grub-pc (2.02~beta2-36ubuntu3.10)

I’m running an Ubuntu server and the other day while running updates I started getting the following error:

Setting up grub-pc (2.02~beta2-36ubuntu3.10) ...
/var/lib/dpkg/info/grub-pc.postinst: line 703: syntax error near unexpected token `fi'
dpkg: error processing package grub-pc (--configure):
 subprocess installed post-installation script returned error exit status 2
Errors were encountered while processing:
 grub-pc
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)

Opening /var/lib/dpkg/info/grub-pc.postinst I found:

        if dpkg --compare-versions "$2" lt-nl 2.02~beta2-36ubuntu3.10 then
          if [ -e "/boot/efi/EFI/${bootloader_id}/fbx64.efi" ]; then
            rm -f "/boot/efi/EFI/${bootloader_id}/fbx64.efi";
          fi
        fi

There was a missing semicolon in the first line and that’s what was breaking my update. I updated it and the error went away:

        if dpkg --compare-versions "$2" lt-nl 2.02~beta2-36ubuntu3.10; then
          if [ -e "/boot/efi/EFI/${bootloader_id}/fbx64.efi" ]; then
            rm -f "/boot/efi/EFI/${bootloader_id}/fbx64.efi";
          fi
        fi
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Linux Kernel Zero Day Vulnerability CVE-2016-0728

This vulnerability has existed since 2012 and it affects Android and Linux systems running Linux Kernel version 3.8+, and Linux server or desktop running kernel 3.8+ is vulnerable.

As of the date of disclosure, this vulnerability has implications for approximately tens of millions of Linux PCs and servers, and 66 percent of all Android devices (phones/tablets).

How do I fix this?

First some background on what the CVE-2016-0728 bug is. From the Perception Point Research Team

CVE-2016-0728 is caused by a reference leak in the keyrings facility. Before we dive into the details, let’s cover some background required to understand the bug. It can successfully escalates privileges from a local user to root.

Continue reading Linux Kernel Zero Day Vulnerability CVE-2016-0728

Install Viber on Linux

What is viber?

Viber for Desktop lets you send free messages as well as make free calls to other Viber users, on any device and network, in any country! Initially released as a phone app, you can now use it on your Windows and Mac desktops with a Linux version currently in development for 64-bit systems.

For the Viber site:

Viber is a mobile application that allows you to make phone calls and send text messages to all other Viber users for free! Viber is available over WiFi or 3G. Our sound quality is much better than a regular call. Once you and your friends install Viber, you can use it to talk and message as much as you want. Talk, message, and talk and message some more – for free!* You can also call any number that doesn’t have Viber at low rates using ViberOut.

Continue reading Install Viber on Linux

Configure WiFi on an Ubuntu Server

Ok, I know you’re wondering why I would ever want to setup WiFi on a server. Well, this was a small server to do some light work and I had a mini pc that had a builtin WiFi card that I used and since it had the option I figured I’d use the convenience rather than having to run another cable.

Continue reading Configure WiFi on an Ubuntu Server

Ubuntu and Debian End-of-Life Timeline

Ubuntu

Standard Ubuntu releases are supported for 9 months and Ubuntu LTS (Long Term Support) releases are supported for five years on both the desktop and the server. During that time, there will be security fixes and other critical updates.
Continue reading Ubuntu and Debian End-of-Life Timeline

My gripe with Debian

I wanted to test the new Debian release to see what was new in that sphere, so I got it setup on my machine.

Few things ticked me off right from the start…

One and the main one being that my Intel WiFi card was not picked up.. And yes, I get that Debian has their special rules (Debian Free Software Guidelines) and all but how do you provide a desktop environment where people will want to run it on a laptop without allowing for WiFi drivers. And yes, I know too that it’s easy to get it working but these are things that should work out of the box and not to mention that unless you are familiar with Linux you will not want to get into that process.

I do not recommend Debian as an entry Linux alternative for several reason, main ones being that there are lots of things missing because of their restrictions on what they include by default and all the extra configs that need to be done depending on what machines you run it on.

It does not make it easy on them either that they provide all the extras in their non-free sources that should be enabled by default if you ask me. Continue reading My gripe with Debian

SSH Private-Public Key Auth for Linux and Mac

First Things First

First off, let’s talk about SSH keys and Security real briefly so that you can understand a bit more about what’s going on here and why it’s important. With all the issues happening in today’s digital age, everyone needs to start thinking about and taking one thing very seriously. You know, all the hacking and spying going on around us all.

One of the ways you can accomplish that is by using stronger encryption methods, in this case … SSH Keys or Public Key Cryptography. One of the major things is the key size. 1024 was common but that has long been hacked and not used anymore for websites and other public; so logically many are moving on to 2048 and even 4096, which is what I use.

SSH Keys provide a much more secure way to log into your servers than using passwords. While passwords can be easily broken by brute force attacks, SSH Keys way more difficult and if using a higher key can be almost impossible to decipher.

How does it work?

