ipmitool: Reset and manage IPMI (Intelligent Platform Management Interface) / ILO (Integrated Lights Out) remote board on Linux servers


December 20th, 2019

ipmitool-how-to-get-information-about-hardware-and-reset-ipmi-bmc-linux-access-ipmi-ilo-interface-logo

As a system administration nomatter whether you manage a bunch of server in a own brew and run Data Center location with some Rack mounted Hardware like PowerEdge M600 / ProLiant DL360e G8 / ProLiant DL360 Gen9 (755258-B21) or you're managing a bunch of Dedicated Servers, you're or will be faced  at some point to use the embedded in many Rack mountable rack servers IPMI / ILO interface remote console board management. If IPMI / ILO terms are new for you I suggest you quickly read my earlier article What is IPMI / IPKVM / ILO /  DRAC Remote Management interfaces to server .

hp-proliant-bl460c-ILO-Interface-screenshot

HP Proliant BL460 C IPMI (ILO) Web management interface 

In short Remote Management Interface is a way that gives you access to the server just like if you had a Monitor and a Keyboard plugged in directly to server.
When a remote computer is down the sysadmin can access it through IPMI and utilize a text console to the boot screen.
The IPMI protocol specification is led by Intel and was first published on September 16, 1998. and currently is supported by more than 200 computer system vendors, such as Cisco, Dell, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Intel, NEC Corporation, SuperMicro and Tyan and is a standard for remote board management for servers.

IPMI-Block-Diagram-how-ipmi-works-and-its-relation-to-BMC
As you can see from diagram Baseboard Management Controllers (BMCs) is like the heart of IPMI.

Having this ILO / IPMI access is usually via a Web Interface Java interface that gives you the console and usually many of the machines also have an IP address via which a normal SSH command prompt is available giving you ability to execute diagnostic commands to the ILO on the status of attached hardware components of the server / get information about the attached system sensors to get report about things such as:

  • The System Overall heat
  • CPU heat temperature
  • System fan rotation speed cycles
  • Extract information about the server chassis
  • Query info about various system peripherals
  • Configure BIOS or UEFI on a remote system with no monitor / keyboard attached

Having a IPMI (Intelligent Platform Management Interface) firmware embedded into the server Motherboard is essential for system administration because besides this goodies it allows you to remotely Install Operating System to a server without any pre-installed OS right after it is bought and mounted to the planned Data Center Rack nest, just like if you have a plugged Monitor / Keyboard and Mouse and being physically in the remote location.

IPMI is mega useful for system administration also in case of Linux / Windows system updates that requires reboot in which essential System Libraries or binaries are updated and a System reboot is required, because often after system Large bundle updates or Release updates the system fails to boot and you need a way to run a diagnostic stuff from a System rescue Operating System living on a plugged in via a USB stick or CD Drive.
As prior said IPMI remote board is usually accessed and used via some Remote HTTPS encrypted web interface or via Secure Shell crypted session but sometimes the Web server behind the IPMI Web Interface is hanging especially when multiple sysadmins try to access it or due to other stuff and at times due to strange stuff even console SSH access might not be there, thansfully those who run a GNU / Linux Operating system on the Hardware node can use ipmitool tool http://ipmitool.sourceforge.net/ written for Linux that is capable to do a number of useful things with the IPMI management board including a Cold Reset of it so it turns back to working state / adding users / grasping the System hardware and components information health status, changing the Listener address of the IPMI access Interface and even having ability to update the IPMI version firmware.

Prior to be able to access IPMI remotely it has to be enabled usually via a UTP cable connected to the Network from which you expect it to be accesible. The location of the IPMI port on different server vendors is different.

ibm-power9-server-ipmi

IBM Power 9 Server IPMI port

HP-ILO-Bladeserver-Management-port-MGMT-yellow-cabled

HP IPMI console called ILO (Integrated Lights-Out) Port cabled with yellow cable (usually labelled as
Management Port MGMT)

Supermicro-SSG-5029P-E1CTR12L-Rear-Annotated-dedicated-IPMI-lan-port

Supermicro server IPMI Dedicated Lan Port

 

 In this article I'll shortly explain how IPMITool is available and can be installed and used across GNU / Linux Debian / Ubuntu and other deb based Linuxes with apt or on Fedora / CentOS (RPM) based with yum etc.

 

1. Install IPMITool

 

– On Debian

 

# apt-get install –yes ipmitool 

 

– On CentOS

 

# yum install ipmitool OpenIPMI-tools

 

# ipmitool -V
ipmitool version 1.8.14

 

On CentOS ipmitool can run as a service and collect data and do some nice stuff to run it:

 

[root@linux ~]# chkconfig ipmi on 

 

[root@linux ~]# service ipmi start

 

Before start using it is worthy to give here short description from ipmitool man page
 

DESCRIPTION
       This program lets you manage Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) functions of either the local system, via a kernel device driver, or a remote system, using IPMI v1.5 and IPMI v2.0.
       These functions include printing FRU information, LAN configuration, sensor readings, and remote chassis power control.

IPMI management of a local system interface requires a compatible IPMI kernel driver to be installed and configured.  On Linux this driver is called OpenIPMI and it is included in standard  dis‐
       tributions.   On Solaris this driver is called BMC and is included in Solaris 10.  Management of a remote station requires the IPMI-over-LAN interface to be enabled and configured.  Depending on
       the particular requirements of each system it may be possible to enable the LAN interface using ipmitool over the system interface.

 

2. Get ADMIN IP configured for access

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-jojgWqj7acg/Wo6bSP0Av1I/AAAAAAAAGdI/xaHewnmAujkprCiDXoBxV7uHonPFjtZDwCLcBGAs/s1600/22-02-2018%2B15-31-09

To get a list of what is the current listener IP with no access to above Web frontend via which IPMI can be accessed (if it is cabled to the Access / Admin LAN port).

 

# ipmitool lan print 1
Set in Progress         : Set Complete
Auth Type Support       : NONE MD2 MD5 PASSWORD
Auth Type Enable        : Callback : MD2 MD5 PASSWORD
                        : User     : MD2 MD5 PASSWORD
                        : Operator : MD2 MD5 PASSWORD
                        : Admin    : MD2 MD5 PASSWORD
                        : OEM      :
IP Address Source       : Static Address
IP Address              : 10.253.41.127
Subnet Mask             : 255.255.254.0
MAC Address             : 0c:c4:7a:4b:1f:70
SNMP Community String   : public
IP Header               : TTL=0x00 Flags=0x00 Precedence=0x00 TOS=0x00
BMC ARP Control         : ARP Responses Enabled, Gratuitous ARP Disabled
Default Gateway IP      : 10.253.41.254
Default Gateway MAC     : 00:00:0c:07:ac:7b
Backup Gateway IP       : 10.253.41.254
Backup Gateway MAC      : 00:00:00:00:00:00
802.1q VLAN ID          : 8
802.1q VLAN Priority    : 0
RMCP+ Cipher Suites     : 1,2,3,6,7,8,11,12
Cipher Suite Priv Max   : aaaaXXaaaXXaaXX
                        :     X=Cipher Suite Unused
                        :     c=CALLBACK
                        :     u=USER
                        :     o=OPERATOR
                        :     a=ADMIN
                        :     O=OEM

 

 

3. Configure custom access IP and gateway for IPMI

 

[root@linux ~]# ipmitool lan set 1 ipsrc static

 

[root@linux ~]# ipmitool lan set 1 ipaddr 192.168.1.211
Setting LAN IP Address to 192.168.1.211

 

[root@linux ~]# ipmitool lan set 1 netmask 255.255.255.0
Setting LAN Subnet Mask to 255.255.255.0

 

[root@linux ~]# ipmitool lan set 1 defgw ipaddr 192.168.1.254
Setting LAN Default Gateway IP to 192.168.1.254

 

[root@linux ~]# ipmitool lan set 1 defgw macaddr 00:0e:0c:aa:8e:13
Setting LAN Default Gateway MAC to 00:0e:0c:aa:8e:13

 

[root@linux ~]# ipmitool lan set 1 arp respond on
Enabling BMC-generated ARP responses

 

[root@linux ~]# ipmitool lan set 1 auth ADMIN MD5

[root@linux ~]# ipmitool lan set 1 access on

 

4. Getting a list of IPMI existing users

 

# ipmitool user list 1
ID  Name             Callin  Link Auth  IPMI Msg   Channel Priv Limit
2   admin1           false   false      true       ADMINISTRATOR
3   ovh_dontchange   true    false      true       ADMINISTRATOR
4   ro_dontchange    true    true       true       USER
6                    true    true       true       NO ACCESS
7                    true    true       true       NO ACCESS
8                    true    true       true       NO ACCESS
9                    true    true       true       NO ACCESS
10                   true    true       true       NO ACCESS


– To get summary of existing users

# ipmitool user summary
Maximum IDs         : 10
Enabled User Count  : 4
Fixed Name Count    : 2

5. Create new Admin username into IPMI board
 

[root@linux ~]# ipmitool user set name 2 Your-New-Username

 

[root@linux ~]# ipmitool user set password 2
Password for user 2: 
Password for user 2: 

 

[root@linux ~]# ipmitool channel setaccess 1 2 link=on ipmi=on callin=on privilege=4

 

[root@linux ~]# ipmitool user enable 2
[root@linux ~]# 

 

6. Configure non-privilege user into IPMI board

If a user should only be used for querying sensor data, a custom privilege level can be setup for that. This user then has no rights for activating or deactivating the server, for example. A user named monitor will be created for this in the following example:

[root@linux ~]# ipmitool user set name 3 monitor

 

[root@linux ~]# ipmitool user set password 3
Password for user 3: 
Password for user 3: 

 

[root@linux ~]# ipmitool channel setaccess 1 3 link=on ipmi=on callin=on privilege=2

 

[root@linux ~]# ipmitool user enable 3

The importance of the various privilege numbers will be displayed when ipmitool channel is called without any additional parameters.

