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August 04, 2022

Nicolai Langfeldt

Backup of postgres in a kubernetes pod (and a docker container)

Kubernetes is a lot of things, some cool, some vexsome.

One of the things is that it does not necessarily make it easy to make backups of data stored in pods.  And if the data is a database you can't really back it up from the outside in the data storage mount either since the backup is liable to become inconsistent and unusable. You have to deal with the database engine to get a consistent backup.

At work we have a self hosted kubernetes cluster and quite a bit og old fashioned infrastructure too.  Lately some postgres databases have been deployed here with the bitnami helm chart.

We use automation tools to set up backups and all kinds of things.  And in these tools we prefer not to put passwords if we can avoid it.

One _could_ make a backup using pg_dump or similar giving it the pod IP, username and password, but we'd like to avoid that.

Examining the bitnami postgres pod it was set up quite interestingly with postgres running at uid 1001 which does not have a user account associated. This is apparently to accomodate openshift.  It also makes it quite hard to run psql inside the pod:

$ psql  
psql: local user with ID 1001 does not exist

There are additional things that complicate it.  Studying the github issues for the helm chart I found that the makers of this had a workaround.  After experimenting with kubectl I managed to construct a command that does not require us to put the database password into the backup script:

kubectl exec -n $NAMESPACE $PODNAME -- bash -c ". /opt/bitnami/scripts/libpostgresql.sh && postgresql_enable_nss_wrapper && PGPASSWORD=\$POSTGRES_PASSWORD pg_dump $OPTS -c -U postgres $DB"

The magic is in libpostgresql.sh and the postgresql_enable_nss_wrapper, which makes the user "postgres" defined for the commands that follow.

You have to supply the environment variables NAMESPACE, PODNAME, the optional OPTS for options and DB yourself. POSTGRES_PASSWORD is taken from the deployed pod.


by nicolai (noreply@blogger.com) atAugust 04, 2022 11:49 AM

July 24, 2022

Ole Aamot GNOME Development Blog

GNOME Radio 16 on GNOME 42 Presentation at GUADEC 2022

GNOME Radio 16 is the Public Network Radio Software for Accessing Free World Broadcasts on Internet running on GNOME 42.

GNOME Radio 16 is available with Hawaii Public Radio (NPR) and 62 British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) live audio broadcasts for GNOME 42.

The latest GNOME Radio 16 release during GUADEC 2022 (between July 20-25, 2022) features 200 international radio stations and 110 city map markers around the world, including National Public Radio, 62 BBC radio stations broadcasting live from United Kingdom and 4 SomaFM radio stations broadcasting live from San Francisco, California. GNOME Radio 16 for GNOME 42 is developed on the GNOME 42 desktop platform with GNOME Maps, GeoClue, libchamplain and geocode-lib and it requires at least GTK+ 3.0 and GStreamer 1.0 for audio playback.

Join the Bird of a Feather meeting about GNOME Radio 16 on GNOME 42 during the GUADEC 2022 at 24 Jul 2022 13-15 in GUADEC 2022-Track 2 Samsung at https://meet.gnome.org/gua-t9b-upx-mlt

8 years before GNOME 43 occured I began writing GNOME Internet Radio Locator for GNOME 2 between 2014-2017 and 5 more years GNOME 3, after Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) shut down its FM broadcasts. In 2022 we are going to build GNOME 43 support for further international as well as Norwegian radio stations with help from the GStreamer and the GNOME community.

Here is some of the newly written code for GNOME 43 in the new GNOME Radio 42 application org.gnome.Radio:

#include <gst/player/player.h> #include <gtk/gtk.h> static void activate(GtkApplication * app, gpointer user_data) { GtkWidget *window; GstPlayer *player; window = gtk_application_window_new(app); gtk_window_set_application (GTK_WINDOW(window), GTK_APPLICATION(app)); gtk_window_set_title(GTK_WINDOW(window), "Radio"); gtk_window_set_default_size(GTK_WINDOW(window), 800, 600); gtk_widget_show(window); player = gst_player_new (NULL, gst_player_g_main_context_signal_dispatcher_new(NULL)); gst_player_set_uri (GST_PLAYER (player), "http://stream.live.vc.bbcmedia.co.uk/bbc_world_service"); gst_player_play (GST_PLAYER (player)); } int main(int argc, char **argv) { GtkApplication *app; int status; gst_init(&argc, &argv); gst_init(NULL, NULL); app = gtk_application_new("org.gnome.Radio", G_APPLICATION_FLAGS_NONE); g_signal_connect(app, "activate", G_CALLBACK(activate), NULL); status = g_application_run(G_APPLICATION(app), argc, argv); g_object_unref(app); return status; }

GNOME Internet Radio Locator 3 (Washington)

In 2018 I began writing my Bachelor of Science thesis in Electrical Engineering about GNOME Radio and GNOME Internet Radio Locator and on June 24, 2020 I published my Bachelor thesis on GNOME Radio; gnome-radio-16.0.43 and gnome-internet-radio-locator-12.6.0, at Oslo Metropolitan University and University of Oslo in Norway.

See my GUADEC 2022 talk on GNOME Radio 16 scheduled for the BoF Workshop GUADEC 2022 BoF Rm 2 session July 24, 2022 between 13:00-15:00.

Visit gnomeradio.org and wiki.gnome.org/Apps/Radio for full details on GNOME Radio 42.

by oleaamot atJuly 24, 2022 01:00 PM

July 21, 2022

NUUG Foundation

Reisestipend - 2022 og 2023

NUUG Foundation utlyser reisestipender for 2022 og 2023. Søknader kan sendes inn til enhver tid.

July 21, 2022 01:52 PM

July 16, 2022

Petter Reinholdtsen

Automatic LinuxCNC servo PID tuning?

While working on a CNC with servo motors controlled by the LinuxCNC PID controller, I recently had to learn how to tune the collection of values that control such mathematical machinery that a PID controller is. It proved to be a lot harder than I hoped, and I still have not succeeded in getting the Z PID controller to successfully defy gravity, nor X and Y to move accurately and reliably. But while climbing up this rather steep learning curve, I discovered that some motor control systems are able to tune their PID controllers. I got the impression from the documentation that LinuxCNC were not. This proved to be not true

The LinuxCNC pid component is the recommended PID controller to use. It uses eight constants Pgain, Igain, Dgain, bias, FF0, FF1, FF2 and FF3 to calculate the output value based on current and wanted state, and all of these need to have a sensible value for the controller to behave properly. Note, there are even more values involved, theser are just the most important ones. In my case I need the X, Y and Z axes to follow the requested path with little error. This has proved quite a challenge for someone who have never tuned a PID controller before, but there is at least some help to be found.

I discovered that included in LinuxCNC was this old PID component at_pid claiming to have auto tuning capabilities. Sadly it had been neglected since 2011, and could not be used as a plug in replacement for the default pid component. One would have to rewriting the LinuxCNC HAL setup to test at_pid. This was rather sad, when I wanted to quickly test auto tuning to see if it did a better job than me at figuring out good P, I and D values to use.

I decided to have a look if the situation could be improved. This involved trying to understand the code and history of the pid and at_pid components. Apparently they had a common ancestor, as code structure, comments and variable names were quite close to each other. Sadly this was not reflected in the git history, making it hard to figure out what really happened. My guess is that the author of at_pid.c took a version of pid.c, rewrote it to follow the structure he wished pid.c to have, then added support for auto tuning and finally got it included into the LinuxCNC repository. The restructuring and lack of early history made it harder to figure out which part of the code were relevant to the auto tuning, and which part of the code needed to be updated to work the same way as the current pid.c implementation. I started by trying to isolate relevant changes in pid.c, and applying them to at_pid.c. My aim was to make sure the at_pid component could replace the pid component with a simple change in the HAL setup loadrt line, without having to "rewire" the rest of the HAL configuration. After a few hours following this approach, I had learned quite a lot about the code structure of both components, while concluding I was heading down the wrong rabbit hole, and should get back to the surface and find a different path.

For the second attempt, I decided to throw away all the PID control related part of the original at_pid.c, and instead isolate and lift the auto tuning part of the code and inject it into a copy of pid.c. This ensured compatibility with the current pid component, while adding auto tuning as a run time option. To make it easier to identify the relevant parts in the future, I wrapped all the auto tuning code with '#ifdef AUTO_TUNER'. The end result behave just like the current pid component by default, as that part of the code is identical. The end result entered the LinuxCNC master branch a few days ago.

To enable auto tuning, one need to set a few HAL pins in the PID component. The most important ones are tune-effort, tune-mode and tune-start. But lets take a step back, and see what the auto tuning code will do. I do not know the mathematical foundation of the at_pid algorithm, but from observation I can tell that the algorithm will, when enabled, produce a square wave pattern centered around the bias value on the output pin of the PID controller. This can be seen using the HAL Scope provided by LinuxCNC. In my case, this is translated into voltage (+-10V) sent to the motor controller, which in turn is translated into motor speed. So at_pid will ask the motor to move the axis back and forth. The number of cycles in the pattern is controlled by the tune-cycles pin, and the extremes of the wave pattern is controlled by the tune-effort pin. Of course, trying to change the direction of a physical object instantly (as in going directly from a positive voltage to the equivalent negative voltage) do not change velocity instantly, and it take some time for the object to slow down and move in the opposite direction. This result in a more smooth movement wave form, as the axis in question were vibrating back and forth. When the axis reached the target speed in the opposing direction, the auto tuner change direction again. After several of these changes, the average time delay between the 'peaks' and 'valleys' of this movement graph is then used to calculate proposed values for Pgain, Igain and Dgain, and insert them into the HAL model to use by the pid controller. The auto tuned settings are not great, but htye work a lot better than the values I had been able to cook up on my own, at least for the horizontal X and Y axis. But I had to use very small tune-effort values, as my motor controllers error out if the voltage change too quickly. I've been less lucky with the Z axis, which is moving a heavy object up and down, and seem to confuse the algorithm. The Z axis movement became a lot better when I introduced a bias value to counter the gravitational drag, but I will have to work a lot more on the Z axis PID values.

Armed with this knowledge, it is time to look at how to do the tuning. Lets say the HAL configuration in question load the PID component for X, Y and Z like this:

loadrt pid names=pid.x,pid.y,pid.z

Armed with the new and improved at_pid component, the new line will look like this:

loadrt at_pid names=pid.x,pid.y,pid.z

The rest of the HAL setup can stay the same. This work because the components are referenced by name. If the component had used count=3 instead, all use of pid.# had to be changed to at_pid.#.

To start tuning the X axis, move the axis to the middle of its range, to make sure it do not hit anything when it start moving back and forth. Next, set the tune-effort to a low number in the output range. I used 0.1 as my initial value. Next, assign 1 to the tune-mode value. Note, this will disable the pid controlling part and feed 0 to the output pin, which in my case initially caused a lot of drift. In my case it proved to be a good idea with X and Y to tune the motor driver to make sure 0 voltage stopped the motor rotation. On the other hand, for the Z axis this proved to be a bad idea, so it will depend on your setup. It might help to set the bias value to a output value that reduce or eliminate the axis drift. Finally, after setting tune-mode, set tune-start to 1 to activate the auto tuning. If all go well, your axis will vibrate for a few seconds and when it is done, new values for Pgain, Igain and Dgain will be active. To test them, change tune-mode back to 0. Note that this might cause the machine to suddenly jerk as it bring the axis back to its commanded position, which it might have drifted away from during tuning. To summarize with some halcmd lines:

setp pid.x.tune-effort 0.1
setp pid.x.tune-mode 1
setp pid.x.tune-start 1
# wait for the tuning to complete
setp pid.x.tune-mode 0

After doing this task quite a few times while trying to figure out how to properly tune the PID controllers on the machine in, I decided to figure out if this process could be automated, and wrote a script to do the entire tuning process from power on. The end result will ensure the machine is powered on and ready to run, home all axis if it is not already done, check that the extra tuning pins are available, move the axis to its mid point, run the auto tuning and re-enable the pid controller when it is done. It can be run several times. Check out the run-auto-pid-tuner script on github if you want to learn how it is done.

