Posts Tagged ‘administrate’

Howto Configure Linux shell Prompt / Setup custom Terminal show Prompt using default shell variables PS1, PS2, PS3, PS4

Tuesday, August 27th, 2019

how-to-configure-lunux-bsd-shell-prompt-ps1-howto-make-your-terminal-console-shell-nice-and-shiny-1

System Console, Command Operation Console  or Terminal is a Physical device for text (command) input from keyboard, getting the command output and monitoring the status of a shell or programs I/O operations generated traditionally with attached screen. With the development of Computers, physical consoles has become emulated and the input output is translated on the monitor usually via a data transfer  protocol historically mostly over TCP/IP connection to remote IP with telnet or rsh, but due to security limitations Consoles are now accessed over data (encrypted) network protocols with SHA2 / MD5 cryptography algorithm enabled such as over SSH (Secure Shell) network protocol..
The ancestors of physical consoles which in the past were just a Terminal (Monitoring / Monitor device attached to a MainFrame system computer).

Mainframe-physical-terminal-monitor-Old-Computer

What is Physical Console
A classical TTY (TeleTYpewriter) device looked like so and served the purpose of being just a communication and display deivce, whether in reality the actual computing and storage tape devices were in a separate room and communicating to Terminal.

mainframe-super-computer-computing-tape-machine
TTYs are still present in  modern UNIX like GNU / Linux distrubions OSes and the BSD berkley 4.4 code based FreeBSD / NetBSD / OpenBSD if you have installed the OS on a physical computer in FreeBSD and Solaris / SunOS there is also tty command. TTY utility in *nix writes the name of the terminal attached to standard input to standard output, in Linux there is a GNU remake of same program part called GNU tty of coreutils package (try man tty) for more.

The physical console is recognizable in Linux as it is indicated with other tree letters pts – (pseudo terminal device) standing for a terminal device which is emulated by an other program (example: xterm, screen, or ssh are such programs). A pts is the slave part of a pts is pseudo there is no separate binary program for it but it is dynamically allocated in memory.
PTS is also called Line consle in Cisco Switches / Router devices, VTY is the physical Serial Console connected on your Cisco device and the network connection emulation to network device is creates with a virtual console session VTL (Virtual Terminal Line). In freebsd the actual /dev/pts* /dev/tty* temporary devices on the OS are slightly different and have naming such as /dev/ttys001.
But the existence of tty and pts emulator is not enough for communicating interrupts to Kernel and UserLand binaries of the Linux / BSD OS, thus to send the commands on top of it is running a System Shell as CSH / TSH / TCSH or BASH which is usually the first program set to run after user logs in over ptty or pseudo tty virtual terminal.

linux-tty-terminal-explained-brief-intro-to-linux-device-drivers-20-638

 

Setting the Bash Prompt in Terminal / Console on GNU / Linux

Bash has system environments to control multiple of variables, which are usually visible with env command, one important variable to change in the past was for example USER / USERNAME which was red by IRC Chat clients  such as BitchX / irssi and could be displayed publicly so if not changed to a separate value, one could have known your Linux login username by simple /whois query to the Nickname in question (if no inetd / xinetd service was running on the Linux box and usually inetd was not running).

Below is my custom set USER / USERNAME to separate

hipo@pcfreak:~$ env|grep USER
USERNAME=Attitude
USER=Attitude

There is plenty of variables to  tune email such as MAIL store directory, terminal used TERM, EDITOR etc. but there are some
variables that are not visible with env query as they're not globally available for all users but just for the single user, to show this ones you need to use declare command instead, to get a full list of All Single and System Wide defined variables and functions type declare in the bash shell, for readability, below is last 10 returned results:

 

hipo@pcfreak:~$ declare | tail -10
{
    local quoted=${1//\'/\'\\\'\'};
    printf "'%s'" "$quoted"
}
quote_readline ()
{
    local quoted;
    _quote_readline_by_ref "$1" ret;
    printf %s "$ret"
}

 

