Installing the Newest Version of Python 2.7.x on Older Versions of Ubuntu (like 14.04)

Thursday, May 9th, 2019

Installing the Newest Version of Python 2.7.x on Older Ubuntu Systems

If you need to upgrade to the newest version of Python 2.7.x, and you're running an older distribution (like Ubuntu 14.04), use the following commands to get the latest version (works on Ubuntu 17.04 and older – tested on Ubuntu 14.04):

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jonathonf/python-2.7
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install python2.7

Then, you'll need to cleanup a few leftover system packages manually before installing the newest version of python-pip.  If you don't do this, you'll run into problems installing some new packages using pip.

sudo rm /usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/chardet*.egg-info
sudo rm -r /usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/chardet
sudo rm /usr/lib/python2.7/lib-dynload/_hashlib.x86_64-linux-gnu.so
sudo rm /usr/lib/python2.7/lib-dynload/_hashlib.i386-linux-gnu.so

Now, you can download and install the newest version of python-pip:

curl https://bootstrap.pypa.io/get-pip.py -o get-pip.py
sudo python get-pip.py

Getting Let's Encrypt Certbot to Work:

First, you'll need to install a few packages that Certbot (the Let's Encrypt client) uses:

sudo pip install requests
sudo pip install hmac

Now, you'll need to delete the EFF directory from the /opt directory to avoid old configuration issues that were used for your older version of python.  Once you cleanup this directory, you'll run certbot again so it can reconfigure itself. 

sudo rm -r /opt/eff.org/
sudo certbot

You're done.

Full list of commands (for quickly doing all of the above):

sudo -i
add-apt-repository ppa:jonathonf/python-2.7
apt-get update
apt-get install python2.7
rm /usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/chardet*.egg-info
rm -r /usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/chardet
rm /usr/lib/python2.7/lib-dynload/_hashlib.x86_64-linux-gnu.so
rm /usr/lib/python2.7/lib-dynload/_hashlib.i386-linux-gnu.so
mkdir -p /root/Downloads
cd /root/Downloads
curl https://bootstrap.pypa.io/get-pip.py -o get-pip.py
python get-pip.py
pip install requests
pip install hmac
rm -r /opt/eff.org/
certbot

Change the Default Editor to nano in Linux

Saturday, April 27th, 2019

Use nano as the Default Editor

If you hate vi like I do, you can configure Linux to always default to using the nano editor.

Simply add the following to the bottom of the /etc/bashrc file:

export EDITOR="nano"

Save the file.  nano is now the default editor.  When you use

sudo crontab -e

The nano editor will now be used by default.

Full Ubuntu Startup Applications Location List

Saturday, December 8th, 2018

Location of Ubuntu Startup Application Scripts

All Versions of Ubuntu

In all versions of Ubuntu, startup scripts can be configured and run from the following locations:

/etc/init/*.conf – some init scripts
/etc/rc.local – a file that is run by root on system boot (bash scritps and other commands can go in here)
~/.config/autostart – user specific GUI programs that are run once the X11 environment is started
/etc/xdg/autostart – Global GUI programs that are run once the X11 environment is started
@reboot cronjob – cronjob scripts that are executed when the system boots

Ubuntu 16.04 and Later

systemd init scripts in /etc/systemd/system/*.service files
systemd init scripts in /lib/systemd/system/*.service files

Get the Source Code and Modify an Ubuntu Package

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

Modifiying the Source of a Package and Creating a New Deb Binary

In order to download the source code of an existing package, first install the prerequisites:

sudo apt-get install build-essential debhelper

To get the source code of a package, run the following command:

apt-get source {name_of_package_interested_in}

Make changes to the source using an editor like geany or via terminal through nano.  Edit the changelog file and add a record of your changes to build a new revision number.  After you have made the changes, run the following commands to build the package which should include your changes.

dpkg-source --commit
dpkg-buildpackage -b

The updated package has been built.  To install the package, simply use the below commands:

sudo dpkg --install {name_of_new_deb_file}

To remove the software:

sudo dpkg -r {name_of_package [NOT NAME OF DEB FILE]}

Now you can release it!

Ubuntu Grub Fails to Install on RAID Array

Friday, February 6th, 2015

Ubuntu Grub RAID Issues

Grub Fails To Install on RAID Array

If grub fails to install on your RAID array in any version of Ubuntu, do NOT disable your BIOS RAID! The correct solution is at this blog entry. I'll summarize it below.

At the stage of the install where it is attempting to install GRUB it will detect as

/dev/mapper

This is incomplete! That's why the GRUB install fails.

You need the actual name of the RAID array to install to. So during that step, press ctrl+alt+F2 to drop to a busybox terminal, then enter

ls -l /dev/mapper

Pick out the name of your array from the list shown, then press ctrl+alt+F1 to switch back to the install (you can switch back and forth as much as you like with no problems) and enter it in the field as

/dev/mapper/{your array name}  

Then GRUB installs perfectly and you're ready to go, with a proper BIOS RAID array intact.

