Posts Tagged ‘ALL’

All Debian Linux package repository apt sources.list file for Debian versions 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12

Friday, May 31st, 2024

debian-package-management-repositories-for-all-distributions

If you have to administrate legacy Debian servers, that keeps hanging either for historical reasons or just because you didn't have time to upgrade it up to latest versions, machines that are hanging in the hangar or a mid office building Old server room, doing nothing but simply NAT (Network Address Translation), Proxying, serving  traffic via Squid / Haproxy / Apache / Varnish or Nginx server but you still want to have the possibility to extend the OS even though it is out of date / End of Life reached and out of support as well as perhaps full of security holes, but due to its unvisibility on the Internet hanging in a Demilitarized network the machine stayed on the Local (DMZ)-ed network and still for example you need to install simple things for administration reasons locally on the machine, for example nmap or netcat or some of the network tools for monitoring such as iftop or iptraf etc. you might find out unfortunately that this is not possible anymore, because the configured /etc/apt/sources.list repository mirror is no longer available at its URL. Thus to restore the functioning of apt and apt-get pkg management tools on Debian you need to correct the broken missing package mirrors due to resructurings on the network with a correct ones, originally provided by Debian or eventually if this doesn't work a possible Debian package archive URL. 

In this article, I'll simply provide such URLs you might use to correct your no longer functioning package manager due to package repositoriy unavailibility, below are the URLs (most of which that should be working as of year 2024). To resolve the issues edit and place the correct Debian version you're using.

1. Check the version of the Debian Linux

# cat /etc/debian_version


or use the universal way to check the linux OS, that should be working on almost all Linux distributions

# cat /etc/issue
Debian GNU/Linux 9 \n \l

2. Modify /etc/apt/sources.list and place URL according to Debian distro version

# vim /etc/apt/sources.list


3. Repositories URL list Original and Archived for .deb packages according to Debian distro release
Debian 6 (Wheezy)

Original repostiroes (Not Available and Not working anymore as of year 2024)

 

Old Archived .deb repository for 6 Squeeze

deb http://archive.debian.org/debian squeeze main
deb http://archive.debian.org/debian squeeze-lts main


​Debian 7 (Wheezy)

Original repostiroes (Not Available and Not working anymore as of year 2024)

Old Archived .deb repository for Jessie (still working as of 2024) :

deb http://archive.debian.org/debian wheezy main contrib non-free
deb http://archive.debian.org/debian-security wheezy/updates main

( Security updates are not provided anymore.)

NOTE:  If you get an error about keyrings, just install it
 

# apt-get install debian-archive-keyring


Debian 8 (Jessie)
Original .deb package repository with non-free included for Debian 8 "Jessie"

deb http://deb.debian.org/debian/ jessie main contrib non-free
deb http://ftp.debian.org/debian/ jessie-updates main contrib
deb http://security.debian.org/ jessie/updates main contrib non-free

Old Archived .deb repository for 8 Jessie (still working as of 2024):

deb http://archive.debian.org/debian/ jessie main non-free contrib
deb-src http://archive.debian.org/debian/ jessie main non-free contrib
deb http://archive.debian.org/debian-security/ jessie/updates main non-free contrib
deb-src http://archive.debian.org/debian-security/ jessie/updates main non-free contrib

 

# echo "Acquire::Check-Valid-Until false;" | tee -a /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/10-nocheckvalid

# apt-get update

# apt-get update && apt-get upgrade

 

 If you need backports, first be warned that these are archived and no longer being updated; they may have security bugs or other major issues. They are not supported in any way.

deb http://archive.debian.org/debian/ jessie-backports main


Debian 9 (Stretch)
Original .deb package repository with non-free included for Debian 9 "Stretch":

 

deb http://deb.debian.org/debian/ stretch main contrib non-free
deb http://deb.debian.org/debian/ stretch-updates main contrib non-free
deb http://security.debian.org/ stretch/updates main contrib non-free

Archived old repository .deb for Stretch :

deb http://archive.debian.org/debian/ stretch main contrib non-free
deb http://archive.debian.org/debian/ stretch-proposed-updates main contrib non-free
deb http://archive.debian.org/debian-security stretch/updates main contrib non-free


Debian 10 (Buster)
Origian repository URL:

deb http://deb.debian.org/debian/ buster main non-free contrib
deb http://deb.debian.org/debian/ buster-updates main non-free contrib
deb http://security.debian.org/ buster/updates main non-free contrib

 

Fixing unworking backports for Debian 10 Buster


Change the /etc/apt/sources.list URL with this one

deb http://archive.debian.org/debian buster-backports main contrib non-free


If you want to list packages installed via the backports repository only, that needs to be replaced with newer versions (if such available from the repository)

# apt list –installed | grep backports
# dpkg –list | grep bpo
# dpkg –list | grep -E '^ii.*bpo.*'

ii  libpopt0:amd64                        1.18-2                         amd64        lib for parsing cmdline parameters
ii  libuutil3linux                        2.0.3-9~bpo10+1                amd64        Solaris userland utility library for Linux
ii  libzfs4linux                          2.0.3-9~bpo10+1                amd64        OpenZFS filesystem library for Linux


Debian 11 (Bullseye)
Origianl repository address:

deb http://deb.debian.org/debian bullseye main contrib non-free
deb http://deb.debian.org/debian bullseye-updates main contrib non-free
deb http://security.debian.org/debian-security bullseye-security main contrib non-free

Debian 12 (Bookworm)
Original Repository :

 

deb http://deb.debian.org/debian bookworm main contrib non-free-firmware non-free
deb http://deb.debian.org/debian bookworm-updates main contrib non-free-firmware non-free
deb http://security.debian.org/debian-security bookworm-security main contrib non-free-firmware non-free

Add Backports to sources.list

deb http://deb.debian.org/debian bookworm-backports main


Thats all, hopefully that would help some sysadmin out there. Enjoy !

Improve haproxy logging with custom log-format for better readiability

Friday, April 12th, 2024

Haproxy logging is a very big topic, worthy of many articles, but unfortunately not enough is written on the topic, perhaps for the reason haproxy is free software and most people who use it doesn't follow the philosophy of free software sharing but want to keep, the acquired knowledge on the topic for their own and if possible in the capitalist world most of us live to use it for a Load Balancer haproxy consultancy, consultancy fee or in their daily job as system administrators (web and middleware) or cloud specialist etc. 🙂

Having a good haproxy logging is very important as you need to debug issues with backend machines or some other devices throwing traffic to the HA Proxy.
Thus it is important to build a haproxy logging in a way that it provides most important information and the information is as simple as possible, so everyone can understand what is in without much effort and same time it contains enough debug information, to help you if you want to use the output logs with Graylog filters or process data with some monitoring advanced tool as Prometheus etc.

In our effort to optimize the way haproxy logs via a configured handler that sends the haproxy output to logging handler configured to log through rsyslog, we have done some experiments with logging arguments and came up with few variants, that we liked. In that article the idea is I share this set of logging  parameters with hope to help some other guy that starts with haproxy to build a good logging readable and easy to process with scripts log output from haproxy.

The criterias for a decent haproxy logging used are:

1. Log should be simple but not dumb
2. Should be concrete (and not too much complicated)
3. Should be easy to read for the novice and advanced sysadmin

Before starting, have to say that building the logging format seems tedious task but to make it fit your preference could take a lot of time, especially as logging parameters naming is hard to remember, thus the haproxy logging documentation log-format description table comes really handy:

Haproxy log-format paremeters ASCII table
 

 Please refer to the table for log-format defined variables :
 

+---+------+-----------------------------------------------+-------------+
| R | var  | field name (8.2.2 and 8.2.3 for description)  | type        |
+---+------+-----------------------------------------------+-------------+
|   | %o   | special variable, apply flags on all next var |             |
+---+------+-----------------------------------------------+-------------+
|   | %B   | bytes_read           (from server to client)  | numeric     |
| H | %CC  | captured_request_cookie                       | string      |
| H | %CS  | captured_response_cookie                      | string      |
|   | %H   | hostname                                      | string      |
| H | %HM  | HTTP method (ex: POST)                        | string      |
| H | %HP  | HTTP request URI without query string (path)  | string      |
| H | %HQ  | HTTP request URI query string (ex: ?bar=baz)  | string      |
| H | %HU  | HTTP request URI (ex: /foo?bar=baz)           | string      |
| H | %HV  | HTTP version (ex: HTTP/1.0)                   | string      |
|   | %ID  | unique-id                                     | string      |
|   | %ST  | status_code                                   | numeric     |
|   | %T   | gmt_date_time                                 | date        |
|   | %Ta  | Active time of the request (from TR to end)   | numeric     |
|   | %Tc  | Tc                                            | numeric     |
|   | %Td  | Td = Tt - (Tq + Tw + Tc + Tr)                 | numeric     |
|   | %Tl  | local_date_time                               | date        |
|   | %Th  | connection handshake time (SSL, PROXY proto)  | numeric     |
| H | %Ti  | idle time before the HTTP request             | numeric     |
| H | %Tq  | Th + Ti + TR                                  | numeric     |
| H | %TR  | time to receive the full request from 1st byte| numeric     |
| H | %Tr  | Tr (response time)                            | numeric     |
|   | %Ts  | timestamp                                     | numeric     |
|   | %Tt  | Tt                                            | numeric     |
|   | %Tw  | Tw                                            | numeric     |
|   | %U   | bytes_uploaded       (from client to server)  | numeric     |
|   | %ac  | actconn                                       | numeric     |
|   | %b   | backend_name                                  | string      |
|   | %bc  | beconn      (backend concurrent connections)  | numeric     |
|   | %bi  | backend_source_ip       (connecting address)  | IP          |
|   | %bp  | backend_source_port     (connecting address)  | numeric     |
|   | %bq  | backend_queue                                 | numeric     |
|   | %ci  | client_ip                 (accepted address)  | IP          |
|   | %cp  | client_port               (accepted address)  | numeric     |
|   | %f   | frontend_name                                 | string      |
|   | %fc  | feconn     (frontend concurrent connections)  | numeric     |
|   | %fi  | frontend_ip              (accepting address)  | IP          |
|   | %fp  | frontend_port            (accepting address)  | numeric     |
|   | %ft  | frontend_name_transport ('~' suffix for SSL)  | string      |
|   | %lc  | frontend_log_counter                          | numeric     |
|   | %hr  | captured_request_headers default style        | string      |
|   | %hrl | captured_request_headers CLF style            | string list |
|   | %hs  | captured_response_headers default style       | string      |
|   | %hsl | captured_response_headers CLF style           | string list |
|   | %ms  | accept date milliseconds (left-padded with 0) | numeric     |
|   | %pid | PID                                           | numeric     |
| H | %r   | http_request                                  | string      |
|   | %rc  | retries                                       | numeric     |
|   | %rt  | request_counter (HTTP req or TCP session)     | numeric     |
|   | %s   | server_name                                   | string      |
|   | %sc  | srv_conn     (server concurrent connections)  | numeric     |
|   | %si  | server_IP                   (target address)  | IP          |
|   | %sp  | server_port                 (target address)  | numeric     |
|   | %sq  | srv_queue                                     | numeric     |
| S | %sslc| ssl_ciphers (ex: AES-SHA)                     | string      |
| S | %sslv| ssl_version (ex: TLSv1)                       | string      |
|   | %t   | date_time      (with millisecond resolution)  | date        |
| H | %tr  | date_time of HTTP request                     | date        |
| H | %trg | gmt_date_time of start of HTTP request        | date        |
| H | %trl | local_date_time of start of HTTP request      | date        |
|   | %ts  | termination_state                             | string      |
| H | %tsc | termination_state with cookie status          | string      |
+---+------+-----------------------------------------------+-------------+
R = Restrictions : H = mode http only ; S = SSL only


