Htaccess Proxy

Lets say you have a web application bound to localhost. For example your ruby or python web project. The next logic step is to install nginx and setup a reverse proxy. If thats not an option and you need to use Apache and can not edit the Apache settings. There is a solution which I used for some time:

This assumes that your application run at port 886688.

RewriteEngine On
RewriteRule ^(.*) http://localhost:886688/$1 [P]

Probably not the best and cleanest solution but works for me!

I Accidentally Used Php

I try to avoid PHP software when ever possible. But sometimes the best tool for the job is written in PHP. One of this tools is observium which is a network monitoring platform. And I can really recommend it. But sadly it's written in PHP, because of that I accidentally start debugging at one evening.

But first things first. I want to add my RaspberryPi which is my primary DNS server to observium. So I click on add device fill out the snmp infos and woops "Could not resolve $host". My first thought was well I forgot something, after I double checked everything and it was still not working. This was the point where I was annoyed enough to debug PHP code.

After poking a while in the source code I found this:

dns_get_record($host, DNS_A + DNS_AAAA)

This was my first WTF moment I mean seriously DNS_A + DNS_AAAA what should that do. A grep later with no result, it was clear that it must be a function of PHP. And look it's in the manual. Turns out the way they implement it, allow to do addition and subtraction with this constants since there are internally bit masks or something. Which is a smart idea but of course you find this is not in the manual, it's only in a comment below.

Anyway if you now read in the manual what dns_get_record should return:

This function returns an array of associative arrays, or FALSE on failure.

Doesn't sound entirely wrong. A empty array on a failure might come in handy, why I show you in a second.

var_dump(dns_get_record($host, DNS_A));


array(1) {
  [0]=>
  array(5) {
    ["host"]=>
    string(14) "host.name.tdl"
    ["class"]=>
    string(2) "IN"
    ["ttl"]=>
    int(0)
    ["type"]=>
    string(1) "A"
    ["ip"]=>
    string(12) "192.168.17.2"
  }
}

Like in the manual described a array is returned.

var_dump(dns_get_record($host, DNS_AAAA));

PHP Warning:  dns_get_record(): DNS Query failed in file.php on line 4
bool(false)

Like in the manual described it returns FALSE if the is no AAAA record found.

I guess you can assume what happens when you combine these two requests.

var_dump(dns_get_record($host, DNS_A + DNS_AAAA));

PHP Warning:  dns_get_record(): DNS Query failed in file.php on line 4
bool(false)

Right it returns only FALSE in this case, even if there is a A record for this domain.

And the moral of this story

Deploy IPv6 everywhere to prevent such things. Or maybe don't build software based on PHP. I personally recommend both things.

If you are a observium pro user it's fixed, according the mailing list in revision 6357 and for everyone else with the next half yearly release.

Zfs Remote Backup

Since no one bought my N54L NAS I need to do something with it. So my first guess was a remote backup, and thats exactly what I did.

So thats why I visited @ronyspitzer this weekend (well some weekend in the past (ages ago), since I failed to finish this). So I grab my hardware and thats how it looks:

hardware relocation

Maybe I should do finally my driving licence, or stop transporting so much stuff from A to B.

But lets talk about the setup. The N54L is loaded with 3 x 2TB drives and 1 TB for the system. So the first step was to install FreeBSD with root on zfs which is really easy with the FreeBSD 10 installer. With the other drives I build a raidz.

zpool create -O utf8only=on -O normalization=formD -O casesensitivity=mixed -O aclinherit=passthrough tank raidz ada0 ada1 ada2

This is basically the same setup like my Dell T20. And a very usefull hint for me was the sysctl for geom debugflags, becaue I used disks with old partition tables on it and I got allways a error like "Device Busy" so you can force to create a zfs volume anyway with sysctl kern.geom.debugflags=16.

With the pool in place, I enable ssh on my NAS with passwordless key login. Maybe I write a blog post about that to. (Probably not but you can find how that is done on teh interwebz)

remote server

After all this is done, I can finally use my 'master' backup scripts. Well you probably don't have a user to receive. But ZFS is nice so there is a nice way for this:

sudo zfs allow -u l33tname create,receive,mount,userprop,destroy,send,hold,compression,aclinherit tank

This allow everything which is necessary to receive snapshots on tank. You can check your config with zfs allow tank.

