Archive for August, 2014

The fix for me was to use the force-upgrade.php. But you’ve already done that, so here’s what else I found out.

I found that the most common solution seemed to have to do with a mis-match between your wp-config.php. First of all, make sure you (or the WordPress install) has correctly set up the database name, database user name, database password, and database host. See this link: http://codex.wordpress.org/Editing_wp-config.php

Secondly, make sure the database table prefix in your config.php matches the table name prefixes in your database. The default is wp_, but if you (or your wordpress install) changed your prefix to something else, it must match the database itself.

Here’s an example of the fields I’m talking about in the wp-config.php.

<?php
/** WordPress's config file **/
/** http://wordpress.org/   **/

// ** MySQL settings ** //
define('DB_NAME', 'madeupname');     // The name of the database
define('DB_USER', 'madeupuser');     // Your MySQL username
define('DB_PASSWORD', 'madeuppw'); // ...and password
define('DB_HOST', 'mysql.yoursite.com');     // ...and the server MySQL is running on
// Change the prefix if you want to have multiple blogs in a single database.
$table_prefix  = 'wp_';   // example: 'wp_' or 'b2' or 'mylogin_'

In your database, using phpMyAdmin, check that the tables all begin with the same prefix that you have in your wp-config.php. For example if you changed your table prefix to “b2”, the tables would be “b2_commentmeta”, b2_comments”, etc.
Also, you have to check inside two tables to see that certain field names are also changed. So, using the same prefix as above, in b2_options, the field wp_user_roles has to be changed to b2_user_roles. And in the b2_usermeta table, the fields wp_capabilities, wp_user_level, wp_user-settings, wp_user-settings-time, and wp_dashboard_quick_press_last_post_id should all have the prefix b2_ instead of wp_.

And lastly, within your database, look at the values in the wp_usermeta table as follows:

wp_capabilities should be a:1:{s:13:”administrator”;s:1:”1″;}

wp_user_level should be 10

All of this should automatically work if you used a quick install, but if you’ve changed anything along the way, or if your install did not work, it could be messed up. I did have this problem initially, and found out that the quick install done by Dreamhost was incomplete. Though I fixed the prefix problem, I still had the “permissions” error. However, when I tried that force.upgrade.php, all was resolved.

Some Cool Open Source Software

| August 21st, 2014

#1 Replicant – Fully free Android distribution

Replicant is entirely free and open source distributions of Android on several devices including both phones and tablets. I have installed it on an older Nexus S. You can install apps from F-Droid store a GPLv2 client app that comes configured with a repository hosting only free as in freedom applications.

Replicant an free and open source andriod os
Operating system : Linux/Android
Purpose : Free os for phone/tablets
Targets : User who wish to have a full control over the mobile phone with strong privacy settings
License : Apache License 2.0/GPL 2.0
Download url : replicant.us

#2: Miro video converter

This is an open source, cross-platform application to convert videos from and to various formats, including formats suitable for devices such as Android/iOS phones. It is simple and easy to use software to convert almost any video to MP4, WebM (vp8), Ogg Theoraformat. Miro Video Converter is based on FFMPEG and act as a front end to FFMPEG command line tools.

Miro video converter - Cool FOSS Software of 2013 - nixCraft
Operating system : Cross-platform
Purpose : Video converter
Targets : Multimedia users
License : GPL
Download url : mirovideoconverter.com

#3 OwnCloud – Dropbox alternative for cloud storage service

I was looking for an alternative to Dropbox to run cloud on my own server at home and office. This software is open source software, and it is self hosted. I don’t have to trust third party with my data. I found this software easy to install and quite useful. I started to use it for syncing files and other data. I have been using for couple of months and it has been proven reliable alternative to Dropbox. There are clients available for MS-Windows, OS X, Linux, and mobile apps for iOS and Android devices (or simply access data using the ownCloud web frontend).

OwnCloud - Cool FOSS Software of 2013 - nixCraft
Operating system : Cross-platform
Purpose : Cloud storage (Data synchronization)
Targets : Home users/IT departments/Sysadmins
License : AGPLv3
Download url : owncloud.org

#4 Docker – FreeBSD like container+API for Linux

The FreeBSD jail provides an operating system-level virtualization partition a FreeBSD-based serve into several independent mini-systems. You can do the same with Linux using OpenVZ. Linux Containers (LXC) is a virtualization method for running multiple isolated Linux systems. Docker extends LXC. It uses LXC, cgroups, Linux kernel and other parts to automate the deployment of applications inside software containers. It comes with API to runs processes in isolation. With docker I can pack WordPress (or any other app written in Python/Ruby/Php & friends) and its dependencies in a lightweight, portable, self-sufficient container. I can deploy and test such container on any Linux based server.

