Set up ipsec VPN with Strongswan on Ubuntu with PSK for roadwarrior use

This post shows how to setup an ipsec VPN connection in roadwarrior fashion. Roadwarrior mode is where you typically have a mobile device which has a dynamic address and you want to connect back to a VPN server. This post uses a simple pre shared key to establish the VPN connection using strongswan. This is much simpler than my past openswan approach which also relied on L2TP, Pluto etc. needing to be configured. Performance also seems to be better with VPN connections establishing much faster.

Ubuntu as an Apple Time machine capsule with Samba SMB2

Apple's TimeMachine now works with Samba SMB2. Apple also is moving to depreciate AFP which was the previously underpinned TimeMachine. Since Yosemite OSX 10.10 it is possible to use samba which in my view is easier and simpler to set up. Read on...

Get BBC iPlayer working on Logitech Media Server with Squeezebox Touch & Classic

Getting BBC iPlayer to work on Logitech Squeezebox has not been simple in the last 18 months due to BBC's ongoing changes to their iPlayer infrastructure. Here's how I have it working as of February 2012 on a Logitech Squeezebox Plus and Logitech Squeezebox Classic, read on...

Tail a log file for specific strings

I needed to tail a logfile in realtome for specific strings to understand why mpd was failing to update all of my music. To do this I tail the log file as follows:

PC audio & music to Squeezebox without the hassle

I've wanted for a while to play music / all audio from my linux PC on my Squeezeboxes, with ease. I've tried in the past to do this with BPA's Squeezebox WaveInput plugin but this route isn't for the faint hearted. It also limits the audio source just to the Squeezebox Server local machine unless you are advanced. Here is a very simple method which allows you to stream from any linux PC on your network to your Squeezebox. It relies on Video Lan Client VLC, Pulseaudio and Alsa. Here's how...

Enable Xubuntu remote desktop access with Vino VNC

Xubuntu 14.04 does not come with VNC working out of the box which is frustrating and feels like a step backwards. So here is how I enabled VNC on Xubuntu...

Dyndns no longer alternative

DynDns has closed its door and support for free accounts. Try for a free alternative dynamic dns service.

AirPlay to Linux / Ubuntu with Shairport v1.0

Linux can receive AirPlay audio using a program called Shairport that I covered over a year ago. Shairplay has since been re-written by the original developer James Laird to no longer rely on perl. The latest version is v1.0-dev here's how to get AirPlay working on Ubuntu using Shairport and iTunes to test it.

DynDns keep an active account with autologin

DynDns now requires users with free accounts to login every 30 days in order to keep their accounts... painful. Here is how to overcome the manual login using a scheduled auto-login script developed by kopf (thanks!).

Setting up password authentication for windows file sharing / samba (smb / cifs ) shares

Adding password based authentication to windows file shares / samba sharing on linux is never as simple as I'd expect. With the spread of cryptolocker (ransomware which can encrypt your network shares!)  I have been working to enhance the security and resilience of my windows samba network shares. Here are some simple pointers from my experience of setting up authentication on a Ubuntu machine running samba (tested on samba versions 3.4.7 and 3.6.3) :

Check integrity of file / folder transfer - recursive md5sum checksums

How to check that directories of copied files retain their integrity on linux. I use this command to check my photographs from my digital SLR SD / CF cards retain their integrity when copied to my PC. Read on... 

SSH from Linux CLI

The following is a basic command for verbose ssh with a private key to a ssh server running on a custom post:

ssh -v user@domain -p $port -i "/private/key/file/path"

AirPrint to any printer (without official AirPrint support) using Ubuntu and iOS

This is an update of my previous AirPrint escapade to get AirPrint working with Ubuntu 12.04 and iOS / OSX using a generic printer. I'm still using the Epson SX600FW and SX610FW family which have both been great to date, I spent an hour updating the config to enable AirPrint compatibility. Read on... 

Ubuntu 12.04 run a custom command on CD / DVD insertion (EAC and audio CD)

In Ubuntu 12.04 the option to run a custom command on the insertion of removable media has disappeared (this is a very frustrating regression!). Previously I had a custom shell script that would intelligently automate the ripping of audio CD to FLAC, ALAC and MP3 using EAC. This script had become redundant due to the missing option of running custom commands on CD insertion. Here's how I now run a custom command on audio CD detection in Ubuntu 12.04...

Add/fix undetected or missing monitor display resolutions to X on Ubuntu 12.04

I am using a DVI to VGA converter on my Ubuntu 12.04 machine to connect the graphics card (which doesn't have native VGA) to a Dell 2405 monitor on VGA. The Dell 2405 can handle resolutions up to 1920x1200 however the use of the VGA adapter has prevented Ubuntu from correctly reading the EDID data that the monitor provides, to detect the resolutions the monitor is capable of. At current I am stuck with the highest resolution of 1024x768. Xorg.conf has typically been the place in the past to address these issues however it seems to be becoming depreciated. Here's how I manually added the higher resolutions...