Scott's Weblog The weblog of an IT pro specializing in virtualization, networking, open source, and cloud computing

VMware Fusion First Impressions

I installed VMware Fusion earlier today and immediately set out to install Windows XP Professional. Despite the fact that once I switched to Mac OS X I haven’t ever really looked back, I still have the rare occasion when I need to run some Windows application (usually Visio). So, it made sense to me to install Windows first, then to move on to more exotic subjects such as Solaris or OpenBSD.

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First Post from new MacBook Pro

I’m extremely pleased with the new MacBook Pro so far. No heat issues (runs cool, even under load), the machine runs very fast, and the keyboard feels great (believe it or not, I was actually worried about this one–I’m a stickler for a keyboard since I do so much typing).

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New MacBook Pro Soon

I’m glad I waited just a bit longer to move forward on a purchase of a new MacBook Pro. I had considered purchasing one late last week, but decided to wait just a bit longer. My patience was rewarded with an update to the Core 2 Duo (at a top speed of 2.33GHz), double the RAM (2GB instead of 1GB), and a bigger hard drive size (120GB instead of 100GB). I spoke to the people at the local Apple store at Crabtree Valley Mall, and they placed me on a contact list for the new 2.33GHz 15.4” model (17” is too big for me). I’m the second one on the list!

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Delving into NFS and Automounts

The main goal in undertaking this effort is to create a structure in which hosts running Linux (typically CentOS) and Solaris 10 share common home directories. These common home directories will be NFS-hosted shares that are automounted when a user logs in. By combining this with CIFS-hosted shares (for Windows-based clients), we can provide common home directories for users regardless of the OS to which they are logging in.

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Nexenta Alpha 6 on ESX Server

Nexenta (also called GNU/OpenSolaris) is a blend of OpenSolaris, GNU, and Debian (Ubuntu, specifically). It’s pretty cool, actually—blending the OpenSolaris kernel with Ubuntu userland binaries to create something that’s not quite Solaris and not quite Linux, but has some of the values of both. For those of you interested in running it on VMware ESX Server, I’m happy to report that it does work just fine.

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Event Logging in AD Integration Scenarios

To test what kind of logging occurs, I simply used my existing installation of Windows Server 2003 R2 and Active Directory, for which the logging options had not been modified from their “out of the box” settings. From there, I cleared the security event logs and then attempted an SSH login to a CentOS 4.3 server that has been configured for AD authentication via Kerberos (through PAM, not directly inside SSH).

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No Broad OpenBSD-AD Integration

After doing some additional research on the authentication architecture for OpenBSD, I learned that OpenBSD does not support PAM (Pluggable Authentication Mechanism), nor does OpenBSD support NSS (Name Switch Service). I found this particularly interesting, but not terribly surprising as the OpenBSD leaders have made it very clear that they won’t include software that doesn’t meet their stringent security and licensing requirements. I suppose that’s a good thing, even if it does make certain tasks impossible.

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Refined Solaris 10-AD Integration Instructions

The original instructions are found here. Note, however, that this post contains all the information from the original post plus a few added points found during the latest run through the steps.

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Finding Recently Created Active Directory Accounts

The syntax for finding recently created Active Directory accounts using either dsquery or AdFind is listed below. In this context, we’re defining “newly created accounts” as all accounts created after a specific date. The date is encoded into the commands, as explained below, so you can tailor this to your specific environment.

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OpenBSD as a Simple NAT Router

To setup a simple NAT router/firewall using OpenBSD, use these steps as a general guideline. I’m assuming that you have general knowledge of OpenBSD. This article applies to OpenBSD 3.9.

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