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Linux Misc Networking Software VM

Smokeping.eu

I’ve revamped my Smokeping infra a bit since 2020.

First off, starting to use the smokeping.eu1 domain that Bianco got 10 or so years ago instead of using weird URLs under superuser.one domain.

It’s running on four nodes as we speak:

This is achieved using Smokeping in a docker container, Cloudflare tunnel and Cloudflare CDN/DNS.

1 Doesn't point at anything at the moment. To do later.
Categories
Apple Hardware Linux Misc Networking Software Windows www

Remote desktop and Wake-on-LAN

Shan uses her iPad a lot, but a lot of the more serious (interior design) work needs to happen on AutoCAD or Photoshop. That is just not going to work on an iPad.

When we’re travelling (read: holiday) she’s carrying an old Lenovo ThinkPad 13 (great device!) just “in case” she needs to open AutoCAD and edit something minor or read the drawings/dimensions. But honestly, most of the time that device is turned off and dead weight.

But all the above is just an excuse to “I was bored, and I wanted to test something”: can I use an old Raspberry Pi (zero W) to remotely wake her Intel NUC, and then use Tailscale to use RD on her iPad? Well, yes I can.

I completed this using:

  • Tailscale to remote desktop from anywhere to home
  • Cloudflare Tunnels, Access and DNS to have a web interface to wake the desktop
  • A Linux device that’s always on and in the same LAN, and that’ll run a PHP script.

Prep work: enable WOL

First off: enable Wake-on-LAN (WOL) in the BIOS and in your Windows settings. This article explains it for Intel NUCs, but would be similar enough for most devices. The Device Manager pane looked different on our i5 NUC, but was close enough.

On Mac, you just need to enable it in the Energy preference pane, for Linux I have no clue. 🤷‍♂️

Second step: have a working Raspberry Pi (or any Linux device) in the same LAN. This device needs to be turned on 24/7, so use something that uses very little power.

I do have a more powerful RPi4 I wish I could've reused (running Docker and some other "serious" stuff; however it's currently in a different VLAN, and it's quite crucial the Linux device is in the same LAN as the device(s) you want to wake up), so I went with an old Raspberry Pi Zero W that was collecting dust (it used to run pwnagotchi).

On the Linux device, install etherwake. The command to run is quite simply etherwake aa:bb:cc:11:22:33 (= the ethernet MAC address of your device).

If this doesn’t wake your desktop, something is wrong and there’s no point continuing. Go and troubleshoot.

Install Tailscale and RD

On the (Windows) desktop and your iPad, install Tailscale. Login, and make sure it works by pinging from one to the other.

Then set up Remote Desktop on both (Windows, iPad). You should test and make sure you can properly connect using the LAN IP address and then the Tailscale IP address.

Fun fact: I create a DNS record for all my devices using Cloudflare DNS with the syntax of device-name.ts.yeri.be, so I don't need to ever remember IPs, and can easily ssh or ping devices without having to look up IPs. 
Cloudflare DNS screenshot, filtered on “ts”. I add both A and AAAA records (not shown in the screenshot)
Fun fact side track: I actually have a dynamic script that runs (on Linux) and creates hostname.ts.yeri.be for the Tailscale IP, hostname.wg.yeri.be based on the Wireguard IP, hostname.lan.yeri.be based on the LAN IP. This dyndns script runs every so often and updates IPs if needed. All this is running using Cloudflare DNS and their API. Super convenient.

Nginx, php and etherwake

I'm a 80s kid, so I'll use dirty PHP to run this script. I'm sure I'll go straight to hell for this, but yolo.

Install nginx and PHP (no need for MySQL and other stuff).

etherwake requires root to run (because it needs root access to create a weird magic ethernet packet). Create a file in /etc/sudoers.d/etherwake and add this line:

www-data ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD: /usr/sbin/etherwake

This will allow www-data (nginx/php) to run /usr/sbin/etherwake using sudo, without password.