Docker - Cool Software of 2013 - nixCraft
Operating system : Linux amd64
Purpose : OS level virtualization
Targets : DevOps/Sysadmins
License : Apache License 2.0
Download url : docker.io

#5 Adminer – A lightweight and full-featured database management tool

Adminer is a full-featured database management tool written in PHP. Conversely to phpMyAdmin, it consists of a single file ready to deploy to the target server. Adminer is available for MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, MS SQL and Oracle. I usually install this for clients who are new to PostgreSQL/MySQL. The software acts as a drop-in-replacement for phpMyAdmin with a better user interface, better support for MySQL features, higher performance and more security.

Adminer - Cool Software - 2013
Operating system : Cross-platform
Purpose : Database management
Targets : DBA/new users
License : Apache License or GPL 2
Download url : adminer.org

#6 MariaDB – Drop-in replacement for Oracle MySQL server

MariaDB is a community-developed fork of the MySQL server. MariaDB is going to be default in many popular Linux distro and open source project. Red Hat will switch the default database in its enterprise distribution, RHEL (including its clones such as CentOS), from MySQL to MariaDB, when version 7 is released in 2014. I started testing MariaDB and found no problems at all. The speed is same or better in some cases.

Operating system : Cross-platform
Purpose : RDBMS
Targets : DevOps/Sysadmins
License : GPL/LGPL
Download url : mariadb.org

#7 RackTables – Manage your data center assets like a pro

I wish I discovered RackTables earlier. It is is a datacenter asset management system. With this software one can document hardware assets (such as server, workstations, routers, switches and more), network addresses, space in racks, networks configuration and more:

  1. List of all devices, racks, and enclosures you’ve got
  2. Mount the devices into the racks
  3. Maintain physical ports of the devices and links between them
  4. Manage IP addresses, assign them to the devices and group them into networks
  5. Document your NAT rules, describe your loadbalancing policy and store loadbalancing configuration
  6. Attach files to various objects in the system
  7. Create users, assign permissions and allow or deny any actions they can do
Racktables - Cool FOSS Software of 2013 - nixCraft
Operating system : Cross-platform
Purpose : IDC asset management system
Targets : Sysadmin/DevOPS/IT Managers
License : GPL
Download url : racktables.org

#8 Apache Cordova – Create smartphone app just with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript

Apache Cordova is a free and open source framework that allows you to create mobile apps using standardized web APIs. You can create apps that work on iOS, Andriod, BlackBerry, Windows, Ubuntu and other phone based operating systems. You write code once and run on selected mobile platforms with little or no change at all. PhoneGap uses Apache Cordova.

Operating system : iOS, Android, webOS, Symbian, BlackBerry, Ubuntu Touch, Windows Phone, Windows 8
Purpose : Build native mobile apps
Targets : Developers
License : Apache License 2.0
Download url : cordova.apache.org or phonegap.com

#9 Angry IP scanner – ipscan tool

Nmap is an open source security tool for network exploration, security scanning and auditing. ipscan (Angry IP Scanner) is an alternative to nmap command. It is also an open-source and cross-platform network scanner designed to be fast and simple to use. It scans IP addresses and ports as well as has many other features.

Angry IP Scanner (Ipscan) - Cool FOSS Software of 2013 - nixCraft
Operating system : Cross-platform
Purpose : Network scanner
Targets : Sysadmin/Network administrators
License : GPL 2
Download url : angryip.org

#10 Jekyll – Create simple static blog

Drupal, Typo3, WordPress and many other content management system (CMS)/blogging software dynamically create feature rich content. However, you may not need all the all features and complexity offered by modern CMS based systems. For example, a WordPress based blog  may require multiple VMs, CDN for static assets, caching engine such as memcached, PHP, mysql database, comment moderation, and on going updates. A growing trend is to keep your blog simple by avoiding CMS and use static HTML generators that offers the following benefits:

  • No more complex setups i.e. no databases/php/caching engines required.
  • No more comment moderation.
  • Pesky updates.
  • Static files are more secure.
  • Easy to scale or cache on edge/CDN nodes.
  • Provides all the blog-aware visual bells and whistles such as categories, pages, posts, Permalinks, and custom layouts.
Operating system : Cross-platform
Purpose : Blogging system
Targets : Bloggers who wish to follow KISS principal.
License : MIT License
Download url : jekyllrb.com
Similar apps: Haskell based HakyllRuby based nanocPython based Pelican.

