GNU/Linux


Qubes OS 3.2: Resize fedora-23 TemplateVM Root Image

Recently, we needed to increase the size of the root image for the fedora-23 TemplateVM.
We had to do this as we wanted to install in /opt a few IDEs, including android-studio which takes a lot of space when accompanied by the Android SDK.

Following the excellent guide at https://www.qubes-os.org/doc/resize-root-disk-image/, we did the following:

  1. Made sure that the fedora-23 TemplateVM and all VMs based on that template were shut down.
    This included stopping the sys-firewall and sys-net VMs as well (in this order).
  2. Then, in the VM Settings window at the Basic tab for the fedora-23 TemplateVM, we disabled the networking by selecting none on the NetVM: drop-down list and pressed OK to apply the settings changes.
  3. Following, in dom0 Terminal Emulator we run the following command:
    truncate -s 40G /var/lib/qubes/vm-templates/fedora-23/root.img;
  4. Afterwards we started the fedora-23 TemplateVM and run the following in the terminal:
    sudo resize2fs /dev/mapper/dmroot;
    Please note that if your output is Nothing to do! then most likely you forgot a VM that is based on the fedora-23 TemplateVM running. Normally your screen should print something along the lines of Resizing the filesystem...
  5. Next, we shut down the fedora-23 TemplateVM, and went to the VM Settings window to enable networking by selecting whatever we had there before (for us it was default (sys-firewall)).
  6. Finally, we could start using our VMs, their root.img were of the new extended size.

How we accidentally fixed the black screen issue of OBS studio on Fedora 27 x64

As mentioned in a previous post, we installed OBS studio on our machine in order to make some desktop recordings.
What that post did not mention are two issues that we had:

  1. when recording using the Screen Capture (XSHM) source, the recording would only show a black screen and it would actually record the mouse only!
  2. when trying to record a LibreOffice application like Calc through the Window Capture (XComposite) source, Calc would not show in the properties dialog under the Window dropdown menu

The way we fixed these issues is not something that is always guaranteed to work but it is worth a try!
Initially we thought it would be a good idea to install the NVidia driver since we had a GeForce GTX 660M on the machine.
We hoped that the OBS studio black screen issue was a driver issue so we decided to follow the RPM Fusion guide on installing NVidia drivers.

We installed the NVidia driver, added the CUDA support and updated the system using these two commands:

dnf install xorg-x11-drv-nvidia akmod-nvidia xorg-x11-drv-nvidia-cuda;
dnf update -y;

and then we did a full reboot of the machine.

After the machine booted and the graphical interface came up, we noticed that the machine was too slow and there was 100% CPU utilization for over 15 minutes.
After some very efficient Google-Fu, we realised that this was some bug that we were not willing to deal with and so we had to remove the newly installed NVidia driver.
Again following the RPM Fusion guide, we executed the following command to remove the driver from our system:

dnf remove xorg-x11-drv-nvidia\*

Please note that we DID NOT execute the last step of the guide on how to Recover from NVIDIA installer.
As it is mentioned in the guide: the NVidia binary driver installer overwrites some configuration and libraries.
Since having a clean state did not work for us, we decided to give a go of this hybrid setup that we had.
Following another full restart we were able to see that OBS Studio was working as expected and it the black screen issue was no more!!
Also, we could choose LibreOffice from the Window dropdown and we could record that as well!

As implied, this guide is a hack, it could work for you as well or not.
Our opinion is that, it is worth to give it a go!
As a synopsis, what we did was to install the NVidia driver and uninstall it, the libraries that got overwritten by this process fixed the black screen issue of OBS studio.

Bonus: to find the model of your graphics card, execute the following

lspci |grep -E "VGA|3D";

In our machine we got the following output: 01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation GK107M [GeForce GTX 660M] (rev a1)


Qubes OS: Connect to Wi-Fi or Ethernet or another network

A couple of days ago we decided to give Qubes OS a go and see what it could do for a regular user. The installation was easy as it uses the same installer as Fedora, so we just created a live USB and formatted a laptop that had built in Wi-Fi.

To our surprise, we could not figure out how to change the network settings and activate an internet connection! Going to the NetworkManager (nm), even with root, would show us all fields as disabled when trying to create any new connection!

Some time passed before we realized that the NetworkManager of XFCE4 was not the way to go. After inspecting the Virtual Machines on the Qubes VM Manager, we saw that the sys-net VM was the only one that had in its hardware settings to access the Ethernet and Wi-Fi modules. So we got the hint, we needed to modify sys-net in order to connect the entire OS with its VMs to the network.

To modify the settings of the sys-net VM we needed access to the Settings Application, which was not available in the application menu. So the first thing we did, was to use the sys-net: Add more shortcuts... option under the group ServiceVM: sys-net to enable the Settings application shortcut.

In the [Dom0] Settings: sys-net window, we went to the Applications tab, on the left list we scrolled down to find the Settings option.

After selecting the Settings option, we clicked on the > button to move the Settings option to the right list.

Then we clicked on the OK button to apply the changes.