Our custom log-format built in order to fulfill our needs is as this:

log-format %ci:%cp\ %H\ [%t]\ [%f\ %fi:%fp]\ [%b/%s\ %si:%sp]\ %Tw/%Tc/%Tt\ %B\ %ts\ %ac/%fc/%bc/%sc/%sq/%bq


Once you place the log-format as a default for all haproxy frontend / backends or for a custom defined ones, the output you will get when tailing the log is:

# tail -f /var/log/haproxy.log

Apr  5 21:47:19  10.42.73.83:23262 haproxy-fqdn-hostname.com [05/Apr/2024:21:46:23.879] [ft_FRONTEND_NAME 10.46.108.6:61310] [bk_BACKEND_NAME/bk_appserv3 10.75.226.88:61310] 1/0/55250 55 sD 4/2/1/0/0/0
Apr  5 21:48:14  10.42.73.83:57506 haproxy-fqdn-hostname.com [05/Apr/2024:21:47:18.925] [ft_FRONTEND_NAME 10.46.108.6:61310] [bk_BACKEND_NAME//bk_appserv1 10.35.242.134:61310] 1/0/55236 55 sD 4/2/1/0/0/0
Apr  5 21:49:09  10.42.73.83:46520 haproxy-fqdn-hostname.com [05/Apr/2024:21:48:13.956] [ft_FRONTEND_NAME 10.46.108.6:61310] [bk_BACKEND_NAME//bk_appserv2 10.75.226.89:61310] 1/0/55209 55 sD 4/2/1/0/0/0


If you don't care about extra space and logs being filled with more naming, another variant of above log-format, that makes it even more readable even for most novice sys admin or programmer would look like this:

log-format [%t]\ %H\ [IN_IP]\ %ci:%cp\ [FT_NAME]\ %f:%fp\ [FT_IP]\ %fi:%fp\ [BK_NAME]\ [%b/%s:%sp]\ [BK_IP]\ %si:%sp\ [TIME_WAIT]\ {%Tw/%Tc/%Tt}\ [CONN_STATE]\ {%B\ %ts}\ [STATUS]\ [%ac/%fc/%bc/%sc/%sq/%bq]

Once you apply the config test the haproxy.cfg to make sure no syntax errors during copy / paste from this page

haproxy-serv:~# haproxy -c -f /etc/haproxy/haproxy.cfg
Configuration file is valid


Next restart graceously haproxy 

haproxy-serv:~# /usr/sbin/haproxy -D -f /etc/haproxy/haproxy.cfg -p /var/run/haproxy.pid -sf $(cat /var/run/haproxy.pid)


Once you reload haproxy graceously without loosing the established connections in stead of restarting it completely via systemd sysctl restart haproxy:

 

2024-04-05T21:46:03+02:00 localhost haproxy[1897731]: 193.200.198.195:50714 haproxy-fqdn-hostname.com [05/Apr/2024:21:46:03.012] [FrotnendProd 10.55.0.20:27800] [BackendProd/<NOSRV> -:-] -1/-1/0 0 — 4/1/0/0/0/0
2024-04-05T21:46:03+02:00 localhost haproxy[1897731]: 193.100.193.189:54290 haproxy-fqdn-hostname.com
[05/Apr/2024:21:46:03.056] [FrotnendProd 10.55.0.20:27900] [BackendProd/<NOSRV> -:-] -1/-1/0 0 — 4/4/3/0/0/0
2024-04-05T21:46:03+02:00 localhost haproxy[1897731]: 193.100.193.190:26778 haproxy-fqdn-hostname.com
[05/Apr/2024:21:46:03.134] [FrotnendProd 10.55.0.20:27900] [BackendProd/tsefas02s 10.35.242.134:27900] 1/-1/0 0 CC 4/4/3/0/0/0

Note that in that log localhost haproxy[pid] is written by rsyslog, you can filter it out by modifying rsyslogd configurations

The only problem with this log-format is not everyone wants to have to much repeating information pointer on which field is what, but I personally liked this one as well because using it even though occuping much more space, makes the log much easier to process with perl or python scripting for data visualize and very for programs that does data or even "big data" analysis.

A Biography of one big Heart + His Holiness Patriarch Neophyte (Neofit) head of Bulgarian Orthodox Church

Friday, March 22nd, 2024


His-Holiness-Patriarch-Neofitos-with-Dikiri-and-Thrikiri-blessing-the-people

Patriarch Neophyte (Simeon Nikolov Dimitrov) was born on October 15, 1945 in Sofia from a highly pious family. His father was a simple railway man and his mother a maid (cleaner). His Mother was a famous in the Church as a good christian who was singing on the Church choire in some churches and had a great perseverance and love for the Christian faith, she was the one to push further his two boys Simeon and Dimitar to take the spiritual path within the Orthodox Church. One of them the older brother Dimitar Nikolov Dimitrov to later become A Proto-Psalt and Director and Head of Sofia's Saint Alexander Nevsky Cathedral Church choire for many years (the most prestigious place for people who graduated Church music) and the other to become our 7th Patriarch in order from the times of Physical Liberation of Bulgaria From Turkish Slavery and Spiritual liberation from the dictatorship of the Greek Orthodox Church with the restoration of the Bulgarian Church with the Bulgarian Exarchate.

 At the age of twenty in 1965, he graduated from the Sofia Theological Seminary "St. Ioan Rilski / Saint John of Rila"  (then the seminary moved due to communist party decision) at the Cherepish station nearby the Cherepish monastery, Vrachansko. He served two years of military mandatory service, and in 1971 he graduated from the Theological Academy "St. Kliment Ohridski".

After his specialization at the Moscow Theological Academy in Russia, where he received the title of "Candidate of Theology (COT)" in Church Music (COT equal to our Bulgarian "Phd / doctor") , in 1973 he was appointed a teacher of Choral Church Singing and became the conductor of the student choir at the Theological Academy.

Archimandrite-Gelasij-of-new-York-later-picture-as-metropolitan-of-New-York-America

He began his monastic journey under the Spiritual eldership of Archimandrite Gelasius then abbot of the Troyan Monastery.

His monastic ordination in monkship was performed on August 3, 1975 by the previous Bulgarian Patriarch Maxim on the feast of Assumption of the Virgin Mary, August 15, 1975 , he was ordained to the rank of hierodeacon immediately, on March 25, 1976, Annunciation, he was raised in the Church hierarchy to hieromonk, and on November 21, 1977 ., Presentation of the Theotokos (The Entry of Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple), was raised to the Archimandrite dignity.

He then was assigned the obedience to be Protosyncellus (Protosingel) of the Sofia Metropolia in years 1981 to 1985.

His-All-Holiness-Patriarch-Neophytos-picture-as-young-Bishop-Levkijski-of-Bulgarian-Orthodox-Church

On December 18, 1985, he was ordained as the Bishop of Lefkias (Levkijski) a title earlier held by the all famous Levkijski Bishop Partenius (Partenij)  in the Patriarchal Cathedral "Saint Alexander Nevsky" and was appointed as vicar  bishop of the Metropolia of Sofia.

In 1989, he became rector of Sofia Theological Academy part of (Sofia University at that time), and in July 1991, when the Theological Academy returned to be the pre-revolutinary Faculty of Theology of the Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski", was elected the first dean of the restored Faculty of Theology.

His-Holiness-Neophytos-picture-as-Metropolitan-of-Ruse

Since January 27, 1992, he has been the chief Secretary of Holy Synod (A prestioug position) until March 27, 1994, when Bishop  Neophyte was elected Metropolitan of Dorostolo-Cherven.eparchy (which is now separated in two separate aparchies (The Eparchy of Ruse and Eparchy of Dorostol – the ancient Roman area Dorostorum)  

By decision of the Fifth Church-People's Council in 2001, with the consent and approval of the Holy Synod Assembly of metropolitans, the diocese was divided into two (the Dorostol diocese was separated with the city of Silistra -the Ancient Istrum (Histria ancient city) and he began to be titled Metropolitan of Ruse.
In the function of metropolitan he has won the respect of both church and authorities.and he was given the respectful medal "Respected citizen of Ruse".

In 2008 metropolitan Neophyte received the very prestigious academic title "doctor honoris causa" of the Sofia University "Saint Kliment Ohridski". More about it here.

His-All-Holiness-Patriarch-Neophytos-Patriarch-of-Bulgaria-and-Metropolitan-of-Sofia

On 22 June 2010 he was given a medal "St. St. Cyril and Methodius" as a respectful act for his big contribution to development of Bulgarian Music and Culture.

On February 24, 2013, a Patriarchal Electoral Church Council was convened in Sofia and the people and all people were mostly troubled on who will be the next Patriarch in this muddy times.

Soon after his arise to patriarchical throne in 2013 he was given another medal he received "Glory and Honour" in 2013 by Russian Orthodox Church.
Every Church member of that time was troubled about the future of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, and everyone felt a big relief as The Synodal Elders elected Metropolitan Neophyte of Ruse to become the 7th Patriarch of Bulgaria after the restoration of the BPC-BP Bulgarian Church (Bulgarian Patriarchate) after so many years of being under the yoke of Byzantine Church and after liberation of Bulgaria, due to politics delicions and the harsh and anti-bulgarian activities of the Greeks in attempt to own the Church the church suffered its schism and returned its full communion to the family of national members of Holy Eastern Orthodox Church.
After his election His Holiness Patriarch Neofit is titled  Metropolitan of Sofia.and Patriarch of Bulgaria.

Patriarch-Neophyte_signature-podpis

His-Holiness-Patriarch-Neophytos-head-of-Bulgarian-Orthodox-Church

Patriarch Neophyte has the fame of being one of the best church singers in Bulgaria and one of the best and most famous Church Hymns has been circulating throughout the public space the Internet / TV and Radio for the last 10+ years as they are invaluable due to the unique voice qualities of the Patriarch. I guess there is no person in Bulgaria and outside of it who did not heard his Paschal (Katavasia and Stychorions) Hymns.