In /var/www/html/ create an index.php file with:

<html>
<head><title>Wake on Lan</title></head>
<body>
<p>Wake up <a href="mycooldesktop.php">My Cool Desktop</a>
</body>
</html>

And a mycooldesktop.php (or whatever) file with:

<?php
$output = shell_exec('sudo /usr/sbin/etherwake aa:bb:cc:11:22:33 2>&1');
echo "<pre>$output</pre>";
?>
<p><a href="..">Back</a></p>
It ain't pretty -- but it gets the job done. 

And be sure to edit the MAC address to match your desktop’s ethernet MAC address.

Cloudflare tunnels

Install Cloudflare Tunnel (via Zero Trust dashboard).

When creating a new tunnel, the dashboard will give you all needed commands to install the tunnel on your RPi — but be sure to select the right OS/architecture (arm64? arm? armhf?).

Easy.

And then point the tunnel to http://localhost. No need to mess around with SSL certs.

Lastly, set up Cloudflare Access (via the same Zero Trust dashboard): create a new application, and make sure only approved users can sign in (i.e.: using a pin code emailed to only approved emails).

I only allow access to my own emails, and my family, by using groups.

You can try it yourself via wol.superuser.one. You won’t get in. 🙂

Optionally, but recommended: lock down Nginx to only allow connections from localhost (127.0.0.0/8 and ::1) if using Cloudflare Tunnels, or Cloudflare IPs if using port forwarding with Cloudflare Access in front. 
Love my design skills… But it gets the job done: click that link, and it’ll execute etherwake.

To recap

  • We used Tailscale to create a VPN network between the desktop and the iPad. The big benefit is that Tailscale works effortlessly across NAT networks without having to open ports,
  • We used Cloudflare DNS so we don’t need to remember hostnames :),
  • We used Cloudflare Tunnels to make sure the RPi web interface is accessible across NAT (without port forwarding) and from anywhere,
  • We used Cloudflare Acces and locked down access to the right people using ACLs,
  • We used etherwake running on a RPi to wake up devices that are hibernating or turned off.

And that’s it really.

PS: technically WoL works with WiFi, but when I enabled WoL on the WiFi adapter, the NUC refused to hibernate/sleep for more than a minute, and kept waking itself up. So, there seems to be some kind of trigger in my network that keeps waking it up. Also, not sure if WoL via WiFi would work if the device is turned off (as opposed to sleep or hibernate). I just ended up using ethernet. 

PPS: both Cloudflare Tunnels and Tailscale use Wireguard tech in the background, so that's really cool. 
Categories
Networking Software

Encryption

Categories
Networking Software

Sony stops DNS resolvers

The Hamburg Regional Court today ruled that they would not suspend an existing injunction against Quad9 in a case filed by Sony Music Germany. The case centers around Sony Music’s demand that Quad9’s servers located in Germany stop resolving DNS names of third-party sites which are claimed to have URLs that contain copyright infringements.

Source.

Unbelievable.

Also note “claimed to have”. Not proven to have.

Knowing that Sony has not been very good at actually identifying copyrighted content, and they just throw stuff around to see what sticks.

And DMCA requests have done more evil than good…

Also, what will actually happen? Quad9 will move its DNS servers outside of Germany and/or people will use other DNS resolvers. Nothing get fixed, and users are punished with worse latency.

Categories
Hardware Networking Software

Xiaomi Phone Shipped With Censorship List

This summer, the Lithuanian government went public with an astounding finding. A Xiaomi phone sold in Europe — the Mi 10T 5G — could censor approximately 450 words and phrases, it said. The blocklist wasn’t active, but could be activated remotely. It was filled with political terms, including “Democratic Movement” and “Long live Taiwan’s independence.”

[…]

The accusations, which Xiaomi disputes, clarified just how fraught the West’s relationship is with China’s growing technology power. As China-based tech companies like Xiaomi and TikTok flourish, there’s still no playbook in North America or Europe to deal with their potential to censor or steer culture via algorithms.

“Western countries,” Abukevicius said, “are more and more reliant on technologies, and a big part of those technologies comes from countries which are not friendly, which we don’t trust, and it poses risks.

Source.