Enable printing from Windows and Macs remotely through Linux Print server – Share Brother Printer DCP-1610W with Linux CUPS and Samba Windows Share


March 23rd, 2017

Brother-Printer-model-DCP-1610W-printer-scanner-and-copier-in-one-picture
I've recently bought a new Printer model Brother DCP 1610W and as in my home I have already a small Linux router and a web server where this blog and a couple of other websites runs and I need multiple PC / notebook / mobile phone enabled people to print on the Printer easily pretty much like a Printing server for a Small Office environment.

To do that of course I needed it configured to be accessible remotely for print via LAN and Wireless network. The task is not a complex one and printing remotely over the network is a standard thing many company organizations / universities and univerities does for quite some time and hence nowadays most printers are network connect ready so you just have to place them inside your home or corporate network and use the time to configure them via their web configuration interface or even some have their own embedded wifi adapter, as well as many printers nowdays can even be ready to print directly by just connecting the Printer to the Wi-Fi network and installing its drivers on a Win host.

Anyhow the most common way for both home printer configurations and corporate I'm aware of still is to Share the printer via Windows Server or Win Server Domain so anyone connected to the Network to be able to Add the printer via Winblows.

In the case i'm going to describe below my home the Wi-Fi router is connected to an 5 Port Network Switch (HUB) which on its hand is connected to the Linux router which serves multiple things (a Linux router, a hosting server (web server and a database server hosted, a mail server, traffic proxy server, a firewall and a NAT router), I decided to Share the printer to Wi-Fi connected and LAN clients directly switched via an UTP cable to the switch by using the good old Linux Samba Sharing server.

I did not actually do that for a really long time hence before I started I did some quick research to get an idea on the general steps to partake to succeed in Sharing the Printer over the network of this Debian's Wiki SystemPrinting Guide was mostly helpful.

 

1. Downloading and Installing necessery Brother Printer deb packages
 

A small remark to make here is my Linux server is running Debian GNU / Linux and hence this article is giving details on how Printer can be Shared on Debian though a minor adaptation of the article should make it possible to install also on any RHEL / CentOS / SuSE etc. Redhat based RPM Linux distribution.)

First step to do is to download Brother printer vendor provided drivers as of moment of writting this article they're here

To download the drivers get the proper links and use wget or curl to download all the necessery .deb archives in lets say in /root/brother-printer-drivers e.g. before that create the folder with:
 

root@linux:/root# mkdir /root/brother-printer-drivers

Also it might be helpful for those who need some other Brother Printer Linux driver complete list of Brother Printer all Linux drivers as of time of writting this post is found on this URL here

Next you need to install following Brother printer driver deb packages brscan-skey brscan4 dcp1610wcupswrapper dcp1610wlpr

root@linux:/root# cd brother-printer-drivers
root@linux:/root/brother-printer-drivers# dpkg -i –force-all brscan-skey-0.2.4-1.amd64.deb

root@linux:/root# dpkg -i –force-all brscan4-0.4.4-1.amd64.deb

root@linux:/root# dpkg -i –force-all dcp1610wcupswrapper-3.0.1-1.i386.deb

root@linux:/root# dpkg -i –force-all dcp1610wlpr-3.0.1-1.i386.deb

root@linux/root# cd  ../


Once installed dpkg -l should show like so:
 

root@linux:/root# dpkg -l |grep -i brother
ii  brscan-skey                                0.2.4-1                      Brother Linux scanner S-KEY tool
ii  brscan4                                    0.4.4-1                      Brother Scanner Driver
ii  dcp1610wcupswrapper                        3.0.1-1                      Brother DCP-1610W CUPS wrapper driver
ii  dcp1610wlpr                                3.0.1-1                      Brother DCP-1610W LPR driver

Brother's vendor provided packages will install drivers under /opt/brother
 

root@linux:/root# ls -al /opt/brother/
общо 16
drwxr-xr-x 4 root root 4096 яну 26 13:58 ./
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 яну 26 13:55 ../
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 яну 26 13:58 Printers/
drwxr-xr-x 4 root root 4096 яну 26 13:58 scanner/

 

2. Installing CUPS Printing Service and related Filters and Postscript packages necessery for PDF processing on CUPS server side

 

root@linux:/root#  apt-get install –yes cups cups-client cups-common cups-pdf cups-ppdc foomatic-db foomatic-db-engine foomatic-filters foomatic-filters-ppds openprinting-ppds lpr hp-ppd hpijs cups-pdf ghostscript-cups

Your printing should work normally without cups-pdf and ghostscript-cups packages installed but I install them just in case if PDF processing is problematic you can skip that.

It is also useful to install sane and sane-utils packages if you're going to use the brother's scanner capabilities.

root@linux:/root# apt-get install –yes sane sane-utils

Note that considering that all packages installed fine and the CUPS service is running, this should have set a proper printer into /etc/printcap a short database used to describe printers. printcap file is being used by UNIX's spooling system and allows you to dynamic addition and deletion of printers, for Linux / *Nix hosts which have more than one printer connected and added in CUPs records for the various printer goes there.
With a single Brother DCP-1610W Printer like my case is you should have records similar to these:

root@linux:~/brother-printer-drivers# cat /etc/printcap
DCP1610W:\
        :mx=0:\
        :sd=/var/spool/lpd/DCP1610W:\
        :sh:\
        :lp=/dev/usb/lp0:\
        :if=/opt/brother/Printers/DCP1610W/lpd/filter_DCP1610W:

 

 

3. Adding a Printer in CUPS the easy way through CUPS Printing System Web Interface

 

CUPS has a nice web interface for setting up and administering printers and print queues.

Below is a selfexplanatory screenshot of Add Printer screen 

add-a-new-printer-cups-web-admin-interface-screenshot-in-a-firefox-browser  .

 

Use your favourite browser (Firefox, Opera, Chromium, lynx, elinks – yes the great news is console / terminal browsers are also supported well by cups web iface) to display interface and add a printer via the Administration screen. If you are asked for a username and password see here.

cups-web-admin-interface-accessed-in-browser-listing-brother-dcp1610w-printer-screenshot

There are three sections. The first is for local printers; that is, printers which are usually attached to the machine you are using. These are very often printers using a USB connection but can be parallel or serial port printers.

