• Got the Black Screen within Gnome in a new FreeBSD on VirtualBox?

    Posted in Developing Software on Aug 06, 2021

    I found a fix for that here.

    I wrote about it here:

    Configuration for FreeBSD inside VirtualBox with Gnome3, sudo, nano, and bash, including avoiding the black screen

    Here's the TL;DR answer in a screenshot:

  • Configuration for FreeBSD inside VirtualBox with Gnome3, sudo, nano, and bash, including avoiding the black screen

    Posted in Developing Software on Aug 06, 2021

    Coming into FreeBSD anew from the Linux world. I'm happy with it as a server, no changes needed. I like the much-more-secure ambiance. But now experimenting with it as a desktop, I've already decided I like sudo, bash, and nano better than su, sh, and ee. And I want Gnome.

    At this point, I've installed it a dozen times (several times on bare metal laptop that did not have the correct hardware for displays to work) and only finally got it working in VirtualBox by installing FreeBSD 12 and tweaking the display settings in an unexpected manner.

    (Gnome in 13 on VirtualBox has not yet worked for m...

  • Infinity is the backside of zero; they are the same thing

    Posted in Mathy Stuff, Postinfinity Tergiversation on Jul 31, 2021

    Got it. Been working on this one for a while, I've seen it in glimpses over the years, but it just fell into place. Infinity is the backside of zero. Just like a quarter has a heads and a tails, this thing I've been calling "the origin" for a long time has a heads and a tails.

    This idea is connected to the idea of the number ring I've contemplated many times but never was I able to see it so clearly as now. I think there might be two rings, not one.

    Let's look more closely at this.

    1. Normal counting

    We normally think of a number line, starting at zero, incrementing one by one, off toward infi...

  • Fix VirtualBox icon app name in Gnome Favorites/Activities menu on Linux

    Posted in Developing Software on Jul 30, 2021

    (I sometimes craft my headlines to be search-engine-friendly, which is why they sometimes look odd in person). If you have multiple VirtualBox images running in Ubuntu or similar Debian-based flavors of Linux, you know it can be frustrating to switch between the different images using the favorites icons. They all look the same, and they all have the same generic "VirtualBox Machine" label. You have to click on one, see which screen comes up, and if it's not the one you wanted, click on the next one.

    And to make matters worse, the identical icons appear in random order, so you can never be sur...

  • Install Ubuntu Server .deb package without starting service using dpkg --unpack

    Posted in Developing Software on Jul 29, 2021

    On Debian flavors like Ubuntu, apt and dpkg default to starting a service as soon as it is installed. This is almost always a good idea, but I ran into the strange problem that the service was misconfigured. Starting it was not a good thing. Stopping and re-configuring it after it started was not working either*. I tried everything I could to prevent dpkg from starting the service during installation.

    I tried each of the approaches listed here (Install packages without starting background processes and services), plus a few others. I also tried to find install flags for the product, I tried a...

  • Use Network Manager to handle 'device not managed' or 'unmanaged' issue in Ubuntu for SecurityOnion at Digital Ocean

    Posted in Developing Software on Jul 21, 2021

    An out-of-the-box install of Ubuntu 18.04.5 at Digital Ocean will not work for a SecurityOnion installation, because of the way cloud-init is managing the network. Security Onion prefers NetworkManager to manage the network. Cloud-init is required by Digital Ocean for deployment of a custom image. Yet Security Onion also prefers a specifically-partitioned virtual disk, which is not recommended to do with an already-running Ubuntu. Together, these constraints leave few options.

    Fortunately, after the custom image of Ubuntu is deployed in Digital Ocean, you will not need the network part of clou...

  • Use fdisk and parted to resize a 100Gb custom image of Ubuntu for Digital Ocean to prepare for a 320Gb SecurityOnion install

    Posted in Developing Software on Jul 21, 2021

    Digital Ocean cannot deploy a Custom Image larger than 100Gb. Security Onion requires 200Gb to install. To workaround the Digital Ocean limitation, create a 100Gb custom image of Ubuntu, configured with only three partitions: /boot, /, and /tmp. (Leaving out /nsm and swap requirements for the moment). After the image is deployed as a 320Gb Digital Ocean custom image droplet (or larger), you can resize it easily using parted. Then you can use fdisk to add these final two partitions (or you can use parted, but I find fdisk's mostly-automatic prompts make it the easiest approach for this purpose)...

  • Install and whitelabel Grafana with a custom grafana_icon.svg and a few other minor changes

    Posted in Developing Software on Jul 20, 2021

    Grafana is an amazing application, one of the most active open source projects in the world, and they are firmly committed to the Free Software / Open Source way of doing things. You should know up front that the following information enables a feature (whitelabel) which is part of the Enterprise edition from Grafana Labs. So in the spirit of being thankful for the hard work Grafana Labs has done to make this software available for free, please only use the following information for small, private installations. If you can at all afford to use the Enterprise edition -- which has many other exc...

  • How to configure Ubuntu via /etc/network/interfaces using ifupdown managed by Network Manager for Security Onion

    Posted in Developing Software on Jul 12, 2021

    That headline is a mouthful, so let's break it down:

    • How to configure Ubuntu
    • via /etc/network/interfaces
    • using ifupdown
    • managed by Network Manager
    • for Security Onion

    In more simple terms I would prefer this headline: "How to configure Ubuntu with ifupdown for Security Onion," but it turns out Security Onion requires Network Manager (which thankfully is not entangled with systemd in the way that netplan and networkd are), and so... I've found a way to eliminate netplan and networkd, leaving network-manager and ifupdown like the good ol days.

    From what I can tell by fairly aggressive searchin...

  • Placing Apache reverse proxy in front of Security Onion

    Posted in Developing Software on Jul 09, 2021

    Security Onion prefers to think that it's talking to the world, not a proxy. But you can do it.

    It took me awhile to get this working because I was also trying to get Apache Basic Authentication working. Alas, Security Onion is so complex that I was only able to get Authentication working smoothly for the front-door portion so far, so I'm leaving that information out for now.

    Note that I had to configure Security Onion during install with the complete FQDN ("securityonion.example.com") that would be visible to the Internet, even though it does not talk directly to the internet.

    Trying to acces...