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SSHFS in Windows

This post will cover the required steps to configure a working SSHFS client set-up in Windows. With SSHFS you can mount a remote directory via SSH as if it were a local drive, while SSHFS is common on Linux/Nix* Windows is a different story. To make use of SSHFS in Windows you will need to download win sshfs a free SSHFS application.

You will need to download the following files to have a working SSHFS setup:

Let’s Start

Note:I’ve only used password for authentication, I have not tried key files yet…

You will need to download win sshfs from the following link code.google.com/p/win-sshfs/ , once the download completes install the application.

Windows SSHFS

Click on Next to continue.

Windows SSHFS

Accept the license agreement and click on Next.

Windows SSHFS

Hopefully you already installed the pre-requisites I mentioned above, otherwise the application will refuse to install. Otherwise, go back an install them. Click on Next to continue.

Windows SSHFS

Accept the default path and click on Next.

Windows SSHFS

Click on Finish to launch the application.

Windows SSHFS

Now in SSHFS Manager click on Add, we need to add a new connection.

Windows SSHFS

This is where we connect to the SSH server, in my case the server runs Ubuntu 12.04. Enter a name, server IP address, user credentials and for the rest go with the defaults if you like.

Windows SSHFS

First click on Save and then click on Mount.

Windows SSHFS

If you provided the correct server information your SSHFS connection should now be mounted.

Windows SSHFS

You can verify this by going to My Computer, the new SSHFS drive will be mounted as a removable drive.

Windows SSHFS

By default the application will start at start-up, you can change this behavior by going to Taskbar, right clicking on the application icon and un-checking Run at startup.

Windows SSHFS

Win SSHFS so far as worked quite well for me, I like the idea of having access to SSHFS from my Windows 7 computer. If you find any mistakes of have suggestions don’t to leave a comment.

Links

Dokan library 0.6.0 dokan-dev.net/en/download/

win sshfs code.google.com/p/win-sshfs/

.NET Framework 4.0 microsoft.com/en-us/download/

Create a NAS4Free Bootable USB Drive in Windows

NAS4Free is a continuation of the FreeNAS 7 project, while FreeNAS 8 is based on nanoBSD NAS4Free is based on FreeBSD 9. You will notice that NAS4Free retains the FreeNAS 7 web interface and general feel.

Requirements:

Take Note:

  • USB boot can be slight slower, compared to a hard drive
  • You will need at least a 512MB USB drive
  • NAS4Free is available in x86 and x64 architectures, pick according to what is supported by your hardware

Download NAS4Free

Download the .img version if you want to boot NAS4Free from a USB drive or any other flash media. NAS4Free-x86-embedded-9.1.0.1.262.img, as the name suggest this is the embedded version.

Visit http://sourceforge.net/projects/nas4free/files/ and browse until you find the latest version.

NAS4Free

Now that we have the file we first need to decompress it, otherwise we won’t be able to create a bootable drive.

To decompress the file you will need a third party utility like 7-Zip.

NAS4Free

This is the resulting file, now rename the file by adding the .img extension.

NAS4Free

Start Win32 Disk Imager and click on the folder icon, now browse to the location where the file we just renamed resides.

NAS4Free

From the device list select the USB drive you wish to write the image to and click on the Write button to start the operation.

NAS4Free

Make sure you selected the right drive since this operation will overwrite the contents of the selected drive. Click on Yes to continue.

NAS4Free

Progress.

NAS4Free

The operation encountered no problems, this means the USB drive is now bootable.

NAS4Free

You can now exit the application.

NAS4Free

Now you have to make sure the BIOS supports booting from removable media

NAS4Free

The installation will be loaded into RAM.

NAS4Free

This the NAS4Free console and the default IP address for the web interface is 192.168.1.250.

NAS4Free

From a web browser try to access http://192.168.1.250, you should see an interface similar to the one in the picture below. Congratulations on your NAS4Free installation.

NAS4Free

Conclusion

There could not be a better continuation of the FreeNAS 7 project, I am sure NAS4Free will find its place.

Home page: www.nas4free.org

Keeping a VHD Mounted in Windows, Even After A Reboot

While Windows 7 comes with native support for mount VHD files there is one downside , all VHDs are unmount it every the system goes through a reboot. The shortcoming can be remedied with the help of a free third party tool called VHD Attach created by Josip Medved.

You can download VHD attach from the following page http://www.jmedved.com/vhdattach/

This is a two step tutorial. First we’ll have to specify the VHD we need to be auto mounted , second the VHD will be mounted with a drive letter.

Note: This post assumes you already installed the application.

Auto Mount

Start the application and click on the highlighted icon found at the top of the right corner.

VHD Attach

Now click on the Add button.

