Tag Archives: CentOS 7

Linux Samba shares using Kerberos / AD credentials

I had a hell of a time trying to figure out why after upgrading the CentOS Samba package the samba shares quit working. Every time someone tried to access the share, the smb service would crash. I had this system configured to use active directory credentials and it worked well for a time, but no longer.

After much digging I found my problem to be the lack of a krb5.keytab file. This is due to my using PowerBroker Open instead of kerberos for authentication.

The solution was to add this line to my samba config:

kerberos method = system keytab

That one bit made all the difference. My current samba config is as follows with no more crashing:

     security = ADS
     passdb backend = tdbsam
     realm = DOMAIN
     encrypt passwords = yes
     lanman auth = no
     ntlm auth = no
     kerberos method = system keytab
     obey pam restrictions = yes
     winbind enum users = yes
     winbind enum groups = yes

Fix USB bluetooth in KDE Plasma on CentOS 7

I spent too many hours trying to figure this stupid thing out.. but FINALLY! I have my bluetooth headset working in CentOS 7 with the KDE 4 Plasma environment. Read on if you dare…

First, you must configure dbus to allow your user to use the bluetooth dongle. Add the following above the closing /busconfig tag.  Be sure to replace USERNAME with your user account:

sudo nano /etc/dbus-1/system.d/bluetooth.conf
  <policy user="USERNAME">
    <allow send_destination="org.bluez"/>
    <allow send_interface="org.bluez.Agent1"/>
    <allow send_interface="org.bluez.GattCharacteristic1"/>
    <allow send_interface="org.bluez.GattDescriptor1"/>
    <allow send_interface="org.freedesktop.DBus.ObjectManager"/>
    <allow send_interface="org.freedesktop.DBus.Properties"/>

Remove and re-plug the adapter in.

Next, follow Arch Linux’s excellent guide on how to pair a bluetooth device using bluetoothctl

[bluetooth]# power on
[bluetooth]# agent on
[bluetooth]# default-agent
[bluetooth]# scan on

Now make sure that your headset is in pairing mode. It should be discovered shortly. For example,

[NEW] Device 00:1D:43:6D:03:26 Lasmex LBT10

shows a device that calls itself “Lasmex LBT10” and has MAC address “00:1D:43:6D:03:26”. We will now use that MAC address to initiate the pairing:

[bluetooth]# pair 00:1D:43:6D:03:26

After pairing, you also need to explicitly connect the device (every time?):

[bluetooth]# connect 00:1D:43:6D:03:26

If you’re getting a connection error org.bluez.Error.Failed retry by killing existing PulseAudio daemon first:

$ pulseaudio -k
[bluetooth]# connect 00:1D:43:6D:03:26

Finally, configure pulseaudio to automatically switch all audio to your headset by adding the following line to the bottom of /etc/pulse/default.pa:

nano /etc/pulse/default.pa

# automatically switch to newly-connected devices
load-module module-switch-on-connect

CentOS 7 Enterprise desktop setup

These are my notes for standing up a CentOS 7 desktop in an enterprise environment.


Install the EPEL repository for a better experience:

sudo yum -y install epel-release

Desktop experience packages:

sudo yum -y install vlc libreoffice java gstreamer gstreamer1 gstreamer-ffmpeg gstreamer-plugins-good gstreamer-plugins-ugly gstreamer1-plugins-bad-freeworld gstreamer1-libav pidgin rhythmbox ffmpeg keepass xdotool ntfs-3g gvfs-fuse gvfs-smb fuse sshfs redshift-gtk stoken-gui stoken-cli

Additional packages that may come in handy

sudo yum -y install http://li.nux.ro/download/nux/dextop/el7/x86_64/nux-dextop-release-0-5.el7.nux.noarch.rpm
sudo yum -y install libdvdcss gstreamer{,1}-plugins-ugly gstreamer-plugins-bad-nonfree gstreamer1-plugins-bad-freeworld libde265 x265

Enable ssh:

sudo systemctl enable sshd
sudo systemctl start sshd

Google Chrome

Paste into /etc/yum.repos.d/google-chrome.repo:

name=Google - x86_64
sudo yum -y install google-chrome-stable


It’s just easier to use PowerBroker Open from beyondtrust

sudo wget -O /etc/yum.repos.d/pbiso.repo http://repo.pbis.beyondtrust.com/yum/pbiso.repo
sudo yum -y install pbis-open

Cliff notes for joining the domain:


sudo domainjoin-cli join $domainname $domainaccount 
<enter password>

sudo /opt/pbis/bin/config UserDomainPrefix $domain_prefix
sudo /opt/pbis/bin/config AssumeDefaultDomain true
sudo /opt/pbis/bin/config LoginShellTemplate /bin/bash
sudo /opt/pbis/bin/config HomeDirTemplate %H/%U

Add domain admins to sudo, escaping spaces with a backlsash and replacing DOMAIN with your domain:

sudo visudo
%DOMAIN\\Domain\ Administrators ALL=(ALL) ALL

Reboot to make all changes go into effect.


