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All posts by Mike Smith

How to Install OnlyOffice Document Server For Nextcloud, Fast & Easy

I’ve wasted a ridiculous amount of time trying to get the Collabora / LibreOffice / CODE platform integrated with my Nextcloud 11 server.  I wanted to have Google Docs-style editing, but it was turning out to be a massive headache.  One day, on accident, I stumbled on an OnlyOffice plugin for OwnCloud.  After a little digging, I found out it worked with NextCloud as well.  Less than 15 minutes later, I had the OnlyOffice Document Server packages installed on a second Ubuntu 16.04 server and it was fully integrated with my NextCloud server.


What You Need


For this guide, you will ultimately need the following:

  • A 2nd Ubuntu 16.04 or 16.10 Server
  • A Valid SSL Certificate (A FREE LetsEncrypt Certificate Will Do)
  • A Valid DNS Entry for Both Servers (for this guide, you are required to use onlyoffice.yourdomain.tld, custom OnlyOffice domains are out of the scope of this guide)


Installing Dependencies


OnlyOffice requires a few dependencies.  Mainly, nodejs, postgresql, and nginx.  In addition, we’ll need to enable a repo for up-to-date ttf-mscorefonts-installer packages.


First, let’s go ahead and add the needed repo’s.


echo "deb precise main universe multiverse" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list
curl -sL | sudo bash -


Next, install postgresql.

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Bluetooth Mouse Disconnects on Ubuntu 16.04 with Intel 7260

I came across a very aggravating problem recently on my Dell XPS 13 L321X laptop.  In the past I had used various Linux distributions on this laptop and they worked flawlessly with my Microsoft Arch Mouse.  The Arch mouse is one of just a few very newer mice that use Bluetooth LE, and I suspect that had something to do with this issue.



After installing Ubuntu 16.04, as well as Ubuntu 16.10, everything would be fine, except for the fact that my Arch mouse would simply stop working after an intermittent amount of time.  At times, it would work for a few minutes, sometimes as long as 15 minutes.  But, eventually it would just stop responding.  Powering the mouse off and on did not change the behavior, and after this happened, I would be unable to turn Bluetooth off and back on again.  The Bluetooth manager would stop responding.  It would not work again until a full reboot.


The Solution

After trying various firmware versions for the Intel 7260 wireless combo card, and at least 4 different Linux Kernels (3.18, 4.08, 4.10, and 4.11) I found the problem appeared to be related to the TLP package.  The TLP package provides advanced power management and battery savings for laptops running Linux.

Ultimately, for the time being, the fix is to disable the power management features TLP applies to to the Intel 7260 wireless card.  Do do this, first obtain the device ID of the wireless bluetooth combo card using lsusb.

Here is what it looks like on my laptop:

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How to Install Openstack Ocata on a Single Server, Using Devstack

Deploying an Openstack test or development platform can be a very daunting task.  A traditional installation of an Openstack infrastructure requires many servers and is quite complex.  However, there are a few methods that can make this task much easier, and possible with access to a single physical server or virtual machine that has enough resources.  Today, we’ll deploy an Openstack Ocata infrastructure using a single virtual machine (in my case, a VMware ESXi based virtual machine) using Devstack.  I’ve found this to be the most stable, repeatable, and reliable method to get an Openstack infrastructure up as quickly as possible.  Keep in mind, this same guide can be used to install almost any release of Openstack, simply by adjusting one word.  More on that later.



For this guide, you will need a server at least as good as these specs.

  • Virtual Machine on a real hypervisor (ESXi, KVM, Xen, etc) or a bare metal server with virtualization support.
  • 14GB of RAM is the recommended minimum.  18GB or more will provide the best results.
  • 100GB of hard disk space, at least.
  • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS server, having already ran sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade
  • About an hour and a cup of coffee.


Installing OpenStack

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Increasing VMware ESXi 6 & 6.5 Host Client Session Timeout for Web Interface

With the latest version(s) of VMware ESXi, 6 and 6.5, VMware decided it would be most convenient to automatically logoff sessions every 15 minutes.  So, after 15 minutes of inactivity, you have to log back in to the ESXi Host Client Web Interface, again and again.  I found this extremely annoying.  Especially in a lab environment when testing various features or troubleshooting issues.  Fortunately, this automatic logoff timeout can be increased so it’s not quite so painful.

How to Increase Session Timeout on ESXi 6 & 6.5

To increase the session timeout, all you need to do is change one advanced configuration parameter in the ESXi Host Client Web Interface.

First, log in to the web interface.  After doing so, navigate to Host > Manage > System > Advanced Settings.  Scroll down or search for the UserVars.HostClient.SessionTimeout key.



The default value for UserVars.HostClient.SessionTimeout is 900.  Because this value is in seconds, by default you will be logged out after 15 minutes of activity.  Personally, I would like to set this to 24 hours, but that isn’t possible.

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Tradepub is Giving Away “Learning Network Forensics” For Free, Here’s the Link

I just got an email offer for a free digital copy of “Learning Network Forensics” by Samir Datt (2016).  This is a PACKT book that was just released this year.  It is currently selling for $49.99 on Amazon.  I have not read it yet, but it has been on my reading list.  Here is link I used to get it.


Full Disclosure:  I do not benefit from this in any way.  This was an offer I received on a daily email digest from “The Hacker News” website.  Tradepub is the company actually giving it away.  I’m pretty sure the link above somehow benefits “The Hacker News” but for free, I don’t mind.

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Installing SSHPT to Automate SSH Commands & File Transfers on Multiple Hosts

SSHTP is a great little Python script that will allow you to run SSH commands or transfer files on multiple hosts with a single command.  It’s simple to use.  You simply create a hosts file with all of the remote systems you want to execute a task on, then create a file with credentials to login and run the task.  You can even configure it to be executed via a website in multiple configurations (more info on that at the bottom).




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How To Change The TCP/IP MTU On Windows Server 2016

Over the year’s I’ve had numerous occasions arise when I needed to change the MTU on a Windows based computer.  There are a million reasons why this is needed, such as the following.

  • Windows Servers deployed in an OpenStack environment require the MTU to be decreased to 1454 in order to work correctly with Neutron.
  • DSL very commonly uses a smaller 1492 byte MTU when deployed with PPPoE encapsulation, so performance can be significantly degraded if the router and computers are not decreased to match.
  • VPN connections over DSL and some WIFI networks are notorious for failing unless the MTU is adjusted.


What Affect Does MTU Have?


Packet size, also known as MTU or Maximum Transmission Unit, is the largest amount of data that can be transferred in one packet at the physical layer (OSI Layer 1) of the network. Ethernet’s default MTU is 1500 bytes without using Jumbo Frames.  For PPPoE the MTU is 1492 and dial-up connections typically used 576 back in the day.

Each transmission unit contains of header and actual data. This data is called the MSS, or Maximum Segment Size.  MSS defines the largest segment of TCP data that can be transmitted in a packet.  In a more summarized manner,

MTU=MSS + TCP & IP headers.

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