Browsing Category

Digital Walkabout

List of Things to Check on Live Install of Linux for Laptops

This isn’t going to be a very long or in-depth article, just some thoughts that I’ve had about the subject in the past and a sort of general history about Linux installations on Laptops. I decided to initially put this down for a couple reasons, first and foremost because I use these articles for cataloguing what I’m up to, and notes to act as a reference for things I may check up on again in the future (thus why I post code snippets and mini-howtos on here for the most part).

Disable Middle Click Scrolling in Windows or Chrome

What actually brought you here is likely a recent update or you’ve switched over to a different machine.

Then when you’ve tried to middle-click on a link (to open up that link in a separate and new tab) you are instead met with the curiously frustrating scroll icon, to your utter dismay.

Never fear!

Upgrading an AWS Instance

Because of the difficulties with trying to track down the correct AKI (Kernel ID), so you can create your own AMI (from your own Image, from a snapshot of your original boot drive), you are so much better off upgrading your server in a completely different way.

You’ve probably come to this page because you’ve had difficulties with doing the above process, maybe you’ve got that heart-wrenching soul-crushing System Log bug:

Kernel panic - not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block

After hours of misery you can’t figure out what to do, or what the correct AKI to choose (out of only, what, 1 million?) and you feel like you’re one of the Wildlings being blocked by the great Wall in the North and you just want to get south before the White Walkers find you..

Look no further!

Forget that horrible process that Amazon recommends and instead do what seems like the wrong thing:

ModRewrite not working or AllowOverride All Not Working

You’ve gotten your LAMP stack working perfectly, you probably have webmin installed and everything seems to be going well right? Until you start trying to using some special web packages like WordPress or a commerce package.. or maybe you’re trying to use some RewriteEngine conditions (like a RewriteRule) and nothing seems to work.

Is the mod_rewrite module turned on? How can you check? You make a file called phpinfo.php that has this code in it:

Setting up LAMP with Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus

I’ve recently had to delve back into an old cloud server running from a very old Linux installation. Suffice to say, it was time for a major upgrade. To start from scratch I found a HVM based AMI for the brand new 64bit version of Ubuntu 16.04 on the Amazon AWS and decided to have a clean LAMP stack to be able to transfer over all of the old web applications/sites/etc.

Much like we’ve come to expect from new releases of Ubuntu, the methods for setting up a LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) remain mainly the same. The big change this time around (if you haven’t heard) is that PHP7.0 is finally out and had been officially entered into Ubuntu. The reason this is a big deal (other than speed improvements, and better Unicode support, among other things) is that we’ve been installing previous LAMP setups using php5 packages for years now. That’s all changed now!

So let’s delve in right?

Fixing Citrix Receiver and Error 61 on Kubuntu

Citrix Receiver has become a widely used enterprise-level application. Fortunately, it has excellent Linux support from Citrix Systems, the developers. Unfortunately, it has terrible support internally from companies that use it (Linux? We don’t support that platform).

Error 61 is a common error, with an uncommon solution. It can be very frustrating to even understand what exactly the problem is.

Basically, the standard certificates are being stored somewhere on your system (e.g. /usr/share/ca-certificates/mozilla/), however, Citrix is expecting to see them in its own directory (e.g. /opt/Citrix/ICAClient/keystore/cacerts). Now, in theory you could simply lay down a soft link (removing the cacerts directory in the local Citrix installation and then running ln -s <mozilla certs dir> <Citrix keystore dir>/cacerts .

However, I find the best way is to simply copy what you have, so that Citrix-specific files are not lost, nor intertwined and mixed with the standard ca-certificates.

sudo cp /usr/share/ca-certificates/mozilla/*.* /opt/Citrix/ICAClient/keystore/cacerts/

Now of course, this will depend on your installation (my Citrix install went into /opt/) YMMV.

I am sure that this solution will work just as well for other distributions. (I’ve recently switched over to a Kubuntu 15.04 beta from an old Mint install) I am looking forward to all the new changes in Kubuntu – as well as getting away from Mint.

I loved Cinnamon, but there is simply not enough support out there for many things I need to do. In fact, I almost feel uncomfortable even using Kubuntu over Ubuntu, but the sad truth is that I simply cannot stand the abomination of their default window manager. It was an interesting idea, but I feel like my skin crawls when I’m on a system with Unity. If I wanted that feeling, I would use Windows.

I’m thankful for everything Ubuntu does of course (and Kubuntu would certainly not exist without it), but Unity is a deal breaker for me.

Beware Jelly Bean Firmware Update for Asus Infinity TF700T

I found out the hard way today when the new Android Jelly Bean update was installed that I should have been more wary than previous OTA updates.

