Category Archives: Posted

Router Story

I recently installed DD-WRT on my router.  It is an open source firmware that gets more out of the router, I specifically did it as TalkTalk, who are my ISP, now provide a few Internet streaming TV channels via the YouView service which stopped working  when I ditched the router (Huawei HG 533) they supplied in place for a fairly cheap Netgear WNR2000v2. The Netgear seems to handle DNS better and surfing the Web is now an a lot more pleasurable experience.  These Internet TV channels not working did annoy me a bit though, I found out it was due to the Firewall in the router blocking Multicast ‘signals’.  There was no way to remedy this using stock firmware but installing DD-WRT gave me a lot more options and it was very easy to enable Multicast.

Find more details about DD-WRT at

May Meeting – 28th May

Hi Everyone
Just a quick note to say our May HLUG meeting will be on Wednesday at 7.30pm, usual place the Courtyard in Hereford on the mezzanine floor.
If you have been on our list but haven’t attended a meeting yet, or you’ve been unable to attend for a while, we’d be very pleased to see you. Nice light evenings at the moment so a good time to come along.
The meeting will start at 7:30pm as usual.
Items to discuss :-

    Room booked – need to discuss details in terms of organisation on the night and publicity to other groups.

  2. Possible Linux Bier Wanderung meet up, in Talybont on Usk –  July. I’ve emailed their group and they are happy for us to come down that Wednesday evening .
The Courtyard has free fast wifi and serves lovely coffees, and there is level access to all public areas of the building. You can find directions to The Courtyard, Edgar Street, Hereford, HR4 9JR here
The Courtyard has pay and display parking adjacent and free parking a short walk away.
I’ll see you all on Wednesday night.

Ubuntu 14.04 Release (Linux OS)


Ubuntu has released version 14.04 LTS (Long Term Support) which means the OS will be supported for at least 5 years. Ubuntu 14.04 is available to download from:

A background on LTS, and the roadmap for other Ubuntu releases can be found here:

Linux Logging

The Linux operating system has a built-in logging facility. The aim of logging is to log system events, in addition to application events and user events.

Why Log Events?

Having a log of events is very important for the system administrator, in order to troubleshoot errors, system faults and to understand activities performed by a user i.e. last login.

View Log Events

Log events are recorded in /var/logs

If you navigate to this folder using the CLI and ‘ls‘ you will see a number of log files.

messages – This is the generic log file for recording startup events, application events

dmesg – This records kernel messages, including boot up messages, hardware information

boot.log – This records the information that you see when Linux boots

cron – Lists cron job events

To view the above log files simply enter ‘more messages‘ to view the messages log.

Special note: dmesg is also a command i.e. typing ‘dmesg | grep -i usb‘ will return a selected list of event messages containing the keyword USB.

To search the messages for ‘usb’ try the following command:

tail -f messages | grep ‘usb’

What Next?

Familiarization with the following commands will help you navigate around the various log files:

less, more, cat, tail – use for viewing files at the CLI

grep – a very powerful utility that can be used for pattern matching/text searching

logger – enables the use to log events via the CLI

Way Forward

The above covers the basic principles of Linux logging. These log files underpin IT security monitoring capabilities and used on an enterprise scale. The next articles will cover the use of ‘syslog’ that can be used to harvest log files for intrusion detection.

Linux Terminal

The terminal under Linux provides a Command Line Interface (CLI) for entering commands to navigate around the file system, perform troubleshooting activities and to execute scripts.

There are many different types of terminals, one of my personal favorites is the ‘Terminator’, which provides advanced layout features and the loading of profiles. If you spend a lot of your time using the CLI, for example I have an IRC application, htop (CPU performance counter), emacs (script editor) and a CLI mp3 player all running in various terminal windows. Using the terminator I can split the main window into different segments, with each segment for its own command/application.

An example is illustrated below:


Getting started:

For Debian OSs (Ubuntu/Crunchbang etc)

sudo apt-get install terminator

For CentOS/RHEL:

sudo yum install terminator

Once installed, run the application ‘terminator’

Split the screen by right click, select vertical or horizontal. When a new screen is created, follow the same process again.

Once the layout is created, right click then choose preferences. A dialog box is displayed, select Layouts tab, select Add to create the layout, and enter a name. For each terminal option you can specify a custom command i.e. top. Click close to save your changes.

To load your terminator layouts simply enter ‘terminator –layout=mylayoutname’

This can be assigned to an application launcher or desktop shortcut, or an alias via the CLI. You could have multiple layouts, maybe one for development/coding, another for personal use.

How to replace grub boot on newer distro after installing another linux (ubuntu based) os


I’m sure you’ve been in the situation (I have many times), where you install an os, use it for a while then move on to something better installing it to a new partition on the hard disk. After a while of trying it out you decide you wish to move to the new linux distro completely. But you still have the old grub boot set up, which will boot by default into the original distro. This is easily changed, but even then, its much better to have your main distro controlling grub allowing it to update when new kernel updates are made or if you upgrade your distro version.
This is a really easy guide for how to do it that takes you through it nice and gently