The Future OS: Unikernel

Even though in the server regime, Linux is considered to be a rock solid OS. But considering the amount of cyber attacks happening all around the world and the hardware maturity along with the software tools which hackers are able to exploit and fetch over the dark web, things are getting nasty for Linux perhaps. Now let me tell you from last 50 years the server OS has not changed much and even though Unix and Linux like OS’s do co-exist and have comparatively huge amount of market share in the server region being adamant there is always a hope for new technologies to arise.

Now how can we change this let us see and understand the basic working of a VM and then a Linux host OS and the containers and finally let us talk about Unikernel and there various other distro’s used in the industry which are very rare of-course and let me explain this below:

So what the hell is a Unikernel?

Unikernel is nothing but an application that has been churned down to a small, secure, light-weight virtual machine which eliminates general purpose operating systems such as Linux or Windows. Unikernels aims to be a much more secure system than Linux. It does this through several chores and thrusts. Has nothing to do with the users, running a single process per VM, and limiting the amount of code that is incorporated into each VM. This means that there are no users and no shell to login to and, more importantly, you can’t run more than the one program you want to run inside. Now imagine there is no ssh you cannot see the logs even though you do a shell exploit, infact there is no shell inside this. sysdig, tcpdump and mysql-client is not there at all, even a hacker cannot apt-get install any packages etc by remote controlling the targetted machine. No database, hence nothing. This makes it almost a hack proof OS even similar to those of static site generators out there like Jekyll and Hugo.

So what’s next you might be wondering well, just try to get this running on AWS or Google Cloud via installing the OSv or the Unik OS. Happy deploying…

Linux Kernel 5.6 has arrived, here is what’s new

As an accolade to Mr. Torvalds and all the Linux enthusiasts out there, let us breathe a sigh of relief and greet this welcoming new version which is full of bells and whistles and without wasting any more time here we go:

WireGuard(a fast, modern, secure VPN tunnel).

A big deal for networking folks out there for the people who knows what it means and what they would be using it for, personally I don;t use VPN’s though much to be frank, rarely just for some fun sake. Wikipedia describes it as a secure VPN (Virtual Private Network) tunneling tool. It “runs as a module inside the Linux kernel” to deliver better performance (and improved privacy) than other tunnel protocols, that’s pretty much of it in a nutshell.

Support for Amazon Echo (not that interesting though but let me tell you below):

These things might amuse few hardware hackers of all genres since, this assistance from Amazon IMO is the smartest of all and support for this means you can perhaps boot Linux on top of it, sounds interesting right?. For those curious eyes, the Amazon Echo is powered by a Texas Instruments OMAP3 SoC, 256MB DRAM, and features MMC storage — not exactly top-drawer components, you see ?

USB4 support(Goodness are we in the future):

Based on Thunderbolt 3 which provides practically high data throughput and backward compatible with USB 3.2 and 2 yes you read that correct. This seems Sci-Fi as of now since such devices have not arrived in the market and it is indeed a very good move that Linux is well prepared for the upcoming future.

Better Hardware Support:

As usual with every new kernel release there comes a new better top-notch support for the upcoming hardware and yes here ARM-based SoCs, developer boards, input devices, sound cards, mice, keyboards, and so on are included. Finally, anyone running Linux 5.6 on an ASUS AMD Ryzen laptop should find that the CPU no longer overheats quickly ! Even Raspberry Pie support is enhanced further for smoother performance.

CPI idle Cooling driver:

This does not mean that heat sink would be discarded. As per Phoronix “…this driver will inject idle cycles at run-time when necessary to cool down the CPU and also reduce any static power leakage.” So IMO do not shell out a bomb on a expensive water cooling system as of now.

VirtualBox Folder Sharing:

As the name suggest, this is as simple as sharing files and folders between the guest and the host OS. Nothing great in this seems to be appeared in 5.4 but now works seamless that is what is important here.

Thanks for reading and impatient readers can get it here.(Note: Things might break or you may just mess around with your Workstation, but it’s worth a wait once it goes becomes mainline kernel).

Connecting Bluetooth Peripherals via terminal in Linux

Let’s say you’re device has a Bluetooth installed and wanna play around it with the terminal rather than a boring GUI which not so cool people do, you know what I’m saying geeks here like to play with the terminal right 🙂

Before start, make sure your device has a Bluetooth interface or else get a cheap USB Bluetooth dongle.

$ sudo apt install bluetooth

This will install bluetoothctl and bluetoothd.
Start the bluetooth service.

$ sudo service bluetooth start
$ sudo bluetoothctl
[bluetooth] agent on
[bluetooth] default-agent
[bluetooth] scan on
[bluetooth] devices
[bluetooth] pair <bluetooth_mac_address>

If you’re pairing a Bluetooth keyboard, it will show a key to pair the keyboard. Type that key using the Bluetooth keyboard and press enter key to get paired. Finally,

[bluetooth] connect <bluetooth_mac_address>

Reset a root password in Ubuntu

This issue was raised to me by my friend once and i didn’t paid a heed to this for like few years unless it so happened that I, myself forgot the admin password of my Ubuntu box and got wondering to to fix that. Here is a simple how to:

Boot up the machine, and after the BIOS screen, hold down the left Shift key (note that for UEFI BIOS you might need press ESC instead). You will then be prompted by a menu that looks something like this:

Go down hit the down arrow hey and select the recovery mode option.