PS1 is present there virtually on any modern Linux distribution and is installed through user home's directory $HOME/.bashrc , ~/.profile or .bash_profile or System Wide globally for all existing users in /etc/passwd (password database file) from /etc/bash.bashrc
In Debian / Ubuntu / Mint GNU / Linux this system variable is set in user home's .bashrc but in Fedora / RHEL Linux distro,
PS1 is configured from /home/username/.bash_profile to find out where PS1 is located for ur user:

cd ~
grep -Rli PS1 .bash*

Here is one more example:

hipo@pcfreak:~$ declare|grep -i PS1|head -1
PS1='\[\e]0;\u@\h: \w\a\]${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\u@\h:\w\$ '
 

hipo@pcfreak:~$ grep PS1 /etc/bash.bashrc
[ -z “$PS1” ] && return
# but only if not SUDOing and have SUDO_PS1 set; then assume smart user.
if ! [ -n “${SUDO_USER}” -a -n “${SUDO_PS1}” ]; then
  PS1='${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\u@\h:\w\$ '


Getting current logged in user shell configured PS1 variable can be done with echo:

hipo@pcfreak:~$ echo $PS1
\[\e]0;\u@\h: \w\a\]${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\u@\h:\w\$

So lets observe a little bit the meaning of this obscure line of (code) instructions code which are understood by BASH when being red from PS1 var to do so, I'll give a list of meaning of main understood commands, each of which is defined with \.

The ${debian_chroot} shell variable is defined from /etc/bash.bashrc

Easiest way to change PS1 is to export the string you like with the arguments like so:

 

root@linux:/home/hipo# export PS1='My-Custom_Server-Name# '
My-Custom_Server-Name# echo $PS1
My-Custom_Server-Name#

 

  •     \a : an ASCII bell character (07)
  •     \d : the date in “Weekday Month Date” format (e.g., “Tue May 26”)
  •     \D{format} : the format is passed to strftime(3) and the result is inserted into the prompt string; an empty format results in a locale-specific time representation. The braces are required
  •     \e : an ASCII escape character (033)
  •     \h : the hostname up to the first ‘.’
  •     \H : the hostname
  •     \j : the number of jobs currently managed by the shell
  •     \l : the basename of the shell's terminal device name
  •     \n : newline
  •     \r : carriage return
  •     \s : the name of the shell, the basename of $0 (the portion following the final slash)
  •     \t : the current time in 24-hour HH:MM:SS format
  •     \T : the current time in 12-hour HH:MM:SS format
  •     \@ : the current time in 12-hour am/pm format
  •     \A : the current time in 24-hour HH:MM format
  •     \u : the username of the current user
  •     \v : the version of bash (e.g., 2.00)
  •     \V : the release of bash, version + patch level (e.g., 2.00.0)
  •     \w : the current working directory, with $HOME abbreviated with a tilde
  •     \W : the basename of the current working directory, with $HOME abbreviated with a tilde
  •     \! : the history number of this command
  •     \# : the command number of this command
  •     \$ : if the effective UID is 0, a #, otherwise a $
  •     \nnn : the character corresponding to the octal number nnn
  •     \\ : a backslash
  •     \[ : begin a sequence of non-printing characters, which could be used to embed a terminal control sequence into the prompt
  •     \] : end a sequence of non-printing characters

The default's PS1 set prompt on Debian Linux is:
 

echo $PS1
\[\e]0;\u@\h: \w\a\]${debian_chroot:+($debian_chroot)}\u@\h:\w\$


As you can see \u (print username) \h (print hostname)  and \W (basename of current working dir) or \w (print $HOME/current working dir)
are the most essential, the rest are bell character, escape character etc.

A very good way to make your life easier and learn the abbreviations / generate exactly the PS1 PROMPT you want to have is with Easy Bash PS1 Generator Web Utility
with which you can just click over buttons that are capable to produce all of the PS1 codes.
 

