Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Brian Fields (aka AZ Rune) will be both hosting the November Phoenix Linux User Group and providing our monthly presentation content next Wednesday at the Cowden Center of (HIPAA Compliant) John C. Lincoln North Mountain Hospital from 18:00 until 20:30.Hackfests are semi-quarterly events that provide open encroachment using Linux Distro based pentest and exploit tools. Hackfests require registration, presentations do not. Presentations are held in public venues on community based networks, and provide no avenue for lab testing of security tools. Hackfests always need build engineers, IDS and forensic staff people with abilities in Snort, puppet and Backtrack4, Samari, DVL and OWASP tools. There is an open call for monthly presentations; contact
The Cowden Center is located in the North Mountain Hospital Complex at 9202 N. 2nd Street, Phoenix Arizona 85020. PLUG uses the Auditorium #180 since we generally have up to 40 students and professionals attend. The NEW DAY and time for our winter series is the First Wednesday of every month starting at 18:00 until 20:30 to give everyone a chance to show up late or come earlier.Presentation materials are available online the day of the event if you could not attend.,+phoenix+az&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=41.411029,74.794922&ie=UTF8&z=16&iwloc=addr

PLUG provides coordination with local educators for extra credit and happily organize signup sheets and content syllabus with teachers. Contact us to make arrangements.References:

The Phoenix Linux User Group Security Lab members heartily thank everyone who has made these events possible including ABLEConf and LinuxFund.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
I'll be honest ...

Among friends it implies that someone is trying to be serious but in the Customer Service world the phrase "I be honest" impliess that everything else you have said may have been less than honest.

This leads me to what I wanted to write about:

:: Managing Foreground and Background processes ::
Now I am going for Ubuntu Certification and I can hope for some feedback after this. If the environment your working in today still uses terminal exclusive interfaces really get to know the admin. Buy him a beer, coffee, get him or her laid, whatever you have to do because that person is more than likely on top of their game. That being said, I feel more comfortable still in a windowed shell still, a GUI if you will.

I realize that back when X was not an option and everything was a terminal line interface that moving processes/tasks into the background was (ah heck, and still is) MEGA cool and a serious advancement in shell terminals. I am writing this blog from a tabbed browser at my work and I remember when Netscape Navigator 4.7 was NEW HOT STUFF!!! I make jokes with my co-workers about the day I got to say, "My dad just got a 28.8 baud modem! OMG I have never seen anything so fast!" I guess I realize why the advancements are cool and understand if you don't study the past you are doomed to repeat it. However, I like my Graphic User Interface and using terminal when I need to do system tasks. I am working on a deeper understanding and I believe when I practice terminal rote long enough perhaps I will appreciate terminal more than I do. I believe when I can get my schedule changed around to hook up with Lisa Kachold's Hackfest I will have more practical applications of terminal in using it to do tasks rather than rote learning.

Still knowing to throw and " & " at the end of a command to make it execute in the background is useful. Knowing that I can see what processes/tasks are running with the "jobs" command is very useful. Further knowledge of being able to bring forward the command I want utilizing " $ fg %1 (or whatever number process you want that is in the back ground) " is freaking fantastic! However, I don't myself likely to mess with another dumb terminal anytime soon, and if I did I can probably make a a null modem cable allow me to use a laptop of some kind with a GUI.

just my rant, view point, 2 cents, what have you.

Sunday, June 21, 2009
Ok you have a folder on the desktop of your linux machine and you are trying to improve your terminal skills. Now you are normally in your home folder per your enviroment variables when terminal (BASH) opens.

For example:

[tech-slave@slave ~]$

Now lets say the folder you want to access is on the Desktop and called "n00b1." Now typing out:

$ cd /home/tech-slave/Desktop/noob1

may be a little long and tedious for some. Now there is the 1,000 command log of your BASH history file and other options but we aren't talking about those options today. Today we are talking about setting variables so to set it temporarily you can type:

$ NB=/home/tech-slave/Desktop/noob1 ; export NB

Now we have taken what can be a long directory path and assigned it to the NB variable. When we export to the NB command this propigates the value to the current BASH terminal session which then can be sent forward to any other shells you open while this one is running. Now you can reach the directory by typing:

$ cd $NB

Much less to type but this is the temporary value so when you exit the BASH terminal session the setting is lost. To make it permanent edit the ~/.bashrc file so it become permanent. Now if you only use this periodically you might want to think about making and executable text file and just launch the file when you need the variable.

