Mar 172020
 
CanaKit Raspberry Pi 4 Case with cables

Worried about your Raspberry Pi 4 overheating? The CanaKit Raspberry Pi 4 case and Raspberry PI cooling fan is a must have!

I purchased the complete CanaKit Raspberry Pi 4 Start MAX Kit from Amazon (link here). It’s a great little starter kit, easy to get going, and best of all it was same day delivery with Amazon Prime (for those of us who are impatient).

I placed the order, and within 8 hours I received the package and was up and running with the Pi 4!

CanaKit Raspberry Pi 4 case open with Fan Kit and running
CanaKit Raspberry Pi 4 Open with Fan Kit

The PI cooling fan on the CanaKit case for the Raspberry Pi 4 can be somewhat loud once installed, however when doing CPU intensive operations, it’s a must have to keep your Pi cool.

Pi Cooling Fan stats

Originally I left the fan unhooked until I was compiling a linux kernel on the Raspberry Pi 4. I could feel the heat coming from the top of the case so I decided to check to see what the temperatures were.

[email protected]:/home/stephenw# vcgencmd measure_temp
 temp=83.0'C

You can see that the CPU was running very hot! I sampled the CPU temp 3 times over a period of a minute to confirm it was running that hot.

Immediately I decided to hook up the fan and install it in the case. After installing the fan and letting it run for a while, the temperature dropped dramatically.

[email protected]:/home/stephenw# vcgencmd measure_temp
 temp=51.0'C

As you can see, the temperature went from a toasty 83 Celsius, down to 51 Celsius with the fan running. Please keep in mind these temperatures are after the latest firmware update which reduces operating temps.

Fan Connection

One thing that wasn’t included with the kit, was what pins to connect the PI cooling fan to. If you look at the manual included, or the GPIO pin out schematics, you’ll see that a 5V is available on pin 4, and ground is available right next to it on pin 6.

CanaKit Raspberry Pi 4 Quick Start Guide GPIO Pin-out

You can view the CanaKit Raspberry Pi 4 Quick Start guide here: https://www.canakit.com/Media/CanaKit-Raspberry-Pi-Quick-Start-Guide-4.0.pdf

I hooked my black wire up to ground (pin 6) first, and then connected the red wire up to the 5v pin 4.

CanaKit Raspberry Pi 4 Open with Fan Kit

Make sure you don’t cross or use the wrong pins or you may damage your Raspberry Pi!

Mar 162020
 
Picture of Raspberry Pi 4 box and Raspberry Pi 4 board below box

So you just loaded up Ubuntu Server on your Raspberry Pi 4 using the latest Ubuntu Server Pi image and when you try logging in with the default username and password of ubuntu:ubuntu, you get the error “Authentication token Manipulation error” when you try to change the default password and log in.

This occurs on a fresh image write to an SD card using the Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS 64-bit image. This may occur on other images and other versions of Ubuntu and other versions of the Raspberry Pi.

The filename for the image with the issue is:

ubuntu-18.04.4-preinstalled-server-arm64+raspi3.img.xz

How to Fix

After doing some research, I found out that there was an issue with a password file or the PAM database on the image. I figured that it was best to try to log in first using the default credentials, and then we can worry about changing the password later.

To do this I decided to modify the “cloud-init” scripts. I mounted the SD-Card on another Linux system, opened the “/boot/firmware/user-data”, and changed the “expire” setting on the ubuntu user from true to false.

The Instructions

  1. Mount the SD-Card on another Linux system.
  2. Navigate to the boot filesystem, and then open the “user-data” file inside of the firmware directory using nano or vi. The full path on the SD-Card is:
    /boot/firmware/user-data
  3. Scroll down to this section.
    chpasswd:
      expire: true
      list:
      - ubuntu:ubuntu

    Change the “expire: true” to “expire: false”.
  4. Exit the file and save.
  5. Properly unmount the SD-Card (using umount).
  6. Boot up the Pi with the Micro-SD card.