My hope is that this little adventure can inspire someone who know more about motor PID controller tuning can implement even better algorithms for automatic PID tuning in LinuxCNC, making life easier for both me and all the others that want to use LinuxCNC but lack the in depth knowledge needed to tune PID controllers well.

As usual, if you use Bitcoin and want to show your support of my activities, please send Bitcoin donations to my address 15oWEoG9dUPovwmUL9KWAnYRtNJEkP1u1b.

July 16, 2022 08:30 PM

July 09, 2022

Ole Aamot GNOME Development Blog

Voice 0.0.6 for GNOME 43

Voice is a new Public Voice Communication Software being built on GNOME 43.

Voice will let you listen to and share short, personal and enjoyable Voicegrams via electronic mail and on the World Wide Web by GNOME executives, employees and volunteers. Ogg Vorbis is a patent-free audio codec that more and more Free Software programs, including GNOME Voice (https://www.gnomevoice.org/) have implemented, so that you can listen to Voicegram recordings with good/fair recording quality.

The sixth Voice 0.0.6 release with live microphone recording into $HOME/Music/GNOME.ogg is available from https://download.gnome.org/sources/gnome-voice/0.0/gnome-voice-0.0.6.tar.xz

The latest Voicegram recording gets stored in $HOME/Music/GNOME.ogg

More information about Voice is available on https://wiki.gnome.org/Apps/Voice and http://www.gnomevoice.org/

by oleaamot atJuly 09, 2022 08:14 PM

Peter Hansteen (That Grumpy BSD Guy)

Domain Name Scams Are Alive And Well, Thank You

Is somebody actually trying to register your company name as a .cn or .asia domain? Not likely. And don't pay them.

It has been a while since anybody tried to talk me into registering a domain name I wasn't sure I wanted in the first place, but it has happened before. Scams more or less like the Swedish one are as common as they are transparent, but apparently enough people take the bait that the scammers keep trying.

After a few quiet years in my backwater of the Internet, in March of 2016, we saw a new sales push that came from China. The initial contact on March 4th, from somebody calling himself Jim Bing read (preserved here with headers for reference, you may need MIME tools to actually extract text due to character set handling),

Subject: Notice for "bsdly"

Dear CEO,

(If you are not the person who is in charge of this, please forward this to your CEO, because this is urgent, Thanks)

We are a Network Service Company which is the domain name registration center in China.
We received an application from Huabao Ltd on March 2, 2016. They want to register " bsdly " as their Internet Keyword and " bsdly.cn "、" bsdly.com.cn " 、" bsdly.net.cn "、" bsdly.org.cn " 、" bsdly.asia " domain names, they are in China and Asia domain names. But after checking it, we find " bsdly " conflicts with your company. In order to deal with this matter better, so we send you email and confirm whether this company is your distributor or business partner in China or not?

Best Regards,

Jim
General Manager
Shanghai Office (Head Office)
8006, Xinlong Building, No. 415 WuBao Road,
Shanghai 201105, China
Tel: +86 216191 8696
Mobile: +86 1870199 4951
Fax: +86 216191 8697
Web: www.cnweb-registry.com


The message was phrased a bit oddly in parts (as in, why would anybody register an"internet keyword"?), but not entirely unintelligible as English-language messages from Asians sometimes are.

I had a slight feeling of deja vu -- I remembered a very similar message turning up in 2008 while we were in the process of selling the company we'd started a number of years earlier. In the spirit of due diligence (after asking the buyer) we replied then that the company did not have any plans for expanding into China, and if my colleagues ever heard back, it likely happened after I'd left the company.

This time around I was only taking a break between several semi-urgent tasks, so I quickly wrote a reply, phrased in a way that I thought would likely make them just go away (also preserved here):

Subject: Re: Notice for "bsdly"
 
Dear Jim Bing,

We do not have any Chinese partners at this time, and we are not
currently working to establish a presence in Chinese territory. As to
Huabao Ltd's intentions for registering those domains, I have no idea
why they should want to.

Even if we do not currently plan to operate in China and see no need
to register those domains ourselves at this time, there is a risk of
some (possibly minor) confusion if those names are to be registered
and maintained by a third party. If you have the legal and practical
authority to deny these registrations that would be my preference.

Yours,
Peter N. M. Hansteen


Then on March 7th, a message from "Jiang zhihai" turned up (preserved here, again note the character set issues):

Subject: " bsdly "
Dear Sirs,

Our company based in chinese office, our company has submitted the " bsdly " as CN/ASIA(.asia/.cn/.com.cn/.net.cn/.org.cn) domain name and Internet Keyword, we are waiting for Mr. Jim's approval. We think these names are very important for our business in Chinese and Asia market. Even though Mr. Jim advises us to change another name, we will persist in this name.

Best regards

Jiang zhihai

Now, if they're in a formal process of getting approval for a that domain name, why would they want to screw things up by contacting me directly? I was beginning to smell rat, but I sent them an answer anyway (preserved here):

Subject: Re: " bsdly "

Dear Jiang zhihai,

You've managed to make me a tad curious as to why the "bsdly" name
would be important in these markets.

While there is a very specific reason why I chose that name for my
domains back in 2004, I don't see any reason why you wouldn't be
perfectly well served by picking some other random sequence of characters.

So out of pure curiosity, care to explain why you're doing this?

Sincerely,
Peter N. M. Hansteen

Yes, that domain name has been around for a while. I didn't immediately remember exactly when I'd registered the domain, but a quick look at the whois info (preserved here) confirmed what I thought. I've had it since 2004.

Anyone who is vaguely familiar with the stuff I write about will have sufficient wits about them to recognize the weak pun the domain name is. If "bsdly" has any other significance whatsoever in other languages including the several Chinese ones, I'd genuinely like to know.

But by now I was pretty sure this was a scam. Registrars may or may not do trademark searches before registering domains, but in most cases the registrar would not care either way. Domain registration is for the most part a purely technical service that extends to making sure whether any requested domains are in fact available, while any legal disputes such as trademark issues could very easily be sent off to the courts for the end users at both ends to resolve. The supposed Chinese customer contacting me directly just does not make sense.

Then of course a few hours after I'd sent that reply, our man Jim fired off a new message (preserved here, MIME and all):

Subject: CN/ASIA domain names & Internet Keyword

Dear Peter N. M. Hansteen,

Based on your company having no relationship with them, we have suggested they should choose another name to avoid this conflict but they insist on this name as CN/ASIA domain names (asia/ cn/ com.cn/ net.cn/ org.cn) and internet keyword on the internet. In our opinion, maybe they do the similar business as your company and register it to promote his company.
According to the domain name registration principle: The domain names and internet keyword which applied based on the international principle are opened to companies as well as individuals. Any companies or individuals have rights to register any domain name and internet keyword which are unregistered. Because your company haven't registered this name as CN/ASIA domains and internet keyword on the internet, anyone can obtain them by registration. However, in order to avoid this conflict, the trademark or original name owner has priority to make this registration in our audit period. If your company is the original owner of this name and want to register these CN/ASIA domain names (asia/ cn/ com.cn/ net.cn/ org.cn) and internet keyword to prevent anybody from using them, please inform us. We can send an application form and the price list to you and help you register these within dispute period.

Kind regards

Jim
General Manager
Shanghai Office (Head Office)
8006, Xinlong Building, No. 415 WuBao Road,
Shanghai 201105, China
Tel: +86 216191 8696
Mobile: +86 1870199 4951
Fax: +86 216191 8697
Web: www.cnwebregistry.com

So basically he's fishing for me to pony up some cash and register those domains myself through their outfit. Quelle surprise.

I'd already checked whether my regular registrar offers .cn registrations (they don't), and checking for what looked like legitimate .cn domain registrars turned up that registering a .cn domain would likely cost to the tune of USD 35. Not a lot of money, but more than I care to spend (and keep spending on a regular basis) on something I emphatically do not need.

So I decided to do my homework. It turns out that this is a scam that's been going on for years. A search on the names of persons and companies turned up Matt Lowe's 2012 blog post Chinese Domain Name Registration Scams with a narrative identical to my experience, with only minor variations in names and addresses.

Checking whois while writing this it turns out that apparently bsdly.cn has been registered:

[Wed Mar 09 20:34:34] peter@skapet:~$ whois bsdly.cn
Domain Name: bsdly.cn
ROID: 20160229s10001s82486914-cn
Domain Status: ok
Registrant ID: 22cn120821rm22yr
Registrant: 徐新荣
Registrant Contact Email: 1725093@qq.com
Sponsoring Registrar: 浙江贰贰网络有限公司
Name Server: ns1.22.cn
Name Server: ns2.22.cn
Registration Time: 2016-02-29 20:55:09
Expiration Time: 2017-02-28 20:55:09
DNSSEC: unsigned

But it doesn't resolve more than a week after registration:

[Wed Mar 09 20:34:47] peter@skapet:~$ host bsdly.cn
Host bsdly.cn not found: 2(SERVFAIL)


That likely means they thought me a prospect and registered with an intent to sell, and they've already spent some amount of cash they're not getting back from me. I think we can consider them LARTed, however on a very small scale.

What's more, none of the name servers specified in the whois info seem to answer DNS queries:

[Wed Mar 09 20:35:36] peter@skapet:~$ dig @ns1.22.cn bsdly.cn any

; <<>> DiG 9.4.2-P2 <<>> @ns1.22.cn bsdly.cn any
; (2 servers found)
;; global options:  printcmd
;; connection timed out; no servers could be reached
[Wed Mar 09 20:36:14] peter@skapet:~$ dig @ns2.22.cn bsdly.cn any

; <<>> DiG 9.4.2-P2 <<>> @ns2.22.cn bsdly.cn any
; (2 servers found)
;; global options:  printcmd
;; connection timed out; no servers could be reached



So summing up,
If this makes you worried about Asian cyber-criminals or the Cyber Command of the People's Liberation Army out to get your cyber-whatever, please calm down.

Sending near-identical email messages to people listed in various domains' whois info does not require a lot of resources, and as Matt says in his article, there are indications that this could very well be the work (for some values of) of a single individual. As cybercrime goes, this is the rough equivalent of some petty, if unpleasant, street crime.

I'm all ears for suggestions for further LARTing (at least those that do not require a lot of effort on my part), and if you've had similar experiences, I'd like to hear from you (in comments or email). Do visit Matt Lowe's site too, and add to his collection if you want to help him keep track.

And of course, if "Jim Bing" or Jiang zhihai" actually answer any of my questions, I'll let you know with an update to this article.

Update 2016-03-15: As you can imagine I've been checking whether bsdly.cn resolves and the registration status of the domain via whois at semi-random intervals of at least a few hours since I started the blog post. I was a bit surprised to find that the .cn whois server does not answer requests at the moment:

[Tue Mar 15 10:23:31] peter@portal:~$ whois bsdly.cn
whois: cn.whois-servers.net: connect: Connection timed out


It could of course be a coincidence and an unrelated technical issue. I'd appreciate independent verification. 

