Posts Tagged ‘Windows’

Must have software on freshly installed windows – Essential Software after fresh Windows install

Friday, March 18th, 2016

Install-update-multiple-programs-applications-at-once-using-ninite

If you're into IT industry even if you don't like installing frequently Windows or you're completely Linux / BSD user, you will certainly have a lot of friends which will want help from you to re-install or fix their Windows 7 / 8 / 10 OS. At least this is the case with me every year, I'm kinda of obliged to install fresh windowses on new bought friends or relatives notebooks / desktop PCs.

Of course according to for whom the new Windows OS installed the preferrences of necessery software varies, however more or less there is sort of standard list of Windows Software which is used daily by most of Avarage Computer user, such as:
 

I tend to install on New Windows installs and thus I have more or less systematized the process.

I try to usually stick to free software where possible for each of the above categories as a Free Software enthusiast and luckily nowadays there is a lot of non-priprietary or at least free as in beer software available out there.

For Windows sysadmins or College and other public institutions networks including multiple of Windows Computers which are not inside a domain and also for people in computer repair shops where daily dozens of windows pre-installs or a set of software Automatic updates are  necessery make sure to take a look at Ninite

ninite-automate-windows-program-deploy-and-update-on-new-windows-os-openoffice-screenshot

As official website introduces Ninite:

Ninite – Install and Update All Your Programs at Once

Of course as Ninite is used by organizations as NASA, Harvard Medical School etc. it is likely the tool might reports your installed list of Windows software and various other Win PC statistical data to Ninite developers and most likely NSA, but this probably doesn't much matter as this is probably by the moment you choose to have installed a Windows OS on your PC.

ninite-choises-to-build-an-install-package-with-useful-essential-windows-software-screenshot
 

For Windows System Administrators managing small and middle sized network PCs that are not inside a Domain Controller, Ninite could definitely save hours and at cases even days of boring install and maintainance work. HP Enterprise or HP Inc. Employees or ex-employees would definitely love Ninite, because what Ninite does is pretty much like the well known HP Internal Tool PC COE.

Ninite could also prepare an installer containing multiple applications based on the choice on Ninite's website, so that's also a great thing especially if you need to deploy a different type of Users PCs (Scientific / Gamers / Working etc.)

Perhaps there are also other useful things to install on a new fresh Windows installations, if you're using something I'm missing let me know in comments.

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Windows: command to show CPU info, PC Motherboard serial number and BIOS details

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

windows-command-to-show-motherboard-bios-and-cpu-serials-and-specific-info-with-wmic

Getting CPU information, RAM info and other various hardware specifics on Windows from the GUI interface is pretty trivial from Computer -> Properties
even more specifics could be obtained using third party Windows software such as CPU-Z

Perhaps there are plenty of many other ones to get and log info about hardware on PC or notebook system, but for Windwos sysadmins especially ones who are too much in love with command prompt way of behaving and ones who needs to automatizate server deployment processes with BATCH (.BAT)  scripts getting quickly info about hardware on freshly installed remote host Win server with no any additional hardware info tools, you'll be happy to know there are command line tools you can use to get extra hardware information on Windows PC / server:

The most popular tool available to present you with some basic hardware info is of course systeminfo

 

C:\> systeminfo

Host Name:                 REMHOST
OS Name:                   Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard
OS Version:                6.3.9600 N/A Build 9600
OS Manufacturer:           Microsoft Corporation
OS Configuration:          Member Server
OS Build Type:             Multiprocessor Free
Registered Owner:          Registrar
Registered Organization:   Registrar
Product ID:                00XXX-X0000-00000-XX235
Original Install Date:     17/02/2016, 11:38:39
System Boot Time:          18/02/2016, 14:16:48
System Manufacturer:       VMware, Inc.
System Model:              VMware Virtual Platform
System Type:               x64-based PC
Processor(s):              1 Processor(s) Installed.
                           [01]: Intel64 Family 6 Model 45 Stepping 7 GenuineInt
el ~2600 Mhz
BIOS Version:              Phoenix Technologies LTD 6.00, 11/06/2014
Windows Directory:         C:\Windows
System Directory:          C:\Windows\system32
Boot Device:               \Device\HarddiskVolume1
System Locale:             de;German (Germany)
Input Locale:              de;German (Germany)
Time Zone:                 (UTC+01:00) Amsterdam, Berlin, Bern, Rome, Stockholm,
 Vienna
Total Physical Memory:     4,095 MB
Available Physical Memory: 2,395 MB
Virtual Memory: Max Size:  10,239 MB
Virtual Memory: Available: 8,681 MB
Virtual Memory: In Use:    1,558 MB
Page File Location(s):     C:\pagefile.sys
Domain:                    dom1.domain.com
Logon Server:              \\DOM
Hotfix(s):                 148 Hotfix(s) Installed.
                           [01]: KB2894852
                           [02]: KB2894856
                           [03]: KB2918614
                           [04]: KB2919355
…..


Now though systeminfo's hardware details and installed Windows KBXXXXX OS Hotfix patches are getting lists the command does not provide you with info about  system’s BIOS, thus to get this info you'll have to use also wmic (Windows Management Instrumentation Command).
 

 

So What Is WMIC?

WMIC extends WMI for operation from several command-line interfaces and through batch scripts. Before WMIC, you used WMI-based applications (such as SMS), the WMI Scripting API, or tools such as CIM Studio to manage WMI-enabled computers. Without a firm grasp on a programming language such as C++ or a scripting language such as VBScript and a basic understanding of the WMI namespace, do-it-yourself systems management with WMI was difficult. WMIC changes this situation by giving you a powerful, user-friendly interface to the WMI namespace.

