Fix Plex SSL behind Reverse Proxy

Recently I updated to the latest version of Plex. I run Plex behind a Reverse Proxy server. When I initially set it up it was to provide HTTPS before Plex supported it. Now that Plex supports it I still use it to have my custom domain name attached to it.

This latest Plex update seemed to have broken SSL connectivity completely.. I couldn’t get SSL to work no matter what I tried. After pulling much hair out I found out there is a new option under advanced server settings:

Settings / Server / Show Advanced / Network

Scroll downs until you see

Custom server access URLs

It is here that you need to supply your own domain name and port. I struggled this for a while. If you type https://<domain name>, but don’t specify a port, it defaults to 32400, not 443. I finally got SSL to work with plex again by entering https://mydomain.name:443 in that field.

Plex works with SSL once more. All is right with the world again.

Configure VMWare View Smartcard in Ubuntu

Recently I’ve been required to use a smart card to log into some servers I manage. Configuring my Linux Mint 17.2 machine to pass my smartcard through to those machines via VMWare View has not been straightforward. This guide will walk you through how to get Smartcard redirection to work with VMWare View in Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr, which Linux Mint 17.2 is based off of. Enjoy.

Procedure

  1. Install the latest version of the VMWare View client (distro versions are often quite out of date) from here
    chmod +x VMware-Horizon-Client-3.5.0-2999900.x64.bundle 
    sudo ./VMware-Horizon-Client-3.5.0-2999900.x64.bundle
  2. Install necessary packages for CommonAccessCard (thanks to this helpful ubuntu writeup)
    sudo apt-get install libpcsclite1 pcscd pcsc-tools
  3. (re)Start the pcscd daemon
    sudo /etc/init.d/pcscd restart
  4. Ensure your smartcard reader is properly identified by running this command:
    pcsc_scan

    If that command is stuck on “Waiting for the first reader…” then you need to install your smartcard drivers. If it sees your smartcard, skip this next step and proceed to step 6.

  5. Install your smartcard driver. This process is different for each card. For the card reader I have (the Identive SCR3500 A Contact Reader), I was able to obtain the drivers after much difficulty from here. The link to the drivers itself are here (alternate link). In my case I was able to untar and run the install script, which worked beautifully.
  6. Install 32 bit compatibility libraries (only applicable for 64 bit installations) thanks to this site for the answer and this one for clarification
    sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install -y libxml2:i386 libssl1.0.0:i386 libXtst6:i386 libudev1:i386 libpcsclite1:i386 libtheora0:i386 libv4l-0:i386 libpulse0:i386
    sudo ln -sf /lib/i386-linux-gnu/libudev.so.1 /lib/i386-linux-gnu/libudev.so.0
    sudo ln -sf /lib/i386-linux-gnu/libssl.so.1.0.0 /lib/i386-linux-gnu/libssl.so.1.0.1
    sudo ln -sf /lib/i386-linux-gnu/libcrypto.so.1.0.0 /lib/i386-linux-gnu/libcrypto.so.1 
    sudo ln -sf /lib/$(arch)-linux-gnu/libudev.so.1 /lib/$(arch)-linux-gnu/libudev.so.0
  7. (re)Start the vmware-USBArbitrator and vmware-view-USBD services
    sudo /etc/init.d/vmware-USBArbitrator start
    sudo /etc/init.d/vmware-view-USBD start

    For some reason after I did all of this the vmware-view binary was nowhere to be found. It was quite strange. I fixed this issue by removing and re-installing the view client:

    sudo ./VMware-Horizon-Client-3.5.0-2999900.x64.bundle -u vmware-horizon-client
    sudo ./VMware-Horizon-Client-3.5.0-2999900.x64.bundle

    After doing this the binary was there as expected.

  8. Create a config file to instruct the view client to redirect your smartcard reader.
    echo 'viewusb.IncludeFamily = "smart-card"' > ~/.vmware/config

    There is no graphical option to pass devices through like there is in the Windows client. I spent more time than I’d like to admit on this step. It turns out the name of the file is important – it has to simply be called “config.” Place this config file in ~/.vmware (it can also be placed in /etc/vmware/config and/or /usr/lib/vmware/config)

  9. Start vmware-view and enjoy your new smartcard capabilities
    vmware-view

Troubleshooting

If it’s not working, make sure that these services are started

  • pcscd
  • vmware-USBArbitrator
  • vmware-view-USBD

One of these services have been known to crash if you attempt to connect while your smartcard is plugged in. The dance to get around this is to unplug your card reader, re-launch the above services, launch vmware-view, connect to your view server, and then only after you’ve logged in, plug in your card reader.


