs connects

After saying few words about SE bots and I think it it is fair to also  mention here a number of commands, that helps the sysadmin to inspect Apache's access.log files.
Inspecting the log files regularly is really useful as the number of malicious Spider Bots and the Cracker users tends to be
raising with time, so having a good way to track the IPs that are stoning at your webserver and later prohibiting them softly to crawl either via robots.txt (not all of the Bots would respect that) or .htaccess file or as a last resort directly form firewall is really useful to know.
 

– Below command Generate a list of IPs showing how many times of the IPs connected the webserver (bear in mind that commands are designed log fields order as given by most GNU / Linux distribution + Apache default logging configuration;

 

webhosting-server:~# cd /var/log/apache2 webhosting-server:/var/log/apache2# cat access.log| awk '{print $1}' | sort | uniq -c |sort -n


Below command provides statistics info based on whole access.log file records, sometimes you will need to have analyzed just a chunk of the webserver log, lets say last 12000 IP connects, here is how:
 

webhosting-server:~# cd /var/log/apache2 webhosting-server:/var/log/apache2# tail -n 12000 access.log| awk '{print $1}' | sort | uniq -c |sort -n


You can combine above basic bash shell parser commands with the watch command to have a top like refresh statistics every few updated refreshing IP statistics of most active customers on your websites.

Here is an example:

 

webhosting-server:~# watch "cat access.log| awk '{print $1}' | sort | uniq -c |sort -n";

 


Once you have the top connect IPs if you have a some IP connecting with lets say 8000-10000 thousand times in a really short interval of time 20-30 minues or so. Hence it is a good idea to investigate further where is this IP originating from and if it is some malicious Denial of Service, filter it out either in Firewall (with iptables rules) or ask your ISP or webhosting to do you a favour and drop all the incoming traffic from that IP.

Here is how to investigate a bit more about a server stoner IP;
Lets assume that you found IP: 176.9.50.244 to be having too many connects to your webserver:
 

webhosting-server:~# grep -i 176.9.50.244 /var/log/apache2/access.log|tail -n 1
176.9.50.244 – – [12/Sep/2017:07:42:13 +0300] "GET / HTTP/1.1" 403 371 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MegaIndex.ru/2.0; +http://megaindex.com/crawler)"

 

webhosting-server:~# host 176.9.50.244
244.50.9.176.in-addr.arpa domain name pointer static.244.50.9.176.clients.your-server.de.

 

webhosting-server:~# whois 176.9.50.244|less

 

The outout you will get would be something like:

% This is the RIPE Database query service.
% The objects are in RPSL format.
%
% The RIPE Database is subject to Terms and Conditions.
% See http://www.ripe.net/db/support/db-terms-conditions.pdf

% Note: this output has been filtered.
%       To receive output for a database update, use the "-B" flag.

% Information related to '176.9.50.224 – 176.9.50.255'

% Abuse contact for '176.9.50.224 – 176.9.50.255' is 'abuse@hetzner.de'

inetnum:        176.9.50.224 – 176.9.50.255
netname:        HETZNER-RZ15
descr:          Hetzner Online GmbH
descr:          Datacenter 15
country:        DE
admin-c:        HOAC1-RIPE
tech-c:         HOAC1-RIPE
status:         ASSIGNED PA
mnt-by:         HOS-GUN
mnt-lower:      HOS-GUN
mnt-routes:     HOS-GUN
created:        2012-03-12T09:45:54Z
last-modified:  2015-08-10T09:29:53Z
source:         RIPE

role:           Hetzner Online GmbH – Contact Role
address:        Hetzner Online GmbH
address:        Industriestrasse 25
address:        D-91710 Gunzenhausen
address:        Germany
phone:          +49 9831 505-0
fax-no:         +49 9831 505-3
abuse-mailbox:  abuse@hetzner.de
remarks:        *************************************************
remarks:        * For spam/abuse/security issues please contact *
remarks:        * abuse@hetzner.de, not this address. *
remarks:        * The contents of your abuse email will be *
remarks:        * forwarded directly on to our client for *
….


3. Generate list of directories and files that are most called by clients
 

webhosting-server:~# cd /var/log/apache2; webhosting-server:/var/log/apache2# awk '{print $7}' access.log|cut -d? -f1|sort|uniq -c|sort -nk1|tail -n10

( take in consideration that this info is provided only on current records from /var/log/apache2/ and is short term for long term statistics you have to merge all existing gzipped /var/log/apache2/access.log.*.gz )

To merge all the old gzipped files into one single file and later use above shown command to analyize run:

 

cd /var/log/apache2/
cp -rpf *access.log*.gz apache-gzipped/
cd apache-gzipped
for i in $(ls -1 *access*.log.*.gz); do gzip -d $i; done
rm -f *.log.gz;
for i in $(ls -1 *|grep -v access_log_complete); do cat $i >> access_log_complete; done


Though the accent of above article is Apache Webserver log analyzing, the given command examples can easily be recrafted to work properly on other Web Servers LigHTTPD, Nginx etc.

Above commands are about to put a higher load to your server during execution, so on busy servers it is a better idea, to first go and synchronize the access.log files to another less loaded servers in most small and midsized companies this is being done by a periodic synchronization of the logs to the log server used usually only to store log various filesand later used to do various analysis our run analyse software such as Awstats, Webalizer, Piwik, Go Access etc.