Adding a USB printer is a common occurance and one should automatically be detected as a local printer and a URI (Unified Resource Indicator) for its connection displayed on the next page.
 

The Other Network Printers section requires you to specify the destination for the remote print queue/printer, which could be on the local network or many kilometres away. AppSocket is almost always available on a network printer and other devices and requires only the IP address of the printer and a port number. An Internet Printing Protocol (IPP) URI is the preferrred choice for connecting to another CUPS server because it is CUPS' native protocol. ipp14 is the ipp backend from CUPS 1.4 and Debian-specific. It is provided because some devices do not work with the current ipp backend, which has a stricter adherence to the IPP standard. A Line Printer Daemon (LPD) URI could be considered if the remote printing service does not support IPP satisfactorily or at all. As before, when a remote print queue is doing the filtering choose RAW as the Make/Manufacturer.

 

4. Printer Status and Control testing whether CUPS printing is up and running


 

Once cups is installed and hopefully up and running you should see the cups process up and running to check it do:

root@linux:/root# /etc/init.d/cups status; ps axuwwf|grep -i cups|grep -v grep
Status of Common Unix Printing System: cupsd is running.
root      2815  0.0  0.0  75364  2912 ?        Ss   Mar17   0:00 /usr/sbin/cupsd -C /etc/cups/cupsd.conf

To get some further testing you can also use lpstat command and should get ouput similar to belows:
 

root@linux:/root# lpstat -t
scheduler is running
no system default destination
device for DCP1610W: usb://Brother/DCP-1610W%20series
DCP1610W accepting requests since Fri Mar 17 23:03:37 2017
printer DCP1610W disabled since Fri Mar 17 23:03:37 2017 –
        Unplugged or turned off

At the moment of issuing above command it shows printer is disabled because of moment of execution the printer was turned off for a while cause I was not needing it you should get usually an output of enabled and ready to print.

lpstat is also about to report whether a queue is accepting jobs and what is yet to be printed you can do

 

 

5. Install and Configure Samba Sharing Server on the Linux server


 

You can setup CUPS to allow Windows machines to print to a CUPS server using an http address.

First, install the samba package. When you are asked to use WINS, say yes.

root@linux:/root#  apt-get install samba

Next you might want to set setup your /etc/cups/cupsd.conf file by default CUPS would listen to LPD's port 631 if you don't have a strong firewall isolating you from the Internet on port 631 you might want to change that port to another one lets say to Port 49651.


I personally prefer keep the default port 631 and do use a robust firewall. If you want to change it modify config to something like:

# Our private connection we listen to Listen *:49651 # Allow machines on local network to use printers <Location /printers> Order allow,deny Allow 192.168.0.* Allow 192.168.1.* </Location>

If you like to filter access to CUPs daemon to receive Printing requests to be originating only from the local network place in smb.conf also something with your private network ranges:

# Allow machines on local network to use printers

<Location /printers>
Order allow,deny
Allow 192.168.0.*
Allow 192.168.1.*
Allow 192.168.2.*
</Location>
<Location />
  # Allow remote administration…
  Order allow,deny
##  Allow all
Allow 192.168.0.*
Allow 192.168.1.*
Allow 192.168.2.*
</Location>
<Location />
  # Allow remote administration…
  Order allow,deny
##  Allow all
Allow 192.168.0.*
Allow 192.168.1.*
Allow 192.168.2.*
</Location>
<Location /admin>
  # Allow remote administration…
  Order allow,deny
##  Allow all
Allow 192.168.0.*
Allow 192.168.1.*
Allow 192.168.2.*
</Location>

 

This will listen on port 49651 from any network. You may use some other port number besides 631. Note that the dynamic and/or private ports as specified by the IANA are in the range 49152 through 65535. Also, this will only allow computers from the local network to print to the CUPS printers.
 

6. Use CUPS Printing server to print over the network directly

 

 

Next you need to restart the CUPS daemon once again as it will be used for samba printing
 


# service cups restart


Now on each Windows machine, Choose that you want to install a network printer and that you want to install a printer on the Internet or home/office network. The URL you will use should be smth like:
 


http://<cups_server_hostname>:49651/printers/DCP1610W

 

Lastly, select the Brother downloaded from Internet or the one that's available on the Install CD, for any other vendor printer if it is lets say HP Printer or Canon to install use the respective provided driver or as a last resort use the Generic section driver labeled MS Publisher Color Printer.

 

 

7. Configure Samba to Share CUPS network enabled printer


I've done a minor changes in default installed /etc/samba/smb.conf to make the printer accessible from The Samba server here is the main things to consider changing:
 

# Change this to the workgroup/NT-domain name your Samba server will part of
   workgroup = WORKGROUP

#   security = user
security = share

[printers]
   comment = PC Freak Printer
   browseable = yes
   path = /var/spool/samba
   printable = yes
   guest ok = yes
   read only = yes
   create mask = 0700

# Windows clients look for this share name as a source of downloadable
# printer drivers
[print$]
   comment = Printer Drivers
   path = /var/lib/samba/printers
   browseable = yes
   read only = yes
   guest ok = yes


Next restart Samba server to make the new setting take affect:
 

root@linux:/# /etc/init.d/samba restart
Stopping Samba daemons: nmbd smbd.
Starting Samba daemons: nmbd smbd.
root@linux:/# ps axu|grep -E "smb|nmb"
root     21887  0.0  0.0 169588  1904 ?        Ss   16:53   0:00 /usr/sbin/nmbd -D
root     21892  0.0  0.0 197560  3272 ?        Ss   16:53   0:00 /usr/sbin/smbd -D
root     21894  0.0  0.0 197560  1564 ?        S    16:53   0:00 /usr/sbin/smbd -D
root     21899  0.0  0.0 112368   840 pts/6    S+   16:53   0:00 grep -E smb|nmb

root@linux:/#

Complete current smb.conf configuration I use to make the Brother Printer DCP 1610W accesible via network share is here

This section needs updating as you can setup print server via samba print sharing just by uploading drivers.

When printing to windows printers in an NT domain using SMB the Device URI should use similar to:

 

smb://username:password@domain/server/printername

 

This allows Samba to authenticate against a domain controller for acces to the printer queue.

