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Proxmox VPS for web development recipe….

datePosted on 17:17, March 10th, 2014 by Many Ayromlou

A little while ago our web developer asked me to look into proxmox containers and how we could take advantage of it to setup a development environment for him. The idea was to use the power of linux containers and enable him to develop fully functional/accessible sites in a private container. Here are the steps we will cover in this article:

  • Install proxmox on a machine with a single public IP address
  • Secure the machine with ufw to only allow connections from a specific IP address space
  • Setup a admin user other than root for proxmox admin interface
  • Setup proxmox to use the single IP address and the vmbridge for masquerading
  • Setup two Linux Ubuntu 12.04 containers with private addresses and enable the to access the internet via the bridge
  • Setup Apache on the proxmox host and configure it to do reverse proxy for the two ubuntu containers
  • Setup DNS (for the container instances) to point to proxmox host and test to make sure the “private” containers are accessible from Internet
  • Tighten up security on the reverse proxy on the proxmox host
  • Optionally only allow access to the proxy from specific IP address space

To do all this you need to download proxmox ISO file and burn it to a CD. Go through the installation of proxmox and set up the “host” with the single pubic IP address. This is simple enough so I’m not gonna cover it here. Once you have this setup you should be able to point your browser at the IP address (https://aaa.bbb.ccc.ddd:8006). NOTE: I will use aaa.bbb.ccc.ddd as the representation of the publicly available IP throughout.

Next we need to secure access to the host to only allow connections from a specific IP address space. In my case that’s the University network — 141.117.0.0/16 — this is optional. We need to make sure ufw is installed. We also need to make sure ufw is allowing incoming connections by default and then block everything except access from the University network:

ufw default allow incoming
ufw allow proto tcp from 141.117.0.0/16 to any port 8006
ufw deny proto tcp from any to any port 8006
ufw allow proto tcp from 141.117.0.0/16 to any port 3128
ufw deny proto tcp from any to any port 3128
ufw allow proto tcp from 141.117.0.0/16 to any port 111
ufw deny proto tcp from any to any port 111
ufw allow proto tcp from 141.117.0.0/16 to any port 22
ufw deny proto tcp from any to any port 22
ufw enable

Note that I’m assuming your ssh connection to the host is via the University network (141.117.0.0/16). Make adjustments to this if it’s not, otherwise you might lock yourself out. These basic rules will plug all the holes accessible publicly and only allow connections from our University network (141.117.0.0/16).

Setting up users in proxmox is a bit weird. You have to add a regular Unix user to the proxmox host environment and then add the user to proxmox later and give it permissions and roles. Here I will use a user “myadmin” to create something for our web developer to use.

useradd -m -s /bin/bash -U -G sudo myadmin

This will create a account “myadmin”,  join it to primary group “myadmin”, assign it /bin/bash as shell and make it part of the group “sudo” — which will allow the user to use the sudo command in the future. Next on the proxmox web interface we need to create a Admin group called “Admin”. In the proxmox interface we click on the Datacentre in the left pane and go to Groups and click the Create button. Call the group “Admin”. Now go to Permissions tab in the right pane. We need to create a Administrator Group Permission to assign to our “Admin” group. Click Add Group Permission (right below the tabs in this pane) and fill it in like below:

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 3.02.51 PM

 

In this window the path: / means the entire Datacentre (including the host and the containers/VM’s). You might want to adjust this. The Role “Administrator” is a predefined role that is pretty much the same as root. Now that our group “Admin” has the “Administrator” role for the entire Datacentre, we want to make the user “myadmin” — which is a unix account right now — be part of that, effectively creating another “root” account for our web developer. So back to the Users tab we click Add and create our new user (really just add the Unix user to proxmox):

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 3.15.42 PM

 

Okay, so now test and make sure you can access the host via ssh using myadmin as user, also make sure you can sudo to root on the host and check the web interface and ensure the myadmin account can login and see all the goodies in the data centre. Otherwise stop and fix.