Resurrection of Christ Katavasios and Stychorion Playlist with Patriarch Neophytos (Sung) Famous Eastern Orthodox Hymns Patriarch Neofit passed away on 13 of March 2024 after a months of sickness after being hospitalized on 29 November 2023 in VMA (Army Medical Academy) due to pulmonary disease (later to understand it is a cancer in its latests stages). In his last days in hospital, the Holy Synod summoned all the Churches and people to pray fervently for the quick recovery of the patriarch through a miracle.
Patriarch Neofit passed away silently his clean holy Soul to Christ on 13 of March 2024
His brother Proto-Psalt (associated professor) Dimitar also passed on on 11 January 2024.

Protopsalt-Dimitar-associated-professor-in-Music-Director-of-st-Alexander-Nevsky-Choire
Patriarch Neophytos and his brothre Proto-Psalt Dimitar

Protopsalt Dimitar Dimitrov a brother of the Patriarch passed just 2 days after a famous Metropolitan of Joanichius has passed away to Christ on 9 January 2024 in 82 years of old.

His-Holiness-Mitropolit-Ioanikij-JoanichiusSlivenski
His Holiness Metropolitan Joanichius


Patriarch Neofit and Metropolitan Joanichius

The personality of Patriarch Neophytos was non-conflict, a lover of peace and compromises, anti-war (i would say pacifist in modern terms) and was among the few patriarchs not being in fear or influenced by the overall Church politics of the Russian Church and he publicly condemned the war as a great evil in his Theophany preach.

"The Lord God and the Holy Church bless only that army that does not show aggression, and whose sole purpose is to protect and defend its people and country within its internationally recognized territorial borders," said the patriarch for the feast of Epiphany water sanctification and sprinkling of battle flags.

The patriarch position was to try to reconcile the clergy and try to heal the misunderstandings and human conflicts between his God given flock of Priest, Monks, Bishops and Clergy with true fatherhood love, prayer and a lot of patience that we the people of 21 century miss so badly.
With a lot of sadness we send our beloved Patriarch Neophytos (Neofit) of Bulgaria to the All Mighty God and Pray if he has received a Grace from God to Pray fervently and Always for us his poor pupils and childs!

his-Holiness-Patriarh-Neofit-treti-mart-pic

God Have Mercy on the Soul of Patriarch Neophytos ! Blessed and Eternal to be his Memory ! Amen !

Improve MobaXterm Best Windows terminal client with some additional settings tune ups / Install extra Linux Cygwin tools on MobaXterm and various post install configuration goodies

Friday, January 20th, 2023

mobaxterm-logo_400x400-terminal-client-tune-up-howto-for-a-new-install

Earlier I've written a an article MobaXTerm: A good gnome-terminal like tabbed SSH client for Windows / Windows Putty Tabs Alternative in which I've introduced the best in my opinion SSH / Telnet / VNC / RDP / Xserver in one Terminal client emulator for Windows operating systems.

The client has been around for quite some time and it has been improving rapidly over the last 10 years, where it now more looks like a separate Operating System than a single terminal client. It's size is quite compact as well and my opinion and every self respectiving developer, system administrator, IT geek or a hacker would definitely
use the mobaxterm at home or at work place on a daily. I guess some of my readers, who have already migrated SuperPutty / SecureCRT or Putty / XMing or whatever kind of exotic Remote SSH Console terminal is used could validate this 🙂

Therefore as I've set up Mobaxterm on a multiple computers all around, I've found it useful to write a small article with some post-install hints (tune ups) one can do immediately once he has installed the Desktop or Portable Apps version of mobaxterm on desktop PC / notebook.
 

1. Set up your bashrc server / command aliases

Lets say you need to setup some rules for connectivity via a socks proxy to dig holes over a harsh company firewalls or add
custom options to every ssh client attempt to remote server, or simply alias some of your servers with custom connectivity options
and so on simply open vi / vim text editor from mobaxterm local terminal and place inside your rules, for example that could be anything like:

 

alias ssh='ssh -o stricthostkeychecking=no -o passwordauthentication=yes -o PreferredAuthentications=password  -v'
alias sftp='sftp -o stricthostkeychecking=no -o passwordauthentication=yes -o PreferredAuthentications=password'

alias work-server='ssh UserName@work-server -v -o passwordauthentication=yes -o PreferredAuthentications=password'

alias proxy='ssh -D 3128 UserName@proxyIP-host1 -o ConnectTimeout=80'
alias proxy1='ssh -D 3128 UserName@proxy-host2 -p 443 -o ConnectTimeout=60'
alias proxy3='ssh -D 3128 Username@proxy-host3 -p 443 -o ConnectTimeout=60'

Simply open the terminal and setup whatever you require
export ftp_proxy="http://proxy-host:8080"
export https_proxy="https://proxy-host:8080"
export http_proxy="http://proxy-host:8080"
export HTTP_PROXY="http://proxy-host:8080"
export HTTPS_PROXY="http://proxy-host:8080"

 

2. Set mobaxterm presistent directory / persistent root directory and default text editor

Make sure you have properly defined at least Persistent directory / Persistent directory if you want to keep the files under your /home/mobaxterm and root directory be able to save your data from local mobaxterm terminal work you have done.

To do so o to Configuration -> General

MobaXterm-persistent-home-directory
 

3. Change default settings for Opening / Closing Terminal tabs just like in gnome-terminal

MobaXterm is really awesome as the developer, followed pretty much the logic of some common GNU / Linux Terminal clients like Gnome-Terminal and KDE's default Konsole terminal.

One of the first things to do once Mobaxterm is installed on the PC is to set up nice key binds as default onces might be heard to learn at the beginning or you might have already the habit to use the certain set of key combinations on your Linux desktop:

Common once are:

1. Open tab / Close tab common once I bind to are (CTRL + T / CTRL + W)
2. Previous tab move / Next tab move keys common one I use are (ALT + LEFT / ALT + RIGHT)
3. Find in terminal (CTRL + F)

rebind-mobaxterm-standard-keys
 

4. Make MobaXterm to automatically open a terminal to not Start local terminal every time

By default mobaxterm it is really annoying cause every time you run it after system reboot you have to select
Start local terminal
Once you run the terminal you get this prompt and you have to press on Start local terminal

mobaxterm-start-local-terminal


How to make Mobaxterm automatically open local Terminal Tab on every boot?
 

To fix this so every time a local terminal is spawn on MobaXterm you have get to:
 

Settings -> Configuration -> Misc


Open the Following tab at startup by default it will be

<Home (Pinned)>

Change it to:

<Terminal>

mobaxterm-open-the-followintab-tab-in-startup

That's it on next login your Local Terminal with /bin/bash.exe will auto load !
 

[hipo.WINDOWS-PC] ➤ env|grep -i SHELL
SHELL=/bin/bash.exe
PATH=/bin:/drives/c/Users/hipo/DOCUME~1
/MobaXterm/slash/bin:/drives/c/Windows:/drives/c/Windows/system32:/drives/c/Windows/system32:/drives/c/Windows:/drives/c/Windows/System32/Wbem:
/drives/c/Windows/System32/WindowsPowerShell/v1.0:/drives/c/Windows/sysnative
PSModulePath=C:\Windows\system32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\Modules\
CMDPATH=C:\Windows\system32;C:\Windows;C:\Windows\System32\Wbem;
C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\;C:\Windows\sysnative\;
C:\Users\hipo\DOCUME~1\MobaXterm\slash\bin
WINPATH=C:\Windows\system32;C:\Windows;C:\Windows\System32\Wbem;C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\;C:\Windows\sysnative\


5. Make menu buttons to appear smaller


Go to menu and select
View -> (Small Buttons)

mobaxterm-select-small-buttons-screenshot

6. Disable auto start of XServer to prevent a port listener on the machine on TCP port

By default mobaxterm opens XServer listener, so you can immediately connect from a remote SSH servers missing Xserver and install software requiring an XServer, for example software such as Oracle Database or some MiddleWare WebLogig or IBM's Web Sphere. This is useful but if you want to have a good security only allow this server on a purpose. Otherwise the XServer will run in parallel with rest of your Moba and just load up your PC and eat up some RAM memory. To disable it go to:

mobaxterm-x11-automatically-start-X-server-disable-stop-at-startup

7. Change the mobaxterm Default theme to Dark

This is optional I like to set the Theme to Dark, also as a Theme for Windows as well as for MobaxTerm, the aim of that is simply to not put extra stress on my eye sight. Being on the PC around 8 to 10 hours and spending some 6 to 8 hours on console work is enough. If you want to do as well.

mobaxterm-change-default-theme-to-dark-theme

8. Install additional set of common Linux tools to mobaxterm to use on Windows
 

Tools such as:

1. Midnight Commander (mc)
2. Wget
3. Curl
4. Vim
5. Screen
6. Rsync
7. Perl
8. W3m
9. dosunix
10. unix2dos
11. gnupg
12. diffutils
13. mysql
14. mpg123
15. whois


If you want to have a set of packages pre-installed that are including above as well as the rest of mine, here is a dump of my installed mobapt manager packages:

For more simply use the experimental Mobaxterm  Graphical Package installer
 

[hipo.WINDOWS-PC] ➤  for i in $(cat Downloads/installed-packages-mobaxterm.txt ); do apt-cyg install $i; done
 

Found package GeoIP-database

Installing GeoIP-database
Downloading GeoIP-database-20180505-1.tar.xz…
Unpacking GeoIP-database-20180505-1.tar.xz…


Running postinstall scripts
Package GeoIP-database installed.

Rebasing new libraries

Found package adwaita-icon-theme

Installing adwaita-icon-theme
Downloading adwaita-icon-theme-3.26.1-1.tar.xz…


You will be prompted for a single Yes for the respository

MobApt Packages Manager

mobapt-pkg-manager-install-git-from-gui-mobaxterm-package-installer

Though it is said it is experimental, I have to say the MobApt Apt Manager works quite good, I never had any issues with it so far.

9. Mobaxterm.ini the settings storage file that can help you move your configurations

If you have to prepeare new MobaXterm on multiple PCs frequently perhaps it is best to just copy the Mobaxterm.ini file. 
Here is an example of my mobaxterm.ini for download.
 