#11 TurnKey Linux – Deploy open source apps on VM or the clouds

You can setup a open source software such as WordPress, Drupal, ZenCart, and over 100+ other software easily with TurnKey Linux. It is a virtual appliance library that integrates and polishes the very best open source software into ready to use solutions. Each virtual appliance is optimized for ease of use and can be deployed in just a few minutes on bare metal, a virtual machine and in the cloud/in physical server. TurnKey Linux is based on Debian 7.2 with automatic security updates for all packages. It also includes a web management interface, web shell, and simple configuration console. I often use this to deploy development server in the cloud.

Turnkey Linux - Cool FOSS Sofware of 2013 - nixCraft
Operating system : Linux
Purpose : Virtual appliance library
Targets : Sysadmin/Developers/DevOPS
License : Free software licenses
Download url : turnkeylinux.org

#12 DokuWiki – Create a personal wiki

DokuWiki is a simple to use and highly versatile open source wiki software that doesn’t require a database. Easy to install on Linux or Unix-like operating systems with the following features:

  1. Ease of use and low system requirements.
  2. Built-in access control lists.
  3. Customization using large variety of extensions, plugins, and templates.

I use this on my laptop to keep notes about various projects.

Operating system : Cross-platform
Purpose : Documentation
Targets : Wiki users.
License : GPL 2
Download url : dokuwiki.org

#13 MediaGoblin – An alterative to Youtube/Flickr/Soundcloud

GNU MediaGoblin is free software, decentralized media publishing platform. You can host and share videos, music, and images using MediaGoblin. It is an alternative to major media-publishing services such as Flickr, deviantArt, YouTube, Soundcloud, etc. It is written in Python and SQL.

MediaGoblin - Cool FOSS Software of 2013 - nixCraft
Operating system : Linux/OSX/MS-Windows
Purpose : Sharing many forms of digital media
Targets : Freedom respectful media sharing self-hosted service
License : AGPLv3/CC0
Download url : mediagoblin.org

#14: Scrollout F1 – Create email firewall gateway

Scrollout F1 is easy to use and setup email firewall gateway system. It includes anti-spam and anti-virus protection for Microsoft Exchange, Postfix, Exim, Sendmail, Qmail and others. It runs on Debian and Ubuntu Linux operating systems. This is perfect software for filtering incoming messages and other features are as follows:

  1. TLS/SSL encryption with Perfect Forward Secrecy for SMTP & HTTPS
  2. Virus scanning and different Quarantine per domain
  3. Tagging and blocking SPAM at domain level
  4. Geographic filtering for Sender IP, Server IP, URL IP and TLDs
  5. Verifies incoming emails for DKIM and signs outgoing emails (2048 bits RSA)
  6. Protection against fake messages that appear to come from your domain or from yourself
  7. Protection against executable files, malicious content, scripts and more
  8. Protection against forged domains like (fake) yahoo.com, gmail.com etc.
  9. Whitelist and Blacklist
  10. Simple web interface for management
Scrollout F1 Email Gateway - Cool FOSS Software of 2013 - nixCraft
Operating system : Linux
Purpose : Firewall and anti-spam gateway for MS-Windows/Linux/Unix-like email servers
Targets : Sysadmin
License : GPL
Download url : scrolloutf1.com

#15 Observium – Network observation and monitoring system

Observium is free and open source software written in PHP/MySQL. It collects data from devices using SNMP and presents it via a web interface. It includes support for a wide range of network hardware and operating systems including Cisco, Windows, Linux, HP, Dell, FreeBSD, Juniper, Brocade, Netscaler, NetApp and many more. I use this software along with Nagiosto get better understanding of certain devices and technologies. It provides historical and current performance statistics, configuration visualization and syslog capture.

Observium - Cool FOSS Software of 2013 - nixCraft
Operating system : Linux/Unix-like
Purpose : Network monitoring
Targets : Sysadmin
License : Observium License
Download url : observium.org

#16 SimpleInvoices

It is a web based invoicing system. It helps me to create quick and nice looking invoices without having to set up too much services on server. All you have to do is install the SimpleInvoices software, enter a biller, a customer details and go creating invoices. You can easily track your finances; send invoices as PDF’s and more. It is the best invoicing set up for my independent IT consultancy business.

