Setting package publisher in Solaris 11

During the installation and setup of my new Solaris 11 Automated Installer host, I ran into a situation where even though I was specifying both the origin to remove AND the origin to add, the OS refused to allow me to perform both options in the same command.  While you should be able do this, I ended up having to remove the default system configured publisher and then adding the new local IPS repository as the publisher.

This is what the default publisher was configured for:

root@qa1jumpstart01:~# pkg publisher
solaris                     origin   online F
root@qa1jumpstart01:~# pkg publisher solaris

            Publisher: solaris
           Origin URI:
              SSL Key: None
             SSL Cert: None
          Client UUID: <redacted>
      Catalog Updated: October  6, 2015 02:41:00 PM 
              Enabled: Yes

Here is the command that was part of the Oracle guide How to Get Started Customizing and Configuring Systems Using the Automated Installer in Oracle Solaris 11.1 which didn’t work for me:

root@qa1jumpstart01:~# pkg set-publisher –G '*' -g solaris
pkg set-publisher: only one publisher name may be specified
        pkg set-publisher [-Ped] [-k ssl_key] [-c ssl_cert]
            [-g origin_to_add|--add-origin=origin_to_add ...]
            [-G origin_to_remove|--remove-origin=origin_to_remove ...]
            [-m mirror_to_add|--add-mirror=mirror_to_add ...]
            [-M mirror_to_remove|--remove-mirror=mirror_to_remove ...]
            [-p repo_uri] [--enable] [--disable] [--no-refresh]
            [--reset-uuid] [--non-sticky] [--sticky]
            [--set-property name_of_property=value]
            [--add-property-value name_of_property=value_to_add]
            [--remove-property-value name_of_property=value_to_remove]
            [--unset-property name_of_property_to_delete]
            [--proxy proxy to use]

I tried several different variations of the one line command, however I was met with the same lack of success. In order to achieve the desired result where the local IPS repository was set up for publisher name solaris I had to do an unset of the existing repo and then a set to configure my new repo.

root@qa1jumpstart01:~# pkg unset-publisher solaris
Updating package cache                           1/1 
root@qa1jumpstart01:~# pkg publisher
root@qa1jumpstart01:~# pkg set-publisher -g http://<redacted> solaris
root@qa1jumpstart01:~# pkg publisher
solaris                     origin   online F http://<redacted>/
root@qa1jumpstart01:~# pkg publisher solaris

            Publisher: solaris
           Origin URI: http://<redacted>/
              SSL Key: None
             SSL Cert: None
          Client UUID: <redacted>
      Catalog Updated: October  6, 2015 07:45:07 PM 
              Enabled: Yes


Proxmox Package Repositories for non-subscription installs

proxmox logoIf you ran across my previous post about disabling the Proxmox no subscription pop-up, you might also be wondering why you get an alert on the console regarding the scheduled update job.  The reason that this shows up is that the apt-get update job returns an error code for one of the Proxmox Enterprise repos.

The fix is relatively simple, just reconfigure your sources.list.d contents to not have the pve-enterprise repo, but instead to have the pve-no-subscription repos enabled instead.  The wiki has a nice article on the various package repos used for Proxmox.

Please note that the entry for the pve-no-subscription repo merges the sources.list and the sources.list.d file into one.

Privacy and cookie policy

As the whole GDPR craze has hit my place of employment, I decided to look into an easy method for to add a privacy policy and cookie policy to my WordPress site.

Adding a privacy policy is pretty simple, all you have to do is to create a new page with the policy on it.  Simple right? Well, it turns out that the devil is in the details as normal.  After a few minutes of research, I found a nice site with a template-based policy generator.  The site, Privacy Policy Template, is pretty self-explanatory.  The code for the template is very easy to edit after you generate the code.  This provides a great starting point for sites that need more information, but also a nice final product for blogs like this one that don’t really deal with any user data other than the owner.

The other shoe is a cookie policy.  Towards this end I used the CookieBot service and the accompanying plugin.  It is a paid service if you have a large number of pages, but if you have a site with 100 sub-pages or less then the service is free.  Be aware that for the purposes of billing and scanning, CookieBot treats each post or page as a separate item.  The pricing structure is really quite reasonable given the capabilities of the service.  For example, this site has a total of 121 pages and posts, so they automatically upgraded my account from free to a 30-day free trial.  Until I hit 500 pages/posts, the cost is only $10/month, which in the overall scheme of things is not that bad at all.

cookiebot panel image
Screenshot of slide-down panel with default settings.