Worthy to mention one great text console must have Apache tool that should be mentioned to analyze in real time for the lazy ones to type so much isApache-top but those script will be not installed on most webhosting servers and VPS-es, so if you don't happen to own a self-hosted dedicated server / have webhosting company etc. – (have root admin access on server), but have an ordinary server account you can use above commands to get an overall picture of abusive webserver IPs.

logstalgia-visual-loganalyzer-in-reali-time-windows-linux-mac
 

If you have a Linux with a desktop GUI environment and have somehow mounted remotely the weblog server partition another really awesome way to visualize in real time the connect requests to  web server Apache / Nginx etc. is with Logstalgia

Well that's all folks, I hope that article learned you something new. Enjoy

Thanks for article neo-tux picture tosegarkshtri.com.np)

Howto install GeoTrust RapidSSL certificate on Debian Lenny / Squeeze / Wheezy Linux

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Reading Time: 5minutes
I faced the task of generating official Validated SSL Certificates by in mydaily duties as a System Administrator atcadiaholding.com . Though generating self-signedSSL certificate is comparatively easy task. It was a pain in the ass setting Apache version 2.2.9-10+lenny6to correctly serve pages through https:// protocol over openssl version 0.9.8g-15+lenny6.I’ll try to go through the whole process of Generating the certificate in order to help some other Debianusers out there to face less setbacks in such a simple task as installing a Trusted SSL Certificate issued(bought) by RapidSSL. Even though this article will mostly deal with SSL certificate issued by RapidSSL,it should be not a problem to apply this methodogy with Verisign or some of the other Geotrust issuedSecure Socket Layer certificates.

In generating the Validated certficate I used enom which is a domain name,ssl certificates, email and hosting company whole-saler.
Fron emon’s website after logging in and using the web interface, there are two major things required to fill inin order to issue your Trusted SSL certificate.

1. Fill in in a form a CSR file, this is usually generated on the Linux server using the openssl.
To issue the CSR file required by Enom use the following commands:

a. First we generate an DES3 RSA encrypted key which we will use next to generate the opeensl CSR file required by ENOM.
debian:~# /usr/bin/openssl genrsa -des3 -out www.domain.com.key 2048
Enter pass phrase for www.domain.com.key:

You’ll be required to fill in a pass-phrase that will be later be required to fill in before Apache servers starts or restarts,so make sure you fill something you either remember or you keep the password stored in a file.
You have to change also the www.domain.com.key in accordance with your domain name.
Now as we already have a proper generated DES3 RSA key afterwards it’s necessery to generate the CSR file with the openssl command line frontend.
So here is how:

debian:~# /usr/bin/openssl req -new -key /home/hipo/www.domain.com.key -out /home/hipo/www.domain.com.csr

Again in the above example change all the paths and file names as you wish.
It’s necessery that the end user fill in a number of questions related to the Certificate Signing Request.
Herein I’ll list what kind of prompts will emerge after executing the above command:

Enter pass phrase for /home/hipo/www.domain.com.key:
You are about to be asked to enter information that will be incorporated
into your certificate request.
What you are about to enter is what is called a Distinguished Name or a DN.
There are quite a few fields but you can leave some blank
For some fields there will be a default value,
If you enter '.', the field will be left blank.
-----
Country Name (2 letter code) [AU]:
State or Province Name (full name) [Some-State]:
Locality Name (eg, city) []:
Organization Name (eg, company) [Internet Widgits Pty Ltd]:
Organizational Unit Name (eg, section) []:
Common Name (eg, YOUR name) []:
Email Address []:
Please enter the following 'extra' attributes
to be sent with your certificate request
A challenge password []:
An optional company name []:

Note that you’ll hav eto fill in the pass phrase previously entered during the generation of the www.domain.com.key file.
In case if you’d like to read more thoroughly on the subject of howto create a Certificate Signing Request or (CSR) as we called it on multiple times, you canread About Certificate Signing Request (CSR) Generation Instructions – Apache SSL more in depth here

2. Hopefully following the above instructions you’ll now have a file named www.domain.csrJust open the www.domain.scr and copy paste it’s content to the ENOM website CSR * webform.

3. Further on select your Webserver type on Enom’s website:In our case we have to select Apache + ApacheSSL

4. What follows next is filling in your company contact information This is also required for proper certificate generation, you have to think twice before you fill in this data, take a note this can’t be changed later on without issuing a brand SSL new certificate.

Apart from the 3 major above requirements to fill in Enom there are some few more radio buttons to use to make some selections according to your personal preferences, however I won’t take time to dig in that and I’ll leave this to you.
After all the above is fulfilled you’ll have to submit your certificate details and choose an email address to which you will receive in a minute a RapidSSL Certificate Request Confirmation

Following a link from the email, will show you some basic information about the certificate about to be generated. That’s your final chance to cancel the issued Trusted Certificated.
If you’re absolutely sure the information about to enter the certificate is correct then you’ll have to follow a link and approve the certificate.

You’ll be informed that you’ll receive your certificate either through Certifier website (e.g. Enom’s website) or via another email.
I thought it’s more probable I receive it via email but anyways I was wrong. More thank 4 hours has passed since the certificate was issued and is available via Enom’s interface but I haven’t received nothing on my mail.
Therefore my friendly advice is to check about your brand new shiny Trusted Certificate on Emom’s website. I had mine ready in about 10 minutes after the CSR was issued.