Going back to the application menu and the group ServiceVM: sys-net we could see the new option for sys-net: Settings.

Clicking on the sys-net: Settings showed us the usual settings manager for Gnome.

From there on, our job was easy, we just clicked on the Network option that gave us the window to modify all network settings. Then we selected the Wi-Fi network that we wanted to connect to, which worked without a hitch!

Finally, we had to test if the configuration was working as expected. From the application menu, under the group Domain: personal, we selected the option personal: Firefox to start the Firefox application on the personal VM.

Once Firefox started we could see that internet connection was active and everything was working as expected!


Perform diff on two folders

To perform a recursive diff on all the files of two folders we just need to add the -r (or --recursive) parameter that recursively compares any subdirectories found.

To avoid needless messages from the tool, we can also use the -q (or --brief) parameter that reports only when files differ.

Example of performing diff on two folders recursively while preventing needless messages.

diff -rq aFolder someOtherFolder;


Compiling gr-gsm on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

Below are the steps that we followed to compile gr-gsm on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.

sudo apt-get update;
sudo apt-get install build-essential python-dev git python-pip;
sudo pip install PyBOMBS;
sudo pybombs prefix init /usr/local -a default_prx;
sudo pybombs config default_prefix default_prx;
sudo pybombs recipes add gr-recipes git+https://github.com/gnuradio/gr-recipes.git;
sudo pybombs recipes add gr-etcetera git+https://github.com/gnuradio/gr-etcetera.git;
sudo pybombs install gr-gsm;
sudo ldconfig;


How to find lines that contain only lowercase characters

To print all lines that contain only lower case characters, we used the following regular expression in grep:

egrep '^[[:lower:]]+$' <file>;
#If you do not have egrep, use
grep -e '^[[:lower:]]+$' <file>;

Breakdown of the above regular expression:

  • ^ instructs the regular expression parser that the pattern should always start with the beginning of the line
  • [[:lower:]] this special instruction informs us that only lower case characters can match it
  • + the plus sign causes the preceding token to be matched one or more times
  • $ signifies the end of the line

CentOS 6: install / start and stop / enable and disable ssh server

Install

To install the openssh-server, you need to install the openssh-server package:

sudo yum install -y openssh-server;

Start

To start the sshd daemon (openssh-server) in the current session:

sudo service sshd start;

Stop

To stop the active (if any) sshd daemon in the current session:

sudo service sshd stop;

Enable

To configure the sshd daemon to start automatically at boot time:

sudo chkconfig sshd --add;
sudo chkconfig sshd on --level 2,3,4,5;

Disable

To configure the sshd daemon to stop automatic initialization at boot time:

sudo chkconfig sshd off;
sudo chkconfig sshd --del;

Fedora 26: C++: static linking cannot find -lstdc++ -lm and -lc

Recently, we were trying to compile a C++ application with the following compilation command on a Fedora 26 64bit :

g++ -static -O2 -lm -Wall -Wno-unused-result -std=c++14 -DCS_ACADEMY -DONLINE_JUDGE 510152025.cpp -o 510152025;

unfortunately, we got the following errors:

 /usr/bin/ld: cannot find -lstdc++
 /usr/bin/ld: cannot find -lm
 /usr/bin/ld: cannot find -lc
 collect2: error: ld returned 1 exit status

To resolve the issues, we performed the following installations to install the static versions of the glibc and libstdc libraries:

sudo dnf install glibc-static libstdc++-static -y;

 


CentOS 7: Setup a DHCP server and provide specific IP based on MAC address

Step 1: Install DHCP service

We installed the Dynamic host configuration protocol software (DHCP service) using the command:

yum install dhcp;

The dhcp package provides the ISC DHCP service and relay agent.

Step 2: Configure the DHCP service

Afterwards, we created the file /etc/dhcp/dhcpd.conf using the following content:

subnet 192.168.0.0 netmask 255.255.255.0 {
 option routers                  192.168.0.254;
 option subnet-mask              255.255.255.0;
 option domain-name              "bytefreaks.net";
 option domain-name-servers       192.168.0.1;
 option time-offset              -18000;     # Eastern Standard Time
 range 192.168.0.90 192.168.0.99;
}

host coolServer {
 hardware ethernet 0e:e0:4b:b4:28:82;
 fixed-address 192.168.0.80;
}

This configuration allowed us to provide a DHCP service to the network for the subdomain 192.168.0.x with the range [90,99].
Also, we statically defined the IP for our coolServer using a filter based on the MAC address of the machine.
If you do not want to provide any range, only static IPs, then comment out (#) the line that starts with the word range .

Step 3: Start DHCP service

systemctl start dhcpd.service;

Step 4: Check the status of DHCP service

systemctl status dhcpd.service;

It is a good idea to verify that there are no errors, so be sure to check the status of the service.
You can ignore the error that says “you did not define a subnet declaration for all devices” if you do not really need to do it.

Step 5: Permanently enable the DHCP service

systemctl enable dhcpd.service;

Additional:

Disable the DHCP service

systemctl disable dhcpd.service;

Stop the DHCP service

systemctl stop dhcpd.service;