In my case as you can see in below smb.conf configuration I've configured Samba security = share which will allow anyone to access the samba server without authentication so you can omit  username:password@ part

One good way to determine the printername  (in case you are not sure of) is to use smbclient command line tool. computername refers to the name of the machine that shares the printer:

 

smbclient -L copmputername


computername is the name of the samba server machine or its IP address


E.g.
 

hipo@linux:~$ smbclient -L //192.168.0.1/
Enter Attitude's password:
Domain=[WORKGROUP] OS=[Unix] Server=[Samba 3.5.6]

        Sharename       Type      Comment
        ———       —-      ——-
        print$          Disk      Printer Drivers
        IPC$            IPC       IPC Service (pcfreak server)
        DCP1610W        Printer   DCP1610W
Domain=[WORKGROUP] OS=[Unix] Server=[Samba 3.5.6]

        Server               Comment
        ———            ——-
        PCFREAK              pcfreak server

        Workgroup            Master
        ———            ——-
        WORKGROUP            WORKGROUP


Check the ouput for entries of Type "Printer":


The resulting (Linux / Mac OS) Samba Share access URL from the output above would be

smb://192.168.0.1/DCP1610W


 

 

8. Adding Printer to your Windows machines to enable actual Remote Samba Sharing printing

Assuming you already know the Printer share name, here is what I needed to do to have the Printer Added on each of Windows Desktop PCs and Notebooks

 

Control Panel -> Devices and Printers -> Add a printer -> (Add a Network wireless or bluetooth printer)

Then instead of Searching the printer to click on:

The printer that I wasn't listed

add-samba-network-share-brother-dcp-1610w-printer-to-windows-7-machine-no-printer-found-from-add-printer

Then type in the URL or IP (as in my case) leading to the printer as you see in below screenshot:

 

9. Printer Samba Sharing Using Macintosh notebook as the Client and Debian as the Server

 

1. Assuming you have cups to set up the printer on Debian as described above.

2. On the Mac (OS X 10.4+) start Print and Fax from System Preferences. Use the + button to add a printer.

3. Look first in the "Default" tab. If the automagic printer-sharing has worked, and your Mac is connected to the local network properly, then the Debian-based printer should already be visible in the list.

Just select it and use the recommended print driver. If you face problems you can try to play with
Gutenprint Printer drivers to make it printing.

4. If your printer is not visible in the Default tab, then try adding it on the "IP" tab.

Pick IPP as the protocol, give the plain IP address of the server in the address box (in my case that's 192.168.0.1, and in the Queue box put
"printers/DCP1610W

Put whatever helps you identify the printer in the Name and Location boxes (fields), and choose a printer driver than matches Brother DCP1610W or with another printer installed whatever you used to set up the printer on Debian .
Finally Pray that God help you to make it work and press the Add button. If you prayed honestly and repenting for your sins perhaps you will have mercy and it will work, of course if not try to research online on how to fix it further by God's grace.

Note that making printing work on Mac is a little bit of tricky and it might cause you some extra effort / nerves to complete.

 

10. Some other Useful maintanance commands you might need in future CUPS Printer queue jobs maintance

 

For displaying or setting print queue options and defaults:

lpoptions -p <print_queue_name> -l

Stopping and starting print queues. Acceptance and rejection of jobs sent to a destination:
 

cupsdisable <print_queue_name>
cupsenable <print_queue_name>
cupsaccept <print_queue_name>
cupsreject <print_queue_name>


To Cancel all jobs on a destination and additionally delete job data files:

cancel -a <print_queue_name>
cancel -a -x <print_queue_name>

That's all folks, Thanks God the printer should be working. Enjoy!

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Some standard software programs to install on Windows to make your Windows feel more like a Linux / Unix Desktop host


March 17th, 2017

linux-freebsd-unix-migration-to-windows-some-useful-customizations-and-program-softwares-to-install-to-make-your-windows-feel-like-more-linux-and-bsd-unix

If you're Windows user like me with a Linux / FreeBSD / OpenBSD / NetBSD – a dedicated Unix user and end up working for financial reasons in some TOP 100 Fortune companies (CSC, SAP, IBM, Hewlett Packard,Enterprise, Oracle) etc.  and forced for business purposes (cause some programs such as Skype for Business Desktop Share does not run fine on Unix like and thus you have to work notebook pre-installed with Windows 7 / 8 or 10 but you're so accustomed to customizations already from UNIX environments and you would like to create yourself the Windows to resemble Linux and probably customize much of how Windows behaves by default.

Here is what I personally did on my work Windows 7 Enterprise on my HP Elitebook notebook to give myself the extra things I'm used to my Debian Linux Desktop.


1. Downloaded and instaled standard gnome-terminal xterm like immediately (E.g. check MobaXterm great alternative to Putty),
2. Changed cutomize Windows 7 appearance to be more like classical Windows XP,  change Windows 8 / 10 start menu appearance to be more like in classic Windows 2000
3. Installed following bunch of softwares

  • VIM Text Editor for Windows
  • Thunderbird Mail Client
  • OpenVPN client
  • Oracle VM Virtualbox
  • Opera
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Password Safe
  • Ext2FS / Ext3FS (support programs)
  • F.lux (to auto adjust screen brightness day and night for better sleep)
  • install ActivePerl for Windows
  • Install GNUWin Tools (and perhaps most importantly)
  • CygWin,  (to provide Windows with most needed console Linux tools), Clink.
  • WinSCP
  • Swish (to be able to remotely mount your Linux partitions and see them as local Windows drives)
  • dosbox (to play some of the good old Dos games :))
  • Windirstat (to easily check the size of complete directory and subdirectories)
  • SpaceSniffer (to be able to see which directory or files are taking the most space on the system)


Along with all above goodies here is also some good software I find essential for every web developer / system administrator / network administrator or java,  C, php pprogrammer out there that's using Windows as his Desktop platrofm.

Another thing I prefer  on Windows 7 when used as workstation is to change the default Windows 7 LogonUI screen background as well check out how here

Perhaps there is plenty of other goodprograms to install on Windows to make it feel even more like a Linux / Unix Desktop host, if you happen to somehow stuck to this article and you've migrated from Llinux / BSD desktop to Windows for work purposes please share with me any other goodies you happen to use that is from *Unix.

