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Adventures in Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, Fedora, OpenBSD and other open source solutions.

Forwarding one port to another

Here is a very simple stick to forward a TCP port from your local workstation to another host. Can be easy to use for debugging purposes:

mkfifo pipe ; cat pipe | nc -l 8080 | nc google.com 80 > pipe ; rm pipe

What this one does:
1) Create a fifo (First in First out) file. This is a very simple type of file, you can put stuff in there with an output redirect (>) and get stuff out there with cat for example. It acts as a temporary buffer.
2) Open that newly created pipe. Anything that gets in, will be printed. (and forwarded in this example to "nc")
3) Open a listening port on your local workstation, listening on port 8080.
4) Open a connection to google.com, on port 80.
5) Send al the output to the earlier created pipe.
6) Remove the pipe when done.

Have a look the netcat homepage, it's a great tool!

Creating an RPM of some binary

We've covered this topic before in this story about creating an RPM from a shell script, but this information might help you better understand how to create an RPM.

So; you've found a piece of software that has no RPM? (Or; your manager tells you to install a piece of software that the development department created.)

Normally you'd use ./configure ; make ; make install, here is how to put that all in an RPM.

Prepare your rpm building environment: (DO THIS AS A USER!)

$ sudo yum install rpm-build
$ mkdir -p RPMBUILD/{BUILD,RPMS,SOURCES,SPECS,SRPMS}
$ echo "%_topdir /home/username/RPMBUILD" >> .rpmmacros

Now copy the software into that newly create structure.

$ cp software.tar.gz RPMBUILD/SOURCES/

And now create a "spec file" for the software. This basically explains rpmbuild how to make the software and what to put in the RPM. This is the most "tweakable" step and might require quite some time to get right. Put this into /home/username/RPMBUILD/SPECS/software.spec:

Name: software
Version: 0.23
Release: 1
Summary: Custom software to run enterprise servers.

Group: Applications/Internet
License: GPLv2
URL: http://meinit.nl/
Source0: %{name}-%{version}.tar.gz
BuildRoot: %{_tmppath}/%{name}-%{version}-%{release}-root

%description
This software runs all enterprise software as a daemon. It's been developed by Me in IT consultancy.

%prep
%setup -q

%build
make

%install
mkdir -p $RPM_BUILD_ROOT/usr/local/bin
install software $RPM_BUILD_ROOT/usr/local/bin/software

%files
%defattr(-,root,root)
%doc README
/usr/local/bin/software

%clean
rm -rf $RPM_BUILD_ROOT

%changelog
* Tue Jun 15 2010 Robert de Bock <[email protected]> - 0.23-1
- Initial build

Good to know; the %install refers to the temporary environment that rpm will create when building this RPM. The %files section refers to what will end up in the RPM. They should correspond; you can't %install a whole bunch of files and only include a few in the $files part. (rpmbuild will display the missing files.

The group can be any line out of /usr/share/doc/rpm-*/GROUPS

So; you are prepared, run this command to so if you got everything correct:

$ rpmbuild -ba software.spec

When it finally builds, you'll find the rpm in /home/username/RPMBUILD/RPMS/$arch/software-0.23-1.$arch.rpm

Setting up iSCSI (target/server and initiator/client) on RHEL

It's quite easy to setup an iSCSI environment on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Try this easy setup to get a better understanding of iSCSI.

Ingredients:

  1. Two (virtual) machines, a server 172.16.0.1 and a client 172.16.0.2.
  2. Access to the "RHEL Cluster-Storage" channel on Red Hat Network.

N.B. SELinux must be disabled when using this recipe, iptables tcp port 3260 must be opened on the server.

On the server execute these commands to setup a 100 Mb iSCSI target. This target can later be mounted on the client(s).

# yum install scsi-target-utils
# cat /etc/tgt/targets.conf
<target iqn.2010-04.nl.meinit:node1.target1>
backing-store /iscsi1.img
initiator-address 172.16.0.2
</target>
# dd if=/dev/zero of=/iscsi1.img bs=1024 count=102400
# chkconfig tgtd on
# service tgtd start

Now on (all) client(s) follow these steps. (Please pay attention that only one client was give access in the configuration example above; 172.16.0.2.)

# yum install iscsi-initiator-utils

Start iscsi daemon.

# service iscsi start

To see what IQNs are available, run:

# iscsiadm -m discovery -t sendtargets -p 172.16.0.1

The result is a list of IQN(s) available. This discovery is a mandatory step of connecting to the iSCSI target.