WMIC is more intuitive than WMI, in large part because of aliases. Aliases take simple commands that you enter at the command line, then act upon the WMI namespace in a predefined way, such as constructing a complex WMI Query Language (WQL) command from a simple WMIC alias Get command. Thus, aliases act as friendly syntax intermediaries between you and the namespace. For example, when you run a simple WMIC command such as

Here is how to wmic to get PC Motherboard serial numbers, CPU and BIOS details:

 

C:\> wmic bios get name,serialnumber,version

 

Above will print  name if your BIOS, current version and it’s serial number if there is any.

If you need to get more info about the specific Motherboard installed on host:

 

C:\> wmic csproduct get name,identifyingnumber,uuid

 

This command will show motherboard modification and it’s UUID

If you want to quickly get what is Windows running hardware CPU clock speed
 

C:\> wmic cpu get name,CurrentClockSpeed,MaxClockSpeed

 

Also if you have turbo boost CPUs above command will help you find what’s the Max Clock Speed your system is capable of for the current hardware configuration.

If you do have dynamic clock speed running, then add this line, will refresh and monitor the Clock speed every 1 second.
 

C:\> wmic cpu get name,CurrentClockSpeed,MaxClockSpeed /every:1

Actually wmic is a great tool

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Mount remote Linux SSHFS Filesystem harddisk on Windows Explorer SWISH SSHFS file mounter and a short evaluation on what is available to copy files to SSHFS from Windows PC

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

swish-mount-and-copy-files-from-windows-to-linux-via-sshfs-mount

I'm forced to use Windows on my workbook and I found it really irritating, that I can't easily share files in a DropBox, Google Drive, MS OneDrive, Amazon Storage or other cloud-storage free remote service. etc.
I don't want to use DropBox like non self-hosted Data storage because I want to keep my data private and therefore the only and best option for me was to make possible share my Linux harddisk storage
dir remotely to the Windows notebook.

I didn't wanted to setup some complex environment such as Samba Share Server (which used to be often a common option to share file from Linux server to Windows), neither wanted to bother with  installing FTP service and bother with FTP clients, or configuring some other complex stuff such as WebDav – which BTW is an accepted and heavily used solution across corporate clients to access read / write files on a remote Linux servers.
Hence, I made a quick research what else besides could be used to easily share files and data from Windows PC / notebook to a home brew or professional hosting Linux server.

It turned out, there are few of softwares that gives a similar possibility for a home lan small network Linux / Windows hybrid network users such, here is few of the many:

  • SyncThingSyncthing is an open-source file synchronization client/server application, written in Go, implementing its own, equally free Block Exchange Protocol. The source code's content-management repository is hosted on GitHub

     

     

     

     

     

    syncthing-logo

  • OwnCloud – ownCloud provides universal access to your files via the web, your computer or your mobile devices

     

     

     

     

     

    owncloud-logo

  • Seafile – Seafile is a file hosting software system. Files are stored on a central server and can be synchronized with personal computers and mobile devices via the Seafile client. Files can also be accessed via the server's web interface


seafile-client-in-browser

I've checked all of them and give a quick try of Syncthing which is really easy to start, just download the binary launch it and configure it under https://Localhost:8385 URL from a browser on the Linux server.
Syncthing seemed to be nice and easy to configure solution to be able to Sync files between Server A (Windows) and Server B(Linux) and guess many would enjoy it, if you want to give it a try you can follow this short install syncthing article.
However what I didsliked in both SyncThing and OwnCloud and Seafile and all of the other Sync file solutions was, they only supported synchronization via web and didn't seemed to have a Windows Explorer integration and did required
the server to run more services, posing another security hole in the system as such third party softwares are not easily to update and maintain.

Because of that finally after rethinking about some other ways to copy files to a locally mounted Sync directory from the Linux server, I've decided to give SSHFS a try. Mounting SSHFS between two Linux / UNIX hosts is
quite easy task with SSHFS tool

In Windows however the only way I know to transfer files to Linux via SSHFS was with WinSCP client and other SCP clients as well as the experimental:

As well as few others such as ExpandDrive, Netdrive, Dokan SSHFS (mirrored for download here)
I should say that I first decided to try copying few dozen of Gigabyte movies, text, books etc. using WinSCP direct connection, but after getting a couple of timeouts I was tired of WinSCP and decided to look for better way to copy to remote Linux SSHFS.
However the best solution I found after a bit of extensive turned to be:

SWISH – Easy SFTP for Windows

Swish is very straight forward to configure compared to all of them you download the .exe which as of time of writting is at version 0.8.0 install on the PC and right in My Computer you will get a New Device called Swish next to your local and remote drives C:/ D:/ , USBs etc.

swish-new-device-to-appear-in-my-computer-to-mount-sshfs

As you see in below screenshot two new non-standard buttons will Appear in Windows Explorer that lets you configure SWISH

windows-mount-sshfs-swish-add-sftp-connection-button-screenshot

Next and final step before you have the SSHFS remote Linux filesystem visible on Windows Xp / 7 / 8 / 10 is to fill in remote Linux hostname address (or even better fill in IP to get rid of possible DNS issues), UserName (UserID) and Direcory to mount.

swish-new-fill-in-dialog-to-make-new-linux-sshfs-mount-directory-possible-on-windows

Then you will see the SSHFS moutned:

swish-sshfs-mounted-on-windows

You will be asked to accept the SSH host-key as it used to be unknown so far

swish-mount-sshfs-partition-on-windows-from-remote-linux-accept-key

That's it now you will see straight into Windows Explorer the remote Linux SSHFS mounted:

remote-sshfs-linux-filesystem-mounted-in-windows-explorer-with-swish

Once setupped a Swish connection to copy files directly to it you can use the Send to Embedded Windows dialog, as in below screenshot

swish-send-to-files-windows-screenshot

The only 3 problem with SWISH are:

1. It doesn't support Save password, so on every Windows PC reboot when you want to connect to remote Linux SSHFS, you will have to retype remote login user pass.
Fron security stand point this is not such a bad thing, but it is a bit irritating to everytime type the password without an option to save permanently.
The good thing here is you can use Launch Key Agent
as visible in above screenshot and set in Putty Key Agent your remote host SSH key so the passwordless login will work without any authentication at
all however, this might open a security hole if your Win PC gets infected by virus, which might delete something on remote mounted SSHFS filesystem so I personally prefer to retype password on every boot.