SimpleInvoices - Cool FOSS Software of 2013 - nixCraft
Operating system : Linux/Unix-like/Windows/OSX
Purpose : Invoicing system
Targets : Sole traders/Small business owners
License : Observium License
Download url : simpleinvoices.org
Similar apps : BambooInvoice – another invoicing software intended for small businesses and independent contractors

More cool apps

I sometime use and recommend the following software for MS-Windows/Linux users due to simplicity and ease of use features. Here is the list of the other best and FOSS apps of 2013:

#17 FileZilla – sftp/ftp client for noobs

This is a perfect open-source FTP, FTP over SSL/TLS (FTPS) and SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) client for Windows, Mac OS X and GNU/Linux. It has the following features that new users might find useful:

  1. Drag & drop support
  2. Tabbed user interface
  3. File transfer queue and bookmarks
  4. Remote file editing and remote file search
  5. SOCKS5 and FTP-Proxy support
FileZilla - Cool FOSS Software of 2013 - nixCraft
Operating system : Cross-platform
Purpose : FTP client
Download url : filezilla-project.org

#18 WinSCP – Easily transfer file using scp

It is an open source free SFTP client and FTP client for Windows. Its main function is the secure file transfer between local and server under your control. Most new MS-Windows user find WinSCP an easier to use as compare to putty and friends.

Operating system : MS-Windows
Purpose : SFTP/FTP client
Download url : winscp.net

#19 XAMPP – Easily write and test Apache+MySQL+PHP/Perl apps on desktop

I give this software to many developers. They can easily setup Apache, MySQL, PHP/Perl to deploy and write an application on their own desktop. No need to install virtual machine and Linux server. Just focus on development and skip real server management job to pros.

Operating system : Cross-platform
Purpose : Apache distribution for desktop user/developers.
Download url : apachefriends.org

#20 Abiword – A nice little word processor

Many users only use 2% of the features of a program like Microsoft Word. No need to spend money or time on Microsoft Word. I personally use Abiword due to:

  1. Easy to use and not bloated as OO.org.
  2. Small size word processor i.e. it loads very fast on my old computer.
  3. I can read and write OpenOffice.org documents, Microsoft Word documents, WordPerfect documents, Rich Text Format documents, HTML web pages and more.
  4. Abiword is tightly integrated with the AbiCollab.net web service, which lets you store documents online, allows easy document sharing with your friends, and performs format conversions on the fly.
AbiWord - Cool FOSS Software of 2013 - nixCraft
Operating system : Cross-platform
Purpose : Word processing program
Download url : abisource.com

#21 {less}: The dynamic stylesheet language

LESS extends CSS with dynamic behavior such as variables, mixins, operations and functions. LESS can run on the client-side and server-side or can be compiled into plain CSS.

LESS extends CSS with dynamic behavior  - Best of FOSS 2013 - nixCraft
Operating system : Cross-platform
Purpose : Web developers
Download url : lesscss.org

#22 Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a GTK+ based desktop environment and a fork of the GNOME Shell. It was initially developed by Linux Mint. It offers a user interface with the following features that I needed most:

  1. A movable panel equipped with a main menu, launchers, a window list and the system tray
  2. Various extensions and applets
  3. Cinnamon makes GNOME3 a useful desktop
Cinnamon - Cool FOSS Software of 2013 - nixCraft
Operating system : Linux
Purpose : Desktop user
Download url : linuxmint.com

#23 Tmux

Tmux is terminal multiplexers for Unix-like platforms. tmux offers several advantages over GNU/screen:

  1. Vi or emacs key layouts
  2. Multiple paste options
  3. Secure code base
  4. An option to limit the window size and more.
Tmux - Cool FOSS Software of 2013 - nixCraft
Operating system : Linux/Unix-like
Purpose : Terminal multiplexer
Download url : tmux.sourceforge.net

#24 Artica – Full SMTP/Mail/Proxy server Appliance in 10 minutes

It is a simple and straightforward software that offers the following features:

  1. Proxy server Appliance
  2. SMTP server Appliances
  3. Mail server Appliances
  4. NAS server Appliance
  5. Web based management
Artica Proxy/SMTP server Appliance - Cool Software of 2013 - nixCraft
Operating system : Linux
Purpose : Turn normal server into appliances
Download url : artica.fr

#25 Zentyal small business server

Zentyal is a full-featured Linux server for small and medium businesses that you can set up in less than 30 minutes. It is a drop-in replacement for Microsoft Small Business Server and Microsoft Exchange Server. It is easy to use software. Zentyal is based on Ubuntu and it can be installed either from Ubuntu repositories or from Zentyal’s own installer.