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Skype remove word completion / Howto Disable spellcheck autocorrect on Mac OS X, Android Phones Tablets and IPhone iOS


March 14th, 2017

How-to-disable-auto-correct-on-MacOS-X-android-and-iphone

I've recently upgraded my wife's Mac Book Air Mac OS X release from Mountain Lion to latest available OS X release Yosemite and after upgrade the old version of Skype used for about 3 years without any problems (except camera issues due to mac OS X bug the old post is here) stopped working (did crashed) on Skype launch so I took few minutes to upgrade Skype as well from Skype.com Skype for Mac official download page after the quick and unproblematic Skype re-install, Skype client was back to normal with a shiny new outlook and on a first glimpse all worked like a charm but …

On the next day when I took use of temporary the upgraded Mac Book Air with the fresh new OS X Yosemite and Skype's latest app to to do a quick login with my Skype credentials noticed a very annoying autocorrect (auto spelling)  Skype behavior on any new input text message.

I have to admit the idea of autocorrect feature on a system wide scale is great however quick keyboard typers like me who are used to type more than a letter per second use to type so quickly that occasinally you do errors which you're quick to fix but anyhow errors are automatically corrected in a way that you have to retype the whole word quite often which makes your typing a hellish experience. Then the same auto-correct feature becomes a terrible experience and on any device I notice this behavior I tend to remove it immediately.

I remember  the same dictionary auto-spell check / corect behavior was present on my Android run ZTE blade 3 mobile after first Mobile boot and also present on my current iPhone 5 iOS and thus the first thing I did once I start using it is to remove autocorrect (auto spelling) feature and relax the irritation of it.

Just in case if you need to disable Spellcheck auto-correct on Android Phone or Tablet do it from

Settings -> Language & input

android-phone-tablet-disable-autocorrect-spell-check

If you happen to be using also IPhone 5 as me or  Iphone 6 / 7 to disable AutoCorrect feature on SMSes / Skype / Viber and other applications do it from Phone's:

Settings -> General

disable_Turn_off_AutoCorrect_in_IPhone_iOS

Shortly I've noticed that the auto-correct feature does not only mess up your typing in Skype but also in Mail and TweetDeck and generally any open application where you can type on Yosemite.


I've took the time to investigate quickly what was causing the new feature that bugged me so much online and came to this nice little article How to turnoff autocorrect on Mac OS X 10.11 El Captain

As the article revealed to Turn off the autocorrect Mac OS X feature you I have to go:

Finder -> System Preferences

 

stop-skype-autocorrect-annoying-macosx-yosemite-system-preferences-menu-screenshot

Click on Keyboard -> Text
and turn  Autocorrect off by unchecking Correct spelling automatically

stop-skype-autocorrect-annoying-macosx-yosemite-system-preferences-keyboard-menu-screenshot

By doing this autocorrect spelling is disabled for all applications, however for some people it might be handy to leave the correct feature for Mail app or Microsoft Office (Microsoft Word / Excel) etc. and only turn off (disable) the autorrect feature per application side.

You can  do this in the separate Applications (of choise where you need auto spelling) from  Edit Menu under Spelling and Grammer and enable / disableCheck Spelling While Typing

stop-skype-autocorrect-annoying-macosx-yosemite-spelling-and-grammar-menu-screenshot


Tadam Enjoy ! 🙂

 

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Windows missing volume control on Windows 7, 8 Fix / How to run volume control from command line


March 9th, 2017

windows-7-missing-volume-controller-bring-back-volume-control-windows-7-command-to-show-volume-control-on-windows-os

 

Windows 7/8 Volume Icon disappear from Taskbar?

If you are using  Windows 7 or  Windows 8 Operating System inside a corporate network and your notebook PC is inside domain controller controlled by some crazy administrators who for some reason decided to remove the Taskbar from your Taskbar tray you have come over to exactly same situation like I do here.

Actually some might have experienced an icon "combined" feature which gives the opportunity of some of the standard Tray icons we know since Windows 98 / XP onwards to not show full time in order to save you space. No doubt this feature is great one to use as it is distracting sometimes to have a tons of applications constantly keeping in the Taskbar (right down corner) however if the Active Domain admin did it without any notification and you're a kind of victim you might dislike especially since this behaviour is making you impossible to easily control your phone / headspeakers and mic.

 

windows-7-8-grouped-taskbar-icons-screenshot-volume-dialog-bar

If you check in the Control Panel and click on Sounds  menu in Windows 7/8, you don't see any checkbox for adding the icon back as I have assumed, , but instead all the audio there you can only see the inputs and outputs on your system general settings.

windows-7-8-control-panel-sounds-dialog-box-properties

This behavior was made on purpose and makes sense cauze the taskbar icons since Win XP (if not mistaken) has to be controlled by the taskbar settings pan.

Thus in order to bring back the disappeared icon on  Winblows 7 / Win 8 there is a taskbar properties feature enabling to to hide or view the various taskbar running apps in that number the Volume icon, hence to bring back your Volme Control speaker icon to taskbar you need to customize it.

To do so do a mouse Right-click anywhere on the taskbar and choose Properties.

taskbar-properties-windows-7-8-dialog

Now, click on the Customize button under Notification area.

taskbar-and-startmenu-menu-properties-customize-taskbar-dialog-bar

In  Notification Area Icons dialog box, there is 2 ticks to check. Assure yourself the volume icon default behavior is set to

Show icon and notifications like in below screenshot

show-icon-notifications-volume-bar-windows-7-8-dialog

To make the new behaviour active click on Turn system icons on or off.

turn-system-icons-on-off-windows-7-8-notification-restore-default-icon-behavior-dialog

One thing to note here is the volume icon shoukld be set to On like in below| shot:

 

turn-system-icons-on-off-volume-icon-on-windows-7-8
If the reason for the disapperance of the Volume controller in task is not due to Domain Controllear policty it could happen due to late updates pushed by Microsoft if the PC needs a restart or after computer Log off operation.
Another reason for the casual disappearance of sound box could be also a buggy driver, so if the icon keeps disappearing over and over again, you better try to update the driver for your sound card.