Update 2016-11-03: Another variant of the same appeared today, with one "Kenn Lau <kenn@qosl.org.cn>" given as the contact. The full message including headers can be found here.

The main message is:

From: Kenn Lau <kenn qosl.org.cn>
To: peter <peter nuug.no>
Subject: nuug
Date: Thu, 3 Nov 2016 19:00:25 +0800


The question is closely related to your company name "nuug",please forward it to your company's top management. Thanks!

Dear President&CEO,

We are the organization specializing in network consulting and registration authorized by Chinese government. On November 2. 2016,a applicant named Mr. Brian Lee from BIO Technologies Co., Ltd wants to record and register the brand name nuug and some domains by our office.

After our preliminary review and verification,we find BIO Technologies Co., Ltd has nothing to do with your company. But If you have permitted this company to apply these names, or you think the application will not damage the interests of your company,please allow us to fulfill all the registration for BIO Technologies Co., Ltd. If you against the company's application,please let me know by email ASAP.

Best Regards,

Kenn Lau
Manager of Registration department
Address:No. 68 FuNan Road,Hefei 230000,China
Tel: (+86) 0739-5266069
Fax:(+86) 0739-5266069

I'm sure Kenn would like to hear from you, and of course I'm happy to hear from you if you hear from him too.



Update 2022-07-09:  Eight years later, another, near-identical message of this type turned up here. If you're interested, you can find the original message and my reply preserved at their respective links. Fo anyone with similar ideas out there, I would recommend looking into othe lines of business entirely.


by Peter N. M. Hansteen (noreply@blogger.com) atJuly 09, 2022 10:59 AM

July 04, 2022

Peter Hansteen (That Grumpy BSD Guy)

Recent and not so recent changes in OpenBSD that make life better (and may turn up elsewhere too)

Known to be "functional, free and secure by default", the OpenBSD operating system has played an important role in open source for more than a quarter century. It has also been fairly central to what I have done for the last two decades and some. What follows is my personal view of what life with OpenBSD has been like, with an emphasis on moments and developments that I feel made life, or at least my life, better.

I will assume that you know already that one of the signature features of the OpenBSD project is the continuous code audit and the sharp focus on secure and correct code. The audit by itself has produced a number of improvements, including a stream of bugfixes with bugs of a similar kind fixed in the whole tree and even the occasional subsystem rewrite. In addition, even for a free operating system project, life just happens. The world changes around us and drives the developers to take up fresh approaches to both new and well known problems and in the process develop code in ways that improves life for us all.

The Norwegian tech news site digi.no took this article in as a three part series, see parts 1, 2 and 3 if you want to read this in my native language.  

If you are not that familiar with OpenBSD the system or project, my "OpenBSD and you" talk, which I update occasionally, might be a not too bad place to start. But in this article I will focus on some specific moments when I felt that changes in OpenBSD made my life better. These are the things that made me start and go on advocating the system.

So who am I and what can I offer?

My name is Peter Hansteen. I have worked in information technology and information technology related things like documentation since the late 1980s. I am in the process of transitioning from a "Security Engineer" role into a "Cloud Expert" one, and across several other roles and titles I have always done a bit, or a lot of Unix system and network administration. At most times you will find me on The Other West Coast, specifically in Bergen, Norway.

Note: If you are more of a slides person than a fulltext person, you may be relieved to hear that you can find the slides for the talk this article is based on (and vice versa) here.

The installer was always good, got better

When I found OpenBSD more than twenty years ago, my main Unix exposure was from working with Linuxes and FreeBSD. What attracted me to OpenBSD and finally had me buy an OpenBSD 2.5 CD set was the strong focus on security and code correctness. When the CD set and the classic wireframe daemon T-shirt finally arrived in the mail, I set about at first to install it on whatever spare hardware I had lying around.

OpenBSD wireframe daemon head


If I remember correctly, the first machine I tried installing OpenBSD on was an 80386/33MHz with 8MB RAM and I think a 100MB IDE hard disk. Which I can report sounded pretty crappy even then, but the thing did work.

The initial install was fairly straightforward, and when I started poking around I found two things about myself and the new system: Everyting made sense, and everything I could think of had a readable man page. So the first change I am aware of that made the world better with OpenBSD was the decision to enforce the "No commit without documentation" rule, which came into being early in the project's life, probably roughly at the same time the OpenBSD developers gave us a real-time view of development via anonymous CVS. You can see things happening in almost real time.

It is worth mentioning that the installer has remained famously non-graphical, text only. The reason the installer remains text-only is that this is a major advantage that enables the developers and the users to handle the fairly diverse collection of hardware platforms that OpenBSD runs on with the same portable, familiar and compact code everywhere.

The installer was always scriptable and extensible, and over the years the installer has added automatic, repeatable and scriptable installs (dubbed autoinstall(8) which appeared in OpenBSD 5.5 in 2014) and the sysupgrade(8) extension (first found in OpenBSD 6.6 in 2019) that automates snapshot to snapshot or release to subsequent release upgrades for all not too hacked-up configurations. Each of these moments, or more specifically when the new code started appearing in snapshots, had me appreciate the OpenBSD system a bit more, and made me feel quality of life had improved.

Now something for your laptop - hardware support

Fast forward some twenty-plus years and the last article I published, and even got into Norwegian mainstream IT news site Digi.no, centers on a few moments involving new OpenBSD developments. It took some interaction with OpenBSD developers, but those interactions lead to my new laptop with an 11th generation Intel Core chipset working even better with OpenBSD. Yes, OpenBSD developers and a significant subset of their user base actually run OpenBSD on their laptops. I do use a Mac and a work-issued Thinkpad with Ubuntu Linux too, but life is not complete without an OpenBSD laptop.

Now to be honest, what I saw within the space of a few days was development that had me going from "Oh, sh*t, the SSD isn't recognized" -- the controller was set to a RAID-ish mode by default -- through this kernel panic:

OpenBSD 6.9-current panic message


-- to seeing it all fully supported.

The SSD problem turned out to be simple to fix: Simply find the "Advanced" BIOS option that turned the pseudo-raid feature off and let the operating system speak directly to the storage device.

For the rest there was a period of a couple of weeks I had to run with not yet commited patches in a home baked kernel built from checkouts from Jonathan Grey's git repo. When the code was committed to -current, I could resume my normal sysupgrade(8) routine, going from one development snapshot to the next.

The process, even with the need to build custom kernels for a while, was actually quite pleasant, and when the support code went into the main development branch, that too was a a moment when I felt my life had been improved by changes in OpenBSD. The hardware support is now in snapshots and will be in OpenBSD 7.0 which is set to be released approximately early November 2021.

Living the life dynamic

Now that we're talking about laptops, there is another recent development that makes your OpenBSD on laptop experience even better. Laptops and other equipment that uses dynamic network configuration became easier to operate with dhcpleased(8) now enabled by default in OpenBSD 6.9-current after it was first introduced in OpenBSD 6.9. That change marked the completion of a five year cycle of incremental development which involved writing several new daemons. Each of those programs was designed with the Unix philosophy that a program should do one thing and do it well.

The first piece of the puzzle was slaacd(8) - the stateless IPv6 address autoconfiguration daemon - which appeared in OpenBSD 6.2 to handle IPv6 automatic configuration, listening for route advertisements.

The corresponding router advertisement daemon rad(8) arrived in OpenBSD 6.4. That got most of the things involved in IPv6 autoconfiguration in order.

Next up was the arrival in OpenBSD 6.5 of unwind(8), a validating DNS resolver which learns which resolvers to query from DHCP and other sources.

To complete the set, OpenBSD 6.9 brought us resolvd(8) to manage and edit /etc/resolv.conf, updating the file with information learned from other sources, and dhcpleased(8) now serves as the client for IPv4 DHCP client information which is then fed into the configuration.

Combined with setting your laptop to join networks as they become available, moving between networks can now be an non-disruptive, even unremarkable event.

This all comes into place if you edit your /etc/hostname.$if for (for example hostname.iwx0) to something like

join adipose wpakey thedoctorknows
join tardis wpakey biggerontheinside
join cybermen wpakey nowedont
inet autoconf
inet6 autoconf

you should expect minimal efforts needed when moving between those networks. As usual, as soon as a new feature is trusted, it is on by default in OpenBSD-current, and OpenBSD 7.0 will ship with this behavior enabled by default for interfaces set to autoconf for either inet or inet6.

But that is the modern day and for some in the future. OpenBSD on a laptop is a good experience. On the other hand, most of the world sees the BSDs and OpenBSD in particular as mainly server or even network device operating systems, despite the fairly high BSD code content in such things as Apple systems.

The thing that lured me in

But I hear you ask, what made me turn into an almost all-in OpenBSD user?

Back in 2001 I was still only experimenting with OpenBSD, but my experience with Linux and iptables had made me long for a switch to a saner firewall. I had done some small experiments with the IPF firewall that was in OpenBSD until the 2.9 release. Then, as some of us will remember, the it was discovered that IPF's license was in fact not free, so it needed to be replaced.

There was a distinct rush, not quite a stampede, to replace IPF over the months that followed. Fortunately, the new code that replaced the previous packet filter proved to perform better. The OpenBSD Packet filter, dubbed PF for short, had been born and made its debut in OpenBSD 3.0 in December 2001. The release had originally been planned for November, but was pushed out a month to hack the "working prototype" packet filter into something usable.

Almost needless to say, this turn of events finally pushed me to take the final steps to replace the Linux gateways I had in place with OpenBSD ones. I was pleasantly surprised to find that not only did they perform well, but they also came with complete and reasonably well documented tools so I could understand what was going on. That's how I got started on the process that lead to among other things writing The Book of PF and taking that text through three editions so far. But more about that later.

It is worth noting that the IPFilter copyright episode spurred the OpenBSD developers to perform a license audit of the entire source tree and ports in order to avoid similar situations in the future. This activity ran for some months and uncovered a number of potential problems. Theo de Raadt summed up the effort in a message to the openbsd-misc mailing list on February 20th, 2003.

What they found when they started looking was that there was a significant number of files that were in fact not under a free license, much like the entire IPF subsystem had been. Those needed to be replaced. Other parts had either no license or no copyright stated. In some cases the developers gave explicit permission to continuing use, but quite a few things needed to be rewritten with a free license so OpenBSD and other free software would be able to move forward without copyright problems.

I later heard in a rather informal setting that among the no copyright and/or no license cases, it was usually possible to track down the developers via version control system logs or mailing list archives. In a large number of those cases, the initial reaction was along the lines "Say what? Are people still using that?".

SSH, open and better

PF was written from scratch to replace a subsystem that it turned out was illegal to use in an open source context. But it was not the first time the OpenBSD project had performed a nonlibreectomy, that is, taken on the task of replacing code for license reasons.

A few years earlier it had become clear that the original developer of the secure shell system ssh had commercial ambitions and the license for the software had changed in a proprietary direction. After a bit of deliberation on how to resolve the situation, the OpenBSD developers started digging around for earlier versions of the code that had been published with an acceptable license. Then they forked their version from the last version they found that still had free license. Next came an intensive period of re-introducing the features that were missing in the old code.

The result was introduced as OpenSSH in OpenBSD 2.6 in 1999. Over the next few years OpenSSH grew a portable version that started grabbing market share rapidly. The last I heard OpenSSH's market share is somewhere in the high nineties percent.

With a state of the art secure shell subsystem in place and growing all sorts of useful features, the time finally came to end unencrypted shell login sessions on OpenBSD. OpenBSD's telnetd was moved to the CVS attic in time for OpenBSD 3.8, which was released November 2005.