Zentyal - Cool FOSS Software of 2013 - nixCraft
Operating system : Linux
Purpose : Office server
Download url : zentyal.org

#26 Ack-grep – a source code search tool for programmers

ack-grep is a grep like tool, optimized for programmers. This tool isn’t aimed to “search all text files”. It is specifically created to search source code trees, not trees of text files. It searches entire trees by default while ignoring Subversion, Git and other VCS directories and other files that aren’t your source code.

Operating system : Cross-platform
Purpose : Search source trees
Download url : beyondgrep.com

#27 ditaa – DIagrams Through Ascii Art

ditaa is a small command-line utility, that can convert diagrams drawn using ascii art, into proper bitmap graphics. I use this tool all the time to draw diagrams and forwarding them via email or chat session.

ditaa - Cool FOSS Software of 2013 - nixCraft
Operating system : Cross-platform
Purpose : Convert diagrams drawn using ascii art
Download url : ditaa.sourceforge.net

#28 GNU parallel

GNU parallel is a shell tool for executing jobs in parallel using one or more computers. If you like xargs command, try GNU/parallel utility. It can run command/script/job on all available CPU’s or on multiple computers.

Gnu/parallel - Cool FOSS Software of 2013 - nixCraft
Operating system : Cross-platform (Perl)
Purpose : Execute shell scripts/jobs in parallel
Download url : gnu.org

#29 luckyBackup data back-up and synchronization tool

luckyBackup is an application for data back-up and synchronization powered by the rsync tool. It is simple to use, fast, safe, reliable and fully customizable backup software. I often set and recommend this too for new Ubuntu/Fedora desktop users to backup their own files.

Lucky Backup - Cool FOSS Software Of 2013 - nixCraft
Operating system : Linux/Unix-like
Purpose : Desktop backup
Download url : luckybackup.sourceforge.net

#30 OpenShot video editor

OpenShot Video Editor is a free and open-source non-linear video editing software package for Linux. You can use this tool to create videos for your youtube channel. It is a stable, free, and friendly to use video editor on Linux.

Openshot - Cool Opensource Software of 2013 - nixCraft
Operating system : Linux
Purpose : Video editing
Download url : openshot.org

#1: siege – An HTTP/HTTPS stress load tester

Fig.01: siege in action


Siege is a multi-threaded http or https load testing and benchmarking utility. This tool allows me to measure the performance of web apps under duress. I often use this tool test a web server and apps. I have had very good results with this tool. It can stress a single url such as example.com/foo.php or multiple urls. At the end of each test you will get all data about the web server performance, total data transferred, latency, server response time, concurrency and much more.

#2: abcde – A better CD encoder

Usually, the process of grabbing the data off a CD and encoding it, then tagging or commenting it, is very involved. abcde is designed to automate this. It will take an entire CD and convert it into a compressed audio format – Ogg/Vorbis, MPEG Audio Layer III, Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC), Ogg/Speex, MPP/MP+(Musepack) and/or M4A (AAC) format(s). It will do a CDDB query over the Internet to look up your CD or use a locally stored CDDB entry.

#3: ngrep – Network grep

Fig.02: ngrep in action


Ngrep is a network packet analyzer. It follows most of GNU grep’s common features, applying them to the network layer. Ngrep is not related to tcpdump. It is just an easy to use tool. You can run queries such as:

## grep all HTTP GET or POST requests from network traffic on eth0 interface  ##
sudo ngrep -l -q -d eth0 "^GET |^POST " tcp and port 80

I often use this tool to find out security related problems and tracking down other network and server related problems.

#4: pv

Fig.03: pv command in action

Fig.03: pv command in action


The pv command allows you to see the progress of data through a pipeline. It provides the following info:

  1. Time elapsed
  2. Percentage completed (with progress bar)
  3. Current throughput rate
  4. Total data transferred
  5. ETA

Install download pv by visiting this page.

#5: dtrx

Fig.04: dtrx in action


dtrx is an acronmy for “Do The Right Extraction.” It’s a tool for Unix-like systems that take all the hassle out of extracting archives. As a sysadmin, I download source code and tar balls. This tool saves lots of time.