Assuming that you’ve succesfully obtained the SSL Trusted certificate from RapidSSL what follows is setting up the certificate.
Initially I tried using documentation from RapidSSL website called Installing your SSL Certificate / Web Server Certificate / Secure Server Certificate from RapidSSL.com
I tried to configure one of my Virtualhost as shown in their example inserting in my /etc/apache/sites-available/www.domain.com file, few directives within the VirtualHost something like the shown below

SSLEngine on
# domain.com.crt cointains the Trusted SSL certificate generated and obtained by you from RapidSSL
SSLCertificateFile /etc/apache2/ssl/www.domain.com.crt
# www.domain.com.key contains the file used to generate the CSR file as described earlier in this post
SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/apache2/ssl/www.domain.com.key

It is also possible insetad of using the SSLCertificateFile and SSLCertificateKeyFile directvies directives in Apache config to use:

 

Another alternative is to use

SSLCertificateFile /etc/ssl/certs/your-domain-name.crt
SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/ssl/certs/your-domain-name.key
SSLCACertificateFile /etc/ssl/certs/gd_bundle.crt

The key file is the one generated earlier on the server and handed to the SSL regisrar, the files:

your-domain-name.crt and gd_bundle.crt files are provided by RapidSSL or from whatever SSL registrater the SSL was purchased.

After trying the above configuration and restarting apache with:

/etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Apache failed to start, it might be helpful to somebody out there the error I had in my apache error.log:
The error.log red the following:

[warn] RSA server certificate is a CA certificate (BasicConstraints: CA == TRUE !?)

After some 30 minutes or an hour of Googling on the error I came to the conclusion that the error is caused, becauseApache is supposed to work with .PEM files instead of the classical .CRT and .KEY files asnormally approached in most of the other Unix operating systems.

It took me a bit more of reading on the internet to find out that actually the .pem files so widely adopted in Debian simply contain both the www.domain.com.key file and the www.domain.com.crt key simply pasted one after another, this I also observed from the default Apache self-signed certificate that I believe comes with debian /etc/apache2/ssl/apache.pem .
So I copied both the content of my www.domain.com.key and www.domain.com.crt and store it in one file:
/etc/apache2/ssl/www.domain.com.pem

Also the following configuration:
SSLEngine on
SSLCertificateFile /etc/apache2/ssl/www.domain.com.pem

had to go in your
/etc/apache2/sites-enabled/www.domain.com

Last thing that’s left is to restart your Apache;

/etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Apache will prompt you for your certificate password entered by you during the www.domain.com.key generation. Type your password and with a bit of luck and hopefully with God’s help you’ll be having a Trusted Certificate on your webserver.

Last step is to check if the certificate is okay accessing your domain https://www.domain.com.

Well this is the end of the article, hope you enjoy.If you do please leave your comments, any corrections are also welcomed 🙂

Windows key Shortcuts and Commands List every Win admin / support must know

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

Reading Time: 8minutes

windows-XP-vista-7-8-server-2003-rc2-2012--full-complete-keyboard-shortcuts-list
If you're a system administrator of Windows Servers or or just a PC support in a small company and you have to fix PCs running Microsoft Windows XP / 7 / 8  daily, sooner or later you will be interested into how to optimize your windows maintainance work to be able to do more adminsitration work for less time.

M$ Windows OShas evolved a lot over the past 10+ years and many of the features available GUI are now either possibile to be done via a standard commands and the GUI interfaces. Various adminsitration and common daily work simplification goodies are now accessible through quick access shortcutsand commands.

Virtually all Windows operating system environment could be now customized by using such shortcuts, this reduces the multitude of annoying double clicks which are truely pissing off sysadmins and tech-supports involved in  Windows Ticket solving.

Win Shortcuts and Commands helps to:

  • Quickly invoke almost all System Settings available from Windows Control Panel
  • Access all admins tools GUIs throguh command
  • Speed upOpening Video, Pictures, Documents, Downloads folders start Windows Update, Configure Printers / Fax / Add Sharings

etc..

A lot of the commands were new to me thus I decided to try out all of the commands in command prompt (cmd). Many of the tools down-mentioned were news to me and let me understand better on Windows Internals, so if you time try them out.
 