 

 

[root@linux ~]# ipmitool channel
Channel Commands: authcap   <channel number> <max privilege>
                  getaccess <channel number> [user id]
                  setaccess <channel number> <user id> [callin=on|off] [ipmi=on|off] [link=on|off] [privilege=level]
                  info      [channel number]
                  getciphers <ipmi | sol> [channel]

 

Possible privilege levels are:
   1   Callback level
   2   User level
   3   Operator level
   4   Administrator level
   5   OEM Proprietary level
  15   No access
[root@linux ~]# 

The user just created (named 'monitor') has been assigned the USER privilege level. So that LAN access is allowed for this user, you must activate MD5 authentication for LAN access for this user group (USER privilege level).

[root@linux ~]# ipmitool channel getaccess 1 3
Maximum User IDs     : 15
Enabled User IDs     : 2

User ID              : 3
User Name            : monitor
Fixed Name           : No
Access Available     : call-in / callback
Link Authentication  : enabled
IPMI Messaging       : enabled
Privilege Level      : USER

[root@linux ~]# 

 

7. Check server firmware version on a server via IPMI

 

# ipmitool mc info
Device ID                 : 32
Device Revision           : 1
Firmware Revision         : 3.31
IPMI Version              : 2.0
Manufacturer ID           : 10876
Manufacturer Name         : Supermicro
Product ID                : 1579 (0x062b)
Product Name              : Unknown (0x62B)
Device Available          : yes
Provides Device SDRs      : no
Additional Device Support :
    Sensor Device
    SDR Repository Device
    SEL Device
    FRU Inventory Device
    IPMB Event Receiver
    IPMB Event Generator
    Chassis Device


ipmitool mc info is actually an alias for the ipmitool bmc info cmd.

8. Reset IPMI management controller or BMC if hanged

 

As earlier said if for some reason Web GUI access or SSH to IPMI is lost, reset with:

root@linux:/root#  ipmitool mc reset
[ warm | cold ]

 

If you want to stop electricity for a second to IPMI and bring it on use the cold reset (this usually
should be done if warm reset does not work).

 

root@linux:/root# ipmitool mc reset cold

 

otherwise soft / warm is with:

 

ipmitool mc reset warm

 

Sometimes the BMC component of IPMI hangs and only fix to restore access to server Remote board is to reset also BMC

 

root@linux:/root# ipmitool bmc reset cold

 

9. Print hardware system event log

 

root@linux:/root# ipmitool sel info
SEL Information
Version          : 1.5 (v1.5, v2 compliant)
Entries          : 0
Free Space       : 10240 bytes
Percent Used     : 0%
Last Add Time    : Not Available
Last Del Time    : 07/02/2015 17:22:34
Overflow         : false
Supported Cmds   : 'Reserve' 'Get Alloc Info'
# of Alloc Units : 512
Alloc Unit Size  : 20
# Free Units     : 512
Largest Free Blk : 512
Max Record Size  : 20

 

 ipmitool sel list
SEL has no entries

In this particular case the system shows no entres as it was run on a tiny Microtik 1U machine, however usually on most Dell PowerEdge / HP Proliant / Lenovo System X machines this will return plenty of messages.

ipmitool sel elist

ipmitool sel clear

To clear anything if such logged

ipmitool sel clear

 

10.  Print Field Replaceable Units ( FRUs ) on the server 

 

[root@linux ~]# ipmitool fru print
 

 

FRU Device Description : Builtin FRU Device (ID 0)
 Chassis Type          : Other
 Chassis Serial        : KD5V59B
 Chassis Extra         : c3903ebb6237363698cdbae3e991bbed
 Board Mfg Date        : Mon Sep 24 02:00:00 2012
 Board Mfg             : IBM
 Board Product         : System Board
 Board Serial          : XXXXXXXXXXX
 Board Part Number     : 00J6528
 Board Extra           : 00W2671
 Board Extra           : 1400
 Board Extra           : 0000
 Board Extra           : 5000
 Board Extra           : 10

 Product Manufacturer  : IBM
 Product Name          : System x3650 M4
 Product Part Number   : 1955B2G
 Product Serial        : KD7V59K
 Product Asset Tag     :

FRU Device Description : Power Supply 1 (ID 1)
 Board Mfg Date        : Mon Jan  1 01:00:00 1996
 Board Mfg             : ACBE
 Board Product         : IBM Designed Device
 Board Serial          : YK151127R1RN
 Board Part Number     : ZZZZZZZ
 Board Extra           : ZZZZZZ<FF><FF><FF><FF><FF>
 Board Extra           : 0200
 Board Extra           : 00
 Board Extra           : 0080
 Board Extra           : 1

FRU Device Description : Power Supply 2 (ID 2)
 Board Mfg Date        : Mon Jan  1 01:00:00 1996
 Board Mfg             : ACBE
 Board Product         : IBM Designed Device
 Board Serial          : YK131127M1LE
 Board Part Number     : ZZZZZ
 Board Extra           : ZZZZZ<FF><FF><FF><FF><FF>
 Board Extra           : 0200
 Board Extra           : 00
 Board Extra           : 0080
 Board Extra           : 1

FRU Device Description : DASD Backplane 1 (ID 3)
….

 

Worthy to mention here is some cheaper server vendors such as Trendmicro might show no data here (no idea whether this is a protocol incompitability or IPMItool issue).

 

11. Get output about system sensors Temperature / Fan / Power Supply

 

Most newer servers have sensors to track temperature / voltage / fanspeed peripherals temp overall system temp etc.
To get a full list of sensors statistics from IPMI 
 

# ipmitool sensor
CPU Temp         | 29.000     | degrees C  | ok    | 0.000     | 0.000     | 0.000     | 95.000    | 98.000    | 100.000
System Temp      | 40.000     | degrees C  | ok    | -9.000    | -7.000    | -5.000    | 80.000    | 85.000    | 90.000
Peripheral Temp  | 41.000     | degrees C  | ok    | -9.000    | -7.000    | -5.000    | 80.000    | 85.000    | 90.000
PCH Temp         | 56.000     | degrees C  | ok    | -11.000   | -8.000    | -5.000    | 90.000    | 95.000    | 100.000
FAN 1            | na         |            | na    | na        | na        | na        | na        | na        | na
FAN 2            | na         |            | na    | na        | na        | na        | na        | na        | na
FAN 3            | na         |            | na    | na        | na        | na        | na        | na        | na
FAN 4            | na         |            | na    | na        | na        | na        | na        | na        | na
FAN A            | na         |            | na    | na        | na        | na        | na        | na        | na
Vcore            | 0.824      | Volts      | ok    | 0.480     | 0.512     | 0.544     | 1.488     | 1.520     | 1.552
3.3VCC           | 3.296      | Volts      | ok    | 2.816     | 2.880     | 2.944     | 3.584     | 3.648     | 3.712
12V              | 12.137     | Volts      | ok    | 10.494    | 10.600    | 10.706    | 13.091    | 13.197    | 13.303
VDIMM            | 1.496      | Volts      | ok    | 1.152     | 1.216     | 1.280     | 1.760     | 1.776     | 1.792
5VCC             | 4.992      | Volts      | ok    | 4.096     | 4.320     | 4.576     | 5.344     | 5.600     | 5.632
CPU VTT          | 1.008      | Volts      | ok    | 0.872     | 0.896     | 0.920     | 1.344     | 1.368     | 1.392
VBAT             | 3.200      | Volts      | ok    | 2.816     | 2.880     | 2.944     | 3.584     | 3.648     | 3.712
VSB              | 3.328      | Volts      | ok    | 2.816     | 2.880     | 2.944     | 3.584     | 3.648     | 3.712
AVCC             | 3.312      | Volts      | ok    | 2.816     | 2.880     | 2.944     | 3.584     | 3.648     | 3.712
Chassis Intru    | 0x1        | discrete   | 0x0100| na        | na        | na        | na        | na        | na

 

To get only partial sensors data from the SDR (Sensor Data Repositry) entries and readings

 

[root@linux ~]# ipmitool sdr list 

Planar 3.3V      | 3.31 Volts        | ok
Planar 5V        | 5.06 Volts        | ok
Planar 12V       | 12.26 Volts       | ok
Planar VBAT      | 3.14 Volts        | ok
Avg Power        | 80 Watts          | ok
PCH Temp         | 45 degrees C      | ok
Ambient Temp     | 19 degrees C      | ok
PCI Riser 1 Temp | 25 degrees C      | ok
PCI Riser 2 Temp | no reading        | ns
Mezz Card Temp   | no reading        | ns
Fan 1A Tach      | 3071 RPM          | ok
Fan 1B Tach      | 2592 RPM          | ok
Fan 2A Tach      | 3145 RPM          | ok
Fan 2B Tach      | 2624 RPM          | ok
Fan 3A Tach      | 3108 RPM          | ok
Fan 3B Tach      | 2592 RPM          | ok
Fan 4A Tach      | no reading        | ns
Fan 4B Tach      | no reading        | ns
CPU1 VR Temp     | 27 degrees C      | ok
CPU2 VR Temp     | 27 degrees C      | ok
DIMM AB VR Temp  | 24 degrees C      | ok
DIMM CD VR Temp  | 23 degrees C      | ok
DIMM EF VR Temp  | 25 degrees C      | ok
DIMM GH VR Temp  | 24 degrees C      | ok
Host Power       | 0x00              | ok
IPMI Watchdog    | 0x00              | ok

