• Webmin, next best thing to sliced bread

    I personally hate trying to configure some Applications on linux machines, especially ones that have very cryptic config files,  or there so big it takes you half an hour to get to the bottom, but no more hassle with Webmin as your remote server management solution. I have been using webmin for about 4 months now and I am quite pleased with the program, It is very simple to use no hassle setup of the interface and you can customize and build new modules for new applications or deamons.

    ignore the IE i took the picture on my work PC
    ignore the IE i took the picture on my work PC

    Ignore those high CPU times i was compiling glibc on my server  at the time of this screen shot, but lets get back to what makes it a great tool for me.

    The original reason i installed webmin is to beable to configure squid on the fly because of the need to test it from an outside connection but the uses grew as i kept exploring all the options. So after i setup squid i started looking into the apache, dns, dhcpd, and ssh server. So the apache 2 configureation was so easy compared to manuelly setting up the conf file and the enabled and installed sites, and a better understanding on how to configure apache the right way instead of the haphazard way of looking at examples and hopefully getting the config correct, with out creating security holes. I really  couldnt tell you how I got by with out webmin. The ssh, dhcpd, mysql, send mail, samba, where just as easy to setup as apache and squid, i would recomend this to any one doing any kind of server admin or running a dev system that needs monitoring or constant changes and you dont have access to the physical terminal all the time.

    There are a few things i didnt like so far, for starters I would like to be able to have a custom side bar with the links that i need only, but i think that can be taken care of with a little bit of editing the source code or creating a them. Next issue i would like changed is a better comand line interface, The one under Others comand shell does what it says it does and executes the command but I wish it emulated a shell better but i guess thats what the ssh login is for. another thing i would change would be the system info page Yes its very minimilistic and gets the info that you need, but i would like a little more info that may be helpful, Like keeping the Uptime on that page , yes i know its there when your system has been up for more than an hour but less than a day, other wise it disapears, I would also like to add how many proccesses are running at that moment and maybe the IP addresses assigned to the network interfaces would be helpul as well. I really couldnt think of any thing after that, but these are jsut cosmetic changes for the most part and the issues wont stop me from using this great tool. I have to thank the fine People at  http://www.webmin.com/index.html for creating and maintaining this fine tool.


  • Work, The Internet, Your Browsing

    Have you ever had that feeling that someone is standing over your shoulder, while browsing at work?  Or someone sends you a link in your corp mail, you click and you get that wonderful message, “this site has been blocked by <your big brother software> for <some reason that its not related to work>”…… Every time i have gotten a message like that, my brain goes “uh oh” knowing that in some log that it recorded your user name time and the site you were trying to get to!! So you think that this is another mark on your flawless company record…but even worse is it keeps all the sites that you go to regardless if its blocked or not…….So are you getting paranoid now? Well don’t be unless you know what your doing is against company policy like looking at NSFW sites or other social networking sites. But it still bugs me that my Digital Privacy is still being infringed upon……I know that Company’s put in filters and proxy s for extra security to keep out the viruses malware and spam from the internet, But do you really need Draconian laws to help with security? isnt there a better way, maybe Teach your emplyees, good browsing habits, what phising  is  or social engineering, and whats acceptable for work browsing and sample sites…… It may be years before major company realize that there internet policy is failing due to people circumventing there security, which is a Big problem that no one seems to realize, so Let me tell you some interesting ideas to circumvent your employers draconian internet policy……………… There are a few different ways to get by there security, depending on what is in your way. Most company uses a Proxy to allow people to access to the internet which usually have some sort of login, some use a Web filter software added to the proxy to allow you access to a few sites that the company feels you need access to, others use just the filter and some use something called a transparent proxy or gateway that has some sort of filtering software, there may be others ways for security to impede on your web surfing. Now for the Good stuff, how to get around your works web security… Remember I do not Support breaking the law or circumventing critical network security or breaking your company internet usage policy…Basically I take no Responsibility for your actions. Read the Policy and understand it because knowing your rights as an employee is your responsibility not HRs……….This is for informational and educational purposes only!
    Continue reading  Post ID 102


  • Easy Way for custom kernels

    Borrowed from hackaday,
    Borrowed from hackaday,

    I am a regular Browser of certain DIY and tech sites just because they always have something interesting, or some new idea or technology that may be useful. Today I found this post, http://hackaday.com/2009/08/25/kernelcheck-kernel-compiler/ and it interested me, a quick and easy way of Downloading patching and compiling the kernel…..I thought ‘WOW’ this is one of those packages that will vanish in a few weeks and it prolly buggy, no good support, and not a big user base with comments from ’01……..so i downloaded it and installed it, it has a few interesting dependencies like qt3 and a few other small libs…..now its installed, i go over the over simplified PDF….fairly easy to use so i go at it…..I was surprised how well it worked right out of the “package”,  I went ahead and updated the kernel info with a click of a button, i know which kernel is installed currently, i know what the current stable dev kernel is,  the current patch and a slew of other info that i really didn’t need… so next i decided i wanted a customized kernel, so i click 0n the custom, chose the current stable dev, with no patches (i didn’t try but you can go back to earlier versions of the Kernel) a few other options i chose as well as manual config, pack into a .deb package, there a bunch of other choices as well… so i did a basic config just to get it to compile my new kernel…..in less than 4 hours my new kernel was ready to be used, so  i loaded it up in the VMbox and took it for a spin, it loaded and worked just as if i had done this manually…..so I am pleased that some one has created a great tool like this to make life a little bit more easy for me….

    So is this going to Help those out there that want to customize there system? well a little, it will make the process a little faster and creating a custom kernels you will still need to know what you are doing when configuring it……My over all opinion of this software, I think its great and someone should have come up with this sooner. What i think is needed is some more advanced options for people building kernels for other systems, or cross-compile options, but other wise its a Great Tool with a nice intuitive GUI.

