Google-Authenticator and SSH

Looking at the current bugs and problems with passwords and authentification, everything is insecure – at least in theory. Believe me, as a sysadmin I have to say, “that sucks”. So I decided to choose “Plan G” which is the Google-Authenticator, a software token to extend our passwords by a new 6 digits number, pretty much like the RSA tokens do.

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/dev/shm not there?

Today a strange problem happened while installing Gentoo Linux. In fact, it was /dev/shm not existing. Quite disturbing if you rely on a stable build system and python. The latter one bails out because of that.

Having a look at an old fstab file I figured that /dev/shm should be a simple and plain tmpfs:

shm /dev/shm tmpfs defaults 0 0

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Adventures with the RaspberryPi

Yes, I’ve been caught by the Raspberry Pi fever. A bit late, but caught for sure. It all started with a friend of mine handing me a box, saying “Guess you can make use of that way better than I could.” That’s how things started – I’m sitting here, staring at a dark screen, a text console, hacking and cheering and as usual, nobody around me understands my mood. But to be honest, as an IT tech, I’m pretty used to that.

The good thing about the Raspberry pi is, that you quickly get something out of it. The basics are up and running in a few minutes. Finetuning usually is just a bonus then. Forums offer new tips and tricks – in short: there’s plenty of support out there.

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Free as in …?

Vmware drives me crazy. Today I got aware of a ‘new’ Hypervisor, the ESXi 5.5 which should be the new and shiny stuff from vmware, dropping the 32 GB wRAM limit. But the first unpleasant surprise awaits us at the new vSphere client, presented at the login screen:

vmware 5.5 login

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ZFS – closed due to overcrowding

As a fan of BTRFS, I love doing snapshots to keep things arranged during updates. FreeNAS offers ZFS which should do the same. Tested, works and good for backing up my Mac using TimeMachine. Things went smooth until the disk got a little filled up:

# df -h
Filesystem     Size    Used   Avail Capacity  Mounted on
timemachine       39G     39G      0B   100%    /mnt/storage/timemachine
# rm somefile
rm: somefile: No space left on device

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Skype uses SQLite

Skype uses SQLite too! Even if you don’t believe it, but it’s one of the most handy things for getting data structured; But as every database, even sqlite needs some love every now and then.

On a linux box, the databases of Skype are in ~/.Skype// and their extension is .db; Contacts, Logs and all that jazz in there changes and you should take the time to optimize for a small speed boost – just like we did with Firefox:

find . -name ‘*.db’ -print -exec sqlite3 {} VACUUM \;
find . -name ‘*.db’ -print -exec sqlite3 {} REINDEX \;

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