Zstandard compression

Zstandard, or zstd as short version, is a fast lossless compression algorithm, targeting real-time compression scenarios at zlib-level and better compression ratios. It’s backed by a very fast entropy stage, provided by Huff0 and FSE library.

The project is provided as an open-source dual BSD and GPLv2 licensed C library, and a command line utility producing and decoding .zst.gz.xz and .lz4 files. Should your project require another programming language, a list of known ports and bindings is provided on Zstandard homepage.

Installation is from repos:
sudo apt install zstd

Reference: https://facebook.github.io/zstd/

bootiso

Create a USB bootable device from an ISO image easily and securely.

Don’t want to messup the system with dd command? Create a bootable USB from an ISO in one line [see it in action].

Works seamlessly with hybrid and non-hybrid ISOs (SYSLINUX or UEFI compliant) such as any linux ISO, Windows ISO or rescue live-cds like UltimateBootCD. You don’t have to tweak anything: bootiso inspects the ISO file and chooses the best method to make your USB bootable.

Synopsis

bootiso [<options>...] <file.iso>
bootiso <action> [<options>...] <file.iso>
bootiso <action> [<options>...]

The default action [install-auto] as per first synopsis is to install an ISO file to a USB device in automatic mode. In such mode, bootiso will analyze the ISO file and select the best course of actions to maximize the odds your USB stick be proven bootable (see automatic mode behavior).
Other <options> and <actions> are listed in this bellow section.

Examples

To have a quick feedback, [probe] around to check bootiso capabilities with given ISO file and list USB drives candidates [watch video]:

bootiso -p myfile.iso

Quick install

curl -L https://git.io/bootiso -O
chmod +x bootiso

Reference: https://github.com/jsamr/bootiso

tcpdump101.com – generate tcpdump commands

tcpdump101.com is a great site that you can use to generate tcpdump commands, you enter the parameters it’s asks for and it will generate the command for you. It’s handy if you are not running tcpdump commands very often and then have to either look up the help/man pages or Google for the command switches you want. It also has output for Cisco and Checkpoint firewalls.

From there site they say… tcpdump101.com has been designed to help people capture packets on different devices to assist with network troubleshooting, service troubleshooting and even passive red team activities. There is an assumption that the user has a basic understanding of what they want to capture – As much as this is a tool to help people, the user has to use their own logic since every situation is different. That being said, I strongly suggest that if you’re just starting out with packet captures to grab a copy of Virtual Box and play around with Linux and tcpdump. Although tcpdump may not be what you ultimately use, it will give you an excellent understanding of what you’ll see, even with other products and vendors.

As a safety measure (if at all possible) make sure to set a capture limit on your PCaps. If you make a mistake building your filters, you may end up captuing a lot of traffic. Although the odds are slim, there is a chance that your PCap could fill the NIC buffer and start dropping packets. The worst-case scenario is that it runs out of memory while you’re logged in remotely. With today’s hardware, it most likely won’t happen however you should always expect the best and plan for the worst.

 

 

 

 

Reference: tcpdump101.com

Xenserver does not reclaim space after deleting VDI or Snapshot

In most cases removing old snapshots and then initiating a scan of the SR has resolved this for me.

vhd-util scan -f -m “VHD-*” -l “VG_XenStorage-<uuid_of_SR>” –p

References:

https://sysadmino.wordpress.com/2014/03/03/xenserver-does-not-reclaim-space-after-deleting-vdi-or-snapshot/

https://techblog.jeppson.org/2015/02/reclaim-lost-space-xenserver-6-5/

 

PDFsam – OpenSource PDF Utility

PDFsam https://pdfsam.org/ is a free and open source desktop application to split, merge, extract pages, rotate and mix PDF files.

There are 3 products, PDFsam Basic, PDFsam Enhanced and PDFsam Visual:

PDFsam Basic

  • Merge
    Merge PDF files, select the pages, merge bookmarks and interactive forms
  • Split
    Split a PDF file at given page numbers, at given bookmarks level or in files of a given size
  • Extract from PDF
    Extract pages from PDF files
  • Rotate
    Rotate PDF files, every page or just the selected pages
  • Mix
    Merge PDF files together taking pages alternatively from one and the other. The perfect tool if you have a single-sided scanner

PDFsam Enhanced

  • Edit
    Modify the PDF content without the need to export it or copy to another format
  • Insert
    Insert pages or hyperlinks and update page numbers once you are done
  • Convert
    Convert PDF files to a number of popular formats like doc, docx, xls, xlsx and many others
  • Review
    Collaborate with your peers by adding notes, highlighting text and drawing on your document with the pencil
  • Forms
    Create fillable forms from scratch or pre designed, import and export data, add actions to print the document, send it by email and other
  • Security
    Protect PDF files with 256 bits AES encryption, set permissions on them and add a digital signature
  • OCR
    An Optical Character Recognition module to extract text from images