You should now be able to log in using the username ubuntu and password ubuntu without being asked to change your password, and without seeing the error.

Once you have logged in, change the password to this account by using “passwd”.

Hope it helps!

Mar 142020
 
DUO

Want to see DUO Two-Factor Authentication in action? I’ve created a number of demo videos showing DUO 2FA being used on numerous different platforms. You can see how DUO works with these platforms, and the experience a user can expect when using two-factor authentication from Duo Security.

Duo 2FA is a great way to secure your environment whether it’s servers, workstations, VDI, firewalls, or even WordPress!

And remember, I sell Duo licensing and provide consulting services to help set it up!

The following video playlist contains:

Video demo playlist

Duo Security Two-Factor Authentication Product Demo

Feel free to reach out to me if you need a quote, want to buy, or need help implementing Duo Security Two-Factor Authentication!

Don’t forget to check out my corporate blog post to “Secure your business and enterprise IT systems with Multi Factor Authentication (MFA)“!

For more content on my blog on Duo Security, visit: https://www.stephenwagner.com/category/duo-mfa/

For more content on my corporate blog on Duo Security, visit: https://www.digitallyaccurate.com/blog/category/vendors/duo-security/

To visit Duo Security’s website, visit: https://duo.com/

Mar 122020
 
10ZiG RepurpOS (RPOS) Running on PC

Looking to repurpose old PCs or laptops in to VDI Thin Clients (or Zero Clients)? Looking at implementing VDI but don’t have the budget for fancy Thin Clients or Zero Clients? Look no further! 10ZiG RepurpOS (also known as RPOS) allows you to repurpose PCs and laptops as VDI client endpoints.

You get all the power of a thin client, but built in to a piece of software that you can install on traditional x86 PC hardware. This means you don’t have to throw away semi-new hardware when rolling out your VDI deployment, it also means you can repurpose old hardware that was destined for recycling.

Read the post, or scroll down to watch the video! Please note that the screenshots may be a bit blurry since they were captured from the video recording.

The Software

10ZiG RepurpOS (RPOS) is built on Linux, similar to their NOS OS for Zero Clients. It install’s like an operating system on traditionla x86 computer systems, and turns them in to a fully functioning Thin Client which can be used for VDI.

Pros of the Software

  • Easy installation
  • Installs on x86 hardware (PCs, Laptops)
  • Supports most VDI Technologies (VMware, Citrix, RDP/VDA)
  • Centrally Managed via 10ZiG Manager

Minimum Requirements

  • x86 Hardware
  • 128MB of Memory (RAM)
  • VGA Graphics Adapter
  • 500Mhz or Higher Processor
  • 1GB of Storage
  • Ethernet or Wireless Network Interface

You can find more information on 10ZiG RepurpOS (RPOS) on 10ZiG’s website at https://www.10zig.com/more-products/pc-repurposing.

You can also contact me (or 10ZiG) for a free 10ZiG Repurposing Trial.

Demonstration

Below you’ll see a demonstration video of the 10ZiG RepurpOS (RPOS) in action, followed further below by a text review of the software.

10ZiG RepurpOS (RPOS) Software Video Demonstration

The continuation of this blog post features the different segments of the video.

Setup and Configuration

Getting started is easy… You’ll be provided with a compressed archive that contains an ISO file (which you can burn to CD), or you can use an executable provided that will write the ISO to a USB stick, so you can boot the computer from that.

After booting the installer, you’ll see a very simple interface to get started.

Screenshot of the 10ZiG RepurpOS (RPOS) Installer
10ZiG RepurpOS (RPOS) Installer

You’ll note that you have the capability of both running a Live Instance as a Live CD, or you can choose to install the 10ZiG repurposing software to the hard drive disk.

After choosing to “Install RepurpOS”, you select the disk and hit “Install”.

