1. LFS - Linux Firewall Script Released

    Tue 28 December 2010

    I started a small new Google project for a new script I wrote called LFS. It stands for Linux Firewall Script.

    I run a small Linux box as an internet router that doubles as a firewall. The firewall is configured using iptables. In my opinion, iptables is not the easiest tool to use and may have a steep learning curve for people new to it.

    The goal of LFS is to provide an easier interface to iptables. It also adds some features that by default are not or difficult to setup using only iptables. The most important additional feature is the use of objects and groups. Object groups can be used to make a single rule affect multiple hosts, networks or services.

    LFS uses a single configuration file which contains the firewall rules. Rules look like this:

    nat eth0
    port_forward 80/tcp 8080/tcp

    Or by using variables:

    port_forward "$EXTERNAL_IP"  "$INTERNAL_HTTP_SERVER" "80/tcp" "8080/tcp"

    Please visit the project page for some examples.

    Tagged as : Uncategorized
  2. Belkin Gigabit USB 2.0 Adapter Works Perfectly With Linux

    Wed 08 December 2010

    My ISP upgraded my internet connection speed to a whopping 120 Mbit. I am using a mac mini as my internet router. As you may be aware, the mini has only one network interface, so I added a second interface using a USB to ethernet adapter. This adapter was limited to 100 Mbit, so to make full use of the 120 Mbit connection, I had to upgrade this adapter.

    I took the gamble and bought the Belkin Gigabit USB 2.0 adapter. I could not figure out if it would work with Linux, but on the box it officially supports Mac OS X, which is always a good sign.

    This adapter is recognized by Debian Linux without a hitch:

    Mini:~# ethtool -i eth0
    driver: asix
    version: 14-Jun-2006
    firmware-version: ASIX AX88178 USB 2.0 Ethernet
    bus-info: usb-0000:00:1d.7-5

    lsusb output:

    Bus 005 Device 004: ID 050d:5055 Belkin Components F5D5055 Gigabit Network
    Adapter [AX88xxx]

    I did not test the actuall performance of this adapter, but it at least goes beyond the 100 Mbit (it does 120 Mbit at least). I expect it to be limited at say max 300 Mbit, being constrained by the maximum speed of USB 2.0.

    Tagged as : Uncategorized
  3. 'Linux: Using Disk Labels to Counter Storage Device Name Changes'

    Mon 22 November 2010

    My router decided to change the device name for some USB storage devices. So /dev/sdc was swapped for /dev/sdd and vice versa. The result was some file system corruption on /dev/sdc, because it was used on a remote system through iSCSI, using a different file system from /dev/sdd.

    With regular internal disks, attached with PATA, SATA or SAS, the chances are very small that such an event will occur, but it is possible, especially if you start adding/subtracting disks. With USB devices the risk is substantially bigger.

    To prevent your system from mixing up drives because there device names change, use file system labels. All information that follows have been stolen from this location. Since this blog is also my personal notepad, the relevant bits are reproduced here.

    There are three steps involved, the third being optional:

    1. add a label to the file system
    2. add the label to /etc/fstab
    3. update grub boot manager (optional)

    Add a label to the file system

    Setting a label when the file system is created:

    mkfs.ext3 -L ROOT /dev/sda1
    mkfs.xfs -L BIGRAID /dev/sde

    Set label for existing file system


    e2label /dev/sda1 PRIMARY_ROOT
    e2label /dev/sda1


    xfs_admin -L DATA1 /dev/sdf
    xfs_admin /dev/sdf

    Set label for swap partition

    mkswap -L SWAP0 /dev/sdb5

    add the label to fstab

    Example of contents of fstab:

    LABEL=ROOT          /         ext3    defaults        1 1
    LABEL=BOOT          /boot     ext3    defaults        1 2
    LABEL=SWAP          swap      swap    defaults        0 0
    LABEL=HOME          /home     ext3    nosuid,auto     1 2

    Update the grub boot manager

    title server
    root (hd0,0)
      kernel (hd0,0)/vmlinuz ro root=LABEL=SERVER_ROOT0 rhgb quiet
      initrd (hd0,0)/initrd.img
    Tagged as : Uncategorized

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