2. it is a bit slow so if you're planning to Transfer large amounts of Data as hundreds of megabytes, expect a very slow transfer rate, even in a Local  10Mbit Network to transfer 20 – 30 GB of data, it took me about 2-3 hours or so.
SWISH is not actively supported and it doesn't have new release since 20th of June 2013, but for the general work I need it is just perfect, as I don't tent to be Synchronizing Dozens of Gigabytes all the time between my notebook PC and the Linux server.

3. If you don't use the established mounted connection for a while or your computer goes to sleep mode after recovering your connection to remote Linux HDD if opened in Windows File Explorer will probably be dead and you will have to re-enable it.

For Mac OS X users who want to mount / attach remote directory from a Linux partitions should look in fuguA Mac OS X SFTP, SCP and SSH Frontend

I'll be glad to hear from people on other good ways to achieve same results as with SWISH but have a better copy speed while using SSHFS.

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Where is Firefox plugin / bookmarks / temp files directory on Windows?

Saturday, February 13th, 2016

windows-appdata-mozilla-plugins-how-to-check-the-extensions-folder-firefox-windows-screenshot

If you want to find out where Firefox downloads and keeps installed extensions in a quick manner, just press together:
KBD Windows flag button + R

This shortcut will open WIndows Run prompt
And paste inside the run prompt

%appdata%\Mozilla\plugins

 

The %appdata% is Windows internal variable that keeps inside  path to C:\Users\Your-Username\AppData\Roaming

On my workPC this contains:

C:\Users\georgi7>echo %appdata%
C:\Users\georgi7\AppData\Roaming

 

mozilla-plugins-folder-in-windows-explorer-screenshot

Enjoy 🙂

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How to Remove Firefox TABS all time Moving Backward / Forward (Waiting) Wheel cursor – Browser and OS Wheel Ring cursor might affect hypnotically

Monday, September 7th, 2015

remove-firefox-tabs-all-time-annoying-moving-back-forward-waiting-wheel-cursor-browser-and-ring-cursor-might-affect-you-hypnotically

I've been annoying for quite a long time by the the Clockwise moving backward and Forward Wheel (Ring) on Top of browser Tabs everytime I navigate to a new Internet domain or request a resource on the Net.

I'm aware that seeing the wheel all the time move back and forward is a very bad manipulation technique that is often used in advertisements in old movies and some advertisements in the start of the video . I'm talking about the infamous backward counting technique in a Circle (it was moer commonly used in the dawn of Television) aiming to induce watchers mind into hypnotic state …

back-counting-10-9-8-7-manipulation-technique-to-make-your-mind-susceptible

Those who have a degree in psychology or have been into marketing or human resources fields or any field involved where you have to influence the masses are already aware of the backward counting methology which has been practiced heavily by hypnosis practisioners such as Sigmund Freud, to induce any kind of hypnotic state the hypnotist always asks the object of hypnotism to watch closely into a moving back and forwards clock, often accompanied by counting backwards …

Well my Theory here is that the same techniques is well aware of those who planned Windows OS in which if you remember the Sand Clock has been substituted in Windows 7 / 8 and Windows 10 with the rotating back and foward Wheel for the reason that this aims to influence people mind to go into Alpha state from Beta state and thus make them feel more relaxed while doing stuff on the PC.

One thing to mention here is Back and Forward wheel is not only into OS level it has been heavily adopted by leading Software as a Service (SAS) UIs such as Google's and probably more importantly Youtube (have you noticed the Cycling Wheel when waiting for a Youtube movie to Load), the Wheel is also heavily incoruprated in most if not all biggest Websites on the Net. Even If you have noticed these days Google's Cycling (Waiting) Wheel is not only Cycling but has the colorful programming incorporated.

google-wheel-color-programming-example

Well probably many people who use computers daily did not really realize that the Computer OS and Programs GUI Interface they're using is influencing their mind and some famous psychological methods such as color programming and hypnotic tricks could be used more or less.

In that regard as a Firefox user I decided to change tne Back and Forward Wheel with another one which will not trigger my subconsciousness / mind all the time while browing on the Net into Alpha State. As I'm not a Firefox expert and my quick research on search Engines on how to achieve changing or removing the Browser Tabs all time turning wheel did not led me to nothing positive, I've consulted the experts in irc.freenode.net #firefox.

