Vmware ESXi NAT Networking

The case: You have multiple virtual machines that you don’t want to expose directly to the internet and you prefer routing them through a single virtual machine. This is also handy if you are short on IPs. Our case is OVH specific and it will give you a guide on how to set things up on OVH weird network topology. Reason why we use ipcop instead of pfsense is because pfsense doesn’t support a 32bit net mask. No matter what i’ve tried i could get it to work with a 32 bit netmask and gateway on separate network. So IpCop was the next best thing and it does the job quite well.

ESXi Configuration:

Login to your Vsphere client and go to Configuration -> Networking.

On Network Access select “Create a vSphere standard switch” without select any vmnic .

Proceed to Connection Settings and name your new nic under “Network Label” . “Vlan ID” select None.

Proceed on creating a new VM including both NICs the one that you just created and the one that connects you to the outside world.

Then move on with standard installation of IPcop. Keep in mind that your RED network will be the one connecting outside and the GREEN one will be your internal nat network. If you are not sure of the network settings while installing proceed and will edit network config later on anyways.

After installation login to the machine and now let’s edit the files needed for proper networking under OVH routers.

vi /var/ipcop/ethernet/settings

DEFAULT_GATEWAY=Dedicated Server IP but end in .254
GREEN_1_MAC=Your Virtual Mac Address
RED_1_MAC=Your Virtual Mac Address

vi /etc/rc.d/rc.event.local

route add Dedicated Server IP but end in .254 dev wan-1
route add default gw Dedicated Server IP but end in .254

Reboot and you are done! You can now login to the web interface under

Bash: Script to monitor hard disk health and send an e-mail on error.

Here is a simple script to test for reallocated sector count and report through mail if it finds any.
Reallocated sectors means your disk has sectors where it can’t read/write thus it uses a reserved space to reallocate those sectors.
In general reallocated sectors are bad news for your disk and you should consider a backup and send to warranty.
The script reads the smart value and reports. It should be self explanatory to use it just type ./scriptname.sh nameofthehost. Afterwards set a cron to run daily.
Credits to Thorsten Rhau for the base script.

# This script checks the health of disks

#Define a friendly name for this machine

#Location to temporary store the error log
#Set default for not sendig mails

# Disks to check

# Setting up path

# variable containing all needed commands
needed_commands="smartctl awk mail"

# Checking if all needed programs are available on system
for command in $needed_commands
  if ! hash "$command" > /dev/null 2>&1
    echo "$command not found on system" 1>&2
    exit 1

# Checking disk
for disk in $disks
  # Creating a array with results
  declare -a status=(`smartctl -a -d ata $disk | awk '/Reallocated_Sector_Ct/ || /Seek_Error_Rate/ { print $2" "$NF }'`)
  # Checking that we do not have any Reallocated Sectors
  if [ "${status[1]}" -ne 0 ]
    echo "$mname Warning: Disk $disk has errors! ${status[0]} ${status[1]} ${status[2]} ${status[3]}. Following complete smartctl output." >> diskerror.log
    smartctl -a -d ata $disk >> $logloc/diskerror.log
    failed=("${failed[@]}" "$disk")

#Send an e-mail if needed containing the failed diks (fdisks) info.
if [ $sendm == 1 ]; then
  mail -s "$mname Disks $fdisks are about to fail." user@localhost < $logloc/diskerror.log
  rm -rf $logloc/diskerror.log

Bash: A very basic folder and MySQL bash backup script.

Here is a basic bash script to backup a folder and a MySQL database.

#Backup script for www and mysql.

DATE=`date +%-Y%-m%-d`

# The function to actually do the backup.
function dobackup {
	echo "Starting backup for" $user
	echo "Backing up" $backup_source
	tar -cvzPf $backup_path$DATE-$user.tar.gz $backup_source
	echo "Backing up MySQL database.."
	mysqldump --user=$user --password=$password --host=$host $db_name > $backup_path/$db_name-$date.sql
	gzip $backup_path/$db_name-$date.sql
	echo "Backup done"

# Script should be run with arguement dobackup if we want to backup or delete if we want to delete todays backup.
if [ $1 = "dobackup" ] ; then
elif [ $1 = "delete" ] ; then
	rm -f $backup_path$DATE-$user.tar.gz
  	echo "Deleted old backup"

Then we crontab this accordingly.

Alternatively you could add something like this to delete files older than 2 days on the backup path.

#Delete files older than 2 days
find $backup_path/* -mtime +2 -exec rm {} \;

Virtualbox: Kernel driver not installed (rc=-1908) CentOS/Fedora

Virtualbox Error

Virtualbox Error

This happens after a kernel update. Just install the following meta-package and reboot.


sudo yum install kmod-VirtualBox.x86_64

or for 32bit

sudo yum install kmod-VirtualBox.i686

Migrating Subversion (SVN) to Git

We decided to move from a local subversion we were using to git using Bitbucket. Why moving from svn to git is a matter of taste imho. Whatever suits you best, there would definitely be pros and cons for each. We did it cause the programmers seemed to like working with git and we didn’t want to maintain an svn ourselves.  Bitbucket vs Github is all about the cost, in the end they are both git. In our case Bitbucket was cheaper since we are a small group of developers with large amount of repos, so the pricing of Bitbucket (per developer) is just right for us.