10. Change terminal colors and curor type and enable blinking (customizations)


Settings -> Configuration -> Terminal -> (Default Terminal Color Settings)
 


mobaxterm-change-terminal-colors-and-blinking-cursor-setting-screenshot

11. Use very useful moba Tools
 

mobaxterm-terminal-great-useful-tools-screenshot
For sysadmins Moba has plenty of other jems such as:

  • Network Port scanner such as Nmap with GUI

  • list open network ports (GUI interface to netmap)

  • SSH tunnel tool

  • Moba Diff

  • Wake on Lan

  • Network Packet capturer (such as tcpdump)

  • List running processes (such as taskmgr in simple form)

  • List machine hardware devices (such as Windows Device manager)

 
12. Remote monitoring of opened ssh session


To enable remote monitoring for a Saved session simply use the "Remote monitoring" button on the down left corner of the terminal.

mobaxterm-remote-monitoring-of-remote-ssh-server-screenshot-button

Or to enable it for a new host, open:

1. "Saved sessions"
2. Click over "User sessions"
3. New Session -> (SSH)
4. Basic SSH Settings (Remote host) -> OK
5. Click over the new created session
6. Click on Remote monitoring for the opened session

remote-monitoring-from-mobaxterm-screenshot

13. Play some mobaxterm console games

As you might have pissed off of configuring go on and enjoy some of the great console games, some of which are also present on a normal Linux new distribution installation. 🙂

mobaxterm-list-of-games-screenshot

List of Moba Games

teamwalk-mobaxterm-console-connect-network-routers-game
TeamWalk (Use your mouse or keyboard to connect every server to the central router)

ctris-console-text-game-mobaxterm

Ctris Console tetris from Mobaxterm

solitaire-text-console-game-played-on-mobaxterm-screenshot

Text console Solitaire from Moba
 

Ninvaders-console-game-mobaxterm

Here is NinVaders (Text Version of Space Invaders Arcade Classic)
 

Enjoy ! 🙂

The short historical path of the Holy Relics of Saint Andrew the First-called of the Apostles of Christ

Friday, December 2nd, 2022

St_Andrew_the_Apostle_-_Bulgarian_icon-by-icon-Yoan-from-Gabrovo-iconographer

Why saint Andrew the Apostle is special for the Bulgarian Orthodox Church
and the Eastern Churches?

 

According to Church tradition saint Andrew the Apostle the First-called was the apostle from which wide areas of the Eastern lands was christianized, by his fervent preach of the Gospel and the good news of the Resurrection of Christ who suffered on the Cross for the salvation of mankind.
The Ecumenical Patriarchy of Constantinople and the Ancient Eastern Byzantium Church has received its apostleship in practice, exactly from st. Apostle Andrew.
During his apostleship mission saint Andrew has preached the Gospel and gave the faith for a first time in the Ist century according to Church tradition, as he passed by the Black sea borders, today part of which are in Bulgaria, he went through Romania, where he has spent some time living as a hermit in a cave and then up to Kiev and Scythia, where he made a prophecy that the Christian faith will put its Roots and that soon the pagan tribes of Kiev lands will accept the faith and put the Cross high over their lands.

When Bulgaria was later Christianized by saint Boris-Michael, and the Holy Bulgarian church was established on this lands thanks to the missionary works of Saint Kiril and Methodius, Saint Kliment of Ohrid, saint Gorazd, Naum, Sava, Angelarius and  whole pleade of saints and teachers, Bulgaria has received, also the gift of priesthood and apostleship (has received its own hierarchy of bishops governing the Bulgarian Orthodox Church), thus by spiritual line the Holy Spirit here in Bulgaria was received from Saint Andrew, later this enlightnements achievement, the Books in Church Slavonic, the services and most importantly the Cyrllic alphabet was transffered from Bulgaria and later Serbia to the endless steppes territories of capital Kiev that was a capital of the Rus at that time and in all Scythia today the territories of Russia. Thus all the Byzantine Eastern Churches and  Bulgaria

After the end of the persecution of Christians, in the 4th century AD, Saint Equal-to-the-Apostles Emperor Constantine the Great began to erect numerous Christian temples.

Among them was the temple of the Holy Apostles in the new capital of the empire – Constantinople. After the death of St. Constantine in 337, his son, Constantius, ascended the throne.
The new ruler, fulfilling the will of his father, decided to bring to the capital of the empire the holy relics of the Apostles Andrew, Luke, Timothy and lay them in the church of the Holy Apostles, where the Equal-to-the-Apostles Emperor himself was buried.

Originally, the holy relics of Saint Andrew the First-Called rested at the place of his martyrdom, in Patras, in the Peloponnese, Greece. According to Western tradition, a few days before the relics were transferred to Constantinople, Regulus, who was guarding them, removed the lid of the sarcophagus in which the relics of the Apostle rested, separated from them one shoulder, three fingers of the right hand, part of the knee and a tooth.

holy-right-hand-of-saint-Andrew-the-Apostle-first-called-Vatopedi

Holy right hand of saint Andrew the First-Called

With these relics Regulus left Patras and set out to preach the Gospel among the pagans inhabiting Scotland.
The inhabitants of the country welcomed the enlightener with great honor and together with their King accepted Holy Baptism.
In Scotland, the first Christian church was built in the name of Saint Andrew, in which parts of his holy relics were laid. Which played the role for Scotlands patron saint protector to become Saint Andrew the Apostle.

The deposition of the holy relics of Saint Apostle Andrew the First-Called in Constantinople took place on May 3, 357 in the presence of the Patriarch of Constantinople Macedonius I and Emperor Constantius.
In the 9th – 10th centuries, the Byzantine autocrats usually sent as a donation for the built monasteries and temples parts of the holy relics that rested in Constantinople, including the relics of the holy Apostles.

In the second half of the 9th century, following an urgent request and special intercession before the emperor, the honorable head of St. Apostle Andrew the First-Called was delivered to the St. Andrew's Church in the city of Patras, where it rested until the middle of the 15th century.

In 1460, to the walls of The army of the Ottoman Sultan Mohammed II was approaching the town of Patras. The Governor /Archon/ of the city of Patras, Thomas Paleologus (brother of the Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI, who died during the capture of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, father of Princess Sofia, the future wife of the Grand Duke John III of Moscow), losing all hope of preserving independence of the city, took the precious and holy treasure of the city from St. Andrew's Church and arrived in Rome with it to collect funds and forces for the liberation of the Orthodox Christian East from the yoke of the infidels.

The holy head of St. Andrew the First-Called Apostle was in Rome until 1964, when, by the decision of Pope Paul VI, this shrine together with parts of the cross of St. Andrew was returned to the Greek Orthodox Church.

Now these relics are located in one of the largest cathedrals in the Balkans, Saint Andrew the First-Called in Patras, Greece, i.e. in this place where the first disciple of Christ preached and ended his martyr's earthly life.

saint-Andrew-first-called-of-the-apostles-X-shaped-cross-icon.jpg

X shaped cross of Saint Andrew according to medieval tradition

The honorable head of the Apostle rests on the throne in a silver coffin, and behind the throne – saint Andrew's cross-relic (according to middle-ages tradition to be X shaped cross in which are embedded parts of the real cross of Saint Andrew, on which he was crucified.

Head-of-Saint-Andrew-the-first-called-Apostle-reliquary

Mount Athos received the hand of St. Andrew as a gift in the Great Lavra of Athos, founded by Saint Athanasius (the Great) at the request of his friend and companion and patron of the Byzantine emperor Nikephoros Phocas (963-969).
Parts of the holy relics of holy Apostle are also kept in other monasteries on Mount Athos.

foot-of-saint-Andrew-the-first-call-Apostle-holy-relic

Foot Relic of Saint Andrew the Apostle

Likewise, part of the forehead bone is kept in the Saint Andrew's hermitage (scythe), in the scythe of saint Prohet Elijah is preserved the foot of the Apostle.
This walking stick was given in 1806 by Hieromonk Dionysius /in Kyzikon (Kyzicheska) Diocese/, who left the eparchy with these relics from the monastery of Saint Marina, cause the monastery was
looted and sacked by the Turks.

In the Russian monastery of Saint Panteleimon on Holy Mount Athos, the second foot of the First Called Disciple of Christ is preserved.

Part of the relics of Saint Andrew also rest in the nun's monastery dedicated to his name, which is located on the island of Catalonia in the village of Peratata.

Fragments of the honest relics of the Apostle are also found in the monastery of Saint Nicholas on the island of Euboea.

Material written from sources according to information from the Holy Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, on the occasion of the stay from June 27 to 29, 2003 during which the the foot of St. Andrew the First-Called, was given for veneration from the monastery of saint Panteleimon, Mount Athos.

 

Transferring a part of the relics of Saint Andrew to the church dedicated to Saint Andrew in Sofia, Bulgaria

 
Holy-relics-of-saint-Andrew-first-of-the-Apostles-in-church-of-saint-Andrew-Sofia-Bulgaria


In 2001, the Metropolitan of Patras, Greece at that time Nicodemus, presented a piece of holy relics from the knee of Saint Andrew and a cross in which pieces of the cross on which St. Andrew the Apostle was crucified were placed.
On November 29, 2001, on the occasion of the feast of St. Andrew the First-Called, the Reliquary was carried in a litany procession from the Bulgarian Church Synodal Palace to the capital church "Свети Андрей Първозвани / (Saint Andrew the First-called)".

A Holy Liturgy was served which was  attended by Their Eminences the Metropolitans: Metropolitan Kiril of Varna and Great Preslav, metropolitan Joseph of America and Australia, metr. Gelasius of New York, metr. Grigoriy of Velikoturno, metr. Neophyte of Dorostol and Cherven (currently Patriarch of Bulgaria) , metr. Gavriil (Gabriel) of Lovchan eparchy, His Eminence Bishop Nikolai of Znepol (then) and now metropolitan of Plovdiv, Patriarchal Vicar, Archimandrite Boris,  the secretary of Holy Synod, numerous priests, the graduates of the Sofia Theological Seminary "Saint Ivan Rilski" and many laymen.

When the litany reached its destination, the church "Stsaint Andrew the First-Called", the relics were welcomed, received and placed in the church for worship by Patriarch Maxim (Rest In Peace). Immediately after that, Great Vespers with five loaves of bread as the orthodox tradition is, was served by the Most Reverend (then) Bishop of Znepol, Nikolay, together with Archimandrite Boris and the temple clergy. The Most Holy Patriarch Maxim (already in his 90s) and some of the bishops attended the service in prayer. After the service, the relics remained exposed for worship in the House of God, which was also open at night. It should be noted that this was the only Orthodox church in Bulgaria dedicated to saint Ap. Andrei.

Also, the fact that for the first time the relics of St. Apostle Andrew are coming to our country is important. Part of the relics were transferred to the church on the island of Saint Anastasia near Burgas in the diocese of Sliven.
The reason for the transferral of relics to st. Anastasia is that according to tradition, the Apostle Andrew himself passed through this island in his apostleship mission.

Every year on November 30 – Saint. Andrew's Day, in the church the holiday is celebrated with a solemn Holy Liturgy, celebrated by His Holiness the Bulgarian Patriarch and Metropolitan of Sofia (today Neofitos), and in his absence, by a bishop, visiting clergy and the church clergy.

From materials from Church newspaper (official newspaper of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church)

In Praise of Holy 40 Martyrs of Sebaste – a medieval work by Saint Clement of Ohrid (The Wonderworker)

Wednesday, March 9th, 2022

Holy_40_Martyrs-martyrdom-Bulgarian-icon

I consider / think for the will of the same mind and the equality of wisdom of these fourty martyrs and in amazement, I resort to Christ,  by whom clearly comes every good giving and every gift, as the Many-Blessed Paul said and blessed: “Thou are Christ – a God’s power and wisdom.” And with that power, were filled the many-blessed fourty warriors, martyrs for Christ.

