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Category: sysadmin

Can't save imported OpenVPN configuration in Network Manager

I ran into an issue where I couldn't save an imported OpenVPN (.ovpn) configuration in Network Manager. The "Save" button remains disabled: It turns out I need to enter a password for the Private Key. Ofcourse, this particular private key doesn't have a password, but you can simply enter a single space as your password. […]

Bexec v0.8: Execute a vim buffer and capture output in split window

I released v0.8 of my Bexec vim plugin. The Bexec plugin allows the user to execute the current buffer if it contains a script with a shebang (#!/path/to/interpreter) on the first line or if the default interpreter for the script's type is known by Bexec. The output of the script will be grabbed and displayed in […]

POODLE: SSLv3 bug summary

Yet Another SSL bug: This time a problem with SSLv3. Most browsers and web servers support SSLv3. Many don't use it by default; instead opting for higher versions of SSL such as TLS v1.0+. The problem is that attackers can force a downgrade of the negotiated protocol, which will result in the SSLv3 protocol being used […]

Pydocmd: Generate Markdown from python source files

I've created pydocmd. It generates Python Module / script documentation in the Markdown (md) format. It was written to automatically generate documentation that can be put on Github or Bitbucket. It is as of yet not very complete and is more of a Proof-of-concept than a fully-fledged tool. Markdown is also a very restricted format and […]

Work around insufficient remote permissions when SCPing

Here's a problem I often run into: I need to copy files from a remote system to my local system. I have root access to the remote system via sudo or su, but not directly via SSH. I don't have enough permissions to read the remote files as a normal user; I need to be […]

How to REALLY test for Bash Shellshock (CVE-2014-6271)

Like always in a crisis, many things go wrong. Everyobody starts chattering, and start deteriorating the signal-to-noise level. I'll keep this brief. There are a bunch of sites out there that are telling you how to test for the Bash Shellshock vulnerability. Many of the tests are WRONG: # WROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG $ env x=’() { ;;}; […]

SSH port forwarding: bind: Cannot assign requested address

Just now I tried seting up an SSH tunnel. Something I must have done for at least a few tens of thousands of times in my career. But suddenly, it didn't work anymore: $ ssh -L 8080:127.0.0.1:80 dev.local bind: Cannot assign requested address After checking that the local port was free, and the remote port […]

Scripting a Cisco switch with Python and Expect

In the spirit of "Automate Everything" I was tasked with scripting some oft needed tasks on Cisco Switches. It's been a while since I've had to do anything even remotely related to switches, so I thought I'd start by googling for some ways to automate tasks on switches. What I found: http://ciobota.web.cern.ch/ciobota/project/sw_script/ https://trigger.readthedocs.org/en/latest/ Both seemed […]

Multi-column data plotting with Gnuplot

In my previous post I showed how to generate good looking charts with Gnuplot. Those were simple bar charts with a single bar. In this post I want to show you how to plot bar charts with multiple bars. Such charts take multiple columns of data and plot them grouped in the chart. We'll be working with […]

Generating good-looking charts with Gnuplot

Gnuplot is a tool for plotting graphs. It was originally created to allow scientists and students to visualize mathematical functions and data interactively, but has grown to support many non-interactive uses such as web scripting. It is excellent for generating all kinds of charts. Unfortunately, the defaults for Gnuplot don't generate very appealing charts: set terminal […]