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Create Your Own Network Assessment Appliance: Additional Tools


I previously did a write up on a personal virtual machine I like to keep at hand for performing network analysis and discovery. I’ve since added a few tools to the VM and documented how they were installed so I figured I’d share on how it was done. Even if you don’t setup everything in this post it may be worthwhile to glance through it for some network engineering tools which are free to setup and use but not highly publicized. Anyone who cares to read this post has likely heard of Solarwinds but I highly doubt you have heard of all the tools in this list (let alone how to set them up). Regardless, I’ll start with a tool anyone worth their salt has heard of though, Cacti…

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Linux: Headless Ubuntu Torrent Home Server

So it got to that time of the year where I feel the itch to upgrade my aging home server. I assessed the situation and realized that, for what it does, my current server does not need any kind of hardware upgrade. So I just decided to rebuild it with Ubuntu 11.04 64 bit and change up the server software a bit to be more accessible to my wife as well as to be a bit more modern (torrentflux and derivatives have been dead for a while now).

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IPblock on Headless Ubuntu 9.04 Server

It was about time for me to upgrade my aging home Linux server and reinstall torrentflux-b4t with ipblock (among other things). I went back to my old post on what I did previously and found everything to be similar but slightly off. To do this reconfiguration and make ipblock work without the java user interface I had to tweak things a bit and compile another deb package. Below is how I recall doing this.

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GNS3 on Ubuntu 8.04 – Migrating Your Install

Don’t have much time due to work obligations but I wanted to quickly drop this one out there for any who have followed my install guides. I was always ragging on and on about making the install somewhat portable by putting it into the /opt/ directory and now I’ll give a good example why.

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Ubuntu Server 8.04 Post Install Tip #4: Setup SMART

Setup SMART Disk Monitoring

If your disk is going bad no one going to tell you about it until you start hearing it. And if you start hearing issues with your drive it may be too late to backup your data or do anything else you need to do to not be driveless. I’m uncertain why some of this is not available as an install option for more distros but a good warning before the storm can save your data and your sanity.

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Ubuntu Server 8.04 Post Install Tip #3: Blacklist Modules

Here is another one that you may find useful to do after a default install of probably any Linux server, Disabling extra stuff from loading at startup. Ubuntu loads a ton of them and many I do not use at all. Since when do you need joystick or sound support on a server anyway? Anyways, here are some I disable and how I disable them.
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Ubuntu Server 8.04 Post Install Tip #1: Auto Updating

On a headless server that you have at home or for testing I like to make sure that all security updates and trivial updates are done automatically. A good sys admin will shy away from this practice for a good reason, updates can mess things up. In a production environment or where the server setup is very complex I can understand the need to manually run updates. For me, well I’m lazy when it comes to my home machines and generally don’t have too complex of setups. Also, in my experience, I’ve hardly ever seen an apt security or trivial update cause any harm (desktop linux I have seen issues though). That being said, I like to force security and trivial updates to happen daily.
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GNS3 on Ubuntu 8.04 – Choosing and Using your IOS

As promised here is the post regarding choosing and using an IOS image that will fit your study needs.

If you followed the first post in this series you are technically now ready to start loading up images and making labs of your own. You will need to get your hands on some IOS images (legally of course).But which IOS should you use?
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GNS3 on Ubuntu 8.04 – Install Guide

GNS3 is a frontend for dynagen (which is a scripting language for dynamips). Getting it to work nicely in Ubuntu was a bit of a pain in the arse but I was able to get it to work in a manner I’m happy with. This setup will essentially encapsulate a large portion of the install to one directory in /opt. Some libraries and executables will be installed through apt though, but not many. I previously wrote part of a writeup for this on Ubuntu 7.10, I’d ignore that in favor of this one which is much more up to date and polished.
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Headless torrentbox with ipblock

As you may or may not know there are a lot of people who seem to be interested in the torrent activities of others. Some just like to track, others are government agencies, and of course the RIAA. I personally don’t like this intrusion into my habits so I do my best to block their attempts. In this small tutorial I’m going to cover how to install torrentflux with ipblock and fail2ban in a headless mode so you can download and seed torrents a bit more securely.
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