OPNsense and pfSense run from RAM memory

By | Linux | No Comments

If you have ever wondered how to run a firewall/router from just memory, you are in luck. Both “Nano” version of OPNsense and pfSense will work great in the following flavor.

Configuration files are saved on the removable media and the read/write filesystem is stored in RAM!

Install linux homebrew (brew) Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

By | Linux | No Comments
[raw] sudo apt-get install -y curl g++ gawk m4 make patch ruby tcl

yes | ruby -e “$(curl -fsSL”
brew doctor

brew install gcc –with-glibc
brew tap homebrew/dupes
brew install git
brew install coreutils findutils gawk gnu-sed gnu-which grep make ruby

brew install hello && brew test hello; brew remove hello

Mail-In-A-Box and Gitlab Install Script Same Server

By | Linux | No Comments
[raw] apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade
curl -s | sudo bash
curl | sudo bash
mv download download.deb
dpkg -i download.deb

DigitalOcean Block Storage Speed and Benchmarks

By | digitalocean, Linux | One Comment

Here are some simple stats from the new block storage available over at DigitalOcean.  Tested on a 1gb droplet.

[raw]hdparm -t /dev/sda[/raw] Reads

Timing buffered disk reads: 536 MB in  3.01 seconds = 178.15 MB/sec

Timing buffered disk reads: 586 MB in  3.01 seconds = 194.63 MB/sec

Timing buffered disk reads: 574 MB in  3.00 seconds = 191.32 MB/sec

[raw]hdparm -T /dev/sda[/raw] Cached Reads

Timing cached reads:   15090 MB in  2.00 seconds = 7551.96 MB/sec

Timing cached reads:   15056 MB in  2.00 seconds = 7535.53 MB/sec

Timing cached reads:   14810 MB in  2.00 seconds = 7411.46 MB/sec

[raw]time sh -c “dd if=/dev/sda of=ddfile bs=8k count=1000000 && sync”; rm ddfile[/raw] Writes

8192000000 bytes (8.2 GB) copied, 49.4442 s, 166 MB/s

real 0m49.523s

user 0m0.348s

sys 0m12.384s

daily driver

What’s your daily driver? |A Mac/PC/Linux Operating System Shootout

By | Configurations, Linux | No Comments

Linux Distro of Choice (GNOME Ubuntu 16.04) – best home desktop experience on Linux today.  Competes with LinuxMint, but without all the mintyness.

Windows Distro of Choice: Windows 10 Enterprise, Available with FreeBiz Spark MSDN Access

Mac Distro of Choice : Hackintosh 10.11.4 / Clover Bootloader

What’s your daily driver?

Untangle Firewall Mini ITX Zotac Zbox ID91 Review

By | Linux, Sample Work | No Comments

Untangle is a firewall and gateway server that is one of the best on the market today.FullSizeRender

The Zotac Zbox ID91 is a Mini ITX PC.

Americans may not be so familiar with the Zotac brand but they offer a wide variety of integrated PC’s that are usual for both home media servers and powerful business machines.

I purchased the ID91 on Amazon for $350.99 – additionally you will need to add a Hard Drive and Memory (DDR3 SO-DIMM)

If you don’t want to deal with hassle of installing a hard drive or memory, the ID91 Plus is available with a 500GB (Non-SSD) hard drive.

The ID91 is based on the H81 Express platform.  Sporting Dual Gigabit Ethernet ports this model is perfect for anyone wanting to run a Linux Firewall or Gateway.

For the mission of a home based ad-blocking gateway – I chose the ID91 as it comes with a i3 4130T(dual-core, 2.9 Ghz) processor.

Additionally I added a Kingston Digital 60GB SSD – $54.99 and 4GB of DDR3 – CT2KIT25664BF160B -$43.24 memory.  Plenty enough power to handle Untangle with a fiber (400MB connection) to home.

This configuration is sufficient to handle a VERY fast connection.  We are talking Fiber speeds without a problem, I am currently on a 400mb connection without any slowdown with a full Untangle configuration.