One other notable thing about OpenSSH is that it was the first daemon to be properly privilege separated, a model practice that debuted with the overhauled OpenSSH in OpenBSD 3.2 in March 2002. Since then privilege separation has been put in place in all daemons where it made sense to do so, and it is now a signature part of the secure by default stance of all newer OpenBSD daemons.

And yes, that packet filter

I mentioned PF, the OpenBSD packet filter, earlier. I must confess that PF has been an important part of my life in various context since the early noughties. Over the years, things I have written have contributed to creating the popular but actually wrong perception that OpenBSD was primarily a firewall operating system. There are a lot of useful and fun features that turned up in or in connection with PF over the years and were pioneered by OpenBSD. Some features were ported to or imitated in other systems, while others remain stubbornly OpenBSD only.

So I will touch on some of my favorite PF and PF-attached features, in quasi-random but almost chronological order.

Beating up spammers with OpenBSD spamd(8) since OpenBSD 3.3

When I started playing with OpenBSD in general and PF in particular way back when, I was already responsible for the SMTP mail service for my colleagues. My gateways by then ran OpenBSD, while the mail server rosalita, named after a Springsteen song, was not too badly specced server running FreeBSD with exim as the mail transfer agent that fed the incoming messages to spamassassin and clamav for content filtering before handing off to user mailboxes.

So when it dawned on me that I could set up spamd(8) the spam deferral daemon on the internet-facing gateway and save load on the poor suffering rosalita that was running hot with content filtering, I was quick to implement a setup that sucked in well known block lists.

Going grey, then trapping

The effect was obvious and immediate, the mail server's fans grew noticeably quieter. When greylisting was introduced in spamd soon after, I implemented that too, and witnessed yet another drop in pitch and intensity of the sound from rosalita's fans. Then a couple of releases later greytrapping -- the practice of adding IP addresses of incoming SMTP connections to blocklists if the attempted delivery is aimed at a known-bad address in the target domain -- was introduced, and that sounded like enough fun that I just went ahead and did it.

The idea of detecting spam senders by the bogus addresses they were already trying to deliver to just sounded too good to not try. And we knew that getting started would be pretty easy too. We had seen rejects for addresses that had never existed in our domains in our mail server logs for quite a while, so it was simply a matter of harvesting from a fairly bountiful source and adding stuff that we were sure would never ever be actually deliverable here to the spamtrap list. I think the first setup had only a couple of hundred entries in it, but I did not note the exact number at the time.

By July 2007 I had decided to publish both the list of spamtrap addresses and an hourly dump of the greytrapped addresses. Both remain free to download. The list of spamtraps, harvested from various log sources, by now numbers just over 270,000 imaginary friends, while the number of trapped hosts is typically in the 3000 to 5000 range. We occasionally see the list swell to 20,000 or more when high volume campaigns run with bad address lists fed to them. I am pretty sure it went over 100,000 at one point.

It's fun to watch, and it looks like a significant subset of the spamtraps have made it into the address lists of active spam operations. I frankly never thought I would still be collecting spam traps from logs all these years later. Yes, it all sounds a bit absurd, but it is effective for keeping our mailboxes largely spam free, even though it feels at times like running a weird found object-ish art project. Anyway, a summary of the lists we publish can be found in this article.

The brutes, the password gropers and the state tracking options

If you run an SSH service or really any kind of listening service with the option to log in, you will see some number of failed authentication attempts that generate noise in the logs. The password guessing, or as some of us say, password groping, turned out to be annoying enough that OpenBSD 3.6-current and later OpenBSD 3.7 introduced a set of features to use data that would anyway be available in the state table, to track the state of active connections, and to act on limits you define such as number of connections from a single host over a set number of seconds.

The action could be to add the source IP that tripped the limit to a table. Additional rules could then subject the members of that table to special treatment. Since that time, my internet-facing rule sets have tended to include variations on

table <bruteforce> persist
block quick from <bruteforce>
pass inet proto tcp from any to $localnet port $tcp_services \
flags S/SA keep state \
(max-src-conn 100, max-src-conn-rate 15/5, \
overload <bruteforce> flush global)

which means that any host that tries more than 100 simultaneous connections or more than 15 new connections over 5 seconds are added to the table and blocked, with any existing connections terminated.

It is a good practice to let table entries in such setups expire eventually. At first I followed the spamd(8) defaults' example and set expiry at 24 hours, but with password gropers like those caught by this rule being what they are, I switched a few years ago to at four weeks at first, then upped again a few months later to six weeks. Groperbots tend to stay broken for that long. And since they target any service you may be running, state tracking options with overload tables can be useful in a lot of non-SSH contexts as well.

It is also worth noting that state tracking actions are useful for essentially all services. The article Forcing the password gropers through a smaller hole with OpenBSD's PF queues has a few suggestions on how to handle noise sources with various other services.

One final point I would like to make about the state tracking and actions is that much like the greytrapping feature of spamd, this feature gives you the tools to build a configuration that adapts to network conditions and learns from the traffic it sees. 

While this does not rise to the level of being an actual Artificial Intelligence or AI, this has enough buzzwordability potential that I remain to this day extremely puzzled that none of the other big names at least imitated those features in their own products and marketed for all it would be worth. 

I certainly know what I would have done in their position. But then I am more engineer than marketer and in the contexts where I call the shots, the best option is just to keep running OpenBSD.

NAT's guts ripped out

When the OpenBSD 4.7 release cycle came around, Henning Brauer had been hard at work for a while maintaining a diff of several thousand lines -- which when applied actually shrunk the code -- that contained a total rewrite of the IPv4 network address translation code.

Previous PF versions had 'nat on interface' and 'rdr on interface' rules, while the new code introduced nat-to and rdr-to as options on pass or match rules.

The match keyword had been introduced in the previous release to act on packets and connections without affecting pass or block state, such as applying specific options or adding tags for processing later in the rule set. Now with the major NAT rewrite in place, it became even clearer why match was in fact a useful keyword and feature.

The NAT rewrite added a lot of flexibility to how you can write PF rule sets, and of course for my own part that rewrite made it necessary to write the second edition of The Book of PF, timed to hit bookshelves as close as possible to the OpenBSD 4.7 release. And yes, the rewrite improved the performance too.

We went to modern queueing

OpenBSD has had traffic shaping available in the ALTQ subsystem since the very early days. ALTQ was rolled into PF at some point, but the code was still marked experimental 15 years after it was written, and most people who tried to use it in anger at the time found the syntax inelegant at best, infuriating or worse at most times.

So Henning Brauer took a keen interest in the problem, and reached the conclusion that all the various traffic shaping algorithms were not in fact needed. They could all except one be reduced to mere configuration options, either as setting priorities on pass or match rules or as variations of the theme of the mother algorithm Hierarchical Fair Service Curve (HFSC for short).

Soon after, another not-small diff was making the rounds. The patch was applied early in the OpenBSD 5.5 cycle, and for the lifetime of that release older ALTQ setups were possible side by side with the new queueing system.

The feedback I get is that the saner syntax in the new queueing system lead to more users taking up traffic shaping. Here is the queue setup that I came up with for one of my sites:

queue rootq on $ext_if bandwidth 20M
queue main parent rootq bandwidth 20479K min 1M \
                                    max 20479K qlimit 100
queue qdef parent main bandwidth 9600K min 6000K \
                                    max 18M default
queue qweb parent main bandwidth 9600K min 6000K \
                                    max 18M
queue qpri parent main bandwidth 700K min 100K \
                                    max 1200K
queue qdns parent main bandwidth 200K min 12K \
                                    burst 600K for 3000ms
queue spamd parent rootq bandwidth 1K min 0K max 1K \
                                    qlimit 300

while tying the queues into the subsequent rules with a set of match rules just following that block.

This is what triggered the need to write the third edition of The Book of PF. The book includes descriptions of both the new and the old system as well as tips on how to make a smooth transition. The ALTQ code was removed from OpenBSD during the OpenBSD 5.6 cycle, but continues to live on in some form in FreeBSD and NetBSD.

And yes, if you think my queues setup punishes spammers a bit more in addtion to being subjected to spamd(8), you're right.

pflow(4) offers network insights lite

Everybody who has been tasked with looking after a network has at some point been at least a little curious about what actually moves around there. At times we will see situations where it is essential for troubleshooting purposes to see the traffic flows with data about endpoints, packets and bytes transferred, protocol and so forth.

If you do not need to see the data itself, but rather the metadata, the NetFlow standard and its close cousin IPFIX offers just that. Netflow tools existed as packages on OpenBSD already, but from OpenBSD 4.5 PF has the pflow state tracking option, paired with the pflow(4) virtual network interface which together offer a full netflow sensor package.

Set up one or more pflow interfaces to send data to one or more collectors, and add the pflow option to specific rules or as a state default and you have started your collecting. You can even have metadata for traffic matching specific rules going to separate pflow devices and collectors.

My field notes in Yes, You Too Can Be An Evil Network Overlord - On The Cheap With OpenBSD, pflow And nfsen offers some practical examples and insights, including how we used a pflow setup to track down a noisy machine on a somewhat critical network as well as some pointers to valueable further reading.

LibreSSL, the great deobfuscation

People tell me they think that the reason LibreSSL was created was the Heartbleed bug, but no, actually not, just damn close.

The LibreSSL project was in fact started a few weeks before heartbleed became common knowledge. LibreSSL is the result of a group of OpenBSD developers taking the existing OpenSSL code and starting to fix it.

This time it was not a matter of a bad license. No, this was the result of the number of OpenBSD developers who took a look at the OpenSSL code that had been part of the OpenBSD base system since quite early on, and turned away in disgust and with symptoms of physical pain, reached a critical mass of sorts. I had heard OpenBSD developers complain about the absolute horror of the OpenSSL code for at least ten years. The code quality was just that bad.

What happened next was that a group of hardened OpenBSD developers grabbed the OpenSSL code and started two activities in parallel. One was looking in the OpenSSL request tracker for bugs that had not been addressed. The other was reformatting the OpenSSL code into something resembling the OpenBSD style of readable and maintainable C.

With the code in more readable form, discovering what it did became easier. In addition to a few obvious eye-stinging bugs the LibreSSL developers found a number of oddities, including, but not limited to

It is worth digging out the various articles and presentations made by LibreSSL developers over the years, with specific emphasis on Bob Beck's BSDCan talk on the first 30 days of LibreSSL (available on youtube), which is the original source of the term code flensing.

Since the OpenBSD 5.6 release in 2014, LibreSSL has been the default TLS library in OpenBSD. LibreSSL has been ported elsewhere based on the -portable variant.

For my own part I can only attest to not ever running into a TLS problem that was LibreSSL's fault. It probably still has bugs, but it is a lot more of a healthy choice than its predecessor.

This was my list of life improving OpenBSD events - I'd love to hear yours

As I warned earlier, this has been about my personal list of OpenBSD events that I remember fondly.

I am sure your list is at least a little different. I am sure there are things from the innovations page that I have simply forgotten about.

Each release comes with a detailed list of changes, such as this one for OpenBSD 6.9, and the page has pointers back to the equivalent pages for previous releases.

I would love to hear about your favorite OpenBSD moments.