As always the guys were helpful and pointed me out to UserStyles.org website's Static-Throbbler CSS. I've mirrored the CSS script under a name remove-firefox-tab-wheel-script.css in case if UserSpace.org disappears in future, below is also a paste of the script:

@namespace url(http://www.mozilla.org/keymaster/gatekeeper/there.is.only.xul); @-moz-document url(chrome://browser/content/browser.xul) { .tab-throbber { list-style-image: url('data:image/png;base64,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') !important; animation-name: none !important; } .tab-throbber[progress] { list-style-image: url('data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAABAAAAAQCAMAAAAoLQ9TAAAABGdBTUEAALGPC/xhBQAAACBjSFJNAAB6JgAAgIQAAPoAAACA6AAAdTAAAOpgAAA6mAAAF3CculE8AAABs1BMVEUAAAAAkwAAnwAAmAAAmQAAnQAAiQAAkgAAkAAEnAQHogcHpwcHpgcGogYEmwQAkAAAkQAAiAAAjAAAkQAEnQQMqwwhwiEhxyEiyCIgwiAMrAwEnQQAkQAEnAQauRohyCEdxh0SwRIRvxEPvw8ZxRkjyCMFnQUEnAQVuhUhyCESwRIFuAUBsAEArQABrwEBsAEMuQwRwREjyCMVuRUEnAQNrQ0TwRMBsAEAqwAAqAABsAERwREiyCIQrhAexh4CuAIDtwMbxhsgwiAEmwQGogYjxiMTwhMBrwETwRMhxiEGoQYMqAwhxyEOvg4ArQAArwAPvg8kyCQMpwwnyCcPvg8AqgAArAAOvg4hxyEMqAwGoQYkxyQVwhUBrgEBrwEjxiMGogYEmwQhwiEcxhwMuQwArQAAqwAGuAYexh4gwiAEnAQRrhEjyCMRwREBrwEBrwETwRMixyINrQ0EnAQVuRUjyCMSwRIDuAMBrgEArAAKuAohyCEEmwQFnAUauRoZxRkSwRIRvxERwREcxRwhyCEEnAQAkAAMqwwhxiEixyIgwiAMqwwHpQcHpgcHoQcEmwT////fHmrrAAAAkHRSTlMAAAAAAAAHIzBXbHZ1bFMxJAcNJ1iAo6amooBZJl2Zpp6Ui4mep11WmKWSZygXFylmk6aYWYCRMQkKL5Kngp1iZ52jVG6nkyeUpm53qo0WF4uodqqMExOMqXZwp5UmJKhvVaSfag0MaZ6kWISplC4wk6iCWpqolWklEmanV1+boJeNlqCoXyeDqKmlgnh5blghd7i+AAAAAWJLR0SQeAqODAAAAPRJREFUGNNjYGBgY+fg5OLm4eXjFxBkAAIhYRFRMXEJCXFJKWkZIaC8jKycvIKikrKiiqqcmrAgg4C6hqaWto6unr6BoZGxiQADh6mEmbkFIwMDk6WVtY0tPwOnmJ29BQMYWDo4OjkzuLi6uTNCBJj1PTy9GLx9fP0YoMA/IDCIwTs4JBQmEBYeEckQFR0TywLhs8Z5xCcwJCYlp6RCBNLSMzKzGPizc3LzUkHWpuUXFBbxMwgUl5SWlVeEVsZVKVaX1AgwCArX1uXUN4Q3NjW31LW2sQE9J1PcntnRWdjR1W0iLAQyS1CAP9Grp7evn58dKA8Ayh0xsydWuvQAAAAldEVYdGRhdGU6Y3JlYXRlADIwMTMtMDYtMjhUMDc6NDE6NTEtMDY6MDBGP1HhAAAAJXRFWHRkYXRlOm1vZGlmeQAyMDEzLTA2LTI4VDA3OjQxOjUyLTA2OjAwBorzwAAAABN0RVh0U29mdHdhcmUASmFwbmcgcjExOSfos2EAAAAASUVORK5CYII=') !important; } }

To use the script you will first need to install the Stylish FF plugin, then:

Stylish-FireFox-plugin-screenshot-Windows-7-OS
 

1. Enable Stylish plugin and Restart firefox when prompted
2. Click on Write New Style
3. Paste above CSS script and click on Save button

 

stylish-static-throbbler-css-script-change-back-forward-rotating-tab-wheel-on-Firefox-howto

Now instead of the moving wheel you will get just a circle appearing as a static image while the page is loading.

If you want to absolutely remove any circles or images and show nothing when loading, e.g. not have any mean to monitor whether page is loaded or not, but also make it easier for the eye I even finally decided to completely remove the all time moving Wheel from Firefox Tabs even the static picture out using below CSS script with Stylish:
 

@namespace url(http://www.mozilla.org/keymaster/gatekeeper/there.is.only.xul); @-moz-document url(chrome://browser/content/browser.xul) { .tab-throbber { list-style-image: none !important; animation-name: none !important; } .tab-throbber[progress] { list-style-image: none !important; } }

After all even after removing the FF Tabs wheel, there is the Status being printed down the webpage, showing text based the connection status. I find this kind of page loading status much less agressive and preferrable, than the current verions Firefox 4 onwards ..

One other thing I do to prevent the annoying Windows OS default Theme wheel is to change it to the old fashioned sand clock as well as bring back the theme of Windows 7 / 8 to Classic Theme of Win 2000, as I believe this reduced the level of zoombification the PC imposes on self 🙂

Enjoy!

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How to check Java JAR JDBC / ODBC version on Linux / Unix and Windows server

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

how-to-check-java-jar-odbc-jdbc-version-linux-unix-windows-server
If you're forced to update some Java based Web application using Java + Tomcat / WebSphere / Weblogic it is a common thing that the Java App developer handed to you will ask you which version is the Oracle JDBC / ODBC driver on current Java Virtual Machine version installed.