Screenshot of Installing the 10ZiG RepurpOS (RPOS) software to disk
Install the 10ZiG RepurpOS (RPOS) to disk

After a few moments, the install will complete. You’ll hit “Exit” and then restart the PC.

Screenshot of successful 10ZiG RepurpOS (RPOS) Install
10ZiG RepurpOS Installed
Screenshot of the 10ZiG RepurpOS (RPOS) Installer rebooting the PC post-installation
10ZiG RepurpOS Reboot after Installation

Interface and Usage

On first boot, you’ll notice the PC repurposing software has a very simple look and interface. We started off with a licensing message since we are using a demo.

10ZiG RepurpOS (RPOS) reporting it was unable to obtain a license via 10ZiG License Manager. Please retry or contact your IT administrator for further assistance.
10ZiG RepurpOS (RPOS) unable to obtain a license

To get started, theres a simple “Start menu”-like interface that allows you to configure and use the client. You can configure the thin client settings, or configure and add connections.

10ZiG RepurpOS (RPOS) Programs menu which allows you to add connections.
10ZiG RepurpOS (RPOS) Programs

And we have the settings menu.

10ZiG RepurpOS (RPOS) Settings menu to configure the thin client repurposing software.
10ZiG RepurpOS (RPOS) Settings Menu

I want you to keep in mind that while you can configure and use the 10ZiG RPOS software from this interface, in a large corporate environment you’d probably want to use the 10ZiG Manager software, and lock out the interface.

10ZiG RepurpOS Configuration and 10ZiG Manager Compatibility

All components of this software can be managed and configured via the 10ZiG Manager, just like the 10ZiG 5948qv and other 10ZiG Zero Clients. This makes the software extremely powerful since you can easily manage and maintain it, even if you have thousands of repurposed PCs running RPOS.

Inside of the 10ZiG Manager, the RPOS devices show up similar to how the other 10ZiG Thin clients and Zero clients would appear.

10ZiG RepurpOS (RPOS) with 2 online clients, and 2 offline clients. Mix of RepurpOS and 5948qv.
10ZiG RepurpOS (RPOS) with RPOS and NOS Clients

You can see above that I pushed my main configuration template to the RPOS demo devices. For more posts on 10ZiG Manager, please see the following posts:

As part of my main template, I have included SSL certificates for my VMware Horizon View connection server, so we’ll be able to test a VDI connection using BLAST.

Using the guides for the 10ZiG Manager above, you could fully configure the RPOS the way you want (for mass deployment), and then create a template and deploy it to a large batch of RPOS PCs. Or you could do all the initial configuration directly from the 10ZiG Manager.

The software supports a number of different protocols and technologies.

Programs menu on the 10ZiG RepurpOS (RPOS)
10ZiG RepurpOS (RPOS) Programs List

The list of applications and programs on 10ZiG RepurpOS (RPOS)

  • VMware Horizon View (VMware Horizon Linux Client)
  • Citrix XenApp (ICA Client)
  • Terminal
  • RDP (Using 2XClient, XFreeRDP)
  • VNC
  • Putty (SSH, Serial, RLogin)
  • XWindows (X Window System)
  • NoMachine NX (NX Technology desktop virtualization)
  • Kaviza (“VDI in a box”)
  • Web Browsing (via Chrome and Firefox)

If we choose to create a VMware Horizon View connection, we can configure the following options.

We can also configure the unit itself, along with other things like the VMware Global Settings, USB Redirection, etc…

10ZiG RepurpOS (RPOS) Terminal Properties Window used for configuring settings.
10ZiG RepurpOS (RPOS) Terminal Properties (Unit Settings)
10ZiG RepurpOS (RPOS) System Settings Window
10ZiG RepurpOS (RPOS) System Settings
10ZiG RepurpOS (RPOS) USB Redirection Settings Window
10ZiG RepurpOS (RPOS) USB Redirection Settings

And below we have the VMware Global Settings window.