Login to the iSCSI target:

# iscsiadm -m node -T iqn.2010-04.nl.meinit:node1.target1 -p 172.16.0.1 -l

If that all works, you have new SCSI devices available, check dmesg and start iscsi at boot time:

# chkconfig iscsi on

In this example the iSCSI target does not have a filesystem. Create it on the client and mount it at boot time:

# fdisk /dev/sda
# mkfs.ext3 /dev/sda1
# echo "/dev/sda1 /mnt ext3 defaults,_netdev 0 0" >> /etc/fstab

You are done, but these commands are quite useful when connecting to an unknown iSCSI device.

To see more about the IQN:

# iscsiadm -m node -T iqn.2010-04.nl.meinit:node1.target1 -p 172.16.0.1

Using "recording" in VI instead of being annoyed

Here is a trick you can use in VI if you need to repeat an action multiple times. Imagine you have this file:

hello
Workd
hello
Workd
hello
Workd

You want to change it to read "Hello world!" Here is what you can do in VI:

  1. Go to the first occurrence of what you would like to have changed.
  2. Enter "q" to initiate a recording.
  3. Enter a letter or digit to save the recording under, like "a" or "1".
  4. Do the actions you would like to repeat.
  5. Enter "q" again to stop and save the recording.
  6. Go to the line where you would like to start running the saved recording/macro.
  7. Enter "@" followed by the letter of digit you have saved the recording under, like "a" or "1".

So, now you have learned what this (annoying) "recording" option can be used for!

Debugging an SSL connection

Imagine you would like to debug an SSL connection to a box, for example HTTPS. Using telnet or netcat, you are not able to do so, but openssl makes this possible, here is how:

First; connect to a machine:

$ openssl s_client -connect mail.google.com:443

You will be given the certificate details:

CONNECTED(00000003)
depth=2 /C=US/O=VeriSign, Inc./OU=Class 3 Public Primary Certification Authority
verify return:1
depth=1 /C=ZA/O=Thawte Consulting (Pty) Ltd./CN=Thawte SGC CA
verify return:1
depth=0 /C=US/ST=California/L=Mountain View/O=Google Inc/CN=mail.google.com
verify return:1
---
Certificate chain
0 s:/C=US/ST=California/L=Mountain View/O=Google Inc/CN=mail.google.com
  i:/C=ZA/O=Thawte Consulting (Pty) Ltd./CN=Thawte SGC CA
1 s:/C=ZA/O=Thawte Consulting (Pty) Ltd./CN=Thawte SGC CA
  i:/C=US/O=VeriSign, Inc./OU=Class 3 Public Primary Certification Authority
---
Server certificate
-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----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-----END CERTIFICATE-----
subject=/C=US/ST=California/L=Mountain View/O=Google Inc/CN=mail.google.com
issuer=/C=ZA/O=Thawte Consulting (Pty) Ltd./CN=Thawte SGC CA
---
No client certificate CA names sent
---
SSL handshake has read 1778 bytes and written 343 bytes
---
New, TLSv1/SSLv3, Cipher is AES256-SHA
Server public key is 1024 bit
Compression: NONE
Expansion: NONE
SSL-Session:
   Protocol  : TLSv1
   Cipher    : AES256-SHA
   Session-ID: 53530BBF94619E255B7956A18D9B9F26241B2A1BF16F30C18C73C88A60200E5F
   Session-ID-ctx:
   Master-Key:
B40F4E1D533F88AF9248E6576CA4E4CFC2C4BD092816DB7EF9D4FE650EA62B4CAC1F23C36892866B40E3502E67D52CF1
   Key-Arg   : None
   Krb5 Principal: None
   Start Time: 1264674178
   Timeout   : 300 (sec)
   Verify return code: 0 (ok)
---

Now you can enter commands in plain text, just as you would using telnet or netcat:

HEAD / HTTP/1.0

Here is what you get:

HTTP/1.0 302 Found
Cache-Control: private
Location: http://www.google.com
Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8
Content-Length: 218
Date: Thu, 28 Jan 2010 10:23:05 GMT
Server: GFE/2.0
X-XSS-Protection: 0

read:errno=0

An easy trick that can also be used to connect to SSL-ed STMP connections, IMAPS, POP3S, etc.

Making an RPM for a shell script.

So, you have written an enterprise quality shell script and would like to deploy it on serveral Red Hat based machines? Creating an RPM will make this easy to do. Here are the steps required.

1. Install rpmbuild so you may start to build your own RPMs.
2. Package your shell script into a tar.gz file and move that to /usr/src/redhat/SOURCES/

# tar -cvzf shell-script-0.1.tar.gz shell-script-0.1
# mv shell-script-0.1.tar.gz /usr/src/redhat/SOURCES/

3. Create a .spec file that describes where everything is.
# cat /usr/src/redhat/SPECS/shell-script.spec
Summary: The do it all script. (Enterprise quality)
Name: shell-script
Version: 0.1
Release: 1
URL:     http://meinit.nl
License: GPL
Group: Applications/Internet
BuildRoot: %{_tmppath}/%{name}-root
Requires: bash
Source0: shell-script-%{version}.tar.gz
BuildArch: noarch

%description
A shell script.

