We take up part 2 of our Sliders Academy series and take the Linux system we installed in lesson one a step further. Follow the tutorial and learn how to connect to your Linux machine from any operating system and with multiple users. Build your own terminal server or “slide” from Windows to OSX while taking your personal Linux desktop with you anywere. Using the NX Server and the NX client we slide another powerful tool into your Sliders toolbag.
Part one of the series : Installing the Ubuntu system.
We get technical this week with a great open source and free network attached filestorage solution called NAS4FREE. After running down the list of things it can do we show you how to tweak into the core of your cross-platform filesharing world, enabling you to use it as a central filehub for all of your devices and from all of your locations. We top it off with some information on how to virtualise the whole solution and give you a spot of music from Planet Boelex’s new track ‘Refurbished’ all of that and more on Kw405.
The most horrible sound that you can imagine is the sound of a smartphone clattering on the floor or the sickening crunch of a breaking tablet display. With many of our favorite devices made out of glass ( I still feel like the Monolith in 2001 a Space Odyssey was actually Apple’s first iPad add) the chance of some of those glass display’s shattering .. is real. But what then ? What when hairline cracks criss cross your screen, (but the touch-part still works) ? What happens when your smart device becomes broken or obsolete. Should you throw away that old or broken phone or tablet ? If its and Android : Don’t ! There is still life in it !
Enter Servers Ultimate.
Servers Ultimate turns your Android device into a home server. It offers you the ability to run “services” on a smartphone or tablet, that are usually reserved for a VM or a beige box. But think about it ! : Your old phone is light, small, powerful, always connected AND has a built in UPS (uninterruptible power supply) called “A Battery”. Why not hook it up to its charger, plop it down somewhere in a corner and start “Serving”.
Servers Ultimate lets you run the following Services on your Android Device
- https (webserver)
- dlna (mediastreamer)
- irc (chat)
- socks (proxy)
- Webdav (web storage)
- Scp (secure file transfer)
The free version of the app lets you run 2 services at the same time, the payed version lets you check all the boxes and turn that old DroidX into a small home server. Storage capacity depends on what you hook up to it ( Internal SD card of your phone or some external storage) Power depends on the processor in your smartphone. But all in all : its a great way to setup a server in your house and re-use an old device.
I’m personally using Servers Ultimate to mess around with my MK802.22 stick to turn that into a home server with the Carbon Footprint of a small fly (its very low power) and hook it up the the wild wild web. Servers Ultimate is Free , but the Pro version will cost you a measly 4.99 in the Google Play Store.
You’ve heard us talk lots of times about Virtualbox. Our FAVORITE free (as in ‘Gratis’) cross platform virtualisation software. As we mentioned in the previous podcast episode about “Proxmox” (a more serious virtualisation tool) the machines in our home with their I5 and i7 processors and “Gigglebytes” of ram .. are mostly idling around in a corner when you’re not playing Call of Duty (and perhaps you even do THAT on the Xbox) So lets give those machines something to DO ! Running a ‘dedicated’ solution like dropbox might just be a little too much, but perhaps you have some cycles to spare on another system that is also being used as a desktop ? Why not try Virtualbox.
As an example : Currently I have dragged my I7, 16 gigabyte’s of ram Mac Mini downstairs and hooked it up to our tv. Since it carries most of our media it was a little silly to have it running in my upstairs office and having to stream everything back to the TV using a second (front end) box. So now the little bugger sits in our media cabinet with some 4 terrabyte of USB Harddisks hooked up to it. Having it just sit there running OSX and acting as a mediaserver or fileserver was a waste of power and cpu cycles. So with virtualbox I gave it something to do. I installed Virtualbox, hooked up a big external usb drive and started cooking some VM’s.
- Ubuntu 12.10 vm with LXDE : This is my ‘internal’ ubuntu desktop. I use it for running cronjobs, copy operations and scripts that are meant for internal use only. Its my ‘Secure box’. I’ve enabled the RDP server on it (a builtin function of Virtualbox) so I can cantrol the screen of the virtual machine from afar.
- Ubuntu 12.10 vm with LXDE : The second machine has a torrent client running as does the ‘dirty deeds’ that need to be done on the internet. Insecure surfing, downloading and remote access via SSH are its main goals. Once a week I ‘roll back’ the machine to its original (clean) post install state with the “snapshot” function of Virtualbox.
