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Ubuntu Remote Desktop – multiple users

When I got my new dedicated server setup with Ubuntu server 12.04 LTS, I wanted to use it both for website hosting and multiple users remote desktop work.
It took me some time to arrange all the steps to have the above completed, and as far as the hosting part was pretty easy, the multiple Ubuntu users desktop setup needed some jugs of coffee before start working as I wanted it.

So, I presume you have logged in to your server with some user already, so we will stat with updating the system:

Next, as I want all Gnome desktop features, will install it completely with:

Unity looks fancy, but I want the old Gnome panel, and I do not need “compiz”, so:

Next what we need is a VNC server.

The tricky part here is that you have to create several configuration files for the Ubuntu Remote Desktop user. This is really time consuming if you have to read all the settings and creating the files by yourself.

It is more easy to start the VNC server which will create the files automatically:

You will be asked for a password so enter it, and then kill the server as we have to make some configuration changes:

Edit the xstartup configuration file:

And make it looks like this:

Now you can start the vnc server with this:

Certainly you can change the settings if you want different Remote Desktop geometry.

Now use your preferred VNC client – http://remmina.sourceforge.net/ (Linux) and http://www.tightvnc.com/download.php (Windows) are my suggestions – and connect to the Ubuntu Remote Desktop server using x.x.x.x:2 as (:2) is the number of display used to run for the client. If you have more than one running you should use different number at the end.

As I saying different desktops, I am going to add another user to my Ubuntu Remote Desktop server.
For this I will need to repeat the above steps for creating (and starting) the VNC profile for each user. This one is not yet automatically implemented, but it is not a big deal.
First I will add another user:

Complete the several steps for creating the user which is including creating the password and user personal information.
(A little trick when you want to add user with administrative privileges is to type the command as : adduser admin
)
Then start the VNC server once to create the VNC password:

Open VNC startup file for the ‘newuser’

And paste the same configuration as for the first user:

Save the file and start the service

Now using VNC client you can connect to the new user Desktop as going to x.x.x.x:3 address.

The next step is to automate a little bit the start-up precess for these Ubuntu Remote Desktop users. Otherwise you have to start vnc4server for each user when the server is rebooted.

So, switch to root (it is just more easier) and then create vncserver folder and create file as vncservers.conf:

Inside put the following massive:

Where ‘user’ is the main user you are dealing with (the one we configured VNC for initially) and ‘newuser’ which is the second user are we have created. If you have more users created and the above steps for settings passwords and vnc4srver start-up completed, add more lines accordingly wit (:4),(:5) etc. screens.

Then create startup script for VNC server as:

And put the following lines inside:

Make the script executable, and add it to the startup scripts:

Now:

And all added users in /etc/vncserver/vncservers.conf will be able to connect via Remote Desktop.

Certainly make sure VNC ports are anebled on the firewall.

Also take in mind that VNC is alsways better to be combined with SSH tunnel as its encryption and vulnerability issues are well known.

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ProFTP – Fatal: error processing configuration file ‘/etc/proftpd.conf’

This is quick one how to fix issue with ProFTPD returning this error:

Simply run :

And the issue sould be resolved.

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Health check script Linux

Bellow I will present script checking Load Average on a Linux server which will send report if it becomes to high.
It is using Linux command ‘uptime’ which is pulling out server’s uptime as well as its Load Average:

In my script bellow I am using not the last minute load average, but the last five minutes (the second) one.
If you are not aware you can interpret a load average of “1.63, 0.70, 7.89” on a single-CPU system as:

– during the last minute, the system was overloaded by 63% on average (1.63 runnable processes, so that 0.73 processes had to wait for a turn for a single CPU system on average).

– during the last 5 minutes, the CPU was idling 30% of the time on average.

– during the last 15 minutes, the system was overloaded 698% on average (7.89 runnable processes, so that 6.98 processes had to wait for a turn for a single CPU system on average).

I have chosen the five minute interval as sending mails every minute is too aggressive in case of a server load. Also it could be something too short and handled by the server without notification.