FunctionComand
Open Documents Folder Start menu -> Search (Type documents)
Open Videos folderStart -> Search (Type videos)
Open Downloads Folder Start -> Search (Type downloads)
Open Favorites Folderfavorites
View Recent messages of your PC Start menu -> Search (Type recent)
Open Recent FolderN/A
Open Pictures FolderStart menu -> Search (Type pictures)
Windows Sideshowcontrol.exe /name Microsoft.WindowsSideshow
Windows CardSpace (Windows ID Manager)control.exe /name Microsoft.cardspace
Windows Anytime Upgrade Start menu -> Search dialog (Type WindowsUpdate)
Taskbar and Start Menucontrol.exe /name Microsoft.TaskbarandStartMenu
Troubleshootingcontrol.exe /name Microsoft.Troubleshooting
User Accounts (Run user accounts Interface)control.exe /name Microsoft.UserAccounts
Adding a new Devicedevicepairingwizard
Add Hardware Wizardhdwwiz
Advanced User Accounts Managementnetplwiz
Advanced User Accounts (Authorization Mgr)azman.msc
Windows Backup and Restoresdclt
Bluetooth File Transferfsquirt
Calculatorcalc
Certificates Managercertmgr.msc
Change Computer Performance Settingssystempropertiesperformance (Remove visual effects)
Change Data Execution Prevention Settingssystempropertiesdataexecutionprevention
Change Data Execution Prevention Settingsprintui
Character Mapcharmap
ClearType Tunercttune (Make text onscreen more readable)
Color Managementcolorcpl
Command Promptcmd
Component Servicescomexp.msc
Component Servicesdcomcnfg
Computer Management Interfacecompmgmt.msc
Computer Management Interfacecompmgmtlauncher
Connect to Network Project via Networknetproj
Connect to a Projectordisplayswitch (Alias for Fn key + F4)
Run Control Panel commandcontrol
Create A Shared Folder Wizardshrpubw
Create a System Repair Discrecdisc
Credential Backup and Restore Wizardcredwiz
Data Execution Prevention systempropertiesdataexecutionprevention
Date and Timetimedate.cpl
Default Locationlocationnotifications
Device Managerdevmgmt.msc
Device Managerhdwwiz.cpl
Device Pairing Wizarddevicepairingwizard
Diagnostics Troubleshooting Wizardmsdt
Digitizer Calibration Tooltabcal
DirectX Diagnostic Tooldxdiag
Disk Cleanupcleanmgr
Disk Defragmenter dfrgui
Disk Managementdiskmgmt.msc
Display (Change font size of text onscreen)dpiscaling
Display Color Calibrationdccw
Display Switchdisplayswitch
DPAPI Key Migration Wizarddpapimig
Driver Verifier Managerverifier
Ease of Access Centerutilman
EFS Wizardrekeywiz
Event Viewereventvwr.msc
Fax Cover Page Editorfxscover
File Signature Verificationsigverif
Font Viewerfontview
Game Controllersjoy.cpl
Windows Getting Started Ifacegettingstarted
IExpress Wizardiexpress
Another alias for Getting Startedirprops.cpl
Install or Uninstall Display Languageslusrmgr
Internet Exploreriexplore
Run Internet Explorer Internet Optionsinetcpl.cpl
iSCSI Initiator Configuration Tooliscsicpl
Language Pack Installerlpksetup
Local Group Policy Editorgpedit.msc
Local Security Policysecpol.msc
Local Users and Groupslusrmgr.msc
Location Activitylocationnotifications
Magnifiermagnify
Malicious Software Removal Toolmrt (Might be not existent on some Windows versions)
Manage Your File Encryption Certificatesrekeywiz
Math Input Panelmip
Microsoft Management Consolemmc
Microsoft Support Diagnostic Toolmsdt
Mousemain.cpl
NAP Client Configurationnapclcfg.msc
Narratornarrator
Network Connectionsncpa.cpl
New Scan Wizardwiaacmgr
Notepadnotepad
ODBC Data Source Administratorodbcad32
ODBC Driver Configurationodbcconf
On-Screen Keyboardosk
Paintmspaint
Pen and Touchtabletpc.cpl
People Near Mecollab.cpl
Performance Monitorperfmon.msc
Performance Optionssystempropertiesperformance
Phone and Modemtelephon.cpl
Phone Dialerdialer
Power Optionspowercfg.cpl
Presentation Settingspresentationsettings
Print Managementprintmanagement.msc
Printer Migrationprintbrmui
Printer User Interfaceprintui
Private Character Editoreudcedit
Problem Steps Recorderpsr
Programs and Features (Install / Uninstall)appwiz.cpl
Protected Content Migrationdpapimig
Region and Languageintl.cpl
Registry Editorregedit
Registry Editor 32regedt32
Remote Access Phonebookrasphone
Remote Desktop Connectionmstsc
Resource Monitorresmon
Resultant Set of Policyrsop.msc
SAM Lock Toolsyskey
Screen Resolutiondesk.cpl
Securing the Windows Account Databasesyskey
Servicesservices.msc
Set Program Access and Computer Defaultscomputerdefaults
Share Creation Wizardshrpubw
Shared Foldersfsmgmt.msc
Snipping Toolsnippingtool
Soundmmsys.cpl
Sound recordersoundrecorder
SQL Server Client Network Utilitycliconfg
Sticky Notesstikynot
Stored User Names and Passwordscredwiz
Sync Centermobsync
System Configurationmsconfig
System Configuration Editorsysedit
System Informationmsinfo32
System Propertiessysdm.cpl
System Properties (Advanced Tab)systempropertiesadvanced
System Properties (Computer Name Tab)systempropertiescomputername
System Properties (Hardware Tab)systempropertieshardware
System Properties (Remote Tab)systempropertiesremote
System Properties (System Protection Tab)systempropertiesprotection
System Restorerstrui
Task Managertaskmgr
Task Schedulertaskschd.msc
Trusted Platform Module (TPM) Managementtpm.msc
User Account Control Settingsuseraccountcontrolsettings
Utility Managerutilman
Version Reporter Appletwinver
Volume Mixersndvol
Windows Action Centerwscui.cpl
Windows Activation Clientslui (Runs on Windows license activation time)
Windows Anytime Upgrade Resultswindowsanytimeupgraderesults
Windows CardSpaceinfocardcpl.cpl
Windows Disc Image Burning Toolisoburn (Command line tool to burn images)
Windows DVD Makerdvdmaker (N/A on Windows 7, 8)
Windows Easy Transfermigwiz (N/A on many Windows versions)
Run Windows Explorerexplorer
Windows Fax and Scanwfs
Windows Featuresoptionalfeatures
Windows Firewallfirewall.cpl
Windows Firewall with Advanced Securitywf.msc
Windows Journaljournal (N/A on Windows 7)
Windows Media Playerwmplayer (N/A on many Windows releases)
Windows Memory Diagnostic Schedulermdsched (Check your PC memory on next boot)
Windows Mobility Center (Stats)mblctr
Windows Picture Acquisition Wizardwiaacmgr
Windows PowerShellpowershell
Windows PowerShell ISEpowershell_ise
Windows Remote Assistancemsra
Windows Repair Discrecdisc
Windows Script Hostwscript
Windows Updatewuapp
Windows Update Standalone Installerwusa
Show Windows Versionwinver
WMI Managementwmimgmt.msc
WordPadwrite
XPS Viewerxpsrchvw


Most of above commands works fine with Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 / 8, Windows 2003 / 2012, however some cmds are missing across some win versions.