- Ubuntu 12.10 Server : The main task of this machine is running OWNCLOUD (also featured in one of our podcasts) as my personal cloud storage.
- Nas4Free : With a 1800 gigabyte virtual disk, this VIRTUAL machine acts as my main file storage system. So instead of putting my files on a disk and sharing them out via the file-sharing options on my (host) OSX system, I made a virtual machine of a linux application geared towards storage and filesharing … and put all of my files INSIDE a virtual machine. Performance is very good so far and the added perks to running Nas4free are going to be a topic for next weeks podcast.
In the end, controlling these virtual machines is a little messy sometimes. I mean you can’t just interrupt @Niejana when she is watching “Blood and Chrome” to say : Sorry about that, I need to mess with something on my Virtualbox and for that I need to use the TV ? You need ‘remote’ ways to manage that virtual machine situation.
- Controlling the Virtual Machines. Remote controlling the virtual machines is easy. You can use the built in RDP server in Virtualbox to use an RDP client (on any operating system) to open up the remote machine. If you also want to access them from the outside, try installing Teamviewer on the Virtual Machine. If you are using a Linux operating system as your virtual machine you can enable the SSH Server and go in via the terminal.
- Controlling Virtualbox. Unbeknown to many, virtualbox has a powerful set of terminal commands you can use. With a simple terminal window to my Mac (SSH) I can use the ‘VboxManage’ commands to do just about anything. Make a new virtual machine, clone a drive, resize a drive. Everything runs in the background and its a very very powerful tool. You can find the entire list of Virtualbox commands HERE.
- Controlling Virtualbox with a web interface. Virtualbox also has a web interface that helps you control your virtualmachines. In a point and click way you can start and stop VM’s and do anything you can do on the ‘regular’ desktop window. Installing it might be a little chore (depending on the host operating system you use) but the results are pretty spiffy. Find the howto HERE.
And with those little tips you know can turn that headless box OR that powerful machine upstairs that is always on, but sometimes used by your kids for gaming… into your own personal datacenter. Don’t have the spare beige box for Proxmox ? Just have a desktop and want to get it to do some cool things ‘under the hood’. Want your own invisible datacenter ? Here you go ! Download Virtualbox NOW.
Time to deep dive into some geeky solution for running all your favorite operating systems at the same time. We talk to Lord Drachenblut about using Proxmox to build a dedicate server for your Virtual machine needs, and do it all for free. If you ever dreamt of running all of your operating systems at the same time on a dedicated server and building your very own enterprise style datacenter .. tune in now.
Lord Drachenblut’s list of Vm’s.
Proxmox : http://www.proxmox.com/products/proxmox-ve
Etherpad – openvz container from turnkeylinux pulled through the proxmox interfacehttp://www.turnkeylinux.org/etherpad
mineos – http://minecraft.codeemo.com/
irssi – centos vm with irssi, ssh, and sshfs installed
murmur – debian vm with murmur server installed
big blue button – http://www.bigbluebutton.org/
opennms – centos install with opennms package repo added http://yum.opennms.org/
Windows Server 2008 R2 – available from microsoft
sogo – centos install with the sogo repo added
FreeBSD 9 – freebsd 9 install, install images available from freebsd.com
postrgresDB – centos install adding postgresDB from repo
Zentyal – linux small business server distro available at http://www.zentyal.org/downloads/
Setting up and running your own little SSH server is not really hard. Just punch in sudo apt-get install openssh-server on your Ubuntu command line and you’ll have a server that allows you to run remote commands, send over files via SFTP or even forward graphical applications over X-Forwarding.
But when you open up a window to the internet, it might be a good idea to keep an eye on any nosy people who might come knocking. A good tip is NOT to run your server on the default port (22) and poke it up to a random port over 1024 so it won’t be obvious to any scriptkiddie you are running an SSH server. But just to be safe its nice to keep an eye out too. Every system access is logged in /var/log/auth.log but there is a ton of info in here. But with this one simple command you can not only sort out the messages that talk about your SSH server, you can also “follow along live”
sudo tail -F /var/log/auth.log | grep sshd
The output will generate a cool scrolling textfile with all the failed and approved login attempts, the usernames of who is loggin in and when they connect and disconnect. The command is simple .. but the output might be just what you need.