* Note that some settings may need tuning because of changed/different command output

Once the script is ready you can set it as Cron. job Mine is set to check every 5th minute:

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GPG error NO_PUBKEY

This quick tutorial is to show you how to fix bad GPG key or missing(deleted )GPG key on a Debian-like system.
Usually the next error appears when you try to install application or update OS with apt-get update:

GPG error: http://linux.dell.com Release: The following signatures couldn’t be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY AS4433E25E3D7775

Simple resolution can be performed with the following two lines:

Take in mind to change the key with the one from your error.

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Can not include OpenSSL headers files.

Today I had question about “..why since I have OpenSSL installed and working fine with other services, I receive such message(the bellow one) when I am trying to compile something..”

The answer is because the application you are trying to compile manually requires “openssl-devel.x” package installed. It includes files for development of applications which will use OpenSSL.
So according to your OS you should use either yum, apt-get or gpg to install it.
In my example I am trying to compile on CentOS 32 bit, so I will use yum like that:

So the next time when I try to compile my application, Openssl headers files will be there:

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PHP relocation error

This will be quick tutorial about how to fix PHP relocation error like this one: php: symbol zlibVersion , version libmysqlclient_16 not defined in in file libmysqlclient.so.16 with link time reference. Instead php: relocation error: php: symbol zlibVersion the error could be php: relocation error: php: symbol crc32.

This is an example and the issue could happen with any shared library not only with libmysqlclient.so .

As per the error message the library version is not matching so we have to check the shared library dependencies. This can be done with tool called ‘ldd’ which prints the shared library dependencies. In this case we will check PHP for “libmysqlclient” so the command should be like this:

Or if for some reason the PHP binary is located elsewhere:

The output should be similar to this one:

Let’s check the file:

In my case this is a symbolic link to the library in the same folder:

Now let’s check if this file exist in another place.

My output is:

So there are two libraries, and now we have to check where is the missing symbol – for example zlibVersion. For that will use ‘nm’ command lists symbols from object files. Let’s try the current linked file:

The output is:

So it seams there are no symbols in this library.

With the other file:

The output is:

Which seams better.

Now I will just remote the current link:

And will create a new one with the library that contains the symbol:

This should resolve the case, and the php: symbol zlibVersion , version libmysqlclient_16 not defined in in file libmysqlclient.so.16 with link time reference error was solved.

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How to disconnect (kick out) other SSH users

In this tutorial I will talk about how to disconnect SSH user from Linux remote server.

This is useful when you have stuck SSH connections or there are suspicious IPs connected to the server. If your case is the second one you may kick out the hacker from the server, but even disconnected he may have setup already backdoor or application that will return the connection to him. Anyway the first step will be to kill sshd processes serving other connection but yours.

First you will have to login to the Linux server via SSH – if you are not aware how just click on the link.

Once logged in list all current users on the server using ‘w’ command – simply type:

This will list all users on the Linux box like this:

List logged users Linux

As you can see there are several users currently logged in, and to discover which one is yours can be done comparing your IP address, what is currently doing as well as the time – for how long the users is on the server.If you are just logged in your time will be the current one on the server.

To list which user which TTY(pts) is using we have to use the Linux ‘ps’ command with extended output like this:

The output will show which “sshd” service running for which ‘pts‘ stands:

List sshd processesNow I want to kick off Linux user with pts / 4 marked on the image, and for that I will use Linux ‘kill’ command.

This will send kill signal to process 6702 which is the number for the “sshd” service with pts / 4 running on the server.
After you have executed this command try the ‘w’ command to see if the user is still logged in.

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301 redirect checker script

This tutorial contains 301 redirect checker script which I have created after spending more than half an hour searching the Internet for something suitable I can use for my needs. While I was searching I found only separate web pages with fields where you can check one – two URLs or heavy applications that can be installed, and yet not covering my needs. Certainly, there were paid 301 redirect checker solutions which can be used to check 301 Permanent Redirect, but I am not sure whether it does worth to buy such. The purpose of this checker in most cases is only to see if a particular pages redirect permanent covering the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) requirements.

