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Messages - Mad Penguin

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General Discussion / Re: Help!!
« on: February 01, 2017, 10:04:26 pm »
Ok, gottit, many thanks!  8)

General Discussion / Help!!
« on: February 01, 2017, 04:45:10 pm »
Hi, if anyone has a little time tonight, I'm trying to put together a screenshot of some new software I'm writing but I need a few people from different geographical locations to browse a website to get a decent picture. So, if anyone is able to bring up "" in a browser and leave it open in a tab over 10pm, I would be very grateful.

it's a "real time" Analytics plugin for wordpress so you can see who's on a given site at any given point in time, which page they're on and which pages they've visited.

Essentially I'm after a "better populated" version of this;

With rolling daily totals;

Ok, I'm going to stick my neck out and assume that the installation is *not* older than the hard drive. Which means the hard drive is more than likely 8 years old .. given the average lifespan of a hard drive is around 3 years, you're more than a standard deviation or two into borrowed time.

That aside, the symptoms you describe sound a little like a failing hard drive.

I would recommend booting from a live distro, then running "badblocks" on the drive to see how many errors it has.
- make sure when you run badblocks you choose the "read" i.e. non-destructive option.

(the chances of it being "another" hardware issue, i.e. motherboard etc, are pretty slim)

General Discussion / Re: Zombie Process
« on: May 14, 2016, 12:09:11 pm »
If top is showing zero cpu usage, what does "load average" say?
- if this isn't low, it sounds like something crashed in the kernel, in which case you'll need a reboot ..

The Penguin's second hand Linux Emporium / Re: Linux Workstations ...
« on: March 22, 2016, 10:40:16 am »
Absolutely, however if you want a "good" machine to work on, unless you pay out 4 figures - a laptop doesn't really cut it .. which puts them a long way from being cost-effective. The machine under my desk is a similar spec to these, but it's six years old and runs with a 27" monitor, and cost around £500 .. and as a developer it's so quick, I'm not even thinking about replacing it .. my Sony laptop on the other hand (which cost more), well, it's good for playing Blue-Ray disks .. but only because it's the only machine I have that's new enough to come with a Blue-ray player ...  :)

The Penguin's second hand Linux Emporium / Linux Workstations ...
« on: March 20, 2016, 04:40:28 pm »
Hi, just in case anyone is interested .. I've been offered some (brand new / with warranty) Linux Workstations with the following specification;
  • Case (as shown)
  • CPU AMD FX4300, Quad Core, 3.8GHz (this is pretty quick)
  • 600W PSU
  • 24x DVD ReWriter
  • 8G Ram (2x4G)
  • Arctic 7 CPU Cooler
  • GeForce GT710, 192 Core, 2560x1600 (digital)
  • Segate Pipeline 320 HDD
  • Ubuntu Desktop pre-installed
  • (no mouse/keyboard/screen)
£300 + Delivery + VAT, 1 year warranty etc ..

I need a few orders to get this price, so if anyone's interested, please let me know.

General Help & Advice / Re: free payroll in linux agree by HMRC
« on: February 28, 2016, 01:27:30 pm »
You might be better off looking at commercial stuff .. HMRC options are always fairy .. 'basic'.
I use this;
Reliable and as cheap as chips.

General Help & Advice / Re: No internet with static IP
« on: February 21, 2016, 03:43:54 pm »
The recommended solution is to set all your devices for DHCP, then take a look at your router and somewhere there will be an option to make it re-issue the same dynamic addresses to specific devices, i.e. tell it that once it's issued an ip to a device , that IP is essentially a static.

It's standard option on most kit, certainly supported by BT ADSL routers ...

If you mess with static's, not only is there always a chance of an overlap / conflict with DHCP range (unless you limit the range) but new devices support "upnp" which is capable of doing some pretty clever stuff - but typically only on addresses it's issued. For example if you run a PLEX server, you don't need to set a reverse NAT port-forward on your router to accept incoming PLEX requests from the Internet, PLEX will talk UPNP to your router and set up the incoming port for you .. automatically .. :)

Ditto with games consoles, it should be able to set stuff up automatically if you use DHCP, so there's no need to set port forwardings for online games .. something we used to need to do to get the best performance out of peer-to-peer stuff ...

News and Events / Re: UPGRADE NOW!
« on: February 21, 2016, 02:50:47 am »
Yeah. Unfortunately. There are a few issues ..

1. Ubuntu server installs *do not* activate automatic updates by default - there are by all accounts, many millions out there
2. Lots of people disable automatic updates, or at least ignore them until there is a problem
3. Only *SOME* versions have been patched. If you're on 15.04, you are still exposed unless you've compiled your own patch!

This is NOT paranoia - you have been warned!

