Tagged: ubuntu

Deploying Ubuntu on Rackspace using Fog and Cloud-Init

This post is an amalgamation of Vladimir Vuksan’s Provision to cloud in 5 minutes using fog (EC2-specific) and Jeff Gran’s Bootstrapping an Ubuntu Server on Rackspace Using Cloud-Init and Fog – I contributed little more than (inexpertly) gluing them together.

Assuming you already have the Fog gem installed:

First, as a prerequisite and as Jeff Gran notes, you’ll need to create a Rackspace image with the cloud-init package installed.

Next, similar to what Vladimir Vuksan describes, create a config.rb file, and populate the following values as appropriate for your environment:

#!/usr/bin/env ruby

@flavor_id = 3
@image_id = 1234567

@rackspace_username =  'example'
@rackspace_api_key = '1234....'

@private_key_path = './ssh/id_rsa'
@public_key_path = './ssh/id_rsa.pub'

The flavor_id values and image_id specify the instance size and the image you built with cloud-init installed (see the “fog” executable’s “Compute[:rackspace].flavors” and “Compute[:rackspace].images”, respectively); the Rackspace username and api_key can be retrieved from within the console under “Your Account: API Access.” The SSH key pair will be what you use to access the new instance as root.
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Installing the F5 FirePass VPN Client on Ubuntu 10.04 AMD64

Disclaimer: I am not a FirePass administrator; only an end-user and have no other relationship with F5. There may be better methods to address this issue; please comment if you know of one.

See also: f5vpn-login.py, described here, and brought to my attention by sh4k3sph3r3. A CLI FirePass client is quite likely a better solution than separate browser instances, etc.

Preliminaries: Although the F5 FirePass SSL VPN product supports Linux, as best as I can tell, that support is somewhat limited: My understanding is that they officially claim support for 32-bit installs only, and they do not appear to track new distribution releases particularly aggressively. F5 has also been somewhat slow in supporting new browser versions: They announced support for Firefox 3 on October 6, 2008, nearly four months after its release and with only two months to go before Firefox 2 was end-of-lifed. For Firefox 3.6 support, a comment on the post linked above states that you need to request a special hot fix from F5 (which my site has not applied). There is no Google Chrome support that I am aware of.

Further, F5’s automated client installation tools have unfortunately never worked for me on Linux, even when the architecture and browser are in their support matrix. The manual download instruction links are also broken on the FirePass install I connect to.

Solution: Install a dedicated, 32-bit version of Firefox in a supported version; create a single-purpose Firefox profile for VPN use. Add the FirePass client to that browser and the operating system.
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