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How To Add Windows Install Images To WDS (Windows Deployment Services) On Server 2012 R2

If you read my post on “How To Install WDS (Windows Deployment Services) on Windows Server 2012 R2.” you might be at a point where you have a WDS server set up, but you don’t have any Windows images loaded to install anything. Or, you might be having issues adding images to your WDS server. Either way, I’m here to help.

How to add images to WDS

Open up Windows Deployment Services by selecting it from the Tools menu on Server Management.

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 8.30.25 PM

If you have an ISO for Windows 7, Windows 8, Server 2008, or Server 2012, you’ll want to extract it using a tool like WinRAR, and move it over to your WDS server or make sure it’s available via a network share. If you are using a physical server and you have a CD ROM, you can put the OS installation CD in the drive as an alternative if you like. I prefer working with images.

There are two files we will need to add your first image. These are.

  • boot.wim – this is the Windows boot image
  • install.wim – this is the actual installation image

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How To Install WDS (Windows Deployment Services) on Windows Server 2012 R2

This is the first in a three part series on “The Ultimate PXE Server Configuration.” PXE is the protocol that your network card can use to boot from the network. Having a good PXE server is a major need on every decently sized network or home lab. It’s really nice to never have to scrounge for a USB thumb drive or accumulate piles of burnt CDs that are only used once. All of those headaches can be avoided with a properly configured PXE server.

Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and 2012 both include what’s called WDS. This stands for Windows Deployment Services. This is a network boot (PXE) environment that allows you to install all sorts of different Windows versions, all over the network. A network install of Windows 7 or 8 over a gigabit network takes just a few minutes. It’s insanely fast.

In the Linux world, the defacto standard for PXE is the SysLinux package. It’s excellent for installing various Linux distributions, hypervisors (like vmware and xen), and tools (such as gparted, AV software, and disc cloning utilities). It even supports Windows installations, sort of. But, it’s quite a hassle.

In a perfect world, we would just combine both of these so that we can use WDS to take care of the Windows installations, and use SysLinux to handle linux installations, tools, and everything else. Well, guess what? You can, and that’s exactly what were going to to do in this series. The first post, the one you’re reading, covers installing WDS on Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2. The second post will cover adding SysLinux to WDS. The third and final part will cover adding a ton of useful tools and installation sources. So, let’s get it started.

Installing WDS on Server 2012 R2

There are a few requirements for a WDS installation.

  • Active Directory – You need to run dcpromo on your WDS server to make it a domain controller if you don’t already have one already.
  • DHCP – It’s best to use Microsoft’s DHCP server, and like AD, I will be installing this service right along side WDS on a single server.
  • DNS – WDS needs DNS, which you will obviously have if you have a domain controller.
  • (Optional) Web Server – IIS will work well. Some packages install via http. This isn’t needed for Windows installation.
  • (Optional) NFS Server – The NFS Server role under file and storage services works well. This isn’t needed for Windows installation.

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How To Add An iSCSI Target To Proxmox VE 3.4 And Create LVM Group

I’ve been digging into Proxmox VE 3.4 quite a bit lately. I have a FreeNAS server on my network that I use for VM storage in my lab. When I went to add an iSCSI target on Proxmox for virtual machine and image storage, it was a bit confusing. So, I thought I would put a quick step by step guide together to help other folks in the same boat. Here goes.

How to add an iSCSI target in Proxmox

First, log into your Proxmox VE 3.4 server via the web interface. Make sure Datacenter (top level) is selected in the left pane, and make sure you are on the Storage tab on the right pane. It should look like this.

Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 9.08.23 PM

Now, click on the Add pull down menu, and select iSCSI.

Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 9.10.31 PM

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Step By Step – Install OpenVAS 7 On CentOS 7 – Run Vulnerability Assessments and Pen Tests

Recently, I published a guide outlining how to install OpenVAS 8, from source, on Ubuntu 14. I got some feedback from some folks requesting a guide on installing OpenVAS on CentOS 7, from the binary packages available via yum. FYI, as of this writing, there are no binary packages for OpenVAS 8, hopefully they will come soon. OpenVAS is a top-knoch Open Source package for running vulnerability scans against networks and servers. Every network administration should have an OpenVAS installation tucked away on a virtual machine somewhere. It’s just so easy to monitor all of your systems for vulnerabilities, there’s no excuse not to. Installing OpenVAS from packages is much easier than installing from source. So, as requested, here you go.

How to install OpenVAS 7 on CentOS 7

Although time consuming, compared to installing from source, installing OpenVAS from binary package is a much less involved process. There are a few ‘gotchya’s” when installing to CentOS 7, mostly related to redis, which I’ll cover in this guide.

This guide assumes you have a minimal CentOS 7 server installation and you are logged into the console or via SSH.

