User Data Encryption with FUSE-based EncFS filesystem

Introduction

Any decent Linux distribution comes with an installation option to automatically encrypt user’s home directory. In case you do not wish to encrypt the entire home directory or perhaps you wish to encrypt some random directories on your Linux system you can use EncFS the FUSE-based cryptographic filesystem. EncFS will allow you to encrypt and decrypt any directory in a matter of seconds. It will reside on top of your current filesytem and provide access to any EncFS encrypted directory only upon entering a correct predefined password. This short tutorial will show you how to encrypt and decrypt your directories with the EncFS cryptographic filesystem.

Scenario

Let’s assume that you are a heavy Laptop user traveling from one place to another. You also use ssh quite often and so you have generated ssh keypair. For your convenience you even generated a private key without using a pass-phrase ( never good idea ). Furthermore, you have copied you public ssh key to multiple servers for an easy access. The problem with this scenario is that once someone gets hold of your Laptop s/he gets instantly access to all servers using you private ssh key. In this article we will show you how to encrypt your .ssh directory and avoid such problem.

Read more

How to rename VM ( virtual machine ) name label on XenServer

Objective

The objective is to set a new name label on a existing XenServer’s VM ( virtual machine ).

Requirements

Privileged access to XenServer’s command line as well as configured ISO image storage containing an ISO image of the Linux distribution you wish to install.

Difficulty

EASY

Instructions

Identify VM’s UUID

In order to set/rename VM’s name label we fisrt need to identify its UUID. List all VM’s and take a note of a relevant UUID. Example:

# xe vm-list
uuid ( RO)           : bad8e456-df88-435d-ba12-3f0f6e54b2c6
     name-label ( RW): Control domain on host: xenserver
    power-state ( RO): running


uuid ( RO)           : 699dcb0c-e897-5bd4-30c1-ab1dd9a3ca4e
     name-label ( RW): Debian Jessie 8.0
    power-state ( RO): halted

Read more

Command-line programs for everyday use in Linux

Introduction

I must admit, I’m a command line geek. Whenever I have the chance, regardless of desktop environment or distribution, I open a terminal and start fiddling something. This does not mean everyone must be like me, of course. If you’re the person who is mouse and GUI-oriented, no problems. However, there are situations when all you have at your disposal for a while is the command line. One of those situations might be an upgrade of your kernel/graphics drivers that leave you high and dry until the bug is reported and the developers look at the issue. You have to send a very important e-mail or you have to check the evolution of prices of your favorite laptop. All the essential desktop tasks (with some exceptions, though) that you do on a GUI-enabled machine can be done on a CLI-only machine as well, so if you’re interested…

The tasks

The everyday tasks we will refer to are the ones we usually do in a usual day, be it a work day or a weekend. We need to check our mail, maybe watch something on Youtube (yes, it’s possible), chat with our friends or simply browse away from URL to URL. These are the kinds of things we are talking about in this article. By the way, another huge advantage of the CLI approach is (besides efficiency and low resources) uniformity. You don’t have to worry, if you use many Linux computers, that some of them won’t have your favorite desktop installed: these programs we will tell you about work everywhere, GUI available or not, as long as you have a terminal emulator installed, of course. Note that this article is comprised only of ideas and suggestions, and will not guide you step-by-step on how to use the presented applications.

Web browsing

It’s true, you can’t see images , but they are practical to have, way faster and even more secure, because some of them don’t even support Javascript unless you tweak their compile options. Ladies and gents, I give you links, elinks and lynx. You can install them on almost any distribution with the native package manager, or you can install them from source, and of course compilation will not take a lot, because there are no heavy dependencies. links also offers a command-line flag (-g from graphical) that, if compiled with the right options, will offer you a very simple but fast GUI browser.

On Debian, when I wanted to do ‘links -g’, I got “Graphics not enabled when compiling (use links2 instead for graphics mode)”. After installing it, typing

  $ links2 -g

Read more