Actually there are few methods to check Java JDBC / ODBC version:

1. Check Java ODBC version greeping it in  WEB-INF/MANIFEST.MF

Usually the .jar file comes archived in a .ZIP – i.e.  application-name5 .zip
 

server:~# unzip application-name5.zip

 

Then if the .zip file contains the OJDBC as a .JAR extension – (Java Archive), inflate it with jar tool.
 

server:~# jar -xvf ojdbc7.jar META-INF/MANIFEST.MF
inflated: META-INF/MANIFEST.MF

server:~# grep Implementation META-INF/MANIFEST.MF
Implementation-Vendor: Oracle Corporation
Implementation-Title: JDBC
Implementation-Version: 12.1.0.1.0

 

Alternative way to check the info (if you don't have java or jar installed on the Linux / Unix machine) is simply with unzip + grep like so:

 

server:~# unzip -p ojdbc14.jar META-INF/MANIFEST.MF | grep -C 1 version

Manifest-Version: 1.0
Implementation-Version: "Oracle JDBC Driver version – 10.1.0.5.0"
Specification-Title: "Oracle JDBC driver classes for use with JDK1.4"
Specification-Version: "Oracle JDBC Driver version – 10.1.0.5.0"
Implementation-Title: "ojdbc14.jar"

 

If you're on a Windows (and you have Windows server grep.exe installed), use instead:

 

C:\jar> unzip -p ojdbc14.jar META-INF/MANIFEST.MF | grep -C version

 


2. Getting some info with Java JRE tool

You can check some useful Java version info also just with Java Runtime Environment (java) tool
 

server:~# java -jar ojdbc5.jar

Oracle 11.1.0.7.0-Production JDBC 3.0 compiled with JDK5

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Create SSH Tunnel to MySQL server to access remote filtered MySQL port 3306 host through localhost port 3308

Friday, February 27th, 2015

create_ssh_tunnel_to-mysql_server-to-access-remote-filtered-mysql-on-port-3306-secure_ssh_traffic
On our Debian / CentOS / Ubuntu Linux and Windows servers we're running multiple MySQL servers and our customers sometimes need to access this servers.
This is usually problem because MySQL Db  servers are running in a DMZ Zone with a strong firewall and besides that for security reasons SQLs are configured to only listen for connections coming from localhost, I mean in config files across our Debian Linux servers and CentOS / RHEL Linux machines the /etc/mysql/my.cnf and /etc/my.cnf the setting for bind-address is 127.0.0.1:
 

[root@centos ~]# grep -i bind-address /etc/my.cnf 
bind-address            = 127.0.0.1
##bind-address  = 0.0.0.0


For source code developers which are accessing development SQL servers only through a VPN secured DMZ Network there are few MySQL servers witha allowed access remotely from all hosts, e.g. on those I have configured:
 

[root@ubuntu-dev ~]# grep -i bind-address /etc/my.cnf 

bind-address  = 0.0.0.0


However though clients insisted to have remote access to their MySQL Databases but since this is pretty unsecure, we decided not to configure MySQLs to listen to all available IP addresses / network interfaces. 
MySQl acess is allowed only through PhpMyAdmin accessible via Cleint's Web interface which on some servers is CPanel  and on other Kloxo (This is open source CPanel like very nice webhosting platform).

For some stubborn clients which wanted to have a mysql CLI and MySQL Desktop clients access to be able to easily analyze their databases with Desktop clients such as MySQL WorkBench there is a "hackers" like work around to create and use a MySQL Tunnel to SQL server from their local Windows PCs using standard OpenSSH Linux Client from Cygwin,  MobaXterm which already comes with the SSH client pre-installed and has easy GUI interface to create SSH tunnels or eventually use Putty's Plink (Command Line Interface) to create the tunnel

Anyways the preferred and recommended (easiest) way to achieve a tunnel between MySQL and local PC (nomatter whether Windows or Linux client system) is to use standard ssh client and below command:
 

ssh -o ServerAliveInterval=10 -M -T -M -N -L 3308:localhost:3306 your-server.your-domain.com


By default SSH tunnel will keep opened for 3 minutes and if not used it will automatically close to get around this issue, you might want to raise it to (lets say 15 minutes). To do so in home directory user has to add in:
 

~/.ssh/config

ServerAliveInterval 15
ServerAliveCountMax 4


Note that sometimes it is possible ven though ssh tunnel timeout value is raised to not take affect if there is some NAT (Network Adress Translation) with low timeout setting on a firewall level. If you face constant SSH Tunnel timeouts you can use below bash few lines code to auto-respawn SSH tunnel connection (for Windows users use MobaXterm or install in advance bash shell cygwin package):
 

while true
do
 
ssh -o ServerAliveInterval=10 -M -T -M -N -L 3308:localhost:3306 your-server.your-domain.com
  sleep 15
done


Below is MySQLBench screenshot connected through server where this blog is located after establishing ssh tunnel to remote mysql server on port 3308 on localhost

mysql-workbench-database-analysis-and-management-gui-tool-convenient-for-data-migratin-and-queries-screenshot-

There is also another alternative way to access remote firewall filtered mysql servers without running complex commands to Run a tunnel which we recommend for clients (sql developers / sql designers) by using HeidiSQL (which is a useful tool for webdevelopers who has to deal with MySQL and MSSQL hosted Dbs).

heidisql-show-host_processlist-screenshot

To connect to remote MySQL server through a Tunnel using Heidi:

mysql_connection_configuration-heidi-mysql-gui-connect-tool

 

In the ‘Settings’ tab

1. In the dropdown list of ‘Network type’, please select SSH tunnel

2. Hostname/IP: localhost (even you are connecting remotely)

3. Username & Password: your mysql user and password

Next, in the tab SSH Tunnel:

1. specify plink.exe or you need to download it and specify where it’s located

2. Host + port: the remote IP of your SSH server(should be MySQL server as well), port 22 if you don’t change anything

3. Username & password: SSH username (not MySQL user)

 

heidi-connection_ssh_tunnel_configuration-heidi-sql-tool-screenshot
 

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Remove \r (Carriage Return) from string with standard bash shell / sed / tr / vim or awk – Replace \r hidden messy characters from files