1. How to show current hour:minute:seconds / print full date in Prompt Shell (PS)


Here is an example with setting the Bash Shell prompt  to include also the current time in format hour:minute:seconds (very useful if you're executing commands on a critical servers and you run commands in some kind of virtual terminal like screen or tmux.
 

root@pcfreak:~# PS1="\n\t \u@\h:\w# "
14:03:51 root@pcfreak:/home#


PS1-how-to-setup-date-time-hour-minutes-and-seconds-in-bash-shell-prompt
 

 

export PS1='\u@\H \D{%Y-%m-%d %H:%M;%S%z}] \W ] \$ '

 


export-PS1-Linux-set-full-date-time-clock-prompt-screenshot-console


Make superuser appear in RED color (adding PS1 prompt custom color for a User)
 

root@pcfreak:~$  PS1="\\[$(tput setaf 1)\\]\\u@\\h:\\w #\\[$(tput sgr0)\\]"

 

how-to-change-colors-in-bash-prompt-shell-on-linux-shell-environment

In above example the Shell Prompt Color changed is changed for administrator (root) to shebang symbol # in red, green, yellow and blue for the sake to show you how it is done, however this example can be adapted for any user on the system. Setting different coloring for users is very handy if you have to administer Mail Server service like Qmail or other Application that consists of multiple small ones of multiple daemons such as qmail + vpopmail + clamd + mysql etc. Under such circumstances, coloring each of the users in different color like in the example for debugging is very useful.

Coloring the PS1 system prompt on Linux to different color has been a standard practice in Linux Server environments running Redhat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and SuSE Enterprise Linux and some Desktop distributions such as Mint Linux.

To make The Root prompt Red colored only for system super user (root) on any Linux distribution
, add the following to /etc/bashrc, e.g.

vim /etc/bashrc
 


# If id command returns zero, you've root access.
if [ $(id -u) -eq 0 ];
then # you are root, set red colour prompt
  PS1="\\[$(tput setaf 1)\\]\\u@\\h:\\w #\\[$(tput sgr0)\\]"
else # normal
  PS1="[\\u@\\h:\\w] $"
fi

 

 

2. How to make the prompt of a System user appear Green


Add to ~/.bashrc  following line

 

 

PS1="\\[$(tput setaf 2)\\]\\u@\\h:\\w #\\[$(tput sgr0)\\]"
 

 

3. Print New line, username@hostname, base PTY, shell level, history (number), newline and full working directory $PWD

 

export PS1='\n[\u@\h \l:$SHLVL:\!]\n$PWD\$ '

 

4. Showing the numbert of jobs the shell is currently managing.


This is useful if you run and switch with fg / bg (foreground / background) commands
to switch between jobs and forget some old job.

 

export PS1='\u@\H \D{%Y-%m-%d %H:%M;%S%z}] \W \$]'

 

Multi Lines Prompt / Make very colorful Shell prompt full of stats info

PS1="\n\[\033[35m\]\$(/bin/date)\n\[\033[32m\]\w\n\[\033[1;31m\]\u@\h: \[\033[1;34m\]\$(/usr/bin/tty | /bin/sed -e ‘s:/dev/::’): \[\033[1;36m\]\$(/bin/ls -1 | /usr/bin/wc -l | /bin/sed ‘s: ::g’) files \[\033[1;33m\]\$(/bin/ls -lah | /bin/grep -m 1 total | /bin/sed ‘s/total //’)b\[\033[0m\] -> \[\033[0m\]"

 

 

prompt-show-how-many-files-and-virtual-pts-ps1-linux
 

5. Set color change on command failure


If you have a broken command or the command ended with non zero output with some kind of bad nasty message and you want to make, that more appearing making it red heighlighted, here is how:

 

PROMPT_COMMAND='PS1="\[\033[0;33m\][\!]\`if [[ \$? = “0” ]]; then echo “\\[\\033[32m\\]”; else echo “\\[\\033[31m\\]”; fi\`[\u.\h: \`if [[ `pwd|wc -c|tr -d ” “` > 18 ]]; then echo “\\W”; else echo “\\w”; fi\`]\$\[\033[0m\] “; echo -ne “\033]0;`hostname -s`:`pwd`\007"'

 

6. Other beautiful PS1 Color Prompts with statistics

 

