Archive for the ‘Open Source’ Category

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Shellshocked

October 6, 2014 Leave a comment

I have a couple of servers running Ubuntu Linux 12.04 LTS that are not getting the new release of bash that resolves the shellshock bug through the standard update mechanism apt-get.

The solution is to download the package and install it manually.

  1. Download the package from
  2. Run the following command to install it:
    sudo dpkg -i bash_4.2-2ubuntu2.5_amd64.deb
  3. You can run the following command to see if you are vulnerable – no output is good!
    x='() { :;};echo Vulnerable!' bash -c true
Categories: Linux

Apache ProxyPass to the rescue for firewalled ports

September 24, 2014 1 comment

When trying to make a web-utility I look after with its own TomCat server available to the public web from a server with only http and https ports accessible through our firewall I stumbled on Apache’s ability to proxy pages internally. This lets me give public access to a web server running on a port that is not open to the public by getting Apache to pass the content back through the publicly available port 443.

This is how it works:

ProxyPass /foo
ProxyPassReverse /foo

Will mean going to will show that URL but actually show content from

Or in my case:

ProxyPass /
ProxyPassReverse /

Will mean going to actually shows content from the web server on the same server running on port 1443. Very handy!

Categories: apache, Open Source, Web

Raspberry Pi Digital Signage

April 16, 2014 1 comment
I recently helped out the Dunedin Gasworks Museum with creating their digital signage system using a Raspberry Pi.  The aim was to create a system that was very easy to use and update the content, but at a low cost.
I initially looked into creating a presentation in LibreOffice and auto-playing that – but there were a number of issues with trying to automate a presentation:
  • There’s a considerable delay when starting a presentation in LibreOffice whilst it loads.
  • The editor window always appears first before the presentation starts, which doesn’t look very good.
  • Slide timings mean the presentation advances through slides automatically, but there doesn’t seem to be a way to end the presentation automatically (without clicking the mouse).
In the end it was a lot easier to simply run through files in a folder on a USB stick, and display them (depending on extension – video/image etc). If the slideshow folder is not present on any USB device the system will drop to a login screen (so system changes can be made for example).

Read more…

Categories: Linux Tags: , ,

Flyback: Linux follows not leads

November 8, 2007 2 comments


Something to keep an eye on: Flyback, an implementation of Time Machine for linux, based on the fact that rsync and the underlying hardlink filesystems are already there in most linux distributions.  Good point. But isn’t the point that again linux and open source developers have missed the boat?

Don’t get me wrong.  I love open source and all the great stuff that comes from it.  But why does it always seem that open source always follows and never leads the industry?  It’s not because of lack innovation.  Compiz Fusion, the klik software installation method pioneered by the KDE team, and other advancements by KDE and GNOME teams are technically brilliant.

But it’s the stuff from Apple and so on that makes people sit up and take notice. Time Machine is just another backup application, a notable hole in Apple’s line-up. But it’s (rightfully) getting a lot of attention. And that’s because it takes backup and puts it inside a metaphor that everyone can understand, just like the Desktop/file/folder metaphor did at the start of the Graphical User Interface. The “time travel” metaphor works because that’s what a good backup gives you – the ability to go back in time. That’s what’s so exciting about Apple. They did it with the Mac, they did it with Exposè, they did it with the iPod and now the iPod Touch/iPhone. It’s about making it easy to understand and therefore easy to use. As far as I can see the open source community has the technical brilliance to compete, but not the vision. I think the time is coming when open source will lead in these areas too.

Can’t wait!

(or in Slashdot terms, I for one welcome our vision imbued open source overlords!)

Categories: Apple, Linux, Open Source