Tag Archives: linux

Linux Window Managers and Distributions

Linux OSses I currently use : Ubuntu, Centos/Rocky/Fedora, Raspbian
(and msdos lol)
Have used:
Slackware,Gentoo, Kali, ELive, Suse,Debian,Mint,Puppy,Lubuntu

Window managers I currently use

  • Xmonad – Tiling window manager
  • Gnome
Xmonad with clusterssh on 14 servers. (Using my serverpath identify trick)

See also :

Screenshots from old desktops

I have to add some recent screenshots.

Fluxbox, Compiz, Xfwm4, Ratpoison

Linux crypt methods i’m using.

Some directories on my fileserver are encrypted using ecryptfs.

eCryptfs is a POSIX-compliant enterprise cryptographic stacked filesystem for Linux. eCryptfs stores cryptographic metadata in the header of each file, so that encrypted files can be copied between hosts; the file will be decrypted with the proper key in the Linux kernel keyring. There is no need to keep track of any additional information aside from what is already in the encrypted file itself. You may think of eCryptfs as a sort of “gnupg as a filesystem”.

Example crypted directory using filename encryption


Adhoc mounting

You can use the same dir for mounting!
Filenames are encrypted also.
Use umount go back to the crypted state

NOTE: You can write files to the crypted dir, if you are NOT using filename encryption, you can’t see which one is crypted and which is not.
Use the script below to get hints of the readable files!

mount -t ecryptfs securedir securedir
Select cipher:
 1) aes: blocksize = 16; min keysize = 16; max keysize = 32
 2) blowfish: blocksize = 8; min keysize = 16; max keysize = 56
 3) des3_ede: blocksize = 8; min keysize = 24; max keysize = 24
 4) twofish: blocksize = 16; min keysize = 16; max keysize = 32
 5) cast6: blocksize = 16; min keysize = 16; max keysize = 32
 6) cast5: blocksize = 8; min keysize = 5; max keysize = 16
Selection [aes]:
Select key bytes:
 1) 16
 2) 32
 3) 24
Selection [16]:
Enable plaintext passthrough (y/n) [n]:
Enable filename encryption (y/n) [n]: y
Filename Encryption Key (FNEK) Signature [xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]:
Attempting to mount with the following options:
Mounted eCryptfs

Crypting disks for travel/backup

For this i’m using Luks

The Linux Unified Key Setup (LUKS) is a disk encryption specification created by Clemens Fruhwirth in 2004 and was originally intended for Linux.

While most disk encryption software implements different, incompatible, and undocumented formats , LUKS implements a platform-independent standard on-disk format for use in various tools. This not only facilitates compatibility and interoperability among different programs, but also assures that they all implement password management in a secure and documented manner

Formatting a disk and mounting

cryptsetup luksFormat /dev/sdb1

This will overwrite data on /dev/sdb1 irrevocably.

Are you sure? (Type uppercase yes): YES
Enter passphrase for /dev/sdb1:
Verify passphrase:
root@workstation:~# cryptsetup luksOpen /dev/sdb1 crypto
Enter passphrase for /dev/sdb1:
root@workstation:~# mkfs.ext4 /dev/mapper/crypto
mke2fs 1.44.1 (24-Mar-2018)
Creating filesystem with 244188672 4k blocks and 61054976 inodes
Filesystem UUID: 844eb9ee-d4da-4dfd-9d94-b62987e96b93
Superblock backups stored on blocks:
        32768, 98304, 163840, 229376, 294912, 819200, 884736, 1605632, 2654208,
        4096000, 7962624, 11239424, 20480000, 23887872, 71663616, 78675968,
        102400000, 214990848

Allocating group tables: done
Writing inode tables: done
Creating journal (262144 blocks): done
Writing superblocks and filesystem accounting information: done

root@workstation:~# mount /dev/mapper/crypto /backup/

Umount and close

umount /backup
cryptsetup luksClose crypto

File crypt checker (checks for data files which COULD be crypted)

find secure -type f  -exec file {} \;| egrep -v "ASCII text|MS Windows shortcut|ISO-8859 text|image data|PDF document|PC bitmap|Composite Document File|WebM|ISO Media|Microsoft Word|HTML| Microsoft Excel|Matroska|vCard|Microsoft ASF|Web/
P|RIFF|MPEG|RealMedia|UTF\-8 Unicode|Zip archive data|Macromedia Flash|RAR archive|EPUB document|Adobe Photoshop Image|AppleDouble|OpenType|empty|gzip compressed data|MS Windows|OpenDocument|Paint Shop Pro|executable|PostScript document|
Rich Text|audio data|SVG Scalable|UDF filesystem|very short file|Web Open Font Format|IFF |TrueType|BeautifulWatches|MTS:" > data-or-not