PS1="\n\[\e[32;1m\](\[\e[37;1m\]\u\[\e[32;1m\])-(\[\e[37;1m\]jobs:\j\[\e[32;1m\])-(\[\e[37;1m\]\w\[\e[32;1m\])\n(\[\[\e[37;1m\]! \!\[\e[32;1m\])-> \[\e[0m\]"

 

 

another-very-beuatiful-bash-colorful-prompt

 

7. Add Muliple Colors to Same Shell prompt

 

function prompt { local BLUE="\[\033[0;34m\]” local DARK_BLUE=”\[\033[1;34m\]” local RED=”\[\033[0;31m\]” local DARK_RED=”\[\033[1;31m\]” local NO_COLOR=”\[\033[0m\]” case $TERM in xterm*|rxvt*) TITLEBAR=’\[\033]0;\u@\h:\w\007\]’ ;; *) TITLEBAR=”” ;; esac PS1=”\u@\h [\t]> ” PS1=”${TITLEBAR}\ $BLUE\u@\h $RED[\t]>$NO_COLOR " PS2='continue-> ' PS4='$0.$LINENO+ ' }

colorful-prompt-blue-and-red-linux-console-PS1
 

8. Setting / Change Shell background Color


changing-background-color-of-bash-shell-prompt-linux

 

export PS1="\[$(tput bold)$(tput setb 4)$(tput setaf 7)\]\u@\h:\w $ \[$(tput sgr0)\]"

 

tput Color Capabilities:

  • tput setab [1-7] – Set a background color using ANSI escape
  • tput setb [1-7] – Set a background color
  • tput setaf [1-7] – Set a foreground color using ANSI escape
  • tput setf [1-7] – Set a foreground color

tput Text Mode Capabilities:

  • tput bold – Set bold mode
  • tput dim – turn on half-bright mode
  • tput smul – begin underline mode
  • tput rmul – exit underline mode
  • tput rev – Turn on reverse mode
  • tput smso – Enter standout mode (bold on rxvt)
  • tput rmso – Exit standout mode
  • tput sgr0 – Turn off all attributes

Color Code for tput:

  • 0 – Black
  • 1 – Red
  • 2 – Green
  • 3 – Yellow
  • 4 – Blue
  • 5 – Magenta
  • 6 – Cyan
  • 7 – White

 

9. Howto Use bash shell function inside PS1 variable

If you administrate Apache or other HTTPD servers or any other server whose processes are forked and do raise drastically at times to keep an eye while actively working on the server.

 

function httpdcount { ps aux | grep apache2 | grep -v grep | wc -l } export PS1="\u@\h [`httpdcount`]> "

10. PS2, PS3, PS4 little known variables
 

I'll not get much into detail to PS2, PS3, PS4 but will mention them as perhaps many people are not even aware they exist.
They're rarely used in the daily system administrator's work but useful for Shell scripting purposes of Dev Ops and Shell Scripting Guru Programmers.

  • PS2 – Continuation interactive prompt

A very long unix command can be broken down to multiple line by giving \ at the end of the line. The default interactive prompt for a multi-line command is “> “.  Let us change this default behavior to display “continue->” by using PS2 environment variable as shown below.

hipo@db-host :~$ myisamchk –silent –force –fast –update-state \
> –key_buffer_size=512M –sort_buffer_size=512M \
> –read_buffer_size=4M –write_buffer_size=4M \
> /var/lib/mysql/bugs/*.MYI
[Note: This uses the default “>” for continuation prompt]

  • PS3 – Prompt used by “select” inside shell script (usefulif you write scripts with user prompts)

     

  • PS4 – Used by “set -x” to prefix tracing output
    The PS4 shell variable defines the prompt that gets displayed.