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

remove_r_carriage_return_from_string_with-standard-bash_shell_sed_tr_or_awk_replace_annoying_hidden_messy_characters_from_files

I've been recently writting this Apache webserver / Tomcat / JBoss / Java decomissioning bash script. Part of the script includes extraction from httpd.conf of DocumentRoot variable configured for Apache host.
I was using following one liner to grep and store DocumentRoot set directory into new variable:

documentroot=$(grep -i documentroot /usr/local/apache/conf/httpd.conf | awk '{ print $2 }' |sed -e 's#"##g');

Above line greps for documentroot prints 2nd column of the matchi (which is the Apache server set docroot and then removes any " chars).

However I faced the issue that parsed string contained in $documentroot variable there was mysteriously containing r – return carriage – this is usually Carriage Return (CR) sent by Mac OS and Apple computers. For those who don't know the End of Line of files in UNIX / Linux OS-es is LF – often abreviated as n – often translated as return new line), while Windows PCs use for EOF CR + LF – known as the infamous  rn. I was running the script from the server which is running SuSE SLES 11 Linux, meaning the CR + LF end of file is standardly used, however it seem someone has editted the httpd.conf earlier with a text editor from Mac OS X (Terminal). Thus I needed a way to remove the r from CR character out of the variable, because otherwise I couldn't use it to properly exec tar to archive the documentroot set directory, cause the documentroot directory was showing unexistent.

Opening the httpd.conf in standard editor didn't show the r at the end of
"directory", e.g. I could see in the file when opened with vim

DocumentRoot "/usr/local/apache/htdocs/site/www"

However obviously the r character was there to visualize it I had to use cat command -v option (–show-nonprinting):

cat -v /usr/local/apache/conf/httpd.conf

DocumentRoot "/usr/local/apache/htdocs/site/wwwr"


1. Remove the r CR with bash

To solve that with bash, I had to use another quick bash parsing that scans through $directory and removes r, here is how:

documentroot=${documentroot%$'r'}

It is also possible to use same example to remove "broken" Windows rn Carriage Returns after file is migrated from Windows to Liunx /  FreeBSD host:

documentroot=${documentroot%$'rn'}

 

2. Remove r Carriage Return character with sed

Other way to do remove (del) Windows / Mac OS Carriage Returns in case if Migrating to UNIX is with sed (stream editor).

sed -i s/r// filename >> filename_out.txt


3. Remove r CR character with tr

There is a third way also to do it with (tr) – translate or delete characters old shool *nix command:

tr -d 'r' < file_with_carriagereturns > file_without_carriage_returns

 

4. Remove r CRs with awk (pattern scanning and processing language)

 awk 'sub("$", "r")' inputf_with_crs.txt > outputf_without_crs.txt


5. Delete r CR with VIM editor

:%s/r//g


6. Converting  file DOS / UNIX OSes with dos2unix and unix2dos command line tools

For sysadmins who don't want to bother with writting code to convert CR when moving files between Windows and UNIX hosts there are dos2unix and unix2dos installable commands.

All done Cheers ! 🙂

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How to delete “Temporary Internet Files”/Content.IE5 with DEL and RD commands on Windows 7 / 8 folder contents – Clean Up Temporary files and folders to speed up and free disk space

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

7logo_clean-up-windows-commands-tips-and-tricks-how-to-clean-up-windows-pc-manuallyI
've been called urgently today by miss Jenia Pencheva who is the president of Christian Air Ticket Agency GoodFaithAir, her personal computer caused her quite a lot of headache, I've previously fixed it once and she was happy with that thus when she experienced problems she give me a call for remote IT support :).

She explahed her PC was unable to boot normally and in order to have some Windows she ended in Safe-Mode with Networking state. This problems caused her business losses as during PC in Safe mode the screen resolution even though with networking and she couldn't use the flight ticket ordering systems  to purchase her customers new tickets.  I've earlier installed TeamViewr on her PC so after Logging on the PC, I've immediately realized the Hard Disk was almost full (less than 1Giga free on C: Drive – where Windows install lived)

After a thorough investigation on which directory is occupying most of disk space (110GB) with a nice program called SpaceSniffer which is perfect for finding lost space on your hard disks, I've found System for ticket reservation Amadeus CRS (Computer Reservation System) was causing the disk full-full troubles.

spacesniff-visualize-disk-data-in-windows-nice-check-large-directories

I've found troubling directory  was:

C:UsersgoodfaithairAppDataLocalMicrosoftWindowsTemporary Internet FilesContent.IE5

To solve it I first tried to Clean up Internet Explorer Cache (I've checked ticks Temporary Internet files, Cookies, History, Download History, Form Data, InPrivate Filtering Data).

clean-up-Microsoft-Internet-Explorer-browser-cache-IE-7-8-9-10-11

Then I used Microsoft Windows embedded clean manager (cleanmgr.exe) to run disk clean up, however Desk Clean Up managed to clear up only about 1Giga and on the computer HDD which is 150Gb still on Windows installation drive C: only 1.5GB were free.
diskcleanup-ms-windows-7-8-screenshot-free-disk-space-tool
Besides that the system was having a second trouble as there were some failed updates (Computer was not shutdown properly but shutdown during Windows Update) and this was making the machine to enter Safe-Mode, I was fixing the system over TeamViewer session so after restart I had no way to see if Windows boots Normal or Safe-Mode after restart, thus to find out whether Windows was in Safe-Mode after another restart I've used below PowerShell one-liner script:

check-whether-windows-is-working-in-safe-mode-gwmi-powershell-screenshot

PS C:> gwmi win32_computersystem | select BootupState

BootupState
———–
Fail-safe with network boot

Note that possible return results from above command are:

Normal boot
Fail-safe boot
Fail-safe with network boot

I've been struggling for a while (had to restart it multiple times) until finally I managed to make it boot in normal mode. Because PC was failing to apply some Windows Update, thus dropping by in Safe-Mode each time. To solve that I had to go and Delete two of the last Applied updates (KB2979xxxx files).
 

