Category: General

New Virtual Machines Available: Ubuntu 12.04 32-bit and 64-bit

Precise Pangolin or Ubuntu 12.04 is now available as a virtual machine. Like always the specs are:

  • CPU: 1
  • Memory: 512
  • Disk Space: 50GB
  • Networking: NAT | Sound card: Enabled
  • Compressed using 7-Zip

Download from the links below:

Ubuntu 12.04 Server 32-bit – 382MB
.MD5
.SHA1

Ubuntu 12.04 Server 64-bit – 377MB
.MD5
.SHA1

Disk2vhd: Virtualize Existing Systems

Rebuilding a working system from scratch can be time consuming, because of that its a good idea to use P2V or Physical to Virtual tools that automate the process for you. One of them is Disk2vhd by Sysinternals created to ease the transition process from baremetal to virtual with a few clicks. This P2V tool works by creating a virtual image of the system its running on and the result is a VHD file(Virtual Hard Disk – Microsoft’s Virtual Machine disk format) which can be use in Microsoft Virtual PC or Microsoft Hyper-V .

Disk2vhd is easy to understand and use. You can download Disk2vhd free of charge from the Sysinternals site.

Note: Due to the hardware changes you may need to reactivate the operating system once again.

Links

Sysinternals Disk2vhd

RAMMap Memory Analysis Utility

Sysinternals has made another great tool available, RAMMap which is an advanced physical memory usage analysis utility for Windows. In simple terms you get more information about how the memory is being used in the system.

Use RAMMap to gain understanding of the way Windows manages memory, to analyze application memory usage, or to answer specific questions about how RAM is being allocated. RAMMap’s refresh feature enables you to update the display and it includes support for saving and loading memory snapshots.

RAMMap only supports the following operating systems: Vista, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008.

Links

RAMMap v1.0

3TB Hard Drives Are On The Way

Seagate announced the availability of consumer grade hard drives in the 3TB range. While the increase in density was expected (normal of the storage industry), I can’t help but feel a disturbance in the force. Users and clueless IT technicians are bound to consolidate data that used to be stored in multiple hard drives into a single high capacity 3TB mechanical device that has a history of failure. The problem goes beyond just the manufacturer, temperature, vibration and many other variables decide how reliable a hard drive will be.

Backups Are Not The Norm

The truth is that not everybody keeps backups of their data, when a failure occurs the first thing people do is swear to never buy that brand of drives again.

RAID is not backup, with this in mind it used to be that in order to reach such amounts of storage one would make use of RAID. Now a single 3.5” mechanical device will hold Terabytes of data while spinning at thousands of revolutions per second.

You Have To Upgrade Too

Asides from the human aspects, XP users are out of the equation. On the Windows side users will need to be running either Windows Vista or 7 64bit, updates to the BIOS may be required, and hardware capable of long logical block addressing(LBA).

Otherwise, you can use PAPERBACK v1.00.

My Advice

Don’t be an early tester unless you live on the edge or are used to making backups.

Links

Seagate Confirms 3TB Hard Drive Coming In 2010

Attribution: http://www.flickr.com/photos/scobleizer/

UDP Flood Script

There are some situations when network and system administrator(s) may need to UDP flood network devices with the purpose of testing them under stress.

The preferred method I use is by means of a Perl script created by Ivan Pepelnjak from ioshints.info. The script is highly configurable allowing the user to dictate the amount of bandwidth to be used during the flood, and the port to name a few.

Note: Windows users will need to install either ActivePerl or Strawberry Perl.

Use

flood.pl --port port --size bytes --time seconds --bandwidth kbps --delay msec target-ip-address

In its simplest form you can ignore the extra parameters and issue:

script_name.pl 192.168.1.10

For an explanation of the parameters visit wiki.nil.com/UDP_flood_in_Perl.

Script Source Code

#!/usr/bin/perl
#####################################################
# udp flood.
######################################################

use Socket;
use strict;
use Getopt::Long;
use Time::HiRes qw( usleep gettimeofday ) ;

our $port = 0;
our $size = 0;
our $time = 0;
our $bw   = 0;
our $help = 0;
our $delay= 0;

GetOptions(
	"port=i" => $port,		# UDP port to use, numeric, 0=random
	"size=i" => $size,		# packet size, number, 0=random
	"bandwidth=i" => $bw,		# bandwidth to consume
	"time=i" => $time,		# time to run
	"delay=f"=> $delay,		# inter-packet delay
	"help|?" => $help);		# help


my ($ip) = @ARGV;

if ($help || !$ip) {
  print <<'EOL';
flood.pl --port=dst-port --size=pkt-size --time=secs
         --bandwidth=kbps --delay=msec ip-address

Defaults:
  * random destination UDP ports are used unless --port is specified
  * random-sized packets are sent unless --size or --bandwidth is specified
  * flood is continuous unless --time is specified
  * flood is sent at line speed unless --bandwidth or --delay is specified

Usage guidelines:
  --size parameter is ignored if both the --bandwidth and the --delay
    parameters are specified.

