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Category Archives: I.T.

  • ssh tunnel to circumvent a firewall

    My work place like many others has a pretty restrictive firewall that doesn’t let me ssh into my own machine. To get in the network, one has to use VPN which means that a furious battle will rage getting this to work in linux; but above all you won’t get to ssh from your phone.

    So if you have a home server, run the following command on your work machine and it will create a tunnel from your work machine to your home server:

    ssh -f -N -R 1337:localhost:22 root@home_server

    Now login to your home server and when you

    ssh localhost -p 1337

    You will in fact be sshing to your work machine via magic fairies & such.

    It adds a level of indirection which sucks major balls, so you can copy some keys and get all that automated but I don’t want to go into these details. Figure it out.

    You can go away now.

  • Count how many file descriptors are being used by every process of a certain name

    here’s a neat little command:

    ps -ae | grep <process_name> | perl -lane ‘print $F[0]’ | while read filename; do ls /proc/$filename/fd; done | wc -w

    just replace process_name by httpd for example and it’ll tell you how many file descriptions are in use by all the processes with http in them.

  • Postfix & Spamassassin integration allowing for custom processing

    This assumes that you have postfix installed and running as your SMTP server

    First, make sure that you’re root


    I probably shouldn’t have to explain that if you’re reading this but just in case; if that last command returned something else than ‘root’ issue the following command

    sudo su

    and enter your password

    step 1: Let’s install the packages we’re gonna need

    apt-get update
    apt-get install spamassassin spamc

    step 2: Now we configure spamassasin

    cat /etc/default/spamassassin | sed -e 's#ENABLED=0#ENABLED=1#g' > /etc/default/spamassassin
    cat /etc/default/spamassassin | sed -e 's#CRON=0#CRON=1#g' > /etc/default/spamassassin
    cat /etc/spamassassin/ | set -e 's## rewrite_header Subject *****SPAM*****#rewrite_header Subject [*****SPAM*****] > /etc/spamassassin/

    and we start/restart it

    /etc/init.d/spamassassin restart

    step 3: We create a little script that will take desired action upon spamassassin flagging

    create a user called spamassassin (or whatever you want as long as you keep it consistent)

    useradd -m spamassassin

    then edit the script file /home/spamassassin/spamcheck and throw the following in it

     # variables
    SENDMAIL="/usr/sbin/sendmail -i"
    # exit codes from <sysexits.h>
    # clean up when done or when aborting.
    trap "rm -f /tmp/out.$$" 0 1 2 3 15
    # pipe message to spamc
    cat | /usr/bin/spamc -u spamd > /tmp/out.$$
    # are there more than $SPAMLIMIT stars in X-Spam-Level header? :
    if $EGREP -q "^X-Spam-Level: *{$SPAMLIMIT,}" < /tmp/out.$$
    # option 1: move spam messages to sideline dir so a human can look at them later:
    mv /tmp/out.$$ /home/spamassassin/`date +%Y-%m-%d_%R`-$$
    # option 2: divert spam message to an alternate e-mail address:
    #$SENDMAIL xyz@xxxx.xx < /tmp/out.$$
    # option 3: just delete the spam message
    # rm -f /tmp/out.$$
    # option 4: still relay the email to the recipient with the subject of the email now containing [*****SPAM*****]
    # $SENDMAIL "$@" < /tmp/out.$$
    $SENDMAIL "$@" < /tmp/out.$$
    # Postfix returns the exit status of the Postfix sendmail command.
    exit $?

    make sure that you

    chown spamassassin:spamassassin /home/spamassassin/spamcheck
    chmod 750 /home/spamassassin/spamcheck

    step 4: Ok, so we got spamassassin going and a little script that will take an email and throw it in /home/spamassassin if it’s spam (if you chose option1) now we just need to tell postfix to pass all messages to that script

    edit /etc/postfix/ and replace

    smtp      inet  n       -       -       -       -       smtpd


    smtp      inet  n       -       n       -       -       smtpd -o content_filter=spamcheck:dummy

    also add the following 2 lines at the bottom of the file (the indentation is important)

    spamcheck   unix  -       n       n       -       10      pipe
    flags=Rq user=spamassassin argv=/bin/spamcheck -f ${sender} -- ${recipient}

    We’re almost there, just restart postfix and you’re good to go!

