ExplodingPenguin.TV Linux Love, Microsoft Frustrations, and Other Geekery


Broadcast Multiple SSIDs From One Computer



MDK3 is a Linux program that will allow you to do all sorts of things with wireless beacon frames.  One of the things you can do is broadcast a list of fake access points from a single wireless card. Good for illustrating that users shouldn't just connect to any open AP that they come across.


Windows 8 Dev Preview in VirtualBox

Installing and running Windows 8 in VirtualBox is very straight forward. There are just a couple major issues that are easily fixed. (I'm running VirtualBox 4.1.2)

(You can get the Windows 8 download links here.)

Get the network connection working. The default NIC in VirtualBox isn't recognized by Windows 8 out of the box.


Convert VM File Types

VM FormatsTo avoid booting into Windows and downloading VMware's VM converter, I use qemu-img to convert virtual machine's to my needs. It's free, fast and open source. You can download it from from the repos in most Linux distros.


qemu-img convert -O [output format] [input filename] [output filename]

Record Audio Output or Input From The Terminal

An easy way to record any audio output or mic input is to gstreamer-tools.

The command to record all audio output to a file:

gst-launch -e pulsesrc device="alsa_output.pci-0000_00_1b.0.analog-stereo.monitor" ! audioconvert ! lamemp3enc target=1 bitrate=128 cbr=true ! filesink location=output.mp3

That will save the audio to the a file specified after "location=."

The "device=" may vary, to list the audio devices on your system  enter:

pactl list | grep -A2 'Source #' | grep 'Name: ' | cut -d" " -f2

Example output:




To create an easier to remember command add an alias to the .bashrc file.

Open .bashrc (located in your home directory) with your text editor and add the record command in this format:

#Audio Out record
alias capaudio='gst-launch -e pulsesrc device="alsa_output.pci-0000_00_1b.0.analog-stereo.monitor" ! audioconvert ! lamemp3enc target=1 bitrate=128 cbr=true ! filesink location='

This creates an alias called capaudio. After this you only need to type capaudio followed by the filename to record the audio out.


capaudio output.mp3



Setup Gnome OpenVPN Client


Install the OpenVPN plugin for network manager. For Ubuntu it's:

sudo apt-get install network-manager-openvpn

SSH Tunneling

SSH tunneling has been my favorite way to quickly tunnel to my home network over the years. The setup is incredibly simple, and if you have a Linux machine at your home or office, and use Linux on your travel computer, then you have very little to do to make this work.

The Linux machine on your home network needs openssh server installed. (Server distros usually ask if you want openssh installed initially or have it installed by default)

Forward the SSH port on your router/NAT device to the Linux box at home. (port 22 by default)

Now on the Linux notebook you only have to open a terminal and run your normal SSH command with the -D option.


ssh john@server -D 8080

This allocates a socket to listen to the local port you specify (in this example port 8080).

Then configure whatever application you want to use the tunnel, to a socks proxy pointing to the localhost at port 8080 (or whatever port you specified).

For example, you would setup Firefox to use the tunnel by going to Preferences>Advance>Networking>Conection Settings, and select Select SOCKS Host with and port 8080 as the setting.


Deja Dup Backup Tool for Ubuntu

Deja Dub is an easy to use, end-user focused, backup tool that will ship with Ubuntu 11.10. It is already in the Ubuntu repos  for older versions of Ubuntu, so you could easily install it right now, but before you start relying on this program to keep those important files safe, you should be aware of it's features and limitations.


Change The Purple Background on Ubuntu’s Grub Menu

I prefer my grub2 in plain old black and white, not that purple nonsense. There are many ways to try and change the color setting, and the methods can very from versions of Ubuntu, grub, and plymouth. So the easiest way to edit boot apperance is with a super-boot-manger.


3 Free Ways To Hack Or Bypass a Windows Login

There are many reasons why you would need to reset or crack a Windows password. For me, it's usually because a user forgot their password or hit the Caps Lock when changing the password. Whatever the reason, every geek should know how to hack a Windows password.


How To Fix Common Java Issues In Windows

So you're sitting there playing your favorite PC game, or compiling the latest version of the Linux kernel, and suddenly you hear your smart phone play the TARDIS ring tone from Doctor Who. You check the caller ID and notice it's that old lady you fixed a computer for recently. You answer, and she immediately starts complaining about how this Java based game on "the Yahoo" doesn't work any more.

Fixing little JRE issues for end-users can be annoying, but if you have a better idea of what to look for, it can save you a lot of time.