ipython – quick introduction

ipython tutorial and how to delete sensitive data from history

ipython is program which allows you to run python code in an interactive shell. Although Python itself when run from CLI opens an interactive shell as well, ipython is much more powerful and greatly improves your productivity. Some of the things you can do with ipython but not the default python shell is command or code and file name completion, view history, copy/paste a single or multiline code, nicely colored help with in the shell, run Linux commands such as ls or cat, scroll up/down to previous commands, automatically adds spaces after you press enter, etc.

Installation

pip install ipython

Quick demo
Start ipython by typing the

ipython

command in your CLI –

daniel@lindell:/tmp$ ipython
Python 2.7.12 (default, Nov 19 2016, 06:48:10) 
Type "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.

IPython 5.4.1 -- An enhanced Interactive Python.
?         -> Introduction and overview of IPython's features.
%quickref -> Quick reference.
help      -> Python's own help system.
object?   -> Details about 'object', use 'object??' for extra details.

In [1]: print('ipython')
ipython

In [2]: 

With in the ipython interactive shell you can run any python code, let us walk through some examples –


  In [1]: x=2

In [2]: x
Out[2]: 2

In [3]: mylist=[1,2,3,4,5]

In [4]: [i**3 for i in mylist]
Out[4]: [1, 8, 27, 64, 125]

In [5]: with open('/etc/hosts') as fp:
   ...:     for line in fp:
   ...:         if 'localhost' in line:
   ...:             print line
   ...:             
127.0.0.1	localhost

::1     ip6-localhost ip6-loopback


In [6]: ls /opt/
ansible/  google/  vagrant/

In [7]: 

Go back to previously typed commands / History
With ipython, you can either press the UP arrow key or type

 history 

command to view history. ipython keeps session history as well as all input and output lines in a SQLite file which is located in

~/.ipython/profile_default/history.sqlite 

You can view and modify this file using

sqlite3

tool –

daniel@lindell:/tmp$ sqlite3 ~/.ipython/profile_default/history.sqlite
SQLite version 3.11.0 2016-02-15 17:29:24
Enter ".help" for usage hints.
sqlite> .schema
CREATE TABLE sessions (session integer
                        primary key autoincrement, start timestamp,
                        end timestamp, num_cmds integer, remark text);
CREATE TABLE history
                (session integer, line integer, source text, source_raw text,
                PRIMARY KEY (session, line));
CREATE TABLE output_history
                        (session integer, line integer, output text,
                        PRIMARY KEY (session, line));
sqlite> 

Deleting sensitive data from history
You can delete any line from history by using SQL. First use SELECT statement to find the line number and then use DELETE statement to delete it. In this example, we are deleting line number 10 from the history table –

sqlite> select * from history;
sqlite> .schema history
CREATE TABLE history
                (session integer, line integer, source text, source_raw text,
                PRIMARY KEY (session, line));
sqlite> delete from history where line=10;

References –
https://ipython.org/
http://www.sqlitetutorial.net/sqlite-delete/

How to mount a raw disk image

Mount partition from a raw disk image

In this post, I will share how you can mount a raw disk image such as an image generated with dd. Raw disk image or RAW Image Format is a bit-for-bit copy of disk data, without any metadata information on files. In Linux, dd is a popular tool for data transfer by duplicating entire disk for instance. Let us create a disk image of a mount with an EXT3 file system –

[root@kauai src]# dd if=/dev/sdb of=disk.img 

7233761+0 records in
7233760+0 records out
3703685120 bytes (3.7 GB) copied, 236.166 s, 15.7 MB/s

[root@kauai src]# ls -alh disk.img 
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 3.5G Jan 15 18:44 disk.img

We have copied a mount with multiple files into a single disk.img file which we can copy to another system. Now let us examine the raw disk layout, that we can use to mount as a file system –

[root@kauai src]# fdisk -lu disk.img 
You must set cylinders.
You can do this from the extra functions menu.

