Tag Archives: it

Reading encrypted/password protected pdf on Linux

Brocade Logo

The problematic PDF

The CFP300 material on http://community.brocade.com/docs/DOC-2041 is encrypted so that it cannot be printed/re-edited without a password.

If you try to open this with evince (default .pdf viewer in Gnome) it will ask for a password.
pdftotext (comes with the software suite poppler) says:

Error: Weird encryption info
Error: Incorrect password

It’s only the material starting with M0* that has this issue, this has also been seen with other documents. Maybe this is because they were created with a too new version of Adobe Acrobat that evince/pdftotext doesn’t support.
The rest of the material are going to be public and they are user/admin guides anyway. But the M0* files are from the actual course material for the 16G so this is why.

The solution on RHEL6 x64: install FoxitReader. Download the .rpm – then hit ‘rpm -Uvh FoxitReader-1.1-0.fc9.i386.rpm’ and it will be installed. To start it just hit ‘FoxitReader’.

Anyway I think it’s nice of Brocade to pre-release the course material for those doing the beta-test. If you want the real material the cheapest is 650$ and then you get the material, narration of the pdfs (usually good quality, not just reading off the presentations) and a few quite good lab exercises.

The Studying

Just threading along here with the material, slowly but steady.
I’m starting with the NPIV / Access Gateway stuff. It’s a bit more complicated than just a switch that isn’t its own domain, it’s also mapping the virtual WWN to the N_ports (a switch in AG mode has N_ports that connect to F_ports in another switch). Usually N_ports are on hosts’ and targets’ ports and the switches’ has the F_ports.


This is from a post on the ITRC forum, I will copy it into here because the forum are moving soon and you never know if the links will work or not :) Also I do want to immortalize it.

Title: Is it just me? Or does everything required a fw update?

Begins with some posts with some people never having any problems and some people who have had. Then gregersenj posted what I have pasted below, which is just a very honest and in my opinion accurate view of daily IT life. It may not be what others want to hear, maybe especially the people paying for the IT-services. But I believe nobody understands the whole picture in an IT-system. You may believe a lot but for everybody there are some areas that you don’t understand completely. Like drivers, kernel, just as an example.

Jun 18, 2011 13:24:53 GMT    Unassigned

Frustration allways come from 2 reasons.
1. Lack of knowledge.
2. “Religion”
1 often lead to 2.
And that lead to Frustration. 

Things to realize:
There’s no 100% uptime.
There’s nothing bug free.
There’s allways a risk.

Ralize the aboave, and learn how stuff works.

I don’t got a lot of knowledge on the Itanium/PA risc systems.
But, on some RX26xx model(s) you mst enable the embedded smart array controller from the EFI.

OA and ILo is a on-line, non-disruptive upgrades. A backup of the OA configuration is recommended, just in case.

Interconnect modules can be upgraded on-line. On-line FW upgrades neee a reboot to activate new FW.
VCSU upgrade modules, then reboot them 1 by 1.
Do you trust your enviroment?
Do you want to take the risk?

Yes, the blade must be powered off to activate a profile.
I don’t know why, but I believe that the engineers have a good reason.

I will recommend you to create a FW anf Driver base line, and ensure, that you are allways within supportet release sets.

Most release notes do say upgrade at earliest convinience.

I learn new stuff every day, and the more I learn, the less knowledge I blieve that I have.

Theory is:
It don’t work, but we know why.
Real life is:
It work, but we don’t know why.

Wish you a lot of fun learning, and hope you get less frustratet.


Nerves of steel: requirement for being a sysadmin?

Is it just me?

Whenever I have to restart something or do some actual maintenance on a server – that my heart starts pumping and I get really really nervous.

I’ve heard many times people say things like:

“pain is temporary, glory is forever” (quote from a movie) when it comes to dealing with servers.
Or “no pain, no gain”.

Guess these are the kind of things that do improve with some experience.

Server and Storage Tips from the ITRC

Just a good howto – tip – solution. It’s a little hard to find good threads.

Hard to find something.. should probably write it in here when I think of it.
Also the ITRC are moving to another platform in June 2011 so maybe these won’t be available after this.

** Update 2011-06-27: Yes, these do not work after the ITRC move. They take you to the main page of the new forum. Tried to find the posts again but couldn’t on the first two so I’ve given up :/


EVA Parity Groups – RSS
EVA Control RSS position while replacing disks.
Command View EVA cannot find EVA
SCSI Sense errors with HP SC11xe and Tape Drives
EVA DR resume
Go from PID Extended Edge to PID CORE format with Unix.


How are the ports mapped in a a HP BladeSystem c-7000 with Flex-10 Fabric Interconnect modules.

Operating System

How to remote to a Red Hat server:


HEPIX Spring 2011 – Day 1

Got in last night at around 2140 local time.
I should’ve done a little more exact research for how to find my hotel. Had to walk some 30 minutes (parts of it the wrong way) to get to it. But at least I made it to see some ice hockey.. . to bad Detroit lost.

Today’s another day though!

First stop: breakfast.

Wow. What a day, and it’s not over yet! So much cool stuff talked about.

Site Reports

The first half of the day was site reports from various places.

GSI here in Darmstadt (which is where some of the heaviest elements have been discovered). They have started an initiative to keep Lustre alive – as apparently Oracle is only going to develop this for their own services and hardware. They are running some SM – SuperMicro servers that have infiniband on board – and not like the HP ones I’ve seen that has the mellanox card as an additional mezzanine card. Nice. They were also running some really cool water cooling racks that uses the pressure in some way to push the hot air out of the racks. They found that their SM file servers had much stronger fans at the back, and not optimized airflow inside the servers so they had to tape over some (holes?) over the PCI slots on the back of the server to make it work properly for them. They were also running the servers in around 30C – altogether they got a PUE of around 1.1 which is quite impressive.