 

[root@linux ~]# ipmitool sdr type Temperature
PCH Temp         | 31h | ok  | 45.1 | 45 degrees C
Ambient Temp     | 32h | ok  | 12.1 | 19 degrees C
PCI Riser 1 Temp | 3Ah | ok  | 16.1 | 25 degrees C
PCI Riser 2 Temp | 3Bh | ns  | 16.2 | No Reading
Mezz Card Temp   | 3Ch | ns  | 44.1 | No Reading
CPU1 VR Temp     | F7h | ok  | 20.1 | 27 degrees C
CPU2 VR Temp     | F8h | ok  | 20.2 | 27 degrees C
DIMM AB VR Temp  | F9h | ok  | 20.3 | 25 degrees C
DIMM CD VR Temp  | FAh | ok  | 20.4 | 23 degrees C
DIMM EF VR Temp  | FBh | ok  | 20.5 | 26 degrees C
DIMM GH VR Temp  | FCh | ok  | 20.6 | 24 degrees C
Ambient Status   | 8Eh | ok  | 12.1 |
CPU 1 OverTemp   | A0h | ok  |  3.1 | Transition to OK
CPU 2 OverTemp   | A1h | ok  |  3.2 | Transition to OK

 

[root@linux ~]# ipmitool sdr type Fan
Fan 1A Tach      | 40h | ok  | 29.1 | 3034 RPM
Fan 1B Tach      | 41h | ok  | 29.1 | 2592 RPM
Fan 2A Tach      | 42h | ok  | 29.2 | 3145 RPM
Fan 2B Tach      | 43h | ok  | 29.2 | 2624 RPM
Fan 3A Tach      | 44h | ok  | 29.3 | 3108 RPM
Fan 3B Tach      | 45h | ok  | 29.3 | 2592 RPM
Fan 4A Tach      | 46h | ns  | 29.4 | No Reading
Fan 4B Tach      | 47h | ns  | 29.4 | No Reading
PS 1 Fan Fault   | 73h | ok  | 10.1 | Transition to OK
PS 2 Fan Fault   | 74h | ok  | 10.2 | Transition to OK

 

[root@linux ~]# ipmitool sdr type ‘Power Supply’
Sensor Type "‘Power" not found.
Sensor Types:
        Temperature               (0x01)   Voltage                   (0x02)
        Current                   (0x03)   Fan                       (0x04)
        Physical Security         (0x05)   Platform Security         (0x06)
        Processor                 (0x07)   Power Supply              (0x08)
        Power Unit                (0x09)   Cooling Device            (0x0a)
        Other                     (0x0b)   Memory                    (0x0c)
        Drive Slot / Bay          (0x0d)   POST Memory Resize        (0x0e)
        System Firmwares          (0x0f)   Event Logging Disabled    (0x10)
        Watchdog1                 (0x11)   System Event              (0x12)
        Critical Interrupt        (0x13)   Button                    (0x14)
        Module / Board            (0x15)   Microcontroller           (0x16)
        Add-in Card               (0x17)   Chassis                   (0x18)
        Chip Set                  (0x19)   Other FRU                 (0x1a)
        Cable / Interconnect      (0x1b)   Terminator                (0x1c)
        System Boot Initiated     (0x1d)   Boot Error                (0x1e)
        OS Boot                   (0x1f)   OS Critical Stop          (0x20)
        Slot / Connector          (0x21)   System ACPI Power State   (0x22)
        Watchdog2                 (0x23)   Platform Alert            (0x24)
        Entity Presence           (0x25)   Monitor ASIC              (0x26)
        LAN                       (0x27)   Management Subsys Health  (0x28)
        Battery                   (0x29)   Session Audit             (0x2a)
        Version Change            (0x2b)   FRU State                 (0x2c)

 

12. Using System Chassis to initiate power on / off / reset / soft shutdown

 

!!!!!  Beware only run this if you know what you're realling doing don't just paste into a production system, If you do so it is your responsibility !!!!! 

–  do a soft-shutdown via acpi 

 

ipmitool [chassis] power soft

 

– issue a hard power off, wait 1s, power on 

 

ipmitool [chassis] power cycle

 

– run a hard power off

 

ipmitool [chassis] power off

 
– do a hard power on 

 

ipmitool [chassis] power on

 

–  issue a hard reset

 

ipmitool [chassis] power reset


– Get system power status
 

ipmitool chassis power status

 

13. Use IPMI (SoL) Serial over Lan to execute commands remotely


Besides using ipmitool locally on server that had its IPMI / ILO / DRAC console disabled it could be used also to query and make server do stuff remotely.

If not loaded you will have to load lanplus kernel module.
 

modprobe lanplus

 

 ipmitool -I lanplus -H 192.168.99.1 -U user -P pass chassis power status

ipmitool -I lanplus -H 192.168.98.1 -U user -P pass chassis power status

ipmitool -I lanplus -H 192.168.98.1 -U user -P pass chassis power reset

ipmitool -I lanplus -H 192.168.98.1 -U user -P pass chassis power reset

ipmitool -I lanplus -H 192.168.98.1 -U user -P pass password sol activate

– Deactivating Sol server capabilities
 

 ipmitool -I lanplus -H 192.168.99.1 -U user -P pass sol deactivate

 

14. Modify boot device order on next boot

 

!!!!! Do not run this except you want to really modify Boot device order, carelessly copy pasting could leave your server unbootable on next boot !!!!!

– Set first boot device to be as BIOS

ipmitool chassis bootdev bios

 

– Set first boot device to be CD Drive

ipmitool chassis bootdev cdrom 

 

– Set first boot device to be via Network Boot PXE protocol

ipmitool chassis bootdev pxe 

 

15. Using ipmitool shell

 

root@iqtestfb:~# ipmitool shell
ipmitool> 
help
Commands:
        raw           Send a RAW IPMI request and print response
        i2c           Send an I2C Master Write-Read command and print response
        spd           Print SPD info from remote I2C device
        lan           Configure LAN Channels
        chassis       Get chassis status and set power state
        power         Shortcut to chassis power commands
        event         Send pre-defined events to MC
        mc            Management Controller status and global enables
        sdr           Print Sensor Data Repository entries and readings
        sensor        Print detailed sensor information
        fru           Print built-in FRU and scan SDR for FRU locators
        gendev        Read/Write Device associated with Generic Device locators sdr
        sel           Print System Event Log (SEL)
        pef           Configure Platform Event Filtering (PEF)
        sol           Configure and connect IPMIv2.0 Serial-over-LAN
        tsol          Configure and connect with Tyan IPMIv1.5 Serial-over-LAN
        isol          Configure IPMIv1.5 Serial-over-LAN
        user          Configure Management Controller users
        channel       Configure Management Controller channels
        session       Print session information
        dcmi          Data Center Management Interface
        sunoem        OEM Commands for Sun servers
        kontronoem    OEM Commands for Kontron devices
        picmg         Run a PICMG/ATCA extended cmd
        fwum          Update IPMC using Kontron OEM Firmware Update Manager
        firewall      Configure Firmware Firewall
        delloem       OEM Commands for Dell systems
        shell         Launch interactive IPMI shell
        exec          Run list of commands from file
        set           Set runtime variable for shell and exec
        hpm           Update HPM components using PICMG HPM.1 file
        ekanalyzer    run FRU-Ekeying analyzer using FRU files
        ime           Update Intel Manageability Engine Firmware
ipmitool>

 

16. Changing BMC / DRAC time setting

 

# ipmitool -H XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX -U root -P pass sel time set "01/21/2011 16:20:44"

 

17. Loading script of IPMI commands

# ipmitool exec /path-to-script/script-with-instructions.txt  

 

Closure

As you saw ipmitool can be used to do plenty of cool things both locally or remotely on a server that had IPMI server interface available. The tool is mega useful in case if ILO console gets hanged as it can be used to reset it.
I explained shortly what is Intelligent Platform Management Interface, how it can be accessed and used on Linux via ipmitool. I went through some of its basic use, how it can be used to print the configured ILO access IP how
this Admin IP and Network configuration can be changed, how to print the IPMI existing users and how to add new Admin and non-privileged users.
Then I've shown how a system hardware and firmware could be shown, how IPMI management BMC could be reset in case if it hanging and how hardware system even logs can be printed (useful in case of hardware failure errors etc.), how to print reports on current system fan / power supply  and temperature. Finally explained how server chassis could be used for soft and cold server reboots locally or via SoL (Serial Over Lan) and how boot order of system could be modified.

ipmitool is a great tool to further automate different sysadmin tasks with shell scrpts for stuff such as tracking servers for a failing hardware and auto-reboot of inacessible failed servers to guarantee Higher Level of availability.
Hope you enjoyed artcle .. It wll be interested to hear of any other known ipmitool scripts or use, if you know such please share it.

How to do Diff (compare files) over SSH between local and remote servers on Linux


December 16th, 2019

how-to-diff-files-between-remote-servers-and-local-machines-on-linux

In system administration often we need to compare files located on a different servers, copying the files from Server A to Server B is easy to do but is time consuming as you have use some console ftp or sftp client scp or sftp to copy the files from server A to server B and then use diff command on one of the both systems.

