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How to find fail2ban errors when logs/errors don't make it anywhere?

Today I noticed that my fail2ban wasn't running.

Looking into it, I could see that an error was happening on startup. This pretty much always mean that something's wrong in the configuration files.

sudo systemctl start fail2ban
Job for fail2ban.service failed because the control process exited with error code.
See "systemctl status fail2ban.service" and "journalctl -xe" for details.

However, somehow, systemd would not show me the error with the status or checking the journal and it would not write anything to the /var/log/fail2ban.log file which stayed ...

Start remote process on my X11 computer without encryption, how do I do that?

Running X Tool from a Remote Connection

I have been using SSH to connect to my LAN network computers and make all sorts of changes to the machines running in a console and X tools. Works just fine.

Setup the SSH Tunnel

I actually setup the X set with two things:

1) setup the SSH server with:

X11Forwarding yes
X11DisplayOffset 10

Then restart the SSH server.

2) setup your client with a ~/.ssh/config file where you enter:

Host remote
  ForwardX11 yes

This is the equivalent to the -X command line option, without you having to remember to enter the option every ...

Recover name of message registered with RegisterWindowMessage()

Today I was confronted with an error in a process that would run in the background and slowly fill up the Windows message queue when it should have been dormant.

I looked at the messages that were being processed once the process woke up and the message number was 0xC10C or so. Nothing in the software has such a number. So I looked around and found out that the message was one of those created using the RegisterWindowMessage() function. (This is wrong in that application since the messages are never used from external applications, but oh well... that does not change the basic problem.)

So, ...

How to only upgrade packages with a security requirement in Ubuntu/Debian?

Today I wanted to upgrade some packages that had security issues. Ubuntu (like Debian) provides the apt-get tool that allows you to do upgrades the easy way:

sudo apt-get upgrade

However, that upgrades all the packages present. In some cases, you may want to skip on some packages because you know they are not ready (i.e. your own packages).

In order to only upgrade security issues, you want to get a list of packages that are to be upgraded for security issues:

apt-get -s dist-upgrade | grep "^Inst" | grep -i securi

That apt-get command line lists all the packages ready for ...

xhtml2pdf generating an error under 14.04+

Note: This bug is fixed in Ubuntu 16.04

Working on a website I have to convert invoices to PDF so end users have the ability to print and share the invoices from the website.

In order to do that, I generate an HTML page with the invoice which also gets displayed in the website, and then convert that HTML to PDF with xhtml2pdf. I use that tool instead of whtmltopdf because it does not require X11 to work. The other tool is said to require Qt and X11 and we do not want those things on our backend servers.

So... I upgraded to 14.04 and the tool stopped working with an ugly error:

 ...

Using non-default private key for Launchpad

As I was looking around for the way to specify the correct key for launchpad, I could not find it. Luckily the ssh process is running when it asks for the passphrase so I could see the URL used to access the launchpad server from Bazaar. It is:

bazaar.launchpad.net

The address is not visible by default because you use the lp: protocol instead of a full URI to access launchpad.

  Host bazaar.launchpad.net
    HostName bazaar.launchpad.net
    User <your launchpad username>
    PasswordAuthentication no
    HostbasedAuthentication no
    IdentitiesOnly yes
    IdentityFile ...

Removing the fold columns on the left gvim after using diffsplit

One thing that I find annoying in gvim is the foldcolumn parameter which is not reset once you are done with a diff process.

Of course, gVIM does not really know when you are done diff-ing, so its behavior makes sense... only it is still annoying.

To remove the fold (2 gray columns on the left used to hide areas that match in each file) you simply have to set the foldcolumn parameter to zero:

:set foldcolumn=0

Just in case, you enter a diff from within vim by loading two files, then using;

:diffsplit #

The diffsplit can specify any buffer number, I use the # as the other buffer (the ...

mov eax,dword ptr fs:[0000000h]

As I was trying to debug a problem using an STL vector, I looked at the resulting assembly and saw this strange thing:

mov eax,dword ptr fs:[0000000h]

And a little further down, the opposite:

mov dword ptr fs:[0000000h],eax

These statements are from VC++ so the first is "put fs:[0] in eax" and the second is "save eax at fs:[0]".

Curious I looked around and found a page describing what's really hapenning. If you need to know, that's actually initializing the exception structure for this function. The fs:[0] location is where that structure pointer is saved ...

Strange VC error: No files were found to look in. Find was stopped in progress.

Strangest thing happened to me today! I'm working on a project with VC 2005 (yeah! pretty old version for 2012, I know!)

I use the Search in files which usually works great but today I got this strange error:

No files were found to look in. Find was stopped in progress.

And no real reason why it would say that!?

Searched on the Internet and found a page mentioning the problem.

When searching it is possible to stop the process with Ctrl-C or Break or, it seems, Ctrl-Scroll Lock.

In my case my bag was a bit on the keyboard pressing on one or more of those keys! Moving my bag was ...

Distributed compilation with Linux C++

I really want to try that feature! I have been using Incredibuild on MS-Windows and it can make a software compile 5 to 6 times faster. (i.e a software normally compiling in 1h compiles in 10 minutes!)

Under Linux some people worked on the C compiler front end to move the process to other machines as required. This is called distcc (i.e instead of using cc to compile, now you use distcc). This front end has a list of all the C compiler machines and uses them whenever possible.)

From what I can see on the front page, the setup should be a breeze (yeah... I know) and it does not even require ...

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