Here is list of other useful Windows shortcut keys:
 

General keyboard shortcuts

  • Ctrl+C (Copy)
  • Ctrl+X (Delete selected item and save a copy to the clipboard)
  • Ctrl+V (Paste)
  • Ctrl+Z (Undo)
  • Delete (Delete) 
  • Shift+Delete (Delete the selected item permanently without moving the item to the Recycle Bin) 
  • Ctrl while dragging an item (Copy the selected item)
  • Ctrl+Shift while dragging an item (Create a shortcut to the selected item)
  • F2 key (Rename the selected item)
  • Ctrl+Right Arrow (Move the cursor to the beginning of the next word) 
  • Ctrl+Left Arrow (Move the cursor to the beginning of the previous word) 
  • Ctrl+Down Arrow (Move the cursor to the beginning of the next paragraph) 
  • Ctrl+Up Arrow (Move the cursor to the beginning of the previous paragraph) 
  • Ctrl+Shift with any arrow key (Highlight a block of text) 
  • Shift with any arrow key (Select more than one item in a window or on the desktop, or select text in a document) 
  • Ctrl+A (Select all) 
  • F3 key (Search for a file or a folder)
  • Alt+Enter (View the properties for the selected item) 
  • Alt+F4 (Close the active item, or exit the active program) 
  • Alt+Enter (Display the properties of the selected object) 
  • Alt+Spacebar (Open the shortcut menu for the active window) 
  • Ctrl+F4 (Close the active document in programs that enable multiple documents to be open at the same time) 
  • Alt+Tab (Switch between the open items) 
  • Alt+Esc (Cycle through items in the order in which they were opened) 
  • F6 key (Cycle through the screen elements in a window or on the desktop)
  • F4 key (Display the Address bar list in My Computer or in Windows Explorer) 
  • Shift+F10 (Display the shortcut menu for the selected item)
  • Alt+Spacebar (Display the System menu for the active window) 
  • Ctrl+Esc (Display the Start menu) 
  • Alt+Underlined letter in a menu name (Display the corresponding menu)
  • Underlined letter in a command name on an open menu (Perform the corresponding command)
  • F10 key (Activate the menu bar in the active program)
  • Right Arrow  (Open the next menu to the right, or open a submenu)
  • Left Arrow  (Open the next menu to the left, or close a submenu)
  • F5 key (Update the active window)
  • Backspace (View the folder one level up in My Computer or Windows Explorer) 
  • Esc (Cancel the current task)
  • Shift when you insert a CD into the CD drive (Prevent the CD from automatically playing)
  • Ctrl+Shift+Esc (Open Task Manager) 

Dialog box keyboard shortcuts

  • Ctrl+Tab (Move forward through the tabs)
  • Ctrl+Shift+Tab (Move backward through the tabs)
  • Tab (Move forward through the options)
  • Shift+Tab (Move backward through the options)
  • Alt+Underlined letter (Perform the corresponding command, or select the corresponding option)
  • Enter (Perform the command for the active option or button)
  • Spacebar (Select or clear the check box if the active option is a check box)
  • Arrow keys (Select a button if the active option is a group of option buttons)
  • F1 key (Display Help)
  • F4 key (Display the items in the active list)
  • Backspace (Open a folder one level up if a folder is selected in the Save As or Open dialog box)

Microsoft natural keyboard shortcuts

  • Windows Logo (Display or hide the Start menu)
  • Windows Logo+Break (Display the System Properties dialog box)
  • Windows Logo+D (Display the desktop)
  • Windows Logo+M (Minimize all the windows)
  • Windows Logo+Shift+M (Restore the minimized windows)
  • Windows Logo+E (Open My Computer)
  • Windows Logo+F (Search for a file or a folder)
  • Ctrl+Windows Logo+F (Search for computers)
  • Windows Logo+F1 (Display Windows Help)
  • Windows Logo+ L (Lock the keyboard)
  • Windows Logo+R (Open the Run dialog box)
  • Windows Logo+U (Open Utility Manager)

Accessibility keyboard shortcuts

  • Right Shift for eight seconds (Switch FilterKeys on or off)
  • Left Alt+left Shift+Print Screen (Switch High Contrast on or off)
  • Left Alt+left Shift+Num Lock (Switch the MouseKeys on or off)
  • Shift five times (Switch the StickyKeys on or off)
  • Num Lock for five seconds (Switch the ToggleKeys on or off)
  • Windows Logo +U (Open Utility Manager)

Windows Explorer keyboard shortcuts

 

 

  • End (Display the bottom of the active window)
  • Home (Display the top of the active window)
  • Num Lock+Asterisk sign (*) (Display all the subfolders that are under the selected folder)
  • Num Lock+Plus sign (+) (Display the contents of the selected folder)
  • Num Lock+Minus sign (-) (Collapse the selected folder)
  • Left Arrow  (Collapse the current selection if it is expanded, or select the parent folder)
  • Right Arrow  (Display the current selection if it is collapsed, or select the first subfolder) 

Keyboard Shortcuts for Character Map

 

 

After you double-click a character on the grid of characters, you can move through the grid by using the keyboard shortcuts:

  • Right Arrow  (Move to the right or to the beginning of the next line)
  • Left Arrow  (Move to the left or to the end of the previous line) 
  • Up Arrow (Move up one row)
  • Down Arrow (Move down one row)
  • Page Up  (Move up one screen at a time)
  • Page Down (Move down one screen at a time)
  • Home (Move to the beginning of the line)
  • End (Move to the end of the line)
  • Ctrl+Home (Move to the first character)
  • Ctrl+End (Move to the last character)
  • Spacebar (Switch between Enlarged and Normal mode when a character is selected) 

Microsoft Management Console (MMC) main window keyboard shortcuts

 

 