The initial scan can take as long as 24 hours to be generated, however that all depends on the size of the site being scanned.  The cookie categories and reports are automatically created for you, however you can also customize the panel with custom cookies and categories, as well customizing the CSS to control the look and feel of the panel.  I choose to start out with defaults only.  The image to the right is what my site looks like after the initial report was generated.

I also received a report in the inbox configured for the account with details on what was found in the scan and which cookies were treated as falling into the pre-defined categories.  For example, the scan found two cookies that were designated as necessary for the site to function.  There were also items found in the preferences and statistics categories.

While I don’t really feel that it is necessary for me to even have a privacy policy or cookie consent feature, I have decided to do it anyway simply out of an attitude of prevention, due to the political climate surrounding personal data collection and the like. (Thanks, Mark Zukerberg, as well as your friends at Cambridge Analytica.)

While these two services are by no means the only ones out there, I found them to be the easiest and simplest to implement.

(The featured image is copyright of HarperCollins Publishers)

Disable subscription pop-up in Proxmox v.5.1-3

proxmox logoIf you have just installed the most recent release of the virtualization platform Proxmox, you might have noticed the that steps to disable the subscription pop-up dialog have changed, well, other than actually purchasing a subscription, I suppose.  I have chosen to not purchase a subscription for the same reason I don’t have one for VMware’s vSphere Hypervisor, I am not running this in a production setting that requires paid support or premium features. The following steps will disable the subscription pop-up.

Backup the javascript file

The pop-up contents, and whether or not are displayed, are controlled by a function in a javascript file.  The first step should always be to make a backup, just in case Murphy rings your doorbell.

root@pve:~# cd /usr/share/pve-manager/js/
root@pve:/usr/share/pve-manager/js# cp -p pvemanagerlib.js pvemanagerlib.js_backup

Edit the javascript file

Open the pvemanagerlib.js file in your favorite editor.  If this is a vanilla, unmodified installation, skip to line 850.  If this is not the first time that you have edited the file, search for the first occurrence of the following snippet, which will be in the function that we need to alter:

gettext('No valid subscription')

The text of the check for the function should be altered so that the conditional for the check reads as follows:


if (data.status !== 'Active') {


if (false) {


As I stated in the original paragraph, the specifics apply to v. 5.1-3 and that the location of the file has changed from previous versions.  A good way to find the file is to use the locate command, which you will have to install first:

root@pve:~# apt-get update
Ign:1 stretch InRelease
Get:2 stretch/updates InRelease [94.3 kB]
Get:3 stretch Release [118 kB]
Get:4 stretch Release.gpg [2,434 B]
Get:5 stretch/updates/main amd64 Packages [374 kB]
Get:6 stretch/main amd64 Packages [7,122 kB]
Get:7 stretch/updates/main Translation-en [165 kB]
Get:8 stretch/updates/contrib amd64 Packages [1,776 B]
Get:9 stretch/updates/contrib Translation-en [1,759 B]

<.. snip ..>

root@pve:~# apt-get install mlocate
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
The following NEW packages will be installed:
0 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 0 to remove and 85 not upgraded.
Need to get 96.5 kB of archives.
After this operation, 495 kB of additional disk space will be used.
Get:1 stretch/main amd64 mlocate amd64 0.26-2 [96.5 kB]
Fetched 96.5 kB in 0s (315 kB/s)
Selecting previously unselected package mlocate.
(Reading database ... 40185 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to unpack .../mlocate_0.26-2_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking mlocate (0.26-2) ...
Setting up mlocate (0.26-2) ...
update-alternatives: using /usr/bin/mlocate to provide /usr/bin/locate (locate) in auto mode
Adding group `mlocate' (GID 115) ...
Processing triggers for man-db ( ...
root@pve:~# updatedb
root@pve:~# locate pvemanagerlib.js

As you can see the mlocate package makes finding the file so much easier.

Software bundling should be opt-in

According to the FileZilla FAQ:

FileZilla is free open-source software distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License free of charge.
Basically this means that everyone, including corporate entities, can use FileZilla, including but not limited to private, educational and commercial use.

When you install it you have to opt out of at least one, if not two, bundling offers.  While many installers provide you the opportunity to install a bundled offer, I really think that if you are releasing the software as open-source under the GPL, then you should embrace the spirit of the license and make the included bundles opt-in.  And why you are at it, maybe you could add a section to the FAQ on what the funds for the bundles and the website sponsors are used for.

Workaround for HipChat on openSUSE

I recently re-built my work laptop to run openSUSE due to continual crashes of GNOME Shell on my Ubuntu GNOME 17.04 spin.  One of the apps that we use at work is Atlassian’s HipChat client.  HipChat has an artifactory repo where you can download the rpm bundle for use on CentOS, openSUSE, Fedora, etc.  After installing the client I was presented with a blank screen on launching the app.