At this point login/ssh to the host as root or myadmin (plus “sudo -i” to become root). We need to modify the networking config in /etc/network/interfaces to setup all the masquerading jazz. Make a back up of your interfaces file first and note the public IP address that is in there (I’m gonna use aaa.bbb.ccc.ddd as my public address here). Once you have a backup replace everything in the file with the following:

auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static
        address  aaa.bbb.ccc.ddd
        netmask  255.255.255.0
        gateway  aaa.bbb.ccc.xxx

auto vmbr0
iface vmbr0 inet static
	address 10.10.10.1
	netmask 255.255.255.0
	bridge_ports none
	bridge_stp off
	bridge_fd 0

        post-up echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward
        post-up   iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -s '10.10.10.0/24' -o eth0 -j MASQUERADE
	post-up   iptables -A FORWARD -s '10.10.10.0/24' -o eth0 -j ACCEPT
	post-up   iptables -A FORWARD -d '10.10.10.0/24' -m state --state ESTABLISHED,RELATED -i eth0 -j ACCEPT
        post-down iptables -t nat -D POSTROUTING -s '10.10.10.0/24' -o eth0 -j MASQUERADE
	post-down iptables -D FORWARD -s '10.10.10.0/24' -o eth0 -j ACCEPT
	post-down iptables -D FORWARD -d '10.10.10.0/24' -m state --state ESTABLISHED,RELATED -i eth0 -j ACCEPT

So in the above I’m creating a separate private network (10.10.10.0/24) behind the publicly available IP address aaa.bbb.ccc.ddd and am doing some iptables commands to setup masquerading. This is sorta like setting up a home router to share a publicly available IP address you have at home. Once this is in place reboot the host and make sure you can log back into https://aaa.bbb.ccc.ddd:8006/ and get the proxmox interface. If you’re good to go, as next step spin off two Ubuntu containers (I won’t go into details on this…..lots of docs out there for this). Your OperVZ Container confirmation screen should look something like this:

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 4.25.05 PM

 

The only really important thing here is that you setup the networking under Network tab as Bridged mode and select vmbr0 as your bridge. Once that’s done ssh back to your host (aaa.bbb.ccc.ddd). Assuming you have two containers 100 and 101, enter one of them by using the vzctl command:

vzctl enter 100

Once inside the container you need to setup the networking. Again the file here is /etc/network/interfaces (assuming you’re container is Ubuntu/Debian flavoured). Backup this file first and replace the content with the following:

# interfaces(5) file used by ifup(8) and ifdown(8)
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

auto eth0
#iface eth0 inet dhcp
iface eth0 inet static
        address  10.10.10.2
        netmask  255.255.255.0
        gateway  10.10.10.1
        dns-nameservers 8.8.8.8
        fns-search      your.real.domain.name.com

Note here that I’m using google’s name server. You can use that or substitute your own “real” name servers. Once you reboot the container and enter it again via the host, you should be able to ping just about any real host (www.google.com, www.yahoo.com or whatever). This gives us a basic NAT running on the host and you just need to increment the IP address (10.10.10.2 in the above case) in the setup of the second container. At this point you should be able to enter either containers and ping something outside.

So the rest of this article describes how to setup a secure reverse proxy using apache on the proxmox host (aaa.bbb.ccc.ddd). This way you can just point arbitrary DNS names at aaa.bbb.ccc.ddd and choose (via apache config) which one of your containers will answer the call. You can even get fancy and have multiple hostnames proxied to the same container and do standard “Name based” virtual hosting inside the container. I will just show the one-to-one proxied connection here. Start by installing apache on the host (apt-get install apache). First we need to activate the proxy module. If you don’t have time to finish this entire procedure DO NOT CONTINUE. Literally in the time it takes to install and configure the proxy, script kiddies will hit your site and use you as a proxy to attack other sites. DO THE PROXY INSTALL AND CONFIG/SECURING PROCEDURE IN ONE SHOT.