Total Cost = $449.22


  1. Unbox your ID91
  2. Install Memory + SSD
  3. Hookup monitor, keyboard, mouse.
  4. Boot via Untangle USB – I had to use the traditional ISO to get it to work properly, this can be found here.
  5. Install with default configuration options – you will easily be able to identify incoming wan and outgoing network adapters by plugging them in during the installation process.  Once plugged in you will get a green light in the Untangle installer.  I would recommend you mark your ports at this time, to designate incoming (WAN) and outgoing (LAN).
  6. Plug in your wires –
  7. Connect to your device at the default address of with your username and password set during the installation.
  8. Add services as required to your network, by default Untangle will handle DHCP and NAT.  I highly recommend adding the Web Filter and Ad-Blocking.
  9. Spend some time learning the new interface, you will soon see you’re time has paid off – and Untangle is really the perfect firewall for the SOHO/Home environment.

Enjoy the internet now without Facebook ad’s – Pre-roll ads on YouTube – and the protection of a real firewall.

Untangle has earned it’s place in my favorite pieces of software, days after the initial installation I have not had to restart the box or fiddle – things just work, and these days it’s hard to find software that just works this well out of the box.

ThinkPad x201 Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx Wireless

By | Linux | No Comments

The ThinkPad x201 is a great platform for Ubuntu 10.04.  The default installation contains an outdated version of the Thinkpad BGN wireless drivers.  After first boot you can see networks(not all available), and connect to some – but in general this will give you difficulties.  The recommendation is to first update your installation via-Ethernet to automatically download the patch.  Upon restart, you will have a fully functional Ubuntu installation.

This is where and how it was solved:

Add jail shelled FTP/SSH user on CentOS / Plesk

By | Interest, Linux | 4 Comments

The process of adding a new FTP user with SSH access to a Plesk / CentOS server is more difficult than it needs to be.  Plesk will only allow you to add WebUsers to your domains which have FTP accounts, not full SSH accounts.  Here is the quick and dirty. We want our new user to be in chroot jail and to inherit the same permissions as another user on the system.  The user will be restricted to the top level directory you define (for example httpdocs in this case).

Login as Root:

1.  [raw]cat /etc/passwd/ | grep ‘anyusername'[/raw]

This will return:


The first set of numbers after “:x:” is the UID or User Identifier.  We will use this in the next command to copy the same permissions.

2.[raw]useradd -u 10009 -o -d /var/www/vhosts/ -g psaserv -s /usr/local/psa/bin/chrootsh newusername[/raw]

Replace “” with your domain, and “newusername” with the new user you would like to add.

3.[raw]passwd newusername[/raw]

Gives the user a password.

4. [raw]usermod -s /bin/bash newusername[/raw]

Boom! Done.

For an in-depth discussion on working with rssh, chroot, and users – see UnixCraft

Settings Wireless Region Linux – Channel 13 Backtrack 4

By | Linux, Sample Work | No Comments

One of the most recent problems I stumbled upon while running Backtrack, or any other linux distro for that matter is setting the region on a wireless card.  The typical procedure is :

[raw]iwconfig wlan0 channel 13[/raw]

And commonly you will get

[raw]error for wireless regquest ”set frequency”
set failed on device wlan0 ; invalid arugment[/raw]

There is an easy fix for this that will allow you to change the region mode your wireless adapter is in.

[raw]iw reg set FR[/raw] [raw]iw reg set US[/raw]

More on IW here.



Center Frequency

Frequency Spread


2412 MHz

2399.5 MHz – 2424.5 MHz


2417 MHz

2404.5 MHz – 2429.5 MHz


2422 MHz

2409.5 MHz – 2434.5 MHz


2427 MHz

2414.5 MHz – 2439.5 MHz


2432 MHz

2419.5 MHz – 2444.5 MHz


2437 MHz

2424.5 MHz – 2449.5 MHz


2442 MHz

2429.5 MHz – 2454.5 MHz


2447 MHz

2434.5 MHz – 2459.5 MHz


2452 MHz

2439.5 MHz – 2464.5 MHz


2457 MHz

2444.5 MHz – 2469.5 MHz


2462 MHz

2449.5 MHz – 2474.5 MHz


2467 MHz

2454.5 MHz – 2479.5 MHz


2472 MHz

2459.5 MHz – 2484.5 MHz