More items for your OpenBSD reading

www.openbsd.org is the official OpenBSD web site. If you want to donate, go to the donations page and find the most appropriate option. Corporate entities may prefer to donate via The OpenBSD Foundation, which is a Canadian non-profit corporation.

undeadly.org is the OpenBSD Journal news site.

bsdly.blogspot.com My rant^H^H^H^Hblog posts

https://flak.tedunangst.com/ Ted Unangst (tedu@) on developments

Michael W Lucas: Absolute OpenBSD, 2nd edition

Peter N. M. Hansteen: The Book of PF, 3rd edition

Henning Brauer: OpenBSD sucks (… least)



by Peter N. M. Hansteen (noreply@blogger.com) atJuly 04, 2022 01:57 PM

June 20, 2022

Petter Reinholdtsen

My free software activity of late (2022)

I guess it is time to bring some light on the various free software and open culture activities and projects I have worked on or been involved in the last year and a half.

First, lets mention the book releases I managed to publish. The Cory Doctorow book "Hvordan knuse overvåkningskapitalismen" argue that it is not the magic machine learning of the big technology companies that causes the surveillance capitalism to thrive, it is the lack of trust busting to enforce existing anti-monopoly laws. I also published a family of dictionaries for machinists, one sorted on the English words, one sorted on the Norwegian and the last sorted on the North Sámi words. A bit on the back burner but not forgotten is the Debian Administrators Handbook, where a new edition is being worked on. I have not spent as much time as I want to help bring it to completion, but hope I will get more spare time to look at it before the end of the year.

With my Debian had I have spent time on several projects, both updating existing packages, helping to bring in new packages and working with upstream projects to try to get them ready to go into Debian. The list is rather long, and I will only mention my own isenkram, openmotor, vlc bittorrent plugin, xprintidle, norwegian letter style for latex, bs1770gain, and recordmydesktop. In addition to these I have sponsored several packages into Debian, like audmes.

The last year I have looked at several infrastructure projects for collecting meter data and video surveillance recordings. This include several ONVIF related tools like onvifviewer and zoneminder as well as rtl-433, wmbusmeters and rtl-wmbus.

In parallel with this I have looked at fabrication related free software solutions like pycam and LinuxCNC. The latter recently gained improved translation support using po4a and weblate, which was a harder nut to crack that I had anticipated when I started.

Several hours have been spent translating free software to Norwegian Bokmål on the Weblate hosted service. Do not have a complete list, but you will find my contributions in at least gnucash, minetest and po4a.

I also spent quite some time on the Norwegian archiving specification Noark 5, and its companion project Nikita implementing the API specification for Noark 5.

Recently I have been looking into free software tools to do company accounting here in Norway., which present an interesting mix between law, rules, regulations, format specifications and API interfaces.

I guess I should also mention the Norwegian community driven government interfacing projects Mimes Brønn and Fiksgatami, which have ended up in a kind of limbo while the future of the projects is being worked out.

These are just a few of the projects I have been involved it, and would like to give more visibility. I'll stop here to avoid delaying this post.

As usual, if you use Bitcoin and want to show your support of my activities, please send Bitcoin donations to my address 15oWEoG9dUPovwmUL9KWAnYRtNJEkP1u1b.

June 20, 2022 12:30 PM

May 20, 2022

Nicolai Langfeldt

Ubuntu 22.04 and their snap love afair - or: how to get rid of snap - or: firefox without snap

Some years ago Ubuntu introduced snap and said it would be better.  In my experience it was slower.

And then they started packaging chromium-browser as a SNAP only, this broke the kde-plasma and kde-connect (media and phone desktop integrations, and I resorted to installing chrome from Google.  This was quite easy because Chrome comes as a .deb package which also installs a apt-source so it's upgraded just like the rest of the system.

This, by the way is the apt source for Chrome, you drop it in e.g. /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google-chrome.list:

deb [arch=amd64] https://dl.google.com/linux/chrome/deb/ stable main

And then you install the google signing key: 

wget -qO- https://dl.google.com/linux/linux_signing_key.pub | sudo tee /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/google-linux-signing-key.asc

Then you can do 'apt update' and 'apt install google-chrome-stable'.  See also https://www.google.com/linuxrepositories/ for further information

Lately I've been using Chrome less and less privately and Firefox more and more due to the privacy issues with Chrome.

In Ubuntu 22.04 they started providing Firefox as a snap.  Again breaking desktop and phone integration, actually I didn't look very hard, it was just gone and I wanted it back.  There are no good apt sources for Firefox provided by the Mozilla project. The closest I could find was Firefox provided by Debian.

Which turned out to work very well, but only thanks to the apt preference system.

You make two files: First /etc/apt/sources.list.d/bullseye.list:

deb http://ftp.no.debian.org/debian/ bullseye main
deb http://security.debian.org/debian-security bullseye-security main
deb http://ftp.no.debian.org/debian/ bullseye-updates main

Then put this in /etc/apt/preferences (I'm in norway, replace "no" with other contry code if you like):

Package: *
Pin: origin "ftp.no.debian.org"
Pin-Priority: 98
Package: *
Pin: origin "security.debian.org"
Pin-Priority: 99
Package: *
Pin: release n=jammy
Pin-Priority: 950

Also you need to install debian repository signing keys for that:

wget -qO- https://ftp-master.debian.org/keys/archive-key-11.asc | sudo tee /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/bullseye.asc
  
wget -qO- https://ftp-master.debian.org/keys/archive-key-11-security.asc | sudo tee /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/bullseye-security.asc

Then you execute these two in turn: 

apt update
apt install firefox-esr

And you should have firefox without getting any other things from Debian, the system will prefer Ubuntu 22.04 aka Jammy.

Big fat NOTE: This might complicate later release upgrades on your Ubuntu box. do-release-upgrade will disable your Chrome and Bullseye apt-sources, and quite possibly the preference file will be neutralized as well, but if not you might have to neutralize it yourself.


by nicolai (noreply@blogger.com) atMay 20, 2022 08:24 PM

October 10, 2021

Dag-Erling Smørgrav

Automatic Let’s Encrypt certificates in Apache with mod_md

Since 2.4.30, Apache comes with experimental support for ACME certificates (Let’s Encrypt et al.) in the form of mod_md (short for “managed domains”). It’s kind of a pain but it’s still better than what I had before, i.e. a mess of shell and Perl scripts based on Crypt::LE, and if your use case is limited to Apache, it appears to be simpler than Certbot as well. Unfortunately for me, it’s not very well documented and I wasted a considerable amount of time figuring out how to use it. Fortunately for you, I then decided to blog about it so you don’t have to repeat my mistakes.

Edit: the author of mod_md, Stefan Eissing, got in touch and pointed me to his own documentation, which is far superior to the one available from Apache.

My starting point is a freshly installed FreeBSD 13.0 server with Apache 2.4, but this isn’t really OS dependent.

First, you will need mod_ssl (of course) and a session cache, and you will need to tweak the TLS parameters, as the defaults are far from fine.

LoadModule ssl_module libexec/apache24/mod_ssl.so
SSLProtocol +TLSv1.3 +TLSv1.2
SSLCipherSuite TLS_AES_128_GCM_SHA256:TLS_AES_256_GCM_SHA384:TLS_CHACHA20_POLY1305_SHA256:ECDHE-ECDSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256:ECDHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256:ECDHE-ECDSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384:ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384:ECDHE-ECDSA-CHACHA20-POLY1305:ECDHE-RSA-CHACHA20-POLY1305:DHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256:DHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384
SSLHonorCipherOrder off
SSLCompression off

LoadModule socache_dbm_module libexec/apache24/mod_socache_dbm.so
SSLSessionCache dbm:/var/db/httpd_ssl_cache.db

You will also need to load mod_md, of course, and mod_watchdog, which mod_md needs to function.

LoadModule watchdog_module libexec/apache24/mod_watchdog.so
LoadModule md_module libexec/apache24/mod_md.so
MDCertificateAgreement accepted
MDContactEmail acme@example.com

The MDCertificateAgreement directive indicates that you have read and accepted Let’s Encrypt’s subscriber agreement, while MDContactEmail is the email address that you used to sign up to Let’s Encrypt.

You will also need mod_rewrite to redirect HTTP requests to HTTPS and mod_headers for HSTS.

LoadModule rewrite_module libexec/apache24/mod_rewrite.so
LoadModule headers_module libexec/apache24/mod_headers.so

By default, Apache only listens on port 80, so you’ll need an extra Listen directive for port 443.

Listen 443

And as always with Apache, you should probably set ServerName and ServerAdmin to sensible values.

ServerName server.example.com
ServerAdmin www@example.com

Next, set up an HTTP-only virtual host that you can use to check the status of mod_md.

<VirtualHost *:80>
  ServerName localhost
  <Location />
    Require ip 127.0.0.1/8 ::1
  </Location>
  <Location "/md-status">
    SetHandler md-status
  </Location>
</VirtualHost>

(Once Apache is running, you will be able to query it at any time as http://localhost/md-status.)

On to the actual website. First, you need to tell mod_md to manage certificates for it.

MDomain site.example.com

Next, set up a redirect from HTTP to HTTPS for everything except ACME challenge tokens.

<VirtualHost localhost:80>
  ServerName site.example.com
  RewriteEngine on
  RewriteRule "^/(?!.well-known/acme-challenge)(.*)" https://site.example.com/$1 [R=301,L]
  ErrorLog /www/site.example.com/logs/http-error.log
  CustomLog /www/site.example.com/logs/http-access.log combined
</VirtualHost>

And finally, the site itself, including HSTS and strict SNI:

<VirtualHost *:443>
  ServerName site.example.com
  SSLEngine on
  SSLStrictSNIVHostCheck On
  Header always set Strict-Transport-Security "max-age=15552000; includeSubdomains;"
  DocumentRoot /www/site.example.com/data
  IncludeOptional /www/site.example.com/etc/*.conf
  ErrorLog /www/site.example.com/logs/https-error.log
  CustomLog /www/site.example.com/logs/https-access.log combined
</VirtualHost>

Now start Apache and monitor the error log. You should see something like this pretty quickly:

[Sun Oct 10 16:15:27.450401 2021] [md:notice] [pid 12345] AH10059: The Managed Domain site.example.com has been setup and changes will be activated on next (graceful) server restart.

Once you do as it says (apachectl graceful), your site will be up and running and you can head over to the Qualys SSL Server Test and admire your solid A+.

Download the sample configuration and try it out yourself.

by Dag-Erling Smørgrav atOctober 10, 2021 06:19 PM

August 17, 2021

Salve J. Nilsen

Protected: A modest overture for a modest future

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

by sjn atAugust 17, 2021 07:18 PM

May 15, 2021

NUUG news

Vet du hva du mister når du bare klikker OK for å komme i gang med å bruke noe?

Retten til privatlivets fred, retten til å reparere og retten til å velge verktøy er sider av samme sak. En ny rettsavgjørelse i Italia kan hjelpe oss å vinne tilbake rettigheter vi ble manipulert til å si fra oss.

Du tenker nok ikke på det så ofte, men om du er en vanlig IT-bruker i et industrialisert land har du sannsynligvis blitt lurt til å si fra deg rettigheter. Dette skjer i et slikt omfang at menneskerettsinteresserte burde være bekymret.

Tenk på når du skal ta i bruk noe du er interessert i, enten det er en datamaskin av noe slag som for eksempel PC, nettbrett eller telefon, eller en nettbasert tjeneste.

La oss først se nærmere på hva som skjer når du får ny datamaskin, nettbrett eller telefon i hus. Noe av det første som skjer etter at du har slått på strømmen for den nye enheten, og helt sikkert før du får mulighet til å bruke dingsen til det du ønsker å gjøre, er at du må godta en juridisk bindende avtale som er utformet av og for de som har produsert utstyret. For å kunne bruke det du har kjøpt, må du godta en avtale som styrer hva du kan bruke enheten til.