Assuming apache is installed go to http://aaa.bbb.ccc.ddd and ensure you’re getting the apache “hello” screen. Now you can enable the three modules needed by issuing the following:

a2enmod proxy
a2enmod proxy_http
a2enmod headers

Once that’s done you need to make some changes to your proxmox hosts default apache config which is in /etc/apache2/sites-available/default. For the sake of completeness I’ve included my entire file here. Compare it to yours and modify accordingly:

# IMPORTANT: YOU NEED THIS
LoadFile /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libxml2.so.2

<VirtualHost *:80>
	ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost

	DocumentRoot /var/www
	<Directory />
		Options FollowSymLinks
		AllowOverride None
	</Directory>
	<Directory /var/www/>
		Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
		AllowOverride None
		Order allow,deny
		allow from all
	</Directory>

	ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log

	CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined

	# IMPORTANT: YOU NEED THIS
	ProxyRequests Off
	# Block all requests 
	<Proxy *>
	  Order deny,allow
	  Deny from all
	</Proxy>

</VirtualHost>

<VirtualHost *:80>
	ServerName hosta.domain.ca
	RequestHeader set hosta.domain.ca Accept-Encoding
	ProxyPreserveHost On
	ProxyPass / http://10.10.10.2/
	ProxyPassReverse / http://10.10.10.2/
	# IMPORTANT: YOU NEED THIS
	<Proxy *>
	    Order deny,allow
	    Allow from all
	</Proxy>
</VirtualHost>
<VirtualHost *:80>
	ServerName hostb.domain.ca
	RequestHeader set hostb.domain.ca Accept-Encoding
	ProxyPreserveHost On
	ProxyPass / http://10.10.10.3/
	ProxyPassReverse / http://10.10.10.3/
	# IMPORTANT: YOU NEED THIS
	<Proxy *>
	    Order deny,allow
	    Allow from all
	</Proxy>
</VirtualHost>

Pay particular attention to parts that have the comment (# IMPORTANT: YOU NEED THIS)……Guess what…..YOU NEED THIS. The first one loads libxml2 which is needed. The second block of code makes sure you are in reverse proxy mode (not in forward proxy) and makes sure the main apache instance can’t be used for proxing. The third and fourth block enable reverse proxy for a particular virtual host name. Now we need to reload apache on our proxmox host and do some testing. Reload apache with (service apache2 reload) and for sanity sake change the index.html file in both containers (under /var/www/index.html) to reflect hosta and hostb. I’ve basically just added the words hosta and hostb to the html file. Register hosta.domain.ca and hostb.domain.ca as “A” fields in your DNS and point them at the IP address of the proxmox host (aaa.bbb.ccc.ddd).

If everything is working properly you should be able to use your browser and point at http://hosta.domain.ca and get the index.html page specific to that container and the same for hostb. At this point you should be more or less good to go. If you need more containers addressable from internet, just keep adding this block of code to the proxmox hosts /etc/apache2/sites-available/default and change the hostname and increment the private IP addresses:


<VirtualHost *:80>
	ServerName hostc.domain.ca
	RequestHeader set hostc.domain.ca Accept-Encoding
	ProxyPreserveHost On
	ProxyPass / http://10.10.10.4/
	ProxyPassReverse / http://10.10.10.4/
	# IMPORTANT: YOU NEED THIS
	<Proxy *>
	    Order deny,allow
	    Allow from all
	</Proxy>
</VirtualHost>

Optionally you can now go back and add a couple more ufw rules to only allow access from a particular IP address space (in my case the university network 141.117.0.0/16)

ufw allow proto tcp from 141.117.0.0/16 to any port 80
ufw deny proto tcp from any to any port 80

Again with this setup — since we’re preserving the request header and are passing it through the proxy back and forth — you can have hostd, hoste, hostf, all point to the same private IP address in the proxy and do a named virtual serving on the apache instance in the particular container, just like a standard named virtual host based setup. Hope this helps…..