System Won't Boot After Grub Failed to Install

If your system will no longer boot because you skipped installing or updating grub, you need to download an Ubuntu version that does support RAID, boot from the LIVE CD, drop to a terminal, and then run:

ls -l /dev/mapper
sudo grub-install /dev/mapper/{ARRAY_NAME_HERE}

Setting Up RAID Array During Ubuntu Install

If you are configuring a BIOS RAID array for the first time on Ubuntu, you should create a 1MB boot partition.  Its partition type is "boot".  If you do this, grub will always try to install there and will succeed every time without failing when upgrading or reinstalling grub.

Turn on IPv4 Easy Bash Way

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Turn on IPv4 Forwarding by running this script:

cd ~/Downloads
wget -N "http://dinofly.com/files/linux/ipv4_forward.tar.gz"
tar -zxvf ipv4_forward.tar.gz
sudo bash forwarding.sh

It should work on all versions of Linux but has been tested and works perfectly on Ubuntu.

Debian & Ubuntu :: Suppress Installation Package Prompts Completely or Preconfigure Prompt Answers

Saturday, September 14th, 2013

Suppress Installation Package Prompts Completely or Preconfigure Installation Question Answers

Automating the installation of software via bash scripting on Linux can be difficult.  However, in debian and its related distributions such as Ubuntu, you can simplify the installation of packages by using a few tools.  One of these tools is called debconf-utils.  If installation packages such as MySQL or PHPMyAdmin ask configuration questions, you can provide a default set of answers without being prompted.  This is excellent for testing scripts or automating installation for users who may not know how to appropriately answer these questions.

Basically, with debconf-utils you can pre-answer these questions so that no prompts show up!

To install, run this command:

sudo apt-get install debconf-utils

To get a list of questions an installer might ask, first install the package on a test machine where you're writing the script normally.  For example, let's install phpmyadmin:

sudo apt-get install phpmyadmin

Now, to retrieve a set of questions phpmyadmin may ask, you can run this command:

sudo debconf-get-selections | grep phpmyadmin

In your bash script, you can now pre-answer certain questions by including your preconfigured answer commands before installing the package.  For example, when phpmyadmin installs, it asks for the MySQL root user password.  You can skip this prompt and define what the MySQL root password should be by using this command in your script:

echo 'phpmyadmin phpmyadmin/mysql/admin-pass password 1234' | debconf-set-selections

password defines the type and 1234 sets the password to 1234.
You can also suppress questions entirely by using the following command in front of your install command:

DEBIAN_FRONTEND=noninteractive sudo apt-get install phpmyadmin

Default configuration will be used during the installation of the phpmyadmin package, which means it may not work after being installed because some configuration options should be answered.  So, use both combinations for various packages to fit your needs!

How to Make MATE Look Like Windows XP using the Luna Theme

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

Make MATE or GNOME2 Look Like Windows XP Using the Luna Theme

If you want your Linux installation to look like the original theme used in Windows XP, you can do that! This guide will walk you through the process of easily making any MATE or GNOME2 Desktop Environment look like the Windows XP GUI. The Luna Theme can be downloaded here and installed using our simple installation script. If you already have MATE installed or are already running GNOME2, skip to the Luna Theme install instructions.

Install MATE on Ubuntu:

Run the below commands for your matching Ubuntu version in a terminal to install MATE.  To find out which version of Ubuntu you're running, use this command:

lsb_release -a

For Ubuntu 12.04:

sudo add-apt-repository "deb http://packages.mate-desktop.org/repo/ubuntu precise main"
sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get --yes --quiet --allow-unauthenticated install mate-archive-keyring 
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y mate-desktop-environment

For Ubuntu 14.04:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ubuntu-mate-dev/ppa
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ubuntu-mate-dev/trusty-mate
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install -y mate-desktop-environment-extras

For Ubuntu 16.04:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-mate-dev/xenial-mate
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install -y mate-desktop-environment

For Other Distributions (Distros):

http://wiki.mate-desktop.org/download

Installing the Luna Theme:

Our version of the Luna theme has been converted and ported over to GTK3, so it should work with all newer flavors of Linux running MATE while still working on older Linux installs running GNOME2.To install the Luna Theme which will make Linux look like Windows XP, run the following commands. The theme files will be downloaded and saved in your Downloads directory.

cd ~/Downloads
wget -O linux_xp_luna_theme_install.tar.gz http://dinofly.com/files/linux_xp_luna_theme_install.tar.gz
mkdir Luna
tar -zxvf linux_xp_luna_theme_install.tar.gz -C Luna
cd Luna
sudo rm -rf /usr/share/themes/Luna
rm -rf ~/.themes/Luna
sudo bash install.sh

Next, Right Click on the Desktop, and choose "Change Desktop Background".  Click on the "Themes" tab.  Select "Luna".  Click on the "Background" tab.  If you want the default XP wallpaper set as your background, click on the "Add" button.   Select your "Pictures" folder.  Select "luna_background.jpg".  Click "Open".  Click on "Close" to change it. 