Thanksfully there are other ways to do so by using simply one liner of diff + ssh or rsync + ssh and even for the vim lovers there is vimdiff.
In this short article I'll give few examples on quick ways to compare files between 2 Servers via SSH Protocol.

 

1.  Compare files for differences on 2 Linux servers via SSH protocol

 

Assuming you're logged on first server where certain config is located and you want to compare with a remote server via ssh.

 

 diff local-file <(ssh myServer 'cat remote-file')

 

If you're on a server and you want to compare file configurations between 2 remote servers both running ssh, generally you need something like:

 

diff <(ssh myServer1 'cat /etc/ssh/sshd_config') <(ssh myServer2 'cat /etc/ssh/sshd_config')​

 

To compare multiple files in directories with diff
 

diff <(/usr/bin/ssh user1@192.168.122.1 'ls /opt/lib/') <(/usr/bin/ssh user2@192.168.122.1 'ls /tmp/') | grep -i ">" | sed 's/> //g'

 

2. Interactively check 2 or more config files and show differences in a vim text editor style

 

vimdiff package is not installed across all Linux distributions so on paranoid Security tightened Linux environments, but on most servers should be either there or could be installed with apt / yum whatever package manager. You will need vimdiff installed only on one of the Nth servers you want to check config.

Here is how to compare 3 Linux servers, running OpenSSHD services existing files in vimdiff

vimdiff /path/to/file scp://remotehost//path/to/file scp://remotehost2//path/to/file


vimdiff-with-3-servers-comparing-sshd-config-file

Note here that the double slash – // syntax is mandatory without it vimdiff will return files. Also be aware that the files you want to check should be present on each of the server directory locations, otherwise you will end up with weird errors.

vimdiff is the Mercedes of comparison especially for VIM UNIX addicts and due to its nice coloring makes reading, the difference between server files very easy.

3. File comparison with diff or vimdiff via SSHFS mount

mkdir remote_path
sshfs user@hostname:/dir/ remote_path
diff -r local_path/file remote_path/file

4. Comparing files with diff by printing local and remote server files with diff

Most servers doesn't have sshfs by default and for servers following PCI High Security standards, there are other means to compare files on both or more hosts in a minimalistic way, here is idea how:
 

diff <(ssh remote-host-server find /var/www -printf '"%8s %P\n"') \
     <(find /var/www -printf '%8s %P\n')

5. Comparing files content on local and remote server directory with rsync

The best UNIX tool to compare mutliple files and directory across Local remote servers and a mixture of both is our lovely rsync 
together wtih SSH, ssh compes with the –-dry-run (-n) – test what rsync will do option.

To compare files over SSH protocol with rsync on local and remote server

rsync -rvnc root@10.10.10.50:/var/www/html/phpcode /var/www/html/phpcode


To compare 2 remote hosts:

rsync -rvnc root@187.50.200.73:/var/www/html/phpcode/ root@192.168.5.50:/var/www/html/phpcode 


To compare more hosts even a mixture of local and remote servers do.

rsync -rvnc root@187.50.200.73:/var/www/html/phpcode/  \
root@192.168.5.50:/var/www/html/phpcode  \
root@192.168.5.70:/var/www/html/phpcode \
./var/www/html/phpcode

The rsync options given are as so:

r=recursive,
v=verbose,
n= dry-run,
c=checksum

How to clear ARP cache on Linux / Windows for a single IP address / Flush All IPs ARP cache


December 11th, 2019

linux-how-to-delete-modify-arp-cache-entries-after-IP-is-migrated-from-one-server-or-VPN-host-to-another-resized

On times of Public Internet IP migration or Local IPs between Linux servers or especially in clustered Linux Application Services running on environments like Pacemaker / Corosync / Heartbeat with services such as Haproxy.
Once an IP gets migrated due to complex network and firewall settings often the Migrated IP from Linux Server 1 (A) to Linux Server 2 (B) keeps time until a request to reload the Internet server IP ARP cache with to point to the new IP location, causing a disruption of accessibility to the Newly configured IP address on the new locations. I will not get much into details here what are the ARP (Address Resolution protocol) and Network ARP records on a Network attached Computer and how they correspond uniquely to each IP address assigned on Ethernet or Aliased network Interfaces (eth0 eth0:1 eth0:2) . But in this article, I'll briefly explain once IP Version 4 address is migrated from one server Data Center location to another DC, how the unique corresponding ARP record kept in OS system memory should be flushed in the ARP corresponding Operating System so called ARP table (of which you should think as a logical block in memory keeping a Map of where IP addresses are located physically on a Network recognized by the corresponding Unique MAC Address.
 

1. List the current ARP cache entries do

Arp is part of net-tools on Debian GNU / Linux and is also available and installed by default on virtually any Linux distribution Fedora / CentOS / RHEL / Ubuntu / Arch Linux and even m$ Windows NT / XP / 2000 / 10 / whatever, the only difference is Linux tool has a bit of more functionality and has a bit more complex use.
Easiest use of arp on GNU / Linux OS-es is.
 

# arp -an 

sample-IP-address-list-with-the-assigned-ARP-cache-mac-addresses
The -a lists all records and -n flag is here to omit IP resolving as some IPs are really slow to resolve and output of command could get lagged.

2. Delete one IP entry from the cache


Assuming only one IP address was migrated, if you want to delete the IP entry from local ARP table on any interface:
 

# arp -d 192.168.0.8


It is useful to delete an ARP cached entry for IP address only on a certain interface, to do so:
 

# /usr/sbin/arp -i eth1 -d 10.0.0.1

 

3. Create ARP entry MAC address with a static one for tightened security


A useful Hack is to (assign) / bind specific Static MAC addresses to be static in the ARP cache, this is very useful to improve security and fight an ARP poisoning attacks.
Doing so is pretty easy, to do so:

Above will staticly make IP 192.168.0.8 to always appear in the ARP cache table to the MAC 00:50:ba:85:85:ca. So even if we have another system with the same MAC
trying to spoof our location and thus break our real record location for the Hostname in the network holding in reality the MAC 00:50:ba:85:85:ca, poisoning us
trying to make our host to recognize 192.168.0.8 to a different address this will not happen as the static ARP will be kept unchanged in ARP caching table.

 

 # arp -s 192.168.0.8 00:50:ba:85:85:ca

 

4. Flush all ARP records only for specific Ethernet Interface


After the IP on interface was migrated run:

 

# ip link set arp off dev eth0 ; ip link set arp on dev eth0

 

5. Remove a set of few IPs only migrated ARP cache entries

 

# for i in 192.168.0.1 10.0.0.1 172.168.0.3; do sudo arp -d $i; done


Once old ARP entries are removed the arp command would return as:

 

linux:~$ arp
? (192.168.0.8) at <incomplete>  on eth1
? (172.168.0.3) at <incomplete>  on eth2


The 192.168.0.8 / 172.168.0.3 entry now shows as incomplete, which means the ARP entry will be refreshed when it is needed again, this would also depend
on the used network switches / firewalls in the network settings so often could take up to 1 minute or so..

 

6. Flush all ARP table records on Linux

flush-all-arp-cache-addresses-on-linux-howto-with-ip-command

 

# ip -s -s neigh flush all

 

7. Delete ARP Cache on FreeBSD and other BSDs

# arp -d -a 

 

8.  Flush arp cache on Windows

Run command prompt as Administrator -> (cmd.exe)  and do:

C:\> ipconfig /all
netsh interface ip delete arpcache

 

9. Monitoring the arp table


On servers with multiple IP addresses, where you expect a number of IP addresses migrated to change it is useful to use watch + arp like so:
 

# watch -n 0.1 'arp -an'

The -n 0.1 will make the arp -an be rerun every 10 miliseconds and by the way is a useful trick to monitor stuff returned by commands that needs a higher refresh frequency.
 

Conclusion


In short in this article, was explained how to list your arp cache table.The arp command is also available both on Linux and Windows) and as integral part of OS networking it is useful to check thoroghfully to its man page (man arp).
Explained was how to create Static ARP table records to prevent ARP poisoning attacks on a server.
I went through how to delete only a single ARP records (in case if) only certain IPs on a host are changed and an ARP cache entry reload is needed, as well as how to flush the complete set of ARP records need to get refreshed, sometimes useful on networks with Buggy Network Switches or when completely changing the set of IP-addresses assigned on a server host.

Rsync copy files with root privileges between servers with root superuser account disabled


December 3rd, 2019

 

rsync-copy-files-between-two-servers-with-root-privileges-with-root-superuser-account-disabled

Sometimes on servers that follow high security standards in companies following PCI Security (Payment Card Data Security) standards it is necessery to have a very weird configurations on servers,to be able to do trivial things such as syncing files between servers with root privileges in a weird manners.This is the case for example if due to security policies you have disabled root user logins via ssh server and you still need to synchronize files in directories such as lets say /etc , /usr/local/etc/ /var/ with root:root user and group belongings.

Disabling root user logins in sshd is controlled by a variable in /etc/ssh/sshd_config that on most default Linux OS
installations is switched on, e.g. 

grep -i permitrootlogin /etc/ssh/sshd_config
PermitRootLogin yes


Many corporations use Vulnerability Scanners such as Qualys are always having in their list of remote server scan for SSH Port 22 to turn have the PermitRootLogin stopped with:

 

PermitRootLogin no


In this article, I'll explain a scenario where we have synchronization between 2 or more servers Server A / Server B, whatever number of servers that have already turned off this value, but still need to
synchronize traditionally owned and allowed to write directories only by root superuser, here is 4 easy steps to acheive it.

