Here is a quick howto on installing and setting up PPTP on Ubuntu.
Specifically I’ll be attempting to configure this machine to use the Israeli ISP 012 over a cable modem. 012 provides some sort of installation package for Linux but it doesn’t support Ubuntu.

Anyway- here are my steps:
xhost +
sudo su-
export DISPLAY=’:0′
echo ‘deb ./’ » /etc/apt/sources.list
apt-get update
apt-get install pptp-linux
apt-get install pptpconfig
Use the server and the user/password provided by the ISP

Set the Cable connection to by your default route (All to Tunnel)

Select ‘usepeerdns’ enabled (Automatic)

Set the tunnel to reconnect if disconnected.
Use the following pppd options:

noipdefault noauth default-asyncmap noipx defaultroute hide-password nodetach maxfail 1 lcp-max-configure 6 linkname cable ipparam cable-pptp userpeerdns persist mtu 1460 mru 1460 noproxyarp noaccomp nobsdcomp nodeflate nopcomp user cable lcp-echo-interval 20 lcp-echo-failure 3

Click Add and Start
Now if you don’t have a network connection which is very likely you will need your ubuntu cd and these files from the apt source we added:

Instead of the ‘apt-get install pptpconfig’ step above do:
dpkg -i php-gtk-pcntl_1.0.0-2_i386.deb
dpkg -i php-pcntl_4.3.8-2_i386.deb
dpkg -i pptpconfig_20060821-0_all.deb

I recently started using Symantec’s Backup Exec for Windows to backup files from a Samba share. I joined the Samba machine to the domain and gave the backup user permissions to the share but the backup kept getting access denied errors.

It turns out that Backup Exec doesn’t connect directly to the share (at least that’s not how our people set it up). It connects tot he IPC$ share and expects to find what to backup in the list of the machines shares.

Basically, I had to grant the backup user access to the IPC$ share as well. This tricky one slipped through testing since connecting directly to the share (ie. \machine\share) worked the whole time.

Here is a great tip for formatting numbers in Excel as Gigabytes, Megabytes, Kilobytes, Bytes, etc.
Use the following formula:


The same formula will work for Gigabits, Megabits, etc. assuming you start with bits instead of bytes. If you want to convert from bits to bytes in the process, use this formula:


I’m in the process of setting up a machine to host several SAMP (Solaris-Apache-MySQL-PHP) containers. I decided that it would be very efficient to create a generic zone and clone it over and over again. From reading up on the subject it seemed more than possible, after all, what is a zone besides a config file and a filesystem?

I googled for “Cloning Solaris Zones” and found lots of documentation on the zoneadm clone feature. I started to follow the howtos and hit a brick wall… my zoneadm doesn’t know how to clone. Deeper digging shows that the documentation on Sun’s site was for Solaris Express- Sun’s bleeding edge version of OpenSolaris- Can I say “How useless!”

I continued to google, after all I was very close I have the configuration and the filesystem, I just need to connect the two. I found the zoneadm attach/detach commands. This sounds perfect to me but alas my zoneadm doesn’t support attach/detach. Apparently, this feature is only available from Solaris 11/06- Can someone tell me when Sun started releasing new OS versions every 6 months!

I had no intention of giving up and here is the process which evolved:

  1. Setup the “Gold Master” zone including all the services, users, passwords, etc. (I’m assuming that your zonepath is a ZFS filesystem- this has it’s pluses and minuses so don’t take my word on it.)
  2. Halt the Master zone and export the config file to your zone template file:
    > zoneadm -z master halt
    > zonecfg -z master export -f /root/template

  3. It should look something like this: (edit with values for new zone)
    > create -b
    > set zonepath=/zfszones/zoneclone
    > set autoboot=true
    > set pool=work1-pool
    > add inherit-pkg-dir
    > set dir=/lib
    > end
    > add inherit-pkg-dir
    > set dir=/platform
    > end
    > add inherit-pkg-dir
    > set dir=/sbin
    > end
    > add inherit-pkg-dir
    > set dir=/usr
    > end
    > add net
    > set address=
    > set physical=bge0
    > end
    > add rctl
    > set name=zone.cpu-shares
    > add value (priv=privileged,limit=10,action=none)
    > end

  4. Configure a new zone using the new config file:
    > zonecfg -z zoneclone -f zoneclone.cfg

  5. Create a ZFS snapshot of the master zone:
    > zfs snapshot zfspool/master@040207

  6. Clone the ZFS snapshot
    > zfs clone zfspool/master@040207 zfspool/zoneclone

  7. Mount the new ZFS filesystem at the correct zonepath
    > zfs setmountpoint=/zfszones/zoneclone/ zfspool/zoneclone

  8. Change the zone state to “installed” –WARNING: I have no idea if this is a good idea but it seems to work.
    > vi /etc/zones/index > > Find a line that looks like:
    > zoneclone:configured:/zfszones/zoneclone:0000003c-ffbf-f825-ffbf-f80001000000 > > Replace it with:
    > zoneclone:installed:/zfszones/zoneclone:0000003c-ffbf-f825-ffbf-f80001000000

  9. Boot the new zone:
    > zoneadm -z zoneclone boot

I left a desktop to download some humongous logs last night using scp and of course the connection was lost in the middle.

I looked for a possible resume feature in scp and found this tip:
Using rsync to resume partial file transfers: » Tip: scp Resume

rsync –partial –progress -e ‘ssh’ ….