We also have the ability to configure the default connection from the Connection Manager. We can also configure whether we want auto-start a connection and enable automatic reconnection.

10ZiG RepurpOS (RPOS) Connections Manager and Startup options windows.
10ZiG RepurpOS (RPOS) Connections Manager and Startup options

On a final note, you can see there is multi-display support built in. This is more apparent when browsing through other sections of the UI on the 10ZiG RPOS.

VDI Connection Testing

It’s time to test out the main functionality of the 10ZiG RepurpOS (RPOS) software!

I’ve gone ahead and created a connection profile for my company “Digitally Accurate Inc.” to access our VDI environment.

10ZiG RepurpOS (RPOS) desktop with an icon to connect to the Digitally Accurate Inc. connection profile.
10ZiG RepurpOS (RPOS) with Connection Profile to Digitally Accurate Inc.

Double clicking that icon, initiates the session. We login with my credentials.

And here we are presented with the available desktop pools. Please note, that you can configure it to automatically connect to a chosen desktop pool, or if only one is available it will automatically connect.

10ZiG RepurpOS (RPOS) VMware Horizon Connection listing available Desktop Pools on Server.
10ZiG RepurpOS (RPOS) VMware Horizon View Desktop Pools

And finally, we have a fully functional connection to our VDI environment on our VMware Horizon View environment using the 10ZiG repurposing software.

10ZiG RepurpOS (RPOS) with an active VDI session to a server running VMware Horizon View.
10ZiG RepurpOS (RPOS) with active VDI session on VMware Horizon View

Again, please note that the screenshots may be a little fuzzy due to the capture from video, the interface in reality is sharp and clear.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the 10ZiG RepurpOS (RPOS) software is a great way to bring life to old or existing hardware, reduce spending during a VDI rollout, and bring value to your investment.

Further backing up that investment, is the ability to use the 10ZiG Manager which is free, and can be used to manage a large number of devices.

I’d highly recommend this software and I look forward to using it more!

Mar 102020
 

It’s official, VMware vSphere 7 is here. VMware has put together tons of content for the launch of the new version.

First and foremost, check out their blog at https://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/vsphere-7. This page will have tons of information on the launch and will host some important materials in one place for you to access. They also have a neat YouTube playlist here showcasing vSphere 7.

I’ll be posting more information when available!

Mar 092020
 
G965WVLU7DTB2/G965WOYV7DTB2/G965WVLU7DTB2 Update Screenshot on Samsung S9+

The One UI 2 upgrade and Android 10 is now available on Rogers in Canada on the Samsung S9+ (Model SM-G965W) for download and installation. I just randomly checked and noticed that it’s starting to download the update to install.

I’ve heard that Samsung (and/or the provider) may stage these updates, so keep checking every once in a while if you don’t see the update.

Check your device now to see if it’s available!

See below for a screenshot

G965WVLU7DTB2/G965WOYV7DTB2/G965WVLU7DTB2 Update Screenshot on Samsung S9+
Samsung S9+ Upgrade to G965WVLU7DTB2/G965WOYV7DTB2/G965WVLU7DTB2 on Rogers in Canada

Update Information

The Version number is: G965WVLU7DTB2/G965WOYV7DTB2/G965WVLU7DTB2

Size: 1923.44MB

Security Patch Level: February 1, 2020

For model SM-G965W

Additional Information

The update screen says to reference https://doc.samsungmobile.com/SM-G965W/RWC/doc.html for more information, however as of this time (March 9th, 2020 at 7:51MST), the update itself isn’t listed.

See below for more screenshots with the change-log information.

Full Changelog below:

One UI 2 upgrade with Android 10

One UI 2 brings you Android 10, with exciting new features from Samsung and Google based on feedback from users like you.
We recommend that you back up your important data to keep it safe during the upgrade.
Some apps, including Calculator, Samsung Internet, Samsung Health, and Samsung Notes, need to be updated individually after you update your OS.