Disk disk.img: 0 MB, 0 bytes
124 heads, 62 sectors/track, 0 cylinders, total 0 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xdebbbd93

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
disk.img          630416      945623      157604   83  Linux

As we can see the raw disk has 512 byte size sectors and it starts at offset 630416, given this information we can use mount command to mount the disk image –

[root@kauai src]# mount -o loop,offset=$((630416*512)) disk.img /mnt/hdisk/
[root@kauai src]# ls -al /mnt/hdisk/
total 37
drwxr-xr-x. 3 root root  1024 Jan 15 18:39 .
drwxr-xr-x. 4 root root  4096 Nov 17 20:04 ..
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root    15 Jan 15 18:39 file21
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root    15 Jan 15 18:39 file22
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root    15 Jan 15 18:39 file23
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root    15 Jan 15 18:39 file24
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root    15 Jan 15 18:39 file25
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root    15 Jan 15 18:39 file26
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root    15 Jan 15 18:39 file27
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root    15 Jan 15 18:39 file28
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root    15 Jan 15 18:39 file29
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root    15 Jan 15 18:39 file30
drwx------. 2 root root 12288 Jan 15 18:37 lost+found

[root@kauai src]# cat /mnt/hdisk/file26 
File number 26

Here we were able to mount the disk image and be able to read the content of one of the text files.

References –

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dd_(Unix)

https://linux.die.net/man/8/mount

How to copy to a clipboard in Linux

Problem statement – You have a file with hundreds or thousands of lines and you want to copy the contents of this file and paste it to an external application, for instance to a browser.

Solution – The first attempt is to try to cat the file and scroll down with your mouse to select each line. This is time consuming or in some cases might not work if there are too many lines as some of the lines will ‘scroll out of the terminal’. One way of getting around this is to use “xclip” – a command line interface to X selections (clipboard).

In my case I wanted to copy the contents of ‘/tmp/ipaddresses.txt’ file to a browser for blogging. The file had 10000 lines. I used the following commands, first to install xclip and then to copy the file contents to a clipboard –

apt-get -y install xclip
xclip -sel cli < /tmp/ipaddresses.txt

The xclip command basically does a selection (-sel) from the file into the clipboard(-cli), where you can copy paste to any other external application.

References
https://linux.die.net/man/1/xclip

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/5130968/how-can-i-copy-the-output-of-a-command-directly-into-my-clipboard

Personal Finance Blog Directory

A project to track all active financial blogs.

No question there are too many personal finance, early retirement, deb etc. related blogs out there. It is very difficult to keep track of all these blogs. Luckily there is a project by Rockstar Finance not only keeps track of these blogs but also updates the list on a daily basis. Here is the link to the personal finance blog directory.

Looking at the list the categories of these blogs is very diverse, as of today it includes these –

    Budgeting
    Debt
    Early Retirement
    Family
    Frugality
    General Finance
    Investing
    Lifestyle
    Making Money
    Military
    Millennial
    Minimalism
    Real Estate
    Traditional Retirement

The directory also allows you to easily filter the list by –

    Category
    Age
    Sex
    Race
    City/State/Country
    profession

I found this directory quite useful in filtering out the relevant blogs that I am interested in based on the category. If you manage a personal finance blog, you can also submit your blog to the directory admins so that they can post it there.

How to fake or spoof x-forwarded-for header

The x-forwarded-for header is a way of identifying the IP address of the original client when a web server is sitting behind a proxy or load-balancer. The load-balancer does get the actual client IP as it directly sets up the TCP session with the load-balancer. But the x-forwarded-for address might contain a list of comma separated IP addresses in addition to the immediate client IP. It is these extra IPs that we can spoof and the procedure is similar to modifying any HTTP header such as user agent.

import requests
headers={'X-Forwarded-For':'1.1.1.1'}
r = requests.get('http://web.home.net/index.html', headers=headers)
if r.ok:
    print('Success.')