They shone in the world like the brightest stars and illuminated the whole universe with the rays of the knowledge of God, having among them the spiritual sun – Christ. Illuminated by its light and adorned with great beauty, they blossomed with special faith like fragrant lilies, abundantly watered with the dew of the Holy Spirit. Decorating themselves with good deeds, they became beloved of their Lord, because in purity and love they surpassed each other. They shone like lamps with spiritual radiance: some with fasting and abstinence, others with good faith and hospitality; some with kneeling prayer and sincerity, and others with humility and meekness; some with vigilance and sincere love, and others with love and mercy for the poor. Indeed, the power of the Holy Spirit was with them, urging them to every good deed and by faith protecting them from every calamity.

And so, they were as homogeneous in appearance and beauty. Weaved through faith and love like a golden necklace, they were connected to each other by unanimity. Leaving the vain way of life, they zealously wished to stand before the unspoken glory of God through good deeds and sincere love. They urged each other to hurry to the holy path of feat. Instead of armor, they put on the faith, and instead of a shield, they armed themselves with The Cross and appeared in battle like Lightning – Riding against thousands and tens of thousands and were glorified with Victory. They fought a double war – with Visible and Invisible enemies.

Ivory_Relief-from-Constantinople_40_Martyr-10th-century-now-kept-in_Bode-museum-Berlin

Ivory Relief icon 40 Martyr 10th century from Constantinople now kept in Bode museum Berlin

The devil, who could not see their beauty and faith, as well as their pure life, fought against them by entering the malevolent court of Licinius, who was autocratic at the time. He raised persecution against Christians. Wanting to deceitfully capture the faithful martyrs, Licinius forced everyone to worship idols. But the ancient prophet proclaimed and said: “Lord will not leave the rod of the wicked on the lot of the righteous, so that the righteous do not stretch out their hands to iniquity. Lord, do good to the good and to the righteous at heart! ” With this light they illuminated themselves, striving brilliantly and wonderfully in martyrdom, despising the ordinary pleasure of joy. Cheering each other on, they said to each other, “Brethren, let us not be afraid of this short-lived torment, which passes quickly like a shadow, but brings us into the eternal dwellings. Therefore, brothers, stand firmly armed against the adversery-enemy, so that we may be adorned with victorious crowns of Christ God!
Because for the sake of earthly life and for the sake of the mortal king we did not spare ourselves in battles, but, having fallen into many troubles, protected by the power of God, we emerged victorious, then – if we try to follow him, taking upon ourselves his voluntary sufferings, we hope that he will be with us, as he promised: “When you are taken to assemblies, to authorities, to prisons, to kings and princes, and to tormentors for my name's sake, do not worry about what to say or what to answer, for I will give you words and wisdom that all your adversaries will not be able to resist or contradict. And do not be afraid of those who kill the body and can do no harm to the soul; but be afraid of him; who, after the murder, has the power to throw into hell. "

With these words, they learned and supported each other, and powerfully trampled on the devil's cunning. They gladly endured all kinds of sorrows, saying to themselves the apostolic word: "God is not unjust, brethren, to forget your labor."

40_Holy_Martyrs-of-Sebaste-Sebastia-in-the-ice-cold-lake-icon

40 Holy Martyrs of Sebaste martyrdon in the Lake Εκκλησιαστικό Μουσείο (Alexandrupoli, Greece Church Museum)

When they stood at night, in the cold, in the middle of the swamp, near the town of Sebastia, here is one of them, turning away, ran to the bathroom (built near the plateau) and, touching the heat, it melted like ice and died. And suddenly an unspeakable light shone from the sky on them, and the cold turned from it into warmth. And forty crowns descended from heaven upon their heads. Only one wreath remained, with nowhere to stop.The guardian, seeing this miracle, took off his clothes, jumped to the martyrs and cried out in a loud voice: “I believe in the Son of God Jesus Christ, in whom even these holy martyrs believe; may He honor me with the same glory, so that I may complete with them a martyr's deed! ” And immediately the crown of unspeakable glory descended on his head and stood. This is God's mercy, as the Lord Himself said, "The last shall be first, and the first last."

oly_Forty_Martyrs_Church-in-Veliko-Tarnovo-Trnov-Bulgaria
Church of Holy Martyrs, ex-Capital of Bulgarian Empire Tarnovo / Trnov, Bulgaria

Therefore, how can we praise the most holy company, from which this wretched man fell away, as Judas once fell away from God's chosen company, and as the devil fell away from the angelic staff and from the light and became the ruler of darkness and deserved eternal torment. His envy engulfed this wretched man. But still the devil was trampled by the invincibles.

The church nourished them with spiritual food, crowned them with the brightest wreaths; he made them companions of the angels and showed them to the whole universe as bright lamps. With their miracles they shine more than the sun. The prophet announced about them in antiquity, saying: “You have tested us, O God, you have melted us as silver is melted; put men over our heads. We went through fire and water and you set us free. " As they desired this eternal peace, they left behind the beauty of life, houses, wealth, fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers, wife, children, and even despised their lives, according to the Lord's command. That is why the Lord has miraculously shown all His favor to them. Indeed, they were vessels of good use, chosen for the service of the only ruler and our savior, Jesus Christ. Nothing could separate Christ's love from them: no fire, no water, no other suffering.

That is why today we celebrate their memory with respect and, giving them the due praise, we say: "Rejoice, all-honorable and wonderful company of the most glorious army!"

They became like the disembodied forces and surpassed them; for they, being disembodied, stand in their place and enjoy the unspeakable beauty. And the martyrs, having swum the earthly ravaged sea , illuminated the whole world with their blood. With spiritual wings, they flew up and stood before the unspeakable glory of God. They abundantly heal the sick, cast out demons, alleviate suffering, enlighten churches, keep the peace, guide people to good deeds, cast out demons and quickly destroy their cunning, enrich the poor in two ways – mentally and physically – destroy heresies. Shining with the brightest dawns, they became great advocates – martyrs for the faith.


Chapel_of_the_Forty_Martyrs_holy-martyrs-holy-relics-Church-of-Holy-Sepulchre-Jerusalem

Chapel of the Forty Martyrs containing the Holy Relics Church of Holy Sepulchre Jerusalem


So what mouth or which tongue will be able to praise these heavenly lamps, which appeared brighter than the sun? With their pure relics, they illuminated the whole world like stars. They warmed the day's frost, ignited by the Holy Spirit. And fiery flames extinguished them, as once the godly youths in Babylon. With their golden bones they illuminated the streams of the river, adorned all the churches with their fragrant relics, delighted the world with their unspeakable miracles, banished deception, and planted the truth, stepped on the devil, rejoiced Christ! That is why the right hand of the Almighty adorned them with bright wreaths and illuminated them with the rays of the unspeakable light, honored them wonderfully and with the honor to stand before God, clothed them with God-woven clothes, filled them with the power of the Holy Spirit and made them equal to disembodied forces. . That is why God is wonderful among his saints, always glorifying those who glorify him, and miraculously honoring them with unspeakable miracles. I want to tell one of their many miracles, namely how children listen to their noble mother.

Sveti-40_Mychneici-Bylgaria-Holy-40-Martyrs-Manastir_-_Vrachesh-Bulgaria

A Nun Monastery near Vrachesh Village, Bulgaria – Monastic Church

When these blessed martyrs surrendered their holy souls into the hands of the Lord, one of them was still breathing. His mother, seeing that he was left alive, rejected the female weakness, took male audacity, took his beloved son on his shoulders and, following him (after the car loaded with the bodies of the martyrs), said to him: "Do your best, Sufferer for Christ, be courageous and strengthen your heart, and may my soul rejoice for you! Do not fall away, as Judas once fell away from the apostles, nor as one of you has now fallen away, but give God all your hope and your spirit, and he will support you; for, behold, Christ is standing before you, brother, to receive your soul and await your arrival. ” As she spoke this, her son, carried by her, surrendered his soul into the hands of the Lord. She took it, placed it with the saints, and said, "Rest, child, with your holy company, and remember me with them in your holy prayers, so that I may accomplish your martyrdom." Then she returned with joy, praising God. Have you heard, brethren, of the love and boldness of the Christ-loving mother? How she feared neither the king, nor the tormentor, nor the sword, nor the fire, but only the life-giver of God.

Merdanya_monastery_40_Martyrs-after-the-battle-of-Klokotnitsa-by-Bulgarian-ruler-Ivan_Asen-II-near-Lyaskovec

Church of 40 Holy Martyrs in Merdanya Monastery near Lyskovec Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria (The monastery in thankfulness to the martyrs for helping the Bulgarian King Ivan Asen II in the Famous Medieval battle of Klokotnitsa which occured on 9th of March year 1230 near the Village of Klokotnitsa – As a result, Bulgaria emerged once again for short time as the most powerful state in South-Eastern Europe)

Therefore, if we reject from ourselves any fear of men, let us make room in ourselves for the fear of God. May he enlighten our souls and hearts! May we always abide in fasting, in purity and sincere love, in meekness and obedience, abstaining from all evil. Let us adorn ourselves with good deeds, like these most holy martyrs, glorifying the Most Holy Trinity, one in three persons – the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit – now and always, and forever. Amen!

Text originally existing in Church Slavonic and translated to Bulgarian language by Archimandrite Dr. Atanasii Bonchev (who was also the Author of the Book the Living of the Saints used in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church even today)
 

The Menaion (one of Liturgy service books) of the Eastern Orthodox Church lists the names of the Forty Martyrs as follows:

  • Hesychius, Meliton, Heraclius, Smaragdus, Domnus, Eunoicus, Valens, Vivianus, Claudius, Priscus, Theodulus, Euthychius, John, Xantheas, Helianus, Sisinius, Cyrion, Angius, Aetius, Flavius, Acacius, Ecditius, Lysimachus, Alexander, Elias, Candidus, Theophilus, Dometian, Gaius, Gorgonius, Eutyches, Athanasius, Cyril, Sacerdon, Nicholas, Valaerius, Philoctimon, Severian, Chudion, and Aglaius.


A curious fact is in the Eastern Orthodox Church, there is a prayer mentioning the Forty Holy Martyrs of Sebaste is also placed in the Orthodox Wedding Service (referred to as a "crowning") to remind the bride and groom that spiritual crowns await them in Heaven also if they remain as faithful to Christ as these saints of long ago.

Hearing on the enormousness of Saintship of the Holy Fourty Martyrs and their endurance. 
Let us ask them for their holy prayers for more peace, love, faith and hope and endurance and patience on the hard trials each one of us face constantly!

Holy 40 Martyrs of Sebastia Pray the Lord Jesus Christ so we find mercy in God!