Dark mode
-Enhanced image, text, and color adjustments for day and night environments.
-Darkened wallpapers, widgets, and alarms while Dark mode is on.

Icons and colors
-Clearer app icons and system colors.
-Improved layouts for titles and buttons to eliminate wasted screen space.

Smoother animations
-Enhanced animations with a playful touch.

Full screen gestures
-Added new navigation gestures.

Refined interactions
-Navigate more comfortably on large screens with minimal finger movement.
-Easily focus on what matters with clearly highlighted buttons.

How One-handed mode is used has changed.
-New ways to access One-handed mode: double tap the Home button or swipe down in the center of the bottom of the screen.
-Settings moved to Settings > Advanced features > One-handed mode.

Accessibility
-High contract keyboards and layouts for large text have been improved.
-A new function has been added that converts speech to on-screen text in real time during voice/video calls or when speaking into the mic.

Better text over wallpapers
-See text more clearly against wallpaper, as One UI automatically adjusts font colors based on light and dark areas and color contrast in the image below.

Device Care
-The battery usage graph now provides more detailed information.
-Added battery limit setting and other enhancements for Wireless PowerShare.

Digital wellbeing
-Set goals to keep your phone usage in check.
-Use Focus mode to help avoid distractions from your phone.
-Keep an eye on your kids with new parental controls.

Camera
-Added the ability to edit the modes that appear at the bottom of the screen.
-New icons have been added to notify you when there are new settings and features.
-Improved the layout so you can focus on taking pictures without the settings getting in the way.

Internet
-In Customise menu, you can now change the toolbar menus so you can quickly access frequently used features.
-Detailed information can now be viewed on the title bar of each menu (bookmarks, settings, history, etc.).
-Support has been extended for additional features of Samsung Internet (e.g., extensions).

Samsung Contracts
-Added Trash feature for Contacts. Contacts that you delete will stay in the trash for 15 days before being deleted forever.
-Enhanced searching for contacts no possible using the BixbySearch engine.
-QR code features have been enhanced (new scanning function added).

Calendar

-A new handwriting feature has been added that is specialised for use with the S Pen.
-The Calendar app has been optimised for a large screen (DeX mode).
-The month-view display has been improved for when event titles are long and need to be shown over 2 lines (only available if there are not many events on a day).
-You can now attach stickers to specific dates regardless of your schedule.
-A long melody can now be set as your notification sound for event reminders.

Reminder
-More options are available for repeating reminders.
-Set location-based reminders for a specific period of time.
-Share reminders with your family group and other sharing groups.
-Set reminders for a specific date without an alert.

My Files
-Created a Trash feature so you can restore files if you delete something by mistake.
-Added more filters you can use while searching to help you find things quickly.
-You can now copy or move multiple files and folders to different destinations at the same time.

Calculator
-Added speed and time units to the unit converter.

Connected car
-Android Auto is now preloaded.

Tips
-Helpful tips about One UI 2 have been added to help you get the most out of your Galaxy device.

The Link to Windows feature has been added.
-You can easily access photos, messages, and notifications from your phone on your PC, and a screen mirroring feature is also provided.
-This feature is available through the Link to Windows in the quick panel or Settings.

Link Sharing
-File upload capacity has been increased.
-You can now upload up to 3 GB per file and up to 5 GB per day.

Samsun DeX
-Increased support is now provided for connecting to a computer using Samsung DeX.

Media and devices
-Replaced the SmartThings panel with the Media and Devices.
-Media: Control music and videos playing on your phone as well as other devices.
-Devices: Check and control your SmartThings devices directory from the quick panel.

Learn more at:
https://doc.samsungmobile.com/SM-G965W/RWC/doc.html

G965WVLU7DTB2 / G965WOYV7DTB2 / G965WVLU7DTB2 Changlog

Leave a comment and let us know if it’s showing up as available on your device!