  • You only need to remember one simple command to extract tar, zip, cpio, deb, rpm, gem, 7z, cab, lzh, rar, gz, bz2, lzma, xz, and many kinds of exe files, including Microsoft Cabinet archives, InstallShield archives, and self-extracting zip files. If they have any extra compression, like tar.bz2 files, dtrx will take care of that for you, too.
  • dtrx will make sure that archives are extracted into their own dedicated directories.
  • dtrx makes sure you can read and write all the files you just extracted, while leaving the rest of the permissions intact.
  • Recursive extraction: dtrx can find archives inside the archive and extract those too.
  • Download dtrx

#6:dstat – Versatile resource statistics tool

Fig.05: dstat in action


As a sysadmin, I heavily depends upon tools such as vmstat, iostat and friends for troubleshooting server issues. Dstat overcomes some of the limitations provided by vmstat and friends. It adds some extra features. It allows me to view all of my system resources instantly. I can compare disk usage in combination with interrupts from hard disk controller, or compare the network bandwidth numbers directly with the disk throughput and much more.

#7:ffmpeg – Record, convert, stream and play multimedia content

Fig.06: ffmpeg in action (ogv to mp4 conversion)


Use nixCraft when you need to convert video and audio in various format such as Youtube HD web streaming format. This tool saves lots of my time. I often use this tool for audio/video conversion. This is the best tool for converting Audio, AVI, MP4, Ipod, Mobile phone, PSP, Quicktime, Rockbox, Web (Flash), WMV and much more.

#8:mtr – Traceroute+ping in a single network diagnostic tool

Fig.07: mtr in action


The mtr command combines the functionality of the traceroute and ping programs in a single network diagnostic tool. Use mtr to monitor outgoing bandwidth, latency and jitter in your network. A great little app to solve network problems. If you see a sudden increase in packetloss or response time is often an indication of a bad or simply overloaded link.

#9:multitail – Tail command on steroids

Fig.08: multitail in action (image credit - official project)


MultiTail is a program for monitoring multiple log files, in the fashion of the original tail program. This program lets you view one or multiple files like the original tail program. The difference is that it creates multiple windows on your console (with ncurses). I often use this tool when I am monitoring logs on my server.

#10: curl – Transfer data and see behind the scenes

Fig.09: curl command in action


Curl is a command line tool to transfer data from or to a server, using one of the supported protocols. The command is designed to work without user interaction. curl offers a busload of useful tricks like proxy support, user authentication, FTP upload, and much more. I often use curl command to:

  1. Troubleshoot http/ftp/cdn server problems.
  2. Check or pass HTTP/HTTPS headers.
  3. Upload / download files using ftp protocol or to cloud account.
  4. Debug HTTP responses and find out exactly what an Apache/Nginx/Lighttpd/IIS server is sending to you without using any browser add-ons or 3rd party applications.
  5. Download curl

#11: netcat – TCP/IP swiss army knife

Fig.10: nc server and telnet client in action


Netcat or nc is a simple Linux or Unix command which reads and writes data across network connections, using TCP or UDP protocol. I often use this tool to open up a network pipe to test network connectivity, make backups, bind to sockets to handle incoming / outgoing requests and much more. In this example, I tell nc to listen to a port # 3005 and execute /usr/bin/w command when client connects and send data back to the client:
$ nc -l -p 3005 -e /usr/bin/w
From a different system try to connect to port # 3005:
$ telnet server1.cyberciti.biz.lan 3005

#12: nmap – Offensive and defensive network security scanner

Fig.11: nmap in action

Fig.11: nmap in action


Nmap is short for Network Mapper. It is an open source security tool for network exploration, security scanning and auditing. However, nmap command comes with lots of options that can make the utility more robust and difficult to follow for new users.

#13: openssl command line tool

The openssl command is used for the various cryptography functions of OpenSSL’s crypto library from the shell. I often use this tool to encrypt files, test/verify ssl connections, and check the integrity of downloaded files. Further, openssl can be used for:

  1. Creation of RSA, DH and DSA key parameters
  2. Creation of X.509 certificates, CSRs and CRLs
  3. Calculation of Message Digests
  4. Handling of S/MIME signed or encrypted mail

The following few examples demonstrate the power of openssl command:

File integrity verification (cryptographic hashing function)

Verify that a file called financial-records-fy-2011-12.dbx.aes has not been tampered with:

 
openssl dgst -sha1 -c financial-records-fy-2011-12.dbx.aes
openssl dgst -ripemd160 -c financial-records-fy-2011-12.dbx.aes
openssl dgst -md5 -c financial-records-fy-2011-12.dbx.aes