I mange tilfeller er det flere slike avtaler som blir presentert, hver med sin egen registrering av om du godtar eller ikke.

Noen av disse avtalene begrenser hva du kan bruke enheten til, mens andre gir leverandøren eller noen som samarbeider med leverandøren lov til å samle inn informasjon om deg og hva du foretar deg med enheten.

Mange av disse ja/nei-spørsmålene gir inntrykk av at du har mulighet til å nekte å godta, men du vil se at du sannsynligvis ikke kommer videre til å ha en gjenstand som er reelt brukbar til tiltenkt bruk før du har godtatt alle disse avtalene.

En av de mest tydelige konsekvensene av COVID 19-krisen er at en større andel av befolkningen ble presset over til nesten helt digital tilværelse, der kommunikasjon både i jobb- og skolesammenheng foregår via digitale enheter og via tjenester som leveres på vilkår av avtaler som er diktert av leverandørene. For noen av oss har tilværelsen vært nær heldigital i en årrekke allerede, men for mange er det en ny situasjon og det går langsomt opp for flere at viktige friheter og rettigheter kan være i ferd med å gå tapt.

Problemstillingen er ikke ny. Mange av oss i IT-miljøer har lenge advart mot at det vi regner som menneskerettigheter eller borgerrettigheter er i ferd med å bli gradvis slipt vekk til fordel for enkelte bedrifter og deres eiere.

Når du slår på en ny datamaskin eller telefon for første gang, blir du sannsynligvis nesten med en gang bedt om å godta en "sluttbrukerlisens" for operativsystemet, altså programvaren som styrer enheten. I sin enkleste form er en lisens et dokument som angir vilkårene for at noen andre enn den som har laget et åndsverk (her programvaren) får tillatelse til å lage eksemplarer av verket. Men i mange tilfeller inneholder lisensdokumentet mer detaljerte og omfattende vilkår. Ofte er lisensavtalen formulert som om du har rett til å avslå å bruke operativsystemet og slette eksemplarer som følger med eller levere tilbake fysiske eksemplarer og få tilbake pengene, men at du kan fortsette å bruke den fysiske maskinen. En del av oss som har kjøpt PCer og annet har vært i stand til å installere et annet system enn det som ble levert med maskinen, og valgt å leve det digitale livet ved hjelp av frie alternativer som for eksempel Linux eller OpenBSD. En del av oss gjør dette for å få mer direkte kontroll over verktøyene vi bruker.

Om vi har forsøkt å få tilbake penger for en ubrukt operativsystemlisens har de fleste av oss aldri klart å få det til. Men det skal vi komme tilbake til.

Om du har klart å installere et fritt alternativ til det operativsystemet som enheten ble levert med, har du slått et slag for retten til å velge verktøy og retten til å reparere og råde over dine egne eiendeler. Men dessverre er ikke dette det eneste punktet i ditt digitale liv der rettighetene dine er i fare.

Uansett om du godtok sluttbrukerlisensen eller ikke, kommer du fort ut for for programvare eller nettbaserte tjenester som presenterer sine egne sluttbrukeravtaler. Det er en stor sjanse for at du bare klikker OK uten å lese vilkårene i avtalen.

Ta gjerne nå en pause for å sjekke hva du faktisk har gått med på. Sannsynligvis finner du at både operativsystemleverandører og sosiale medier-tjenester har fått deg til å gi dem tillatelse til å registrere hva du foretar deg når du bruker systemet eller tjenesten. Ta gjerne tiden til å sjekke alle produkter og tjenester du har registrert deg hos. Det er sannsynlig at ikke bare en, men de aller fleste av de tjenestene og produktene du bruker på en nett-tilkoblet enhet har gitt seg selv retten til å fange inn og lagre data om hva du foretar deg. Hvis du bruker enheten til noe som helst privat eller følsomt, er det verd å se nøye etter hvilke konsekvenser disse avtalene har for din rett til privatliv og beskyttelse av privatsfæren.

På papiret (om vi skal uttrykke oss gammeldags) har vi som bor i EU og EØS-land rett til å få utlevert data som er lagret om oss og eventuelt få rettet feil eller til og med få slettet data i samsvar med EUs personvernforordning (GDPR). Hvis det du fant ut mens du sjekket avtalene mens du tok pause fra å lese denne teksten gjør deg usikker eller bekymret er det god grunn til å ta i bruk retten til innsyn, utlevering, retting eller sletting. Om du ikke får meningsfylt svar, ta kontakt med Datatilsynet eller Forbrukertilsynet, som bør stå klare til å hjelpe.

Men hva så med retten til å reparere eller retten til å velge verktøy? Jo, også på det feltet er det grunn til håp. Etter en omfattende prosess kom nemlig en domstol i Italia frem til at ikke bare hadde en Linux-entusiast rett til å installere Linux på sin nye Lenovo-datamaskin, slik at kunden også hadde rett til å refundert prisen for operativsystemet som ikke ville bli brukt. Og siden Lenovo hadde prøvd å ikke etterleve sine forpliktelser som var angitt i sluttbrukerlisensen som ble presentert for kunden, ble de ilagt en bot på 20 000 Euro.

En slik rettsavgjørelse er ikke direkte presedensskapende for andre europeiske land, og det finnes avgjørelser i andre land som ikke ga kunden medhold i at operativsystem og datamaskin kunne behandles som separate varer. Vi i den norske Unix-brukergruppen (Norwegian Unix User Group - NUUG) deltar nå i et samarbeid som koordineres av Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) for å forsvare og styrke din og min rett til privatliv, rett til å reparere og rett til å velge verktøy for å styre vår digitale tilværelse.

Hvis noe av det du nå har lest bekymrer deg, gjør deg forvirret, sint eller bare engasjert for å styrke våre borger- og menneskeretter i den digitale tilværelsen vil vi bli glade for å høre fra deg.

Peter N. M. Hansteen
Styreleder i Norwegian Unix User Group (NUUG)

Den italienske rettsavgjørelsen som gir oss håp er beskrevet på FSFEs nettsted: Refund of pre-installed Windows: Lenovo must pay 20,000 euros in damages

An English version is available as Are you aware what you lose by just clicking OK to get started using something?

May 15, 2021 11:10 AM

March 07, 2021

NUUG Foundation

Reisestipend - 2021

NUUG Foundation utlyser reisestipender for 2021. Søknader kan sendes inn til enhver tid.

March 07, 2021 09:46 AM

September 22, 2020

Dag-Erling Smørgrav

wtf, zsh

wtf, zsh

% uname -sr
FreeBSD 12.1-RELEASE-p10
% for sh in sh csh bash zsh ; do printf "%-8s" $sh ; $sh -c 'echo \\x21' ; done 
sh      \x21
csh     \x21
bash    \x21
zsh     !
% cowsay wtf, zsh       
 __________ 
< wtf, zsh >
 ---------- 
        \   ^__^
         \  (oo)\_______
            (__)\       )\/\
                ||----w |
                ||     ||

I mean. Bruh. I know it’s intentional & documented & can be turned off, but every other shell defaults to POSIX semantics…

BTW:

% ln -s =zsh /tmp/sh
% /tmp/sh -c 'echo \x21'
\x21

by Dag-Erling Smørgrav atSeptember 22, 2020 01:11 PM

September 18, 2020

NUUG events video archive

Introduksjon til bygging av Debianpakker

September 18, 2020 05:15 AM

July 10, 2020

Salve J. Nilsen

A FIXIT-dive into an old CPAN module

Let’s have a thought experiment. Assume there is an Open Source-licensed Perl module published on CPAN that you care about, and that hasn’t had any updates in a very long time – what are your options? In this blog post, I’ll take a dive into this problem, and use the Geo::Postcodes::NO module as an example. … Continue reading A FIXIT-dive into an old CPAN module

by sjn atJuly 10, 2020 04:25 PM

May 19, 2020

NUUG news

NUUG bygger bokskanner - arbeidet er i gang

Det finnes millioner av bøker der vernetiden er utløpt. Noen av dem er norske bøker, og endel av dem finnes ikke tilgjengelig digitalt. For å forsøke å gjøre noe med det siste, har NUUG vedtatt å få bygget en bokskanner. Utformingen er basert på en enkel variant i plast (byggeinstrukser), men vil bli laget i aluminium for lengre levetid.

Oppdraget med å bygge scanneren er gitt til våre venner i Oslo Sveisemek, som er godt igang med arbeidet. Her ser du en skisse over konstruksjonen:

Konstruksjonsskisse

Grunnrammen er montert, men det gjenstår fortsatt en god del:

Montering av grunnrammen

Tanken er at medlemmer og andre skal kunne låne eller leie bokskanner ved behov, og de av oss som er interessert kan gå igang med å digitalisere bøker med OCR og pågangsmot. Ta kontakt med aktive (at) nuug.no hvis dette er noe for deg, eller stikk innom #nuug.

(Fotograf er Jonny Birkelund)

May 19, 2020 06:00 PM

May 31, 2018

Kevin Brubeck Unhammer

Kan samisk brukes i det offentlige rom?

Hvis vi hadde laget et program som oversatte fra norsk til samisk, ville resultatet ha vært en samisk som er minst like dårlig som den norsken vi er i stand til å lage nå. Norsk og samisk er grammatisk sett svært ulike, og det er vanskelig å få til god samisk på grunnlag av norsk. Et slikt program vil føre til publisering av en hel masse svært dårlig samisk. En situasjon der mesteparten av all samisk publisert på internett kommer fra våre program fortoner seg som et mareritt. Det ville rett og slett ha ødelagt den samiske skriftkulturen.

Sjå kronikken: https://www.nordnorskdebatt.no/samisk-sprak/digitalisering/facebook/kan-samisk-brukes-i-det-offentlige-rom/o/5-124-48030

by unhammer atMay 31, 2018 09:00 AM

October 23, 2017

Espen Braastad

ZFS NAS using CentOS 7 from tmpfs

Following up on the CentOS 7 root filesystem on tmpfs post, here comes a guide on how to run a ZFS enabled CentOS 7 NAS server (with the operating system) from tmpfs.

Hardware

Preparing the build environment

The disk image is built in macOS using Packer and VirtualBox. Virtualbox is installed using the appropriate platform package that is downloaded from their website, and Packer is installed using brew:

$ brew install packer

Building the disk image

Three files are needed in order to build the disk image; a Packer template file, an Anaconda kickstart file and a shell script that is used to configure the disk image after installation. The following files can be used as examples:

Create some directories:

$ mkdir ~work/centos-7-zfs/
$ mkdir ~work/centos-7-zfs/http/
$ mkdir ~work/centos-7-zfs/scripts/

Copy the files to these directories:

$ cp template.json ~work/centos-7-zfs/
$ cp ks.cfg ~work/centos-7-zfs/http/
$ cp provision.sh ~work/centos-7-zfs/scripts/

Modify each of the files to fit your environment.

Start the build process using Packer:

$ cd ~work/centos-7-zfs/
$ packer build template.json

This will download the CentOS 7 ISO file, start an HTTP server to serve the kickstart file and start a virtual machine using Virtualbox:

Packer installer screenshot

The virtual machine will boot into Anaconda and run through the installation process as specified in the kickstart file:

Anaconda installer screenshot

When the installation process is complete, the disk image will be available in the output-virtualbox-iso folder with the vmdk extension.

Packer done screenshot

The disk image is now ready to be put in initramfs.

Putting the disk image in initramfs

This section is quite similar to the previous blog post CentOS 7 root filesystem on tmpfs but with minor differences. For simplicity reasons it is executed on a host running CentOS 7.

