Posts filed under Linux

Installing & Configuring CentOS 5.4 (Day 2)

Oké. Day 2. After the successful installation and configuration of CentOS with Adobe Coldfusion, I needed to install MySQL as a database. So, I started the virtual machine, and found out why Linux will (probably) never cut it as a common desktop environment.

X11 - No DesktopYesterday I (properly) shutdown the system (which had the GNOME Desktop), and today it started with some back to the 60's desktop. Every icon gone. All that I'm left with was a terminal window, clock, and a FireFox window. This environment is the basic X11 desktop.

Posted on April 2, 2010 and filed under Annoying, Linux, Operating Systems, Personal, Tips'n Tricks.

Adobe Coldfusion 9 on CentOS 5.4 (x64)

A while back I figured out how to install Adobe (could have been Macromedia back then) Coldfusion MX on an Ubuntu linux server. This config still runs as it should, but in the mean time several things have changed in the world of software. I've been leaning towards Centos 5.4, and Adobe released Coldfusion 9 somewhere in 2009. These two 'events' made me decide to combine the two.

Before I continue, I must warn you that the Coldfusion installer is still broken..... So there's some manipulation of code involved.

Since the new 'server' is going to run in a virtual environment I started in a VMWare Workstation. This way I could make snapshots of my progress. This made it easier to start from scratch. The problem with Linux and me is that I tend to reinstall the OS when things go haywire. So VMWare is a safe way out in this case.

Posted on April 1, 2010 and filed under Annoying, Linux, Software, Tips'n Tricks.

Why Linux Won't Work

.... for me at this moment (and probably for most others).

I'm still in the fase of migrating my Windows server to a more 'reliable' Operating System. The new server should cover the following basic functionalities:

  • Filesharing (either via Samba or NFS)
  • Webserver with PHP and Coldfusion
  • SSH server
  • RADIUS Server
  • Central user database (e.g. an LDAP server)
  • a NZB downloader of some sort
  • etc.

Up till now I've tried several Linux distros (Ubuntu 7, Ubuntu 8, and CentOS 5), and none of them are that easy to configure.

It seems that NFS isn't that easy to configure, since Apple OSX requires some special features (standards anyone??). Especially when you want some sort of user authentication. Just do a search on Linux, NFS and Apple OSX.

So after NFS didn't really work, I tried SMB for filesharing. While CentOS has some GUI to configure the shares, it lacks the interface of permissions for users...
You create users within the Linux environment, and if you wanna connect to a Samba share you need to configure additional users (in a different userdatabase).
This can be done by synchronization, but you need to do some scripting etc.

So far I've managed to install a working SSH server (with x509 authentication) and a Webserver.

When I compare this with Windows.... Well, there's no real comparison. Windows has a real central user database (not talking about the Active Directory here, but the local user database). And every service I need can talk to this database, and every service recognizes this database. No need to start 'hacking' some configuration files to make it work.

Well, as long as there's no new (read:better) interface of configuring those services and combining them with a shared user database ....

LINUX >> /dev/null

Recommendations can be left in the comments (if there are any)......

Posted on March 24, 2009 and filed under Annoying, Apple, Linux, Microsoft.

Undocumented Coldfusion Ports

After running 'chkrootkit' on one of my Ubuntu server at work, I got a responds:

Checking `bindshell'... INFECTED (PORTS:  4000)

A message which started a 'mild' shiver across my back, because the rootkit checker just reported that one of the processes on the server could be compromised.

First I took the server of the network. Just to make sure. After that I searched the Internet for a possible explaination. Nothing substancionally. until I found the following command to see what is occupying the port.

sudo netstat -e -p -n -a | grep 4000

This gave me the following result:

udp6       0      0 :::4000                 :::*
65534      13886      4739/coldfusion8

So it seems that Adobe Coldfusion is using this port. But this can't be found in any of the official Adobe Coldfusion documentation. There are some (blog)posts related to this, but nothing more.

Posted on August 27, 2008 and filed under Annoying, Linux, Operating Systems, Security.

OpenSSH Vulnerabilities

It seems that public key authentication isn't as save as you might have thought. That is if you're using a Debian based OpenSSH solution. This package can be found in many Linux distributions like;

  • Debian (duh ;) )
  • Ubuntu
  • Kubuntu
  • etc.

The problem is that the random number generator (which is of vital importance in generating key-pairs) isn't as random as you might think. It seems that there are only about 30.000 combinations in this specific generator. This leaves the door wide open for brute-force attacks.

So, the first you must do is update your OpenSSH software, and generate new keypairs for all devices / users which might have keys which were generated with the vulnerable OpenSSH software. Softwarepackages depending on OpenSSH are;

  • OpenVPN
  • OpenSSH
  • Certificates used in TLS connections
  • etc.

More info on the subject can be found here [1, 2, 3].

Posted on May 20, 2008 and filed under Linux, News, Security, Software.

Adobe Coldfusion MX on Ubuntu Server

Ever since I went 'Apple', the urge of moving away from Microsoft Windows operating systems is getting bigger and bigger. A couple of weeks ago I installed a two Ubuntu servers (v7.x) at work. Mainly for testing , and educational purposes.
The installation went extremely smooth on old Compaq ML370 server hardware. So, as a test I tried to install Adobe Coldfusion MX (Coldfusion 8 ) on the Ubuntu server (with Apache, and MySQL).

There are several postings on the Internet suggesting that it should be possible. Even though Ubuntu isn't on the supported platforms list for Adobe Coldfusion MX.
Posted on May 10, 2008 and filed under Linux, Operating Systems, Software, Tips'n Tricks.

Ubuntu 'Hardy Heron' Released

As of yesterday, the latest Ubuntu release 'Hardy Heron' is available for download (both client and server). Every time a major Linux distri(bution) hits 'the shelves', the Linux community roars. With each release (Ubuntu or whatever flavor) the Linux community gets closer, and closer to Windows.

Even though the OS itself is getting better and better. It still lacks the support of decent major software like Adobe Creative Suite, etc. It's missing the software people use in every day (business)life.
Sure, there a million different ways of running Microsoft Office or Adobe Photoshop on a Linux OS, but these require a commercial piece of software (CrossOver) , or in depth knowledge of the OS to make it work (Wine in some cases). Two things that shouldn't be required. Not if you're used to Windows (or Apple's OSX). And even if you find a 'substitute' it's most likely to have an awful user experience.

The average housewife won't use Linux, because her friends all use Windows. All those nice little Windows programs, which makes life easier (or a living hell with all the mal/spyware out there). So if the Linux community wants to make a difference they need to create some sort of critical mass (by their selves, or by Microsoft screwing up) to get the attention of the 'normal' user. But in a community where there's no real (commercial) business model, it's gonna be damn hard.

Microsoft created this critical mass by playing (probably) the best marketing trick in the world; Release Windows 95, and turn a blind eye to those who use a pirated copy at home. The home users create demand on the workfloor, so businesses start to use it on their workstations. Soon everyone was addicted. And now it's damn hard to beat the addiction.

B.t.w., Apple is doing it a lot better. They created a nice and stable OS (just like the average Linux desktop distribution), BUT the OS has ALL the relevant drivers for the hardware used. ALSO they have a complete (and cheap) software suite (iLife and iWork), which is more than enough for the average family. No need to search the caverns of the Internet for software, and they look and feel the same as the OS.

So, I guess that my conclusion is that the OS is nearing perfection, but it (Linux in general) lacks good and decent third party software (and a good marketing machine :) )

In the mean time; I'm gonna upgrade my Linux (mail, web, and ssh) servers at work to 'Hardy Heron'.