You might need to copy your domain’s CA certificate to your certificate trust store:

sudo cp <CA CERT FILENAME> /etc/pki/ca-trust/source/anchors/
sudo update-ca-trust

Drive mapping

I use a simple script to use gvfs-mount to mount network drives. Change suffix to match your domain and mounts to suit your needs.

#Simple script to mount network drives on login


for i in "${MOUNTS[@]}" 
	gvfs-mount "smb://$i"

Configure in gnome to run on startup:

Add the following to ~/.config/autostart/mount-drives.desktop, changing Exec= to the path of the above script.

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Mount network drives
GenericName=Mount network drives
Comment=Script to mount network drives
Exec=<location of mount script>

Network Config

If you wish to add static IP and configure your DNS suffix (search domain) then run


The other GUI for network configuration doesn’t have an option for search domains for some reason.


sudo yum -y install opensc pcsc-tools pcsc-lite

Be sure to install the drivers for your particular card reader. Mine came from here and here.

After installing you can test by starting pcscd and using pcsc_scan

sudo systemctl start pcscd

Vmware horizon view

Smartcard support

There is a problem with how the VMware View interacts with the opensc smartcard drivers shipped in popular Linux distributions such as CentOS and Ubuntu. View cannot load the drivers in the default configuration; therefore in order to get VMware View working with smartcards you need manually patch and compile the opensc package (thanks to this site for the information needed to do so.)

First, install the necessary development packages

sudo yum -y groupinstall "Development Tools"
sudo yum -y install openssl-devel pcsc-lite-devel

Next, download and extract opensc-0.13 from sourceforge:

wget http://downloads.sourceforge.net/project/opensc/OpenSC/opensc-0.13.0/opensc-0.13.0.tar.gz
tar zxvf opensc-0.13.0.tar.gz
cd opensc-0.13.0

Now we have to patch two specific files in the source before compiling:

echo "--- ./src/pkcs11/opensc-pkcs11.exports
 +++ ./src/pkcs11/opensc-pkcs11.exports
 @@ -1 +1,3 @@
 --- ./src/pkcs11/pkcs11-spy.exports
 +++ ./src/pkcs11/pkcs11-spy.exports
 @@ -1 +1,3 @@
 +C_Finalize" > opensc.patch

patch -p1 -i opensc.patch

Next, compiling and installing:

sudo make install

Assuming there were no errors, you can now link the compiled driver to the location VMware view expects it. Note: you must rename the library from opensc-pkcs11.so to libopensc-pkcs11.so for this to work (another lovely VMware bug)

sudo mkdir -p /usr/lib/vmware/view/pkcs11/
sudo ln -s /usr/local/lib/pkcs11/opensc-pkcs11.so /usr/lib/vmware/view/pkcs11/libopensc-pkcs11.so


Install the pidgin-sipe plugin as detailed here

sudo yum -y install pidgin pidgin-sipe

Choose “Office Communicator” as the protocol. Enter your e-mail address for the username, then go to the Advanced tab and check “Use single sign-on.”

On first run all contact names were missing. Per here, simply close and restart the application.

Gnome 3

Disable audible bell

Taken from here

Disable audible bell and enable visual bell with:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences audible-bell false
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences visual-bell true

and change the type of the visual bell if you don’t need the fullscreen flash:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences visual-bell-type frame-flash


If you can find your extension via yum it tends to work better than the gnome extension site. Make sure you’re using the correct shell version from the site:

gnome-shell --version
sudo yum -y install gnome-shell-extension-top-icons gnome-shell-extension-dash-to-dock

Other useful extensions:

backslide, multi monitors add-on , No topleft hot corner, Dropdown terminal, Media player indicator, Focus my window, Workspace indicator, Native window placement, Openweather, Panel osd, Dash to dock, Gpaste


For if you have the misfortune of being in an environment that uses RSA SecurID for two factor authentication, here is the official guide

Necessary packages to be installed:

sudo yum -y install selinux-policy-devel policycoreutils-devel
  1.  Download & extract PAM agent, cd to extracted directory
    tar -xvf PAM-Agent*.tar
  2. Create /var/ace directory and place necessary files inside. Create sdopts.rec and add the IP address of the desktop.
    mkdir /var/ace
    cp sdconf.rec /var/ace
    vi /var/ace/sdopts.rec
  3. Run the install_pam script and specify UDP authentication
  4.  Modify /etc/pam.d/password-auth to add the RSA authentication agent. Insert above pam_lsass.so smartcard_prompt try_first_pass line, then comment out pam_lsass.so smartcard_prompt try_first_pass line
    auth required pam_securid.so
    auth required pam_env.so
    auth sufficient pam_lsass.so
  5. Add new system in RSA console: Access / Authentication Agents / Add new
  6. Test to make sure everything works:

Managing Windows hosts with Ansible

I spun my wheels for a while trying to get Ansible to manage windows hosts. Here are my notes on how I finally successfully got ansible (on a Linux host) to use an HTTPS WinRM connection to connect to a windows host using Kerberos for authentication. This article was of great help.

