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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XBox Live via an OpenWRT router

One of the concerning requests of Xbox Live connectivity, is to enable UPnP or ‘Universal Plug and Play’ on your home router.

The UPnP protocol has a long standing history of security problems, not the least of which being that it allows unauthenticated devices to connect to and through your home network. In the past, I have advocated for this to be switched off by default in consumer grade routers and I explain the UPnP threat in another post.

Getting back on track, my security conscious view for our home network does nothing for a teenage boy who received an Xbox Live subscription for his birthday and, while some aspects of the Live subscription work, others – such as game sharing will fail. With this in mind, we need to setup port forwarding, rather than implement UPnP, to connect said teenager to his gaming buddies and keep our network free of the risks introduced by enabling UPnP.

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Installing VMware Server 2.0.1 on Ubuntu Server 9.04

The following guide will take you through installing VMWare Server 2 on a minimal install headless Ubuntu v9.04 (Jaunty) Server. For a step by step on setting up the minimal server, read the article I posted here.

Getting the Pre-requisite Packages

First up, you will need to SSH into your server, and paste in the following command to install some additional packages which allow for the changes required to the kernel and the building of the VMWare server.

sudo apt-get install linux-headers-`uname -r` build-essential xinetd

Getting the VMware Server TAR ball

Once the extra packages are installed, you will need to grab the TAR ball from the VMWare site, and drop it into the directory where you wish to run your VMs from. For me, I’ve chosen to keep them under my users home directory in a directory called (imaginativly) ‘VM’. The following commands will make the directory ‘VM’ under your users root directory, then change to that directory:

mkdir ~/VM
cd ~/VM

From the PC you are using to SSH to the server, open a browser and visit the VMWare Server page from here you will need to download the server which will require you to create a VMware account, and login so that a licence key can be emailed to you.

Once logged in, you will be directed to the download page containing all the binaries for VMware Server.

Download the relevant TAR image for your architecture and linux version to your local machine, and do an MD5 checksum to make sure it arrived intact.

There is also a patch which you will require, you will need a login to the Ubuntu Forums however, to access the file below:


From here, transfer the TAR and the patch file in whatever way works best for you. If you followed my server build guide and installed the optional SAMBA extensions, you should be able to easily open the home directory on your server via a Windows network share – or similar for you particular operating system.

Running the Installer

Back to our SSH session now, unpack the patch into your “~/VM/” directory, then extract the VMware Server TAR ball and run the installer:

tar xvfz VMware-server-*.tar.gz
cd vmware-server-distrib
sudo patch ./bin/vmware-config.pl ~/VM/vmware-config.pl.patch.txt
sudo ./vmware-install.pl

Accept the default options (there are a LOT of them) throughout the installation and allow the installer to build any modules or kernels it needs to during the setup.

Choose the Administrative User

When prompted for the name of the current administrative user, select YES and type in YOUR user name (otherwise it’ll use root)

Select the Directory to Store the Virtual Machines

When prompted for the directory to store your virtual machine files, type in /home/[YourUsername]/VM/Virtual Machines and allow the installer to create the directory

Entering the Serial Number

Next you will be prompted for the serial number which should have been emailed to you for your VM Server installation, simply copy out of your email and paste into the SSH window.

Back to selecting the default values now until you are returned to the prompt.

Just in case things didn’t go well

If you think you may have made a mistake in the configuration, you can easily re-run the configuration tool by typing:

sudo /usr/bin/vmware-config.pl

If you REALLY made a hash of it, you can always remove the installation by typing:

sudo /usr/bin/vmware-uninstall.pl

and start again 🙂

Accessing the VMServer Console

After you installation sucessfully completes you will be returned to the prompt in your SSH session. That’s it – you’re done. All you need to do now, is attach to the VM Server console via your browser by typing in the address of your server box which will look something like this:


Read the documentation, and start setting up some Virtual Machines, or download any useful looking Virtual Appliances that catch your eye from the appliance marketplace.

Note: If you experience issues with the web console appearing to ‘hang’ ensure that you have loaded the lastest Java Runtime Environment (JRE) – get it here.

Setting Up Ubuntu Server 9.04

Ubuntu Server v9.04 InstallationThis article will address the base (minimal) build that I’ve been using while trying out a number of Virtual Environments for use in my home network. I’ve chosen to use an Ubuntu Server v9.04 (Jaunty) as my base OS – partiallybecause I use a lot of Ubuntu machines, but mainly – because it’s a popular choice with a very supportive community behind it who are all too happy to help others who get into difficulties.

Getting the Software & Burning the Disc

First things first, get yourself over to the Ubuntu Server Download page and get the relevant .iso image for your computers architecture. Because I’m installing on a Shuttle XPC Sn95G5, I’ll be going with the 64bit version.

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Upgrading to Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (Hardy) via Command Line

With the LTS (long term support) release of Ubuntu Hardy, I decided it was a good time to update one of my ancient PCs which had been running v5.10 (breezy) for the past few years.

As it’s a fairly low spec PC (Toshiba Tecra 8000, Celeron, 64MB RAM) I only have command line running so, to do the update I simply performed the following process to update to v8.04 (hardy). Of course I backed up first – as should you… As with all HOWTO guides, this process worked for me, read the guide in it’s entirety before proceeding, backup your machine, and may your Linux-fu be strong – good luck.

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