How to Configure Remote syslogd on Red Hat/CentOS 5

It’s fairly easy to configure syslogd on one host to accept syslog messages from other hosts. This is useful in normal system administration, to keep logs off the original system in case of a security breach that might compromise them, as well as for systems like VMware ESXi which don’t store logs locally due to their architecture. This assumes a basic level of familiarity with Linux, particularly the Red Hat types of distributions (Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Fedora, CentOS, Scientific Linux, Oracle Enterprise Linux, etc.). The concepts are likely the same for other distributions. I used Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 and I’ll assume you are able to handle the provisioning of a similar host for your purposes. I also …

Read More

How to Install Microsoft SQL Server 2008 for VMware vCenter 4

Update: This document is great for SQL Server 2008 & vCenter 4, but if you want SQL Server 2008 R2 & vCenter 5 I’ve got a new post with those details. I’ve had cause recently to do several new VMware vCenter installations, and I thought I’d take the opportunity to update our documentation on setting up Microsoft SQL Server 2008. Since new VMware vSphere users often find themselves unwittingly becoming DBAs I thought it might help others if I posted it. While I don’t mean this page to become a general support site for vCenter SQL Server installations please leave a comment if something needs to be clarified or corrected, or if I’m doing something dumb here. I consider my …

Read More

Recover iPod & iPhone Serial Numbers from iTunes

If you need your iPod or iPhone serial numbers, but haven’t written them down, iTunes keeps a list of devices it’s seen in a file called iPodDevices.xml. I found mine in: C:UsersmyusernameAppDataLocalApple ComputeriTunes I’m running Windows 7 and iTunes 9.0.2, so different versions might have different results. At the very least you can search your computer for iPodDevices.xml. Good luck!

How to Cancel a Stuck VMware Tools Install from the ESX CLI

Q: I’m trying to evacuate a machine that is suffering a hardware failure, and one of the VMs thinks it is installing the VMware Tools, so it won’t VMotion. The error is “The virtual machine is installing VMware Tools and cannot initiate a migration operation.” I also cannot right-click the VM in vCenter and choose “End VMware Tools Install.” Is there a way for me to end the VMware Tools installation from the ESX command line? A: Yes, it’s a two-step process once you’ve logged into the console OS of the ESX server where the VM is executing. First, you need the ID of the VM (all on one line if it wraps): /usr/bin/vmware-cmd /vmfs/volumes/datastore-name/vm-folder/vmx-file.vmx getid Then you can do …

Read More

Windows Losing its Default Printer

For months now my Windows Vista, and now Windows Server 2008 desktop has been losing its default printer every night. I haven’t been able to figure it out until now: it’s the Remote Desktop Client remapping my printers when I connect from home. There are three fixes for this: 1. You can tell your RDP client to not map printers, in the “Local Resources” options tab. This is easy but you have to remember to do it. 2. On the host side on Windows Server 2008 you can go into Administrative Tools->Terminal Services->Terminal Services Configuration, right click the RDP-TCP connection, pick “Properties,” and disable it under the “Client Settings” tab. 3. On the host side on Windows Vista you can …

Read More

How To Reassemble Your Faucet’s Aerator

Took your faucet’s aerator apart to clean it? Trying to figure out how to put it back together again? Internet absolutely no help because it tells you that you should have noted how it came out in the first place? Yeah, I’m with you, pal, and you’ve come to the right place. This is how. Click on the photos for larger versions. First, I numbered everything so I could refer to them (this is also the order they go back into #1): The part I got hung up on was where you put part #3 into part #2 first, because it seems like it’d block all the water. It goes in like this: Then stick that in part #1: Top …

Read More

Disabling iPhone Photo Import under Windows Vista

In hindsight this seems obvious, but several Google searches did not reveal the answer so I am documenting it now in the hopes that others who are stymied by this can do something about it, too. As always if there’s a better way to do this leave me a comment. Thanks! I was being annoyed by Windows importing and tagging the photos on my iPhone, often several times per sync. I want to be able to plug my iPhone in, have it sync, and then leave. Instead I’d get “No new pictures or videos were found on this device” dialogs, requiring that I click OK. If I didn’t click OK fast enough I’d get “This device is already being used …

Read More

How To Configure Linux Serial Consoles

Need a serial console on your Linux box, just in case something happens to the network? Yeah, me too. It’s fairly simple to get it running (at least on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4), if you have the right steps. This is not an in-depth tutorial on serial consoles, it’s just designed to get you moving faster. I assume you know how to install packages, edit files, etc., or are at least resourceful enough to figure it out. I also assume you’re s-m-r-t enough to try this on a machine you can get to easily, if you mess it up the first time. On newer machines there are often BIOS serial redirection options, too, which might be useful. Conveniently, check …

Read More

How to Install a tftp Server on Red Hat Enterprise Linux

I install a tftp server about once every three years. As such I never remember what needs to happen, and this time a Google search didn’t have a nice answer for me. So, as my latest contribution to the world of HOWTOs, I present the non-idiot’s concise guide to installing and configuring a tftp server. As always if you have suggestions or corrections just add them as comments, and I’ll update the text here. This will give you the default /tftpboot directory. I assume that if you need a filesystem there you can handle adding one there on your own. 🙂 If you want to change the filesystem you can do that in /etc/xinetd.d/tftp, in the server_args field. Don’t forget …

Read More

How To Use A Linksys Router to Bridge

Do you want to use your Linksys wireless access point & router to bridge another wired network to wireless? There isn’t a mode for it in the Linksys setup. There are firmware hacks, but those are another thing completely. My simple suggestion: instead of using the WAN port for the router’s uplink, just plug the uplink into one of the switch ports on the Linksys. Ta-dum! Instant bridging.