Ahh GNU/Linux - choices, choices, choices :-)

Saturday, June 13, 2009
I have hit dangerous waters today, treacherous you might say. I have found a hot nerd who seems to appreciate many of the things I do. More to follow, must study... STUDY!!!
Sunday, June 7, 2009
TMOUT = Sets and inactivity timer before BASH will 'auto' logout.


Now the next to I am going to talk a little more about PATH and WHATEVER. Now in both Windows based PC's and Linux Based PC's Path is the list of directories (or folders for you Windows Users; not admins just users) where commands are executed.

Windows Example:
C:\Documents and Settings\User>path
PATH= C:\WINDOWS\system32;C:\WINDOWS\;C:\WINDOWS\system32\Wbem

This is where Windows (Yes this is XP command prompt) will check to launch programs such as notepad.

Windows Example:
C:\Documents and Settings\User>notepad.exe
\\ POOF // Notepad will open and you are back at the prompt
C:\Documents and Settings\User>

Before my fellow freax's (you will laugh at "freax" if you know what Linus Torvalds wanted to call Linux) get in a huff the Windows stuff is just to showcase what we are talking about today is cross platform. Linux and the various "nix's," i.e.: UNIX and other LINUX distrobutions have terminal/shell prompt which Windows Users will understand as command prompt. Now what we are discussing is how to set "Enviroment Variables" for the Bourne Again SHell (look at the capital letters and now you get BASH).

In GNOME GUI's you can access it via APPLICATIONS > ACCESSORIES > TERMINAL in the Ubuntu distrobution; and via APPLICATIONS > SYSTEM TOOLS > TERMINAL in Fedora. In most KDE GUI's you can find it in the "K" Menu > SYSTEM.

Alright now we have Terminal open and BASH running leaving us at the prompt.
[tech-slave@slave ~]$

Now we will tell it to echo PATH
[tech-slave@slave ~]$ echo $PATH

While I will address the dollar sign briefly. The dollar sign is a metacharacter in BASH and by default most people see it as the last character in the prompt telling them they are working as a standard user where working as 'root' user will show a hash mark or '#' as the last character in the prompt

Ubuntu ex: [tech-slave@slave ~]$ sudo bash
[tech-slave@slave ~]#

Fedora ex: [tech-slave@slave ~]$ su
[tech-slave@slave ~]#

Now the $ sign is also used as the metacharacter to set argument variables or expanding on environment variables. I am not going more in depth on that right now since I could write an article on that by itself.

[tech-slave@slave ~]$ echo $PATH

Unlike with Windows the directories are seperated by colons ":" and not semi-colons ";" helping see each location. As with my previous post"Setting Your Prompt for Bash" you can make permanent changes to your BASH by editing the ~/.bashrc file.

Now if you want to add you present working directory (PWD) to PATH for this BASH session you can do so by typing the following command:

PATH=.:$PATH : export PATH

Now you may not want the present working directory (PWD) to PATH and if you want to specify a specific directory you should phrase your command like the following.

Ex: This command refers to my Crossover Office directory where I run Microsoft Excel for certain spreadsheets.

PATH=$PATH:/home/cxoffice/bin : export PATH

This will check will first read the listed directory and add it to path then we export the new modified PATH.


Now in section three of this (god awful long post) we will tackle the WHATEVER command to provide yourself ways to shortcut to directories on your filesystem to speed up you work in BASH. I have a 'note' directory in my 'Documents' directory within the /home/tech-slave directory. I want to create a quicker way to access it than the following command:

$ cd /home/tech-slave/Documents/note

So I am going to use N to remind me of note and set up the following link:

N=/home/tech-slave/Documents/note : export N

Now I'm going to make that my current directory by typing:

$ cd $N

and there you have it.

More next time, later.

Saturday, June 6, 2009
Now I am running Fedora 10, on the first HDD and Ubuntu 9.04 on the second HDD so my default BASH prompt has the following parameters:

"Username, Hostname, and the name of the PWD or present working directory" surrounded in brackets.
ex.: [tech-slave@slave ~]$

FYI Note " ~ " is shown to represent your home directory (i.e. ~ = /home/yourusername)

so.. $ cd /bin
[tech-slave@slave bin]$

There are some temporary options that will alter how your prompt appears.

Three examples \t (time) \d (date) \w (displays full path of the PWD)

So to execute the tempory change you would type:
$ export PS1="[\t \d \w]\$ "

Giving you [20:43:33 Sat Jun 06 /bin]$

Now to permanently alter these setting for the prompt then make the changes in your ~/.bashrc file for them to last after you close your current shell. Now in other files you might change a setting but with this one you can just add the line at the end of the file and save the change.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Mike(21:44:14): that ninjua tux is my new mascot lol
Brian(21:44:22): hehe
Mike(21:44:37): you stole the jedi i got ninja w00t
Brian(21:45:10): Pirates. Ninjas. A Jedi cares not about this, only the code matters (Open Source that is :^P )
Mike(21:45:28): Wow.. i have nothing, that really was awsome

Sometimes you just win
/etc/profile = Sets up user environment information of every user on the system.