  • Ctrl+O (Open a saved console)
  • Ctrl+N (Open a new console)
  • Ctrl+S (Save the open console)
  • Ctrl+M (Add or remove a console item)
  • Ctrl+W (Open a new window)
  • F5 key (Update the content of all console windows)
  • Alt+Spacebar (Display the MMC window menu)
  • Alt+F4 (Close the console)
  • Alt+A (Display the Action menu)
  • Alt+V (Display the View menu)
  • Alt+F (Display the File menu)
  • Alt+O (Display the Favorites menu) 

Microsoft Management Console (MMC) window keyboard shortcuts

  • Ctrl+P (Print the current page or active pane)
  • Alt+Minus sign (-) (Display the window menu for the active console window)
  • Shift+F10 (Display the Action shortcut menu for the selected item)
  • F1 key (Open the Help topic, if any, for the selected item)
  • F5 key (Update the content of all console windows)
  • Ctrl+F10 (Maximize the active console window)
  • Ctrl+F5 (Restore the active console window)
  • Alt+Enter (Display the Properties dialog box, if any, for the selected item)
  • F2 key (Rename the selected item)
  • Ctrl+F4 (Close the active console window. When a console has only one console window, this shortcut closes the console)

Remote desktop connection navigation

 

 

  • Ctrl+Alt+End (Open the Microsoft Windows NT Security dialog box)
  • Alt+Page Up (Switch between programs from left to right)
  • Alt+Page Down (Switch between programs from right to left)
  • Alt+Insert (Cycle through the programs in most recently used order)
  • Alt+Home (Display the Start menu)
  • Ctrl+Alt+Break (Switch the client computer between a window and a full-screen display)
  • Alt+Delete (Display the Windows menu)
  • Ctrl+Alt+Minus sign (-) (Put a snapshot of the complete client window area on the Terminal server clipboard and provide the same functionality as pressing Alt+Print Screen on a local computer)
  • Ctrl+Alt+Plus sign (+) (Put a snapshot of the active window in the client on the Terminal server clipboard and provide the same functionality as pressing Print Screen on a local computer.) 

Microsoft Internet Explorer navigation

 

 

  • Ctrl+B (Open the Organize Favorites dialog box)
  • Ctrl+E (Open the Search bar)
  • Ctrl+F (Start the Find utility)
  • Ctrl+H (Open the History bar)
  • Ctrl+I (Open the Favorites bar)
  • Ctrl+L (Open the Open dialog box)
  • CtrlL+N (Start another instance of the browser with the same web address)
  • Ctrl+O (Open the Open dialog box, the same as CTRL+L)
  • Ctrl+P (Open the Print dialog box)
  • Ctrl+R (Update the current webpage)
  • Ctrl+W (Close the current window) 

Complete list of Windows Keyboard Shorcuts is on Microsoft website

Quitting my job as IT Manager and moving to Further Horizons in Hewlett Packard

Friday, September 13th, 2013

Reading Time: 5minutes

International University College Logo IUC

I haven't blogged for a while for a plenty of reasons, I'm going through a change period in my life and as any change it is not easy.
This post will be not informative and will not teach any of my dear readers, anything on Computers its pretty personal but still for my friends it might cause interest.
Here is my personal life story over the last few months …

For a while I worked in a International University College situated in my hometown Dobrich. I was hired on position of IT Manager, and actually was doing a bit of E-Marketing to try to boost traffic to College's website – www.vumk.eu and mostly helping the old school hacker ad college system administrator over the last 10 yrs – Ertan to fix a bunch of Linux Mail / SQL and Webservers and some Windows machines. In college I learned from Ertan how to install and backups of restaurants software called BARBEQUE as well as how to fix problems with billing terminals situated in College Restaurant (3rd floor of building). Other of my work time I had to  fix infested Windows computers with viruses re-install Windowses and fix various printing and network problems of College's teachers, accountants, cash desk, marketing and rest of college  employees.

Talking about Ertan I should express my sincere tremendous Thanks (Thanks Ertan) to it for recommending me for this job position. Right before I started work in the college I was jobless for a while starting to get desperate that its impossible find work. Current IUC sysadmin – Mr. Ertan Geldiev is a remarkable man and one of the people that made great impression in my mind. Something I found interesting I can learn from Ertan was to get from his cheerful "admin" attitude. As a true hacker Ertan had this hacker attitude of playfulness I myself has for a while lost over the years. So seeing someone like this near my life make me a good favor and had a positive influence on myself.

I have learned a lot from Ertan during the 3 months and 3 days in International University College. Just for a bit of historic information earlier IUC was known as International College – Albena, also among Dobrich citizens known as The Dutch College – as earlier IUC had good relations with Dutch Universities and was issuing double degrees both Bulgarian and Dutch. Nowadays I'm not sure if still Double-degrees partnership between IUC and Dutch Universities exist, what I know for sure is college is issuing European Double Degrees in partnership with Cardiff Metropolitan University. I myself have earlier studied in the college and already know the place well thus will use this post to say a few words on my impressions on it …

International University College - one of top prestigious colleges in Eastern Europe

The college is a great place to be as you have chance to meet plenty of people both lecturers (professors), participate in the various events organized by College's as well as get involved in the many European Projects which are being handled by a European Projects department special department situated on the back of the College Building. Other positive about College is it is small and located on a peaceful town of Dobrich. This gives the bright people a lot of space for personal development, anyways on the other hand it can make you also a bad as Dobrich as a small city is a bit boring. The studies in College are good for students who want personal freedom as there is not too strict requirements for professors on how to teach.