Read moreWorkaround for HipChat on openSUSE

Configure OpenDNS for EdgeRouter X

Recently I acquired an EdgeRouter X from Ubiquiti Networks to handle the routing and firewall functions of my home network.  This was prompted by a desire to separate each of my network functions to individual components and to get a better piece of equipment than the run-of-the-mill Comcast rental gear.

After configuring the equiment and updating to the latest firmware, I decided to also configure my network DNS to flow through OpenDNS instead of Comcast DNS.  This also allowed me to configure content filtering so that my grandchildren wouldn’t accidentally get shuffled into some crazy website instead of Disney Junior.

The steps to configure this are not quit as simple as on some other setups.  OpenDNS didn’t have any instructions on this and sent inquiring users to the Ubiquiti Community Forums.  Here is the method that I used:

Step One – Open main system configuration

In the main windows of the web interface for the EdgeRouter X, click on the System button towards the bottom left of the window. This will bring up the main system configuration screen.


Step Two – Configure the System Name Server values

Add the first OpenDNS IP address in the visible field.  Click the Add New button to add a second field, then enter the second OpenDNS IP address into that field.  Scroll down to the bottom of the System settings and click the Save button.

Step Three – Login to the command line interface

In the upper right section of the admin interface, click on the CLI button to open a window to the command line interface (aka cli).  When the window opens, login using the same username and password you use for the web interface (Security Tip: please take the time to change the password from the default…)

Step Four – Update the DNS Fowarding

After logging into the cli, you need to enter the following commands:

set service dns forwarding system

What this does is to alter the functionality of the built-in DNS forwarding service to use the system name server values instead of the values from your ISP source (in my case an Arris SB6190 cable modem connected to Comcast).

After you have completed the above steps, then you can easily control the content filtering on your network using the OpenDNS tools.

QuickReview: LIFX White 800 WiFi LED Smart Bulb

Lately I have been dipping my toe into the pool of home automation and smarthome technologies.  While I have been interested in having a smarthome ever since I watched my first few episodes of the SyFy channel show Eureka.  My interest was advanced even more by Google I/O 2016 and the demo of Google Assistant.

So a few months ago I ventured into this new world of technology (new for me at least) cautiously by purchasing a pair of the LIFX White 800 smart bulbs that were on sale at Walmart due to the release of the LIFX Generation 3 A19.

I found that the Android app was very easy to configure, and that I could easily add the light bulbs to multiple Android devices.  I was disappointed to find that they were not immediately compatible Siri on my wife’s iPhone due to the lack of a suitable homekit bridge/hub.  This was remedied easily enough by configuring the open-source NodeJS server homebridge and a plugin (homebridge-lifx-lan or homebridge-lifx)  to connect the light bulbs to the Apple Home application.

Adding the lightbulbs to the LIFX app on my Pixel was fairly straight forward and went off without a hitch.

I have found the light bulbs easy enough to manage.  The hue range and brightness are quite suitable for the application, namely the nightstand lights in the master bedroom and I would definitely recommend these to anyone that doesn’t have a need for more than just white led light bulbs.

ESXi Embedded Host Client Overview

As I have begun to see numerous rumors in the VMware forums that the next major release will deprecate the usage of the vSphere thick client (and the simple fact that VMs created using the most recent extensions include features that cannot be managed with the desktop client) I decided to take the plunge and install the HTML5 fling host client on my ESXi host.
The fling can be downloaded from the VMware Labs site. The standard caveat applies to this fling like anything else that you install from VMware Labs:

I also understand that Flings are experimental and should not be run on production systems.

Read moreESXi Embedded Host Client Overview

Configure Google Authenticator on CentOS 7

Image of laptop with hand holding a skeleton key extending outwards through the display.


As part of the rebuild on my Plex Media Server using CentOS 7, I had intended to configure Google Authenticator but hadn’t gotten around to doing it yet.  As I got into the process recently I discovered that many of the steps that I had used when configuring my CentOS 6 Digital Ocean droplet were out of date to the point of uselessness.

I also discovered that most of the guides that I found either relied on the older 1.0 code release which was also outdated or used a unknown RPM repo.  As such I decided to write up the process that I followed to use the code downloaded from the official GitHub repository.

NOTE: If you are doing this in an enterprise setting, it is likely that your company has particular settings and restrictions that you may need to adhere to (e.g., not running things as the root user). Also, please note that all of my examples use the CentOS defaults unless specifically noted.

Read moreConfigure Google Authenticator on CentOS 7