However if you end up in a Windows Domain Controller (AD) Policy that is prohibiting the Sound Voulme to appear on your taskbar like in my case all the above won't help you solve it, but luckily there is an easy way to invoke the Volume Control dialog box via

 

sndvol.exe

 

the command will bring up the Volume Control as in upper left corner of screen like in below screenshot:

windows-volume-mixer-taskbar-windows-7-8-shot

 

If you to show it with a silder use -f flag

sndvol.exe -f

Running just

sndvol.exe


opens the volume mixer, as you noted.

 

On windows XP the respective command to open a missing Volume Control dialog in taskbar, use instead:

sndvol32

command from Windows Command Prompt:

 

Start -> Run -> cmd.exe

 

sndvol32

no params to display master volume window

 

 

sndvol32 -x

to display small master volume window

sndvol32 -t

to display volume control only (as per sound icon)

If you have the Volume Controller behavior to be hidden or you need to view any other taskbar hidden application icon  it will be useful for you to use:

AutoHotKey Win+B to focus on the system tray, Left (arrow) to highlight the Volume Control icon icon, and then Enter to bring up the popup.

 

A good tip you might be interestted to use occasionally is  how to show the current Wireless networks via a command (if that's prohibited otherwise via GUI) so you can easily see the  Connected Networks on Windows using cmd:

rundll32 van.dll,RunVAN

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Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Fix WordPress after interrupted upgrade


March 2nd, 2017

briefly-unavaiable-for-a-scheduled-maintenance-wordpress-website-fix-howto_1

I've recenty tried Update my WordPress blog sites and being unattentive I've selected all the plugins possitble for Upgrade by checking the "Select All" check box on the Update dialogs and almost automatically int he hurry pressing Update button however out of a sudden I've realized I could screw up my websites brutally as some of the plugins to upgraded might be lacking 100% compitability with their prior versions.

I've made a messes out of my blog many times during upgrades because of choosing to upgrade the wrong not 100% compatible plugins and I know well how painful and hard to track it could be a misbehaving incompatible plugin or how ot could cause a severe sluggishness to blog which automatically reflects on how well the website search engine ranked in Google / Yahoo / Bing indexed etc.

Thus as an almost unconcsious reaction to prevent myself the future troubles I've tried to cancel the update request in Firefox browser and trying to reload the Update page with a hope that I might be quick enough for the Apache / WP / MySQLbackend Update Update queries request to be delaying for processing but I was too slow and bang! I ended up with the following unpleasent message in my browser:

briefly-unavaiable-for-a-scheduled-maintenance-wordpress-website-fix-howto
Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance.
 

As you could guess that message caused me quite a lot of worries at hand especially since I've already break up my sites many times by doing quick unmindful reactions and the fact that there is Google Adsense ads appearing which does give me some Return on Investment cents every now and then …

It took me few minutes of research online to find what really happened and how to fix / resolve the WebSites normal operations.
 


So what causes the Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. appears ?

When WordPress does some of its integrated maintenance jobs a plugin enable / disable or any task that has to modify crucial configurations inside the database WordPress does disable access to all end clients to itself in order to protect its sensitive data to appear to browser requestors as showing some unexpected information to end client browser could be later used by crackers / hackers or a possibly open a security hole for an attacker.

The message is wordpress generated notice and it is pretty normal for the end user to see it during the WP site installation update depending on how many plugins are installed and loaded to the site and how long it will take for the backend Linux / Windows server to fetch the archived .zips of plugins and substitute with the new ones and update the files extracting them to wp-content/plugins and updating the respective required SQL database / tables it could be showing for end users from few secs to few minutes.

However under some circumstances on Browser request timeout to remote wordpress site due to a network connectivity issue or just a bad configuration of Apache for requests timeout (or a slow remote server Apache responce time due to server Hardware / Mem overload) or a stupid browser "Stop" / cancel request like in my case you end up with the Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance and you can can longer access the your https://siteurl.com/wp-admin Admin Panel.

The message is triggered by a WP craeted file .maintenance inside /var/www/blog-site/ e.g. WordPress PHP scripts does check for /var/www/blog-site/.maintenance
existence and if it is matched the WP scripts does generate the Briefly unavailble … message.


How to resolve the "Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute" WordPress error ?

As you might guess removing the maintenance "coming soon" like message in most of the cases comes to just deleting the .maintenance file, to do so:

1. Login to remote server via FTP or SFTP
2. Locate your WP website root folder that should be something like /var/www/blog-site/.maintenance and issue:
issue something like:
 

$ rm -rf /var/www/bog-site/.maintenance


Assuming that some plugin Update .zip extraction or SQL update query did not ended being half installed / executed that should solve the error.
To check whether all is back to normal just refresh your browser pointing to the "broken" site. If it appears well you can thank God for that 🙂
If not check the apache error logs and php error logs and see which of the php scripts is failing and then try to manually fetch and unzip the WP .zip package to wp-content/plugins folder and give it another try and if God bless so it will work as before 🙂

How to prevent your WP based business in future from such nasty errors using A Staging site (test) version of your blog ?

Just run a duplicate of your website under a separate folder on your hosting and do enable the same plugins as on the primary website and copy over the MySQL / PostgreSQL Database from your Live site to the Staging, then once it is enabled before doing any crucial WordPress version updates or Plugins Update always do try the Upgrade first on your Test Staging site. If it does execute fine there in most of the cases the result should be the same on the Production host and that could solve you effors and nerves of debugging a hard to get failure errors or faulty plugins without affecting what your End users see.

If you're not hosting the WordPress install under your own hosting like me you can always use some of the public available hostings like  BlueHost or WPEngine

 

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Show directory structure bash script on Linux howto – See hierarchical directory tree structure one liner shell script


February 24th, 2017

show-directory-structure-see-hierarchical-directory-tree-structure-on-linux-with-tree-command-and-with-bash-shell-scripts

If you have Sys Adminned Linux or *Nix OS like, whether for some shell scripting purpose or just for sake of keeping a backup you should have definitely come
into some need to list a tree of a directories content in a hierarchical order.

The most obvious way to do that on Linux is by simply using:

1.  "tree" command (not installed by default on most Linux distributions so in order to have it on Deb / Debian based Linux do:
 

# apt-get install –yes tree


On Fedora / CentOS Redhat Linux (RHEL) etc. install with:

# yum –yes install tree

 

By the way for those that needs tree on FreeBSD / BSD UNIX, tree is also available on that platform you can install it with:
 

pkg_add -vr tree


Then simply check man tree to get idea on how to use it, the easiest way to use the command tree once package is installed is to run tree inside directory of choice, i.e.