Though college had help me grow, especially in my knowledge in Windows 7 and 8 (Ertan had a really good Windows background), I couldn't have the chance to develop myself too further in the long term. So my job offer to work in HP as Web and Middleware Implementation Engineer opened much broader opportunities for my long term IT career. Other reason I quit the College IT job was simply because I needed more money I had the vision to make a family with a girl from Belarus – Svetlana and in order to take care for her I need to earn good money. My official salary in the college was the funny for the position – 640 lv (though after a few months I was promised to have a raise and earn 400 EUR :)) . Such low sallary was for the reason I had the idea to continue studying in College and complete my Bachelor Business degree and we had agreed with the College CEO Mr. Todor Radev to extract part of my salary monthly and with that to pay my 1 semester tuition fee (2200 EUR) – necessary for my graduation assignment. Though completing the Bachelor is important phase to close in my life for a long time, I found for the moment more valuable to work for HP and earn normal living salary with which to possibly finance myself and create family with woman of my life (hopefully) in the short term.

In this post I want express my sincere thanks to all people in International College (Elena Urchenko, Krasimir – for helping me in my job duties), Pavel and Silvia for being a colleague for a while I worked partly in the Marketing Department.

Talking about Marketing Department what I did there is some Twitter Marketing (building some twitter followers) and wrote a tiny document with recommendation on how to optimize College website – vumk.eu (future version) – for better SEO ranking. This included complete analysis from user outlook to Indexing bots and site current code. 

Mr Docent Phd Todor Radev

I have to do a big underline on how great person the College President and UNI Rector – Docent Todor Radev is. I have already bitter experience studying for a while in a government universities when younger and I know from experience usually Rectors and Universities management of state universities is pure "Hell". Thanks to Mr. Todor Radev for he did me a big favor letting me quit  job just a week later (instead of 1 month as it is officially set by Bulgarian Dismissal Law and explicitly stated in my Work Contract. Also as a person my experience from Docent Radev is wonderful too. He is extremely intelligent, brilliant gentleman and  most importantly open minded and always open for innovation.
 

As a close up I would like to say Big Thanks to everyone which I worked with or met in International University College! Thanks guys for all your support and help, thanks for being work mates and friends for the time.

Linux: Configure Midnight Commander to use mcedit instead of nano or vi text editor

Friday, June 21st, 2013

Reading Time: 2minutes

reverting mc text editor to mcedit fix problem with mcedit not working in linux

I use Midnight Commander console file manager on any UNIX like servers, since my early days as system administrator. mc comes with its own text editor mcedit which is often very handy for reading config files or pieces of source code. Many times I had to modify files which were spitting errors which I couldn't track in VIM, jor or whatever text editor had on server at hand and after checking file with mcedit I caught my config or source code mistake. I guess many other admins has similar nice experiences with mcedit Internal file editor of GNU Midnight Commander. Nowadays, I install mostly Debian Linux on new configured servers and using mc to navigate in file system is very useful. I prefer mc to open files for edit with F4 (Edit – kbd shortcut) with its default mcedit, however for some reasons most of Debian / Ubuntu and other Linuxes, nowadays has set global environment text editor to nano. I totally dislike this text editor and like changing mc always to use mcedit. This is done straight from MC menus by:

Pressing F9 -> Going to Options -> Configuration -> (Setting mark on) -> Use Inernal Edit
/code>

unix terminal file manager midnight commander configuration menu screenshot

linux console file manager midnight commander use internal edit menu unchecked screenshot

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Remote Desktop client – Remmina, Connect Remote to MS Windows VNC hosts from Linux

Friday, May 31st, 2013

Reading Time: 2 minutes

remmina remote connet to windows linux vnc client logo

If you're system administrator, who use Linux as Desktop. You surely want to check out Remmina – The GTK+ Remote Desktop Client.

As far as I tested among all VNC Linux clients I know Remmina is definitely the one of choice in terms of Interface simplicity / stability and remote connection level of responsibility.

Before finding out about Remmina existence, I tried xtightvncviewer, xvnc4viewer, gvncviewer, gtkvncviewer. xtightvncviewer, xvncviewer and gvncviewer are more for console geeks and hence either they lack GUI interface or user interface looks terrible.

GTKVncViewer's interface is also not bad but still not со nice as Remmina's.

gtkvncviewer Debian GNU Linux Wheezy screenshot Linux VNC simple client

As you see in above shot, gtkvncviewer lacks any configuration. The only thing it can do is connect to remote host and you have option to configure nothing related how remote connection will respond, what type of Resolution to use etc.

I know of of no other Linux VNC Clients that has configurability and GUI interface of Remmina.

 

As of time of writting Remmina is at stable version 1.0 and supports following Remote connection protocols:

  • VNC
  • VNC
  • RDP
  • RDPF
  • RDPS
  • SFTP
  • SSH

Remmina is available across mostly all Linux mainstream distributions:

To install Remmina on Debian / Ubuntu and deb derivatives:

debian:~# apt-get –yes install remmina
….

On Redhats (Fedora, CentOS, RHEL – RPM based Linuxes) install via:

[root@centos ~]# yum –yes install remmina

Below are few screenshots of Remmina:

Remmina Linux remote vnc connect best software gui frontend screenshot

Linux VNC best VNC connect tool Remmina preferences screenshot

One of best Remmina feature is it supports Tabbing just like in Firefox. You can open a number of Remote VNC connects to different Windows hosts and manage them all by switching from tab to tab.

Remmina best vnc linux desktop client screenshot with tabs / What is best VNC client for Linux

Linux: Delete empty lines from text file with sed, awk, grep and vim

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

Reading Time: < 1 minute

As a system administrator, sometimes is necessary to do basic plain text processing for various sysadmin tasks. One very common task I do to remove empty lines in file. There are plenty of ways to do it i.e. – with grep, sed, awk, bash, perl etc.

