Category Archives: Networking


VHCS On Ubuntu

I was given the project of DNS entries for several customers. After playing around with BIND9 for several hours (I actually got it to work for all sites EXCEPT http://sitename.tld – it worked fine for subdomains), a colleague suggested that I try VHCS. VHCS is a free software suite that allows for Virtual Hosts, DNS, and other web related items to be shared and easily managed between several groups. You can grab more data here:

I also chose to put this on Ubuntu because debian packages are easy to install, Ubuntu is fully supported by a huge user base, and Ubuntu also uses a very small footprint.

Once you download the suite, follow the Install directions all the way until you get an error similar to this:
If specified by -literal_key, then the key length must be equal to the chosen cipher's key length of 56 bytes at /var/www/vhcs2/engine/setup/../ line 1443
Compilation failed in require at ./vhcs2-setup line (line whatever)

Here’s the fix:
nano /var/www/vhcs2/engine/
Control + W and search for db_pass_key
Any time you see 'key' => $main::db_pass_key fill in the following ABOVE the line:
'keysize' => 32,

Then rerun the script ./vhcs2-setup

P.S. By the way even, the instructions don’t really mention that you have to copy some folders over. Make sure you copy everything in the vhcs2- folder to /etc/vhcs2/ otherwise it will fail out. If you get some postfix errors, that’s probably ok.

P.S. Part 2 There is a much easier product to setup: ISPConfig. You can find it at I recommend using ISPConfig as it is actively maintained.

Enable Remote Desktop Remotely

I find it sometimes necessary to enable remote desktop (RDP) after a machine has left the building. As long as the machine is VPN’d in or somehow connected to the network, I can fire up a couple commands, few clicks, a reboot, and then I’m free and clear.

Open RegEdit (start >> run >> regedit)
Navigate to: HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server
Change the DWORD fDenyTSConnection to 0 (not 1)
Reboot the machine (shutdown -m \\computername -r -f -t 20)

I forgot to add an important step, namely the step after opening regedit. You must File >> Connect Network Registry, and then type in the name of the computer. THEN you can navigate to the HKLM.

Vista Slow Network

I recently installed Vista on my main rig (long story short: old rig died, bought new rig). Everything was installing peachy, it might even be considered “fast”. No SATA drivers were needed, no other drivers were needed either. I’m still using on board video, but there’s a spot for a x16 PCI Express card.

Well anyway, installed the Vista, did all the Vista updates and installed all my 2007 software. Everything was moving along at a quick pace until I tried to load up Office over the network. Even navigating to the shared directory “Microsoft” was painfully slow. I attempted to copy the ISO over. I say Attempted because I didn’t even let it finish. It was moving at a snail’s pace: 16KB/sec. I can freakin DOWNLOAD it faster than I can grab it off a network share! WTF mate!

So I figured it was a problem with the network settings. I changed them from autonegotiate to Full Duplex. Then to Half Duplex. I even got rid of the IPv6 and VLAN settings, which did absolutely nothing. I finally hooked the system up to my Ghost Server and attempted to copy over a 3GB Ghost image. It flew by at around 21MB/sec. Twenty-one Mega Bytes versus sixteen kilobytes. Thank you network.

I narrowed it down to a couple possibilities – the Ghost Server was on it’s own unmanaged 10/100/1000 switch. The Applications server is on a managed Cisco switch with several VLANs. It only ran/runs slow on the managed network.

Here’s the fix now that I made you read all of my ramblings:
Somehow get to the administrative CMD. I edited quite a few settings on Vista already to allow me to administer the computer without that annoying popup. It used to be Start >> Run >> CMD. It’s still that in my edited version.
Then type “netsh interface tcp show global”. This will show the current netsh configuration in case you break something later.
Type “netsh interface tcp set global autotuning=high”. This will set it to a high rate of speed instead of the normal rate. Other configurations include “low” and “disabled”. I’ve heard some have had luck with disabling the autotuning completely. Be sure to repair your network connection. Oh wait, you can’t by normal means (thank you Vista again!).
In the command prompt, type “ipconfig /release” and then “ipconfig /renew”.

Ubuntu Broadcom BCM4318 802.11g Laptop Wireless Driver

A fresh install of Ubuntu 7.04 or 7.10 will yield quite a few drivers built in. I’m actually impressed that most of the devices on my laptop work right out of the box (so to speak). Not complaining about Windows too much, but I’m constantly drawn towards Linux because of the support given via hundreds of thousands of individual peoples. Have an issue? Probably it’s been well documented and there are fixes available. If not, someone can most likely help you out. Want to make changes to your OS? Want free software and free support? Linux.

Now that the rant is over with, here’s an issue I came across while installing 7.04 AND 7.10 on my laptop (actually Windows had this issue too, but it’s much easier to find driver support on that side). The problem was my built-in Broadcom wireless 54G card (BCM4318 is the model). I didn’t want to use ndiswrapper to solve this one. I wanted a linux native driver.

BCM43xx Auto Install Driver

This is a debian package script that will install the Linux Native driver. Double click, install, reboot. If the wireless doesn’t work, you may have the wrong Broadcom card installed, or you will have to use ndiswrapper.

EDIT 08042008
Ubuntu 8.04 and beyond actually has built-in support for the Broadcom Card (not quite as good as the NDIS wrapper, but it will connect at 54mbps and has fairly decent range). You can go to System, Administration, Hardware Drivers. It should then be listed as one of the available to use.

Can Ping Out, Not In

Having problems pinging a remote user? Can they ping you just fine?

Here’s the steps I did:
1. Install the latest and greatest driver for the network card. Check.
2. Turn off the firewall. Windows firewall, or a third party firewall, may be blocking the ICMP ping protocol. Check
3. Uninstall the network device. Then scan for hardware changes and it should automatically reinstall. Check.
4. Do you use Cisco VPN Client? Open the VPN Client, right-click on the system tray icon, and uncheck “stateful firewall (always on)”. Check.
5. Reset the switch/change cables/reboot the computer. Check.

Then you should be done. If you have more suggestions, or can’t get something to work, let us know.