We take a look at one of the hottest devices currently on the market and stare down the bellybutton of the Google Nexus 7. After looking at hardware software and specs its time to answer the important questions : How can this technology work for us AND what will it do to the market. A different approach at a product review this time that will surely enlighten you in some way or form. Spice it up with some great feedback from the voicemail and twitterspheres and we have another Knightwise.com podcast .. in the can.
In this episode we give you some ideas and possibilities when it comes to building your own home Linux server. While putting an old clunker back to good use or using a VM, we give you tips and tricks on using the command line, CLI applications, web based interfaces remote desktop sessions or even terminal servers. Let technology work for you and build your own home linux server with this podcast as your loyal companion.
- What hardware to choose.
- What to consider.
- Command line applications
- Web based interfaces
- Graphical user interface
- Choose your graphical desktop
- Gnome shell
- Hook it up to a screen
- Hook it up to your tv
- Free nx
- Automate scripts with cron
The Knightcast Episode 35 : Remote Domination.
Direct link to the show :
Don't even leave your seat for episode 35 of the Knightcast : Remote domination. We talk about the tools of the trade how to remote control every PC that you own. With tips, howto's and cool programs we turn your computerroom obsolete and let you control everything from your couch. With music from Noplasticinside its another Info- Loaded Knightcast.
Promo : Miketechshow .
Download the Shownotes in PDF.
The word alone sounds repulsing to me.
Proprietary : The word alone sounds repulsing to me. Being an open source – cross platform fetishist, anything that is locked into the boundaries of a certain manufacturer is probably comparable to the used toilet paper of satan himself. Anything that veers away from open standards and locks users into the steel confinements of a certain brand or manufacturer is no worse then the sing sing prison. Just think about it. Special document formats that implore you , no , FORCE you to buy a certain peace of software in order to open them. A peace of hardware that only has drivers for a certain operating system. Or an on line music store that will only allow its content to be played on one brand of players. Anything that promises advanced functionality at the cost of the consumers liberty to buy what he wants is something Cruellla Devill would probably love. I hate proprietary stuff. Whether its office document formats, Itunes-music-store restricted music, or even some fancy sort of USB connector variation that will only fit on that one stupid dell machine. If it ain’t open , I don’t want it ! I scream in defiance. What good is a fantastic slideshow made in powerpoint if I can’t open it on my mac, Why the frack would I buy a song on Itunes if i can’t play it on my cheap ass mp3 player, Why in hells bells would I encode my music in WMA format if my linux machine won’t be able to read it.
Oh ow , caught in the net.
But , willing or unwilling, i have slipped into the net of these close quarters and have witnessed the power of this fully operational battlesta.. erm .. proprietary software. This week I installed my old Mac Mini as a server at home. Giving it some extra firewire storage-space I bestowed upon it the tasks to store all my pictures and music , and do some video capturing on the side. Your basic run of the mill media server. Using a great program called SHAREPOINT i was able to share any folder I liked using the universal SAMBA protocol. For reasons beyond my comprehension mac does not allow sharing just any folder, just the home folder. Probably to prevent you from turning your mac into a file-server , but hey , come on .. its MY MAC remember ? Nevertheless I got it working nice and dandy. Writing a little logon script with automator gave my other macs access to the shares and that was that. Then I stared using Iphoto and Itunes on the mac server to manage the pictures. That way a boring server was also good for some music playing and photo slide-showing. Think of my mac mini as a power-station (not quite a server , but not quite a workstation). When I got downstairs on my macbook (after connecting to the shared folders using my Ubuntu workstation) i booted up my Itunes and saw…. The mac mini’s music directory.. magically shared through the wonders of AFS (apple file-sharing system). And behold : The Iphoto library on the server was available as well ! And it was surprisingly fast. Sharing files (streaming video) between macs using AFS was faster then doing the same thing with my linux machine over the open source standard of SAMBA.
Its magic .. damn you !
So there you have it . By some technology indistinguishable from magic my macs had talked to each-other and decided on a little functionality to brighten up my day: Share pictures and music just like that. Wether the other kids in the room ( my Ubuntu station and Windows machine) could join or not (they couldn’t) was none of their concern. Too bad really. I mean , I feel good about the fact i can share pictures and music from a centralized place .. but am appalled at the fact that somewhere somehow I have fallen for the proprietary marketing trick. It comes with its advantages of course. But the next time I sit behind my Ubuntu workstation … and curse for not being able to access my Itunes .. I know i’ll curse : Damn you proprietary devil !
To top it of ? A video for you guyz 🙂