1. Deleting empty file lines with sed

The most standard way to do it is with sed, as sed was written to do in shell quick regexp. Here is how;

sed '/^\s*$/d' file_with_empty_lines.txt > output_no_empty_lines.txt

2. Deleting empty file lines with awk

It is less of writting with awk, but I always forget the syntax and thus I like more sed, anyways here is how with awk;

cat file_with_empty_lines.txt | awk 'NF' >
output_no_empty_lines.txt

3. Deleting empty lines with grep

Grep  regular expression can be used. Here is grep cmd to cut off empty lines from file;

grep -v '^\s*$' file_with_empty_lines.txt >
output_no_empty_lines.txt

4. Delete empty files with vi / vim text editor

Open vi / vim text editor

$ vim

Press Esc+: and if empty lines doesn't have empty space characters use command

g/^$/d

Whether, empty lines contain " " – space characters (which are not visible in most text editors), use vi cmd:
g/^ $/d

How to list and exclude table names from a database in MySQL (exclude table names from an show tables in MySQL) by using information_schema

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Reading Time: 3minutes
Listing all table names from a MySQL database is a very easy and trivial task that every sql or system administrator out there is aware of.

However excluding certain table names from a whole list of tables belonging to a database is not that commonly used and therefore I believe many people have no clue how to do it when they have to.

Today for one of my sql backup scripts it was necessary that certain tables from a database to be excluded from the whole list of tables for a database I’m backupping.
My example database has the sample name exampledatabase and usually I do list all the table contents from that database with the well known command:

mysql> SHOW tables from exampledatabase;

However as my desire was to exclude certain tables from the list (preferrably with a certain SQL query) I had to ask around in irc.freenode.net for some hints on a ways to achieve my exclude table goals.

I was adviced by some people in #mysql that what I need to achieve my goal is the information_schema mysql structure, which is available since MySQL version 5.0.

After a bit of look around in the information_schema and the respective documentation on mysql.com, thanksfully I could comprehend the idea behind the information_schema, though to be honest the first time I saw the documentation it was completly foggy on how to use this information_schema;
It seems using the information_schema is very easy and is not much different from your normal queries syntax used to do trivial operations in the mysql server.

If you wonder just like I did what is mysql’s information_schema go and use the information_schema database (which I believe is a virtual database that is stored in the system memory).

For instance:

mysql> use information_schema;
Database changed
mysql> show tables
+---------------------------------------+
| Tables_in_information_schema |
+---------------------------------------+
| CHARACTER_SETS |
| COLLATIONS |
| COLLATION_CHARACTER_SET_APPLICABILITY |
| COLUMNS |
| COLUMN_PRIVILEGES |
| KEY_COLUMN_USAGE |
| PROFILING |
| ROUTINES |
| SCHEMATA |
| SCHEMA_PRIVILEGES |
| STATISTICS |
| TABLES |
| TABLE_CONSTRAINTS |
| TABLE_PRIVILEGES |
| TRIGGERS |
| USER_PRIVILEGES |
| VIEWS |
+---------------------------------------+
17 rows in set (0.00 sec)

To get a general view on what each of the tables in the information_schema database contains I used the normal SELECT command for example

mysql> select * from TABLES limit 10;

I used the limit clause in order to prevent being overfilled with data, where I could still see the table fields name to get general and few lines of the table to get an idea what kind of information the TABLES table contains.

If you haven’t got any ecperience with using the information_schema I would advice you do follow my example select and look around through all the listed tables in the information_schema database

That will also give you a few hints about the exact way the MySQL works and comprehends it’s contained data structures.

In short information_schema virtual database and it’s existing tables provides a very thorough information and if you’re an SQL admin you certainly want to look over it every now and then.

A bit of playing with it lead me to a command which is actually a good substitute for the normal SHOW TABLES; mysql command.
To achieve a SHOW TABLES from exampledatabase via the information_schema info structure you can for example issue:

select TABLE_NAME from TABLES where TABLE_SCHEMA='exampledatabase';

Now as I’ve said a few words about information_schema let me go back to the main topic of this small article, which is How to exclude table names from a SHOW tables list

Here is how exclude a number of tables from a complete list of tables belonging to a database:

select TABLE_NAME from TABLES where TABLE_SCHEMA='exampledatabase'
AND TABLE_NAME not in
('mysql_table1_to_exlude_from_list', 'mysql_table2_to_exclude_from_list', 'table3_to_exclude');

In this example the above mysql command will list all the tables content belonging to exampledatabase and instruct the MySQL server not to list the table names with names mysql_table1_to_exlude_from_list, mysql_table2_to_exclude_from_list, table3_to_exclude

If you need to exclude more tables from your mysql table listing just add some more tables after the …’table3_to_exclude’, ‘new_table4_to_exclude’,’etc..’);

Of course this example can easily be adopted to a MySQL backup script which requires the exclusion of certain tables from a backed up database.

An example on how you can use the above table exclude command straight from the bash shell would be:

debian:~# echo "use information_schema; select TABLE_NAME from TABLES where
TABLE_SCHEMA='exampledatabase' AND TABLE_NAME not in
('mysql_table1_to_exlude_from_list', 'mysql_table2_to_exclude_from_list', 'table3_to_exclude',);"
| mysql -u root -p

Now this little bash one-liner can easily be customized to a backup script to create backups of a certain databases with a certain tables (e.g. with excluded number of tables) from the backup.

It’s seriously a pity that by default the mysqldump command does not have an option for a certain tables exclude while making a database dump.
I’ve saw the mysqldump exclude option, being suggested somewhere online as a future feature of mysqldump, I’ve also seen it being reported in the mysql.com’s bug database, I truly hope in the upcoming releases we will see the exclude option to appear as a possible mysqldump argument.