Category Archives: Other code

#TIL Some Unix Magics I Picked Up This Month

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So this month I picked up a couple of unix tricks which I wish I had have known years ago.

Tip #1.

Supervisor is a service which will sustain a running process, you can tell it to auto start a command then make sure that process is always running. You can pick output files for STDOUT and STDERR then force a relaunch on any crash you might have.

Use Case: I was actually attempting to run deluged and deluge-web on a VPS I own, however often when adding a new torrent the server would crash, I’d need to ssh into the box and restart it. Now deluge restarts itself on every crash meaning I can upload and if it crashes it’ll come straight back up.

there is a good guide to setting up supervisor here Setting Up Supervisor.

Tip #2.

tmux is a terminal multiplexer and it does exactly that. tmux will let you use all that empty space on the right of your terminal as a second terminal, it allows you to split your terminal into many many panes arrange those panes into default layouts or arrange them manually to suit your workflow. This of course has many use cases however the one that came to mind is when running an arp cache poison I usually have at least 3 tabs one for the router, one for the client, one for whatever it is you’re hoping to do with the traffic. With tmux you can run them all in the same terminal window without tabs and you can keep an eye on all your processes at once. It also looks awesome on larger screens. There is a number of cheat sheets available for tmux some of the ones I looked at:

But you can’t go past the man page:

Adventure into ReportLab and RML

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My journey began after reading a long report on network statistics that one of my co-workers was required to write.
I have always been enthusiastic about not writing reports but generating them, and as much as I love manual typesetting some documents are just to vast and to complicated to manually typeset every paragraph to make sure it looks just right.
The document we will be generating needs to pull loads of data from Intrusion Prevention/Detection and other network devices we will then be manipulating the data calculating some more graphing some of it then putting it all into tables. I’ve always wanted a project to do in ReportLab. I began looking into ReportLab and officially they offer 2 versions; ReportLab Plus and ReportLab OpenSource. Unfortunately ReportLab OpenSource does not support the ReportLab Markup Language(RML) which is in essence is an XML dialect. The licence for ReportLab plus was a but out of my price range so I went searching and came up with an RML parser that comes with an rml2pdf function. But first I had to get z3c.rml and opensource ReportLab installed onto my MacBook.
I kept getting this error;
clang: error: unknown argument
I found the solution here where you can suppress the error by prefixing your pip install command with the following
ARCHFLAGS=-Wno-error=unused-command-line-argument-hard-error-in-future pip install
This seemed to work and I was finally able to import reportlab z3c.rml and all the other dependancies.

I started off with a file simply importing the modules and calling rml2pdf.go but this evolved a bit as I incorporated templating so I came up with this .py file to read in an XML file apply mako rendering then create an RML file which I render to PDF like so.

import z3c.rml.tests
from z3c.rml import rml2pdf, attr
from mako.template import Template
mytemplate = Template(filename='btest.xml')
rml2pdf.go("btest.rml", "test.pdf")

I then proceeded to build up my sample document.
which you can find on bitbucket here
where I set a border imported some images put in headers, footers and page numbers.

So hopefully this will be the way we typeset future reports and I won’t need to spend a whole bunch of time fixing badly processed word documents.

Category: Other code, Python, Software | Tags: , ,

Automajikly updating a log page with JQuery

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I was developing a a web application at work for use on the intranet. And if you’re anything like the security nut I am you love logging just as much as I do. I love logging so much I have a page for just about every I use generally my log pages look something like

import os
print "Content-Type:text/html"
print '<br/>'.join(os.popen("tail -100 somelog.log").read().split("n"))

Now this is ok but wouldn’t it be cool if it updated without the page refreshing?
Now I’m not very good at Jquery so I had no idea to start but eventually I came across Jeff Star’s blog post which was pretty much exactly what I was after without all the fancy 404 logging since my web framework does all that.
So quite simply I took this code

		<title>Ajax Error Log</title>
		<!-- Ajax Error Log @ -->
		<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8">
			pre {
				font: 10px/1.5 Courier, "Courier New", mono;
				background-color: #efefef; border: 1px solid #ccc;
				width: 700px; margin: 7px; padding: 10px;
				white-space: pre-wrap;
		<script src=" "></script>
			$(document).ready(function() {
				var refreshId = setInterval(function() {
				}, 2000); // refresh time (default = 2000 ms = 2 seconds)
		<noscript><div id="response"><h1>JavaScript is required for this demo.</h1></div></noscript>
		<div id="results"></div>

And changed AjaxErrorLog.php to the cgi script tailing my log and presto a live log feed.