  Packet size is set to 256 bytes if the --bandwidth parameter is used
    without the --size parameter

  The specified packet size is the size of the IP datagram (including IP and
  UDP headers). Interface packet sizes might vary due to layer-2 encapsulation.

Warnings and Disclaimers:
  Flooding third-party hosts or networks is commonly considered a criminal activity.
  Flooding your own hosts or networks is usually a bad idea
  Higher-performace flooding solutions should be used for stress/performance tests
  Use primarily in lab environments for QoS tests
EOL
  exit(1);
}

if ($bw && $delay) {
  print "WARNING: computed packet size overwrites the --size parameter ignoredn";
  $size = int($bw * $delay / 8);
} elsif ($bw) {
  $delay = (8 * $size) / $bw;
}

$size = 256 if $bw && !$size;

($bw = int($size / $delay * 8)) if ($delay && $size);

my ($iaddr,$endtime,$psize,$pport);
$iaddr = inet_aton("$ip") or die "Cannot resolve hostname $ipn";
$endtime = time() + ($time ? $time : 1000000);
socket(flood, PF_INET, SOCK_DGRAM, 17);

print "Flooding $ip " . ($port ? $port : "random") . " port with " .
  ($size ? "$size-byte" : "random size") . " packets" . ($time ? " for $time seconds" : "") . "n";
print "Interpacket delay $delay msecn" if $delay;
print "total IP bandwidth $bw kbpsn" if $bw;
print "Break with Ctrl-Cn" unless $time;

die "Invalid packet size requested: $sizen" if $size && ($size < 64 || $size > 1500);
$size -= 28 if $size;
for (;time() <= $endtime;) {
  $psize = $size ? $size : int(rand(1024-64)+64) ;
  $pport = $port ? $port : int(rand(65500))+1;

  send(flood, pack("a$psize","flood"), 0, pack_sockaddr_in($pport, $iaddr));
  usleep(1000 * $delay) if $delay;
}

Tune2fs Quick Tips

What is tune2fs ?

tune2fs adjusts tunable filesystem parameters on a Linux second extended filesystem.

Tune2fs brings the ability to modify various parameters on a file system volume that may not be the best or require some changes to reflect the needs of the environment. One example is Ubuntu: by default Ubuntu verifies file system integrity every 33 mounts/bootups or every 120 days(whichever comes first), while well intended the defaults may not be the best on a test or development system which may be subject to frequent reboots.

Tune2fs is easy to understand, I will walk you through what I consider to be some of the most common uses for tune2fs.

More Information

You can always consult the man pages for more information. Just use:

$ man tune2fs

Change integrity amount and time

I tend to boot Ubuntu more than 33 times a month, which is why I always increase the number of mounts.

$ sudo tune2fs -c 120 -i 3m /dev/sdb1
tune2fs 1.40.8 (13-Mar-2008)
Setting maximal mount count to 120
Setting interval between checks to 7776000 seconds

– c max_mount_count This option is responsible for the number of mounts before the integrity check is done.
– i interval-between-checks This option is responsible for the mounts of days the system should wait before performing an integrity check. d = days | w = weeks | m = months, in this example the check is to be performed every 3 months -i 3M.

Disable file system integrity check

While dangerous some people may opt to disable checks all at once.

$ sudo tune2fs -i 0 /dev/sda1
tune2fs 1.40.8 (13-Mar-2008)
Setting interval between checks to 0 seconds

-i 0 – This option disables checks based on time of the file system. Be careful the system will no longer perform integrity check after this options is selected.

Change the name of a volume

Changing the volume label name may be useful for personal labeling porpuses such as changing the name of a portable drive. Use the -l parameter to list the name of the filesystem superblock.

$ sudo tune2fs -l /dev/sda1 | grep volume
Filesystem volume name:   /home/user

Capital -L parameter will change the volume-label name. In this example I am changing the name from /home/user to myhome.

$ sudo tune2fs -L myhome /dev/sda1
tune2fs 1.40.8 (13-Mar-2008)

Verify the new name change.