First, we need to install a few prerequisites. To do that, run this command.

yum -y update

yum install -y wget net-tools nano

The OpenVAS binary packages aren’t included with the stock repositories. So, we need to enable the Atomicorp repository.

wget -q -O - http://www.atomicorp.com/installers/atomic |sh

yum -y upgrade

Now, we will install redis and OpenVAS 7.

yum -y install redis openvas

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How To Install OpenVAS 8 On Ubuntu 14.04 To Run Vulnerability Scans & Pen Tests

OpenVAS is one of the most amazing Open Source packages in existence. It is an Open Source fork on the Nessus Vulnerability Scanner, on steroids. If you aren’t familiar with it, let me give you a brief introduction. OpenVAS is short for Open Source Vulnerability Assessment System. it is by far the number one free network and security scanner in existence. I has a database of nearly half a MILLION exploits for nearly every operating system, web app, and device in existence, and that database is constantly being expanded and updated. Installation isn’t too bad, if you have a good guide to help you. Once installed, it’s extremely easy to use. It has a web interface that can be as easy as typing in a host name or IP address and clicking scan. Of course, you can also customize the scans and there is also a handful of pre-configured scans, some thorough, and some less thorough. Reports are generated after a scan completes, which is viewable via the web interface, or you can even generate a PDF report that is useful for a network administrator, as well as upper management, if needed. There are software packages in existence that cost tens of thousands of dollars and fall short of OpenVAS’s feature set. Now that you have a brief introduction to OpenVAS, let’s get started on installing it.

How to install OpenVAS 8 on Ubuntu 14.04

OpenVAS has packages for CentOS and RedHat, which makes it very easy to install on those platforms. It only requires a few yum commands. Unfortunately, they do not have packages for Ubuntu. However, it’s not that hard to install. I’m assuming you have done a minimal installations of Ubuntu 14.04 Server, with only the OpenSSH Server packages installed.

First, we need to get some dependencies installed.

sudo apt-get install -y build-essential devscripts dpatch libassuan-dev \
 libglib2.0-dev libgpgme11-dev libpcre3-dev libpth-dev libwrap0-dev libgmp-dev libgmp3-dev \
 libgpgme11-dev libopenvas2 libpcre3-dev libpth-dev quilt cmake pkg-config \
 libssh-dev libglib2.0-dev libpcap-dev libgpgme11-dev uuid-dev bison libksba-dev \
 doxygen sqlfairy xmltoman sqlite3 libsqlite3-dev wamerican redis-server libhiredis-dev libsnmp-dev \
 libmicrohttpd-dev libxml2-dev libxslt1-dev xsltproc libssh2-1-dev libldap2-dev autoconf nmap libgnutls-dev \
libpopt-dev heimdal-dev heimdal-multidev libpopt-dev mingw32

For the sake of making this as easy as possible, lets go ahead and become root for the installation.

sudo su

OpenVAS default installation settings requires a quick fix for redis-server.

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How To Install VMware VMtools (VMware Tools) on Ubuntu Linux

So, you need to install vmtools on Ubuntu. You’ve come to the right place. I’ve done it hundreds of times, but recently a friend of mine was having some difficulty doing this. I thought I would put a quick how-to together so I could maybe help some more people out. Here goes.

How To Install VMtools on Ubuntu

First thing’s first. Before going any further, I suggest you update apt, and then upgrade. This will make sure everything is up to date on your virtual machine.

#  sudo apt-get -y update

#  sudo apt-get -y upgrade

Now, you need to attach the VMware tools installation disc to your virtual machine. In ESXi / vSphere, just right click on the virtual machine, in the left pane, go to Guest, then select “Install/Upgrade VMware Tools.” Like this.

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 3.43.46 PM

If you are using VMware Workstation, or VMware Fusion, select the virtual machine in the library, then under the Virtual Machine pull down menu at the top, select “Install VMware Tools.” In VMware Fusion, it looks like this.

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Linux Basics Series – #1 – Creating User Accounts and Managing Groups In Linux

This is the first part in a series on LInux Basics. Today, I’m going to give you a brief run-down on creating user accounts and creating groups from the linux command line. These aren’t difficult tasks, but often times it’s good to refresh the basics and have a reference to go back to. So, here we go.

How to add a user account

Creating a user account is a very straight forward process and nearly identical for all Linux distributions.

#  useradd username

Some distributions, such as Ubuntu, might have the root account disabled. If so, you will need to use sudo to gain root privileges to run a specific command. If you get a permission denied error, simply run this command instead.

#  sudo useradd username

How to set or change a password

Once you’ve created a user account, you will need to set a password. To do so, use the passwd command.

#  passwd username
Enter new UNIX password:
Retype new UNIX password:

or

#  sudo passwd username
Enter new UNIX password:
Retype new UNIX password:

How to create a new group

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