Other reports: Fermilab (loots of storage, their Enstore has for example 26PB of data on tape), KIT, Nikhef (moved to ManageEngine for patch and OS deployment, and Brocade for IP routers), CERN (lots of hard drives had to be replaced.. around 7000.. what vendor? HP, Dell, SM?), DESY (replaced Cisco routers with Juniper for better performance, RAL (problem with LSI controllers, replaced with adaptec), SLAC (FUDForum for communication).


Rest of the day was about:


Some talk about messaging – for signing and encrypting messages. Could be used for sending commands to servers but also for other stuff. I’ve seen ActiveMQ in EyeOS and it’s also elsewhere as well. Sounds quite nice but apparently not many use it, instead they use ssh scripts to run things like that.


About various threats that are public in the news lately and also presentation of some rootkits and a nice demo of a TTY hack. Basically the last one consists of one client/linux computer that has been taken hacked, then from this computer a person with access to a server sshs there. And then the TTY hack kicks in and gives the hacker access to the remote host. Not easy to defend against.

There was also a lengthier (longest of the day) 1h-1.5h presentation of a French site that went through how they went ahead when replacing their home-grown Batch management system with SGE(now Oracle Grid Engine).

*** Updated the post with links to some of the things. Maybe the TTY hack has another name that’s more public.

Next Days:

Day 5
Day 4
Day 3
Day 2

Ubuntu 11 in VMWare Workstation

Time for another test! This time it’s Ubuntu 11.04 Natty.

My setup is a Intel Core i7 920 on Windows 7 x64 with 8GB RAM.

*** Update 2011-04-29 – I just heard that if you run this in a Virtual Machine you do not get all the shebang on the default graphical user interface. But for me it looks fine. Also when I looked on this video it didn’t look much different except for the left side bar. If you want to check out the supposedly nicer graphical user interface I would recommend that you put Ubuntu on a CD/DVD and then boot your desktop with it. That way you can see if it’s for you and if it works without doing anything to your hard drives :)

*** Update 2011-04-29 Also added link where to get Ubuntu 11.04 as now it’s not in beta anymore.


  1. Install VMWare Workstation
  2. Download the Ubuntu ISO. (I got the x64 / AMD64 one) from http://www.ubuntu.com/testing/natty/beta
  3. As it’s public now, you can get it from http://www.ubuntu.com/download/ubuntu/download
  4. Add new Virtual Machine (VM) in VMWare Workstation, browse to the .iso and it will with easy install find Ubuntu 64-bit.
  5. Gogogo! Chose language and set up your user account. That’s all. After that you can log on to the desktop. It took quite some time for me to install it – though I wasn’t in a rush so did not measure time and just left the PC. Maybe it went sleeping or something.

Uses 5.2GB effective disk space (checked properties on the directory from Windows) after install and that upgrade below.

After install.

Looks pretty smooth. Quite different from what I remember. I set it to 2GB  RAM and it’s only using 300MB from scratch. This is nice. And it turns off in a couple of seconds.

  • Unity thing in VMWare Workstation works from scratch (7.1.3 and 7.1.4). In 7.1.4 even with the VMWare Tools not installed updated.
  • First thing I ran was a software update – 160MB already after it being out only a couple of days. Guess some big package got an update.. however, no reboot required for it!
  • One thing you should be aware of, is that the program options/menu bar, is at the top of the screen, “File”, “View”, stuff like that. So quite a bit like Mac OS (if I’m not mistaken).
  • Audio is also working from start.
  • Resolution/screen proportions are automagically updated so that Ubuntu fits the whole screen. Nice. Ubuntu 10.10 does not do this in Virtualbox on RHEL6.

Comes default with these programs:

  • Mozilla Firefox 4.0
  • Libreoffice (not openoffice??) – looks like openoffice anyway.
  • Evolution Mail/calendar
  • Empathy chat cilent
  • Gwibber – twitter I guess
  • Transmission – torrent client
  • Shotwell photo manager
  • “ubuntu software manager” – where you download apps. There is still however apt-get and synaptic.

This “ubuntu software manager” is a bit of a fail. It seems very mainstream.

For example:

  • irssi cannot be found there

That’s about all I can think of for now.

Adobe Flash:

  • No flash from the start. But! Search for it in the software manager and you can install it. This however failed. I tried to report but it required a login so I skipped.
  • After fail the app still has a green check-mark on it.
  • Flash still works though. And it’s not lagging for me at all. But hey, I just tried it right after starting the browser. Maybe it gets choppier after some heavy browsing :p


The unity thing is pretty darn neat. What it does is it gives you an “extra” start-button. It’s not visible all the time, only when you go near your normal one – it pops out. With that you can then start a program from the Ubuntu virtual machine and it will look like any other program on your PC.

Supposedly Unity may work better after upgrading VMWare Tools. I got a little bar at the bottom of the screen, extracted and ran the thing. Then it was gone.


All in all, feels pretty good! I have some plans to get a laptop of mine up running this. Just need some other work done on it first I believe. There were some bugs, but that’s not surprising, considering it is in beta. Always liked ubuntu because installing it is so smooth. Might not be the most awesome for preserving system resources but honestly, only using 300MB from start is pretty ok isn’t it? If I get it on my laptop, I’ll definitely be trying another window manager, like awesome or dwm –  should bring the memory usage down :)

Install Drupal 7 in Debian 6

Time for another go!

Drupal is ..

.. a pretty famous and widely used CMS out there – so here we go ->

1. Get sudo configured on debian. Sucks to have to log on as root all the time when installing apps etc.

2. Download and untar drupal 7



– A web server. Apache (version 2.0 or greater) is recommended.
– PHP 5.2.4 (or greater) (http://www.php.net/).
– One of the following databases:
– MySQL 5.0.15 (or greater) (http://www.mysql.com/).

