Ubuntu 16.04 to 18.04 TLS…

The site went offline a few hours today. Sorry.

It turns out Ubuntu once again changed a major component and the upgrade path didn’t work as it should to keep the lights on after the upgrade.

I’ve been updating the security settings on the server all around, and one of the things I wanted to do was adding TLSv1.3 support (and nothing before TLSv1.2). For that I needed, it seemed the best option to push forward the Ubuntu server version to the newer LTS version (18.04) and as part of this get a newer NGINX with TLSv1.3 support. That part worked sort of great.

Turns out, however, that Ubuntu switched to Netplan in the new LTS and the migration – on my server completely broke all network connectivity and it had no working network.

Being at DigitalOcean made it easy to get back to the server using the (web) Console from the Web Dashboard for the server, and start looking around. I failed to read the release notes but (ab)using friends from the office, I eventually figured out, it was the NetPlan adoption which did not move the existing interfaces configuration forward, which caused issues.

Building a YAML configuration file was fairly easy, once the issue was identified, but what a bad experience – particularly googling for details on how the IPv6 configuration should be setup was interesting.

Anyway eventually the network was configured for IPv4 and IPv6, and here I am back again.

Which packages are installed (on Ubuntu)

If you’re using a Debian based Linux Desktop such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint – or Debian itself naturally – you can easily create a simple text file of all packages installed on the machine.

I have a habit of removing a lot of the “extras” (junk) which comes with the basic install – not religiously, but just to keep it reasonably tidy and not have too much stuff eating up the harddisk, requiring updates (without providing any value).

Creating a list of the currently installed packages is quite simple – just open a terminal and enter:

dkpg --get-selections

(you will probably want to redirect the output into a file – or at least pipe it through more).

Ubuntu: Changing your IP number

Sure it doesn’t happen that often, but sometimes you might need to change the IP number of your machine running Ubuntu. Either to configure it with a static IP number on your LAN or temporarily to configure a Wifi router – the latter being my case.

The first shot at changing the ip number, was going to the “System” menu, choosing Administration and Network Tools. It sounded just about right – but it’s wrong. Sure you view settings and some statistics, but it’s all read only.

ubuntu-network-connectionsSo, if you want to change the IP number, go to your top panel (in the right side, you’ll find you network icon. Right click on the icon and choose “Edit Connections”. In the window opening, you’ll have access to changing the ip number – to manual configuration, DHCP with ip number only or (as is default) full DHCP configuration.

Choosing “Automatic (DHCP) addresses only” allows you to get an automatic IP, but use openDNS’ DNS-servers – should you prefer them over the DNS servers provided by your ISP.

Ubunutu Uncomplicated Firewall

I’m still enjoying the fresh new Ubunutu 9.04, and one of the nice new features is a firewall – which Canonical calls “Uncomplicated Firewall”. I’m usually not hooked on firewalls, but just for the fun of it I enabled the firewall on my laptop and it seems to work quite well. The firewall doesn’t seem to have any noticeable impact on system performance and as the laptop from time to time visits open wifi’s, it’s probably a good idea to have protection from other users on open networks.

Installing the firewall

The firewall should be available by default, but there isn’t a GUI application installed for the firewall. Open your favorite package manager and install the “gufw” package.

sudo apt-get install gufw

Ouncomplicated_firewallnce installed the firewall can easily be turned on and of – and controlled from the System -> Administration -> Firewall configuration menu item.
I set the current configuration to “Deny incoming traffic” and enabled the firewall (beneat the shield). This is probably all most desktop users needs to do.
On my laptop, I am running a SSH server. I do this as a way to fetch files I may have forgotten on the machine when leaving the laptop at the office – or use it as a jumpstation to other machines.
Adding a rule in the firewall, which allows incoming SSH traffic was a simple matter of choosing the “preconfigured” tab, and there adding a rule allowing SSH traffic.

The firewall can be configured with much more advanced options, but if you really need that, you probably (or hopefully) know what to do, but for regular users having an easy to use firewall and an uncomplicated interface to manage it, is just great and one of the cool new features of Ubuntu 9.04.

Ctrix and Ubuntu 9.04

I’ve recently wiped the hard drive of my laptop and upgraded to Ubuntu 9.04. The Linux desktop is a perfect place to do development and surf the net, but the corporate network is a Windows world and to access mail and other enterprise applications we use Citrix servers. Getting Citrix running on the new Ubuntu is easier than ever.

sudo apt-get install libmotif3
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/libXm.so.3.0.2 /usr/lib/libXm.so.4

download the most recent client from Citrix.

mv linuxx86-11.0.140395.tar.gz  install_tmp
cd install_tmp
tar zxvf linuxx86-11.0.140395.tar.gz
sudo ./setupwfc

After finishing the install remove the “install_tmp” directory.

From here on it’s a matter of configuring the Citrix Receiver to your specific environment.
In my case, I gad a backup of the old Ubuntu installation, and I fetched the “.ICAClient” directory from my home-folder and putting in the same place on the new installation and no configuration was even needed.

(Thanks, Schack)

kUbuntu 7.10

kUbuntu logoJust a few days before leaving for South Africa, the latest version af Ubuntu was released. I really didn’t have the nerve to try and upgrade before my vacation, but today was the day.

Ubuntu is an operating system – like windows – but based upon (Debian) Linux. It can probably do everything you need – and it’s free. With the packaging done to Linux by the Ubuntu team(s), it’s a complete user-friendly and easy to use alternative for most computer users, and it has worked pretty well for me for the quite some time.

The upgrade

While it probably is possible to do a distribution upgrade, I’ve been reinstalling from scratch when upgrading. It usually just requires all the contents of my home-directory (and a few select configuration files from the /etc/ directory) to be zip’ed together in an archive. The archive is temporaryly store don a USB disk (about 600 Mb in total), while the harddisk was completely wiped and formatted.

The entire install process was the smoothest experience I’ve witnessed so far, and to less than 30 minutes. The packed homedir was unziped in a directory on the desktop, and the files and directories I know I needed was moved to the location they were placed in before the reinstall.

The software updater was run and within an hour the machine was running the new version. So far it’s been an impressive upgrade. Screen drivers, printers and just about everything work. Amazing.

Switching browser in Ubuntu

In Kubuntu the default browser is Konquerer, but as a longtime Firefox user I wanted to use that as the system default browser. Googling around, I found a way to switch to the browser in Thunderbird, so that links in mails opened in Firefox, but it didn’t change in desktop links and other applications. Now another switcher found the solution.
Continue reading Switching browser in Ubuntu

Switch – Fedora to KUbuntu

So I may be slightly atypical. 18 months ago I decided to drop Windows. For a while I’ve been running OSX at home, but since it required new hardware at work, it wasn’t an option there. So I switched to Fedora (our Linux God at work was runing it, and it always nice with an expert around to save the day 🙂 ). Friday however I switch to KUbuntu and unassisted.
Continue reading Switch – Fedora to KUbuntu