You can find  example with script demonstrating PS2, PS3, PS4 use via small shell scripts in thegeekstuff's article Take control of PS1, PS2, PS3, PS4 read it here

 

Summary


In this article, I've shortly reviewed on what is a TTY, how it evolved into Pseudo TTY and how it relates to current shells which are the interface communicating with the modern UNIX like Operating systems's userland and kernel.
Also it was reviewed shortly how the current definitions of shell variables could be viewed with declare cmd. Also I went through on how to display the PS1 variable and  on how to modify PS1 and make the prompt different statistics and monitoring parameters straight into the command shell. I've shown some common PS1 strings that report on current date hour, minute, seconds, modify the coloring of the bash prompt shell, show processes count, and some PS1 examples were given that combines beuatiful shell coloring as well as how the Prompt background color can be changed.
Finally was shown how a combination of commands can be executed by exporting to PS1 to update process counf of Apache on every shell prompt iteration.
Other shell goodies are mostly welcome

 

 

Run native Internet Explorer 6 on latest Debian / Ubuntu Linux with IEs4Linux

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Install-internet-explorer-on-debian-linux-IEs4Linux_logo.svg
If you're a GNU / Linux Desktop user like me and you have to administrate hybrid server environments running mixture of MS Windows with Microsoft IIS webserver running active server pages (.ASP) developed application or UNIX / GNU Linux servers web applications using Mono as a server-side language, often you need to have browser which properly supports  Internet Explorer Trident web (layout) renderer (also famous as MSHTML).

Having Internet Explorer on your Linux is very useful for web developers who want to test how their website works under IE.

Of course you can always install Windows in Virtualbox VM and do your testing in the Virtual Machine but this takes time to install and also puts a useless load to a PC ….

IES4 Linux is a Linux free (open source) shell script that lets you run Internet Explorer on your Linux desktop.

ies4linux scripts collection uses emulation with WINE (Wine is Not Emulator) emulator to run the native  Windows Internet Explorer thus before use it you have to install Wine.

There are plenty of tutorials online about ies4Linux, problem is as it is not updated and developed most tutorials doesn't work on Debian Wheezy / Ubuntu and rest of deb based linux distros.
This is why I decided to write just another ies4linux tutorial that actually works!

On Debian / Ubuntu / Mint Linux install via apt-get:

apt-get –yes install wine

Then with a non-root user download ies4linux-latest.tar.gz. Just in case ies4linux-latest.tar.gz disappears in future I've created also a ies4linux-latest.tar.gz mirror for download here

and unarchive tar archive:

wget http://www.tatanka.com.br/ies4linux/downloads/ies4linux-latest.tar.gz
tar -zxvf ies4linux-latest.tar.gz
cd ies4linux-*
./ies4linux

You will get:
 

IEs4Linux 2 is developed to be used with recent Wine versions (0.9.x). It seems that you are using an old version. It's recommended that you update your wine to the latest version (Go to: winehq.com).

You need to install cabextract first!
Download it here: http://www.kyz.uklinux.net/cabextract.php

To fulfill this requirement you will need to also cabetract package which is luckily part of Debian:
 

apt-get install –yes cabextract

On wine version 1.0 and onwards winprefixcreate has been changed to winecfg binary.
To prevent missing wineprefixcreate, errors during ies4linux installer run  its necessery to symlink as a workaround:
 

ln -sv /usr/bin/winecfg /usr/bin/wineprefixcreate


To continue with Internet Explorer ies4Linux installater run again:

./ies4linux

images/internet-explorer-for-linux-debian-gnu-linux-screenshot

/images/internet-explorer-4-linux-installer-debian-gnu-linu-screenshot

You will get the installer GUI window with selection option which Internet Explorer version you want. Choose between IE 5.0, IE 5.5 and IE 6. It is also possible to install IE 7 which is still considered beta version and is less tested and unstable, will probably lead to crashes. If you want to install also IE 7 check it as an option from Advanced menu.

/images/ies4linux-internet-explorer-installer-debian-gnu-linux-screenshot

If you get permission errors after running ies4Linux gui installer to solve that chown recursively directory to the user with which you will be running it:
 

chown -R hipo:hipo ies4linux-2.99.0.1

 

Internet Explorer for Linux downloader, will connect Microsoft.com website and download DCOM, MCF and various IE required .CAB files.