“sudo apt-get install lamp-server^” does not work in Debian 6 :/

Following this guide instead.

  1. aptitude update  and then upgrade (maybe not necessary because I used apt-get.. why have two??)
  2. sudo apt-get install mysql-server mysql-client (in Debian 6 you put in sql root user password during install)
  3. sudo apt-get install apache2 php5 php5-mysql libapache2-mod-php5 phpmyadmin
  4. Surf to http://ip/phpmyadmin and log on to the mysql db – does it work? yay!
  5. Create drupal db – see INSTALL.mysql.txt – basically this just tells you to create a database and a user. It asks you to do this via manual SQL queries, but we have phpmyadmin so we just have to; 1. click on databases and create a new one. 2. after that, click on privileges and create a new user. 3 just type in username and password, leave the rest for default.
  6. Copy extracted files to your www directory. Beware of rights, use chmod and possibly chown. /var/www/ is the default directory.
  7. Surf to http://ip/drupal (where install.php is)
  8. Standard setting
  9. Then it complains that it doesn’t have access. Because I had to set chmod 777 on the ‘sites’ directory under /drupal.
  10. Then I need to copy a file and make it writeable, just doing what the script tells me to.
  11. Configure the database settings.
  12. Now you can remove write access permissions on the sites/default directory and sites/default/settings.php
  13. Put in contact and admin accounts stuff.
  14. Done! Wow, that was easy :)

So much to do in there!
I will have to get back about this in another post :)

Ubuntu 10.10 + VMWare + Irssi

How small VM can you make if you are only going to use it to run Irssi in a screen?

OS: Ubuntu 10.10 x64 Virtual Kernel
Hypervisor: VMWare Workstation

Disk – no logs – 1.10GB is what my previous took, with samba, so probably less but 1.1 should be all right, don’t want it to run out of space either. Should probably partition /var/log into its own so that if that fills up (maybe after bruteforce ssh logins) then it doesn’t fill up the rest of /.

  • turn off cron jobs
  • install virtual kernel

about the cron jobs, I just installed a ubuntu virtual kernel and only cron job running (as seen in syslog) is this:

CRON[9141]: (root) CMD (   cd / && run-parts –report /etc/cron.hourly)

Test 1

1.2GB disk

Kernel panic – not syncing: attempted to kill init!
ctrl-alt-del in the VM doesn’t work, had to hard kill it :p
Reboot – same problem. It does this after selecting minimal virtual kernel and pressing install Ubuntu Server.


Increased RAM to 96MB and now it passed.
However, after selecting keyboard it still crashes. So 96 is also too little.

Googled around a little and found an article on Ubuntu.com that gives some insight.

For example: if you run out of memory, then it will swap. So if you are not running out of memory then it’s probably better to give it a little more to be on the safe side.

Test 3

Increased RAM to 128MB
Now it goes even longer.

Partitioning -> chose manual.
There is a device there ‘sda’ -> SCSI3. Mark that and hit enter. Say yes to create new empty partition. Then it creates a new space pri/log. Create new partition.

As size, type in: 100MB
Primary, beginning, default settings on the filesystem etc but mount point: /var/log. Then done setting up this partition.

Then we will create another partition for / (or the rest).

Like this:

ubuntu_partition right

ubuntu_partition right

The above does not include a swap space, and the installation complains that there is no swap space defined and that there may be problems if this is not configured during install.

Let’s see :)

** maybe Ubuntu is not the slimmest OS to install for this purpose. The guide I linked to above mentions a DSL – damn small linux. But we want a minimal server OS, not a desktop one. Maybe the new Debian 6 would be cool to try.

During install there was a dialogue about something being already on the disk.. and that this could cause issues. Maybe this was copied there from one of the previous tries with less amount of RAM. Went back and erazed this on each just to be on the safe side. Very slow though. About 1% / s. After this I went into each and set them to format instead. It mentions old installation files anyway. Proceeding. This happened twice? Three times now.. Maybe this is not going so well. Ok happened four times.

Hit Alt+F2 (and then enter to get the console) and then df -h. Nothing is over 20% except the SR0/cd-rom which is at 100%. Did a ‘more /var/log/syslog’ and at the end there are some ‘Out of memory’ things going on.

So there we go. 128MB is too little.

But here:  it says that 128MB is the requirement..

Test 4

I will try to install again and not mess up with the partitions.
1.2GB and 128MB again.
Going pretty well, looks like it’s stopped at 75% and “storing language”. Patience. Ok, 10mins later still there. Nothing about out of memory in /var/syslog. The Guest was behaving a little slow though when working the console.
Left it on over night and when I looked again the following day it was at the next step!

Installing openssh via the installation menu this time.
Taking quite long time this time as well. Like hours. 2 hours now. Nothing happening in syslog. Think I’ll give Debian a shot next Test.

In the meantime did Test 5. However 4 hours later, still configuring ‘language-pack-en-base’.

Now, approximately lots of hours later. It is at configure grub.

And yay, it finally boots!

user@irssi:~$ df -h
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda1             1.1G  430M  606M  42% /
none                   54M  164K   54M   1% /dev
none                   57M  4.0K   57M   1% /dev/shm
none                   57M   36K   57M   1% /var/run
none                   57M     0   57M   0% /var/lock
none                  1.1G  430M  606M  42% /var/lib/ureadahead/debugfs
/home/martbhell/.Private 1.1G  430M  606M  42% /home/martbhell

And the size of the folder in Windows: 750 MB (787 341 312 bytes)

With 128MB ram there is maybe 10MB free and it swaps a little (just a few kB so far).