 

1. Add rsyncuser to Source Server (Server A) and Destination (Server B)


a. Execute on Src Host:

 

groupadd rsyncuser
useradd -g 1000 -c 'Rsync user to sync files as root src_host' -d /home/rsyncuser -m rsyncuser

 

b. Execute on Dst Host:

 

groupadd rsyncuser
useradd -g 1000 -c 'Rsync user to sync files dst_host' -d /home/rsyncuser -m rsyncuser

 

2. Generate RSA SSH Key pair to be used for passwordless authentication


a. On Src Host
 

su – rsyncuser

ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096

 

b. Check .ssh/ generated key pairs and make sure the directory content look like.

 

[rsyncuser@src-host .ssh]$ cd ~/.ssh/;  ls -1

id_rsa
id_rsa.pub
known_hosts


 

3. Copy id_rsa.pub to Destination host server under authorized_keys

 

scp ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub  rsyncuser@dst-host:~/.ssh/authorized_keys

 

Next fix permissions of authorized_keys file for rsyncuser as anyone who have access to that file (that exists as a user account) on the system
could steal the key and use it to run rsync commands and overwrite remotely files, like overwrite /etc/passwd /etc/shadow files with his custom crafted credentials
and hence hack you 🙂
 

Hence, On Destionation Host Server B fix permissions with:
 

su – rsyncuser; chmod 0600 ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
[rsyncuser@dst-host ~]$

 

For improved security here to restrict rsyncuser to be able to run only specific command such as very specific script instead of being able to run any command it is good to use little known command= option
once creating the authorized_keys

 

4. Test ssh passwordless authentication works correctly


For that Run as a normal ssh from rsyncuser

On Src Host

 

[rsyncuser@src-host ~]$ ssh rsyncuser@dst-host


Perhaps here is time that for those who, think enabling a passwordless authentication is not enough secure and prefer to authorize rsyncuser via a password red from a secured file take a look in my prior article how to login to remote server with password provided from command line as a script argument / Running same commands on many servers 

5. Enable rsync in sudoers to be able to execute as root superuser (copy files as root)

 


For this step you will need to have sudo package installed on the Linux server.

Then, Execute once logged in as root on Destionation Server (Server B)

 

[root@dst-host ~]# grep 'rsyncuser ALL' /etc/sudoers|wc -l || echo ‘rsyncuser ALL=NOPASSWD:/usr/bin/rsync’ >> /etc/sudoers
 

 

Note that using rsync with a ALL=NOPASSWD in /etc/sudoers could pose a high security risk for the system as anyone authorized to run as rsyncuser is able to overwrite and
respectivle nullify important files on Destionation Host Server B and hence easily mess the system, even shell script bugs could produce a mess, thus perhaps a better solution to the problem
to copy files with root privileges with the root account disabled is to rsync as normal user somewhere on Dst_host and use some kind of additional script running on Dst_host via lets say cron job and
will copy gently files on selective basis.

Perhaps, even a better solution would be if instead of granting ALL=NOPASSWD:/usr/bin/rsync in /etc/sudoers is to do ALL=NOPASSWD:/usr/local/bin/some_copy_script.sh
that will get triggered, once the files are copied with a regular rsyncuser acct.

 

6. Test rsync passwordless authentication copy with superuser works


Do some simple copy, lets say copy files on Encrypted tunnel configurations located under some directory in /etc/stunnel on Server A to /etc/stunnel on Server B

The general command to test is like so:
 

rsync -aPz -e 'ssh' '–rsync-path=sudo rsync' /var/log rsyncuser@$dst_host:/root/tmp/


This will copy /var/log files to /root/tmp, you will get a success messages for the copy and the files will be at destination folder if succesful.

 

On Src_Host run:

 

[rsyncuser@src-host ~]$ dst=FQDN-DST-HOST; user=rsyncuser; src_dir=/etc/stunnel; dst_dir=/root/tmp;  rsync -aP -e 'ssh' '–rsync-path=sudo rsync' $src_dir  $rsyncuser@$dst:$dst_dir;

 

7. Copying files with root credentials via script


The simlest file to use to copy a bunch of predefined files  is best to be handled by some shell script, the most simple version of it, could look something like this.
 

#!/bin/bash
# On server1 use something like this
# On server2 dst server
# add in /etc/sudoers
# rsyncuser ALL=NOPASSWD:/usr/bin/rsync

user='rsyncuser';

dst_dir="/root/tmp";
dst_host='$dst_host';
src[1]="/etc/hosts.deny";
src[2]="/etc/sysctl.conf";
src[3]="/etc/samhainrc";
src[4]="/etc/pki/tls/";
src[5]="/usr/local/bin/";

 

for i in $(echo ${src[@]}); do
rsync -aPvz –delete –dry-run -e 'ssh' '–rsync-path=sudo rsync' "$i" $rsyncuser@$dst_host:$dst_dir"$i";
done


In above script as you can see, we define a bunch of files that will be copied in bash array and then run a loop to take each of them and copy to testination dir.
A very sample version of the script rsync_with_superuser-while-root_account_prohibited.sh 
 

Conclusion


Lets do short overview on what we have done here. First Created rsyncuser on SRC Server A and DST Server B, set up the key pair on both copied the keys to make passwordless login possible,
set-up rsync to be able to write as root on Dst_Host / testing all the setup and pinpointing a small script that can be used as a backbone to develop something more complex
to sync backups or keep system configurations identicatial – for example if you have doubts that some user might by mistake change a config etc.
In short it was pointed the security downsides of using rsync NOPASSWD via /etc/sudoers and few ideas given that could be used to work on if you target even higher
PCI standards.

 

Howto Pass SSH traffic through a Secured Corporate Proxy server with corkscrew, using sshd as a standalone proxy service with no proxy installed on remote Linux server or VPS


November 19th, 2019

howto pass ssh traffic through proxy to remote server use remote machine as a proxy for connecting to the Internet

Working in the big bad corporate world (being employed in  any of the Fortune 500) companies, especially in an IT delivery company is a nasty thing in terms of User Personal Data Privacy because usually when employeed in any of a corporation, the company ships you with a personal Computer with some kind of pre-installed OS (most often this is Windows) and the computer is not a standalone one but joined in Active Directory (AD) belonging to Windows Domain and centrally administered by whoever.

As part of the default deplyed configuration in this pre-installed OS and software is that part or all your network traffic and files is being monitored in some kind of manner as your pre-installed Windows or Linux notebook given by the Corporation is having a set of standard software running in the background, and even though you have Windows Administrator there are many things you have zero control or even if you have changed it once the Domain Policy is triggered your custom made changes / Installed Programs that happen to be against the company policy are being automatically deleted, any registry changes made are being rewinded etc. Sometimes even by trying to manually clean up your PC from the corporate crapware,  you might breaks access to the corporate DMZ firewalled network. A common way to secure their employee PC data large companies have a Network seperation, your PC when not connected to the Corporate VPN is having a certain IP configuration and once connected to the Demilitarized Zone VPN those configuration changes and the PC have access to internal company infrastructure servers / router / switches / firewalls / SANs etc. Access to corporate Infrastructure is handled via crypted VPN clinet such as Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client which is perhaps one of the most used ones out there.

Part of the common software installed to Monitor your PC for threats / viruses / trojans among which is MCafee / EMET (Enhandced Mitigation Experience Toolkit) the PC is often prebundled with some kind of anti-malware (crapware) :). But the tip of the iceberg on user surveillance where most of surveillance happens is the default installed proxy on the PC which usually does keep track of all your remote accessed HTTP Website URLs accessed in plain text – traffic flowing on Port 80 and crypted one on standard (SSL) Port 443. This Web Traffic is handled by the Central Corporate proxy that is being deployed via some kind of Domain policy, every time the Computer joins the Windows domain. 

This of course is a terrible thing for your Browsing security and together with the good security practice to run your browser in Incognito mode, which makes all your browsing activity such as access URLs History or Saved Cookies data to be cleared up on a Browser close it is important to make sure you run your own personal traffic via a separate browser which you will use only for your own concern browsing such as Accessing your Bank Money Accounts to check your Monthly Sallary / Purchase things online via Amazon.com / Ebay.com, whether all of the rest traffic company related is trafficed via the default set corporate central proxy.
This is relatively easy sometimes in companies, where security is not of a top concern but in corporations with tightened security accessing remote proxy, or accessing even common daily news and Public Email websites or social media sites  Gmail.com / Twitter / Youtube will be filtered so the only way to reach them will be via some kind of Proxy and often this proxy is the only way out to the Free world from the corporate jail.

Here is where the good old SSH comes as a saving grace as it turns out SSH traffic could be trafficed over a proxy. In below article I will give you a short insight on how Proxy through SSH could be achieved to Secure your dailty web traffic and use SSH to reach your own server on the Internet as well as how you can copy securely data via SSH through corporate Proxy. 
 

1. How to view your corporate used (default) proxy / Check Proxy.pac file definitions

 

To get an idea what is the used proxy on your Corporate PC (as most corporate employee given notebooks are running some kind of M$ Windows)  you can go to:

Windows Control Panel -> Internet Options -> Connections -> Lan Settings


internet-properties-microsoft-windows-screenshot

Under the field Proxy server (check out the Proxy configured Address and Port number )

local-area-network-lan-settings-screenshot-windows-1
 

Having that as browsers venerate the so-called Proxy.pac file, to be rawly aware on some general Company Proxy configured definitions you can access in a browser the proxy itself fething the proxy.pac file for example.