Saint Prophor Pchinski Saint Jochichim of Osogovo and Saint Gabriel of Lesnovo the three little known Bulgarian spritual followers of Saint John of Rila

Saturday, January 15th, 2022

Biography of St. Prohor Pshinski

Saint_Prohor_Pchinski-face-icon

St. Prohor Pshinski. Mural from the 15th century in the church "St. Archangel Michael" in Saparevo near Kyustendil. Source: bartol, bartol.blog.bg

 St. Prohor Pshinski. Mural from the 15th century in the church "St. Archangel Michael" in Saparevo near Kyustendil. Source: bartol, bartol.blog.bg The Rev.

Prohor Pshinski was a Bulgarian by birth from pious parents in the Ovce Pole region of northern Macedonia. It was given by God to childless parents for their prayers and sucked in along with his mother's milk and her high piety. When he grew up, his parents insisted on marrying him. But he once heard in the temple the words of the Savior: "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me," (Matt. 10:37). the town of Vranje in Yugoslavia. He lived in a cave where water springs for 32 years. Once a frightened deer ran to him, chased by a hunter who soon appeared.

Saint_Prohor_Pchinski_Fresco-Byzantine-Empire-icon
Prophor Pchinski (Pshinksi) Byzantine Empire Icon

At his first meeting, the monk called the hunter by name and predicted that he would soon become a Byzantine emperor. At that time Bulgaria was under Byzantine slavery (1018 – 1186). And indeed, after some time this man reigned under the name of Roman Diogenes (1067-1071). Astonished by the fulfillment of this prophecy, he discovered the incorruptible relics of the late Prohor Pshinski and built a large temple in the name of the saint on the site of his asceticism. His holy relics were laid there and a monastic fraternity gathered.

This monastery still exists. The Venerable Prohor Pshinski died on September 14, but due to the great feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, the celebration of his memory was postponed to January 15. His monastery celebrates his memory on September 19.

© Lives of the Saints. Synodal Publishing House, Sofia, 1991, edited by Parthenius, Bishop of Lefkada (Levkijski) and Archimandrite Dr. Athanasius (Bonchev).

Saint_Prohor_Pshinski-XV-century-wall-painting-icon-Kyustendil-Bulgaria

Saint Prohor Pchinski (Pshinski) Wall Painting icon XV century Kyustendil Bulgaria

The prologue biography of St. Prohor Pshinski is an original ancient Bulgarian writting, known in a single transcript in the New Prologue from the beginning of the 14th century (GIM, Uvar. 70). Under the date of October 19, the Venerable Hermit Saint is mentioned next to St. Ivan Rilski. Both texts are published by Kl. Ivanova (1977). D. Chesmedjiev (2009) points out that the cult of St. Prohor Pshinski is poorly fixed in the written tradition. All the details about the saint are known from his prologue. St. Prohor lived in the 11th century, working in the Kozyak mountain (near the village of Staro Nagorichino). After his death, his relics were transferred to the church he founded, called Pshinya, where he was healed.

Saint Prophor Pchinski in Modern Theology

His cult probably originated during the Byzantine rule. His memory is celebrated on September 13 and October 19. In the New Prologue, in addition to biographies of St. Ivan Rilski and St. Prohor Pshinski, there are also biographies of St. Achilles of Larissa, St. Simeon of Serbia and others. 30 years ago Kl. Ivanova (Ivanova 1977: 59) has suggested that the manuscript was compiled in the Pshin Monastery itself, but the spelling and language features of the collection are Serbian. According to the latest research by the same researcher, Nora's prologue originates from Jerusalem and was created in the Serbian monastery "St. Archangel Michael ”(Ivanova 2008: 68–70).

 

Biography of Saint Joachim of Osogovo

Images of St. Ivan Rilski and St. Joachim of Sarandapor from the Poganovo Monastery, end of the 15th century. It is not known where he came from, from his life it is known that he came from the west, according to Ivan Snegarov, perhaps from Zeta, in the Osogovo Mountains, where he sought monastic asylum.

An unknown boyar from the village of Gradets, not far from Kriva Palanka, today in northern Macedonia, shows him the place he was looking for monastic solitude – a cave by the Sarandapor River, today's Kriva River. Here St. Joachim spends his life as a hermit, in fasting and prayer, and the local Bulgarians revere him as a holy man. 

Osogovo Monastery.

Kutugenski-Manastir-Sveti-Joachim-Ioakim-Osogovski
Osogovo Monastery Saint Joachim Icon

Joachim Osogowski died on August 16, 1105.On this date the Bulgarian Orthodox Church commemorates him.

Years later, the widowed priest Theodore of the Sheep Field settled in the place of Joachim's hermitage, adopting the monastic name Theophanes. After his saint appears, he discovers his miraculous relics, which are laid in the church built in his memory. In the 12th century, the cult of St. Joachim became so popular in northwestern Macedonia that a monastery of the same name was built around the temple. 

Joachim-of-Osogovo-known-also-as-Sarandopolski-Poganovo_Ivan_Rilski

Images of St. Ivan Rilski and St. Joachim of Sarandapor from the Poganovo Monastery, end of the XV-th century ( the three most famous spiritual pupils of Saint John of Rila )

In the monastery, similar to the life of St. Ivan Rilski, a life of St. Joachim was created, known from later transcripts, as well as a service of the saint. Around the middle of the 14th century the cult of St. Joachim spread to the eastern Bulgarian lands, and at the end of the 14th century it was transferred to Russia.

Biography of Saint Gavriil (Gabriel) Lesnovski

Saint-Gabriel-of-Lesnovo-320px-Archangels_Chapel_in_Rila_Monastery_Gabriel_of_Lesnovo_-_year-1845

Saint Gabriel of Lesnovo fresco from Archangels Chapel Rila Monastery, Bulgaria

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St. Gavriil Lesnowski.
Detail of a mosaic on one of the doors of the Patriarchal Cathedral "St. Alexander Nevsky" in Sofia St. Gavriil Lesnowski. Detail of a mosaic on one of the doors of the Patriarchal Cathedral "St. Alexander Nevsky" in Sofia

Reverend Gavriil Lesnovski is one of the three great followers of the Rila desert dweller St. Ivan Rilski. He lived in the XI – XII century. He was born in the village of Osiche, Palaneshko (Macedonia). He came from rich Bulgarian parents and received a good education. When he was old, his parents betrothed him to a good-looking bride. Soon, however, his fiancée died. Then he entered a monastery and became a monk. With the inheritance he received from his parents, Gabriel built a monastery with a church named after St. Archangel Michael in the Lesnovo Mountains, northern Macedonia, near the present town of Kratovo.

The Venerable Father gathered monks, appointed an abbot, and he himself secluded himself in the mountains of desert life and silence, doing so for 30 years. He then returned to his monastery and died on January 15. Thirty years after the death of the Venerable Gabriel, a Russian monk named Joseph in the town of Sredets (Sofia) – at the suggestion of the saint – went to the place where the Venerable struggled, found his grave, found his incorruptible relics, laid them in a coffin and provided for prayer worship to believers.

For many years the holy relics of the Reverend Gabriel rested in the Lesnovo Monastery and performed many miracles. Probably in the thirteenth century one of the Bulgarian kings of the Assen dynasty brought them to his capital Tarnovo and laid them in the church "Holy Apostles" in Trapezitsa. According to the Reverend's prologue of 1330, "they have lain there until now and give healing." After the Ottoman invasion of Bulgaria, traces of the holy relics of the Venerable Gavriil Lesnovski are lost. The monastery he founded was later named after him and became an important literary center. © Lives of the Saints. Synodal Publishing House, Sofia, 1991, edited by Parthenius, Bishop of Lefkada (Levkijski) and Archimandrite Dr. Athanasius (Bonchev).

Saint-Gabriel_Lesnovski-Saint-_Joachom_Osogovski_and-saint_Prohor-Pchinski-Saint_Alexander_Cathedral_SofiaSaint Gabriel of Lesnovo, Saint Joachim of Osogovo and Saint Prohor Pchinski mosaic saint Alexander Nevski Cathedral Church, Sofia, Bulgaria

The Saints Prohor Pchinski, Joachim of Osogovo together with Saint Gabriel of Lesnovo according to Bulgarian Orthodox Church tradition are considered to be 3 of the many pupil monks of Saint John of Rila who spread the light of Holy Eastern Orthodox Christian faith in whole Bulgarian lands and from there towards Russia and far west Serbia, Croatia, Hungary who historically has been orthodox and later converted to Roman Catholicism.

Saint Filothea Temnishka of Tarnovo feast day 7 of December. A XII century miracle working Saint little known in the West

Tuesday, December 14th, 2021

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Living of Saint Filothea of Tarnovo 

The Venerable Filothea (Filotea) is born in the Byzantine city of Polivot in (Southern Thrace). She was a fruit of a continous prayers of her parents. 
Received a good education for the time and reached adulthood, her parents give her for a bride (in arranged marriage against her will) which was a standard practice of its time.
Even merrying using  her enormous wisdom she was able to persuade her husband to live vestal life (the marriage was not consumed). 
In relatively short years her husband passed away. She has moved to a Insland nearby the close lake, built a small hermit cell hut and prayed and fasted incessantly living a a holy hermit life in solitude, night vigils, tears and repentance and stillness.
Because of her zealoutry God has given her the Grace of Miracle working prayers and the wisdom to teach. A well known spiritual persons, cleargyman, priests, deacons and people come to her to hear her graceful words and councils as well as to receive a healing through her holy prayers.

Saint-Filothea-of-Tarnovo-Romanian-icon2.

Cause of her absitence of food and sleep and praers all over the clock she lost body weight, forseeing her death she has presented herself to the Lord on 7th of December (the exact year of her death and the age are unknown, presumably she lived somewhere in the XII century). Her holy relics turned to be incorruptable (a sign for immerse holiness, among with wonder working healing miracles were considered some of the conditions for considering a deceased person a saint – for more on inccorruptability of saint relics check out my previous article here).

Sveta-Filotea-Tyrnovska-jitie-zabravenata-pokrovitelka-na-Vidin

In the beginning of XIII century her holy relics were solemnly carried with honor from Polivot to the Capital of Second Bulgarian Empire Tarnovo by King Kaloyan. There her holy relics stayed by God's great providence for 200 years, being visited by the whole Christiandome for veneration.

The-Transfer-of-Saint-Filotea-Holy-Miracle-Working-relics-to-Tarnovo-Bulgaria-thirteen-century

After the fall of Bulgaria under the Ottoman yoke (year 1393). Probably to save the holy relics from destruction, they were taken to the far North Bulgarian borders in the Fortress of Bdin (today city of Vidin) and after staying for a while once the fortress was taken over by Mohameddans, taken a by the Serbs, and later Wallachs (todays Romanians) has taken the relics from Serbs, once the Serbian lands were invaded.

Currently her holy relics are present the old Wallachian Capital Curtea de Argeș (near river of Argeș).