Test 5

Using Debian 5 64-bit.

  1. graphical menu is seen, no advanced options used
  2. chose languages – look a lot like Ubuntu but there are some differences:
  3. After choosing a hostname it asks for domain. Put in WORKGROUP.
  4. Set a root account password (so no more sudoing – probably just add my user to the wheel/root group).
  5. and you have a few more options in the partitioning, like a separate /home partition
  6. then you get to chose a debian mirror (becuase I use the netinst). ftp.fi.debian.org is the one I chose
  7. you can participate in a “most used packages” survey
  8. software selection: graphical desktop, web, dns, ssh, laptop, standard system utilities. I chose SSH and standard system utilities.
  9. grub, then reboot and loading!

Internet works fine from the start. apt-get update; apt-get install irssi
Remember, here you have to log in as root to run ifconfig or apt-get.

It’s the same way in Debian as in Ubuntu to set static ip. Just edit /etc/network/interfaces / don’t forget you can just restart the networking services by ‘/etc/init.d/networking start’ instead of rebooting ;)
Now, I actually forgot to set minimal ram/disk for this one. So we have to do this again ;)

Test 6

Using Debian 5 64-bit.

One thing that’s cool about a VM is that you can resize the amount of RAM whenever (probably good to turn off the guest first). So how about just lowering it instead of installing a new one?

OK, so it now has 512MB. Going down to 64 in one go (listed as minimum in VMWare Workstation).

It’s swapping after just a few minutes with screen+irssi.

to sort by memory usage in top press SHIFT+m

biggest memory hogs (all over 1% – figures in bold) are :

1474 user 20   0 23388 6220 1572 S  0.0 11.2 0:00.25 bash
1503 user 20   0 50084 5228 3824 S  0.0  9.4 0:00.06 irssi
1470 root      20   0 70488 3280 2584 S  0.0  5.9 0:00.03 sshd
913 root      20   0  117m 1788  904 S  0.0  3.2 0:00.01 rsyslogd
1473 user 20   0 70488 1680  964 S  0.0  3.0 0:00.06 sshd
1502 user 20   0 25184 1472  992 S  0.0  2.6 0:00.01 screen
1546 user 20   0 19040 1300 1004 R 99.9  2.3 0:00.01 top
985 root      20   0 22392  712  512 S  0.0  1.3 0:00.00 cron
1233 Debian-e  20   0 44140  660  392 S  0.0  1.2 0:00.00 exim4
1472 root      20   0  5928  620  520 S  0.0  1.1 0:00.00 getty
1 root      20   0  8352  616  560 S  0.0  1.1 0:01.42 init
1277 root      20   0 49168  544  428 S  0.0  1.0 0:00.00 sshd

What I might be able to get rid of is rsyslogd and cron. But then again, if I were to connect this to the internet so I could access it and resume the screen/irssi from anywhere, I would want to keep track of what is happening on the machine.

user@debian:/var/log$ df -h
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda1             3.8G  638M  3.0G  18% /
tmpfs                  28M     0   28M   0% /lib/init/rw
udev                   23M  140K   23M   1% /dev
tmpfs                  28M     0   28M   0% /dev/shm

Windows usage: 887 MB (930 816 000 bytes)


The Ubuntu Server 10.10 with the minimal virtual kernel took forever to install (maybe it would have been faster to have more mem during install and then lower when it’s done) and with 128MB it still swaps a little with only screen and irssi running. But it does use about 130MB or 200MB less space than the Debian6 guest.

The Debian 6 however runs OK with 64MB, swaps a little at that though so I would probably run this with 96 or 128MB just to be on the safe side if I were to run it.

Ubuntu 10.10 Minimal Virtual Kernel + VMWare Workstation

To install Ubuntu 10.10 with a virtual kernel instead of the normal one = good, less stuff installed that you may not need.

  1. When setting up the install, do not use the easy install. Chose to install an OS later. Set up bridged/nat depending on which one you want.
  2. Add the install .iso to the CD-drive in the VM
  3. Select a language
  4. Press F4 (it didn’t work in the first screen)
  5. Chose – install a minimal virtual machine
  6. Install Ubuntu Server
  7. Chose language again
  8. Chose key map – (I chose English and had to browse to Finland)
  9. Asked to press some buttons, wanted Swedish (but have an English keyboard) so tried to press the right ones :p
  10. Then time zone Helsinki/Finland was found.
  11. Using default (whole disk, no encryption or lvm) for partitioning.
  12. set up users
  13. set up encryption on home dir
  14. proxy setup
  15. installing security updates automagically
  16. any extra packages (DNS, LAMP, Mail, OpenSSH, etc)? – I chose no, want to chose this myself later.
  17. yes I want grub (it finds only one OS on the virtual disk ;)

Then I see the login prompt! Obviously the easy-install in VMWare Workstation has a lot less steps :)

But on the other hand you could install OpenSSH directly through the install and then you do not have to log on to the VM via VMWare Workstation, but can do it via your favorite ssh program instead.

Post install

What I want installed every time after an uninstall.
After install it is a very very small installation.
Not even ‘man’ is installed.

sudo apt-get install openssh-server ntp nano

edit /etc/network/interfaces – configure static ip
edit /etc/ntp.conf – add time servers
edit ~/.bashrc – change colors in the prompt and add color

Kernel difference you can see when running uname: 2.6.35-22-virtual in comparison to 2.6.35-22-generic


Now you can set up whatever you want on it! Of course you may want to do more things, set up iptables or you could use it like it is before the things I do after each install. You can use vi instead of nano/pico and use dhcp instead, depends on what you are going to do with your VM.

Sharepoint – Part 3

The previous posts:
Part 1 – installing Sharepoint 2010 Foundation.
Part 2 – basic features in the web interface.