    As for support if you run into problems, well i haven’t had to deal with there mailing list but they do have one and it looks like this is an ongoing project for them. I am usually pretty critical of software becuase i have been let down so many times, but this one I really cant complain about, Its just a Great tool for your linux toolbox.

    Now just go to there site and check out the program for yourself http://kcheck.sourceforge.net/


  • Evo T20 project OS choice

    So i have Decide on my Distro that I want to use for my Evo. Its called Linux from Scratch,
    its a way to build your OS from compiling all the components, into a working linux.
    You can find more info here
    so far i have completed the Pre setup and getting the too chain compiled for the enviroment.
    there have been a few Hiccups here and there which i will get into in just a moment. Currently my Goal is to have a working linux under 16 megs so i dont have to buy more smart media cards, especially at $30+ for 128 megs, on out dated technology. but that is besides the point..

    Issues that  i have had so far

    1. Wget list has 2 broken links, I will list the 2 packages a little later
    2. Binutils would not compile, it was my mistake that i had made a few days ago while i was, the Tools link was pointing at the wrong Device, deleted it and remade it so it point to the correct folder
    3. after that i have run into another compile error dealing with GCC the error stated ../../gcc-4.3.2/gcc/double-int.h:184: error: expected ')' before 'double_int'
      ../../gcc-4.3.2/gcc/double-int.h:185: error: expected declaration specifiers or '...' before 'mpz_t'
      In file included from ../../gcc-4.3.2/gcc/c-lang.c:26:
      ../../gcc-4.3.2/gcc/tree.h:4895: error: expected declaration specifiers or '...' before 'mpz_t'
      ../../gcc-4.3.2/gcc/tree.h:4895: error: expected declaration specifiers or '...' before 'mpz_t'
      and still looking into what that means but shouldn’t take too long to figure out
    4. maybe more later

    So far This has been an interesting adventure, and would highly recomend that any linux admin should try this out and learn about how linux actuelly works, not many people understand how it all fits together and what it takes to make your own distro that you have complete control over…

    well now back to some more compilling! 🙂

    Edit : these are the errors after the warnings make[3]: *** [c-lang.o] Error 1
    make[3]: Leaving directory `/mnt/lfs/sources/gcc-build/gcc'
    make[2]: *** [all-stage2-gcc] Error 2
    make[2]: Leaving directory `/mnt/lfs/sources/gcc-build'
    make[1]: *** [stage2-bubble] Error 2
    make[1]: Leaving directory `/mnt/lfs/sources/gcc-build'
    make: *** [all] Error 2

    update 8/20/09

    So i went to the mailing list and asked my question and apperently the mpfr and gmp need to be in the source directory of gcc,  in my opnion the note in 5.3 assumes that your in the source directory of the package after its unpacked “Before issuing the build instructions for a package, the package should be unpacked as user lfs, and a
    cd into the created directory should be performed. The build instructions assume that the bash shell is
    in use.” is the exact wording, this should be rephrased  to be more clear, but that’s my opinion so back to compiling the tool chain

    Update 9/1/09

    Using V6.5 i started over and have had no diffuculty in compiling the OS on a USB drive except of my own typos, as soon as i can boot it i will put up a screenshot and also a copy of the USB drive image

    Update 12/26/09

    Never buy crappy USB drives…….Never again will i buy that really cheap drive from that off brand you have never heard of……..i lost my image on that drive but i am recompiling it and doing it again it was fun project and now i can do it a little faster now. This time it will only take a few days to create again.


  • EVO T20 Project

    I had this Idea a while back, that i could take a low power cheap pc and make it into a re-purposed server. So i Decided to buy a few thin clients that where cheap, so i ended up with these 16mb flash 32 mb ram, 300MHz power house…… Now that i look at it i probably should have shopped around a little to get one with more memory, but fret not i did  have an extra 128mb sodimm, I’m am also waiting to get a 128mb SM card from ebay so i have more flash.

    but let me get to the point.

    I want to Run Linux on this thing , then add custom packages like a proxy, a web-server, FTP with a USB stick, or a music streamer , any application that could be just plug and play and you have your instant server, of course all server applications need a little setup but lets make them smart so they configure themselves no matter where you plug them in and have a network ,  but also have overrides for the advanced user.

    but this is all but a dream at the moment so let me begin with what i have

    • Evo T20 16m//30m
    • Ubuntu setup with TFTP  and DHCPD
    • a network or a crossover cable
    • an original firmware file for you Evo (for me it the win ce .net)
    • a hex editor and a some interesting tools

    Continue reading  Post ID 102


  • 2 Upcomming Hardware Projects

    Just recently, a friend gave me a IBM x Series 350 server, with extra processors and memory, It is missing the SCSI drives which im trying to look for as cheap as possible so far luck is not in my favor because each drive new costs about $90 for each drive and finding the bays and then the drives i might be able to get the price down to about $50- $60 dollars, also im looking for 2 Heat sinks for the 2 extra processors that i want to stick in there. More on this later, the next project i have is i have some thin clients coming, this project will be interesting, i have to hack some firmware and load up Linux on this little machine, the nice thing is some of the ground work is already laid out for me in some helpful walk through and project pages that i have read up on.
    More Info to come as i progress with these projects later


  • OO PHP Part 1: Re-usable DB connector

    Welcome to My first Tutorial and resource for OO PHP code and classes. There are a lot of Great OOP Tutorials out there for PHP. This tutorial is not for people who don’t have the OOP concept down, this tutorial is for the person that understands the concept and just needs some great reusable code for your library of scripts and Code to make your life a little bit easier.

    Continue reading  Post ID 102