Create the build directories:

$ mkdir /work
$ mkdir /work/newroot
$ mkdir /work/result

Export the files from the disk image to one of the directories we created earlier:

$ export LIBGUESTFS_BACKEND=direct
$ guestfish --ro -a packer-virtualbox-iso-1508790384-disk001.vmdk -i copy-out / /work/newroot/

Modify /etc/fstab:

$ cat > /work/newroot/etc/fstab << EOF
tmpfs       /         tmpfs    defaults,noatime 0 0
none        /dev      devtmpfs defaults         0 0
devpts      /dev/pts  devpts   gid=5,mode=620   0 0
tmpfs       /dev/shm  tmpfs    defaults         0 0
proc        /proc     proc     defaults         0 0
sysfs       /sys      sysfs    defaults         0 0
EOF

Disable selinux:

echo "SELINUX=disabled" > /work/newroot/etc/selinux/config

Disable clearing the screen on login failure to make it possible to read any error messages:

mkdir /work/newroot/etc/systemd/system/getty@.service.d
cat > /work/newroot/etc/systemd/system/getty@.service.d/noclear.conf << EOF
[Service]
TTYVTDisallocate=no
EOF

Now jump to the Initramfs and Result sections in the CentOS 7 root filesystem on tmpfs and follow those steps until the end when the result is a vmlinuz and initramfs file.

ZFS configuration

The first time the NAS server boots on the disk image, the ZFS storage pool and volumes will have to be configured. Refer to the ZFS documentation for information on how to do this, and use the following command only as guidelines.

Create the storage pool:

$ sudo zpool create data mirror sda sdb mirror sdc sdd

Create the volumes:

$ sudo zfs create data/documents
$ sudo zfs create data/games
$ sudo zfs create data/movies
$ sudo zfs create data/music
$ sudo zfs create data/pictures
$ sudo zfs create data/upload

Share some volumes using NFS:

zfs set sharenfs=on data/documents
zfs set sharenfs=on data/games
zfs set sharenfs=on data/music
zfs set sharenfs=on data/pictures

Print the storage pool status:

$ sudo zpool status
  pool: data
 state: ONLINE
  scan: scrub repaired 0B in 20h22m with 0 errors on Sun Oct  1 21:04:14 2017
config:

	NAME        STATE     READ WRITE CKSUM
	data        ONLINE       0     0     0
	  mirror-0  ONLINE       0     0     0
	    sdd     ONLINE       0     0     0
	    sdc     ONLINE       0     0     0
	  mirror-1  ONLINE       0     0     0
	    sda     ONLINE       0     0     0
	    sdb     ONLINE       0     0     0

errors: No known data errors

October 23, 2017 11:20 PM

February 13, 2017

Mimes brønn

En innsynsbrønn full av kunnskap

Mimes brønn er en nettjeneste som hjelper deg med å be om innsyn i offentlig forvaltning i tråd med offentleglova og miljøinformasjonsloven. Tjenesten har et offentlig tilgjengelig arkiv over alle svar som er kommet på innsynsforespørsler, slik at det offentlige kan slippe å svare på de samme innsynshenvendelsene gang på gang. Du finner tjenesten på

https://www.mimesbronn.no/

I følge gammel nordisk mytologi voktes kunnskapens kilde av Mime og ligger under en av røttene til verdenstreet Yggdrasil. Å drikke av vannet i Mimes brønn ga så verdifull kunnskap og visdom at den unge guden Odin var villig til å gi et øye i pant og bli enøyd for å få lov til å drikke av den.

Nettstedet vedlikeholdes av foreningen NUUG og er spesielt godt egnet for politisk interesserte personer, organisasjoner og journalister. Tjenesten er basert på den britiske søstertjenesten WhatDoTheyKnow.com, som allerede har gitt innsyn som har resultert i dokumentarer og utallige presseoppslag. I følge mySociety for noen år siden gikk ca 20 % av innsynshenvendelsene til sentrale myndigheter via WhatDoTheyKnow. Vi i NUUG håper NUUGs tjeneste Mimes brønn kan være like nyttig for innbyggerne i Norge.

I helgen ble tjenesten oppdatert med mye ny funksjonalitet. Den nye utgaven fungerer bedre på små skjermer, og viser nå leveringsstatus for henvendelsene slik at innsender enklere kan sjekke at mottakers epostsystem har bekreftet mottak av innsynshenvendelsen. Tjenesten er satt opp av frivillige i foreningen NUUG på dugnad, og ble lansert sommeren 2015. Siden den gang har 121 brukere sendt inn mer enn 280 henvendelser om alt fra bryllupsutleie av Operaen og forhandlinger om bruk av Norges topp-DNS-domene .bv til journalføring av søknader om bostøtte, og nettstedet er en liten skattekiste av interessant og nyttig informasjon. NUUG har knyttet til seg jurister som kan bistå med å klage på manglende innsyn eller sviktende saksbehandling.

– «NUUGs Mimes brønn var uvurderlig da vi lyktes med å sikre at DNS-toppdomenet .bv fortsatt er på norske hender,» forteller Håkon Wium Lie.

Tjenesten dokumenterer svært sprikende praksis i håndtering av innsynshenvendelser, både når det gjelder responstid og innhold i svarene. De aller fleste håndteres raskt og korrekt, men det er i flere tilfeller gitt innsyn i dokumenter der ansvarlig etat i ettertid ønsker å trekke innsynet tilbake, og det er gitt innsyn der sladdingen har vært utført på en måte som ikke skjuler informasjonen som skal sladdes.

– «Offentlighetsloven er en bærebjelke for vårt demokrati. Den bryr seg ikke med hvem som ber om innsyn, eller hvorfor. Prosjektet Mimes brønn innebærer en materialisering av dette prinsippet, der hvem som helst kan be om innsyn og klage på avslag, og hvor dokumentasjon gjøres offentlig. Dette gjør Mimes Brønn til et av de mest spennende åpenhetsprosjektene jeg har sett i nyere tid.» forteller mannen som fikk åpnet opp eierskapsregisteret til skatteetaten, Vegard Venli.

Vi i foreningen NUUG håper Mimes brønn kan være et nyttig verktøy for å holde vårt demokrati ved like.

by Mimes Brønn atFebruary 13, 2017 02:07 PM

January 06, 2017

Espen Braastad

CentOS 7 root filesystem on tmpfs

Several years ago I wrote a series of posts on how to run EL6 with its root filesystem on tmpfs. This post is a continuation of that series, and explains step by step how to run CentOS 7 with its root filesystem in memory. It should apply to RHEL, Ubuntu, Debian and other Linux distributions as well. The post is a bit terse to focus on the concept, and several of the steps have potential for improvements.

The following is a screen recording from a host running CentOS 7 in tmpfs:

Sensor

Build environment

A build host is needed to prepare the image to boot from. The build host should run CentOS 7 x86_64, and have the following packages installed:

yum install libvirt libguestfs-tools guestfish

Make sure the libvirt daemon is running:

systemctl start libvirtd

Create some directories that will be used later, however feel free to relocate these to somewhere else:

mkdir -p /work/initramfs/bin
mkdir -p /work/newroot
mkdir -p /work/result

Disk image

For simplicity reasons we’ll fetch our rootfs from a pre-built disk image, but it is possible to build a custom disk image using virt-manager. I expect that most people would like to create their own disk image from scratch, but this is outside the scope of this post.

Use virt-builder to download a pre-built CentOS 7.3 disk image and set the root password:

virt-builder centos-7.3 -o /work/disk.img --root-password password:changeme

Export the files from the disk image to one of the directories we created earlier:

guestfish --ro -a /work/disk.img -i copy-out / /work/newroot/

Clear fstab since it contains mount entries that no longer apply:

echo > /work/newroot/etc/fstab

SELinux will complain about incorrect disk label at boot, so let’s just disable it right away. Production environments should have SELinux enabled.

echo "SELINUX=disabled" > /work/newroot/etc/selinux/config

Disable clearing the screen on login failure to make it possible to read any error messages:

mkdir /work/newroot/etc/systemd/system/getty@.service.d
cat > /work/newroot/etc/systemd/system/getty@.service.d/noclear.conf << EOF
[Service]
TTYVTDisallocate=no
EOF

Initramfs

We’ll create our custom initramfs from scratch. The boot procedure will be, simply put:

  1. Fetch kernel and a custom initramfs.
  2. Execute kernel.
  3. Mount the initramfs as the temporary root filesystem (for the kernel).
  4. Execute /init (in the initramfs).
  5. Create a tmpfs mount point.
  6. Extract our CentOS 7 root filesystem to the tmpfs mount point.
  7. Execute switch_root to boot on the CentOS 7 root filesystem.

The initramfs will be based on BusyBox. Download a pre-built binary or compile it from source, put the binary in the initramfs/bin directory. In this post I’ll just download a pre-built binary:

wget -O /work/initramfs/bin/busybox https://www.busybox.net/downloads/binaries/1.26.1-defconfig-multiarch/busybox-x86_64

Make sure that busybox has the execute bit set:

chmod +x /work/initramfs/bin/busybox

Create the file /work/initramfs/init with the following contents:

#!/bin/busybox sh

# Dump to sh if something fails
error() {
	echo "Jumping into the shell..."
	setsid cttyhack sh
}

# Populate /bin with binaries from busybox
/bin/busybox --install /bin

mkdir -p /proc
mount -t proc proc /proc

mkdir -p /sys
mount -t sysfs sysfs /sys

mkdir -p /sys/dev
mkdir -p /var/run
mkdir -p /dev

mkdir -p /dev/pts
mount -t devpts devpts /dev/pts

# Populate /dev
echo /bin/mdev > /proc/sys/kernel/hotplug
mdev -s

mkdir -p /newroot
mount -t tmpfs -o size=1500m tmpfs /newroot || error

echo "Extracting rootfs... "
xz -d -c -f rootfs.tar.xz | tar -x -f - -C /newroot || error

mount --move /sys /newroot/sys
mount --move /proc /newroot/proc
mount --move /dev /newroot/dev

exec switch_root /newroot /sbin/init || error

Make sure it is executable:

chmod +x /work/initramfs/init

Create the root filesystem archive using tar. The following command also uses xz compression to reduce the final size of the archive (from approximately 1 GB to 270 MB):

cd /work/newroot
tar cJf /work/initramfs/rootfs.tar.xz .

Create initramfs.gz using:

cd /work/initramfs
find . -print0 | cpio --null -ov --format=newc | gzip -9 > /work/result/initramfs.gz

Copy the kernel directly from the root filesystem using:

cp /work/newroot/boot/vmlinuz-*x86_64 /work/result/vmlinuz

Result

The /work/result directory now contains two files with file sizes similar to the following:

ls -lh /work/result/
total 277M
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 272M Jan  6 23:42 initramfs.gz
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 5.2M Jan  6 23:42 vmlinuz

These files can be loaded directly in GRUB from disk, or using iPXE over HTTP using a script similar to:

#!ipxe
kernel http://example.com/vmlinuz
initrd http://example.com/initramfs.gz
boot

January 06, 2017 08:34 PM

July 15, 2016

Mimes brønn

Hvem har drukket fra Mimes brønn?

Mimes brønn har nå vært oppe i rundt et år. Derfor vi tenkte det kunne være interessant å få en kortfattet statistikk om hvordan tjenesten er blitt brukt.