%prep
%setup

%build

%install
rm -rf ${RPM_BUILD_ROOT}
mkdir -p ${RPM_BUILD_ROOT}/usr/bin
install -m 755 shell-script.sh ${RPM_BUILD_ROOT}%{_bindir}

%clean
rm -rf ${RPM_BUILD_ROOT}

%files
%defattr(-,root,root)
%attr(755,root,root) %{_bindir}/shell-script.sh

%changelog
* Tue Jan 12 2010 Robert de Bock <[email protected]>
- Uberscript!

3. Build it!
# rpmbuild --bb /usr/src/redhat/SPECS/shell-script.spec

4. Install it!
# rpm -Uvh /usr/src/redhat/RPMS/noarch/shell-script-0.1.1.noarch.rpm

Ranges in shell scripts

I have been admiring the people who know how to use ranges in shell scripts. These people are faster and more fluent on the Linux command line than anybody without knowledge of ranges could be.

Here are some ranges or patters that you could use.

A sequence of characters, in this case 1 to 10, printed on one line.

$ echo "file{1..9}"
file1 file2 file3 file4 file5 file6 file7 file8 file9
$ echo file{s..z}
files filet fileu filev filew filex filey filez

The order of the range can be found in the man-page for "ascii".

A pattern that describes either a range, or a separated pattern.

$ echo file{1,2,4}
file1 file2 file4

Additional information can be found in the man page of bash, under "Brace Expansion".

Restore hidden files with Apple Mac OS X Time Machine

Apple's Time Machine works great, but restoring hidden files (files that start with a dot, like .ssh, .bashrc or .Trash) is difficult, but possible!

Time machine uses the settings as used by the Finder. So first step is to change Finders behaviour, to show hidden files. Execute this command (as a regular user) from within the Terminal.

$ defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
$ killall Finder

Now you should be able to see extra files in the finder, like this:

Now start Time Machine and scroll back to the date you were sure a file existed.

Restore it and to hide all these (annoying) hidden files, revert to original Finder settings:

$ defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles FALSE
$ killall Finder

Nagios time check using SNMP

When you would like to retrieve the remotely configured time using SNMP and compare it to see how accurate the time is, here is a script to help you out.

This setup does not specifically require NTP to be running on the hosts that are checked, it just requires that the time is correct. Virtual machines for example are advised to have the appropriate "tools" installed to synchronize time. NTP is not desirable for virtual machines.

(Parts of the script are borrowed from http://spielwiese.la-evento.com/xelasblog/archives/27-SNMP-hrSystemDate.0-Datumsformat-anpassen.html)

This is the graph that is created:

The script:

#!/bin/sh

# Nagios plugin to report time difference as received via SNMP compared to the local time.
# Make sure the machine this script runs on (poller/nagios host) is using NTP.

usage() {
# This function is called when a user enters impossible values.
echo "Usage: $0 -H HOSTADDRESS [-C COMMUNITY] [-w WARNING] [-c CRITICAL] [-v VERSION]"
echo
echo " -H HOSTADDRESS"
echo "     The host to check, either IP address or a resolvable hostname."
echo " -C COMMUNITY"
echo "     The SNMP community to use, defaults to public."
echo " -v VERSION"
echo "     The SNMTP version to use, defaults to 2c."
echo " -w WARNING"
echo "     The amount of seconds from where warnings start. Defaults to 60."
echo " -c CRITICAL"
echo "     The amount of seconds from where criticals start. Defaults to 120."
exit 3
}

readargs() {
# This function reads what options and arguments were given on the
# command line.
while [ "$#" -gt 0 ] ; do
  case "$1" in
   -H)
    if [ "$2" ] ; then
     host="$2"
     shift ; shift
    else
     echo "Missing a value for $1."
     echo
     shift
     usage
    fi
   ;;
   -C)
    if [ "$2" ] ; then
     community="$2"
     shift ; shift
    else
     echo "Missing a value for $1."
     echo
     shift
     usage
    fi
   ;;
   -w)
    if [ "$2" ] ; then
     warning="$2"
     shift ; shift
    else
     echo "Missing a value for $1."
     echo
     shift
     usage
    fi
   ;;
   -c)
    if [ "$2" ] ; then
     critical="$2"
     shift ; shift
    else
     echo "Missing a value for $1."
     echo
     shift
     usage
    fi
   ;;
   -v)
    if [ "$2" ] ; then
     version="$2"
     shift ; shift
    else
     echo "Missing a value for $1."
     echo
     shift
     usage
    fi
   ;;
   *)
    echo "Unknown option $1."
    echo
    shift
    usage
   ;;
  esac
done
}