Control Panel ->  Program and Features -> View Installed Updates


MS-Windows-7-8-9-uninstall-updates-Patches-Control_Panel_screenshot_fix_unbootable_problems-because-updates
I've restarted and since I couldn't see the screen on Windows boot-time, I don't know what really happened but the PC booted again in Safe-Mode, and I thought the classical way to fix PC booting in Safe-Mode with SFC command will help:

C:> sfc /scannow

but for my surprise this helped not as the system continuously booted in Safe-Mode, to fix the Windows PC always booting to Safe-Mode, I had to change it running msconfig and unticking Safe Mode field

C:> msconfig

windows-always-booting-to-safe-mode-fix-howto-services-msc-screenshot

Then I tried to delete Temporary Internet Files with below DEL cmd line
 

C:> del "C:UsersMyNameAppDataLocalMicrosoftWindowsTemporary Internet Files*.*"


To finally succeeding in manually delete huge Temporary Internet FilesContent.IE5 folder, I had to use good old RD (Remove Directory) command.

 

C:> RD "C:UsersusernameAppDataLocalMicrosoftWindowsTemporary Internet FilesContent.IE5" /Q /S

I used also following dels command to delete other common locations where Windows stores temporary files

For those who like to batch DeletingTemporary Internet Files and most common Temp locations to be cleaned on Windows boot I recommend you schedule a start of (clean-temporary-internet-files-content_ie5_folder.bat) on every PC boot.

To Clean-up other common Temporary file locations that could take you disk space the command line way run in new Administarator privileged command prompt:
 

cls
cleanmgr /sageset:99
del /F /S /Q "%systemroot%temp*.*"
del /F /S /Q "%systemroot%Prefetch*.*"
del /F /S /Q "C:Documents and SettingsDefault UserLocal SettingsTemporary Internet FilesContent.IE5*.*"
del /F /S /Q "C:Documents and SettingsDefault UserLocal SettingsTemp*.*"
del /F /S /Q "C:Documents and SettingsDefault UserLocal SettingsHistory*.*"
 
del /F /S /Q "C:Documents and Settings%UserName%Local SettingsTemporary Internet FilesContent.IE5*.*"
del /F /S /Q "C:Documents and Settings%UserName%Local SettingsTemp*.*"
del /F /S /Q "C:Documents and Settings%UserName%Local SettingsHistory*.*"
 
del /F /S /Q "C:Documents and Settings%UserName%Local SettingsApplication DataTemp*.*"
del /F /S /Q "C:Documents and Settings%UserName%Local SettingsApplication DataTemporary Internet FilesContent.IE5
*.*"
 
del /F /S /Q "C:AppDataLocalMicrosoftWindowsHistory*. *"
del /F /S /Q "C:AppDataLocalMicrosoftWindowsTemporary Internet FilesContent.IE5*.*"
del /F /S /Q "C:AppDataLocalMicrosoftWindowsTemporary Internet FilesLowContent.IE5*.*"
del /F /S /Q "C:AppDataLocalMicrosoftWindowsTemporary Internet FilesTemporary Internet FilesContent.IE5*.*"
del /F /S /Q "C:AppDataLocalMicrosoftWindowsTemporary Internet FilesTemporary Internet FilesLowContent.IE5*.*"
 
del /F /S /Q "C:Users%UserName%AppDataLocalTemp*.*"
del /F /S /Q "C:Temp*.*"
del /F /S /Q "C:Users%UserName%AppDataLocalMicrosoftW indo wsTemporary Internet FilesLowContent.IE5*.*
del /F /S /Q "C:Users%UserName%AppDataLocalMicrosoftW indo wsHistory*.*
 
 
::Rem: No need to duplicate the following section for each registered User
del /F /S /Q "%homepath%Cookies*.*"
del /F /S /Q "%homepath%recent*.*"
del /F /S /Q "%homepath%Local Settingscookies*.*"
 
del /F /S /Q "%homepath%Local SettingsHistory*.*"
del /F /S /Q "%homepath%Local SettingsTemp*.*"
del /F /S /Q "%homepath%Local SettingsTemporary Internet FilesContent.IE5*.*"
 
cleanmgr /sagerun:99

Note that in some cases running above commands might left you loose some sensitive data and in case where Internet is slow cleaning temporary files, might have impact on surfing also you will loose your history so be sure you know what you're doing as you might loose sensitive data.

Finally I've run MalwareBytes to clean up the PC slowness caused by Spyware and other left Malware I've run MalwareBytes, RogueKiller, AdwCleaner, RKill, TDSSKiller in order and I found and removed few Malwares as well.

That's all, hope you learned something new. Enjoy!
 