PDFsam Visual

  • Combine and Reorder
    Visually reorder pages, move them, rotate them or combine PDF files dragging and dropping pages from multiple documents
  • Split by text
    Split PDF files at pages where text in a selected area changes
  • Crop
    Crop PDF files by drawing the rectangular area you want to keep
  • Split
    Split PDF files visually selecting pages to split at, or split at given bookmarks level or in files of a given size
  • Protect and Unprotect
    Add permissions and encrypt PDF files using AES 256bits or 128bits. Decrypt PDF files supplying a password and create an unprotected version
  • Extract
    Visually select the pages you want to extract from a PDF file
  • More
    Mix PDF files, Rotate PDF files, Merge PDF files…

 

Google Chrome: Clear or flush the DNS cache

Google Chrome browser has inbuilt caching server to improve performance. You can quickly clean out or flush out DNS entries manually on Google Chrome:

Open a new tab.
Type the url in the search box: chrome://net-internals/#dns
Hit the “Clear host cache” button.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flush out socket pools
Open a new tab and type the following in search box:
chrome://net-internals/#sockets

AD Powershell

After running Windows Server 2016 recently with a DC, I’ve started using Powershell to perform AD functions. Here are a few basics.

New-ADUser cmdlet to create a new user:

 New-ADUser -Name John.Smith 

The above would only create the username, create a new user with more associations:

 New-ADUser -Name John Smith -GivenName John -Surname Smith -Path "OU=Staff,DC=Company,DC=Com" 

Add the password for above account:

 $password = "Strong Password" | ConvertTo-SecureString -AsPlainText -Force
New-ADUser -Name John.Smith -GivenName John -Surname Smith -Path "OU=Staff,DC=Company,DC=Com" 

Bulk Import Users with New-ADUser:

$Import =Import-CSV "c:\utils\aduserimport.csv"
$OU = "OU=staff,DC=ausinfotech,DC=local"
Foreach ($user in $Import)
{
$password = $user.Password | ConvertTo-SecureString -AsPlainText -Force
New-ADUser -Name $user.Name -GivenName $user.FirstName -Surname $user.LastName -Path $OU -AccountPassword $Password -ChangePasswordAtLogon $True -Enabled $True
}

The above script imports the CSV file, sets the standard OU and calls each data record (line of your CSV), writes the password and creates the user account. We are using a “Foreach”-loop, which loads each user record with its parameters from the CSV file.

See here for more info:
http://activedirectoryfaq.com/2016/04/ad-powershell-basics-new-aduser

rclone

Rclone is a command line program to sync files and directories to and from:

  • Google Drive
  • Amazon S3
  • Openstack Swift / Rackspace cloud files / Memset Memstore
  • Dropbox
  • Google Cloud Storage
  • Amazon Drive
  • Microsoft OneDrive
  • Hubic
  • Backblaze B2
  • Yandex Disk
  • SFTP
  • The local filesystem

Features:

  • MD5/SHA1 hashes checked at all times for file integrity
  • Timestamps preserved on files
  • Partial syncs supported on a whole file basis
  • Copy mode to just copy new/changed files
  • Sync (one way) mode to make a directory identical
  • Check mode to check for file hash equality
  • Can sync to and from network, eg two different cloud accounts
  • Optional encryption (Crypt)
  • Optional FUSE mount (rclone mount)

More info at https://rclone.org/

cmder

Cmder http://cmder.net/ is a software package created out of pure frustration over the absence of nice console emulators on Windows. It is based on amazing software, and spiced up with the Monokai color scheme and a custom prompt layout, looking sexy from the start.

Highly recommend installing the full version as it provides all the Linux utils including ls for a dir in Windows!

netdata real-time performance monitoring for Linux

Netdata is a real-time performance monitoring solution.

Unlike other solutions that are only capable of presenting statistics of past performance, netdata is designed to be perfect for real-time performance troubleshooting.

Netdata is a linux daemon you run, which collects data in realtime (per second) and presents a web site to view and analyze them. The presentation is also real-time and full of interactive charts that precisely render all collected values.

Netdata has been designed to be installed on every system, without disrupting the applications running on it:

  • It will just use some spare CPU cycles (check Performance).
  • It will use the memory you want it have (check Memory Requirements).
  • Once started and while running, it does not use any disk I/O, apart its logging (check Log Files). Of course it saves its DB to disk when it exits and loads it back when it starts.
  • You can use it to monitor all your systems and applications. It will run on Linux PCs, servers or embedded devices.

Out of the box, it comes with plugins that collect key system metrics and metrics of popular applications.

Available here: https://github.com/firehol/netdata