I said I was going to look into the RSS updates, how to manually edit the database and look into the underlying structure of the Sharepoint. But, only went through the last of the obvious administration tools :p

Other management tools

Under the start menu there are three new programs:

Central Administration –

This opens a page to http://win2k8:48820/default.aspx – I could log on with my extra account (the one with admin/owner privileges).

The sections are:

Application Management

Manage web apps, create site collections, service apps, content databases.

Under Manage Web apps there are some nice stuff you can change on each site. Select the site you want to work on and click on “General Settings”.

The central admin is it’s own site so by default there are two and the changes you make on one does not replicate over to the other one.
For example you can set timezone, resource throttling, outgoing e-mail, workflow, enable/disable some features.

In the bar on the top there is the possibility to change policy settings.

Back one step to App Management there is the possibility to add more databases and database servers.

System Settings

Manage farms and alternate access mappings.
Like adding features and solutions, change outgoing e-mail settings (notifications)

Backup and Restore

What ^^ says.
“To recover the data, use the PowerShell restore command Restore-SPSite.”


Review problems and solutions, check job status.


manage farm admin group and configure service accounts

also you can specify anti-virus settings, block file types, and self-service site creation

Upgrade and Migration

check product, patch and upgrade status
for example you can see what versions you have installed:
I have:

Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010  – 14.0.4763.1000
Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 1033 Lang Pack – 14.0.4763.1000
Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 Core – 14.0.4763.1000

General Application Settings

configure send to connections, convert document settings, report services,

Configuration Wizards

none by default

Management Shell

This did not work, gave me this error: “The local farm is not accessible. Cmdlets with FeatureDependencyId are not registered.”

Sharepoint 2010 Foundation – Part 2


See the installation guide which I published recently.

This article is a brief look what to do in Sharepoint after it has been installed!


I don’t want to log on with the built-in Administrator account anymore.
Still no AD services installed.
Created a new standard account with no password – could not log on.
Logged on with account and set a password – could log on but

Error: Access Denied

In computer management there are three new groups:
WSS_ADMIN_WPG – write access to “system resources” for Sharepoint Foundation
WSS_WPG – read access to “system resources” for Sharepoint Foundation
Added my new user to both – did not work. Neither did if it’s in “administrators” group.
Then in side the web page, up in the left corner there is something called “site actions”.
Added my new user as a member/contributor” and whoopsie now it can log in!
This account can however not see all the actions under “site actions”.
So put it in the “owner” group – and now the account can see most of the settings.

– Now over to the fun stuff! All the things we can do inside the Sharepoint.

Site Administration

Set locale, RSS (niice! don’t think google reader will work for me), search/indexing (presuming robot.txt stuff), workflow(maybe authoring – reviews etc of documents?)

Site Features

You can create pages (wiki – so Sharepoint is like a wiki as well, never saw that part when I’ve used it before, I’ve only used it to upload documents :) – anyway – nice).
Calendar, lists, discussions, share documents (libraries), tasks, announcements, links, surveys, subsites and workspaces.

Change home page.

Apparently some stuff requires me to install another Software – Sharepoint Designer. Free.

Anyway, you cannot go into pages and then click on Home to edit the front page.
To edit the home page: go to the Home Page click on -> site actions and then Edit Page.

In there it feels free, you can add pictures, write things, change font, size, color, etc and you can drag things around.


Here you can make fancy changes to what appears to be relatively complicated things such as defining content types, columns, templates, themes, master pages (default?) and dom-dom-dom Solutions.

Looksie Feelsie

Here you can change name of sharepoint, customize the menu on the left or on the top (top appears to only be able to give URL:s)

Stay tuned, there will be more things coming about Sharepoint!
I will look into the RSS updates, how to manually edit the database and look into the underlying structure of the Sharepoint.

Sharepoint 2010 Foundation + Windows 2008 R2 + VMWare Workstation


I just write down notes from the installation.
But intended as a guide for how to set up your own sharepoint lab.

Guides and Documentation

Sharepoint server on technet: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc303422.aspx

SQL Server 2008 R2 and Sharepoint 2010 server I downloaded the trial from Microsoft.


VM – Virtual Machine
Host OS – I installed VMWare Workstation on my home desktop, so the Host OS will in my case be Windows 7 as that’s what’s installed on it.
Guest OS – On this host OS I have installed Windows 2008 R2 – this will be running inside VMWare Workstation.
NAT – Network Address Translation


  1. Install VMWare Workstation
  2. Install Windows 2008 R2
  3. Install a client – Windows 7 x64 – or connect from the host os.
  4. Install SQL Server 2008 R2
  5. Install Sharepoint

Windows 2008 R2

Easy Setup may not be the best choice -> when I did it took the timezone I was in and decided that Ukrainian would be a good language.

In the beginning it’s probably best to have the VMs connected to the Internet (so you can apply patches) – setting is called NAT when setting up the VM. I chose 2GB RAM and 40GB disk space (guide says 4GB RAM and 80GB disk).

The password/account you specify needs to meet the Windows 2008 password requirements.

Install patches
Set up remote desktop – so you can connect from your host and connect your host OS local disk drive to the guest OS – good way to share files between them.

I did not read the documentation or find a good step-by-step, figured I would try it out without any of that – this way I would learn better.

Initial Roles

Figured that a domain would be good to start with.

Select AD Domain Services and install. This installed .net 3.5.1 and then asked me to run dcpromo.

DCpromo – new forest – fqdn: guldmyr.lan – forest functional level: 2008 R2. Then it examines DNS configuration, takes forever, probably because I don’t have a DNS server installed. A while later it asks if you want to install the DNS server. Which recommends having a static IP. Changed ip to Then it asks something about delegation, went to next and there you see a summary – with install DNS selected. That went without a hitch. Restarting. You get to set a special AD password as well. Reboot.

