Tag Archives: Linux

Getting your Raspberry Pi to update through your school firewall

I have seen many posts on both Twitter and CAS about teachers having issues getting their class Raspberry Pis to update and install software through their school firewalls, so I thought I would share the simple solution that I have implemented at my school.

It actually leverages something that I put in place for our Ubuntu Linux servers, but works just as well for Raspberry Pi devices too.

Continue reading Getting your Raspberry Pi to update through your school firewall

Moodle User Pictures from iSAMS

Having linked our Moodle installation with iSAMS to automate course creation and enrolment I began looking around at what other things we could link up and automate. Whilst spending some time on the Moodle forums, I came across this post: https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=272020 which linked to a command line script someone had added to the Moodle Docs to allow for synchronisation of user profile pictures.

Continue reading Moodle User Pictures from iSAMS

Installing a Ubuntu Server for Moodle

I have written this post, not as a replacement for the very good documentation that is available over on the Moodle Docs site, but as a way for myself to refer back to the process I carry out when installing Moodle.

I am using Ubuntu Server 14.04 for my operating system, so these steps will specific to that distribution. They may well translate into Debian without any editing but I have not tested that. If you are using a different operating system then your steps will vary somewhat.

The reason for choosing Ubuntu 14.04 for my OS is not only that it is the latest LTS version of Ubuntu, but also that it comes with PHP version 5.5.9 in it’s package repository. Ubuntu 12.04 only comes with PHP version 5.3.10. In PHP version 5.4 support for LDAP Paged results was introduced which means that if you have more than 1000 users in any of your MS AD LDAP containers PHP will be able to retrieve them all.

Set up your LAMP Server ready for Moodle

Continue reading Installing a Ubuntu Server for Moodle

Nagios Speedtest plugin

*** UPDATE ***

All the code for this plugin is now hosted over on GitHub: https://github.com/jonwitts/nagios-speedtest.

*** UPDATE ***

Version 1.2 is now available. You can now specify a Speedtest Mini Server to check against. If you are updating to this version you will need to change your Nagios check commands to include the new “l” argument to define if you are checking against an internal (Mini) or external Speedtest server. Download links both here and on Nagios Exchange are updated to the new version.

*** EDIT ***

Version 1.1 of the script is now released with some improvements suggested by Sigurdur Bjarnason via email. The download link below is updated to point to the new version and the version on Nagios plugins is updated too.

The main change is that you now need to define the location of the speedtest binary in the script before it will run, and you must now also pass the Server ID of the Speedtest server you want to check against in the command. See the usage of the script for more details.

*** ***

This week we were trying to download some files from work and the download speed was slow to say the least. I then made a SSH connection to my PC at home and downloaded them from there and then copied the files back to work with WinSCP; all of this quicker than downloading directly at work!

This lead us to wondering if there was a Linux utility for testing Internet upload and download speed on the CLI. A quick Google search later lead us to: https://github.com/sivel/speedtest-cli . The developers of the small Python utility describe it quite simply as: “Command line interface for testing internet bandwidth using speedtest.net”

I installed this on both my home PC and our Nagios server at work and begun to play around with what we could do with it. I have long thought that it would be nice to be able to monitor and graph the upload and download speed of our connection so that we can spot trends as to when we are getting Internet slow-downs. To date I had not found a Nagios plugin which would do what I wanted, but this little CLI tool could quite easily be manipulated to my own ends!

Continue reading Nagios Speedtest plugin

Nagios HP MSA P2000 Status and Performance Monitor – Part 2

In an earlier post I wrote about the tweaks I made to Thomas Weaver’s Nagios script for monitoring our HP P2000 SAN. I am pleased to say that Thomas has incorporated these tweaks into his version of the script which is available for download on his site here.

As I have documented our new VMware Cluster and HP SAN further I have begun to realise that we needed to monitor things on the SAN in a slightly more granular way than this script was allowing us. First off, here is my first attempt at a network diagram of the whole VMware cluster:

vmWare Cluster Network Diagram


Continue reading Nagios HP MSA P2000 Status and Performance Monitor – Part 2

Nagios HP MSA P2000 Status and Performance Monitor

We have just finished installing our new HP P2000 SAN ready for the implementation of our VMWare set up next week and thought we should set up some monitoring other than basic pings for them in Nagios! HP supplied the SNMP MIBs with the SAN, but rather than write new SNMP queries for everything we wanted to monitor, I thought I would search the Nagios Exchange first to see if anyone else had already created such a plugin.

Continue reading Nagios HP MSA P2000 Status and Performance Monitor

Instant Nagios Starter Review

I was recently asked to review “Instant Nagios Starter” by the people over at Packt Publishing.

This book is the first book I have read in Packt’s “Instant” series, which is publicised as “Learn in an instant. Short; Fast; Focused”. The book is certainly short; it is only 46 pages long and by the time you get to the start of Chapter 1 you are already 17% of the way through the title! The book is available in e-book format only (epub, mobi and pdf versions are all available). The price too is very reasonable; coming in at under £5 including VAT!

Continue reading Instant Nagios Starter Review

Ubuntu Server 12.04 “Cannot display this video mode”

I have been installing a new Ubuntu server on some old hardware at work this week (HP Proliant DL360 G4) to configure a Free-Radius server for our site-wide WiFi solution; however I fell at the first hurdle!

After installing Ubuntu as normal and rebooting the server, I was presented with a black screen displaying “Cannot display this video mode”. Very annoying!

Continue reading Ubuntu Server 12.04 “Cannot display this video mode”

Nagios check_http plugin

Today I have been playing around with my Nagios install and making a real effort to get all services on the Windows servers monitored effectively. One of these servers I have been looking at is running WSUS and a couple of other web based services on different ports.

I started to read up on the help file of the check_http plug-in, which up until now I had assumed (wrongly!) would just check for a web response on port 80 for the host you ran the check against.

Continue reading Nagios check_http plugin