Sample outputs from the last command:

MD5(financial-records-fy-2011-12.dbx.aes)= d4:1d:8c:d9:8f:00:b2:04:e9:80:09:98:ec:f8:42:7e

Encryption and Decryption with Ciphers (files)

 
## encrypt file ##
openssl aes-256-cbc -salt -in financial-records-fy-2011-12.dbx   -out financial-records-fy-2011-12.dbx.aes
## decrypt file ##
openssl aes-256-cbc -d -in financial-records-fy-2011-12.dbx.aes -out financial-records-fy-2011-12.dbx

SSL/TLS client and server tests

## connect to gmail mail server for testing purpose ##
openssl s_client -connect smtp.gmail.com:995
openssl s_client -connect smtp.gmail.com:995 -CApath /etc/ssl

#14: lftp: A better command-line ftp/http/sftp client

This is the best and most sophisticated sftp/ftp/http download and upload client program. I often use this tool to:

  1. Recursively mirroring entire directory trees from a ftp server
  2. Accelerate ftp / http download speed
  3. Location bookmarks and resuming downloads.
  4. Backup files to a remote ftp servers.
  5. Transfers can be scheduled for execution at a later time.
  6. Bandwidth can be throttled and transfer queues can be set up.
  7. Lftp has shell-like command syntax allowing you to launch several commands in parallel in background (&).
  8. Segmented file transfer, that allows more than one connection for the same file.
  9. And much more.
  10. Download lftp

#15: Irssi – IRC client

Fig.#12: irssi in action (image credit wikipedia)


Irssi is a modular Internet Relay Chat client. It is highly extensible and very secure. Being a fullscreen, termcap based client with many features, Irssi is easily extensible through scripts and modules. I often use this client to get help about certain problmes from IRC rooms or just to hang out with old buddies.

#16: Rest…

  • Mutt – Email client and I often use mutt to send email attachments from my shell scripts.
  • bittorrent – Command line torrent client.
  • screen – A full-screen window manager and must have tool for all *nix admins.
  • rsync – Sync files and save bandwidth.
  • sar – Old good system activity collector and reporter.
  • lsof – List open files.
  • vim – Best text editor ever.
  • elinks or lynx – I use this browse remotely when some sites (such as RHN or Novell or Sun/Oracle) require registration/login before making downloads.
  • wget – Best download tool ever. I use wget all the time, even with Gnome desktop.
  • mplayer – Best console mp3 player that can play any audio file format.
  • newsbeuter – Text mode rss feed reader with podcast support.
  • parallel – Build and execute shell command lines from standard input in parallel.
  • iftop – Display bandwidth usage on network interface by host.
  • iotop – Find out what’s stressing and increasing load on your hard disks.

Conclusion

This is my personal FOSS terminal apps list and it is not absolutely definitive, so if you’ve got your own terminal apps, share in the comments below.

100+ Inspirational Quotes

| August 8th, 2014

Inspirational quotes and motivational quotes have the power to get us through a bad week, and can even  give us the courage to pursue our life’s dreams. Here are 102 inspirational quotes. Some of my favorites are in blue…