 

http://your-corporate-firewall-rpoxy-url:8080/proxy.pac

 

This is helpful as some companies Proxies have some proxy rules that reveal some things about its Internet architecture and even some have some badly configured proxy.pac files which could be used to fool the proxy under some circumstances 🙂
 

2. Few of the reasons corporations proxy all their employee's work PC web traffic

 

The corporate proxying of traffic has a number of goals, some of which are good hearted and others are for mostly spying on the users.

 

1. Protect Corporate Employees from malicious Viruses / Trojans Horses / Malware / Badware / Whatever ware – EXCELLENT
2. Prevent users from acessing a set of sources that due to the corporate policy are considered harmful (e.g. certain addresses 
of information or disinformation of competitors, any Internet source that might preach against the corporation, hacking ralated websites etc.) – NOT GOOD (for the employee / user) and GOOD for the company
3.Spy on the users activity and be able to have evidence against the employee in case he decided to do anything harmful to the company evidences from proxy could even later be used in court if some kind of corpoate infringment occurs due to misbehave of the employee. – PERFECT FOR COMPANY and Complete breach of User privacy and IMHO totally against European Union privacy legislation such as GDRP
4. In companies that are into the field of Aritificial Intelligence / Users behavior could even be used to advance Self-learning bots and mechanisms – NASTY ! YAECKES

 

3. Run SSH Socks proxy to remote SSHd server running on common SSL 443 port

 

Luckily sysadmins who were ordered the big bosses to sniff on your Web behaviour and preferences could be outsmarted with some hacks.

To protect your Browsing behaviours and Secure your privacy perhaps the best option is to use the Old but gold practice o Securing your Networkf traffic using SSH Over Proxy and SSH Dynamic tunnel as a Proxy as explained in my previous article here.

how-to-use-sshd-server-as-a-proxy-without-a-real-proxy-ssh-socks5_proxy_linux
 

In short the quest way to have your free of charge SOCKS  Remote proxy to your Home based Linux installed OS server / VPN with a Public Internet address is to use ssh as so:

 

ssh -D 3128 UserName@IP-of-Remote-SSHD-Host -p 443

 

This will start the SOCKS Proxy tunnel from Corporate Work PC to your Own Home brew server.

For some convenience it is useful to set up an .alias (for cygwin) / linux users in .bashrc file:

 

alias proxy='ssh -D 3128 UserName@IP-of-Remote-SSHD-Host -p 443';

 

To start using the Proxy from browser, I use a plugin called FoxyProxy in Chrome and Firefox browsers
set-up to connect to localhost – 127.0.0.1:3128 for All Protocols as a SOCKs v5 Proxy.

The sshd Socks proxy can be used for multiple others for example, using it you can also pass on traffic from Mail client such as Thunderbird to your Email server if you're behind a firewall prohibiting access to the common POP3 port 110 or IMAP port TCP 143. 

4. How to access SSH through Proxy using jumphost SSH hop


If you're like me and you have on your Home Linux machine only one Internet address and you have already setupped an SSL enabled service (lets say Webmail) to listen to that Public Internet IP and you don't have the possibility to run another instance of /usr/bin/sshd on port 443 via configuration or manually one time by issuing:

 

/usr/sbin/sshd -p 443

 

Then you can use another ssh another Linux server as a jump host to your own home Linux sshd server. This can be done even by purchasing a cheap VPS server for lets say 3 dollars month etc. or even better if you have a friend with another Linux home server, you can ask him to run you sshd on TCP port 443 and add you an ssh account.
Once you have the second Linux machine as JumpHost to reach out to your own machine use:

 

ssh -J Your-User@Your-jump-host.com:443 hipo@your-home-server.com -v

 

To easify this a bit long line it is handy to use some kind of alias like:

 

alias sshhome='ssh -J Your-User@Your-jump-host.com:443 hipo@your-home-server.com -v'

 

The advantage here is just by issuing this sshd tunnel and keeping it open in a terminal or setting it up as Plink Putty tunnel you have all your Web Traffic Secured
between your Work Corporate PC and your Home Brew Server, keeping the curious eyes of your Company Security Officers from your own Web traffic, hence
separating the corporate privacy from your own personal privacy. Using the just established own SSH Proxy Tunnel to home for your non-work stuff browsing habits
from the corporate systems which are accessed by switching with a button click in FoxyProxy to default proxy settings.
 

5. How to get around paranoid corporate setup where only remote access to Corporate proxy on TCP Port 80 and TCP 443 is available in Browser only

 

Using straight ssh and to create Proxy will work in most of the cases but it requires SSH access to your remote SSH running server / VPS on TCP Port 22, however under some Fort-Nox like financial involved institutions and companies for the sake of tightened security, it is common that all Outbound TCP Ports are prohibited except TCP Port 80 and SSL 443 as prior said, so what can you do then to get around this badful firewall and access the Internet via your own server Proxy? 
The hack to run SSH server either on tcp port 80 or tcp port 443 on remote Host and use 443 / 80 to acess SSHD should work, but then even for the most paranoid corporations the ones who are PCI Compliant – PCI stands for (Payment Card Industry), e.g. works with Debit and Credit Card data etc, accessing even 80 or 443  ports with something like telnet client or netcat will be impossible. 
Once connected to the corporate VPN,  this 2 two ports firewall exceptions will be only accessible via the Corporate Proxy server defined in a Web Browser (Firefox / IE / Chrome etc.) as prior explained in article.

The remedy here is to use a 3rd party tools such as httptunnel or corkscrew that  are able to TUNNEL SSH TRAFFIC VIA CORPORATE PROXY SERVER and access your own resource out of the DMZ.

Both httptunnel and corkscrew are installable both on most Linux distros or for Windows users via CygWin for those who use MobaXterm.

Just to give you better idea on what corkscrew and (hts) httptunnel does, here is Debian packages descriptions.

# apt-cache show​ corkscrew
" corkscrew is a simple tool to tunnel TCP connections through an HTTP
 proxy supporting the CONNECT method. It reads stdin and writes to
 stdout during the connection, just like netcat.
 .
 It can be used for instance to connect to an SSH server running on
 a remote 443 port through a strict HTTPS proxy.
"

 

# apt-cache show httptunnel|grep -i description -A 7
Description-en: Tunnels a data stream in HTTP requests
 Creates a bidirectional virtual data stream tunnelled in
 HTTP requests. The requests can be sent via a HTTP proxy
 if so desired.
 .
 This can be useful for users behind restrictive firewalls. If WWW
 access is allowed through a HTTP proxy, it's possible to use
 httptunnel and, say, telnet or PPP to connect to a computer

Description-md5: ed96b7d53407ae311a6c5ef2eb229c3f
Homepage: http://www.nocrew.org/software/httptunnel.html
Tag: implemented-in::c, interface::commandline, interface::daemon,
 network::client, network::server, network::vpn, protocol::http,
 role::program, suite::gnu, use::routing
Section: net
Priority: optional
Filename: pool/main/h/httptunnel/httptunnel_3.3+dfsg-4_amd64.deb

Windows cygwin users can install the tools with:
 

apt-cyg install –yes corkscrew httptunnel


Linux users respectively with:

apt-get install –yes corkscrew httptunnel

or 

yum install -y corkscrew httptunnel

 

You will then need to have the following configuration in your user home directory $HOME/.ssh/config file
 

Host host-addrs-of-remote-home-ssh-server.com
ProxyCommand /usr/bin/corkscrew your-corporate-firewall-rpoxy-url 8080 %h %p

 

howto-transfer-ssh-traffic-over-proxy

Picture Copyright by Daniel Haxx

The best picture on how ssh traffic is proxied is the one found on Daniel Haxx's website which is a great quick tutorial which originally helped to get the idea of how corkscrew works in proxying traffic I warmly recommend you take a quick look at his SSH Through or over Proxy article.

Host-addrs-of-remote-home-ssh-server.com could be also and IP if you don't have your own domain name in case if using via some cheap VPN Linux server with SSH, or alternatively
if you don't want to spend money on buying domain for SSH server (assuming you don't have such yet) you can use Dyn DNS or NoIP.

Another thing is to setup the proper http_proxy / https_proxy / ftp_proxy variable exports in $HOME/.bashrc in my setup I have the following:
 

export ftp_proxy="http://your-corporate-firewall-rpoxy-url:8080"
export https_proxy="https://your-corporate-firewall-rpoxy-url:8080"
export http_proxy="http://your-corporate-firewall-rpoxy-url:8080"
export HTTP_PROXY="http://your-corporate-firewall-rpoxy-url:8080"
export HTTPS_PROXY="http://your-corporate-firewall-rpoxy-url:8080"


 

6. How to Transfer Files / Data via SSH Protocol through  Proxy with SCP and SFTP


Next logical question is how to Transfer your own personal encrypted files (that contains no corporate sensitive information) between your Work laptop and home brew Linux ssh server or cheap VPN.