VHD Attach

Browse to the directory where the VHD you wish to mount is located and double click on the VHD to selected.

VHD Attach

Click on the OK button to save the changes.

VHD Attach

Mount the VHD

Now that you are back in the main menu click on the Open icon.

VHD Attach

Once again browse to the location where VHD is found and double click on it.

VHD Attach

VHD Attach will display relevant information about the VHD. Click on the Attach button found at the top. After this step the VHD becomes accessible from My Computer.

VHD Attach

If you click on the Tools button you can see that the VHD will be mounted on every start up, you can even change the drive letter if you like. You can close the window if you like, from now on the VHD will be automatically mounted every time Windows starts.

VHD Attach

And here is the VHD displayed as a local drive.

VHD Attach

Comments and questions are always welcomed.

Links

VHD Attach Home page jmedved.com/vhdattach/

Install Webmin on Ubuntu 12.04

Note: This post assumes a web server is already installed.
Note: This post assumes you have administrative rights on the system.

Like always you should update and upgrade the installation.

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get upgrade

Webmin

Download Webmin

Visit webmin.com/download.html and download the .deb version of Webmin.

cd /tmp

wget http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/webadmin/webmin_1.590_all.deb

Installation

Now that we have the package we can install it.

sudo dpkg -i webmin_1.590_all.deb

Actually dpkg will not be able to install Webmin because of some missing dependencies. This is why we need an extra step which will fetch the missing dependencies for us.

sudo apt-get install -f

Now you can log-in to the newly installed Webmin interface by going to the following address. Just add the IP address of the server.

https://server_ip_address:10000

Remember the log-in credentials for Webmin are the username and password you used to log in to the server.

Webmin login

Conclusion and Links

Comments and corrections are always appreciated.

Webmin Home Page http://www.webmin.com

Wget for Windows

Not many things are this simple in life, but running Wget in Windows is one of them. First you will need to download wget.exe from the following address http://users.ugent.be/~bpuype/wget/ . Look for wget.exe and click on it to start the download.

Wget for Windows 0

Once the executable has been downloaded you can either run it from the download directory. Move into the directory where wget.exe was downloaded to and execute the file.

cd Downlods

wget.exe

Or you can move the executable over to the C:Windows directory. This is my preferred method since it allows the user to call on wget without having to specify the path where the executable resides.

Wget for Windows 1

But you will need administrators rights to move any file to C:Windows. Click on Continue.

Wget for Windows 2

Time to use Wget, go to Start > Run > and type cmd.

In the command window type wget.

Wget for Windows 3

Congratulations you now have Wget in your Windows box.

Links & Conclusion

Feel free to leave a comment below.

Wget for Widows wget.exe

How to Gzip Files on Windows

7-Zip can be used to create more than 7z compressed files, it can also create GZip compressed files and directories. GZip can compressed a single file on its own, however if you need to compress a directory an extra step is required where the directory is first archived with the help of tar and then compressed with GZip. This tutorial will cover single file compression and directory compression.

First Things First

Download 7zip from http://www.7-zip.org/ and install the application.

Gzip Single File

Start the 7zip application and browse the location where the file you want to compress is located.

Right click on the file_name > 7-Zip > Add to archive…

Gizp Windows

For Archive format: select gzip and click on OK to start compressing.

Gzip Windows

Compression progress.

Gzip Windows

The file is now compressed.

Gzip Windows

Gzip Directory

Compressing a directory takes an extra step, first you need to create a tar of the directory you want to compress.

Gzip Windows

Select the source directory > 7-Zip > Add to archive…

Gzip Windows

For Archive format: select tar and click on OK.

Gzip Windows

Progress being displayed.

Gzip Windows

Once again go back to 7-Zip select the new tar file(filename.tar) > 7-Zip > Add to archive…

Gzip Windows

For Archive format select gzip and click on OK.

Gzip Windows

Progress being displayed.

Gzip Windows

The resulting compressed directory with the new extension ending in .tar.gz.

Gzip Windows

Conclusion

While GZip files may not be all that common in Windows they are commonly used in other operating systems like Linux and FreeBSD. This post is specially useful since many Linux installation only have support for GZip, including support for Zip and 7z is not even an option. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below.

Links

Homepage: http://www.7-zip.org/

Mount an Image File on Windows

If you created a image from a drive with a tool like dd and are now wondering how it can be mounted on Windows, well then this post will answer that question. In my opinion one of the best tools for the job is OSFMount a free application by PassMark that can mount all sort of image files such as ISO, image files and even VMDKs.

Note:When mounting an image file in Windows they need to be formatted with NTFS, exFAT or FAT in order to be able to view the contents. Windows is unaware of other file systems like EXT2/3/4, XFS, UFS, etc….