You should now see a root prompt, something like this:

root@ubuntu:~#

At this stage you should have a read-only filesystem. You have to remount it with write permissions:

mount -o remount,rw /

Now we can set the user’s password with the passwd command. (In this example I will use akash as the example, you need to substitute whatever the user’s username is):

root@ubuntu:~# passwd akash
Enter new UNIX password:
Retype new UNIX password:
passwd: password updated successfully
root@ubuntu:~#

That’s it.
Enjoy!

Install the fastest mirror in Kali Linux.

Facing issues of slow updates via terminal in Kali Linux 2020.1 and above, well you’re not the only one, there are few or perhaps many cases in the wild and after some research I’ve landed onto this solution. Perhaps not the best in the world but makes complete sense and works most importantly. The issue faced is due to a lot of hits on the mirrors out there and the official repo might be slow at the time of updating or upgrading your kali distro for you. So here is the solution:

replace it on /etc/apt/sources.list such as this one below:

deb http://kali.cs.nctu.edu.tw/kali kali-rolling main contrib non-free
# For source package access, uncomment the following line
# deb-src http://kali.cs.nctu.edu.tw/kali kali-rolling main contrib non-free

Also for a good reason, you should not add any additional repositories as it may break your Kali Linux unless you really know how to fix that.

For me it looks something like this.

That’s it
Happy Upgrading and good bye to slow updates.

How should I upgrade pip on Ubuntu?

So what the heck is pip after all?

The concept of a package manager might be familiar to you if you are coming from other languages. JavaScript uses npm for package management, Ruby uses gem, and .NET use NuGet. In Python, pip has become the standard package manager. So, what is pip? pip is a package manager for Python. That means it’s a tool that allows you to install and manage additional libraries and dependencies that are not distributed as part of the standard library.

sudo apt install python3-pip

sudo pip3 install --upgrade pip setuptools

sudo apt update&& sudo apt upgrade python-pip

Upgrade pip with pip and change the link as shown:

apt-get install python-pip
pip install --upgrade pip
pip --version  
ln -s /usr/local/bin/pip /usr/bin/
pip --version  

Like above, but now use python -m pip

pip install --upgrade pip
pip --version  
python -m pip --version  

easy_install

easy_install -U pip
pip --version  

on Windows use Chocolatey, and on macOS use homebrew !

3 cool ways to completely encrypt your flash drives

Encryption can be a de-facto standard for privacy paranoid peeps out there, but yay! we do need it sometime or say most of the time, when using specially a flash drive or something portable drive which people tend to use mostly if and when required in there daily chores of digital life.

Toucan is a small utility allowing you to synchronise, backup and secure your data with more options than the built in suite utilities. It is split up into 7 tabs, allowing you to easily find the function that you want. This version features:

  • Five synchronisation modes, Copy, Mirror, Equalise, Move and Clean. These can be combined with a variety of file checks such as File Size, Modified Time and a File Header Check to minimise the amount of copying needed.
  • Backup and restore in industry standard Zip, 7-Zip and GZip files, with support for complete backups, updating existing backups and differential backups, as well as restoring files from an archive. Automatic testing of created archives is also supported as is password protection.
  • AES-256 encryption using ccrypt.
  • A complete command line system allowing you to create new jobs and run existing ones from the command prompt or a batch file.
  • A Rules system that allows you to easily exclude files based on their name, a regular expression, their modified date or file size.
  • An advanced scripting system using the Lua programming language that allows complex scripts to be created, anything from a backup script that automatically uploads new backups to a script that synchronizes your files to a USB drive and then encrypts the sensitive files in case of loss.
  • A large collect of in built Variables for basic functions such as the date and time or more complex variables that point to the drives label or documents directory. You can also define your own as short cuts to paths on your USB drive or your PC.
  • Many other features such as support for the new Windows 7 taskbar, full drag and drop support and translations to many languages.

VeraCrypt is the successor of TrueCrypt. It comes as a portable app that runs directly from your flash drive. VeraCrypt does require Administrator rights to operate. It uses on-the-fly AES 256-bit encryption. The free version is limited to drive sizes of 2 GB.

VeraCrypt features on-the-fly encryption using multiple different encryption algorithms, including 256-bit AES, Serpent, and TwoFish, as well as combinations of these.

This free edition can create a hidden, encrypted, and password-protected partition of up to 8GB on your USB flash drive. The tool uses automatic on-the-fly encryption with AES 256-bit key length.

You can open the protected container by clicking the Rohos Mini.exe icon from the root folder of your USB thumb drive. After entering the password, the Rohos disk will mount as a separate drive and you can access it via File Explorer.

To close your Rohos partition, right-click the Rohos icon in the Windows Taskbar notification area and select Disconnect.

Note:- Friendly advice for all take regular backups and be safe from data theft or corruption.