Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Just one more reason I can't stand Windows Vista

The task: remotely set up a customer's openvpn client to connect to an openvpn server on windows vista. (on xp, this is a simple task)

Problem: vpn client won't connect.

Resolution: slightly improved; vpn now connects, but doesn't route traffic properly. Must contact vendor for further vista insight.

Due to the "Security" features of vista, it doesn't allow a vpn client to function, unless it's run by Administrator. Funny thing is, the account we were logged in as was supposedly an administrator.

First thing I had to do was show hidden files, and known file extensions. The process was changed for vista for no apparent reason, just like most everything else in vista.

The next thing I had to do was an msconfig. Then I had to select the vpn client, go to properties, and checkmark the "run as administrator" box. After that, a reboot, and the client was able to connect to the vpn and ping the vpn ip address, but traffic wasn't routed correctly. Not able to resolve the routing issue, we now have to contact the vendor for further support and suggestions.

Sounds simple enough, but it took a lot of google searching and experimentation. I see all this as completely unnecessary crap, since it would be a 5 minute task in Linux, even though Linux is a much more secure OS.

Personally, I think that Vista will be passed over in the corporate sector because of all the support hassles it will cause.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Secure system to system file copies without Samba or NFS

What if you need to copy files from one system to another, but don't want to bother with setting up file shares (SAMBA or NFS)? It's actually very quick and simple.

All you need is the scp command. The tricky part is getting the syntax correct, but I'll help you with that. For this example, let's just say you're copying a file from one user's desktop to another user's desktop. Here's how you would do it.....

scp filename username@remotesystem:/home/username/Desktop/

Once you provide this command, it will ask you for the password on the remote system. Of course you need the correct credentials or it will fail.

Now, if you want to copy from the other system to your system, you can do that as well, with a quick command line switch.
scp -r filename username@remotesystem:/home/username/Desktop/filename .
Keep this command all together. Long commands tend to breakup in small formats like this.
The -r indicates that you're copying from the remote system to the local system instead of the other way around. Also, the period at the end of the command indicates that you're copying to the current directory. Without a destination directory, the command will not work, so this is important. You could put any location there as long as you have proper permission. Enjoy.