Ansible Hosts file


Packages to install (CentOS 7)

sudo yum install gcc python2-pip
sudo pip install kerberos requests_kerberos pywinrm certifi

Playbook syntax

Modules involving Windows hosts have a win_ prefix.


Code 500

WinRMTransportError: (u'http', u'Bad
HTTP response returned from server. Code 500')

I was using -m ping for testing instead of -m win_ping. Make sure you’re using win_ping and not regular ping module.

Certificate validation failed

"msg": "kerberos: [SSL: CERTIFICATE_VERIFY_FAILED] certificate verify failed (_ssl.c:579)"

I had a self signed CA certificate on the box ansible was trying to connect to. Python doesn’t appear to trust the system’s certificate trust chain by default. Ansible has a configuration directive


but even with that pointing to my system trust it wouldn’t work. I then found this gem on the winrm page for ansible:

The CA chain can contain a single or multiple issuer certificates and each entry is contained on a new line. To then use the custom CA chain as part of the validation process, set ansible_winrm_ca_trust_path to the path of the file. If this variable is not set, the default CA chain is used instead which is located in the install path of the Python package certifi.

Challenge #1: I didn’t have certifi installed.

sudo pip install certifi

Challenge #2: I needed to know where certifi’s default trust store was located, which I discovered after reading the project github page

import certifi

In my case the location was ‘/usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages/certifi/cacert.pem’. I then symlinked my system trust to that location (backing up existing trust first)

sudo mv /usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages/certifi/cacert.pem /usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages/certifi/cacert.pem.old
sudo ln -s /etc/pki/tls/cert.pem /usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages/certifi/cacert.pem

Et voila! No more trust issues.

Ansible Tower

Note: If you’re running Ansible Tower, you have to work with their own bundled version of python instead of the system version. For version 3.2 it was located here:


I fixed it by doing this:

sudo mv /var/lib/awx/venv/ansible/lib/python2.7/site-packages/requests/cacert.pem /var/lib/awx/venv/ansible/lib/python2.7/site-packages/requests/cacert.pem.old
sudo ln -s /etc/pki/tls/cert.pem /var/lib/awx/venv/ansible/lib/python2.7/site-packages/requests/cacert.pem

This resolved the trust issues.

Fix wordpress PHP change was reverted error

Since WordPress 4.9 I’ve had a peculiar issue when trying to edit theme files using the web GUI. Whenever I tried to save changes I would get this error message:

Unable to communicate back with site to check for fatal errors, so the PHP change was reverted. You will need to upload your PHP file change by some other means, such as by using SFTP.

After following this long thread I saw the suggestion to install and use the Health Check plugin to get more information into why this is happening. In my case I kept getting this error message:

The loopback request to your site failed, this may prevent WP_Cron from working, along with theme and plugin editors.<br>Error encountered: (0) cURL error 28: Connection timed out after 10001 milliseconds

I researched what a loopback request is in this case. It’s the webserver reaching out to its own site’s url to talk to itself. My webserver was being denied internet access, which included its own URL, so it couldn’t complete the loopback request.

One solution, mentioned here, is to edit the hosts file on your webserver to point to for the URL of your site. My solution was to open up the firewall to allow my server to connect to its URL. I then ran into a different problem:

The loopback request to your site failed, this may prevent WP_Cron from working, along with theme and plugin editors.<br>Error encountered: (0) cURL error 60: Peer's Certificate issuer is not recognized.

After digging for a while I found this site which explains how to edit php.ini to point to an acceptable certificate list. To fix this on my Cent7 machine I edited /etc/php.ini and added this line (you could also add it to /etc/php.d/curl.ini)


This caused php’s curl module to use the same certificate trust store that the underlying OS uses.

Then restart php-fpm if you’re using it:

sudo systemctl restart php-fpm

Success! Loopback connections now work properly.

Nextcloud External Files SMB not working – Empty Response from Server

I beat my head against the wall for hours trying to figure out why external storage wasn’t working with my Nextcloud instance after I migrated it over to CentOS 7. All I kept getting was a very unhelpful

There was an error with message: Empty response from the server.