Now, MATE or GNOME2 looks like XP!  Enjoy!  This theme was copied from Ylmf OS 3.0.

Secure Linux Servers Using IPTables Rules and WonderShaper

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Secure your Ubuntu Server from Flood and Other Attacks Using IPTables and WonderShaper

The following commands use IPTables to prevent common flooding and other miscellaneous malicious attacks. These commands can prevent a Linux server from lagging and spending resources on malformed packets.  Some of these attacks can cause DDoS attacks, so it is best to use these filters and rules.  Use at your own risk. A detailed explanation can be found here.

# Explanations here:
# http://www.cyberciti.biz/tips/linux-iptables-10-how-to-block-common-attack.html
sudo apt-get install iptables
sudo iptables -A INPUT -p tcp ! --syn -m state --state NEW -j DROP
sudo iptables -A INPUT -f -j DROP
sudo iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --tcp-flags ALL ALL -j DROP
sudo iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --tcp-flags ALL NONE -j DROP

If you want to drop ICMP ping requests, click here.

Limiting Download and Upload Speeds / Traffic Globally in Ubuntu

Limiting download and upload speeds globally does not make a server any more secure than before.  However, it can aleviate network lag, which in my opinion ensures availability enhancing security.  In Ubuntu, it's easy to limit the max download and upload speed that can be used on an interface.  It wasn't always this easy, but thanks to a tool called wondershaper, you don't have to worry about any of the complexities.  To install, run the following command:

sudo apt-get install wondershaper  

Now, we need to tell wondershaper to start limiting our max download and upload rate on our particular interface. To see a list of interfaces, type the following command:

ifconfig

To determine what your max download and max upload speed should be, use SpeedTest to run a couple of bandwidth tests using your connection.  With your results, convert the speeds from mbps to kilobits per second.  Use this bandwidth calculator / converter to help you out.  Then, I'd subtract 20-30% of each value, as you want to leave some room between your max speed so that bandwith will still be available to other computers / nodes on the network.

Once you have your speeds, start wondershaper (modifying the example below to fit your needs):

# wondershaper [interface] [max_download_speed_kilobits] [max_upload_speed_kilobits]
sudo wondershaper eth0 8192 2764

Make a backup of the /etc/network/interfaces file:

sudo cp /etc/network/interfaces /etc/network/interfaces.bakup
sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces

To run wondershaper upon boot or startup, edit the /etc/network/interfaces file, and add the following (modify to fit your needs if neccessary):

auto lo
iface lo inet loopback
up /sbin/wondershaper eth0 8192 2764
down /sbin/wondershaper clear eth0

Make sure you change your max download and upload speed in both of the examples.  Settings will now apply when the computer boots into Linux.

Exclude LAN from Speed Limits

WonderShaper does not differentiate between LAN traffic and external traffic by default.  To prevent WonderShaper from limiting LAN network download and upload speeds, install this updated WonderShaper script:

cd ~/Downloads
wget -O wondershaper_exclude_lan.tar.gz www.dinofly.com/files/wondershaper_exclude_lan.tar.gz
tar xzvf wondershaper_exclude_lan.tar.gz
sudo cp -f wondershaper /sbin/wondershaper
sudo chmod +x /sbin/wondershaper
sudo nano /sbin/wondershaper

Find:

#Local Network
LAN_SUBNET=192.168.0.0

Change it to your LAN's main IP address.  For example, if your LAN gateway is 192.168.1.X, change it to:

#Local Network
LAN_SUBNET=192.168.1.0

Another example, if your LAN gateway is 192.168.43.X, change it to:

#Local Network
LAN_SUBNET=192.168.43.0

Save the file and reboot.

Your local area network (LAN) traffic is not filtered, but external traffic is!  Enjoy lag free connections from both the outside and inside while running any type of web server. 

Best Way to Find and Install Prerequisites

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Find and Install Software Prerequisites for Ubuntu

Sometimes, you get stuck having to manually compile and install software, as no package is available for your Ubuntu distribution or one of the package sources has become broken.  However, you should check the link below and search for the software you're looking for, as there MAY already be a pre-existing package for your version of Ubuntu.  Typically, you download a software package, read the ReadMe, and are left asking, why doesn't this prerequisite package exist for installation?  I've got the names right here!  Unfortunately, each version of Linux can name their packages differently.  As a result, there's a lot of confusion.  However, say the ReadMe prompts you to install nfnetlink development packages.  Great, so you try:

sudo apt-get install nfnetlink-dev

Only… the package doesn't exist.  What do you do now?  Rather than searching the internet, search ubuntu's packages by clicking on the below link:

Search Ubuntu Packages

Once you're on that page, scroll down to the "Search" section.  Type in the name of the package you were given.  In our example, it was nfnetlink and click on "Search".  The first package listed is libnfnetlink-dev.  This is exactly what we were looking for!  So install it doing this:

sudo apt-get install libnfnetlink-dev

Repeat the process to locate the remaining missing packages.

Once all of your prerequisites have been installed, you should be able to successfully compile and install whatever software package you're trying to install.