Monthly Archives: July 2013

Installing Debian from USB thumb drive

For some years now I have tried to improve my Linux skills. I just don’t have the time to do Linux deep dives at work, so I figured I would set up a physical Linux box here, in addition to the VMs I use from time to time.

Anyway, without further thought about the pros and cons of VMs vs physical machines, creating the installation USB thumb drive turned out to be a bit of a challenge, until UNetbootin and LiLi came along. The former supports Windows, Linux and OS X (I am on OS X), while LiLi is Windows only.

LiLi looks good, but given my OS X preference I went with UNetbootin. After creating a Debian Wheezy installation thumb drive, I tried booting it in a Dell laptop. No luck, it booted straight into the Windows 8 that was on the hard drive.

When repeating the procedure on the Dell laptop (running Win 8) it worked like a charm, the Debian installer started after the USB drive had been created, and the laptop rebooted. I recall reading somewhere that there are issues with UNetbootin on OS X, I guess that’s still the case..

So, now onto the actual installation – nice!

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Allowing ssh access to ReadyNAS RN312

After creating a few new users on the RN312, using the web interface provided with the device, I noted that none of the users could ssh into the NAS.

Turns out the new users are created without a default shell, resulting in a successful ssh login, followed by a terminated connection. No good.

For example, a user named charlie would have something like the following entry in the /etc/passwd file. Note the final bold characters:

charlie:x:100:102:charlie@yourdomain.com:/home/charlie:/bin/false

Change this to

charlie:x:100:102:charlie@yourdomain.com:/home/charlie:/bin/bash

 

Charlie should now be able to ssh into the NAS. By the way, you HAVE set up ssh keys for your users, right… Way more secure than plan text passwords, and a lot more convenient…