 

$ cd /somedir
$ tree -a

.
├── acpi
│   ├── events
│   │   └── powerbtn-acpi-support
│   └── powerbtn-acpi-support.sh
├── adduser.conf
├── adjtime
├── aliases
├── alternatives
│   ├── ABORT.7.gz -> /usr/share/postgresql/9.5/man/man7/ABORT.7.gz
│   ├── aclocal -> /usr/bin/aclocal-1.11
│   ├── aclocal.1.gz -> /usr/share/man/man1/aclocal-1.11.1.gz
│   ├── ALTER_AGGREGATE.7.gz -> /usr/share/postgresql/9.5/man/man7/ALTER_AGGREGATE.7.gz
│   ├── ALTER_COLLATION.7.gz -> /usr/share/postgresql/9.5/man/man7/ALTER_COLLATION.7.gz
│   ├── ALTER_CONVERSION.7.gz -> /usr/share/postgresql/9.5/man/man7/ALTER_CONVERSION.7.gz
 

 

To get a list of only directories with tree use:
 

$ tree -d /

 

  │   ├── bin
│   │   ├── boot
│   │   │   └── grub
│   │   │       └── locale
│   │   ├── disk
│   │   │   ├── Books
│   │   │   │   ├── 200 E-BOOKS
│   │   │   │   │   ├── McGraw-Hill – Windows Server 2003
│   │   │   │   │   ├── Oreilly.Access.Cookbook.2nd.Edition-LiB
│   │   │   │   │   ├── Oreilly.ActionScript.Cookbook.eBook-LiB
│   │   │   │   │   ├── OReilly.ActionScript.The.Definative.Guide.WinAll.Retail-EAT
│   │   │   │   │   ├── Oreilly.Active.Directory.2nd.Edition.eBook-LiB
│   │   │   │   │   ├── Oreilly.Active.Directory.Cookbook.eBook-LiB
│   │   │   │   │   ├── Oreilly.ADO.Dot.NET.Cookbook.eBook-LiB
│   │   │   │   │   ├── Oreilly.Amazon.Hacks.eBook-LiB
│   │   │   │   │   ├── OREILLY.ANT.THE.DEFINITIVE.GUIDE-JGT
│   │   │   │   │   ├── Oreilly.Apache.Cookbook.eBook-LiB
│   │   │   │   │   ├── Oreilly.AppleScript.The.Definitive.Guide.eBook-LiB
│   │   │   │   │   ├── Oreilly.ASP.Dot.NET.In.A.Nutshell.2nd.Edition.eBook-LiB
│   │   │   │   │   ├── OReilly.Better.Faster.Lighter.Java.Jun.2004.eBook-DDU
│   │   │   │   │   ├── Oreilly.BLAST.eBook-LiB
│   │   │   │   │   ├── OReilly.BSD.Hacks.May.2004.eBook-DDU
│   │   │   │   │   ├── Oreilly.Building.Embedded.Linux.Systems.eBook-LiB

If you have a colorful terminal and you like colors for readability the -C option is quite handy

 

$ tree -C /

 

tree-command-linux-hierarchical-structure-directory-tree
 

To list the directory tree with permissions included use tree cmd like so:

 

$ tree -L 2 -p /usr

/usr/
├── [drwxr-xr-x]  bin
│   ├── [-rwxr-xr-x]  [
│   ├── [lrwxrwxrwx]  2to3 -> 2to3-2.6
│   ├── [-rwxr-xr-x]  2to3-2.6
│   ├── [-rwxr-xr-x]  411toppm
│   ├── [-rwxr-xr-x]  7z
│   ├── [-rwxr-xr-x]  7za
│   ├── [-rwxr-xr-x]  a2p
│   ├── [-rwxr-xr-x]  ab
│   ├── [-rwxr-xr-x]  ac
│   ├── [lrwxrwxrwx]  aclocal -> /etc/alternatives/aclocal
│   ├── [-rwxr-xr-x]  aclocal-1.11
│   ├── [-rwxr-xr-x]  acpi


Another truly handy option of tree is to list the directory structure index with included file sizes information

 

$ tree -L 2 -sh /bin

/bin
├── [903K]  bash
├── [147K]  bsd-csh
├── [ 30K]  bunzip2
├── [681K]  busybox
├── [ 30K]  bzcat
├── [   6]  bzcmp -> bzdiff
├── [2.1K]  bzdiff
├── [   6]  bzegrep -> bzgrep
├── [4.8K]  bzexe
├── [   6]  bzfgrep -> bzgrep
├── [3.6K]  bzgrep
├── [ 30K]  bzip2
├── [ 14K]  bzip2recover
├── [   6]  bzless -> bzmore
├── [1.3K]  bzmore
├── [ 51K]  cat
├── [ 59K]  chgrp
├── [ 55K]  chmod
├── [ 63K]  chown
├── [ 10K]  chvt
├── [127K]  cp
├── [134K]  cpio
├── [  21]  csh -> /etc/alternatives/csh
├── [104K]  dash


To list a directory tree of a search pattern, lets say all files with .conf extensions use:
 

$ tree -P *.conf

/etc/ca-certificates.conf [error opening dir]
/etc/dante.conf [error opening dir]
/etc/debconf.conf [error opening dir]
/etc/deluser.conf [error opening dir]
/etc/discover-modprobe.conf [error opening dir]
/etc/fuse.conf [error opening dir]
/etc/gai.conf [error opening dir]
/etc/gpm.conf [error opening dir]
/etc/gssapi_mech.conf [error opening dir]
/etc/hdparm.conf [error opening dir]
/etc/host.conf [error opening dir]
/etc/idmapd.conf [error opening dir]
/etc/inetd.conf [error opening dir]
/etc/insserv.conf [error opening dir]
/etc/irssi.conf [error opening dir]
/etc/kernel-img.conf [error opening dir]
/etc/ld.so.conf [error opening dir]
/etc/libao.conf [error opening dir]
/etc/libaudit.conf [error opening dir]
/etc/logrotate.conf [error opening dir]
/etc/memcached.conf [error opening dir]
/etc/mke2fs.conf [error opening dir]
/etc/mongodb.conf [error opening dir]
/etc/mtools.conf [error opening dir]
/etc/multitail.conf [error opening dir]
/etc/nsswitch.conf [error opening dir]
/etc/ntp.conf [error opening dir]
/etc/ocamlfind.conf [error opening dir]