/etc/bashrc = This file executes for every user that runs the BASH shell, each and every time it's opened. Remember though that the values in this file can be over-ridden by each user's ~/.bashrc file.

~ /.bashrc_profile = User specific information on how they choose to use their shell prompt. By default it grabs its environment variables from the user's ~/.bashrc file.

~/.bashrc = Contains the information that is specific to YOUR own bash shells. This file is the best location to add enviroment profiles. Many of the other config files check this or are over-ridden by the values in this file.

~ /.bashrc_logout = Excutes upon a user logging out of BASH, and by default just clears your screen.

The first two files will require sudo (Ubuntu Linux Distro's) or root (Fedora Linux Distro's) permissions to modify. The other files each have a copy in every user's $HOME directory, so they (users) can modify it at their liesure.

Monday, June 1, 2009
Sunday, May 31, 2009
The pipe (|) metacharacter connects the output from one command to the input of another command. This let's you have one command work on some data, and then have the next command deal with the results.

$ cat /home/tech-slave/bills.txt | sort | less

This command lists the contents of the /home/tech-slave/bills.txt file and pipes the output to the sort command. The sort command takes the names of the bills that begin on each line of the file and sorts them alphabetically, and pipes the output to the less command (to page thru the output).

Thanks to the O'Reilly Linux Bible 2008 Ed., their text was altered to show an example on my system.
I have bought my friend a netbook so he could learn Linux and I chose to get one from System76. I got their Starling Netbook and then gave him some pdf copies of books so he could begin learning about Linux. Now when he worked at the NSA (ex-military) he had begun learning UNIX but had forgotten a great deal. Seeing him get back into the swing of things and learning to hack his G1 to act as a wifi-hotspot for his netbook has been just awesome.

More later I have reading to do :)
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Hey got my desktop set up for 9.04 Ubuntu

Take a look:

Dude I love that background!

Ok more to come later as I keep plugging away at this
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Wow! Today the calls don't stop and it is never ending stuff. The only one interesting was troubleshooting a 3rd party domain for email. I was over at Fear Computer Solutions and looking at their guide for installing a Zimbra Mail server. Sexy cool :-)

More later
Sunday, May 24, 2009
You read things and say to yourself, "Hey a second way to do stuff, NEAT!" Then your try out keyboard shortcuts to move around through BASH and nothing! Grrrr! I love learning new ways to do things but it frustrates me when I find a source that is suppose to be distro neutral and there is something not letting the keystrokes work. Heck moving on!!
Saturday, May 23, 2009
$ echo $PWD


I do like my job helping people but there are days I want to refer them to my favorite web comic Questionable Content and tell them there torture is to be devised by Faye and Pintsize with Dora keeping score for creativity. I have the coolest boss in the world right now and I am trying to help the team out while I learn more to take the test.

Going over BASH (Bourne Again SHell) commands right now before I go scope out what I need to keep moving forward. This makes me think of Indie Linux geeks whipping out with commands testing there coolness rather than with bands that no one's heard of. Oh well enough for now more tomorrow.
Sunday, May 17, 2009

Welcome to the Linux Professional Institute testing with Prometric

The Linux Professional Institute is a non-profit organization sponsored by the Linux community to offer a vendor neutral approach to certification in the Linux operating system. It is a comprehensive series of exams which will test you in the various aspects of the system.

For general information about, please visit

Exams are based on objectives clearly laid out at these Web pages;

US & Canada +1-800-294-3926 (Toll free)
Latin America: +1-443-751-4300
EMEA: +31-320-239-800
APAC: +61-2-9414-3663
Japan: +0120-387737

To become Linux Professional Institute Certified - Level 1, candidates must pass LPI exam- 101 and LPI exam -102.

To become a certified Level 2 graduate candidates must have their Level 1 certification, and also pass LPI exam-201 and LPI exam-202.

LPI also offers the Ubuntu Certified Professional Exam: 117-199. For additional information see:

The LPIC-3 program consists of a single exam for LPIC-3 "Core" designation. A number of specialty" exams are proposed as additional designations on top of the LPIC-3 "Core" certification. Proposed specialties include the following: Mixed Environment, Security, High Availability and Virtualization, Web and Intranet, and Mail and Messaging. The first such "specialty" designation, "Mixed Environment" will be available in January 2007.