To test that the AD was probably installed – you now can either install a new VM with a client to try to log on. Or you can use the remote desktop and authenticate with a domain account. Also a “ping win2k8” or “ping guldmyr.com” showed that dns might be working as well. After the reboot the DNS server in the ipv4 configuration was changed to localhost –

This worked for me with only the above steps – pretty easy!

When I open server manager there are some errors but none seems to awful. There are best practices you can run to improve things / harden the setup – but this is not so important at the moment – I just want to get a sharepoint server up and running.

SQL Server 2008 R2

Installing this package: SQLFULL_ia64_ENU of 1.4GB.
This extracts everything inside and takes roughly 2GB of space.
Turns out the IA64 does not work on an x64 system.
So then I tried to download SQL Express 2008 R2 instead, and it’s free and only 250MB!

Let’s see how this goes :)
Installing this package: SQLEXPRWT_x64_ENU of 250MB

New installation, accept, chose default settings in regards to directories and what to install, named instance – default settings,  Create an account – I named it SQL – click on browse to select it – format is GULDMYR\SQL. Then you get to specify SQL Server Admins. After that it’s installing. Completed without any hitches. Pathces. Reboot.

SQL Server Management Studio – could not connect.

Uninstalling SQL Server 2008 R2. Selected the R2 x64. That took care of most. ALso ENU and native client I uninstalled. Because in the hardware/software requirements this is mentioned Preparation Tool installs “SQL Server 2008 Express with SP1”

Sharepoint Server 2010

Couldn’t install –  error: “installation of this package failed”
Couldn’t extract the file either – broken download. Re-downloaded.

OK, this extracted.
Now it says that the language is not supported.
Stupid Ukrainian.
Reinstalling Win2k8

Reinstalled win2k8 – chose “install OS later” to get rid of the auto-install.
Also changed RAM to 3GB and disk to 40GB (it doesn’t use space until it’s used).

Now all is in English!

Did not install AD services this time.
Did not configure a second account, doing the install with the Administrator account.

Downloading Sharepoint 2010 Foundation instead of the server version.

Selected “install software pre-requisities”.
This installed lots of stuff successfully. Reboot. Install continues afterwards.
Ran installation file again, chose standalone setup. Completed OK.
Then a wizard runs. Completed.

Opens http://win2k8/ – log on with administrator

And now we got a sharepoint!


With the Foundation version there are a minimal amount of settings to configure when following the wizards. No choice in terms of storage, sql server, accounts. Just click-click-click!

Total size of the VM after all this is 13.6GB (14 661 324 079 bytes).

  1. Install Windows 2008 R2
  2. Patch it.
  3. Run Sharepoint 2010 Foundation pre-requisities install
  4. Run Sharepoint 2010 Foundation install
  5. Point your web browser to http://localhost or http://servername. OR http://ip (this will work from the host os).

Next post will be about what to do inside sharepoint!

Firefox 4 Beta 10

Just got the message to upgrade to Firefox 4 Beta 10 and as usual I don’t notice any differences – but that’s a good thing right?

Release notes

With 8GB RAM I don’t think this will apply so much to me either: “Improvements in memory usage”

My (two) plugins still work too

The ones I use are webmail notifier (gmail, hotmail and a custom squirrelmail script) and adblock plus. Default theme. A cluttered work space is very annoying to me :)

Great Android Apps

My phone is a Sony Ericsson Xperia Active and an Asus Transformer TF101 (with cyanogenmod 10.0).
I am located in Finland so these apps may or may not exist in your market.

Updated 201308. Easy to go to play.google.com and see which you’ve ever installed  :)

flashlight – There’s a ton of these out, useful anyway.
Mybookdroid – Scan barcode of your books and adds them to your library. Synchs with goodreads.com .
Google Translate – Nicer than using the web page.
Collins Swedish-Finnish words – Paid version includes pronunciation as well. After trial expires only random word widget works – which is what I use it for.
Andropas – Public Transport around Helsinki Metropolitan area – quite awesome.
Native browser / Opera Mini – I used the Opera Mini for a while because it was quite fast. But after an update it sometimes did some not so nice refreshes of the page – for example after writing a post in a comment in facebook – which caused all the text to be gone. The native also works with google docs which is a big plus. These days google chrome is also a good alternative.
Google Maps – Good enough free GPS-alternative.
RealCalc Scientific – most of the tools are a mile or three over my head – but I’ve used it occasionally :)
Irssi ConnectBot – Some extra features compared to the normal ConnectBot that makes irssi via ssh/screen a lot smoother.
Irssi Notifier – Get notifications when for example you’ve been hilighted on IRC
AndroIRC – Useful when I’m too lazy to jump through the ssh hoops :)

Zeam Launcher – makes the interface more customizable, “thinner” – not so much extra stuff – what I like most is that you don’t have to do as much flipping between screens when looking for an app.
Skype – works so/so, but it does the trick :)
Advanced Task Killer – Kills apps to free up resources. This page is also very slim -> I like.
Elixir 2 – See which processes are using your system
Fing – Wake On LAN start my desktop :)
WiEye – Check out which channel you should put your wifi on :)
Ftp Server – Easy way to transfer files to the Transformer
Hipmunk – Find cheap flights based on agony is fun :)
KeePassDroid – Sync password database – can be integrated with Dropbox.
PerfectViewer – Read comics
Spotify – Music!
Sveriges Radio – Listen to Swedish radio. Apparently listening to non-live shows is a bit buggy.
Yelp – Find someplace to eat

How to get an update when a blog has gotten a new post

Hello and welcome to my blog :)

If you want to get an update whenever there is a new post you can subscribe (for free of course) to an RSS feed. This feed is a small page in .XML format that gets updated whenever a post is added on guldmyr.com.

