Category Archives: Troubleshooting

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who did what with ROOT?! [Updated]

When you are not sure who is using SUDO on a server, and you really need to know who keeps making that annoying change.  You can install something to watch them, and maintain that software and related logs. Keep it setup in your package management system, and make sure it doesn’t have any patches.

OR

You could use the little-known (at least those I have asked in the field) modifications I will list below.  They are two fold.  One, you will enable to record who logs in and uses SUDO, and records their session. Much like many pieces of software out there today.  The one catch to my method is simple.  You already have the software installed, yup this has been a feature of SUDO since version 1.7.4p4.  So nothing else to install, worry about, or maintain.  It is also very easy to setup, see below:


/etc/sudoers modifcation:
All you need to do is to add 2 tags to all required sudoers entries.
*(where "su" specified, either with command or alias). 
LOG_INPUT and LOG_OUTPUT
Example: 
%admins ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD: LOG_INPUT: LOG_OUTPUT: ALL

Add the following default log dir structure to sudoers:
Defaults iolog_dir=/var/log/sudo-io/%{user}
Note:
Output is logged to the directory specified by the iolog_dir option (/var/log/sudo-io by default) using a unique session ID that is included in the normal sudo log line, prefixed with TSID=.  The iolog_file option may be used to control the format of the session ID.  Output logs may be viewed with the
sudoreplay(8) utility, which can also be used to list or search the available logs.   Keeping in mind that if the user has a really long session you will be viewing it like a movie, it will replay as if he is sitting there typing.  With this in mind, sudoreplay gives you the ability to play back at faster speeds.  This makes it easier to find where things happened in a long recording.

So that is one good method to help find a culprit, but what if you are just looking at history of root?  Can you tell me who ran what? Can you tell me when they ran the commands you see when you type ‘history’?  By default, no.  The next tidbit of info is very useful, and extremely easy to add to your machines.  Simply add the following to your /etc/profile:

/etc/sudoers modifcation:export HISTTIMEFORMAT="%m.%d.%y %T "

Yes, that is a space at the end.  If you do not put that in there you will end up with it running together with the actual command typed in history.  So your history should look like the example below:

1995 06.10.15 13:08:05 top
1996 06.10.15 13:08:05 clear
1997 06.10.15 13:08:05 df -h
1998 06.10.15 13:08:05 umount /media
1999 06.10.15 13:08:05 sudo umount /media
2000 06.10.15 13:08:05 sudo su –
2001 06.10.15 13:08:07 history

I hope this helps someone save some time, as it has me.  Please feel free to share with others.

-M

 

Updates on Kill-Switch (E-Vehichle for son).

During my latest testing phase, there was an accident with the motor controller.  This has put a small speed bump in my little project.

However, this may be a blessing in disguise.  I wanted to put in my own motor controller before, but I was trying to do this build without purchasing much.  So, I was using the built-in controller within the old hover board housing.  This came with many obstacles; for one, the circuit was very sensitive to change.  If I wanted it to work; the LEDs and everything had to be perfect. Otherwise it would throw errors. Keeping in mind that I do not have any manual, documentation, etc on the hardware here.

Once I replace their motor controller with mine, it will be even better for my automation.  I actually do have RPI motor controller HATs; however nothing rated for 500w.  So I am going to be using the following per side. http://a.co/eHzWM2i

This will allow me to control the speed with the battery, and hub motors I already have. Just add a potentiometer per side, and were in business. Those pots will be controlled via very small servo.  This will allow the user to control them, but the servos will put them back to zero (stop) after use.  This also enables the control via RPI3, as I mentioned before.

On another note; I am considering using casters in the front since you will be able to steer via the controls.  Alternatively, I get one controller and use it as a throttle only.  This would work, but then I would have to have front steering.

 

Thanks for all the support,

Matt Curry

Handy One-Liners – Full Debian Update

This one is great for a “Full Update” on debian / ubuntu machines.

It calls the script without ever installing anything (assuming curl is installed).  Be sure to run as root, either with sudo or as root directly.

As you can see in the snippet; it uses a script that is remotely hosted (in a github gist).  This is great because you  can see exactly what it does by looking at the script.  It just calls system commands, so it can’t do anything malicious.  Just run sudo, then the above command and it will run the below script:

Another trick you can do with something like this, is copy it to  /usr/bin/fullupdate (as root of course), and ensure its executable “sudo chmod +x /usr/bin/fullupdate”.  Then you can call “sudo fullupdate”, from anywhere and use it when needed. Alternatively, you can use it on a cron to run on a schedule!  If you don’t want all the options, just download the script and change it for your liking.

 

Welcome to open source.

Got an Idea? Need Help? Raspberry PI prototyping!

Just another thing that I helping with lately.  If anyone need help with a new idea for a Raspberry PI, or IoT device message me.  I have been  through several POC’s (proof of concepts).

Keep in mind, if you are working on a new product; or sensitive information I keep all client info secret, and have no issues with an NDA.