The LPI 301 Core and LPI 302 Mixed Environment are available now.

For details on training and participating in this program, please contact us;

Please check the website for further information;

Thank you for your support of LPI.

Available Test Sites

6 test sites are available in ARIZONA. To view other sites, choose a different location.

You may want to confirm directions with the Test Site prior to your exam date.

Test Sites


Schedule Appointment
Site Directions
View Test Site Web Site

Dr Geeks Inc
Mesa, ARIZONA 85210
Phone: 480-545-5459 Site Code: az56

3050 S Country Club Drive
Suite 25

Schedule Appointment
Site Directions

Phone: 602-973-8945 Site Code: AZ000

1951 West Camelback Road
Camel West Plaza

Schedule Appointment
Site Directions

Phoenix, ARIZONA 85012
Phone: 602-266-8500 Site Code: AZ6

3110 N Central Ave
Suite 160

Schedule Appointment
Site Directions

B and B Evaluation Services
Phoenix, ARIZONA 85040
Phone: 6024386595 Site Code: az83

4022 E Broadway Rd, Ste114

Schedule Appointment
Site Directions

New Horizons Computer Learning Center
Phone: 520-290-5600 Site Code: AZ24


Schedule Appointment
Site Directions

Clear Canyon Technologies, Inc
Tucson, ARIZONA 85715
Phone: 733-3004 Site Code: AZ45

1350 N. Kolb Rd Suite 124

Test Center Locator

Linux Professional Institute Testing Test Centers in Arizona, United States
Test Centers - Sorted by CityTelephoneAddressDirections
Mohave Community College928-704-7799
3400 Hwy 95
Bullhead City,Arizona86442
Northern Arizona University928-523-1070
NAU College of Business, Building 81
20 McConnell Drive, P.O. Box 15066
Mohave Community College928-692-3046
1971 Jagerson Avenue
Mohave Community College928-855-7812
1977 Acoma Blvd. West
Lake Havasu City,Arizona86403
Dr. Geeks Inc.480-545-5459
3050 S Country Club Drive
Suite # 25 On The West Side Country Club
Between Elliot Road & Guadalupe Road
Mesa Community College480-461-6100
145 N. Centennial Way, 4th flr.
TechSkills LLC -480-785-7900
1910 S. Stapley Drive
Suite 101
Anthem College602-279-9700
1515 E. Indian School Road
Interface Technical Training602-266-8500
Interface Technical Training
3110 N Central Ave
Suite 160
TechSkills LLC602-955-5888
10835 N. 25 th Ave
Suite 125
Yavapai College928-717-7673
1100 E Sheldon St
Building 19 Room 222
New Horizons Computer Learning Center480-736-9300
9200 E. Pima Center Parkway Ste. 160
University of Arizona South520-458-8278
1140 North Colombo Ave.
Sierra Vista,Arizona85635
New Horizons Computer Learning Center520-290-5600
6377 E Tanque Verde Rd
Suite 200
Arizona Western College928-344-7641
College Community Center building 3C
2020 S. Avenue 8E
P.O. BOX 929
1st this certification kinda cost less

The test is around $75 and the study guide is around $40 plus shipping and handling. However, they have not worked out a deal with testing centers so you currently have to go to a conference and take it there. Here is the calendar that is scheduled:

Site Events

Event BSDDay Argentina (Buenos Aires, Argentina, from May 29, 2009 06:00 PM to May 30, 2009 03:30 PM)
Event devGuide_London (London, UK, from Jun 12, 2009 03:00 PM to Jun 12, 2009 05:00 PM)
Event devGuide_Amsterdam (Amsterdam, Netherlands, from Jul 31, 2009 03:00 PM to Jul 31, 2009 05:00 PM)
I could dig the UK but I don't know if I will have the money in time to go there. Sad Padawan :( but I have not given up hope yet you never know if I can get a convention locally to have an exam room.

Hey feel free to bug me on twitter.

Later, = The main program

These are the first Linux certifications I am going for because of the online training I can do this at work and my boss is so mega cool that between calls (yes folks I do tech support) I can work on my notebook and the training courses.

Yes this mega cool blog is being written by a lowly employee of a call center wishing to pull himself from the dregs of the wage slave into a career where he actually gets to use his brain.

::Turns to the lady at the counter ::

"Why yes throw some bitter in my coffee," grins the blogger. In a few I will post the BSD certification I am going for as well.

Saturday, May 9, 2009
Does this work???




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