Nov 2, 2022 - Post installation script

Post installation script

In several earlier blog posts I mentioned a few things to do after you set up a new server: Hardening sshd config, enable firewall, etc.

Here’s a compact form of all this as a script, which you can customise and simply run after an installation. It will create a specific user, and only this user is allowed to ssh with public-key authentication (password authentication will be disabled). UFW will be installed and enabled as firewall. Fail2ban installed and enabled as basic brute-force protection. And a classic LAMP stack will be installed. On a debian system you should only have to edit the ‘Options’ section. For other distros you obviously have to adjust the script accordingly.


###### Options



aptpackages="vim screen lynx mariadb-server mariadb-client apache2 libapache2-mod-php php" # classic LAMP server

snappackages="certbot" # Have to run 'certbot --apache' manually later


# redirect all output to log file
exec >> /root/post_install.log
exec 2>&1

# update base installation
apt-get -y -q update
apt-get -y -q upgrade

# add the main user
adduser --disabled-password --gecos "" $user
mkdir /home/$user/.ssh
chmod 700 /home/$user/.ssh
echo "$key" >> /home/$user/.ssh/authorized_keys
chmod 644 /home/$user/.ssh/authorized_keys
ssh-keygen -t rsa -N '' -f /home/$user/.ssh/id_rsa
chown -R $user:$user /home/$user/.ssh

# harden ssh config
sed -i "s/.*PubkeyAuthentication.*/PubkeyAuthentication yes/g" /etc/ssh/sshd_config
sed -i "s/.*PasswordAuthentication.*/PasswordAuthentication no/g" /etc/ssh/sshd_config
sed -i "s/.*PermitRootLogin.*/PermitRootLogin no/g" /etc/ssh/sshd_config
echo "AllowUsers $user" >> /etc/ssh/sshd_config
echo "$user      ALL=(ALL)       NOPASSWD: ALL" >> /etc/sudoers

# setup firewall
apt-get -y -q install ufw
ufw default deny incoming
ufw allow ssh
ufw allow http
ufw allow https
ufw --force enable

# setup fail2ban
apt-get -y -q install fail2ban
cat <<EOT > /etc/fail2ban/jail.local
bantime = 1h

enabled = true

enabled  = true

enabled  = true

enabled  = true

enabled  = true
systemctl reload fail2ban

# Install additional packages
if [ -n "$aptpackages" ]
  apt-get -y -q install $aptpackages

# Install snap packages
if [ -n "$snappackages" ]
  apt-get -y -q install snapd
  snap install core
  snap refresh core
  snap install --classic $snappackages

Mar 16, 2022 - Some more find snippets

Some more find snippets

Exec complex commands with find

find * -exec is a great way to run a simple command on multiple files, like shown in Aug 21, 2020 - More Unix tools. But what to do if you want to run more complex commands, where the “file” variable isn’t necessary at the end of the command, or you need more variables?

Lets say you have a similar task, a lot of tar files you want to extract. But now each tar file is in it’s own directory and you want to extract the files inside there. tar has the -C target_directory option which can do that, so for a single file it would be tar xJf SomeDirectory/Something.tar.xz -C SomeDiretory. But how do you do this in combination with find * -exec for multiple files/directories?

You have to do this via -exec sh -c ''! For example:

find * -type f -name "*.xz" -exec sh -c 'dir=$(dirname "$0"); tar xJf "$0" -C "$dir"' {} \;

As usual you pass in the found file as last argument via {} \; to the exec command. But then in that case the exec command launches a shell which takes it in and passes it on to the shell script you specify in -c '...' as first argument $0.

Find + awk to extract information via regex groups

Recently I had to extract the image dimensions from a few thousand of tif images. Again find came to the rescue, in combination with awk. As single and double quotes and there combinations are quite important for both, find * -exec didn’t work directly in that case. I had to iterate over the find output with a for loop.

echo "Filename , Width , Height" >> image_dims.csv"
for i in `find * -type f -name "*.tif"`; do echo -n "$i , "; tiffinfo $i | head -3 | tr '\n' ' ' | awk 'match($0,/.+Width:\ ([0-9]+).+Length:\ ([0-9]+).+/,a) {print a[1],",",a[2]}' >> image_dims.csv; done;

To break it down:

find * -type f -name "*.tif" generates a list of the tif files, for iterates over them and runs the commands between the do and done.

tiffinfo spits out lots of information about an tif image (but only the first 3 lines are needed), e.g.:

TIFF Directory at offset 0x8 (8)
  Subfile Type: multi-page document (2 = 0x2)
  Image Width: 2960 Image Length: 2960

tr '\n' ' ' removes the linebreaks, so everything’s on one line.

awk 'match($0,/.+Width:\ ([0-9]+).+Length:\ ([0-9]+).+/,a) is looking for two groups of decimals, one after “Width: “ and one after “Length: “. These two values will be stored in the array a.

print a[1],",",a[2] simply prints the two values.

Nov 24, 2021 - Hardening Raspberry Pi

Hardening a Raspberry Pi

…to prevent potential filesystem issues.

A Raspberry Pi can easily end up with a broken filesystem. This is because it continuesly writes data to /tmp and /var/log (SD cards don’t like that), and hard power offs / reboots aren’t unlikely (the filesystem doesn’t like these). There are three measures to prevent that:

1) Use a good, industrial grade SD card. 2) Move /tmp and /var/log into RAM. 3) Enable full journaling on the filesystem.

Move /tmp and /var/log into RAM

Create a /log directory and add this to your /etc/fstab:

tmpfs   /tmp    tmpfs   nodev,nosuid,noatime,size=256M  0   0
tmpfs   /log    tmpfs   nodev,nosuid,noatime,size=256M  0   0

This creates two temporary RAM based filesystems /tmp and /log with 256Mb. Delete /tmp, reboot, then you can also delete /var/log and ln -s /log /var/log (reboot again)

Note: You’ll loose 512Mb of RAM but for a current 4Gb Raspberry Pi 4 that’s acceptable. Also the logs will be lost after each reboot/crash. If you need them for debugging, remove the softlink /var/log again and create the /var/log directory again.

Enable full journaling on the filesystem

For any other than the root partition it’s enough to add the data=journal option to /etc/fstab. But for the root parition you have to set it as default using tune2fs first:

tune2fs -o journal_data /dev/sda1

(given that /dev/sda1 mounted as /)

Then you add data=journal to /etc/fstab:

/dev/sda1  /               ext4    defaults,noatime,data=journal  0       1