 

 

tree -I option does exclude all petterns you don't want tree to list

Here are few other tree useful options:

  • tree -u /path/to/file – displays the users owning the files
  • tree -g /path/to/file – display the groups owning the files
  • tree -a /path/to/file – display the hidden files/folders
  • tree -d /path/to/file – display only the directories in the hierarchy


However there might be some cases where you have to support a Linux server or you just have to write a script for a non-root user and you might not have the permissins to install the tree command to make your life confortable. If that's the case then you can still use a couple of command line tools and tricks (assuming you have permissions) to list a log a directory / files and subdirectories tree structure in a hierarchical tree like command order

2. Print a list of all sub-directories and files within a directory tree

To print all directories within any path of choise on a server use
 

$ find /path/ -type d -print

 

To print all files within a root filesystem hierarchically with find command

Another way to do it in a more beautiful output is by using find in conjunction with awk
 

$ find . -type d -print 2>/dev/null|awk '!/\.$/ {for (i=1;i<NF;i++){d=length($i);if ( d < 5  && i != 1 )d=5;printf("%"d"s","|")}print "—"$NF}'  FS='/'

 

|—bashscripts
|          |—not-mine
|          |—various
|          |—output
|          |—examples
|          |—fun
|          |—educational
|          |—backdoor-cgi
|          |—fork-bombs
|          |—tmp
|          |    |—old
|          |—bullshits
|—packages
|       |—ucspi-ssl-0.70.2
|       |               |—package
|       |               |—compile
|       |               |      |—rts-tmp
|       |               |—command
|       |               |—src
|—bin
|—package
|      |—host
|      |    |—superscript.com
|      |    |              |—command
|—mnt
|    |—tmpfs
|    |—disk
|    |—flash_drive
|    |—ramfs
|    |—cdrom

3. Get a list of the directories on filesystem structure with one-liner ls + sed script
 

$ ls -R | grep ":$" | sed -e 's/:$//' -e 's/[^-][^\/]*\//–/g' -e 's/^/ /' -e 's/-/|/'

 

 |-bin
 |-boot
 |-dev
 |—net
 |—pts
 |-downloads
 |—autorespond-2.0.5
 |—–debian
 |—deb-packages
 |—–IP-Country-2.28
 |——-bin
 |——-blib
 |———arch
 |———–auto

….
 

4. Print all files within root filesystem and issue any command on each of the files
 

ls -R1 / |    while read l; do case $l in *:) d=${l%:};; "") d=;; *) echo "$d/$l";; esac; done


Above command just prints all the found files with full-path if you want to check the file size or file type you just check echo command with any command you need to execute on each of the listed file

5. Get a list hierarchical directory Linux tree with bash shell scripts: Assuming that the server where you need to have a list of the directory filesystem structure in a tree fashion has bash you could use this little script called tree.sh to do the job or for a full filesystem hierarchical tree like directory structure use fulltree.sh

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Howto to Unlock Mtel locked Mobile Phone ZTE Blade 3 IMEI 866643012872768 to connect to Telenor and Vivacom mobile networks in Bulgaria


January 20th, 2017

howto-unlock-zte-from-mtel-encoded-to-work-with-telenor-mobile-imei-866643012872768

How to unlock Unlock Mtel locked Mobile Phone ZTE Blade 3 IMEI 866643012872768


Thanks to this little forum after a very thoroughful research on the topic howto unlock my ZTE Blade 3
in Russian Google.ru / United Stated Google.US and UK Google.Co.Uk I've figured out a number of ways recommended

I've lost some time watching also few videos illustrating howto unlock the phone for other non MTEL mobile operators with

some third party cracker software  which seemed like a good way to infect your PC with spyware for example
videos:
Direct Unlock ZTE BLADE 3 & ZTE RACER 3 – YouTube
Unlock ZTE Blade 3, Blade V & Blade Q Mini – YouTube

there are a number of ways and paid software that could do various non-conventional things like unlock the phone for example:
GB Key

gbstream-gbkey-fast-unlocker-zte-blackberry-huawei-apple-motorola-alcatel-lg-unlock

Here is description of GB Key

You can Call it UNLIMITED – Direct Unlocker, Code Calculator, Code Reader, is fast, easy to use, encrypted, more than 200 models supported and most of it is it's UNLIMITED use. Updates come on regular basis with addition to new models and features.

Supported Models

More than 500 supported models from mobile phones to modems and growing.

Currently supports around 260 MEPs & more than 9500 PRDs (and growing..) .

FREE & UNLIMITED: Huawei, Huawei Modem, BlackBerry, Alcatel MTK, Alcatel U7, Alcatel Modem, LG, Samsung Swift, Samsung 3G, ZTE Qcom-Android, ZTE MTK, and many many more..

There is also a number of services online that offer remote paid services to Unlock any smart phone remotely by paying with a card and providing the IMEI.
I guess this services either use Android Emulator with manually setting the respective IMEI of the phone and then uses some software (box) as they call it to generate the code using the respective algorithm. etc.

 

However as I didn't wanted to spend money on something on such non-sense I digged a little bit more and I found out that according to Bulgarian Legislation encoding a sold mobile phone by the mobile operator is already illegal and all mobile operators in Bulgaria (that used some kind of encoding software to prevent a bought phone from them to be used with another mobile operator should provide openly the mobile phone codes freely).

As MTEL had to fit the new wall they made a small online generator Database with Unlock codes for all prior sold mobiles encoded.

I've used the URL (using my website access previosuly freely registered on website in order to track and send free SMS-es in MTEL and check out my mobile phone money balance spent in inbound and inbound calls etc.)

https://www.mtel.bg/unlock-phone

and found out my mobile ZTE according to the imey:

5803701350365278 ZTE Blade III Поставете карта на друг оператор в телефона и директно ще Ви бъде изискан отключващият код.