checkvariables() {
# This function checks if all collected input is correct.
if [ ! "$host" ] ; then
  echo "Please specify a hostname or IP address."
  echo
  usage
fi
if [ ! "$community" ] ; then
  # The public community is used when a user did not enter a community.
  community="public"
fi
if [ ! "$version" ] ; then
  # Version 2c is used when a user did not enter a version.
  version="2c"
fi
if [ ! "$critical" ] ; then
  critical="120"
fi
if [ ! "$warning" ] ; then
  warning="60"
fi
}

getandprintresults() {
# This converts the date retreived from snmp to a unix time stamp.
rdatestring=$( snmpget -v $version -c $community $host HOST-RESOURCES-MIB::hrSystemDate.0 | gawk '{print $NF}' )

if [ ! "$rdatestring" ] ; then
  echo "Time difference could not be calculated; no time received."
  exit 3
fi

rdate=$( echo $rdatestring | gawk -F',' '{print $1}' )
rtime=$( echo $rdatestring | gawk -F',' '{print $2}' | gawk -F'.' '{print $1}' )
cldate=$( echo $rdate | gawk -F'-' '{printf("%4i",$1)}; {printf("%02i",$2)}; {printf("%02i",$3)};' )
cltime=$( echo $rtime | gawk -F':' '{printf("%02i",$1)}; {printf("%02i",$2)}; {printf(" %02i",$3)};' )
rdate_s=$( date -d "$cldate $cltime sec" +%s )
ldate_s=$(date +'%s')

# If the calculated difference is negative, make it positive again for comparison.
difference=$(($rdate_s - $ldate_s))
if [ "$difference" -lt 0 ] ; then
  positivedifference=$(($difference*-1))
else
  positivedifference=$difference
fi

if [ "$positivedifference" -gt "$critical" ] ; then
  echo "Time difference is more than $critical seconds: $difference|diff=$difference"
  exit 2
fi

if [ "$positivedifference" -gt "$warning" ] ; then
  echo "Time difference is more than $warning seconds: $difference|diff=$difference"
  exit 1
fi

echo "Time difference is less than $warning seconds: $difference|diff=$difference"
exit 0
}

# The calls to the different functions.
readargs "$@"
checkvariables
getandprintresults

To implement it in Nagios, add these sniplets to nagios.cfg. (or any other applicable nagios file.)

The service for a group.

define service{
        hostgroup_name                  Servertype_Linux
        service_description             time
        _SERVICE_ID                     1856
        use                             SNMP-time
}

The service template.

define service{
        name                            SNMP-time
        service_description             time
        use                             generic-service
        check_command                   check_snmp_time!$_HOSTSNMPCOMMUNITY$!120!60
        max_check_attempts                      30
        normal_check_interval           5
        retry_check_interval            1
        notification_interval           0
        register                                0
}

The command.

define command{
        command_name                    check_snmp_time
        command_line                    $USER1$/check_snmp_time -H $HOSTADDRESS$ -C $ARG1$ -c $ARG2$ -w $ARG3$
}

Optimize only fragmented tables in MySQL

When you are using MySQL, you will (likely) have tables that can be fragmented. In MySQL terms this is called "OPTIMIZE".

You could simply OPTIMIZE every table in every database, but during an OPTIMIZE, the tables are locked, so writing is not possible.

To minimize the time that MySQL will be locked (and results cannot be written), here is a script that checks fragmentation of every table of every database. Only if a table is fragmented, the table is OPTIMIZED.

#!/bin/sh

echo -n "MySQL username: " ; read username
echo -n "MySQL password: " ; stty -echo ; read password ; stty echo ; echo

mysql -u $username -p"$password" -NBe "SHOW DATABASES;" | grep -v 'lost+found' | while read database ; do
mysql -u $username -p"$password" -NBe "SHOW TABLE STATUS;" $database | while read name engine version rowformat rows avgrowlength datalength maxdatalength indexlength datafree autoincrement createtime updatetime checktime collation checksum createoptions comment ; do
  if [ "$datafree" -gt 0 ] ; then
   fragmentation=$(($datafree * 100 / $datalength))
   echo "$database.$name is $fragmentation% fragmented."
   mysql -u "$username" -p"$password" -NBe "OPTIMIZE TABLE $name;" "$database"
  fi
done
done

Result will look something like this:

MySQL username: root
MySQL password:
...
database.cache_filter is 19% fragmented.
meinit.cache_filter optimize status OK
database.cache_page is 35% fragmented.
meinit.cache_page optimize status OK
...

You may comment out that line with OPTIMIZE TABLE in it, if you are just interested in seeing the fragmentation.

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References Red Hat Certified Architect By Robert de Bock Robert de Bock
Curriculum Vitae By Fred Clausen +31 6 14 39 58 72
By Nelson Manning [email protected]
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