Bitbucket offers migration through their webpage but that was no option for us because we needed our commit history intact. So we were off for alternatives. Also our svn was pretty old so we had to do some extra steps before migrating. So let’s go through them.

Step 1

Install svn to a local machine.

sudo yum install mod_dav_svn subversion

For the rest you can follow this guide up to the point of creating a testrepo. Instead of creating testrepo we are going to take our own repos from the remote svn and put them in /var/www/svn.

Step 2
On the remote server.

tar -zcvf svnbackup.tar.gz /var/www/svn

Then get this to your local svn and extract accordingly.

Step 3

Give proper user rights

chown -R apache.apache *
chcon -R -t httpd_sys_rw_content_t /var/www/svn/*

And then goto your backuped svn folders and perform and svnadmin upgrade like this

 svnadmin upgrade /var/www/svn/myproject 

Step 4

Get a list of the authors so our commits get linked to them. Using this trick.

svn log --quiet http://localhost/svn/myproject \
| grep '^r' | awk '{print $3}' | sort | uniq > authors.txt

Step 5

Now the rest is simple using this guide.

git svn clone http://localhost/svn/svn.myrepo/ -A authors.txt my_repo
git init --bare my_bare_repo
cd my_bare_repo
git symbolic-ref HEAD refs/heads/trunk
cd ../my_repo
git remote add bare ../my_bare_repo
git config remote.bare.push 'refs/remotes/*:refs/heads/*'
git push bare
cd ../my_bare_repo
git branch -m git-svn master
git remote add origin https://me@bitbucket.org/me/myrepo.git
git push origin master

Bumps and how you can manage them!

    1. After git svn clone you end up with this error
fatal: refs/remotes/trunk: not a valid SHA1
update-ref HEAD refs/remotes/trunk: command returned error: 128

In most cases the below should do the job. Else do a git branch -a see your remotes and set master to follow one of them.

 git update-ref refs/heads/master refs/remotes/git-svn 

Joomla: 500 internal server error on administrator panel.

The solution is rather simple.
You need to set the right permissions for log , cache, tmp and administrator/cache.
So goto your joomla root dir and

chmod 755 log cache tmp administrator/cache

Also make sure the file ownerships are correct.

chown -R myuser myjoomladir

And last to get rid of “500 – An error has occurred” while logging to the admin read the error_log which should be like this

[16-Nov-2013 10:00:37 Europe/Athens] PHP Warning:  fopen(/home/myuser/www/logs/error.php) [<a href='function.fopen'>function.fopen</a>]: failed to open stream: Permission denied in /home/myuser/www/libraries/joomla/log/loggers/formattedtext.php on line 248

Meaning you have to

chmod 777 /home/myuser/www/logs/error.php

Also one last thing to keep in mind is you need to have the correct path for log and tmp at your configuration.php file. Something like that.

 public $log_path = '/home/myuser/public_html/logs';
 public $tmp_path = '/home/myuser/public_html/tmp';

All set!

Otenet outgoing smtp server blacklisted (mailgate.otenet.gr) and how to fix it.

If you use an email client for sending emails the default outgoing smtp server for otenet is mailgate.otenet.gr according to this.

From what i’ve figured out this acts as a gate that sends you to one of the smtp servers of Otenet.
The thing here is that Otenet smtp servers tend to get blacklisted every now and then and there is nothing you can do about it. The mails would bounce back from the server following this error.

This is the mail system at host medusa.otenet.gr.
I’m sorry to have to inform you that your message could not
be delivered to one or more recipients. It’s attached below.
For further assistance, please send mail to postmaster.
If you do so, please include this problem report. You can
delete your own text from the attached returned message.
The mail system

<some@client.gr>: host
mx.some.provider.gr []
said: 554 5.7.1 Service unavailable; Client host [] blocked
using bl.spamcop.net; Blocked – see
http://www.spamcop.net/bl.shtml? (in reply to RCPT TO command)

What this informative yet unhelpfull error message says is that which resolves to smtp-out31.otenet.gr is blacklisted by spamcop. What you can do is tell spamcop that this is not a smap through their page but even if you do you still have to wait for them to approve etc which in best case takes some hours.

So the alternative is to use directly one of the smtp servers of Otenet and not going through the mailgate.
To do so you can use any of these 4 ips making sure that they are not blacklisted. smtp-out31.otenet.gr smtp-out32.otenet.gr smtp-out33.otenet.gr smtp-out34.otenet.gr

You can check their blacklist status here http://mxtoolbox.com/blacklists.aspx .


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