Holy-relics-of-Saint-Filotea-of-Tarnovo.
Holy Relics of Saint Filothea, one of the most famous places for Christian veneration in Romania
(Saint Demetrius of Besarabia – another Bulgarian saint, Saint Filotea, and Saint Petka of Bulgaria are among the most venerated saints in Romania today)

The main source we have for the living of Saint Filothea (Filotheus) is written by Saint Patriarch Euthymius of Tarnovo Bulgaria (born circa 1325, died c.1402 / 1404). It is a very long document describing a lot of interesting details about Saint Filothea's healing miracles after she prayed with crying to the Lord even before she died. The miracle healings, chasing out of demons and restoration of eye sight and other glorious things continued even after she passed out to Christ to multitudes of people who prayed in front of her relics with faith.

Saint-Patriach-Euthymius-of-Tarnovo-last-Bulgarian-Patriarch-before-Turkish-Slavery-author-of-saint-Feotheas-Living
Saint Patriarch Euthymiuus of Tarnovo, the main source author for today's Filoteas Living 

During her life she spoke to the people coming to her a lot of his sacred methodical words.
She told them before her death:

"The time has come for me to leave here, so I thought it right to remind you of the traditions and decisions of the Orthodox faith by the Holy Apostles and the Divine Fathers. You know that the Orthodox faith is the head of our lives. In your efforts to give it to us pure and immaculate, the Holy Apostles suffered various kinds of death. , and to keep the church traditions unshakable, and not to waver here and there from different winds.

However, the Lord Jesus Christ shed His blood for her and did not allow his Church to be completely destroyed. But he gave her help, and fate led her to victory. I, the poor, have been brought up in piety since my childhood, and I received it from my parents as a precious treasure. Therefore, as a holy peak in the Church, I ask you not to forget the tradition of the Holy Prophets and Apostles, as the great apostle Paul wrote to Timothy: and others to learn! " (Tim. 2: 2)

Saint-Venerable-Filotea-of-Tarnovo-Romanian-icon

You deserve to hold the true faith and not listen to pagan fables at all. They can rebuke us a thousand times, they can insult us a thousand times, but a lie will never defeat the truth, nor will malice prevail over wisdom. For, they reduced the name of the Deity in the creation, in men – oh wickedness! – in trees, in stones, cats, dogs, and are not ashamed to think that creation came into being by itself, and do not understand, the unthinking, in their evil wickedness and wisdom, that everything was brought from non-being into existence by one true God, Who created heaven and earth and everything visible and invisible. And the gods, who did not create the heavens and the earth, may perish! (Jeremiah 10:11). Let those who make them and who hope in them be like them! (Ps. 113:16; 134:18). Therefore the Gentiles were deceived, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Considering themselves to be wise, they proved foolish, and changed the glory of one God in the likeness of quadrupeds, reptiles, and birds (Rom. 1: 21-23). Let the wretched see where the celestial bodies and earthly beings in the air and water came from, and most of all where the even more primitive came from – heaven and earth, air and aquatic nature! Who mixed and divided them? What is their communication with each other – separation and consent? Who moves and leads them? How does one element, which is contrary in nature, run away with another harmlessly in the fullness of one world? How do they exist in agreement without consulting and talking? All this is the work of divine providence, and they left the Creator and honored and served creation instead of the Creator (Rom. 1:25) and wander in vain and rage against our pious faith and against pious Christians, to whom they impose ruthless torture and force them to renounce the sweet name of Christ.

You do not pay attention to their threats, even if they lead you to the torturous wheels, to the boiling cauldrons, to the sword or fire, do not be afraid of their horrors! (Isa. 8:12, 70s). Another life and another age that awaits us awaits us, where the prophets rejoice, the apostles rejoice together with the figures of the Venerable Lent, with the angels and archangels, with the martyrs and all the saints. Always think this, write this in your hearts! Take care of yourself and the whole flock, among which God has appointed you shepherds and teachers (Acts 20:28), in order to keep yourself and them pure and undefiled!

Everything in this world will be beautifully and habitually scattered like dust and forgotten, only virtue lasts forever and ever. Therefore, try to keep yourself clean and to lead the entrusted flock to lively pastures, so that the Lord of all, seeing this diligence of yours, may reward you with a reward worthy of your labors and make you worthy of His kingdom! " 
 

Saint_Filothea_Tarnovska_Romanian-icon
Romanian Contemporary Icon of Saint Filothea

A high-ranking and famous man named Navkratius, from the city of Amoria, was appointed by the then king to be the governor of Greece. It happened to him to fight the godless Agarians (The Turks), and after the two sides fought, by the unknown destinies of God, his whole army was defeated: some were killed, and others were captured and taken to Sicily. Along with the others, a stratilat (army commanded) was captured, but his name was Artavan, from the town of Philomelia. Taken away by the ungodly, they were imprisoned in a gloomy dungeon and guarded with great care. Thus detained there, they were perplexed as to what to invent and what to do. And overwhelmed with grief, they called for the help of Almighty God and His loved ones.

Then Artavan remembered St. Philothea and began to tell them about her glorious miracles and that she had received the gift of healing various ailments and diseases. As he listened to Stratilat Navkratius, his heart burned and he began to call for her help. And because he was filled with divine desire and was inflamed with fervent faith, he could not wait to hide it for a long time, but he quickly got up and raised everyone to earnest prayer, shedding tears. And all of them unanimously rushed to earnest prayer and called for the help of the God-loving Philotheus, saying:

"Christ-related slave, undefiled bride, pure dove, abode of the Holy Spirit, if you look mercifully on us humble and desperate, and free us from this terrible dungeon, we will be trumpets of your countless miracles, with a loud voice we will we preach, and we will spend the rest of our lives chaste and pure. O Venerable Mother, do not despise us, for we are bitterly distressed in this terrible and miserable dungeon! "

Saint-Philotea-saint-Alexander-Nevski-Cathedral-Sofia-Bulgaria-wall-painting

With such prayers they spent the whole night, with hot tears and heartache. When they had finished this all-night vigil and finished their prayer, they lay down to rest and give a little sleepy consolation to the body. Everyone fell asleep in their place, the reverend appeared to them and rejoiced their hearts with words of consolation, saying:

"Your prayer has been heard and God has not despised your sighs. So go in peace and return to your homes, thanking God for your gratitude, who frees prisoners from bondage!" (Ps. 67: 7).

They awoke with joy, the iron chains lay fallen from them, the dungeon was wide open. They believed the vision to be true, and immediately left the open dungeon, the guard lying as if dead, and fleeing freely. But before they went home, they first went to the island to pay their respects to the reverend. After fulfilling this obligation, each of them returned home and told all the glorious miracles of the Venerable Philoteia.

After this spread everywhere, and managed to enter every ear, a leper, full of faith and fervent zeal, quickly came to the church of the Venerable Mother, called for mercy and with diligent requests and frequent bows, long sleepless nights, fasting and torture tormented himself and he relentlessly spent in her divine temple. The Blessed One, seeing his long diligence and his bodily leprosy, which had almost ended, immediately bowed to mercy, appeared in the dream of the church cleric and ordered him to anoint him with oil from the holy chandel of the Immaculate Conception all over his body. When he awoke, the cleric quickly obeyed the order. and not many days later he sent him safe to his home to glorify and thank God, as well as to His close friend.

A lot of time passed and many miracles happened. The Greek kingdom was exhausted and its scepter holders found themselves in difficult circumstances. Finding the right time, the Romans stormed the Greek state and inflicted unbearable misery.

At the same time, the Bulgarian kingdom became very strong and powerful, and it encompassed and conquered all the surrounding areas. At that time in Bulgaria the tsarist scepter was ruled well and even magnificently by the pious and glorious tsar Kaloyan (1197-1207). Seeing the Greek kingdom completely exhausted, he attacked it manfully, and many cities and villages were captured and ruined. And having gathered all the good, he brought it to his glorious city of Tarnovo – the whole nation with all the animals moved to their country. As he did all this, he heard the miracles of the Venerable Philotheus, and his heart was greatly inflamed. Because it is usually a matter of the souls of the pious to show zeal for virtue and to show zeal in every way.

After conquering the whole region and subduing it to his authority, he came to the place where the venerable body of the reverend lay, filled himself with unspeakable joy, praising God and diligently thanking Him. He fell before the reverend relics of the reverend, flooded them with his tears, and reverently kissed them. He then ordered an all-night vigil and gave many alms to the poor. In the morning a divine liturgy was celebrated, which was attended by the king in great joy and merriment with all his army. And he made the good decision to bring the reverend's body to his country. 

Holy Venerable Mother Filothea pray the Lord to have mercy on every suffering and needy, poor, sick, weak and low and all the people who remember your holy memory and summon your prayers !

Amen !

Article Sources:
1. The Living of Saints by dr. Atanasii Bonchev and bishop Partenij 
2. The Living of Saint Filothea written by Saint Patriarch Euthymius of Tarnovo

 

KVM Virtual Machine RHEL 8.3 Linux install on Redhat 8.3 Linux Hypervisor with custom tailored kickstart.cfg

Friday, January 22nd, 2021

kvm_virtualization-logo-redhat-8.3-install-howto-with-kickstart

If you don't have tried it yet Redhat and CentOS and other RPM based Linux operationg systems that use anaconda installer is generating a kickstart file after being installed under /root/{anaconda-ks.cfg,initial-setup- ks.cfg,original-ks.cfg} immediately after the OS installation completes. Using this Kickstart file template you can automate installation of Redhat installation with exactly the same configuration as many times as you like by directly loading your /root/original-ks.cfg file in RHEL installer.

Here is the official description of Kickstart files from Redhat:

"The Red Hat Enterprise Linux installation process automatically writes a Kickstart file that contains the settings for the installed system. This file is always saved as /root/anaconda-ks.cfg. You may use this file to repeat the installation with identical settings, or modify copies to specify settings for other systems."


Kickstart files contain answers to all questions normally asked by the text / graphical installation program, such as what time zone you want the system to use, how the drives should be partitioned, or which packages should be installed. Providing a prepared Kickstart file when the installation begins therefore allows you to perform the installation automatically, without need for any intervention from the user. This is especially useful when deploying Redhat based distro (RHEL / CentOS / Fedora …) on a large number of systems at once and in general pretty useful if you're into the field of so called "DevOps" system administration and you need to provision a certain set of OS to a multitude of physical servers or create or recreate easily virtual machines with a certain set of configuration.
 