Copying large number of files between two Unix/Linux/OSX Servers

datePosted on 14:38, August 15th, 2012 by Many Ayromlou

Here are some quick tip(s) for copying a ton of files between unixy machines really fast. You’re probably thinking “why not use rsync?”…..well rsync can be miserably slow if your source or destination cpu is underpowered. You can always do a rsync after these commands to make 100% certain that everything checks out, but try using one of these methods for the initial copy:

  • One way of doing it is
    tar -c /path/to/dir | ssh user@remote_server 'tar -xpvf - -C /absolute/path/to/remotedir'

    You’ll be prompted for the remote servers password or you can use the private key of the remote server using the -i switch in the ssh command. This has the side benefit of preserving permissions. An alternate version of this command can also be used to locally move folder structures across mount points while preserving permissions: 

    tar -cf - -C srcdir . | tar -xpf - -C destdir

    or

    cd srcdir ; tar -cf - . | (cd destdir ; tar -xpf -)
  • Another way of doing it with netcat (nc) is
    srv1$ tar -cfv - * | nc -w1 remote.server.net 4321

    followed by

    srv2$ nc -l -p 4321 |tar -xpfv - 

    Note that you type the first command on the source machine and the second command on the destination machine.

  • Yet another way of doing it with socat utility is
    host1$ tar -cvf - * | socat stdin tcp4:host2:portnum

    followed by

    host2$ socat tcp4-listen:portnum stdout | tar -xvpf - 

    Note that you type the first command on the source machine and the second command on the destination machine.

Once your favourite process (above) is done you can do a quick rsync to tie up any loose ends.

rsync -avW -e ssh /path/to/dir/ remote_server:/path/to/remotedir

Rsync will now fly through the filesystem as 99.9% of the time, 99.9% of the files on the destination are good. And as always make sure you understand the commands before you use them…..and keep backups just in case :-).

If you try to install Ubuntu 10.10 under parallels desktop 6.0 on OSX — atleast as of the writing of this article — you’ll soon discover that although your entire installation is done in a high (eg: 1920×1080) resolution, as soon as the install is done and you reboot, your VM is stuck at 1024×768. You can install the parallel tools using the menu option and it still won’t help — although it helps with 3D (ie: compiz). Under Gnomes System/Preferences/Monitors the highest resolution available is 1024×768 :-(. After searching around the net for the past week or so and trying just about every remedy — which did not work — I was about to give up, then I found the magic command that “makes it go” :-).

I’ve now got Ubuntu 10.10 running with PT/compiz under parallels 6.0 @ 1920×1080. No problem. Normally if you go inside ~/.config/ directory (.config folder under your home directory) you’ll notice that there is no “monitors.xml” file in there. That’s the per user X config file that gets the ball rolling. Generating the file is really easy. Open a teminal and issue the following command:

xrandr

This will generate (hopefully) the following output:

Note that 1024×768 is the default. Now if you go inside ~/.config/ directory you’ll find a “monitors.xml” file (below). Once you’ve got this file you can go to System/Preferences/Monitors and choose the higher resolution options (eg:1920×1080). The xrandr command should generate the file for you. If it doesn’t (not sure why), here is my version for parallel 6.0. I think it’s pretty generic so you should be able to cut and paste the content:

<monitors version="1">
  <configuration>
      <clone>no</clone>
      <output name="default">
          <vendor>???</vendor>
          <product>0x0000</product>
          <serial>0x00000000</serial>
          <width>1920</width>
          <height>1200</height>
          <rate>60</rate>
          <x>0</x>
          <y>0</y>
          <rotation>normal</rotation>
          <reflect_x>no</reflect_x>
          <reflect_y>no</reflect_y>
          <primary>no</primary>
      </output>
  </configuration>
</monitors>
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