It took me quite a lot of try-outs until finally I got it how Secure Copy (scp) command can be used toto transfer files between my Work Computer and my Home brew server using JumpHost, here is how:
 

scp -o 'ProxyJump Username@Jumpt-Host-or-IP.com:443' ~/file-or-files-to-copy* Username@home-ssh-server.com:/path/where/to/copy/files


I love using sftp (Secure FTP) command Linux client to copy files and rarely use scp so I have a lot of try-outs to connect interacitvely via the Corporate Proxy server over a Jump-Host:443 to my Destination home machine, 

 

I've tried using netcat as it was pointed in many articles online, like so to traffic my sftp traffic via my localhost binded SSH Socks proxy on :3128 together with netcat as shown in article prior example, using following line:
 

sftp -oProxyCommand='/bin/nc -X connect -x 127.0.0.1:3128 %h %p' Username@home-ssh-server.com 22

 

Also tried proxy connect like this:

 

sftp -o ProxyCommand="proxy-connect -h localhost -p 3128 %h %p" Username@home-ssh-server.com

 

Moreover, tried to use the ssh  command (-s) argument capability to invoke SSH protocol subsystem feature which is used to facilitiate use of SSH secure transport for other application
 

ssh -v -J hipo@Jump-Host:443 -s sftp root@home-ssh-server.com -v

open failed: administratively prohibited: open failed

 

Finally decided to give a try to the same options arguments as in scp and thanks God it worked and I can even access via the Corporate Proxy through the Jump Host SSH interactively via Secure FTP 🙂

!! THE FINAL WORKING SFTP THROUGH PROXY VIA SSH JUMPHOST !!
 

sftp -o 'ProxyJump Username@Jumpt-Host-or-IP.com:443' Username@home-ssh-server.com


To save time from typing this long line every time, I've setup the following alias to ~/.bashrc
 

alias sftphome='sftp -o 'ProxyJump Username@Jumpt-Host-or-IP.com:443' Username@home-ssh-server.com'

 

Conclusion

Of course using own Proxy via your Home brew SSH Machine as well as transferring your data securely from your Work PC (notebook) to Home does not completely make you Surveillance free, as the Corporate Windows installed OS image is perhaps prebundled with its own integrated Keylogger as well as the Windows Domain administrators have certainly access to connect to your PC and run various commands, so this kind of Security is just an attempt to make company has less control and know less on your browsing habits and the best solution where possible to secure your privacy and separate your Personal Space form Work space by using a second computer (if having the ability to work from home) with a KVM Switch device and switch over your Work PC and Home PC via it or in some cases (where companies) allows it, setup something like VNC server (TightVNC / RealVNC) on work PC and leave it all time running in office and connect remotely with vncviewer from your own controlled secured computer.

In article I've explained shortly common scenario found in corporate Work computers proxy setup, designed to Surveil all your move, mentioned few common softwares running by default to protect from Viruses and aimed to Protect user from malicious hacking tools, explained how to view your work notebook configured Proxy, shortly mentioned on Proxy.pac and hinted how to view proxy.pac config as well as gave few of the reasons why all web traffic is being routed over central proxy.

That's all folks, Enjoy the Freedom to be less surveilled !

Fix FTP active connection issues “Cannot create a data connection: No route to host” on ProFTPD Linux dedicated server


October 1st, 2019

proftpd-linux-logo

Earlier I've blogged about an encounter problem that prevented Active mode FTP connections on CentOS
As I'm working for a client building a brand new dedicated server purchased from Contabo Dedi Host provider on a freshly installed Debian 10 GNU / Linux, I've had to configure a new FTP server, since some time I prefer to use Proftpd instead of VSFTPD because in my opinion it is more lightweight and hence better choice for a small UNIX server setups. During this once again I've encounted the same ACTIVE FTP not working from FTP server to FTP client host machine. But before shortly explaining, the fix I find worthy to explain briefly what is ACTIVE / PASSIVE FTP connection.

 

1. What is ACTIVE / PASSIVE FTP connection?
 

Whether in active mode, the client specifies which client-side port the data channel has been opened and the server starts the connection. Or in other words the default FTP client communication for historical reasons is in ACTIVE MODE. E.g.
Client once connected to Server tells the server to open extra port or ports locally via which the overall FTP data transfer will be occuring. In the early days of networking when FTP protocol was developed security was not of such a big concern and usually Networks did not have firewalls at all and the FTP DATA transfer host machine was running just a single FTP-server and nothing more in this, early days when FTP was not even used over the Internet and FTP DATA transfers happened on local networks, this was not a problem at all.

In passive mode, the server decides which server-side port the client should connect to. Then the client starts the connection to the specified port.

But with the ever increasing complexity of Internet / Networks and the ever tightening firewalls due to viruses and worms that are trying to own and exploit networks creating unnecessery bulk loads this has changed …

active-passive-ftp-explained-diagram
 

2. Installing and configure ProFTPD server Public ServerName

I've installed the server with the common cmd:

 

apt –yes install proftpd

 

And the only configuration changed in default configuration file /etc/proftpd/proftpd.conf  was
ServerName          "Debian"

I do this in new FTP setups for the logical reason to prevent the multiple FTP Vulnerability Scan script kiddie Crawlers to know the exact OS version of the server, so this was changed to:

 

ServerName "MyServerHostname"

 

Though this is the bad security through obscurity practice doing so is a good practice.
 

3. Create iptable firewall rules to allow ACTIVE FTP mode


But anyways, next step was to configure the firewall to be allowed to communicate on TCP PORT 21 and 20 to incoming source ports range 1024:65535 (to enable ACTIVE FTP) on firewal level with iptables on INPUT and OUTPUT chain rules, like this:

 

iptables -A INPUT -p tcp –sport 1024:65535 -d 0/0 –dport 21 -m state –state NEW,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT
iptables -A INPUT -p tcp -s 0/0 –sport 1024:65535 -d 0/0 –dport 20 -m state –state NEW,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT
iptables -A OUTPUT -p tcp -s 0/0 –sport 21 -d 0/0 –dport 1024:65535 -m state –state ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT
iptables -A OUTPUT -p tcp -s 0/0 –sport 20 -d 0/0 –dport 1024:65535 -m state –state ESTABLISHED,RELATED -j ACCEPT


Talking about Active and Passive FTP connections perhaps for novice Linux users it might be worthy to say few words on Active and Passive FTP connections

Once firewall has enabled FTP Active / Passive connections is on and FTP server is listening, to test all is properly configured check iptable rules and FTP listener:
 

/sbin/iptables -L INPUT |grep ftp
ACCEPT     tcp  —  anywhere             anywhere             tcp spts:1024:65535 dpt:ftp state NEW,ESTABLISHED
ACCEPT     tcp  —  anywhere             anywhere             tcp spts:1024:65535 dpt:ftp-data state NEW,ESTABLISHED
ACCEPT     tcp  —  anywhere             anywhere             tcp dpt:ftp
ACCEPT     tcp  —  anywhere             anywhere             tcp dpt:ftp-data

netstat -l | grep "ftp"
tcp6       0      0 [::]:ftp                [::]:*                  LISTEN    

 

4. Loading nf_nat_ftp module and net.netfilter.nf_conntrack_helper (for backward compitability)


Next step of course was to add the necessery modules nf_nat_ftp nf_conntrack_sane that makes FTP to properly forward ports with respective Firewall states on any of above source ports which are usually allowed by firewalls, note that the range of ports given 1024:65535 might be too much liberal for paranoid sysadmins and in many cases if ports are not filtered, if you are a security freak you can use some smaller range such as 60000-65535.

 

Here is time to say for sysadmins who haven't recently had a task to configure a new (unecrypted) File Transfer Server as today Secure FTP is almost alltime used for file transfers for the sake of security might be puzzled to find out the old Linux kernel ip_conntrack_ftp which was the standard module used to make FTP Active connections work is substituted nowadays with  nf_nat_ftp and nf_conntrack_sane.

To make the 2 modules permanently loaded on next boot on Debian Linux they have to be added to /etc/modules

Here is how sample /etc/modules that loads the modules on next system boot looks like

cat /etc/modules
# /etc/modules: kernel modules to load at boot time.
#
# This file contains the names of kernel modules that should be loaded
# at boot time, one per line. Lines beginning with "#" are ignored.
softdog
nf_nat_ftp
nf_conntrack_sane


Next to say is that in newer Linux kernels 3.x / 4.x / 5.x the nf_nat_ftp and nf_conntrack-sane behaviour changed so  simply loading the modules would not work and if you do the stupidity to test it with some FTP client (I used gFTP / ncftp from my Linux desktop ) you are about to get FTP No route to host errors like:

 

Cannot create a data connection: No route to host

 

cannot-create-a-data-connection-no-route-to-host-linux-error-howto-fix


Sometimes, instead of No route to host error the error FTP client might return is:

 

227 entering passive mode FTP connect connection timed out error


To make the nf_nat_ftp module on newer Linux kernels hence you have to enable backwards compatibility Kernel variable

 

 

/proc/sys/net/netfilter/nf_conntrack_helper

 

echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/netfilter/nf_conntrack_helper

 

To make it permanent if you have enabled /etc/rc.local legacy one single file boot place as I do on servers – for how to enable rc.local on newer Linuxes check here

or alternatively add it to load via sysctl

sysctl -w net.netfilter.nf_conntrack_helper=1

And to make change permanent (e.g. be loaded on next boot)

echo 'net.netfilter.nf_conntrack_helper=1' >> /etc/sysctl.conf

 

5. Enable PassivePorts in ProFTPD or PassivePortRange in PureFTPD


Last but not least open /etc/proftpd/proftpd.conf find PassivePorts config value (commented by default) and besides it add the following line:

 

PassivePorts 60000 65534

 

Just for information if instead of ProFTPd you experience the error on PureFTPD the configuration value to set in /etc/pure-ftpd.conf is:
 

PassivePortRange 30000 35000


That's all folks, give the ncftp / lftp / filezilla or whatever FTP client you prefer and test it the FTP client should be able to talk as expected to remote server in ACTIVE FTP mode (and the auto passive mode) will be not triggered anymore, nor you will get a strange errors and failure to connect in FTP clients as gftp.