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Clean slow Windows PC / Laptop from Spyware, Malware, Viruses, Worms and Trojans – Anti-Malware Program Arsenal

Monday, January 26th, 2015

clean-slow-Windows-computer-notebook-laptop-from-malware-spyware-viruses-worms-and-trojans

Malware Bytes is a great tool to clean a PC in a quick and efficient way from Malware /  Spyware that wormed while browsing infectious site on the internet.
But sometimes PCs that has to be fixed are so badly infected with Spyware, Malware and Viruses that even after running Malware Bytes on boot time, left Work or Viruses do automatically download from the Internet or have been polymorphically renamed to a newer one that escapes Malware Bytes badware database and heroistics
Such problematic PCs are usually unmaintained user PCs whose Anti-Virus procetion with Nod32 or Kaspersky licensing has long expired leaving the PC without any mean of protection / PCs with removed Firewall / AV Program (due to Virus or Malware Infection) or on Computers which were used actively to download Cracked Programs, Games – by small kids or PCs used for watching heavily Porn (by teenagers).

Here is a List of Top Iseful FreeWare anti-Malware softwares, you can use in combination with MalwareBytes to (Clean) / Fix a Windows PC that is in almost unsolvable state (and obviously needs re-install) but contains too much software either obsolete or hard (time wasting) to configure:

Below anti-malware goodies helps in “Resurrecting” even the worst infected PC, so I believe every Win Admin should know them well and in computer clubs and university Windows computer networks with Internet it is recommended to check computers at least once a year …

1. Remove Bootkits and Trojans with Kaspersky TDSSKiller

Bootkit is a rootkit which loads when Windows system boots.  To search and destroy bootkits – Download the latest official version of Kaspersky TDSSKiller.

remove-bootkits-and-trojans-with-kaspersky-tdsskiller-screenshot-anti-malware

KASPERSKY TDSSKILLER DOWNLOAD LINK Run Kaspersky (after changing parameters  – enable Detect TDLFS file system) and remove any found infections

2. Download and use latest official version of RKill to terminate any malicious processes running in background

rkill-terminate-any-malicious-spyware-malware-processes-running-in-background-rkill-logo

Please note that you will have to rename version of RKILL so that malicious software won’t block this utility from running. (link will automatically download RKILL renamed as iExplore.exe)
Double click on iExplore.exe to start RKill and stop any processes associated with Luhe.Sirefef.A.

rkill-terminate-trojan-spyware-processes-windows-xp-7-screenshot

RKill will now start working in the background, please be patient while the program looks for any malicious process and tries to end them.
When the Rkill utility has completed its task, it will generate a log.

Do not reboot your computer after running RKill as the malware programs will start again.

When the Rkill utility has completed its task, it will generate a log. Do not reboot computer after running RKill as the malware programs will start again.

3. Clean (any remaining) malware from your computer with HitmanPro

clean-remaining-malware-from-computer-with-hitmanpro-scanning-screenshot

HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK is here

My Mirror of HitmanPro 3.7 (32 bit) Windows version is here
My Mirror of HitmanPro 3.7 (64 bit) Windows version is here

Because HitmanPro is unfortunately proprietary software, when you run a scan on the computer “Activate free license” button to begin the free 30 days trial, and remove all the malicious files found on your computer.

4. Remove Windows adware with AdwCleaner

The AdwCleaner utility will scan your computer and web browser for the malicious files, browser extensions and registry keys, that may have been installed on your computer without your knowledge.

adwcleaner-clean-remove-delete-adware-with-AdwCleaner-found-malware-screenshot

Here isAdwCleaner utility ADWCLEANER DOWNLOAD LINK 
My Download AdwCleaner 4.109 is here

Note that before starting AdwCleaner, close all open programs and internet browsers. After finishing scan AdwCleaner requires a reboot (always backup cause you never know what can happen).

5. Remove any malicious registry keys added by malware with RogueKiller

remove-any-malicious-registry-keys-added-by-malware-with-RogueKiller

RogueKiller is a utility that will scan for the unwanted registry keys and any other malicious files on your computer. It is pretty much like the free software Little Registry Cleaner but it is specialised in removing common malware left junk keys.

download the latest official version of RogueKiller from the below links.

ROGUEKILLER x86 DOWNLOAD LINK (For 32-bit machines)
ROGUEKILLER x64 DOWNLOAD LINK (For 64-bit machines)

Download Mirror link of Roguekiller X86 is here
Download Mirror link of Roguekiller X64 is here

Wait for the Prescan to complete.This should take only a few seconds,  then click on the “Scan” button to perform a system scan. After scan complete delete any found hax0r malicious registries

6. Purge any leftover infections on your computer with Emsisoft Anti-Malware

purge-any-left-over-infections-on-your-computer-with-EmsiSoft-anti-malware

Emsisoft scan (potentially) infected PC for Viruses, Trojans, Spyware, Adware, Worms, Dialers, Keyloggers and other badware.

DOWNLOAD EMSISOFT EMERGENCY KIT HERE  – The link will open in new window tab. Note that EmsiSoftEmergencyKit is huge 168 Mbs!

My mirror of EmsiSoft Emergency kit is here

It is recommended to do the SMART Scan as it is more complete, though if you're in a hurry Quick Scan might also find something ugly. Once Scan completes Quarantine any found infected items.

It is best if all of the 7 Win cleaners are run, e.g.:

(TDSSKiller, RKill, HitmanPro, AdwCleaner, RogueKiller, Little Registry Cleaner  and EmsiSoft) in a consequential order as they're shown in article). Finally a run of Malware Bytes just to make sure nothing has remained is a good idea too.

Hopefully now you should be malware free. If you know other useful Anti-Spyware tools that helped you in case of PC Malware Slowness problems (constant Hard Disk read writes), please drop a comment and I will include them in this list). 
Once badware is removed from your PC or laptop the CPU should no longer show constantly busy with some strange process in taskmgr and notebook should be much more responsive (and if you have power management enabled) it will consume less energy reducing your electricity bills 🙂
 

Any feedback on experience with running above bunch of anti spy programs is also mostly welcome. 

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