NextCloud and HAProxy

Not sure why I never noticed this before…maybe because I only ever tested from my own network?… Anyway, NextCloud would give me the login page, then after I entered my credentials, it would time out.

I made some changes to my NextCloud and HAProxy configs based on this page, and now it works!

Custom Hugin PTO shortcut

Want to be able to select multiple photos in a panorama, then quickly kick off the Hugin auto-analysis for that grouping

> cat ~/bin/my_pto_gen
#!/usr/bin/env ruby

output = IO.popen(["pto_gen", *ARGV])
output.readlines.each do |line|
  if(line =~ /Written output to (.*)/)
    system("PTBatcherGUI", "-a", $1, "-b")

> cat ~/bin/my_pto_gen.desktop
[Desktop Entry]
Name=Custom Hugin PTO generator
Comment=Initialise a Hugin panorama project from multiple photos & run the assistant
Exec=my_pto_gen %F
GenericName=Panorama project generator & assistant

desktop-file-install --dir=/home/matt/.local/share/applications/ /home/matt/bin/my_pto_gen.desktop
update-desktop-database /home/matt/.local/share/applications/

Fix Autofs on Raspberry Pi 3

Doesn’t work, but autofs works on all other machines just fine.

“showmount” works fine.

mentioned resolv.conf. Found a strange entry there:

no other machines have that entry. How to remove?

Didn’t work.

Maybe change /etc/dhcpcd.conf to not request the domain name?

That removed the domain from resolv.conf, but autofs still fails.

Manually running sudo mount bruce:/ /mnt/bruce/ works, so it’s not NFS sucking. definitely autofs.

> mount |grep bruce
bruce:/ on /mnt/bruce type nfs4 (rw,relatime,vers=4.0,rsize=1048576,wsize=1048576,namlen=255,hard,proto=tcp,timeo=600,retrans=2,sec=sys,clientaddr=,local_lock=none,addr=

maybe I need to uncomment the NFS4 line in /etc/ I’ve never done that anywhere else…no effect

This worked…no idea why:

I’ll try rolling back my other changes to see if they’re necessary too. Nope, only the change to /etc/auto.master

Packet sniffing for fun and profit


I have a commercial IOT product that I want more control over. Sure, I can control it with the free Android app, but I want my home server to be able to control it, too. This means trying to understand how the app controls it over the network, and attempting to replicate that communication.

This means I have to do some packet sniffing.

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Getting started with MQTT

At this point, I have a few IOT things on my home network. The first were a couple of EcoPlugs Wifi outlets that I use to control my gutter heaters in the winter, and the next was a custom garage door controller. For the former, I’m basically controlling them by using a replay attack (I hope to make a post about this soon)…re-sending packets that I observed the EcoPlugs app sending. For the latter, I’m using a custom http interface. Since both of these contain an ESP8266, I’d like re-program them and unify them both to use the MQTT protocol.

While browsing Hackaday, I came across their Minimal MQTT series. In this post, I’ll begin by walking through that series, noting my thoughts, then conclude by getting things set up the way I want.
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Issues upgrading from Ubuntu 15.10 to 16.10 (via 16.04)

Canonical recently dropped official support for Ubuntu 15.10 “Wily Werewolf”, so I decided to upgrade. I also don’t like being stuck on Long-Term-Support releases, so I did 2 upgrades in sequence: 15.10 “Wily Werewolf” to 16.04 “Xenial Xerus” to 16.10 “Yakkety Yak”. In the past, I’ve just done a clean install, but the trouble with that is having to re-do all my various customizations. This time I figured I’d just try an in-place upgrade. Of course, this meant that my customizations conflicted with packages changes. I’m still not sure which method is better.

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28BYJ-48 stepper motor


Based off of this post on hackaday about a simple clock using a cheap stepper motor, I decided on a whim to buy some. I chose these on Amazon because they had the desirable combination of being cheap and prime-eligible.

Before they arrived, I did some reading and found that there were different verdicts on the gearing…

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DIY Large Seven Segment Display

IMG_20160610_231046638I had an idea for a cool project, but for it to work well, I needed some large 7-segment displays…like 3-4 inches tall.  Unfortunately, the only ones I could find for sale on-line were absurdly expensive.  I remembered seeing several folks make their own 7-segment displays, so that inspired me to try my hand at making my own.

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MAX7219 Seven-segment driver


I have a couple projects in mind where I want to use a seven-segment display (one of them where I want large digits), but I don’t want to dedicate too many pins to driving the display. Also, writing custom code to multiplex the digits seemed tedious.

I read about the MAX7219 chip, which lets you drive up to 8 digits over SPI, and it seemed to be just what I was looking for.

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Better sslh

For those that don’t know, sslh is a TCP port multiplexer. This basically means that you can serve both https and ssh traffic from the same port. It’s most useful for circumventing corporate firewalls that block TCP port 22 (i.e. ssh), but allow TCP port 443 (i.e. https) by serving both on TCP port 443.

In the default configuration, however, all connections that go through sslh look to ssh or apache as if they came from localhost. This isn’t ideal if you want to run something like denyhosts or fail2ban to block malicious ssh login attempts.

sslh does have an option to do “transparent” proxying so ssh and apache think that the connections have come from the right place. In this post, I’ll describe how I set this up on my machine.

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