1. You may like to read this;
2. You may note from this article - the exploit is now "out there" !!

The update takes 30 seconds and doesn't break anything, IF you do the update and IF you are on a version of Linux that has been patched.
- the issue has been outstanding for many many years, and known about for over a year by the security community, apparently Redhat filed it as something to look into about a year ago. So, all of the above within the context of "assuming you've not already been pwned". If it took Yahoo engineers a couple of days to engineer an exploit, and given "others" have known about the exploit for over a year .. does that not send a shiver down your spine???

News and Events / Re: UPGRADE NOW!
« on: February 17, 2016, 11:26:25 am »
How to check if your network is safe; (switch out 'host<n>' for the names of your machines)

Code: [Select]
for host in host1 host2 host3 host4 host5 host6; do echo -n ">$host: "; ssh root@$host apt-cache policy libc6 | grep "Install";done
>host1:   Installed: 2.21-0ubuntu4.1
>host2:   Installed: 2.19-0ubuntu6.7
>host3:   Installed: 2.19-0ubuntu6.7
>host4:   Installed: 2.19-0ubuntu6.7
>host5:   Installed: 2.21-0ubuntu4.1
>host6:   Installed: 2.21-0ubuntu4.1

The versions you see will depend on the version of LIBC6 on your system. Check with your OS vendor to make sure the versions you have are 'safe', again the Ubuntu page is here;

News and Events / UPGRADE NOW!
« on: February 17, 2016, 10:57:37 am »
Ok, for anyone who missed it, one of the core Linux maintenance teams appears to have screwed up really badly. As a result, you should really consider upgrading your system ASAP. You will hear people say "yeah, but it's difficult to implement the exploit", and they may be correct. However, once someone does produce a comprehensive exploit, my guess is that many (most!) home Linux installations are open.

Details of the issue are here;
The Ubuntu-specific details / fix details are here;

General Help & Advice / Re: Scheduling with Luckybackup
« on: January 11, 2016, 09:45:51 pm »
Hi, first thing I would say is that I would be somewhat reluctant to use anything with "lucky" in the name when it comes to "backups" ..  :o

Moving on, I use the following script (or minor variations of it) for all of my system backups, and have for many years, and have used it many times (!) for restores, so I have a fairly high degree of confidence in the mechanism. Code looks like this; (note: no needs of potentially 'buggy' products with "lucky" in the name ..  ;) )

Code: [Select]
BACK=`date "+%A_%d_%B_%Y_%H"`
OPTS="--sparse --force --ignore-errors --delete-excluded --exclude-from=${HERE}/${EXCL}
      --bwlimit=2048 --delete --backup --backup-dir=${HERE}/${BACK} -rvlpgoDtO"
mkdir -p ${HERE}/current
nice -n19 rsync ${OPTS} root@${HOST}:/ ${HERE}/current
So, drop this in /usr/local/bin as, things you need to know;

To run the script add the following to CRON:

Code: [Select]
* * * 0 0 /usr/local/bin/ <hostname>
Or call from the command line with;
Code: [Select] <hostname>
I would recommend a local hosts entry for <hostname> and you will need to make sure HERE exists on the target server, OR, modify HERE to reflect the path you want to back up to. Also, this assumes a complete system backup, modify the root@${HOST}:/ on the last line to start the backup from an alternate location, for example root@${HOST}:/home/mp .

What you will get;

  • A folder called "current" on the target server (which can be 'localhost' !) which is a copy of the source server
  • A folder with a date / time stamp on the target server which are all the files that were displaced on the day of the backup by newer copies
i.e. this effectively provides the features of both FULL and INCREMENTAL backups. You can also put a file in the folder from which the backup is run called ".excludes" into which you can put (one per line) the stuff you don't want, for example on a system backup you'd want things like;

Code: [Select]
For local copies you can also tweak or remove the --bwlimit option, however this is invaluable for remote backups. For more details / information or documentation on exactly how it works, take a look at the "rsync" man page.

Programming / Re: Beginner bash script
« on: December 03, 2015, 02:02:54 am »
Mmm, I think all you need is;

Code: [Select]
#! /bin/bash
for var in "$@"
  pkill -v -u root ${var}
But I'll let you test it on your system .. . :o

Jobs Wanted / Re: Want to learn
« on: November 28, 2015, 12:45:10 am »
If it's "Linux" itself, a good place to start is "Linux for Dummies" or "Ubuntu Linux for Dummies", ignore the titles, these are really good books if you want to learn from scratch. Best approach, try each example on a Linux machine as you go through the book ..

General Help & Advice / Re: File sync software on Ubuntu 15.10
« on: November 28, 2015, 12:32:56 am »
You might like to check out "owncloud" .. this can run in a VM or on a stand-alone machine .. comes with a Linux client, not unlike Google Drive, except that you effectively run your own server and don't give Google access to all your stuff, or have to pay Google storage surcharges.

Does background sync pretty much in real-time ..

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