Does it sound a little complicated? – It does not have to be!

What I found amazing about this is that most webpages have a feed, so you can put all your favorite sites in an RSS-reader, and then you just load this reader and it will tell you if any of your pages has any new posts!

Feeds of my categories – I think this might be a good idea because I tend to write about many things.

The storage category is focusing on storage, SAN and data networks.
The Finland category is about anything that is not about IT.
The IT category will is about the rest of IT :)

http://www.guldmyr.com/blog/feed/ –  This one has all included.

Google Reader
Personally I use google readerhttp://reader.google.com – to view the RSS.
Pro’s: Works from my android phone from the built-in web browser, works from any computer with Internet access, all it takes is for me to log in to the address above with my gmail account. Automatic translations of feeds, tags, sharing and more.
Con’s: I haven’t actually tried any other. :)


  1. Point your web browser to: http://www.google.com/reader/
  2. Click on “Add a subscription”
  3. Add one of my RSS feeds – for example http://www.guldmyr.com/blog/feed/ – and click on add.
  4. Done!

Now every time you log on you will see a number next to the name of the feed which shows how many new posts there has been since last time. To read them just click on them.
It is possible to use keyboard shortcuts in google reader too:

j -> next post
k -> previous post
u -> enables/disables the menu on the left part of the screen

There are more short cuts buts those are the only ones I use.

To find the RSS feed faster, you can in many pages go to your bookmarks menu and click on “subscribe” – this will open your RSS reader and attempt to put the RSS feed in there – remember, it doesn’t cost you anything :)

Google Interview – Data Center IT Technician

* Updated 2011-01-29
* Updated 2011-03-08 Dtek contributed some more questions from the first interview.
* Updated 2011-03-23 – Added question about PCI/PCIe and DOS partitions. Also I have been asking the few who have commented to add their input but not so much feedback yet. Feel free to drop me an e-mail or put in a comment :)
* Updated 2011-03-24 – Wrote a little more about the ‘100 broken computers’ question.
* Updated 2011-05-21 – Added some more detail/discussion about the questions in the first section.

A little while ago I had an interview for a position with Google as a Data Center IT Technician, I never signed an NDA so should be safe to put them up here :)

However, if you want to play it safe I’d refrain from posting here until after the interviews are over.

I didn’t get the job, they never answered why I didn’t pass when I replied back for some feedback (besides the template e-mail).

If you read this go ahead and comment, maybe we can figure out a better way to approach the questions :)

First Interview

First there was one interview which had 20 questions (I don’t remember all) around basic (older – like no SATA) PC stuff:
What are all the components in a PC or Server?
PC: chassi, system board, psu, cpu, ram, hdd, fans, cables, graphics card, dvd, monitor, keyboard/mouse
Server: same with deduction of a extra graphics card (is one on the system board), and addition of hdd controller, possibly backplane, no cd/dvd, extra nic, double cpu, ram, psu, fans, remote monitoring/console.

What protocol is used by ping? ICMP (this is a sneaky question – an obvious fault is to go for TCP or UDP)
How many IDE devices can you have in a PC?
– two per channel (usually 4)
How many can you have on each channel? What are they called? – 2 / master and slave
What is the resolution in Windows 2000 safe mode? – 800×600 or 640×480?- see this link on mydigitallife or this post on tom’s hardware.
What is a MAC address?Media Access Control – a unique identifier for network devices. Used by many protocols.
What is the name of the Ethernet plug?RJ45
How do you recognize a broken hard drive without software or removing it from the machine? – 1) Noise (tick tack sound of the arm getting stuck/hitting something) 2) Any leds on the disk, system board, controller 3) Any vibration or anything from the disk?
How do you find the first disk in a linux OS? – Look under /dev/ for a disk like /dev/sda(SATA) /dev/hda (PATA). Then /dev/sda1 is the first partition.
Name two devices needed to make a network: switch and router (well, network card (NIC) and router should do it, or a switch and network card.. depends how big you want to make it, really i guess you can have a network with a crossover cable and two nics).
What is BIOS? Basic input/output system. Responsible for initializing hardware, POST/startup diagnostics, boot the OS and varies hardware settings.
What is the bit rate of a serial interface of a network device? – the default apparently in hyperterminal – 9600 (this might be tricky, in my experience this varies between the devices – max is probably 115200bps). Maybe what they are asking for is what is the default speed of a Cisco switch’s aux or console port? If so, the answer is 9600.
What is the port used for HTTP? – 80
What is the difference between PCIe and PCI? – PCI-e is newer than PCI and PCI-x. The slots look different and they are not compatible.
How many primary partitions can you have in DOS?
– Four primary and maximum one active per disk. See this link for some explanations. Unsure at this stage what the exact question was.
What did you do in your previous jobs?
Would you be able to re-locate?

What does HTTP stand for? Hypertext Transfer Protocol
What controls GPU CPU Mem at boot up?
What is ROM?
Read Only Memory – Used for storing data that you do not want somebody to write to.

Length of cat5 transmission? 100m
What does NIC stand for? 
Network Interface Card

What is the standard type of filesystems now? disk filesystem and network filesystems
How would you create an EXT4 filesystem on the first partition of the first SCSI drive? 
mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda1
How would you install lilo? 
How do you get IP info from Linux or Windows? “ip addr” or “ifconfig” in Linux and “ipconfig” in Windows.
What is the subnet mask for a Class B Network?

Second Interview

Then there was a second one that was done by a person who worked in a data center and had questions like these:

You have 100 broken computers, how do you proceed.
Personally I didn’t do very well on this question I think.
There are lots of ways to approach this one, how far can you take it?
One way to make this a little easier/visible would be to make a tree or mindmap and keep on expanding it.

