VirtualBox 2.1

Linux, MySQL, Virtualization, Web, Windows No Comments

Although I have been a huge fan of VMWare Server I’m not apposed to alternatives. I’ve tried VirtualBox in the past with very little luck due to the Host Networking issues. However, it appears in the latest 2.1 version they have greatly improved on the networking. When I found out the new version had been released I was quick to download the pre-compiled version, which falls under the VirtualBox Personal Use and Evaluation License (PUEL). The license doesn’t matter to me because I mainly use it just for testing and at the School which is completely under the PUEL.

Host Networking worked without a hitch on a Windows XP Professional SP3 host as well as my Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex 8.10 setups. I think this product has finally, truely, entered the game! I’m sure it will still take some time for the Open Source Edition to enter the Repos for Ubuntu. But I expect to see great things from this.

Ubuntu Startup Services

Linux, Web No Comments

I have a server that sits at a desk all by itself, not running anything terribly important, and frequently I found myself needing to have a workstation there. Since Ubuntu Server doesn’t come with a GUI I went ahead and installed it via…

apt-get install ubuntu-desktop

However, I didn’t want the GUI to startup everytime the server came up. I only wanted it running if I needed it. I already knew I could do…

sudo /etc/init.d/gdm stop

but I wanted a way to stop it from starting. Of course I already know about the rc.d directories and I could manually go in and delete it from there but here are a couple of tools that apparently work on Ubuntu/Debian based distros.

To remove a service from startup:
     update-rc.d -f gdm remove

To add a service to startup:
     update-rc.d -f gdm defaults


IPCop, Linux, VPN, Web 7 Comments

The Zerina (OpenVPN) addon for IPCop is an excellent VPN addon.  One thing it does for simplicity is the keys are compiled into a pkcs12 (*.P12) file, which contains the Certificate Authority, the Certificate, and the Key for authentication.  Which is great if you are wanting to drop it directly into OpenVPN GUI for Windows.  Its an easy setup.  However, I’ve been working on making my switch to Ubuntu Linux and the only way to use the P12 files is at the command line.  I needed an easier way to connect to the VPN’s so in comes network-manager-openvpn.

apt-get install network-manager-openvpn

After you install the openvpn addon for Network Manager you can click on the Network Manager icon on your task tray and select “VPN Connections” > “Configure VPN” where you can add your VPN connection.  The problem is that this does not [yet] support pkcs12 (*.P12) files. In comes openssl, You have to extract the p12 file into PEM format.

To extract the CA Certificate:
     openssl pkcs12 -in myvpn.p12 -cacerts -nokeys -out myvpnca.pem

To extract the Personal Certificate:
     openssl pkcs12 -in myvpn.p12 -clcerts -nokeys -out myvpncert.pem

To extract the Private Key:
     With a password: openssl pkcs12 -in mydccert.p12 -clcerts -nocerts -out myvpnkey.pem
     Without a password: openssl pkcs12 -in mydccert.p12 -clcerts -nocerts -nodes -out myvpnkey.pem

At this point we now have the three files required to setup our VPN connection in Network Manager. (see screenshot below)
Click on Add.
Select OpenVPN as the connection type and click Create.
Give you connection a name.
The gateway is the FQDN or IP address of your OpenVPN server.
Type is Certificates (TLS)
The user certficate is the myvpncert.pem file from earlier
The CA Certificate is the myvpnca.pem file from earlier
The Private Key is the myvpnkey.pem file from earlier, you may have to type in your password if you chose to have one.

I did not have to change any other settings for this to be able to work. Enjoy!

PHP Redirect

Web No Comments

I constantly find myself needing to redirect people from some of the smaller systems that I have running Apache. The service is really there for some technical purpose but I don’t want people stumbling upon it.