Generating a key pair provides you with a Private and a Public Key. You place the public key on a server you will connect to leaving the private key on your machine. When you SSH to your server you will not need to enter your password as your public key will be unlocked by your private key and you will be verified and allowed to get in. Continue reading SSH Private-Public Key Auth for Linux and Mac

Good Bye CrunchBang

I haven’t been online blog wise for a bit with work and school, I come back today and what do I see? A farewell not from my favorite Linux Flavor, CrunchBang (#!), a sad day in Linux History. I have been using Linux since Debian 4.0 and Ubuntu 6.06 and have not found a flavor as clean, robust and stable as #!. It was the last OS I’ve been using and now I have to venture out to find a new one.

Here’s excerpts from the goodbye message:

When I first started working on CrunchBang, the Linux landscape was a very different place and whilst I honestly didn’t know if there was any value to it, I knew there was a place for CrunchBang on my own systems. As it turned out, there seemed to be quite a demand for it on other people’s systems too. I’m not entirely sure why this was the case, but if I had to guess, I would say that it was probably due to the lack of competition/alternatives of the same ilk. If I’m remembering correctly, at the time, there was no LXDE tasksel in Debian and certainly no Lubuntu around. CrunchBang filled a gap and that was nifty.

So, what’s changed?

For anyone who has been involved with Linux for the past ten years or so, I’m sure they’ll agree that things have moved on. Whilst some things have stayed exactly the same, others have changed beyond all recognition. It’s called progress, and for the most part, progress is a good thing. That said, when progress happens, some things get left behind, and for me, CrunchBang is something that I need to leave behind. I’m leaving it behind because I honestly believe that it no longer holds any value, and whilst I could hold on to it for sentimental reasons, I don’t believe that would be in the best interest of its users, who would benefit from using vanilla Debian.

As too many have been saying in their thank you – farewell notes, I too want to tip my hat off to Philip Newborough for putting together this awesome flavor for us and for the work he put into it over the years. Too many developers go by as unsung heroes until they decide to stop and then the fanfare pours out. Sadly I started my journey with CrunchBang a bit on the really later side (late 2014 to be precise) tho I did find a base config for Conky from them; but I never got around to providing assistance and I feel guilty for it.

I will keep searching for a suitable replacement again and will let you know if I find anything interesting… Fedora Mate has been my second choice but it’s not as sleek and sexy as #! is/was…

As for the statement made by Philip:

I don’t believe that would be in the best interest of its users, who would benefit from using vanilla Debian

I’d like to point out that myself and a vast amount of Linux users started with either a Debian or Ubuntu base and for the same reasons he created #!, we have been migrating away from the vanilla builds of these flavors. Ubuntu because of their decision to initially move to Gnome3 and then to Unity combined with their privacy issues and all and most other Distros moving to Gnome3 more and more people are finding sleek flavors like #! a choice among choices. True, we can always remove the default desktop crud and give it a face lift; but which new comer to Linux has time and experience to do all that and risk breaking their system? People just want a great out of the box experience.

Hopefully Bunsen Labs Linux comes along with an ISO soon so others can start to install to their machine. I’ll be testing with their scripts shorty and give a writeup on what I experience. Their work is hosted on GitHub here

Install Linux Mint’s New Cinnamon Desktop on Ubuntu 12.04

Tired of Ubuntu’s Unity desktop environment? Try Cinnamon, the latest desktop environment from Linux Mint. Cinnamon offers a more traditional, GNOME 2-like layout, but it’s based on the modern GNOME Shell — and you can install it on Ubuntu. However, you can just download their build and install it; if you choose this route, you can grab their Ubuntu 14.01 (Trusty Tahr) LTS version which is supported until April 2019 here, make sure to pick the one for your system type. Continue reading Install Linux Mint’s New Cinnamon Desktop on Ubuntu 12.04

Bash ‘Shell Shock’ bug blasts OS X, Linux systems wide open

A bug discovered in the widely used Bash command interpreter poses a critical security risk to Unix and Linux systems – and, thanks to their ubiquity, the internet at large.

It lands countless websites, servers, PCs, OS X Macs, various home routers, and more, in danger of hijacking by hackers.

The vulnerability is present in Bash up to and including version 4.3, and was discovered by Stephane Chazelas. It puts Apache web servers, in particular, at risk of compromise: CGI scripts that use or invoke Bash in any way – including any child processes spawned by the scripts – are vulnerable to remote-code injection. OpenSSH and some DHCP clients are also affected on machines that use Bash.

Ubuntu and other Debian-derived systems that use Dash exclusively are not at risk – Dash isn’t vulnerable, but busted versions of Bash may well be present on the systems anyway. It’s essential you check the shell interpreters you’re using, and any Bash packages you have installed, and patch if necessary.

Security expert Kenn White tweeted:

You can check if you’re vulnerable by running the following lines in your default shell, which on many systems will be Bash. If you see the words “busted”, then you’re at risk. If not, then either your Bash is fixed or your shell is using another interpreter. Continue reading Bash ‘Shell Shock’ bug blasts OS X, Linux systems wide open