1. First Things First

First you need to visit OSForensics download the free tool OSFMount(32-bit/64-bit) and install it, there is no need to register pretty cool of PassMark.

2. Locate the Image

Probably the image you intend to mount has an extension ending with .bin, .img, .dd.

OSFMount 1

3. Mount It

Start OSFMount and click on Mount new…

OSFMount 2

Click on the button and browse to the location where the image file you wish to mount resides.

OSFMount 3

Select the image and click on Open. The image I’ll be mounting for this tutorial was created with the help of dd from a hard drive with Vista installed.

OSFMount 4

When mounting an image with OSFMount you have mount the individual partitions, otherwise Windows will ask you to format the image instead of mounting it. I’ll be mounting Primary parition 1 50.1GB because this is the partition where all of the files I want reside. Partition 2 contains the recovery partition.

OSFMount 5

I suggest you stay within the default settings picked by OSFMount since its pretty accurate at choosing them. By default the image will be mounted as read only to prevent changes to the source image file(safer), otherwise remove the check mark and you will have write access.

Click on Ok to mount the image.

OSFMount 6

The image we just mounted was assigned the letter I:.

OSFMount 7

4. View the Results

If we open My Computer we can see the image file mounted as drive I: and is recognized as a Local disk. You can open the drive and work with the files inside.

OSFMount 8

Conclusion

In Linux image files can be mounted with the help of Mount, OSFMount is the best image mounting tool for Windows. I am working on a post where I will show you how an image file can be converted in to a virtual machine, will post when ready.

Feel fee to leave a comment below.

Links

Home Page: Passmark

Download Page: OSFMount

My Experience with NameCheap So Far

This is short, real short. After four months of being a NameCheap customer I can say:

No unnecessary communication(spam)

There has no attempt at trying to sell me other services, which I probably wouldn’t need in the first place.

No service interuptions

DNS can’t be down and NameCheap doesn’t disappoint. Domain transfer was quick and painless.

Free DDNS

My previous DNS provider didn’t offer Dynamic DNS, NameCheap includes DDNS with their service at no extra cost.

No longer a victim of the Godaddy interface

Do I need to say more, nightmare of an interface it took a while to find what you were looking for. I am not looking back.

Ubuntu: How to Create and Open Zip Files from the Command Line

If you have an Ubuntu/Debian server installation and need to open or create Zip file then you need to install the necessary packages to work with Zip files. Fortunately, we can easily add support for Zip to our installation by installing two packages(Zip, Unzip) both available from the repositories.

Note: This post assumes you have the ability to install packages, root or sudo access.

Creating a Zip Archive

Install Zip from the repositories.

# apt-get install zip

The entire process is quite simple to understand.

# zip -r new-file-name.zip directory-to-compress/
  • zip – This is the name of the application we will be using to compress
  • -r – Short for Recursive, only use this option is you are creating a compressed archived from a directory
  • new-file-name.zip – Name of the resulting compressed archive, the naming is up to you
  • directory-to-compress/ – Name of the directory we are about to compress

It is possible to add more than one directory in to the same archive.

# zip -r new-file-name.zip directory-1/ directory-2/

But, what if I only need to compress a single file. Similar process except we don’t need to use the -r(recurse) option.

# zip report.zip LitenDuplicateReport.csv

Opening a Zip archive

Opening or extracting the contents from a compressed archive is handled not by the Zip package but by a second package called Unzip.

# apt-get install unzip

With Unzip you have two options as to how the contents will be extracted, either you can extract the contents of the compressed archive to a directory or simply extract the contents to the current directory.

# unzip nc111nt.zip -d netcat/
  • unzip – Tool that will extract contents from Zip compressed archive
  • nc111nt.zip – Name of the archive we are extracting from
  • -d – Short for destination
  • netcat – Unzip will create a new directory called netcat where the contents will be extracted to

Or you can extract the contents of the archive to the current directory you are in.

# unzip nc111nt.zip

Conclusion

All you need is two packages and your installation will be able to work with Zip archives. I know Ubuntu/Debian have support for Gzip but if you work with Windows users and need to share files with them then Zip might be the only way to go.

New Virtual Machines: NAS4Free

Taken from Nas4Free.org:

NAS4Free is an embedded Open Source Storage NAS (Network-Attached Storage) distribution based on FreeBSD. This project is a continuation of FreeNAS 7 series project.

As you will be able to see NAS4Free uses a web interface similar to the one that FreeNAS used to use, the previous interface was much better(my opinion). The download is quite small at around 50MB(compressed archive) you will need 7zip to decompress the archive.

NAS4Free 9 32-Bit 47MB
.MD5
.SHA1

NAS4Free 9 64-Bit 51MB
.MD5
.SHA1