File crypt checker ( When the directory is in crypted state )
All files should be raw data

find secure -type f  -exec file {} \;| egrep -v data$  > notcrypted-files

Bash tips part 1

Best Practices

#!/bin/bash     # Set shebang .. interpreter (sh/python/bash)
#set -x            # debug flag, shows all output and variables
set -e             # exit when an error occurs, Dont use this when sourcing a scriptor using bash ./scriptnaam gebruikt. 
set -u             # exit when a variable isn't defined
set -o pipefail # exit when a pipe command fails
# Add comments to your scripts!

grep string /nonexistenddir/file | sort # Does NOT give an error, sort works!
So echo $? gives 0
When set -o pipefail is set, above example will print 1 or 2

Bash options example


usage ()
    echo >&2 "usage: $0 <list-of-options>"

main ()
    [ $# -lt 1 ] && usage
    INSTALL_DIR=`dirname $0`
    for i in $@; do
        echo "$INSTALL_DIR $i"

main $@

Execute output from a script.

Sometimes i write scripts which print the command I want to have executed. Most of the times to check the generated commandline.
simple example

ls | grep 2000 | while read ; do echo rm -f "$REPLY" ;done

Above only prints the lines
rm -f <filename with 2000>
rm -f <other filename with 2000>

Instead of removing the echo command, you can add a | bash , to have it executed.

ls | grep 2000 | while read ; do echo rm -f "$REPLY" ;done | bash

Or even shorter ( Use !! for previous command )

!! | bash 


Search with CTRL-R in your command history, and use !<number> to execute this command again.

touch file1 file2 file3 file4
chmod 664 !* # will chmod only the files

When you used typed
systemctl stop httpd
and want to start again use replace
This will take previous command containing stop and places stop with start and executes this.

Toggle history on/off with “set -o history”, depending on your setup you can use “<space>command to be executed”

History log original username per date when sudo is being used
(creates .history.20230103.fash in /root/ )

HISTFILE=~/.history.$(date +%y%b%d).$(who am i | awk '{ print $1 }')

Skip first 2 lines and join 2 lines

#skip 2 lines
tail -n +3

#join 2 lines
sed 'N;s/\n/,/'

#3rd line from a file
sed "3q;d" /etc/hosts

#join on line line using comma's
paste -sd "," -

Find Tricks

#Remove empty directories
find ??? -empty -type d -delete

#Find multiple extentions
find archieven/ \( -name "*.png" -o -name "*.xml" \)
-print0 to handle filenames with spaces

Remove huge directory structures FAST

mkdir /tmp/empty ; rsync -a --delete /tmp/empty /path/blah

Check program installed and in path

which zenity >/dev/null 2>/tmp/err || ( echo "zenity not found, please install" ; exit 1 )

Change directory to location script for relative path usage

cd $(dirname $0)  
ls relativesubdir/

IFS (Internal Field Separator)

IFS=$' '     # internal field separator, strings split here
for f in $(cat /etc/hosts) ; do echo $f ;done
#        localhost
IFS=$'\n\t'     # internal field separator, split end of line
for f in $(cat /etc/hosts) ; do echo $f ;done
# Outputs localhost 

Difference for and while read example

echo "This will print every word" > text  # Places text in file
echo "second line" >> text                # Append text
for f in $(cat text) ; do echo $f ;done   # for example

cat text | while read f ; do echo $f ; done # Read example
This will print every word
second line

Correct way to make a tempfile

tempfile=$(mktemp -d -t /tmp/log.$$)    # Temp file, with unique name $$ is the process number

Usage in script :
ls > $tempfile

rm -f "/tmp/$tempfile"    # Remove

Direcory empty test

[ "$(ls -A /tmp)" ] && echo "Not empty" || echo "Empty" # test directory Empty/filled
test -d /tmp/1 && rmdir /tmp/1           # Removes a directory when it exists, will give an error when NOT empty

Using Expand

On directories archive30_tmp till archive35_tmp setting recursive chmod 2775 

find achief{30..35}_tmp -type d -exec chmod 2775 {} \;
mkdir tmp{1..3} # will create tmp1 tmp2 tmp3

echo pr{ut,utser}s # Outputs "pruts prutsers"

Test root user

if [ $USER == "root" ] ; then … ; fi # execute only when root
if $USER is empty, this will give an error.

if [ w$USER == "wroot" ] works 
qouting $USER also, but qouting a number using less/greater test could be problematic