I installed all the libraries multiple times. I tried different versions of smbclient and php-smbclient but the error kept happening! Eventually I decided to check the samba logs of my samba server. Sure enough:

 create_connection_session_info failed: NT_STATUS_ACCESS_DENIED

The username and password I was using was correct. I read on some forum (sorry, no link) to put something in the Workgroup field. Voila! As soon as I populated the workgroup field in Nextcloud for my SMB shares, they all worked!

Make Java run on privileged ports in CentOS 7

I recently gnashed my teeth at trying to get java to directly bind to port 443 instead of using nginx to proxy to a java application I had to use. I was surprised at the complication of finding the solution, but I eventually did thanks to the following sites:



First, determine the full path of your current java install:

sudo update-alternatives --config java

In my CentOS 7 install, the java binary was located here:


Next, use setcap to configure java to be able to bind to port 443:

sudo setcap CAP_NET_BIND_SERVICE=+eip /usr/lib/jvm/java-1.8.0-openjdk-

Now, test to make sure java works:

java -version

java: error while loading shared libraries: libjli.so: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

The above error means that after setting setcap, it breaks how java looks for its library to run. To fix this, we need to symlink the library it’s looking for into /usr/lib, then run ldconfig

sudo ln -s /usr/lib/jvm/java-1.8.0-openjdk- /usr/lib/
sudo ldconfig

Now test Java again:

java -version

It took longer than I like to admit to get this working, but it it does indeed work this way.

gvfs-mount doesn’t use kerberos ticket fix

I had a very frustrating issue when I switched my work desktop from Linux Mint to CentOS 7. My network drives no longer would mount using a kerberos ticket. Before, when I would initialize a kerberos ticket I could mount network shares without any kind of username or password prompt:

gvfs-mount smb://server/share

With CentOS 7, though, the above process would produce a username and password prompt. After much searching I came across this forum that contained the answer: append your fully qualified domain name to the server. Now the process is like this:

gvfs-mount smb://server.full.fqdn.name/share

and it worked!

Backup your systems with urBackup

In addition to my ZFS snapshots I decided to implement a secondary backup system. I decided to land on urbackup for ease of use and, more importantly, it was easier to set up.

Server Install

Assuming a Cent-based system:

cd /etc/yum.repos.d/
sudo wget http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:uroni/CentOS_7/home:uroni.repo
sudo yum -y install urbackup-server
sudo systemctl enable urbackup-server
sudo systemctl start urbackup-server

Open up necessary ports for the server:

sudo firewall-cmd --add-port=55413-55415/tcp --permanent
sudo systemctl reload firewalld

By default urbackup listens on port 55414 for connections. You can change this to port 80 and/or 443 for HTTPS by installing nginx and having it proxy the connections for you.

sudo yum -y install nginx
sudo systemctl enable nginx
sudo setsebool -P httpd_can_network_connect 1 #if you're using selinux

Copy the following into /etc/nginx/conf.d/urbackup.conf (make sure to change server_name to suit your needs)

server {
        server_name backup;

        location / {
                proxy_pass http://localhost:55414/;

Then start nginx:

sudo systemctl start nginx

You should then be able to access the urbackup console by navigating to the IP / hostname of your backup server in a browser.

Client Install:

Urbackup can use a snapshot system known as dattobd. You should use it if you can in order to get more consistent backups, otherwise urbackup will simply copy files from the host which isn’t always desirable (databases, for example)

Install dattobd (optional):

sudo yum -y update
# reboot if your kernel ends up being updated
sudo yum -y localinstall https://cpkg.datto.com/datto-rpm/repoconfig/datto-el-rpm-release-$(rpm -E %rhel)-latest.noarch.rpm
sudo yum -y install dkms-dattobd dattobd-utils

Install urbackup client:

TF=`mktemp` && wget "https://hndl.urbackup.org/Client/2.1.15/UrBackup%20Client%20Linux%202.1.15.sh" -O $TF && sudo sh $TF; rm $TF
#Select dattobd when prompted if desired

Configure Firewall:

sudo firewall-cmd --add-port=35621-35623/tcp --permanent
sudo systemctl reload firewalld

Once a client is installed, assuming they’re on the same network as the backup server, they will automatically add themselves and begin backing up. If they don’t show up it’s usually a firewall issue.


Restoration of individual files is easily done through the web console. If you have a windows system, restoring from an image backup is also easy.

Linux hosts

Recovery is trickier if you want to restore a Linux system. Install an empty system of same distribution. Give it the same hostname. Install the client as outlined above, then run:

sudo /usr/local/bin/urbackupclientctl restore-start -b last


If for some reason the client not showing up after removing it from the GUI: Uninstall & re-install client software

sudo /usr/local/sbin/uninstall_urbackupclient
TF=`mktemp` && wget "https://hndl.urbackup.org/Client/2.1.15/UrBackup%20Client%20Linux%202.1.15.sh" -O $TF && sudo sh $TF; rm $TF