Mar 052020
 
Picture of Stephen Wagner and Charlene Shang hiking on Prairie Mountain

Last month (February 16th 2020) we were lucky enough to hike Prairie Mountain in winter. As an avid summer hiker, winter hiking is new to me, and this trail was perfect to get accustomed to winter trails. It’s a safe trail and I’d highly recommend it.

The trail was moderately busy and we started it a touch later in the morning. To do this hike in winter, you’ll need ice grippers, yaktrax, or ice spikes. The beginning of the trail is extremely icy, but this is only at the beginning for a brief amount of time.

The hike is located in Elbow falls and Kananaskis Country in Alberta. The trail head is semi-hard to find after your cross the road gates.

Picture of the beautiful and breathtaking Summit at Prairie Mountain. Including a Canadian Flag.
Prairie Mountain Summit

As you can see, the views and scenery are absolutely beautiful. The mountains all have white caps as it’s the middle of winter.

Our hike:

  • Elevation: 700m
  • Distance: 7.87KM (4.89mi)
  • Moving Time: 2 Hours 51 Minutes
  • Total Time: 4 Hours 51 Minutes

Hiking Trail Video

This first video is the full hike, shortened.

Hike Highlight Pictures

Even as you start early on in the hike, you are greeted with magnificent views, like below.

A beautiful view consisting of a valley between mountains.
Beginning of Prairie Mountain Hike
View from the Summit of Prairie Mountain in Winter
Prairie Mountain View

See below for the photo gallery from the hike!

Mar 052020
 
Picture of someone video editing on Laptop

Lately, I’ve been playing with video editing and encoding as a new hobby. It requires a powerful system for the production process for both editing, and encoding. While CPU power isn’t necessarily important, the CPU instruction sets and your GPU play a key part with editing and encoding.

For the last few weeks, I’ve been attempting to use my desktop rig with a couple of Nvidia GeForce cards and I’ve been struggling to be able to edit in real time, as well as encode completed video productions in a reasonable amount of time.

Well, there’s a happy ending to this story, my Nvidia Grid K1 and VDI environment saved the day!

Video Editing on VDI Virtual Desktop

My VDI setup

As part of my demo and homelab, I have an HPE ML310e Gen8 v2, with an Nvidia Grid K1 card. This setup is backed with an HPE MSA 2040 SAN for main storage and a Synology DS1813+ for backup and video storage.

Nvidia GRID K1 in ML310e without air baffle installed
Nvidia GRID K1 in ML310e w/o Air Baffle

On this rig, I’m running VMware Horizon 7.11 and connect to it via a 10ZiG 5948qv Zero Client.

10ZiG 5948q Zero Client

It’s a beautiful desktop replacement as it’s silent, provides a desktop backed with a Intel Xeon Processor, and a high performance GPU.

VDI Video Editing and Encoding

For software, I’ve been using Cyberlink’s PowerDirector software. I’ve used this in the past for screen recording, as well as editing videos I use for demos.

On my physical desktop rig, even with two GPUs it struggles to allow me to preview in realtime the edits I’ve done on a project. The preview window is jolty with loss frames, and it’s hard to know what you’re doing. Also, when producing and encoding a finalized video project, it would take forever to complete even a small 5 minute video at 1080p.

When I first loaded this up on my VDI environment, the software instantly detected the Nvidia GRID card, and asked me if it could use it. From that point on the preview window was fluid, transitions and add-ins were rendered on the fly during previewing, and the final production encoding was literally over 20 times faster using 1080p. Keep in mind this VM only has one Nvidia K180q profile attached to it, so I’m only using less than 25% of the cards full capability.

Other benefits to video editing and encoding on VDI

There’s some other benefits that can be realized when doing video editing and encoding inside of a VDI environment:

  • Ability to connect remotely and work anywhere
  • Ability to work anywhere with a high performance system
  • High speed video storage on demand (since it’s all remote)
  • It can become part of your normal backup solution

This is just another great use case scenario for VDI. Whether it’s for the video professional, or a large organization.