But thinking about this afterwards I would probably approach it something like this, (not necessarily in this order):

  1. Get an overview – where are they, what kind of hardware, importance, severity of problem, the wider you can make this the better. To have this done automagically is important and speeds up troubleshooting immensely. Consider monitoring softwares like nagios, ganglia, cactii. They not only monitor hardware but can also services.
  2. What’s the status of the central components? Network, power, etc.
  3. Hopefully not all have the same problem, try to find certain groups of them that have the same obvious error.
  4. Maybe there are more than one underlying issues, but they appear to be the same – or gives the same problem.
  5. Maybe there is one problem on one computer that is causing problem for all the rest. For example bad ethernet/fibre channel card or cable can cause network interruptions on the whole network or SAN.
  6. Maybe a service and there is something in that software on one node that is causing this issue. Like a job that runs on many machines but it broke on one machine and that caused the rest to break.
  7. Look in logs of the systems/services.
  8. Run a diagnostic CD on computers like ultimateboot CD to look for hardware errors. Server vendors may have their own diagnostic tools. memtest86 is a good boot CD for memory testing (probably best to test memory that way, the least amount of memory locked by the OS)
  9. For severe hardware problems you can look in the POST of the machine, check leds on them, but for 100 machines this might be more of a last resort.
  10. If you suspect the problem is SW – again try to find something they have in common – same manufacturer, same softwares/patches installed. Maybe this software has a monitoring part that can tell you more. Check the logs.
  11. When did the problem start? At the same time as a power outage, after a patch deployment, etc.
  12. Are they all physically close? Anything else gone down?

How do you see what happens during boot of the OS in Linux?
Answer: output of command dmesg and also in /var/log/syslog
Where do you find the logs in Linux?

Answer: /var/log
How do you mount a disk?

Answer: mount
Every boot?

Answer: fstab
How do you see what version of the kernel is running?
Answer:  uname -v (-r gives 2.6.x etc)
How do you put an image on a pc?
Answer: pxeboot as an example
How do you turn a room into a data center?

Maybe something like this? If you have any additions please go ahead and let me know :)

floor strong enough to hold the weight of all the equipment?
physical security – bar windows, access control(keys), cameras, guards
ventilation – perforated tiles?
UPS – electrical work

What is the difference between a switch and a router
said that the diff is that switches are closer to the hosts and the routers are further away -> in the core
Did you have experience writing documents – kb?
Worst job you ever had?
What do you expect from your colleagues and your boss?
What do you do outside work?
Do you have any questions?

Lifehack currency

Haven’t gotten around to the e-mail script yet, what would qualify? I check it so regularly often anyway that that is not something I want, I also don’t get that many e-mails.

On to another script that would assist me when I need to send money between a non-euro country and a country with euro. How to keep track of when the non-euro currency gives as much euro as possible?

Also, good thing I checked with the girlfriend:
When sending money to a non-euro country from a euro country, you want to get as many non-euro as possible.

When sending money to a euro country from a non-euro country, you want to use as few non-euro as possible to make a euro.


wget $webpage -O $inputfile
cat $inputfile | grep EUR/SEK -m 1 > $play
awk '{print $4}' $play >> $outputfile
date >> $outputfile

This is how the bash script looks like at the moment.

I would prefer to have the date after the value of EUR/SEK because then it’s a lot easier to read.
But I was thinking maybe I can sort this out via a php-script when presenting the file.
Basically every 2nd line should have a new line, not every one which is how the file looks like after the above bash script, see below:

Tue Jan 18 10:15:05 PST 2011

In Ubuntu Server (what I’m running as a virtual machine to test the scripts) to set timezone it is: dpkg-reconfigure tzdata

** just about to go to bed, but why don’t I remove the date from the lines, and then instead add them via php? .. hmm. but then i won’t have the date of when the value was taken.. is it important? seems kind of relevant, it’s not really the date the exchange rate was updated, just when script was run so perhaps during the night we’d see updates on the numbers but not on the rate.
to be contemplated I guess – also maybe put this in a mysql db?**

** After sleeping on it I ended up doing it like this:

wget $webpage -O $inputfile
cat $inputfile | grep EUR/SEK -m 1 > $play
# - this greps for EUR/SEK and only line 1 (there are three on that .html)
P=$(awk '{print $4}' $play)
# - column 4 from output file of the above cat/grep
# - just to put the date in a variable
# - to put an HTML BR tag at the end of each line
# - to add a comma between the values, might come in handy if I want to import/export this.

echo $P$U $S$U $T >> $outputfile

This does the trick and the output now looks like this in the file, and comes out like that on the webpage too.

8.9082 Wed Jan 19 07:40:54 EET 2011
8.9082 Wed Jan 19 07:50:54 EET 2011

Now I just have to find a way to run this and put it on my webhost :)
OK believe I have a way but it’s not so good as it’s via unsecure ftp :/

Thinking about the mysql thing but as my webhost don’t have a shell that would mean some sneaky “shortcuts” to get the things in the db :/
01/20/2011 – Added CSV in the outputfile too.

Common Passwords

So read in a Swedish IDG today about the most common passwords.

On number 4 we had lifehack – but I had never heard about this before, so checked out Wikipedia on this and apparently this is a quickly written script with the intent to simplify life by filtering for example a feed like for example e-mail or RSS!

Unfortunately I do not have a lifehack :/ But it would be nice to have one!
Think I will try to set one up as a filter on my e-mail account – does this qualify?

p.s. also I doubt that this is #4 in Sweden – but IDG Sweden I suspect quite strongly just translate English news

p.s.2 Today’s song:  James Vincent McMorrow – If I had a Boat