Cheers 🙂

Tips & Tricks for Passing CompTIA Security+ Certification Exams with PrepAway Dumps


September 30th, 2019

comptia-security-certifications

Introduction

Many candidates aiming to land a career in IT choose to be certified by CompTIA. This reputable organization is rightly considered to be a leader on the IT market that offers various credentials. And its position is justified. The thing is that CompTIA has been in service for more than 20 years, and in its turn, certified more than 2,000,000 IT specialists all over the world. It offers various vendor-neutral certifications for all tastes Security+, Project+ among many. Their goal is to develop and advance the IT industry.

 

So, since CompTIA aims to serve as a voice of the Information technology industry, it keeps the pace with the rapidly changing IT field and makes its best to equip candidates with the most updated skills.

In this article, we’ll cover one of the exams that leads you to get SECURITY+ certification which allows you to build a successful career in IT and more .

 

Overview of CompTIA SECURITY+ Certification

The CompTIA SECURITY+ certification is one of the core credentials, offered by this vendor. The rest include ITF+, Network+, and Security+. To obtain SECURITY+ credential, you need to pass two exams. They are either 900-series (220-901 and 220-902) or the new ones Core 1 (220-1001) and Core 2 (220-1002).

220-901 exam tests your skills to complete the tasks that deal with hardware and its troubleshooting, peripherals, as well as network connectivity problems. 220-902 test is all about working with operating systems (Windows, Linux, iOS, etc.). As for the new exams, the topics included refer to cloud computing, virtualization and expanded security.

After succeeding and getting the CompTIA SECURITY+ certification, you are eligible to work as a support specialist, field service technician or desktop support analyst and earn annually from $46K to $60K.

 

Details of 220-902 Exam

To gain the SECURITY+ certification, you have to undertake two exams separately. These are 220-901 and 220-902 tests. The CompTIA 220-902 exam verifies your fundamental skills required to install and configure operating systems such as Windows, Apple OS X, Linus, iOS, and Android. The exam also covers security as well as the essentials of cloud computing and operational procedures.

 

Exam 220-902 consists of 90 questions which require 90 minutes to complete. The types of questions included are multiple-choice, drag and drop, and performance-based. To gain the CompTIA SECURITY+ certification you must attain a score of 700. The exam fee comprises $219.


Exam objectives

The CompTIA SECURITY+ 220-902 exam objectives are based on a thorough review made by experts and professionals in the IT field. This is done to make the exam relevant and useful for entry-level IT specialists. The objectives are divided into five domains which are listed below:

  • Windows operating system-29%
  • Other operating systems and technologies-12%
  • Security-22%
  • Software troubleshooting-24%
  • Operation procedures-13%

 

Importance of CompTIA 220-902 Exam

Passing the CompTIA 220-902 exam will equip you with the expertise to do the following;

  • Assemble components as per the customer requirements
  • Effective customer support
  • PCs installation, configuring and maintenance services
  • Basic understanding of networking and securitySkills in troubleshooting
  • Diagnose, resolve, and document normal hardware and software problems
  • Understanding the basics of Virtualization, desktop imaging, and deploying


CompTIA Training material

Since preparation is key to your success, start from checking the CompTIA official website. The vendor offers prep materials that you need to be adequately ready for your exam. The options include virtual labs, e-learning, video training, exam preps, study guides, and instructor-led training. All the options offered contain the study material to hone your skills in taking 220-902 exam and bring your certification goals to fruition. You simply need to choose the method/s that suit/s you best.

PrepAway – the best platform for your Exam preparation

 

In addition to the official study materials offered by CompTIA, you should hunt for the best resources searching the internet to sharpen your skills in order to pass 220-902 exam. For that, you can visit the PrepAway website. It’s a popular provider of the most updated exam dumps to your certification exam/s among test takers.

PrepAway offers you to download free practice questions with answers shared by the recent exam takers. It means that you’ll get the latest exam questions that you can practice. Thus, for exam 220-902 you’ll find a great variety of such dumps.

If you would like to get the practice questions and answers checked by IT experts, 220-902 premium bundle has been designed for such purpose. At an affordable price you can get a bundle that contains an updated premium file, a study guide, and a training course. The files offered at PrepAway are in vce format and can be opened with the help of the VCE Software. This modern exam simulator has been created by Avanset team and helps you practice exam questions in the interesting and interactive manner. Moreover, the VCE testing engine resembles the real exam environment and equips you with skills to tackle any type of question, as well as ability to manage your time wisely. Besides, you can track your results, define the weak areas and focus on them before taking the real 220-902 exam. You can download the files in VCE Player anytime you wish and practice on the go as well. Note that the download is limited to a maximum of 15 files to prevent commercial selling which is prohibited.

So, the benefit of using 220-902 premium bundle is because it contains the updated file verified by IT experts, who have worked in this field for long and feel themselves like a duck to water. And extremely informative video course along with a study guide will complete your thorough preparation to the CompTIA 220-902 exam.

 

Conclusion

This article has taken you through the necessity of passing 220-902 exam and earning the SECURITY+ certification. You get a detailed picture of the benefits waiting for you afterwards. Since the proper preparation is key to your success, utilize the materials offered on the CompTIA website and PrepAway online platform, choose the study options that suit you best, and you won’t have a reason to fail. Wish you luck!
 

Fix KDE Plasma fails to load: “All shell packages missing. This is an installation issue, please contact your distribution” in Kubuntu Linux


September 27th, 2019

Kubuntu_Linux-logo_and_wordmark-fix-plasma-graphical-environment

I've been called yesterday by a friend who has referred me to a friend of him Zvezdomir from Gabrovo who had installation of Kubuntu Desktop Linux by some other colleague but then suddenly the colleague decided to leave the country thus the Kubuntu become completely unmanaged.
In the spirit of Murphy's laws soon after it broke and as the HDD was filled with a lot of important pictures data I received the call with a beseech to help him fix his existing broken Kubuntu installation on the relatively old IBM thinkpad notebook. 
No problem,  I switched the role of a Linux Desktop user tech support  as it is part of daily job of every system admini to be on the hotline for computer medication and never say no to incoming requests 🙂

It seems the guy had messed up his Graphical Environment when as a Linux novice user decided to experiment with changing environments, he used to be using GNOME and then due to some issues with some of the Image Viewer eog – Eye of Gnome / Shotwell / Gpaint whose borders was not showing properly or something he decided to Switch to KDE Plasma. This was successful but as he continued to try out things on the Linux he broke it up badly so after the machine booted he was getting the error after boot of Xorg  Plasma was producing below error.

All-shell-packages-missing-This-is-an-installation-issue-please-contact-your-distribution

"All shell packages missing. This is an installation issue, please contact your distribution"

 


After spending about 30 minutes on the phone explaining him how to switch to Console as he had even no basic concepts about how to manage his Linux box, the problem was solved below are few steps taken to fix All shell packages missing issue

1. Press Ctrl + Alt + F2 Simultaneously

Usually historically switching to console on GNU / Linux was possible with CTRL + ALT + F1 but this was changed as often newer Linux distros do use TTY1 console to launch the X GUI environment.
Here we had some struggles to explain him where F1 as he thought he is supposed to press CTRL + ALT + S + 2 (perhaps misheard on the phone …) and was panicing how he is supposed to press 4 buttons simultaneously after a while it was cleared it is CTRL + ALT + F2 …
PS. In some of the other Ubuntus Lubuntu or older Ubuntus if CTRL + ALT + F2 doesn't work,

some of the other Virtual Text Consoles should be accessible with CTRL + ALT + F3CTRL + ALT + F4 etc.

2.  Login with your user login name

Once the login: field appears I had to explain him about 10 times how he should type his non-privileged user as it is always the case with computer novice. I had to stress here he should press Enter after the username / login is typed …

3. Become root (superuser) after standard login with:

 

sudo su

 

3. If the machine is not connected to internet (this might be the case if errors are produced on below 4. 5. steps)

Assuming you're already superuser (root) and you have no internet because the Network Manager is unable to connect due to failure of KDE Plasma to start, in order to connect to lets say already configured WI-Fi home wireless router,
restart networking with

 

service NetworkManager restart

 

Since internet connectivity will be required in order to be able to install the missing packages and update the package repositories, next test whether internet is reachable.

 

ping google.com
PING google.com (172.217.169.110) 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from sof02s31-in-f14.1e100.net (172.217.169.110): icmp_seq=1 ttl=56 time=15.2 ms
64 bytes from sof02s31-in-f14.1e100.net (172.217.169.110): icmp_seq=2 ttl=56 time=11.5 ms
64 bytes from sof02s31-in-f14.1e100.net (172.217.169.110): icmp_seq=3 ttl=56 time=6.00 ms
^C
— google.com ping statistics —
3 packets transmitted, 3 received, 0% packet loss, time 5ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 6.003/10.892/15.220/3.783 ms

N.B.! We had stumble blocks here too, as the Wi-Fi router seemed to be far away from the room where the PC was, after he moved to the other room where Signal was fine and re-issuing the service NetworkManager restart ping worked.

4. Next to get the latest list with available installable packages on the Ubuntu run the usual

 

apt-get update


5. Do install / reinstall kubuntu-desktop meta package

 

Finally to Fix the broken desktop GUI (that is not appearing instead of the Plasma login

 

apt-get install –yes kubuntu-desktop

 

Finally reboot the Laptop with reboot cmd:

reboot

On next boot Kubuntu's usual login screen should be as it used to be until you have broken your package system with tampering with the packages.

And Hooray ! It works again 🙂

By the way as I googled a bit to investigate futher, the problem seems to be common and the solution with a lot of fuzzling is given also pointed as an bug in Ubuntu's launchpad here