My home automation setup will make use of Arduinos and also embedded Linux devices. I’m currently looking into a few boards to see if any meet my criteria.
The most important factor for me is that the device must be supported in upstream Linux (preferably stable, but mainline will do) and U-Boot. I do not wish to use any old, crappy, vulnerable vendor trees!
The Orange Pi One is a small, cheap ARM board based on the AllWinner H3 (sun8iw7p1) SOC with a quad-Core Cortex-A7 ARM CPU and 512MB RAM. It has no wifi, but does have an onboard 10/100 Ethernet provided by the SOC (Linux patches incoming). It has no NAND flash (not supported upstream yet anyway), but does support SD. There is lots of information available at http://linux-sunxi.org.
Orange Pi One
Note that while Fedora 25 does not yet support this board specifically it does support both the Orange Pi PC (which is effectively a more full-featured version of this device) and the Orange Pi Lite (which is the same but swaps Ethernet for WiFi). Using either of those configurations should at least boot on the Orange Pi One.
Continue reading ‘Building and Booting Upstream Linux and U-Boot for Orange Pi One ARM Board (with Ethernet)’
In Part 1 I discussed motivation and research where I decided to build a custom, open source wired solution. Part 2 discussed the prototype and other experiments.
Because we were having to fit in with the builder, I didn’t have enough time to finalise the smart system, so I needed a dumb mode. This Part 3 is about rolling out dumb mode in Smart house!
Continue reading ‘My Custom Open Source Home Automation Project – Part 3, Roll Out’
In Part 1 I discussed motivation and research where I decided to build a custom, open source wired solution. In this Part 2 I discuss the design and the prototype that proved the design.
Although there are options like 1-Wire, I decided that I wanted more flexibility at the light switches.
- Inspired by Jon Oxer’s awesome SuperHouse.tv
- Individual circuits for lights and some General Purpose Outlets (GPO)
- Bank of relays control the circuits
- Arduinos and/or embedded Linux devices control the relays
Continue reading ‘My Custom Open Source Home Automation Project – Part 2, Design and Prototype’
In January 2016 I gave a presentation at the Canberra Linux Users Group about my journey developing my own Open Source home automation system. This is an adaptation of that presentation for my blog. Big thanks to my brother, Tim, for all his help with this project!
Comments and feedback welcome.
Why home automation?
- It’s cool
- Good way to learn something new
- Leverage modern technology to make things easier in the home
At the same time, it’s kinda scary. There is a lack of standards and lack of decent security applied to most Internet of Things (IoT) solutions.
Continue reading ‘My Custom Open Source Home Automation Project – Part 1, Motivation and Research’
QEMU has a neat bridge-helper utility which allows a non-root user to easily connect a virtual machine to a bridged interface. In Fedora at least, qemu-bridge-helper runs as setuid (any user can run as root) and privileges are immediately dropped to cap_net_admin. It also has a simple white/blacklist ACL mechanism in place which limits connections to virbr0, libvirt’s local area network.
That’s all great, but often you actually want a guest to be a part of your real network. This means it must connect to a bridged interface (often br0) on a physical network device.
Continue reading ‘Configuring QEMU bridge helper after “access denied by acl file” error’
Recently it was discovered that the RAID 5/6 implementation in Btrfs is broken, due to the fact that can miscalculate parity (which is rather important in RAID 5 and RAID 6).
So what to do with an existing setup that’s running native Btfs RAID 5/6?
Well, fortunately, this issue doesn’t affect non-parity based RAID levels such as 1 and 0 (and combinations thereof) and it also doesn’t affect a Btrfs filesystem that’s sitting on top of a standard Linux Software RAID (md) device.
So if down-time isn’t a problem, we could re-create the RAID 5/6 array using md and put Btrfs back on top and restore our data… or, thanks to Btrfs itself, we can live migrate it to RAID 10!
Continue reading ‘Live migrating Btrfs from RAID 5/6 to RAID 10’
Why use a password manager in the first place? Well, they make it easy to have strong, unique passwords for each of your accounts on every system you use (and that’s a good thing).
For years I’ve stored my passwords in Firefox, because it’s convenient, and I never bothered with all those other fancy password managers. The problem is, that it locked me into Firefox and I found myself still needing to remember passwords for servers and things.
So a few months ago I decided to give command line tool Pass a try. It’s essentially a shell script wrapper for GnuPG and stores your passwords (with any notes) in individually encrypted files.
I love it.
Continue reading ‘Command line password management with pass’
Fedora 24 is on the way, here’s how you can play with the cloud image on your local machine.
Download the image:
Make a new local backing image (so that we don’t write to our downloaded image) called my-disk.qcow2:
qemu-img create -f qcow2 -b Fedora-Cloud-Base-24-1.2.x86_64.qcow2 my-disk.qcow2
The cloud image uses cloud-init to configure itself on boot which sets things like hostname, usernames, passwords and ssh keys, etc. You can also run specific commands at two stages of the boot process (see bootcmd and runcmd below) and output messages (see final_message below) which is useful for scripted testing.
Continue reading ‘Booting Fedora 24 cloud image with KVM’
Say that you notice UDP port 323 is open (perhaps via netstat -lun) and you’ve no idea what that is!
With lsof it’s easy to find out which process is guilty:
[15:27 chris ~]$ sudo lsof -i :323
COMMAND PID USER FD TYPE DEVICE SIZE/OFF NODE NAME
chronyd 1044 chrony 1u IPv4 19197 0t0 UDP localhost:323
chronyd 1044 chrony 2u IPv6 19198 0t0 UDP localhost:323
In this case, it’s chrony, the modern time keeping daemon.
As Jonh pointed out in the comments, you can also use netstat with the -p flag.
For example, show all processes listening (-l) on both TCP (-t) and UDP (-u) by port number (-n) showing the process (-p), while I grep for port 323 to show what’s running:
[19:08 chris ~]$ sudo netstat -lutnp |grep 323
udp 0 0 127.0.0.1:323 0.0.0.0:* 1030/chronyd
udp6 0 0 ::1:323 :::* 1030/chronyd
When a process is interrupted, the kernel suspends it and stores its state in a sigframe which is placed on the stack. The kernel then calls the appropriate signal handler code and after a sigreturn system call, reads the sigframe off the stack, restores state and resumes the process. However, by crafting a fake sigframe, we can trick the kernel into executing something else.
My friend Rashmica, an intern at OzLabs, has written an interesting blog post about this for some work she’s doing with the POWER architecture in Linux.