How the log likes like on an nginx access log –

1.1.1.1, 192.168.10.206 - - [19/Mar/2017:16:43:55 -0700] "GET /index.html HTTP/1.0" 200 1311 "-" "python-requests/2.2.1 CPython/2.7.6 Linux/3.13.0-121-generic"
1.1.1.1, 192.168.10.206 - - [19/Mar/2017:16:53:55 -0700] "GET /index.html HTTP/1.0" 200 1311 "-" "python-requests/2.2.1 CPython/2.7.6 Linux/3.13.0-121-generic"
1.1.1.1, 192.168.10.206 - - [19/Mar/2017:16:58:55 -0700] "GET /index.html HTTP/1.0" 200 1311 "-" "python-requests/2.2.1 CPython/2.7.6 Linux/3.13.0-121-generic"

The take away is not to trust any IPs in the x-forwarded-for list apart from the load balancer IP and the immediate client IP which made a direct call to the load balancer. If we trust our load balancer, we can also reliably identify the immediate client IP. The rest of the IPs in the x-forwarded-for list can be ignored.

References –

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-Forwarded-For

git – add local files to a git repository in local file system (bare git repo).

In this blow, I will show you how you can turn your local files into a github style repository. In my case I had files in `/etc/puppet` that I wanted to version control, but I wanted to push to a bare repository in the same machine or localhost. Here are the steps I followed –

Files to version control : /etc/puppet
Bare git repository that we will push changes in /etc/puppet : /var/lib/puppet/gitrepo/

1. Create a github style git repository in /var/lib/puppet/gitrepo

root@linubuvmb:/# mkdir -p /var/lib/puppet/gitrepo && cd /var/lib/puppet/gitrepo
root@linubuvmb:/var/lib/puppet/gitrepo# git --bare init
Initialized empty Git repository in /var/lib/puppet/gitrepo/

2. Initialize files as git repository

root@linubuvmb:/# cd /etc/puppet
root@linubuvmb:/etc/puppet# git init
Initialized empty Git repository in /etc/puppet/.git/
root@linubuvmb:/etc/puppet# git add .
root@linubuvmb:/etc/puppet# git commit -m 'First commit'
[master (root-commit) b71ef42] First commit
 50 files changed, 3913 insertions(+)
 create mode 100644 auth.conf
 create mode 100644 environments/example_env/README.environment
 create mode 100755 etckeeper-commit-post
 create mode 100755 etckeeper-commit-pre
 create mode 100644 fileserver.conf
 create mode 100644 manifests/base.pp
 create mode 100644 manifests/nodes.pp
 create mode 100644 manifests/site.pp
 create mode 100644 modules/apache/manifests/init.pp
...

3. Add bare repo as remote

root@linubuvmb:/etc/puppet# git remote add origin file:///var/lib/puppet/gitrepo/

4. Push to local git repository

root@linubuvmb:/etc/puppet# git push -u origin master
Counting objects: 84, done.
Delta compression using up to 2 threads.
Compressing objects: 100% (70/70), done.
Writing objects: 100% (84/84), 129.33 KiB | 0 bytes/s, done.
Total 84 (delta 6), reused 0 (delta 0)
To file:///var/lib/puppet/gitrepo/
 * [new branch]      master -> master
Branch master set up to track remote branch master from origin.
root@linubuvmb:/etc/puppet# git status
On branch master
Your branch is up-to-date with 'origin/master'.

Changes not staged for commit:
  (use "git add <file>..." to update what will be committed)
  (use "git checkout -- <file>..." to discard changes in working directory)

        modified:   puppet.conf

no changes added to commit (use "git add" and/or "git commit -a")
root@linubuvmb:/etc/puppet# git commit -a
[master f57997d] test
 1 file changed, 1 deletion(-)
root@linubuvmb:/etc/puppet# git status
On branch master
Your branch is ahead of 'origin/master' by 1 commit.
  (use "git push" to publish your local commits)

nothing to commit, working directory clean

Reference –

https://git-scm.com/documentation