If you get some ies4linux GUI installer unexpected crashes you can try to download all required IE binaries, surrounding files and flash player using no-gui installer with cmd:
 

./ies4linux –no-gui –install-corefonts

IEs4Linux 2 is developed to be used with recent Wine versions (0.9.x). It seems that you are using an old version. It's recommended that you update your wine to the latest version (Go to: winehq.com).

IEs4Linux will:
  – Install Internet Explorers: 6.0
  – Using IE locale: EN-US
  – Install Adobe Flash 9.0
  – Install MS Core Fonts
  – Install everything at: /home/hipo/.ies4linux
[ OK ]

Downloading everything we need
  Downloading from microsoft.com:
   DCOM98.EXE
   mfc42.cab
   249973USA8.exe
   ADVAUTH.CAB
   CRLUPD.CAB
   HHUPD.CAB
   IEDOM.CAB
   IE_EXTRA.CAB
   IE_S1.CAB
   IE_S2.CAB
   IE_S5.CAB
   IE_S4.CAB
   IE_S3.CAB
   IE_S6.CAB
   SETUPW95.CAB
   FONTCORE.CAB
   FONTSUP.CAB
   VGX.CAB
   SCR56EN.CAB

  Downloading from macromedia.com:
   100% swflash.cab

  Downloading from sourceforge.net
   0%   webdin32.exe[ OK ]bdin32.exe

Installing IE 6
  Initializing
  Creating Wine Prefix
Your wine does not have wineprefixcreate installed. Maybe you are running an old Wine version. Try to update it to the latest version.

To fix the error:

Your wine does not have wineprefixcreate installed. Maybe you are running an old Wine version. Try to update it to the latest version.

vim lib/functiions.sh

Go to line 36 (Type :36 in vim)

Line:

wine –version 2>&1 | grep -q "0.9." || warning $MSG_WARNING_OLDWINE

Has to be changed to:

wine –version 2>&1 | egrep -q "0.9.|-1." || warning $MSG_WARNING_OLDWINE


Also you need to substitute wineprefixcreate to wineboot (if you haven't already symlinked wineprefixcreate to winecfg – as pointed earlier in article.

To do so make following substitution in lib/install.sh and in lib/functions.sh

cp -rpf lib/install.sh lib/install.sh.bak; cat lib/install.sh |sed -e 's#wineprefixcreate#wineboot#g' > lib/install_new.sh; mv lib/install_new.sh lib/install.sh

cp -rpf lib/install.sh lib/functions.sh.bak; cat lib/functions.sh |sed -e 's#wineprefixcreate#wineboot#g' > lib/functions_new.sh; mv lib/functions_new.sh lib/functions.sh


Also it is necessery to change default corefonts download url which points to sourceforge but is failing. I've made mirror of corefonts files here
 

cp -rpf lib/install.sh lib/install.sh.bak; cat lib/install.sh |sed -e 's#http://internap.dl.sourceforge.net/sourceforge/corefonts/#www.pc-freak.net/files/corefonts/#g' > lib/install_new.sh; mv lib/install_new.sh lib/install.sh

Re-run the ies4linux console installer:
 

 ./ies4linux –no-gui –install-corefonts

….
Es4Linux installations finished!

On installation success you should get output like this
Hopefully you will see no errors like in my case, if you get the corefonts download error again re-run the installer and it should succesully download the files.

To then run ies4linux:

~/bin/ie6


internet-explorer-ies4linx-running-on-debian-gnu-linux-screenshot
Though Ies 4 Linux is good for basic testing it is not psosible to use the browser for normal browsing because its a bit buggy and slow.

By default Internet Explorer 6 behavior is to prompt security alert on various actions, though this might be useful for debugging it is really annoying so I personally disabled those by decreasing from:

Tools -> Internet Options -> Security -> (Security Level)
I've decreased it from Medium to Medium-Low

ies4Linux was not developed since 2008 and as of time of writting ies4linux official project website seems abandoned.

