Sep 192014

Had a situation at $WORK where network connections were just hanging there, open, with no activity. So I needed to send something, whatever, on the open connection, just to see how it behaves.

TL;DR: attach to the process using the debugger, gdb(1), then call send(2) on the network socket
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Sep 152014

In order to take advantage of shared clipboard, seamless integration and drag&drop features of VirtualBox two things are needed. First, the guest additions need to be installed, pretty straight-forward in most distributions. Second, VBoxClient needs to be started. This depends on desktop environment and distribution, some start it from the get-go, others don’t. If it’s started, it should show in the list of processes. If it isn’t, there’s a script that starts and enables all features, it’s called VBoxClient-all. Just add that one to the startup list of the DE.

Feb 242014

My ideea was to set up a script running on Google’s servers that would automatically get files from my site and back them up on Google Drive. I would have gotten a free off-site backup. Unsurprisingly, it’s not working due to limits imposed by Google, even though I did manage to cheat on the 10MB limit for UrlFetchApp and file creation. Instead it now fails either because it’s execution takes too long, or because it tries to write to Drive too many times in a short period.

Some basics first.

What is Google Apps Script? JavaScript based, it can be used to make Google’s cloud do stuff for you. Basically web apps can be written that run on Google’s servers and use Google products like Maps or Calendar.

What is Google Drive? (Really?) It’s a site where people can store files. 15GB for free. Like Dropbox.

There are limits though and they are set pretty low. Understandable, as it would be easy to abuse otherwise. Like, for example, the maximum size that can be fetched from an URL is 10MB. The maximum size of a file that is created via scripting is also 10MB. Not really useful for backups.

Right. On to the actual script and why it (still) doesn’t work.
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Feb 232014

I’ve been using this shell script to backup my WordPress site and database for a while. There is nothing WordPress-specific in it though, the script can be used for anything that uses a database. It creates a MySQL dump of the database and a ‘ls’ of the site directory, compares then to the last ones and creates a new archives of each of them if something has changed. What it doesn’t do is move those files off-site for an actual backup.

Works for small sites, like this one. Dumping the whole database just to see if anything changed might become an incresingly worse idea as the site grows. Use common sense, run on a slave for bigger setups or something.
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Dec 302013

When trying to upgrade an official module, puppet complains that it can’t find it on the forge. It might actually be that it doesn’t recognize the SSL certificate as being valid. When trying to install a module from, it returns the proper error, complaining that the certificate is invalid:

Apparently https is a jerk, so, other than the obvious, a solution is to use http instead of https for the repository:

On FreeBSD it might be that /etc/ssl/cert.pem isn’t symlinked to /usr/local/share/certs/ca-root-nss.crt, where the ca_root_nss package installs.

Nov 182013

Problem description: attempting to start Zabbix agent in a FreeBSD jail fails with similar output to Zabbix’ log file:

Quick solution:

WARNING: Enabling sysvipc for jails can be dangerous to the system’s health

Set jail_sysvipc_allow="YES" in rc.conf on the host:

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May 302013

A shell script that keeps running rsync in a loop until a file is created to stop it. Obviously not the right way to do such things, but good enough for a quickie.

Create /tmp/stoprsync to stop it. rsync --status is needed in order to check if any files were transferred the previous run.

Apr 072013
  • If you have:
  • % VBoxManage  list extpacks
    Extension Packs: 1
    Pack no. 0: VNC
    Version: 4.2.6_OSE
    Revision: 82870
    Description: VNC plugin module
    VRDE Module: VBoxVNC
    Usable: true
    Why unusable:

  • Then you most likely don’t need:
  • % VBoxManage setproperty vrdeextpack VNC

  • Just set per virtual machine settings:
  • % VBoxManage modifyvm test --vrdeproperty VNCPassword=somepass
    % VBoxManage modifyvm test --vrdeauthlibrary null
    % VBoxManage modifyvm test --vrdeport 1501
    % VBoxHeadless -s test &

  • Set vrdeextpack to VNC only if you have other extention packs installed.
  • Apr 022013

    How to redirect something like “www.example.orgto ““, or “” to “” with a rewrite rule in nginx.conf:

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