Mount test

grep -qs /media /proc/mounts && echo "/media is mounted"

Date tricks

datum=$(date +%Y%m%d)                    # datum is yyyymmdd 20230103
today=$(date +%F)
tomorrow=$(date --date="next day" +%F)
p3=$(date --date="$p2" +%F)
#now=$(date +%s --date="1 days ago")
now=$(date -d $(date --date="1 days ago" +%F) +%s)
p3epoch=$(date --date="$p3" +%s)
dater=$(date -d "$p3 1 year" +%F)

date -d @<UNIX timestamp> # Timestamp to date

Size test in directory

if [ "$(df /tmp |grep -v Available | awk {' print $4 }')" -lt 1000000 ] ; then echo "not enough free in /tmp" ;fi  

Parallel Tasks

4 parallel jobs  
find jpg -type f -name \*.jpg -print0 | xargs -0 -n1 -P4 ./convert.sh

Cluster ssh trick

Using Clusterssh at work
## clusterssh trick
Only needed to do stuff on server having a certain directory

    clusterssh storageservers # ssh to 24 storage servers
    sudo su -
    cd /bricks/*/backup2 # change directory to this if exists
    cd /alternatedir/brick0*/backup2 # change to this alternate directory if it exists 
# directories not found? then you are still in /root
    pwd | grep testdir || logout # no testdir in found subdirs? (there are non in /root so you will be logged out)
    id | grep myuser && logout # if mortal user? then logout again .. you will be disconnected from servers not containing the backup2 directories
    Do your work as root 

Forgot to sudo?

systemctl restart httpd (wont work as user)
sudo !!
(this will do  "sudo systemctl restart httpd")

Top 5 homedir users

du -hsx /home/* | sort -rh | head -5

Removing a huge file takes a long time .. lets truncate it

: > hugefile
rm hugefile

Check memory banks using dmidecode

sudo dmidecode| grep  -i -B1 "Form Factor" (B1 means BEFORE 1 line, A is AFTER)
        Size: 8192 MB
        Form Factor: DIMM
        Size: 8192 MB
        Form Factor: DIMM
        Size: No Module Installed
        Form Factor: DIMM
sudo dmidecode -t memory | grep -i size
        Size: 4096 MB

sudo lshw -short -C memory
H/W path            Device      Class          Description
/0/0                            memory         96KiB BIOS
/0/1000                         memory         4GiB System Memory
/0/1000/0                       memory         4GiB DIMM RAM

Script log replay

    script --timing=/tmp/time.txt /tmp/script.log
start your script
    scriptreplay -t /tmp/time.txt /tmp/script.log

Deleted file takes up disk space (not being released)


httpd 12209 root 6w REG 253,3 5233639424 2097234 /var/log/httpd/access_log-20200711 (deleted)

cd /proc/12209/fd

find /proc/12209/fd -ls | grep '(deleted)'

121613145 0 l-wx------ 1 root root 64 Jul 10 12:04 /proc/12209/fd/6 -> /var/log/httpd/access_log-20200711\ (deleted)

: > "/proc/12209/fd/6"                 # Truncate

Keyword in line grep

cat file | grep -o 'skip_reason.*' # till end
cat file | grep -o 'skip_reason.*tillhere' 

Remove space filename

mv *\ * a 
rm *\ * 

Upper to lower case

 tr '[:upper:]' '[:lower:]'

Whole directories to lowercase

#print usage 
if [ -z $1 ];then
        echo "Usage :$(basename $0) parent-directory"
        exit 1

#process all subdirectories and files in parent directory
all="$(find $1 -depth)"

for name in ${all}; do
        #set new name in lower case for files and directories
        new_name="$(dirname "${name}")/$(basename "${name}" | tr '[A-Z]' '[a-z]')"

        #check if new name already exists
        if [ "${name}" != "${new_name}" ]; then
                [ ! -e "${new_name}" ] && mv -T "${name}" "${new_name}"; echo "${name} was renamed to ${new_name}" || echo "${name} wasn't renamed!"

#list directories and file new names in lowercase
echo "Directories and files with new names in lowercase letters"
find $(echo $1 | tr 'A-Z' 'a-z') -depth

exit 0

Sort by lenght

awk '{ print length(), $0 | "sort -n" }' 

Order / Delimiter AWK

echo 8.168.192.in-addr.arpa. | awk -F  "." '/1/ { print $3,$2,$1 }'

From – Till using AWK

cat file | awk '/Title1/,/-----/' 

Replace Tabs

sed -e 's/\t/ /g'

Sed Case Insensitive

sed s/a/b/gI 

And using lynx std in

cat index.html | lynx --dump -stdin

Random sleep

sleep .$[ ( $RANDOM % 4 ) + 1 ]s
#remove . for whole seconds instead of 10th of seconds

Copy pasting a lot from terminal , use xclip to copy to clipboard

xclip -sel c < bigsourcefile.c

Cache dir in memory for high IO processes

[ ! -d /ramcache ] && mkdir -p /ramcache
mount -t tmpfs -o size=2G,nr_inodes=5k,mode=777 tmpfs /ramcache

Have a dual boot machine? And want to remotely start the other OS?