Just switched on my ZTE Blade 3 phone and inserted the code and got a message it is wrong but immediately I phone able to connect to Telenor (the ex Globul Mobile operator ) Mobile network Voila! 🙂 Hope this helps small article helps someone else too. Enjoy !

I

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How to convert .CRT SSL Certificate to .PFX format (with openssl Linux command) and Import newly generated .PFX to Windows IIS Webserver


September 27th, 2016

IIS8_Windows_Webserver_logo_convert_CRT_and_import_PFX-certificate

1. Converting to .CRT to.PFX file format with OpenSSL tool on GNU / Linux to import in Windows (for example, IIS)

Assuming you have generated already a certificate using the openssl Linux command and you have issued the .CRT SSL Certificate issuer file
and you need to have the new .CRT SSL Certificate installed on Windows Server (lets say on Windows 2012) with IIS Webserver version 8.5, you will need a way to convert the .CRT file to .PFX, there is plenty of ways to do that including using online Web Site SSL Certificate converter or use a stand alone program on the Windows server or even use a simple perl / python / ruby script to do the conversion but anyways the best approach will be to convert the new .CRT file to IIS supported binary Certificate format .PFX on the same (Linux certificate issuer host where you have first generated the certificate issuer request .KEY (private key file used with third party certificate issuer such as Godaddy or Hostgator to receive the .CRT / PEM file).

Here is how to generate the .PFX file based on the .CRT file for an Internal SSL Certfiicate:

 

openssl pkcs12 -export -in server.crt -inkey server.key -out server.pfx

On the password prompt to appear use any password because otherwise the future IIS Webserver certificate import will not work.
 

To do a certificate chain SSL export to be accessed from the  internet.

 

openssl pkcs12 -export -in server.crt -inkey server.key -out server.pfx -certfile internet v2.crt

2. Import the PFX file in Windows


Run: mmc, add snap, Certificates, Computer account, Local Computer; in the
Console:

Certificates (Local Computer) > Personal > Certificates: Select All Tasks > Import File

Enter previously chosen password.
You should get further the Message "Import was successful."

You can import the PFX file by simply copying it to the server where you want it imported and double click it this will  open Windows Importwizzard.

Then select the IIS:

 

Site, Properties, Directory Security, Server Certificate, Replace the current certficate, select proper Certificate. Done.

Alternatively to complete the IIS Webserver certificate import within one step when a new certificate is to be imported:

In IIS Manager interface go to :

Site, Properties, Directory Security, Server Certificate, Server Certificate Wizard


Click on

Next

Choose

import a certificate from a .pfx file, select and enter password.

Internet_Information_Server_IIS_Windows-SSL_Certificate-import-PKF-file

3. Import the PFX file into a Java keystore


Another thing you might need if you have the IIS Webserver using a backend Java Virtual Machine on the same or a different Windows server is to import the newly generated .PFX file within the Java VM keystore.

To import with keytool command for Java 1.6 type:

 

keytool -importkeystore -deststorepass your_pass_here -destkeypass changeit -destkeystore keystore.jks -srckeystore server.pfx -srcstoretype PKCS12 -srcstorepass 1234 -srcalias 1 -destalias xyz


Also the .CRT file could be directly imported into the Java keystore

 

Import a .crt in a Java keystore


/usr/java/jre/bin/keytool -import -keystore /webdienste/java/jdk/jre/lib/security/cacerts -file certificate.crt -alias Some alias

 

 

4. Get a list of Windows locally installed certificates

To manager installed certificates on Windows 7 / 8 / 2012 Server OS is to run command via

Start -> Run

 

certmgr.msc

certmgr_trca_windows_check-windows-installed-ssl-certificates

 

One other way to see the installed certificates on your Windows server is checking within

Internet Explorer

Go to Tools (Alt+X) → Internet Options → Content → Certificates.

 

To get a a complete list of installed Certificate Chain on Windows you can use PowerShell

 

Get-ChildItem -Recurse Cert:

 

That's all folks ! 🙂

 

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How to shutdown Windows after 1, 2, 3, 4 etc. X hours with a batch script – Shutdown / Reboot / Logoff Windows with a quick command


August 17th, 2016

http://pc-freak.net/images/windows-pc-server-shutdown-after-3-5-hours-howto-shutdown-windows-with-command-batch

I recently wondered how it is possible to shutdown Windows in some prior set time lets say in 30 minutes, 1 hour, 3 hours or 8 hours.

That's handy especially on servers that are being still in preparation install time and you have left some large files copy job (if you're migration files) from Old server environment to a new one
or if you just need to let your home WIndows PC shutdown to save electricity after some time (a very useful example is if you're downloading some 200GB of data which are being estimated to complete in 3 hours but you need to get out and be back home in 2 or 4 days and you don't want to bother connecting remotely to your PC with VNC or teamviewer then just scheduling the PC / server to shutdown in 3 hours with a simple is perfect solution to the task, here is how:

1. Open Command Prompt (E.g. Start menu -> Run and type CMD.EXE)

2. Type in command prompt

 

shutdown -s -t 10800

 

If you by mistake has typed it to shutdown earlier and suddenly you find out your PC needs to be running for a short more time in order to cancel the scheduled Shutdown type:

 

shutdown -a


Shutdown Windows command -s flag has also a possibiltiy to not shutdown but just logoff or if you just need to have the system rebooted a reboot option:
 


options    effect
-l         to log off
-r         to reboot

If you need to shutdown the PC after half an hour use instead the command:

 

shutdown -s -t 1800


shutdown-windows-pc-with-command-in-half-an-hour-screenshot.gif


Half an hour is 1800 seconds for one hour delayed shutdown use 3600 for 3 hours, that would be 3*3600 10800, for 5 hours 5*3600 = 18000 seconds and so on

 


An alternative way to do it with a short VBscript, here is an example:

Set objShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")

Dim Input
Input = "10:00"

'Input = InputBox("Enter the shutdown time here.","", "10:00")

For i = 1 to 2

CurrentTime = Time & VbCrLf

If Left(CurrentTime,5) = Input Then

objShell.Run "shutdown -s -t 00", 0
WScript.Quit 1

Else

WScript.Sleep 1000

End If

i=i-1

Next

Enjoy

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