I begynnelsen av juli 2016 hadde Mimes brønn 71 registrerte brukere som hadde sendt ut 120 innsynshenvendelser, hvorav 62 (52%) var vellykkede, 19 (16%) delvis vellykket, 14 (12%) avslått, 10 (8%) fikk svar at organet ikke hadde informasjonen, og 12 henvendelser (10%; 6 fra 2016, 6 fra 2015) fortsatt var ubesvarte. Et fåtall (3) av hendvendelsene kunne ikke kategoriseres. Vi ser derfor at rundt to tredjedeler av henvendelsene var vellykkede, helt eller delvis. Det er bra!

Tiden det tar før organet først sender svar varierer mye, fra samme dag (noen henvendelser sendt til Utlendingsnemnda, Statens vegvesen, Økokrim, Mediatilsynet, Datatilsynet, Brønnøysundregistrene), opp til 6 måneder (Ballangen kommune) eller lenger (Stortinget, Olje- og energidepartementet, Justis- og beredskapsdepartementet, UDI – Utlendingsdirektoratet, og SSB har mottatt innsynshenvendelser som fortsatt er ubesvarte). Gjennomsnittstiden her var et par uker (med unntak av de 12 tilfellene der det ikke har kommet noe svar). Det følger av offentlighetsloven § 29 første ledd at henvendelser om innsyn i forvaltningens dokumenter skal besvares «uten ugrunnet opphold», noe som ifølge Sivilombudsmannen i de fleste tilfeller skal fortolkes som «samme dag eller i alle fall i løpet av 1-3 virkedager». Så her er det rom for forbedring.

Klageretten (offentleglova § 32) ble benyttet i 20 av innsynshenvendelsene. I de fleste (15; 75%) av tilfellene førte klagen til at henvendelsen ble vellykket. Gjennomsnittstiden for å få svar på klagen var en måned (med unntak av 2 tillfeller, klager sendt til Statens vegvesen og Ruter AS, der det ikke har kommet noe svar). Det er vel verdt å klage, og helt gratis! Sivilombudsmannen har uttalt at 2-3 uker ligger over det som er akseptabel saksbehandlingstid for klager.

Flest henvendelser var blitt sendt til Utenriksdepartementet (9), tett etterfulgt av Fredrikstad kommune og Brønnøysundregistrene. I alt ble henvendelser sendt til 60 offentlige myndigheter, hvorav 27 ble tilsendt to eller flere. Det står over 3700 myndigheter i databasen til Mimes brønn. De fleste av dem har dermed til gode å motta en innsynshenvendelse via tjenesten.

Når vi ser på hva slags informasjon folk har bedt om, ser vi et bredt spekter av interesser; alt fra kommunens parkeringsplasser, reiseregninger der statens satser for overnatting er oversteget, korrespondanse om asylmottak og forhandlinger om toppdomenet .bv, til dokumenter om Myanmar.

Myndighetene gjør alle mulige slags ting. Noe av det gjøres dÃ¥rlig, noe gjør de bra. Jo mer vi finner ut om hvordan  myndighetene fungerer, jo større mulighet har vi til Ã¥ foreslÃ¥ forbedringer pÃ¥ det som fungerer dÃ¥rlig… og applaudere det som  bra.  Er det noe du vil ha innsyn i, sÃ¥ er det bare Ã¥ klikke pÃ¥ https://www.mimesbronn.no/ og sÃ¥ er du i gang 🙂

by Mimes Brønn atJuly 15, 2016 03:56 PM

June 01, 2016

Kevin Brubeck Unhammer

Maskinomsetjing vs NTNU-eksaminator

Twitter-brukaren @IngeborgSteine fekk nyleg ein del merksemd då ho tvitra eit bilete av nynorskutgåva av økonomieksamenen sin ved NTNU:

Dette var min økonomieksamen på "nynorsk". #nynorsk #noregsmållag #kvaialledagar https://t.co/RjCKSU2Fyg
Ingeborg Steine (@IngeborgSteine) May 30, 2016

Kreative nyvinningar som *kvisleis og alle dialektformene og arkaismane ville vore usannsynlege å få i ei maskinomsett utgåve, så då lurte eg på kor mykje betre/verre det hadde blitt om eksaminatoren rett og slett hadde brukt Apertium i staden? Ingeborg Steine var så hjelpsam at ho la ut bokmålsutgåva, så då får me prøva 🙂

NTNU-nob-nno.jpeg

Ingen kvisleis og fritt for tær og fyr, men det er heller ikkje perfekt: Visse ord manglar frå ordbøkene og får dermed feil bøying, teller blir tolka som substantiv, ein anna maskin har feil bøying på førsteordet (det mangla ein regel der) og at blir ein stad tolka som adverb (som fører til det forunderlege fragmentet det verta at anteke tilvarande). I tillegg blir språket gjenkjent som tatarisk av nettsida, så det var kanskje litt tung norsk? 🙂 Men desse feila er ikkje spesielt vanskelege å retta på – utviklingsutgåva av Apertium gir no:

NTNU-nob-nno-svn.jpeg

Det er enno eit par småting som kunne vore retta, men det er allereie betre enn dei fleste eksamenane eg fekk utdelt ved UiO …

by unhammer atJune 01, 2016 09:45 AM

October 18, 2015

Anders Nordby

Fighting spam with SpamAssassin, procmail and greylisting

On my private server we use a number of measures to stop and prevent spam from arriving in the users inboxes: - postgrey (greylisting) to delay arrival (hopefully block lists will be up to date in time to stop unwanted mail, also some senders do not retry) - SpamAssasin to block mails by scoring different aspects of the emails. Newer versions of it has URIBL (domain based, for links in the emails) in addtition to the tradional RBL (IP based) block lists. Which works better. I also created my own URIBL block list which you can use, dbl.fupp.net. - Procmail. For user on my server, I recommend this procmail rule: :0 * ^X-Spam-Status: Yes .crapbox/ It will sort emails that has a score indicating it is spam into mailbox "crapbox". - blocking unwanted and dangerous attachments, particularly for Windows users.

by Anders (noreply@blogger.com) atOctober 18, 2015 01:09 PM

April 14, 2015

NUUG events video archive

20111108_lisp

April 14, 2015 11:13 AM

January 06, 2015

thefastestwaytobreakamachine

NSA-proof SSH

ssh-pictureOne of the biggest takeaways from 31C3 and the most recent Snowden-leaked NSA documents is that a lot of SSH stuff is .. broken.

I’m not surprised, but then again I never am when it comes to this paranoia stuff. However, I do run a ton of SSH in production and know a lot of people that do. Are we all fucked? Well, almost, but not really.

Unfortunately most of what Stribika writes about the “Secure Secure Shell” doesn’t work for old production versions of SSH. The cliff notes for us real-world people, who will realistically be running SSH 5.9p1 for years is hidden in the bettercrypto.org repo.

Edit your /etc/ssh/sshd_config:


Ciphers aes256-ctr,aes192-ctr,aes128-ctr
MACs hmac-sha2-512,hmac-sha2-256,hmac-ripemd160
KexAlgorithms diffie-hellman-group-exchange-sha256

sshh
Basically the nice and forward secure aes-*-gcm chacha20-poly1305 ciphers, the curve25519-sha256 Kex algorithm and Encrypt-Then-MAC message authentication modes are not available to those of us stuck in the early 2000s. That’s right, provably NSA-proof stuff not supported. Upgrading at this point makes sense.

Still, we can harden SSH, so go into /etc/ssh/moduli and delete all the moduli that have 5th column < 2048, and disable ECDSA host keys:

cd /etc/ssh
mkdir -p broken
mv moduli ssh_host_dsa_key* ssh_host_ecdsa_key* ssh_host_key* broken
awk '{ if ($5 > 2048){ print } }' broken/moduli > moduli
# create broken links to force SSH not to regenerate broken keys
ln -s ssh_host_ecdsa_key ssh_host_ecdsa_key
ln -s ssh_host_dsa_key ssh_host_dsa_key
ln -s ssh_host_key ssh_host_key

Your clients, which hopefully have more recent versions of SSH, could have the following settings in /etc/ssh/ssh_config or .ssh/config:

Host all-old-servers

    Ciphers aes256-gcm@openssh.com,aes128-gcm@openssh.com,chacha20-poly1305@openssh.com,aes256-ctr,aes192-ctr,aes128-ctr
    MACs hmac-sha2-512-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha2-256-etm@openssh.com,hmac-ripemd160-etm@openssh.com,umac-128-etm@openssh.com,hmac-sha2-512,hmac-ripemd160
    KexAlgorithms curve25519-sha256@libssh.org,diffie-hellman-group-exchange-sha256

Note: Sadly, the -ctr ciphers do not provide forward security and hmac-ripemd160 isn’t the strongest MAC. But if you disable these, there are plenty of places you won’t be able to connect to. Upgrade your servers to get rid of these poor auth methods!

Handily, I have made a little script to do all this and more, which you can find in my Gone distribution.

There, done.

sshh obama

Updated Jan 6th to highlight the problems of not upgrading SSH.
Updated Jan 22nd to note CTR mode isn’t any worse.
Go learn about COMSEC if you didn’t get trolled by the title.

by kacper atJanuary 06, 2015 04:33 PM

December 08, 2014

thefastestwaytobreakamachine

sound sound

Intermission..

Recently I been doing some video editing.. less editing than tweaking my system tho.
If you want your jack output to speak with Kdenlive, a most excellent video editing suite,
and output audio in a nice way without choppyness and popping, which I promise you is not nice,
you’ll want to pipe it through pulseaudio because the alsa to jack stuff doesn’t do well with phonom, at least not on this convoluted setup.

Remember, to get that setup to work, ALSA pipes to jack with the pcm.jack { type jack .. thing, and remove the alsa to pulseaudio stupidity at /usr/share/alsa/alsa.conf.d/50-pulseaudio.conf

So, once that’s in place, it won’t play even though Pulse found your Jack because your clients are defaulting out on some ALSA device… this is when you change /etc/pulse/client.conf and set default-sink = jack_out.

by kacper atDecember 08, 2014 12:18 AM

October 31, 2011

Anders Nordby

Taile wtmp-logg i 64-bit Linux med Perl?

Jeg liker å la ting skje hendelsesbasert, og har i den forbindelse lagd et script for å rsynce innhold etter opplasting med FTP. Jeg tailer da wtmp-loggen med Perl, og starter sync når brukeren er eller har blitt logget ut (kort idle timeout). Å taile wtmp i FreeBSD var noe jeg for lenge siden fant et fungerende eksempel på nettet:
$typedef = 'A8 A16 A16 L'; $sizeof = length pack($typedef, () ); while ( read(WTMP, $buffer, $sizeof) == $sizeof ) { ($line, $user, $host, $time) = unpack($typedef, $buffer); # Gjør hva du vil med disse verdiene her }
FreeBSD bruker altså bare verdiene line (ut_line), user (ut_name), host (ut_host) og time (ut_time), jfr. utmp.h. Linux (x64, hvem bryr seg om 32-bit?) derimot, lagrer en hel del mer i wtmp-loggen, og etter en del Googling, prøving/feiling og kikking i bits/utmp.h kom jeg frem til:
$typedef = "s x2 i A32 A4 A32 A256 s2 l i2 i4 A20"; $sizeof = length pack($typedef, () ); while ( read(WTMP, $buffer, $sizeof) == $sizeof ) { ($type, $pid, $line, $id, $user, $host, $term, $exit, $session, $sec, $usec, $addr, $unused) = unpack($typedef, $buffer); # Gjør hva du vil med disse verdiene her }
Som bare funker, flott altså. Da ser jeg i sanntid brukere som logger på og av, og kan ta handlinger basert på dette.

by Anders (noreply@blogger.com) atOctober 31, 2011 07:37 PM

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