Picryption: TrueCrypt for the Pi

Journey to the Clouds series.
3. Encrypting an external USB drive using TrueCrypt.

picryption
TrueCrypt allows full disk encryption and we are going to use it to encrypt the USB drive attached to the Raspberry Pi so you can happily carry it around when needed. This post will also present two solutions for auto-mounting TrueCrypt volumes. We will use the latest version available, for that we will have to compile it from source and since the target is a headless Raspberry Pi we will compile it without graphical support.
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Find Pi Everywhere: FreeDNS a free Dynamic DNS service

Journey to the Clouds series.
2. Configuring Dynamic DNS using FreeDNS.

tuxmemorygame
Dynamic DNS is what allows common mortals to have a domain name without paying for a static IP address. Why FreeDNS? Because it is free of charge, you only need an email address to register and to update the IP address it is as easy as it gets: execute a command. I will walk you through the process to create a domain and configure the Pi to update the IP address when needed.
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Headless Pi Mess: Installing Raspbian

Journey to the Clouds series.
1. Install Raspbian on a headless Raspberry Pi.

headless
In this post we will install Raspbian, a Debian based distro, in the Raspberry PI. Usually I’d go for Arch Linux but for this project I will side with Debian because the lower frequency of updates and therefore less maintenance once it is up and running. As a downside we will have to install TrueCrypt, PHP, Nginx and ownCloud either from source either from their repositories to take advantage from the latest packages.
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Journey to the Clouds: Launching a Headless Raspbian

Launching Raspberries
In these posts series we will set up ownCloud on top of a LEMP stack, that is Linux (Raspbian), Nginx, MySQL and PHP. The storage to be used will be an USB drive encrypted using TrueCrypt and we will achieve Dynamic DNS through FreeDNS. With such a configuration we will get our very own Dropbox replacement that we will be able to control as we pleased. All that on a headless Pi, that is, no need for monitor nor screen. The only thing to do is to insert the SD card, the USB drive and connect it to the router.

    Journey to the Clouds index:

  1. Install Raspbian on a headless Raspberry Pi.
  2. Configuring Dynamic DNS using FreeDNS.
  3. Encrypting an external USB drive using TrueCrypt.
  4. Setting up Nginx web server.
  5. Setting up MySQL database.
  6. Setting up PHP.
  7. Installing ownCloud.

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Are those processes talking to you? Kill them all!

Tux Rambo

This is not a very known feature of the killing command but it is possible to kill a process along with all its children, this is very convenient when a script spawns into several processes and you want to terminate all of them at once.
The key is to pass the PGID (the process group ID) with a minus sign in front:
$ kill -9 -PGID
$ kill -- -PGID

Use 'ps -j' to list the processes’ PGIDs. Continue reading

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This GRUB does not start (in Ubuntu)

This is the situation, for some unfortunate reason your Ubuntu system crashed, maybe there was a black out, maybe your cat seeking more attention unplugged the computer. In any case, at some point the computer is switched back on but it does not automatically start, it stays in the GRUB’s selection menu waiting for any entity, usually a humanoid form of it, to hit enter. Continue reading

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Listing built-in modules

Have you ever wondered how to list the built-in kernel modules? Here you are, they are in the file modules.builtin. Now it is easy to check if a module is built-in or not, grep will suffice:
$grep module_name /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/modules.builtin

wall-e-rubiks-cube3

Too short? OK keep reading for a longer modules’ tale. Continue reading

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