VirtualBox guest additions on headless

virtualbox Normally, I run virtualbox machines in headless mode, so it is useless installing an OS with full GUI. I favor in this cases a debian installation (minimal, using the netinst CD), and ensuring that PAE/NX is enabled in System/Processor.

It is still helpful to install the virtualbox guest additions to improve the performance, but the usual way -Devices/Install Guest Additions CD Image...- doesn't work. In this case, the best procedure is to download them and perform a manual install. For the current version, 5.0.16:

cd /tmp
wget http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/5.0.16/VBoxGuestAdditions_5.0.16.iso
mkdir iso
sudo -s
apt-get install -y dkms
mount -o loop VBoxGuestAdditions_5.0.16.iso iso
sh iso/VBoxLinuxAdditions.run --nox11
umount iso
rm -Rf iso VBoxGuestAdditions_5.0.16.iso

This will install the extensions, and produce a final warning:

Could not find the X.Org or XFree86 Window System, skipping.

This warning is okay. It is possible to check if the additions are installed by invoking:

lsmod | grep vboxguest

Rclone

rclone A few years ago, I setup a poor man backup system for a site using rsync and Dropbox. Eventually, the database and associated files required more than 2 Gb, and still following the poor man habits, I had a look at ; unfortunately, Google does not have an official headless linux client.

But there are several unofficial clients. Like gsync, which tries to provide rsync functionality, being still severely limited. I opted better for other client, rclone, which does not only support GDrive, but also Dropbox, Amazon S3, Backblaze, etc. The documentation is very complete, the setup really simple, and its functionality covers all my scenarios.

Installation instructions only cover directly Linux, and for some reason it puts the executable into sbin, which is all but useful -the idea is to be executed, with different credentials, by each user. Finally, I used the following instructions for Linux:

cd /tmp
wget http://downloads.rclone.org/rclone-current-linux-amd64.zip
unzip cd rclone-current-linux-amd64.zip

sudo cp rclone-current-linux-amd64/rclone /usr/local/bin
sudo chown root:root /usr/local/bin/rclone
sudo chmod 755 /usr/local/bin/rclone

#install manpage
sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/share/man/man1
sudo cp rclone-current-linux-amd64/rclone.1 /usr/local/share/man/man1/
sudo mandb

And almost the same instructions for OsX:

cd /tmp
wget http://downloads.rclone.org/rclone-current-osx-amd64.zip
unzip cd rclone-current-osx-amd64.zip

sudo cp rclone-current-osx-amd64/rclone /usr/local/bin
sudo chown root:root /usr/local/bin/rclone
sudo chmod 755 /usr/local/bin/rclone

#install manpage
sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/share/man/man1
sudo cp rclone-current-osx-amd64/rclone.1 /usr/local/share/man/man1/

Two factor authentication with SSH

google authenticator icon This must be the best way to strengthen the security on your ssh connection for those cases where ssh keys are not available.

Tip copied from this arm-blog

Redmine on Debian

redmine icon Added instructions to install Redmine on Debian, using PostgreSQL and Nginx.

The main problem was in fact setting up correctly email support (and then, trying to scape the SPAM folders in Google).