Looking at logs…

Looking at LogsI have recently had cause to pay a little more attention to the logs generated by my home firewall. While I use SARG for the day-to-day analysis, I needed a quick and easy command to fire at my squid logs to see what a particular device had been up to. This entry is by no means an exhaustive list, but it will serve as a handy reminder to me as to what I did to pull the data I needed to look at.
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pfSense: SARG Reports (v2.2.6 Update)

This post follows on from my (surprisingly popular) article “pfSense: SARG Reports Not Showing

After an update to v2.2.6-RELEASE I had re-inherited the same

Error: Could not find report index file.
Check and save sarg settings and try to force sarg schedule.


On jumping onto the firewall via SSH, it appears that, at some point the sarg-reports directory under /usr/pbi/sarg-amd64/local/ had been turned into a symbolic link (this may have happened via the reinstallation of packages following the update).

As such, any attempts to link /usr/local/sarg-reports to /usr/pbi/sarg-amd64/local/sarg-reports would result in;

/usr/local/sarg-reports: Too many levels of symbolic links.

Continue reading “pfSense: SARG Reports (v2.2.6 Update)”

Office 365 DNS (or; Nightmares with Dreamhost)

First things first, this is NOT a failing with Dreamhost, it is merely an issue with poor/outdated documentation. I will attempt to resolve that shortcoming via this post.

When you sign up to Office 365 you are able to use your own domain for user authentication for the various services on offer.

As I am quite happy with my current site hosting, DNS, and mail and calendaring services, there was only a handful of options left that may be of some use.

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Logging your connectivity

I had a message this morning from a friend who was having intermittent disconnection issues on their internet. The network itself was fine and, when using another provider, that too was working so it came down to evidence gathering to support the case to the ISP to investigate.

As a quick throw together, we came up with the following using wget and a batch file to repeat the command every x minutes.

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Grabbing Video (back) from YouTube

Image Credit: Neuroventilator / Flickr
Image Credit: Neuroventilator / Flickr

Usual Disclaimers Apply: This guide should not be used to subvert copyright restrictions. Responsibility falls to the user to ensure they are not breaking the laws of the country in which they reside or breaching any restrictions placed on content published in, or on infrastructure where other jurisdictions and/or terms of service may apply. Ignorance is no defense*, if you don’t like the regulations as they stand, exercise your democratic rights and propose a solution for change. Continue reading “Grabbing Video (back) from YouTube”

CentOS 7 – CLI to GUI

CentOS7I’ve been playing with a few VMs as I try to figure out a new infrastructure for our office, and as part of this I’ve taken a particular shine to CentOS as a minimal build for my virtual servers. I then decided I wanted to get a few sandbox environments running with desktop software and, well.. that’s where the fun began!

After about twelvety-zillion restores from snapshots and reading, and forum trawling, and more restores, I think I’ve come up with a winning way to turn a humble CentOS 7 minimal build, booting to the lonely command prompt, into a bastion of desktoppy goodness. Hopefully this will be of use to someone else out there, if not – it will serve and a handy reminder to me as to what I did to get things running.

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PBX in a Flash – Cyclic Reboot under Hyper-V

RebootThis post is for anyone who is running into an issue where following the guide over on Nerd Vittles and setting up under Hyper-V leaves their virtual machine in a cyclic reboot… er, cycle.

Cyclic Reboot
Fig 1: Cyclic reboot error

If you are quick enough, you may catch the error (Fig 1)

umount: can't umount /mnt/selinux: Invalid argument

..which isn’t entirely helpful, but does point us to something being misunderstood during boot time.

The solution is fairly simple (once you figure out what’s happening), simply follow these steps;

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pfSense: SARG Reports not showing

Image: Error: Could not find report index file. Check and save sarg settings and try to force sarg schedule.
Error: Could not find report index file.
Check and save sarg settings and try to force sarg schedule.

This appears to be a somewhat common problem with the more recent pfSense installations, when SARG reports are accessed ({Status} > {Sarg Reports} > [View Report] Tab) the UI responds with:

Error: Could not find report index file.
Check and save sarg settings and try to force sarg schedule.

Edit: 02/01/2016 – After an update to v2.2.6-RELEASE I had re-inherited the same error, this time however, it was caused by symbolic link weirdness – See the fix here.

Some users have reported that changing options in the [General] tab, saving, then forcing a schedule has resolved this issue, I have not been so lucky, so the following is what I needed to do to fix things.

Continue reading “pfSense: SARG Reports not showing”

“Factory” resetting an OpenWRT router

There are many reasons to re-flash your  home router with a different OS than the one the manufacturer has cobbled together, the Misfortune Cookie attack (US-CERT) is just one of them, Having been involved in the testing of a number of domestic xDSL routers, I have a rather low opinion on the amount of care put into the default security levels of consumer devices (but that is not what this post is about).

Image Credit: commons.wikimedia.org
Image Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

I have chosen to utilise OpenWrt on one of my internal wireless access points, and – during a reconfiguration of the network, I managed to bork the settings by not paying attention. With an out-of-the-box device, there is usually a ‘Reset’ button you can hold in while powering up the device which will clear all settings and return you to the initial un-configured state. This is not quite the case with OpenWrt, but it is still a fairly easy process to return your router to a known state, and begin the configuration process again.

  • Disconnect WAN cable
  • Unplug power to router
  • Set your computers IP address to:
    • IPv4 Address:
    • Netmask:
    • Gateway:
  • Re-power your router, pressing the ‘reset’ button when the status light begin blinking (fast)
  • Using PuTTY (or your favourite *TELNET* client), connect to and you should see the OpenWrt prompt. Type the commands below (in red) to reset the router to it’s initial, preconfigured state:
root@(none):/# mount_root
jffs2 is ready
jffs2 is ready
switching to overlay
root@(none):/# firstboot
This will erase all settings and remove any installed packages. Are you sure? [N/y]
/dev/mtdblock3 is mounted as /overlay, only erasing files
root@(none):/# reboot –f
  • Unset your static IP and have fun reconfiguring your router.