Since you probably won't send everytime everything you can use the incremental script. Thats what I do. Everynight with cron.

30 2 * * * /root/backup/backup_incremental >> /root/backup/backup.log

The only thing what I can thought off is missing in my scripts is the case when you run a backup while a backup process is still running. I will probably fix this for the future version.

Actually I did this befor I blog about it.

Balance Your Btrfs

When your btrfs fi df show much unused space, but your programms crash because they can't write. It's probably that your drive is full anyway.

If your filesystem looks like this:

# btrfs fi show /
Label: 'fedora_XXXXX'  uuid: ff4be388-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-e5b02d8ac312
    Total devices 2 FS bytes used 61.55GiB
    devid    1 size 103.40GiB used 103.40GiB path /dev/mapper/luks-bf4bdc39-XXXX-XXXX-XXX-4fb5e13c5056

As you can see your disk use 103.40GiB of 103.40GiB which means full. In this state you can do probably not much. So first add more space to your btrfs volume.

btrfs device add -f /dev/sdc /

A 1 GB usb stick should be enough, but make sure there are no data on it.

Now you can balance it with:

btrfs balance start -dusage=80 /

Right, there is no space between -d and usage. You can change the usage parameter, more in this case means it use more time but free more space.

After that is done you can remove your usb stick:

btrfs device delete /dev/sdc /

And if you now check

# btrfs fi show /
Label: 'fedora_XXXXX'  uuid: ff4be388-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-e5b02d8ac312
    Total devices 1 FS bytes used 61.55GiB
    devid    1 size 103.40GiB used 65.03GiB path /dev/mapper/luks-bf4bdc39-XXXX-XXXX-XXX-4fb5e13c5056

Source and detailed informations: Fixing Btrfs Filesystem Full Problems

Fun With Socks

Fun with SOCKS proxy's

Sometimes you are not at home, but you want access to your local systems with DNS and everything. And guess what, it's possible. The only thing you need is a dyndns setup or a static IP or and a open port for ssh.

Additionally you need a ssh server in your network, I recommend to configure this server to key based login only or at least with 2 factor authentication.

I personally like to setup my host in the ssh config file something like this:

Host hostname
    Hostname my.dyndns.example
    Port 3333
    User myuser
    IdentityFile ~/.ssh/myprivatkey

With this in place you can now easily open a SOCKS proxy

ssh -4 -Nn -D 1080 hostname

This opens a SOCKS proxy on your localhost:1080 which tunnels your traffic through your host in your home network. To test this you can configure this in your Firefox. Options -> Advanced -> Network -> Settings... there you can set your SOCKS Host and port. Now your ready to got, just browse to a site in your local network.

Special Firefox settings

Since you proxy all your traffic through your SOCKS proxy you probably didn't want to leak your DNS query's, so just set network.proxy.socks_remote_dns to true. (you find it in about:config) I set this always on true because I run a DNS server in my home network.

AutoProxy (not working for me in latest Firefox)

But now all your traffic goes through your home network, depending on your internet connection this is maybe a bit slow.

So there are Firefox plugins which allow you to set rules when which proxy is used. On of this plugins is FoxyProxy. The problem with this is you need a paid pro version to configure rules for IP addresses. So I tried AutoProxy instead. And with AutoProxy it's simple to configure 2 rules, one for my local domain and one for my IP range.

AutoProxy settings

PAC files to the rescue

Since AutoProxy stopt working I need a new solution. And guess what it's really simple. Most browser have the ability to use PAC files.

And here is mine:

$ cat setup.pac
//alerts are in ctrl + shift + j
function FindProxyForURL(url, host)
{
  if(shExpMatch(host, "*.l33t.lan*") || shExpMatch(host, "192.168.1.*"))
  {
    return "SOCKS 127.0.0.1:1080";
  }

  // The default case
  return "DIRECT";
}

Just configure your Firefox to use it (don't forget to restart your browser). You just use the file path:

Set a PAC file

Options -> Advanced -> Network -> Settings...

Now all request for my subnet 192.168.1.0/24 and my domain l33t.lan are going through the SOCKS proxy and the rest using as before no proxy. The best from both worlds.