WINDOWS_TITLE=`grep -i "^menuentry 'Windows" /boot/grub/grub.cfg|head -n 1|cut -d"'" -f2`
sudo grub-reboot "$WINDOWS_TITLE"
sudo reboot

Move files in subdirectory per create hour

for f in $(seq -w 0 23) ; do find . -type f -print0 | xargs -0 -r stat -c "%y %N" | grep -E " $f:" | cut -f2 -d\' | while read ; do mkdir -p $f ; mv "$REPLY" $f/ ; done ;d

Terminals and SSH

I’m using a lot of terminals, spawning a new terminal and running ssh, without knowing if i still have a session running.

Lets see:

This was done using something like:

count=$(ps -ef | grep xterm | grep -v grep | wc -l)
timestamp=$(date +%s)
echo "$timestamp,$count" >> /var/local/terminallog 

Later i made a script to push this information in Grafana

Now for the SSH part.
I’m jumping from machine to machine using ssh, sometime i loop back to a server i was already connected to .. this helps me to keep track

in ssh_config add

in sshd_config add

in /etc/profile

restart sshd
when you do this on all your machines you can get a trail of ssh using:

I could change the prompt when a loop is detected
echo $SSHTRAIL | sed -e 's/:/\n/g' | sort | uniq -c | grep -v 1 | ... | echo "WARNING: loop in ssh"

Ximian Desktop

I’ve bought ximian desktop with the exchange 2000 connector (For work) in the same package was staroffice 6.0.
It was based on Redhat 7.3

Ximian Desktop provides everything you need to put your Linux system to work. It includes a graphical interface based on the GNOME platform, with high-quality applications like the Ximian Evolution® groupware suite.

All editions of Ximian Desktop add the following:

  • A special Ximian edition of the OpenOffice.org office suite.
  • The most advanced Linux* printing system available today, integrated with the entire desktop and based on the CUPS subsystem. CUPS supports more printers and makes it much easier to set them up.
  • Extensive network compatibility for Windows* and UNIX networks.
  • Easy, removable media tools, including CD burning made simple.
  • A “My Computer” tool to help you navigate files, networks, and devices, designed especially for people migrating from Microsoft Windows.
  • The Red CarpetTM software management tool, which makes sure you get critical software updates quickly, easily, and securely.

The Professional Edition of Ximian Desktop includes additional software and services:

  • Agfa Fonts: High-quality licensed fonts, metrically compatible with those used in Microsoft* Office, to help preserve formatting and styles across platforms.
  • RealNetworks* RealPlayer*: Media player for RealAudio and RealVideo formats. Works with or without your Web browser.
  • Macromedia* Flash*: Browser plug-in for display of Flash vector animation on the Web.
  • Sun* Java* Runtime Environment: Allows you to use the broadest range of Java software with the best performance.
  • A year’s subscription to Red Carpet Express, the Ximian high-bandwidth update service.
  • 30 days of personalized Web-based support at support.ximian.com.
Outlook integration (needed for work)
Nice icon set
Red Carpet
Vector graphic icons, one of the first distro’s which got it right

My first Linux installation

Roalt helped me to get my first Linux system running.

I don’t know if it was a floppy install or cd-roms.

I remember buying cdrom sets like these at our local computershop for later installs.

A year later my system was reinstalled with Slackware by Gmc.
Although Roalt helped me getting started with Linux, i’ve learned a lot from Gmc.

First time i saw an Unix system was at my friend Richard when i was 16-ish.
It was a commercial unix system he had on loan. Later he installed Minix or something simulair. This was all pre-linux

I used the Slackware distribution for a long time, but tried others also.

List of Linux distributions and other Unix variants i remember.

  • Suse
  • Redhat
  • Gentoo
  • Fedora
  • Centos/Rocky
  • Bsd
  • Aix
  • Solaris
  • Debian
  • Ubuntu
  • Mint
  • Damn Small Linux
  • Backtrack
  • Kali
  • OpenZaurus
  • Slax
  • Puppy Linux
  • Linux Router Project