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


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]

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.


Recover Deleted Files From ClearOS Flexshares

The Accidentally Deleted File


By default the recycle bin is enabled on ClearOS shared folders. So don't panic when someone deletes one of your super important files.

Get started by going to the shared folder the file was deleted from. To access the ClearOS recycle bin, you will need to enable "Show hidden files and folders." If you haven't done so already, click Tools at the top of the window. Then click "Folder Options"  select the View tap, then click the radio button next to "Show hidden files and folders." (If you use a Linux desktop, you only have to press Ctrl+h)


ClearOS Rick Rolling Content Filter

Inspired by a segment on hak5. I customized the ClearOS filtered site page to give the users a more entertaining experience when someone tries to access a blocked site.

You can download the custom filter page here.

First backup the original filtered.php

cd /var/webconfig/htdocs/public/
cp filtered.php filtered.bak


Now override the filtered.php file with the custom one and copy an .mp3 of the song named NGGUP.mp3 to /var/webconfig/htdocs/public/. That's it! When someone goes to a blocked site, they'll get Rick Roll'd.


Customize ClearOS Login and Site Blocked Images

Customized Login

Replacing the default ClearOS logo on the login pages and proxy error pages is very simple.

That image is being pulled from:



First backup the file:

cd /var/webconfig/htdocs/templates/standard-5.1/images/
cp logo2.png logo2.bak


Now copy your image to that directory, and as long as it's named logo2.png it will load. The original image is 109x128. You can get away with a lot more width than that, but you need to keep the height the same in order for the login box to display correctly. There's plenty of ways to do the actual copy, since I'm already logged into the ClearOS server, I'll just scp the file from my linux client.

[root@clearos images]# scp user@system:/example/directory/logo2.png ./


That's it! Now go to your ClearOS login page and you should that custom logo.

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End User Guide – ClearOS Content Filter Unblock Website


So, your very talented IT person just setup a fancy new ClearOS server/firewall on your network?  Is it bocking a legit site that you need to access? Get the ClearOS server's address and your login from that computer expert of yours and follow these steps.


Open your browser and go to the ClearOS IP address or hostname using https and port 81

Ignore the certificate warning


Go to Gateway and Content Filter

Click the edit button by "Site Lists"

Add site under "Exception Site List"