$ sudo tune2fs -l /dev/sda1 | grep volume
Filesystem volume name:   myhome

Display file system superblock information

Lots of valuable information.

$ sudo tune2fs -l /dev/sdb1

tune2fs 1.40.8 (13-Mar-2008)
Filesystem volume name:   
Last mounted on:          
Filesystem UUID:          f060d692-53fd-4180-811c-f20bcf7f24d0
Filesystem magic number:  0xEF53
Filesystem revision #:    1 (dynamic)
Filesystem features:      has_journal ext_attr resize_inode dir_index filetype n                                                                                                 eeds_recovery sparse_super large_file
Filesystem flags:         signed_directory_hash
Default mount options:    (none)
Filesystem state:         clean
Errors behavior:          Continue
Filesystem OS type:       Linux
Inode count:              3932160
Block count:              15727627
Reserved block count:     786381
Free blocks:              15557651
Free inodes:              3932146
First block:              0
Block size:               4096
Fragment size:            4096
Reserved GDT blocks:      1020
Blocks per group:         32768
Fragments per group:      32768
Inodes per group:         8192
Inode blocks per group:   256
Filesystem created:       Sun May  9 00:43:38 2010
Last mount time:          Sun May  9 01:05:38 2010
Last write time:          Sun May  9 01:05:38 2010
Mount count:              2
Maximum mount count:      33
Last checked:             Sun May  9 00:43:38 2010
Check interval:           15552000 (6 months)
Next check after:         Fri Nov  5 00:43:38 2010
Reserved blocks uid:      0 (user root)
Reserved blocks gid:      0 (group root)
First inode:              11
Inode size:               128
Journal inode:            8
Default directory hash:   tea
Directory Hash Seed:      949c1e9b-19b3-437f-be23-05b14a671d3a
Journal backup:           inode blocks

Free: Microsoft Web Platform Installer

The Microsoft Web Platform Installer 2.0 is a tool design help administrator install the latest components like Microsoft Web Platform, Internet Information Services (IIS), SQL Server Express, .NET Framework, PHP and Visual Web Developer just a few clicks away.

Microsoft Web Platform Installer

Is not limited to just components you will also find the most popular free web applications for blogging (WordPress), content management(Drupal) and more with the built-in Windows Web Application Gallery.

No longer will you have to hunt down separate components, instead spend more time configuring rather than installing.

Help a family in desparate need!!!

Today 1/21/2010 at 5:00AM my friend Alexandra who was only 20 yrs old lost her life long battle against Lupus. She was admitted a coupe of days prior to her death to the hospital because of an infection, her condition only worsen ending in a fatal heart attack. The saddest part of the whole story is that she was next on the list to receive a kidney transplant. It was hard to hold my tears, after all it was a precious life with dreams and hopes for the future.

SLE (lupus) is an autoimmune disease. This means there is a problem with the body’s normal immune system response. Normally, the immune system helps protect the body from harmful substances. But in patients with an autoimmune disease, the immune system can’t tell the difference between harmful substances and healthy ones. The result is an overactive immune response that attacks otherwise healthy cells and tissue. This leads to chronic (long-term) inflammation..

Source Google Health

I was a witness of the struggle she and her family went through never giving up. The reason why I am writing this post is to appeal to the world and ask that if possible you help the family of my friend by lessening the financial burden. The family is of low income and they are having to hard time covering the funeral costs. Any amount will do just donate to help lessen the impact.

You can donate by using the Chip In widget below. Rest assured that all the funds will go directly to the family.

PartedMagic does more than partitioning

Oh no!, PartedMagic is not just another Linux utility oriented distribution. PartedMagic is meant to be one of the best disk manipulation live CDs, don’t let the name fool asides from including both command line and graphical oriented partitioning tools it can also do ghosting, recovery of data to name just a few thanks to the other tools bundled in the same CD/ISO.

PartedMagic

Features

  • Format internal and external hard drives.
  • Move, copy, create, delete, expand & shrink hard drive partitions.
  • Clone your hard drive, to create a full backup.
  • Test hard drives for impending failure.
  • Test memory for bad sectors.
  • Benchmark your computer for a performace rating.
  • Securely erase your entire hard drive, wiping it clean from all data.
  • Gives access to non-booting systems allowing you to rescue important data.
  • Runs from the CD, no install required.

Some of the included tools to name a few

Partimage, TestDisk, Truecrypt, Clonezilla, G4L, SuperGrubDisk, ddrescue

To download PartedMagic visit PartedMagic.com