    /etc/init.d/postfix restart

    If you wanna test that out, watch the log while you send emails to your servers

    tail -f /var/log/syslog

    send a clean mail, make sure that it reaches destination, then send something you know will get flagged as spam and make sure it ends up in /home/spamassasin instead of the intended recipient.

    The reason we choose option 1 here is because there’s no point in still relaying a flagged email as it will still clog the recipient’s mailbox. On the other hand we don’t want to just delete it if spamassassin makes a mistake we want to play it safe and keep every emails should something arise, we quarantine the bad ones in /home/spamassassin

    Lastly, as long as you have postfix just feeding the emails to a script like we just did, it’s easy to become fancier and do all kinds of processing to the email, on my server I actually call a php script that throws emails in a DB.

  • Silly Apache warning

    If the following happens to you:

    apache2: Could not reliably determine the server's fully qualified domain name, using for ServerName

    just issue a:

    echo Servername `cat /etc/hostname` >> /etc/apache2/apache2.conf

    Tested on: Ubuntu server 9.04 32b / Ubuntu 12.04 64b

  • recursive name based delete

    Here’s a neat little command that will let you delete specified files/directories recursively and based on their names.

    Let’s do a dry run first to make sure that the command will go through the right files. Run:

    <code class="plain plain">find <directory_to_start_the_recursion_in> -name <file_name</code>>

    Keep in mind that if you’re gonna have asterisks (*) in the <file_name> you need to escape them like so:

    find /var/www -name *.jpg

    make sure that the result only lists the files/directories that you indeed want to obliterate. Then improve that last command by adding:

    find <directory_to_start_the_recursion_in> -name <file_name> -exec rm -rf {} ;

    Since this is a pretty dangerous command even after a dry run, you can use -ok instead of -exec which will prompt you for approval everytime the command it executed.

    find <directory_to_start_the_recursion_in> -name <file_name> -ok rm -rf {} ;

    This is of course not limited to rm :)

  • Killing Floor Review

    Left4Dead is far from obsolete but lately I grew a little sick of playing the same maps over and over. The special zombies too are getting kinda old. This is when I came accross Killing Floor. Very little information is currently available about it on the web, a couple of videos on youtube and the official game site.

    It’s currently one of the most sold game on Steam showing the strong liking that people are taking with coop massacring of zombies.

    killing floor sales

    Let’s go straight to the point: the games needs to be polished the fuck out. It’s very bulky, buggy & glitchy but it is built right. The game obviously got released too early and while it seems like the people in charge are proactive about fixing all of that, one can only hope that they’ll keep doing so until they have an acceptable product.

    The gameplay is just weird, moving around doesn’t feel right.

    The maps aren’t the best but they’re good enough.

    The monsters you get to kill are pretty cool.

    Graphics aren’t bad at all.

    The AI’s not the best too and so repetitiveness becomes an issue early.

    The music is really good.

    Sound effects on the other hand are awkward.

    but really this all needs to be patched like there’s no tomorrow.

    I threw a quick video together since as I said earlier, only very little info can currently be found about this game:

    It’s for sale for $20 on Steam, I’ve played for about 2 hours and don’t have much more in me. Not really worth it unless you don’t mind throwing money out the window. There used to be a time where games were released as finished products…

  • recursive type based chmod

    Here’s a cool little script that will recursively chmod, giving a permission based on whether it’s dealing with a file or a directory. This is very convenient when you want to add that +x to directories but not files.

    find $1 -type f -exec chmod $2 {} ;
    find $1 -type d -exec chmod $3 {} ;

    Go ahead and edit /usr/bin/chmod_script, copy paste these 2 lines in there, then issue a chmod 755 /usr/bin/chmod_script as root, that’s it!

    Usage syntax is as follows:

    chmod_script <directory_to_start_the_recursion_in> <permissions_for_files> <permissions_for+directories>

    so if I want to use it on /var/www do:

    chmod_script /var/www 644 755