  1. Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. –Napoleon Hill
  2. Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. –Albert Einstein
  3. Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.  –Robert Frost
  4. I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took any excuse. –Florence Nightingale
  5. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. –Wayne Gretzky
  6. I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. –Michael Jordan
  7. The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. –Amelia Earhart
  8. Every strike brings me closer to the next home run. –Babe Ruth
  9. Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement. –W. Clement Stone
  10. Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. –John Lennon
  11. We become what we think about. –Earl Nightingale
  12. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore, Dream, Discover. –Mark Twain
  13. Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. –Charles Swindoll
  14. The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any. –Alice Walker
  15. The mind is everything. What you think you become.  –Buddha
  16. The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. –Chinese Proverb
  17. An unexamined life is not worth living. –Socrates
  18. Eighty percent of success is showing up. –Woody Allen
  19. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. –Steve Jobs
  20. Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is. –Vince Lombardi
  21. I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions. –Stephen Covey
  22. Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. –Pablo Picasso
  23. You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. –Christopher Columbus
  24. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. –Maya Angelou
  25. Either you run the day, or the day runs you. –Jim Rohn
  26. Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right. –Henry Ford
  27. The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. –Mark Twain
  28. Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.  Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  29. The best revenge is massive success. –Frank Sinatra
  30. People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing.  That’s why we recommend it daily. –Zig Ziglar
  31. Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. –Anais Nin
  32. If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced. –Vincent Van Gogh
  33.  There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing. –Aristotle
  34.  Ask and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you. –Jesus
  35. The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. –Ralph Waldo Emerson
  36. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.  Live the life you have imagined. –Henry David Thoreau
  37. When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, I used everything you gave me. –Erma Bombeck
  38. Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him.  –Booker T. Washington
  39. Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart. – Ancient Indian Proverb
  40. Believe you can and you’re halfway there. –Theodore Roosevelt
  41. Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear. –George Addair
  42. We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. –Plato
  43. Teach thy tongue to say, “I do not know,” and thous shalt progress. –Maimonides
  44. Start where you are. Use what you have.  Do what you can. –Arthur Ashe
  45. When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life.  When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I wrote down ‘happy’.  They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life. –John Lennon
  46. Fall seven times and stand up eight. –Japanese Proverb
  47. When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us. –Helen Keller
  48. Everything has beauty, but not everyone can see. –Confucius
  49. How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. –Anne Frank
  50. When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. –Lao Tzu
  51. Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. –Maya Angelou
  52. Happiness is not something readymade.  It comes from your own actions. –Dalai Lama
  53. If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Just get on. –Sheryl Sandberg
  54. First, have a definite, clear practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends; wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end. –Aristotle
  55. If the wind will not serve, take to the oars. –Latin Proverb
  56. You can’t fall if you don’t climb.  But there’s no joy in living your whole life on the ground. –Unknown
  57. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained. –Marie Curie
  58. Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears. –Les Brown
  59. Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful. –Joshua J. Marine
  60. If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else. –Booker T. Washington
  61. I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do. –Leonardo da Vinci
  62. Limitations live only in our minds.  But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless. –Jamie Paolinetti
  63. You take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing, no one to blame. –Erica Jong
  64. What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do. –Bob Dylan
  65. I didn’t fail the test. I just found 100 ways to do it wrong. –Benjamin Franklin
  66. In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure. –Bill Cosby
  67. A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new. – Albert Einstein
  68. The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it. –Chinese Proverb
  69. There are no traffic jams along the extra mile. –Roger Staubach
  70. It is never too late to be what you might have been. –George Eliot
  71. You become what you believe. –Oprah Winfrey
  72. I would rather die of passion than of boredom. –Vincent van Gogh
  73. A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty. –Unknown
  74. It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings.  –Ann Landers
  75. If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them, and half as much money. –Abigail Van Buren
  76. Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs. –Farrah Gray
  77. The battles that count aren’t the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself–the invisible battles inside all of us–that’s where it’s at. –Jesse Owens
  78. Education costs money.  But then so does ignorance. –Sir Claus Moser
  79. I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear. –Rosa Parks
  80. It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. –Confucius
  81. If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough. –Oprah Winfrey
  82. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck. –Dalai Lama
  83. You can’t use up creativity.  The more you use, the more you have. –Maya Angelou
  84. Dream big and dare to fail. –Norman Vaughan
  85. Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. –Martin Luther King Jr.
  86. Do what you can, where you are, with what you have. –Teddy Roosevelt
  87. If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got. –Tony Robbins
  88. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning. –Gloria Steinem
  89. It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live. –Mae Jemison
  90. You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try. –Beverly Sills
  91. Remember no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. –Eleanor Roosevelt
  92. Life is what we make it, always has been, always will be. –Grandma Moses
  93. The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me. –Ayn Rand
  94. When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it. –Henry Ford
  95. It’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years. –Abraham Lincoln
  96. Change your thoughts and you change your world. –Norman Vincent Peale
  97. Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. –Benjamin Franklin
  98. Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn
  99. The only way to do great work is to love what you do. –Steve Jobs
  100. If you can dream it, you can achieve it. –Zig Ziglar
  101. Everything around you that you call life was made up by people, and you can change it.
  102. Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner. – Lao Tzu
  103. Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy. – Robert Tew
  104. One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted. Do it now. – Paulo Coelho
  105. First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
  106. Keep your goals away from the trolls.
  107. People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity no matter how impressive their other talents. – Andrew Carnegie
  108. Dude, suckin’ at something is the first step to being sorta good at something.
  109. A year from now you will wish you had started today. – Karen Lamb
  110. Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it.
  111. Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
  112. Never waste a minute thinking about people you don’t like. – Dwight Eisenhower