1. Create /vmprivate storage directory where Virtual machines will reside

First step on the Hypervisor host which will hold the future created virtual machines is to create location where it will be created:

[root@redhat ~]#  lvcreate –size 140G –name vmprivate vg00
[root@redhat ~]#  mkfs.ext4 -j -b 4096 /dev/mapper/vg00-vmprivate
[root@redhat ~]# mount /dev/mapper/vg00-vmprivate /vmprivate

To view what is the situation with Logical Volumes and  VG group names:

[root@redhat ~]# vgdisplay -v|grep -i vmprivate -A7 -B7
  Segments               1
  Allocation             inherit
  Read ahead sectors     auto
  – currently set to     8192
  Block device           253:0

 

  — Logical volume —
  LV Path                /dev/vg00/vmprivate
  LV Name                vmprivate
  VG Name                vg00
  LV UUID                VVUgsf-FXq2-TsMJ-QPLw-7lGb-Dq5m-3J9XJJ
  LV Write Access        read/write
  LV Creation host, time main.hostname.com, 2021-01-20 17:26:11 +0100
  LV Status              available
  # open                 1
  LV Size                150.00 GiB


Note that you'll need to have the size physically available on a SAS / SSD Hard Drive physically connected to Hypervisor Host.

To make the changes Virtual Machines storage location directory permanently mounted add to /etc/fstab

/dev/mapper/vg00-vmprivate  /vmprivate              ext4    defaults,nodev,nosuid 1 2

[root@redhat ~]# echo '/dev/mapper/vg00-vmprivate  /vmprivate              ext4    defaults,nodev,nosuid 1 2' >> /etc/fstab

 

2. Second we need to install the following set of RPM packages on the Hypervisor Hardware host

[root@redhat ~]# yum install qemu-kvm qemu-img libvirt virt-install libvirt-client virt-manager libguestfs-tools virt-install virt-top -y

3. Enable libvirtd on the host

[root@redhat ~]#  lsmod | grep -i kvm
[root@redhat ~]#  systemctl enable libvirtd

4. Configure network bridging br0 interface on Hypervisor


In /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0 you need to include:

NM_CONTROLED=NO

Next use nmcli redhat configurator to create the bridge (you can use ip command instead) but since the tool is the redhat way to do it lets do it their way ..

[root@redhat ~]# nmcli connection delete eno3
[root@redhat ~]# nmcli connection add type bridge autoconnect yes con-name br0 ifname br0
[root@redhat ~]# nmcli connection modify br0 ipv4.addresses 10.80.51.16/26 ipv4.method manual
[root@redhat ~]# nmcli connection modify br0 ipv4.gateway 10.80.51.1
[root@redhat ~]# nmcli connection modify br0 ipv4.dns 172.20.88.2
[root@redhat ~]# nmcli connection add type bridge-slave autoconnect yes con-name eno3 ifname eno3 master br0
[root@redhat ~]# nmcli connection up br0

5. Prepare a working kickstart.cfg file for VM


Below is a sample kickstart file I've used to build a working fully functional Virtual Machine with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3 (Ootpa) .

#version=RHEL8
#install
# Run the Setup Agent on first boot
firstboot --enable
ignoredisk --only-use=vda
# Use network installation
#url --url=http://hostname.com/rhel/8/BaseOS
##url --url=http://171.23.8.65/rhel/8/os/BaseOS
# Use text mode install
text
#graphical
# System language
#lang en_US.UTF-8
keyboard --vckeymap=us --xlayouts='us'
# Keyboard layouts
##keyboard us
lang en_US.UTF-8
# Root password
rootpw $6$gTiUCif4$YdKxeewgwYCLS4uRc/XOeKSitvDJNHFycxWVHi.RYGkgKctTMCAiY2TErua5Yh7flw2lUijooOClQQhlbstZ81 --iscrypted
# network-stuff
# place ip=your_VM_IP, netmask, gateway, nameserver hostname 
network --bootproto=static --ip=10.80.21.19 --netmask=255.255.255.192 --gateway=10.80.21.1 --nameserver=172.30.85.2 --device=eth0 --noipv6 --hostname=FQDN.VMhost.com --onboot=yes
# if you need just localhost initially configured uncomment and comment above
##network В --device=lo --hostname=localhost.localdomain
# System authorization information
authconfig --enableshadow --passalgo=sha512 --enablefingerprint
# skipx
skipx
# Firewall configuration
firewall --disabled
# System timezone
timezone Europe/Berlin
# Clear the Master Boot Record
##zerombr
# Repositories
## Add RPM repositories from KS file if necessery
#repo --name=appstream --baseurl=http://hostname.com/rhel/8/AppStream
#repo --name=baseos --baseurl=http://hostname.com/rhel/8/BaseOS
#repo --name=inst.stage2 --baseurl=http://hostname.com ff=/dev/vg0/vmprivate
##repo --name=rhsm-baseos В  В --baseurl=http://172.54.8.65/rhel/8/rhsm/x86_64/BaseOS/
##repo --name=rhsm-appstream --baseurl=http://172.54.8.65/rhel/8/rhsm/x86_64/AppStream/
##repo --name=os-baseos В  В  В --baseurl=http://172.54.9.65/rhel/8/os/BaseOS/
##repo --name=os-appstream В  --baseurl=http://172.54.8.65/rhel/8/os/AppStream/
#repo --name=inst.stage2 --baseurl=http://172.54.8.65/rhel/8/BaseOS
# Disk partitioning information set proper disk sizing
##bootloader --location=mbr --boot-drive=vda
bootloader --append=" crashkernel=auto tsc=reliable divider=10 plymouth.enable=0 console=ttyS0 " --location=mbr --boot-drive=vda
# partition plan
zerombr
clearpart --all --drives=vda --initlabel
part /boot --size=1024 --fstype=ext4 --asprimary
part swap --size=1024
part pv.01 --size=30000 --grow --ondisk=vda
##part pv.0 --size=80000 --fstype=lvmpv
#part pv.0 --size=61440 --fstype=lvmpv
volgroup s pv.01
logvol / --vgname=s --size=15360 --name=root --fstype=ext4
logvol /var/cache/ --vgname=s --size=5120 --name=cache --fstype=ext4 --fsoptions="defaults,nodev,nosuid"
logvol /var/log --vgname=s --size=7680 --name=log --fstype=ext4 --fsoptions="defaults,nodev,noexec,nosuid"
logvol /tmp --vgname=s --size=5120 --name=tmp --fstype=ext4 --fsoptions="defaults,nodev,nosuid"
logvol /home --vgname=s --size=5120 --name=home --fstype=ext4 --fsoptions="defaults,nodev,nosuid"
logvol /opt --vgname=s --size=2048 --name=opt --fstype=ext4 --fsoptions="defaults,nodev,nosuid"
logvol /var/log/audit --vgname=s --size=3072 --name=audit --fstype=ext4 --fsoptions="defaults,nodev,nosuid"
logvol /var/spool --vgname=s --size=2048 --name=spool --fstype=ext4 --fsoptions="defaults,nodev,nosuid"
logvol /var --vgname=s --size=7680 --name=var --fstype=ext4 --fsoptions="defaults,nodev,nosuid"
# SELinux configuration
selinux --disabled
# Installation logging level
logging --level=debug
# reboot automatically
reboot
###
%packages
@standard
python3
pam_ssh_agent_auth
-nmap-ncat
#-plymouth
#-bpftool
-cockpit
#-cryptsetup
-usbutils
#-kmod-kvdo
#-ledmon
#-libstoragemgmt
#-lvm2
#-mdadm
-rsync
#-smartmontools
-sos
-subscription-manager-cockpit
# Tune Linux vm.dirty_background_bytes (IMAGE-439)
# The following tuning causes dirty data to begin to be background flushed at
# 100 Mbytes, so that it writes earlier and more often to avoid a large build
# up and improving overall throughput.
echo "vm.dirty_background_bytes=100000000" >> /etc/sysctl.conf
# Disable kdump
systemctl disable kdump.service
%end

Important note to make here is the MD5 set root password string in (rootpw) line this string can be generated with openssl or mkpasswd commands :

Method 1: use openssl cmd to generate (md5, sha256, sha512) encrypted pass string

[root@redhat ~]# openssl passwd -6 -salt xyz test
$6$xyz$rjarwc/BNZWcH6B31aAXWo1942.i7rCX5AT/oxALL5gCznYVGKh6nycQVZiHDVbnbu0BsQyPfBgqYveKcCgOE0

Note: passing -1 will generate an MD5 password, -5 a SHA256 encryption and -6 SHA512 encrypted string (logically recommended for better security)

Method 2: (md5, sha256, sha512)

[root@redhat ~]# mkpasswd –method=SHA-512 –stdin

The option –method accepts md5, sha-256 and sha-512
Theoretically there is also a kickstart file generator web interface on Redhat's site here however I never used it myself but instead use above kickstart.cfg
 

6. Install the new VM with virt-install cmd


Roll the new preconfigured VM based on above ks template file use some kind of one liner command line  like below:
 

[root@redhat ~]# virt-install -n RHEL8_3-VirtualMachine –description "CentOS 8.3 Virtual Machine" –os-type=Linux –os-variant=rhel8.3 –ram=8192 –vcpus=8 –location=/vmprivate/rhel-server-8.3-x86_64-dvd.iso –disk path=/vmprivate/RHEL8_3-VirtualMachine.img,bus=virtio,size=70 –graphics none –initrd-inject=/root/kickstart.cfg –extra-args "console=ttyS0 ks=file:/kickstart.cfg"

7. Use a tiny shell script to automate VM creation


For some clarity and better automation in case you plan to repeat VM creation you can prepare a tiny bash shell script:
 

#!/bin/sh
KS_FILE='kickstart.cfg';
VM_NAME='RHEL8_3-VirtualMachine';
VM_DESCR='CentOS 8.3 Virtual Machine';
RAM='8192';
CPUS='8';
# size is in Gigabytes
VM_IMG_SIZE='140';
ISO_LOCATION='/vmprivate/rhel-server-8.3-x86_64-dvd.iso';
VM_IMG_FILE_LOC='/vmprivate/RHEL8_3-VirtualMachine.img';

virt-install -n "$VMNAME" –description "$VM_DESCR" –os-type=Linux –os-variant=rhel8.3 –ram=8192 –vcpus=8 –location="$ISO_LOCATION" –disk path=$VM_IMG_FILE,bus=virtio,size=$IMG_VM_SIZE –graphics none –initrd-inject=/root/$KS_FILE –extra-args "console=ttyS0 ks=file:/$KS_FILE"


A copy of virt-install.sh script can be downloaded here

Wait for the installation to finish it should be visualized and if all installation is smooth you should get a login prompt use the password generated with openssl tool and test to login, then disconnect from the machine by pressing CTRL + ] and try to login via TTY with

[root@redhat ~]# virst list –all
 Id   Name        State
—————————
 2    
RHEL8_3-VirtualMachine   running

[root@redhat ~]#  virsh console RHEL8_3-VirtualMachine


redhat8-login-prompt

One last thing I recommend you check the official documentation on Kickstart2 from CentOS official website

In case if you later need to destroy the VM and the respective created Image file you can do it with:
 

[root@redhat ~]#  virsh destroy RHEL8_3-VirtualMachine
[root@redhat ~]#  virsh undefine RHEL8_3-VirtualMachine

Don't forget to celebreate the success and give this nice article a credit by sharing this nice tutorial with a friend or by placing a link to it from your blog 🙂

 

 

Enjoy !