Unfortunately, it now appears as if the /data/local/ directory is no longer writable when attempting the debugfs root exploit on the TF700T.

What does this mean? This means that (re-)rooting the tablet is basically impossible at this point.

Now I have to do a factory firmware reset, somehow find all of the older OTAs, update my system, and sit pretty with old Ice Cream Sandwich until ASUS gets its head out of its rear or some intrepid hacker at XDA figures out a different root for my device.

So, my Infinity is almost basically useless. Most of the apps I use require root / su access, most importantly the SixAxis Controller app which is what I use for 90% of all my games on the device. Its not exactly a brick, but it might as well be as far as I’m concerned.

A Bricked Asus TF700T
My Asus is Basically Bricked

Again, I repeat, do not install the new firmware update on your Asus Transformer Infinity TF700T if your root is precious to you, because ASUS has swooped in to destroy your garden of innocence and defile it with its alien otherworldly morals. For shame! Damn my eyes!

Update: If you have an OTA RootKeeper, it might be possible that you can keep your root before the firmware update. I have yet to have this confirmed however.

A screenshot of Bluehost's View Temporary Site message

Bluehost View Temporary Site Bug

Bluehost

Love it or hate it (or possibly overwhelming indifference) it is around and here to stay. I’ve used many different services and while I am sure there are many horror stories (no matter what hosting company you go with) I’ve only had several issues with them over the past few years.

I’ve got several accounts with them, have gotten other associates of mine to use them as well, and run more than 40 different websites across the strata. Once in a while, something particularly odd or annoying happens.

A screenshot of Bluehost's View Temporary Site message
Seen this message before?

I only use them for shared hosting, for more serious en-devours I use the cloud (particularly, AWS) as I’m sure I’ve expressed before.

Like many hosting services they go down sometimes. Sometimes its only for 20 minutes because some fool who ran a bad runaway script with a forever loop, sometimes its for a few hours because their daemons became unstable. Whatever, downtimes are not a big issue, they happen rarely (perhaps a few times a year, sometimes a couple times within a single week, and other times not for an 8 or 10 month stretch).

I don’t have a problem with it, in fact I fully understand how that kind of thing can happen.

What drives me crazy is when strange anomalies crop up. For example, sometimes their DNS zone files will get “reset”. You’ll notice this in particular when you have multiple domains pointing at different IP addresses.

When this happens, the wrong IP addresses get reported to some DNS servers temporarily and dish you out an IP address that, while it belongs to Bluehost, is not the correct IP address for your domain.

What happens then? Lets say your primary domain is server.com and you have an addon domain called server2.com. Your IP address for server.com is 123.123.123.100 and for server2.com its IP address is 222.222.222.200. Well one day you try going to server2.com and instead get sent to 123.123.123.199 (and when you check your DNS zone editor, you’ll see the address has been set to 123.123.123.100) then you see the infamous Bluehost message View Temporary Site for about two nanoseconds and then you get sent to server2.server.com

What do you need to do?

Well, you need to flush your DNS cache. I also recommend you stick to using Google’s public DNS server, but that’s up to you (8.8.8.8 and also 8.8.4.4 are available)

How to Logout of Amazon Web Services

This may seem like a crazy thing to post about, however, there is this extremely annoying bug that occurs if you login incorrectly to Amazon Web Services, whether you are trying to access your EC2 or whatever.

Let me start from the beginning, let’s say you have a personal Amazon account (not a far stretch of the imagination I hope), and let’s say that you have a separate account with which you use to access AWS (also, not really straying from the norm here). Now, lets say you need to enter the AWS Console for some administration and it asks you to login.

Then you make a blunder and accidentally login as your normal self.

Well, now you’ve done it. You are re-directed to a page that states you have not yet signed up for the Amazon web services and would you pretty please like to sign-up? Well of course you don’t since you’re already signed up with another account.

Then you try to log out so you can log in with the right account, and that is when your nightmare begins.

Maybe you try going to just the normal www.amazon.com site and logging out that way… nope, no good.

You try looking around the AWS pages… nothing, just more “Sign Me Up Scotty!”.

Then you start sweating and realize you might have to clear your cookies; maybe you don’t sweat, maybe you don’t care – but if you’re like me, you don’t like to clear your cookies on your browser. You like your cookies.

So you have the option of opening up another different browser, perhaps Firefox instead of Chrome this time and logging in that way.

Well of course you can login, navigate to the console and you can logout from there.

Well there’s the rub. You can use that link to log yourself out on the other browser of course.

Now occasionally it may slip your mind to copy that link and bookmark it for future use. Well no longer! I am here to give you that magical URL link so you can bookmark it and treasure it and love it.

https://console.aws.amazon.com/ec2/logout!doLogout

There, do you feel better and all warm and fuzzy?

I do.