  • Home Automation
  • Voice Recognition
  • Several TTS/STT Options
  • Custom Hardware
    • Integration with existing hardware
  • Custom Software
    • Custom Plugins/Adjustments
    • Coding
  • R&D on Subject Matter
    • Build
    • Test
    • Design
  • … and whatever else is needed …

Happy to just answer questions; or see what I can do to help.  Just contact me.

Building E-Vehicle/Robot for Son!

I am building a robot (named aptly: Kill Switch) from old parts I had laying around, and it is powered by hub motors from a ‘hover-board’.  The stats were pretty strong for small kids; so I am building a lot of safety into it.

This will include software, and hardware measures to ‘take over’ the device, and even limit speed.  Eventually I will be able to return him back to a certain spot with playtime is over.  I hope to automated charging as well eventually.  There are a lot of features I have ready; however I am still building out the hardware.

This can be difficult to do and keep extremely safe.  So for starters I am testing it only; and I have 2 kill switches I am putting in to ensure safety.  One the person will have to keep his foot on constantly for the buggy to run.  The other is a simple quick kill switch.  (Eventually these will be automated).

The Device already has an RPI3 with a small motor-controller for future automation’s.  This will control other aspects of the vehicle via software.  Such as speed limitations, power usage, GPS, WIFI, BT.  I will also be using a pico router to establish a LAN around the device.  This is for media, as the vehicle will have speakers/screen to watch/host media on the LAN.

Hardware Safety Features:

  • Dash Kill Switch
  • Foot Kill Switch
  • Flip/Tilt Sensor
  • Lights
  • Front
  • Rear

Once testing is completed, and it works; I will go through how I set it up.  However, this will be piece by piece as I do it.  I have even considered some youtube videos.  However, that will depend on my success in doing this on a budget.  I am also using completely reclaimed parts, minus a couple bolts I bought.  So its been free so far.

On that note, I have been building the chassis, but if anyone in the Dallas, TX area has an old go-cart frame that rolls/steers, I am looking.  I think it would make it a lot lighter.  Shoot me a message, info is on my contact me page.

 

MUCH More to come… Please keep an eye on the series…

-M

Don’t forget! Linux Learning Resources

This is kept under the Linux Learning Project and Learning Resources section of the site, and is updated occasionally with new links.  Feel free to suggest one by contacting me directly.


LEARNING RESOURCES

Help/Chat:

Resources:

Thank you to all… Jasper v1.6 Image News!

First, I would like to say thank you to the community members for helping out. I have gotten a lot of input on the new image.  This has also given me better feel for what the community wanted in an image. Which leads me to the next bit of news.


Some of you are undoubtedly wondering why I have not released my Jasper v1.6 image as of yet.  Well, I can assure you there are very good reasons.

Firstly,  I have had some severe family/health issues come up as of late which take priority.  I am also in the middle of moving a family of 5.  Combine that with the other reasons below, and I feel that most will feel the wait to be worth it.

This leads me to the next bit of news, however shocking it may be.

  1.  There will be no version 1.6 image.
    1. There will be no image at all…
  2.  Instead, there will be a full installer.
    1. This is one of the reasons for the delay.
  3.   The installer will work with a full GUI, and on the desktop.
    1. Examples:
      1. Full ubuntu Install.
      2. Fresh RPI install with GUI.
  4. The installer will be iterated on by feature going forward.
    1. We can add community approved features one at a time.
      1. Example:
        1. Change Jaspers Name
        2. Change STT after setup
        3. Etc.

FAQ (COMING SOON)

  • So whats that mean for me?
  • What do I do if I am running Jasper v.15?
  • Where do I get the installer?
  • Do I need to upgrade?

 

Jasper Kits on hold…

These were for the community, and I have enjoyed designing and building these kits.  However, I am at a point now, where I do not have the time to properly maintain and build and ship them.  This is not necessarily a permanent decision, I may bring them back in the future given I have the time.

That being said, I do have a few left.  If you are interested please let me know now.  I will get an exact count soon, and update it here.  Once they are gone, I will not be building more.

With all that being said, I am still here to help with questions.  I am also still developing what I hope is a better user experience with my images.  (Version 1.6 out soon!)

If you have any questions; or would like one of the last kits, I would suggest speaking up now.  Not that I will disappear, but I will be unable to spend the time on them for a while starting soon.

I also wanted to say thank you again to the community members that are helping each other, and the new guys.  I do notice, and it is appreciated.

-M

Jasper Image V1.6 – Release Date!

I have recently had a large number of people wanting to know the exact release date for the v1.6 image. I will release it without the installer, and release the installer separately so it can be used on images that are not mine.

  • Release Date:
    February 15, 2017

I would highly suggest that if there is annoyance; or fix for the next release that it be reported ASAP to the room in our SLACK.

 

Thanks for your patience,

Matthew Curry

Jasper Image v1.6 – Coming Soon!

There are already several improvements to the image, and I have put out feelers for any fixes/updates/etc that I can do to make the user experience better.  I already have a few of the obvious ones, however please feel free to report them in the new slack room “image-v1-6”, or in the Forums at the following LINK.

I am already working on it being pre-installed in the future with a REST api on it.  Making it easy to integrate with anything!

I will be posting the release notes with the new updates with the new image, and here as a post.  So please keep an eye out.

 

Thanks,
Matt