 

Update 2/25/2016: Here is the script I use to make my chromebook work beautifully for remoting into work:

sudo /etc/init.d/pcscd restart
sudo /etc/init.d/vmware-USBArbitrator restart
sudo /etc/init.d/vmware-view-USBD restart
setres 1600 1024
vmware-view
setres 2560 1700

Manually update firmware on Nexus devices

The release of Android 6.0.1 had me excited because it enables LTE band 12 for my phone, the Nexus 5X, which currently uses T-mobile. Band 12 is in the 700mhz range which should greatly increase speed and coverage. I’m too impatient to wait for the OTA!

This tutorial will walk you through how to manually backup, unlock, flash, re-lock, and restore a Google Nexus 5X, but the procedure is pretty much the same for any Nexus device.

First, obtain two necessary Android development tools: adb and fastboot. Do not use your distribution’s versions of these tools – they are likely out of date. Instead, download the Android SDK directly from Google by going here and scrolling to the bottom of the page. Java is required for the sdk to install – install it if you haven’t already. Thanks to this site for explaining how to only obtain platform-tools.

sudo apt-get install openjdk-7-jre
tar zxvf android-sdk_r24.4.1-linux.tgz
android-sdk-linux/tools/android update sdk --no-ui --filter 1,platform-tools

Once you have platform-tools you need to add them to your PATH to make scripts run adb successfully (thanks to this site for the information). When you run the command below make sure to update /path/to/… to the folder where you extracted the android-sdk.

echo "export PATH=$PATH{}:/path/to/android-sdk/tools:/path/to/android/platform-tools" >> ~/.bashrc
source ~/.bashrc

Next, obtain the latest firmware for your device from the google developers site. Extract it somewhere you will remember for later.

Now, enable USB debugging on your phone if you haven’t already (thanks to this site for the info.) To do this, go to Settings / About phone, scroll to the bottom and press on the build number 7 times. Press back and go to developer options, and enable USB debugging and enable OEM unlocking. Then plug in your phone to the computer with adb installed and run this command (thanks to xda for the information)

adb backup -apk -shared -all -f <backup_filename>

Confirm the on-screen prompt on your phone. Make sure you specify a password for encryption. The above command should backup everything, but in my case it did not backup files in the flash partition (downloads, pictures, etc). Make sure you manually copy any important files from your phone before you proceed.

My first attempt at the above command didn’t work for me. I received the error message:

adb: unable to connect for backup

When I ran adb devices it showed this:

List of devices attached 
00c739918fbf4e2a offline

It turns out I had an old version of adb installed. Make sure you download Google’s official SDK instead of relying on your distribution’s version.

Once the backup is complete, you then need to reboot your phone into fastboot mode:

adb reboot bootloader

Wait for the reboot, then run the following command. Warning: this command will wipe your device. Make sure you have a reliable backup and confirm the message on your phone screen.

fastboot oem unlock

Now, navigate to the directory where you extracted your latest firmware and execute the flash-all script:

cd bullhead-mmb29k
./flash-all.sh

After some time your phone will reboot into your shiny new updated OS. Skip everything setup-wise. Re-enable developer mode and android debugging, and then re-lock your bootloader:

adb reboot bootloader
fastboot oem lock

Lastly, we need to restore everything from the backup we made and re-lock the bootloader for security. Once again skip everything setup-wise on the phone, re-enable developer mode and android debugging, and then restore your stuff:

adb restore <filename>

Don’t forget to manually copy back any flash files you manually backed up earlier.

The very last (optional) step is to go into developer options settings and disable OEM unlocking.

Success!

Fix No USB devices connected in Virtualbox

Recently on my Linux Mint 13.2 system I was playing with Virtualbox. I wanted to pass through a USB device to a virtualbox VM but despite installing the appropriate extension pack, I was greeted with this lovely message in the USB menu:

No USB devices connected

I discovered here that you need to be a member of the vboxusers group. One quick command solved this:

sudo usermod -a -G vboxusers <username>

Once I did that I logged out and logged back in. Voila! USB passthrough worked.