Show #7 | You got your Linux in my Browser

In this episode we discuss a Javascript x86 emulator.  This VM has a Linux kernel which is fully bootable! You have shell access and can run normal Linux commands.  It even has a compiler!! (TCC, not GCC.) This is epic and deserves attention!

- Making a DNS server from scratch! Also using Webmin to control it

- Designing servers to handle massive amounts of traffic!

- Perfect Time Machine Server and Suse studio

- Mini tutorial on how to ssh tunnel

- Use “sudo bash” once instead of repeating “sudo command”

- Incentive-based advertising

- Sam gets interrupted by Sticky Keys and can’t remember what’s going on!

- A Javascript page which hosts an x86 emulator.  This VM has a Linux kernel which is fully bootable! You have shell access and can run normal Linux commands.  It even has a compiler!! (TCC, not GCC.) This is epic and deserves attention! http://bellard.org/jslinux/index.html

- Using BestCrypt or Cryptoswap to encrypt your swap file on Windows. Also what digging through your swapfile looks like!

- How to increase performance on a Linux box with a slow hdd!  Tuning the Linux disk cache

 

Download MP3, You got your Linux in my Browser

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  • You mention UltraVNC SC in this podcast. Ultra VNC Single click has really bad refresh if the computer you are looking at has Aero turned on. Turn Aero off and it normally starts working a heck of a lot better.

    I used to use it a lot but switched to a commercial alternative because UltraVNC SC has issues with the UAC security feature in Win 7 – basically the user gets a popup asking for an admin password and you do not even see it. I do not really want all my remote users having admin passwords as they have a tendency to install lots of games, addons, trials etc. Its a real pain to support a remote laptop which is running slow because of a program I’ve never even heard of before – let alone when they get tricked into installing a fake AV program….

  • Neal — thanks for listening & your comment.

    Glad to hear it isn’t just me re the issues with UltraVNC SC. My client was indeed using Aero, and the delay time was almost 20 seconds. Granted, I was also in China at the time, so there was heavy latency. My regular VNC connections only had an unscientific delay of about 1 to 3 seconds, though.

    About having UAC enabled, don’t you find that your clients complain a lot about not being able to install new software. They essentially need to call you every time a UAC prompt appears — and they appear a lot. Let’s say they want to defrag their hard drive — UAC prompt. Move a file on the root drive? UAC prompt. Open CCleaner? UAC prompt.

    The fake AV programs, though… those are the times I wish I had UAC to stop ‘em.

    • Hi Samuel,

      I’m lucky – my “clients” work for the same company as me and almost all of the ones who need remote support are very low tech. Defrag, CCleaner etc they would not have a clue about – they just need the web browser, Word, Outlook and maybe Publisher for work. I install several things they have requested by default (Firefox, VLC, iTunes, flash, Skype) and they know if they ask for something else I’m fairly likely to install it happily unless it will cause a problem – in which case I normally suggest better alternatives. Just the fact that they will need to call me and get me to log in remotely stops most of the free trial installs.
      I have two who are reasonably computer literate and they know the admin password and have promised to behave with it.

      In case you are interested the commercial UltraVNC SC replacement I used was TeamViewer and I’ve been very happy with it so far (about 9 months).

      Oh can you say thanks to Ben for me? He just put the first comment on my blog in the middle of me listening to your podcast #7. :)

      • I’ve heard good things about TeamViewer. I’ll look into that to replace VNC SC and Windows Remote Assistance which has an obnoxious redraw “bug” — let’s say I am connecting to you over a slow connection and I need to copy a file from my FTP server onto your system to fix something. Well, Windows Vista & 7 have copying animations, in full color, that have to redraw over the network on my screen. Well, guess what? The Win Remote Assistance draws EVERY frame of that animation, locking up my cursors until it is completely done — even minutes after the file is done copying. So, you have to sit around and explain to your client why you’re on the phone doing nothing for 10 minutes.

        So, yeah, TeamViewer it is. Thanks again for listening! Episode #8 will be up soon.

  • Neal,
    Your welcome! You have some good Linux articles on your blog ( digitalllama.net ), I choose to comment on the LVM one because I’m in the middle of that right now.

    When I have a VM that is only running a nameserver and nothing else.. what good does an 8gig harddrive do me? Nothing!! “sudo lvreduce” !!!!

    -Ben

  • Two things:
    1. Why not use Fail2ban on you ssh box? I watches the log files for ssh login attempt failures and temporarily adjusts iptables accordingly.
    2. Isn’t it simpler to just ‘su’ rather than ‘sudo bash’?

    Just sayin.

    Clyde

    • Thanks for the comments Clyde!

      I haven’t tried out Fail2ban, however I have heard of it. I think I will install it tomorrow and report back.

      Yes, it is simpler to su, but this requires that you know the root password. Sometimes sudo is setup to ask for your user’s password twice, and then give you root access. In this case, if you don’t know the root password, ‘sudo bash’ is the only way to go.

      Regards,
      Ben

      • For a good article on fail2ban checkout:

        http://articles.slicehost.com/2009/7/29/fail2ban

        Also, allowing someone to use sudo WITHOUT the root password sounds like it breaks the security model. Maybe I’m just an old unix dog.

        Clyde

        • I think that the model where sudo asks for the users password twice is the default on Ubuntu.

          In Ubuntu’s case, only users who are added to the “wheel” group are allowed to become root.

          Thanks for the great Fail2Ban article!

          You should follow the show on twitter:
          http://twitter.com/#!/portfwdpodcast or @portfwdpodcast

          If your not into twitter (I’m still skeptical) it’s cool to know that there are tech nerds on there: For instance:
          http://hashtags.org/fail2ban

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