In my case part of the OnlineHowTo.net is moving over Free Tutorials Submit dot com, and from SEO perspective, the tutorials moved have to be with 301 redirect to their new URLs.

I decided to write it as Linux bash 301 redirect checker script because it can be run on almost any Linux machine with curl installed and easily added to the Crontab. I believe the script is rather easy to be understood and used, even by not so experienced administrators.

What the redirect script is doing is to gather the URLs you want to check from an external file (in my case: /opt/scripts/301URLs.txt ), where every URL is placed on a separate line like this:

I chose this way as most of the get-all-urls-from-domain applications provide the listing like this, but certainly you can choose (and then modify a little bit my script) different format.
Then using simple bash loop it reads every line one by one, processing it with CURL extracting the headers (curl -I option).
Every header contains information similar to:

Once we have this information we can easily egrep for the 301 Moved Permanently part and if it exist, the 301 redirect checker script continues with the next URL. If the redirect is something different it writes down the URL into the /tmp/301report.txt file.

Finally the script checks whether the /tmp/301report.txt file exist – it will be created only if there is even one different from 301 Moved Permanently redirect – and will send it via e-mail to the address you have set in the EMAIL variable. If there are no such file, the script will end with no report.

Here is the whole script which you can freely use and modify as per your needs:

 

To be honest, I am using a little bit modified 301 redirect checker script, which is also checking whether the redirected URL is the one I need, but it is more complicated and may confuse you if you have to modify it.
Also, more elegant solution will be if you decide to use array, but this redirect checker script fits my needs perfect.
Also I have put sleep command as if the number of the URLs is too big, it may lead to server abuse and blocking the IP you are checking the redirect from. If you do not need the script to wait 5 seconds for every URL, just remove that line.

Hope this scrip will cover your needs as well. Your comments and suggestions are welcome.

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How to mount CD under Linux

This tutorial will show you the command which can be used to mount a CD-ROM on a computer with Linux Operating System via console.

The command should be:

/mnt/cdrom could not exist, so before that you may have to create it:

Also instead of that folder, you can use a different one.

To un-mount cdrom use:

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Install YUM on CentOS

Writing this tutorial was inspired by VPS (Virtual Private Server) running with CentOS Linux without installed YUM (Yellowdog Updater, Modified). Often I am wondering why that is? If the VPS is coming with Plesk control panel installation – it is obvious – Parralels do not include YUM in their packages, and all additional modules should be installed from the Plesk Updater in order to prevent system miss configuration.
What about if you just have VPS with Linux (in this example with CentOS) without automatic updater?
If you are new with Linux – just for your information – YUM is an automatic updater and package maintainer for rpm packages. It calculates dependencies automatically it makes it easier to maintain groups of machines without having to manually update each one using RPM.

Simply copy and paste these lines in your console. Take in mind you should have root or sudo privileges.

Note: Scroll down for YUM install on CentOS previous versions.

Install YUM on CentOS 5.7 64 bit.

Install YUM on CentOS 5.7 32 bit.

Install YUM on CentOS 5.6 64 bit.

Install YUM on CentOS 5.6 32 bit.

Install YUM on CentOS 5.5 64bit :

Install YUM on CentOS 5.5 32bit :

Install YUM on CentOS 5.4 64bit :

 

Here is another example of how to install it. This is a manual fetch of all the .rpm packages needed for YUM installation under CentOS 4:

 

This second method for YUM installation on Linux systems is including more work than the first one since you have to download all packages one by one, but if you have good repository for your Linux distribution it will simple to gather the needed RPM’s.

Certainly it is easier just to copy the first example and paste it in your console if you are with CentOS 5.4. This will automatically install it after few moments depending on your connection.

If you want to install YUM on different Linux distribution, or different CentOS version – to find what dependencies it needs just download ‘yum – X.X.X-X. centosX.noarch.rpm’ package and try to run:

 

The system will generate all the YUM dependencies and will list it for you. Then go trough the Linux repository and collect all the packages listed. Ones you are ready just use the second method (the example with CentOS 4) to fetch and install them.

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