 

How to configure ssh to automatically connect to non standard ssh port numbers (!port 22)

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

SSH Artistic Logo, don't give away your password

Today I’ve learned from a admin colleague, a handy tip.
I’m administrating some Linux servers which are configured on purpose not to run on the default ssh port number (22) and therefore each time I connect to a host I have to invoke the ssh command with -p PORT_NUMBER option.

This is not such a problem, however when one has to administrate a dozen of servers each of which is configured to listen for ssh connections on various port numbers, every now and then I had to check in my notes which was the correct ssh port number I’m supposed to connect to.

To get around this silly annoyance the ssh client has a feature, whether a number of ssh server hosts can be preconfigured from the ~/.ssh/config in order to later automatically recognize the port number to which the corresponding host will be connecting (whenever) using the ssh user@somehost without any -p argument specified.

In order to make the “auto detection” of the ssh port number, the ~/.ssh/config file should look something similar to:

hipo@noah:~$ cat ~/.ssh/config
Host home.*.pc-freak.net
User root
Port 2020
Host www.remotesystemadministration.com
User root
Port 1212
Host sub.pc-freak.net
User root
Port 2222
Host www.example-server-host.com
User root
Port 1234

The *.pc-freak.net specifies that all ssh-able subdomains belonging to my domain pc-freak.net should be by default sshed to port 2020

Now I can simply use:

hipo@noah:~$ ssh root@myhosts.com

And I can connect without bothering to remember port numbers or dig into an old notes.
Hope this ssh tip is helpful.

How to add multiple email accounts in qmail’s vpopmail with vpasswd via ssh (console) / Little shell script to add multiple email addresses

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

I’ve been assigned the task to add on one of the qmail powered servers I administrate about 50 email addresses via command line.

Each email addresses was required to be configured to have the same mail password.
Adding the email addresses via an interface would be a killing time consuming task and will probably require at least 1 hour of time to add the emails with qmailwebmin, qadmin, qubit or the other vpopmail qmail web administration interfaces available nowdays.

To solve the task, I’ve used a line oner bash shell script which reads all my 80 emails from a file and adds them with vpopmail’s command line tool vpasswd on the mail server.

Here is the one liner shell script I’ve written to solve the task:

debian:~# while read line; do vadduser $line Email_Pass_Phrase; done < email_list_file.txt

In above’s code I’ve used the email_list_file.txt file is a text file on the server and contains list of all my 50 email addresses, where each line in the file contains one email. The Email_Pass_Phrase is actually the password I’ve set for all the new email addresses being created with vpasswd

That’s all now the 50 email addresses on the server are created and I’ve saved at least one hour of boring repeating actions in the browser 😉

Few sshd server Security Tips that will improve your server security

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

On each and every newly installed Linux or FreeBSD server. I’m always very cautious about three configuration directives for the ssh server.
This are X11Forwarding , Protocol and PermitRootLogin

One needs to be very watchful about this three ones, as tuning the right values surely prevents the server from many of the security issues that might rise up with the SSH server.

Many Linuxes like Debian and Ubuntu comes with X11Forwarding yes e.g. (X11Forwarding) enabled by default, this is an useless option in most of the cases as the servers I do administrate does not run a X environment.

Some older Linux distributions I have dealt with has the ssh Protocol 1 enabled by default and therefore, whether I do inherit an old server I have to start administrating the first thing I do is to check if the /etc/ssh/sshd_config‘s Protocol 1 option is enabled and if it is enabled I disable it.

PermitRootLogin is also an option which I often turn off as logging in via remote ssh is potentially dangerous as root password might get sniffed.

In overall the 3 sshd option’s I do check out in /etc/sshd/sshd_config on each newly installed Linux server are:

X11Forwarding yes
PermitRootLogin yes
Protocol 1

I always change this three options in my /etc/sshd/sshd_config
to:

X11Forwarding no
PermitRootLogin no
Protocol 2

One other options sshd server options which is good to be tuned is:

LoginGraceTime 120

Decreasing it to:

LoginGraceTime 60

is generally a good idea.

Of course after the changes I do restart the ssh daemon in order for the new configuration to take place:

linux:~# /etc/init.d/sshd restart
...