Backup your Google + photos

It’s great that Google integrates with Google + and your Android device to automatically back up all your precious photos, but how do you get a copy of those backed up photos on your local PC?  This is where Google Takeout come in.

Go to, login with your Google account you use on your Android phone, click “Create an Archive”, uncheck everything except “Google Photos”, click “Create Archive” and download each of the zip files displayed. That’s it!

Disable all Linux screensaver and monitor power management features

I recently was tasked to create a thin client type device and needed to disable all power management features. I found it to be more convoluted then I expected, so here are the options I found. In the end, the options in bold were all I needed to disable the screen blank power management and all screen savers in gnome.

Disabled the screen blank during a text based login:
Added consoleblank=0 to the kernel line in /boot/grub/menu.lst
Added /usr/bin/setterm -blank 0 to the /etc/rc.local

Should add to user’s .bash_profile or other user specific login file:
Disable all Xorg power management:
/usr/bin/xset s off
/usr/bin/xset -dpms

Disable screensaver settings on Gnome 2 – CentOS 6
yum remove gnome-screensaver gnome-power-manager -y


Dynamic DNS updates with a Linux DHCP client and Windows DHCP/DNS servers

Windows DHCP server:

In Administrative Tools->DHCP
On the Scope properties:
On the DHCP IPV4 object properties:

Windows DNS server:
In Administrative Tools->DNS
On the zone properties:

On CentOS/RHEL linux clients requesting a dhcp address on eth0:

Create the file /etc/dhcp/dhclient-eth0.conf with the following command:
echo "send host-name \"`hostname -s`\";" > /etc/dhcp/dhclient-eth0.conf

That’s it! To confirm it’s working as expected:

Reboot the linux dhcp client. Then type cat /var/run/nm-dhclient-eth0.conf to verify dhclient-eth0.conf was used and merged into eth0′s running config.

Use nslookup from a network client

On the DNS server:
Check the applicable zone under “Forward Lookup Zones” for an “A” record for the linux client. Also, check the applicable network zone under the “Reverse Lookup Zones” for a PTR record for the linux client.

On the DHCP server:
Check “Address Leases” under the applicable scope

Netbackup encryption client option configuration

Push the encryption binaries to the client using the following command on the master:

Install the license keys for encryption on the master server.

Create an encryption key file on the client by running the following command on the client (or on the master server with the -client option):

“<install_path>\NetBackup\bin\bpkeyutil -client <client_name>”

Enter new NetBackup passphrase: **********
Re-enter new NetBackup passphrase: **********

Verify the following files are on the client:
(this file is created by the bpkeyutil command)

 (this file is created by the bpkeyutil command)

On Netbackup administration console In the policy under the Attributes tab there is a selection for Encryption that determines if the backup will be encrypted. Check the check box.

In the NetBackup Administration Console, Expand NetBackup Management > Host Properties > Clients, double click to launch client properties window. Click on  “Encryption” and Configure this client to be enabled for encryption.

Install and run ClusterSSH

If you’re running Fedora 18+ type:
sudo yum install clusterssh -y

If you’re running RHEL or a RHEL clone..

Download Cluster SSH from Sourceforge

yum install gcc make kernel-devel kernel-headers perl perl-CPAN libX11-devel -y
perl -MCPAN -e shell
install Tk
install X11::Protocol

cd to your Download location and into clusterssh
make install

Run the program!
cssh server1 server2

Or create a “clusters” config file for commonly access servers and assign a “tag” (aka label for the group of servers)
mkdir ~/.clusterssh
vi ~/.clusterssh/clusters
linux user@server1 user@server2 user@server3

Run cssh using the tag contained in the clusters file with:
cssh linux


vCenter 5.1 install with SEP, uninstall SEP first!

I had to install vCenter twice for a customer upgrade. Twice? Why?

In this case it was SEP 12 that was pushing VMware Update Manager around. The Update Manager database would not connect when trying to enable the vSphere Client plugin. So I bounced the Update manager services and found in the Event Viewer application log, that the “Threat” was being blocked by SEP12. Ok, so this was obvious that this was the issue since every time I would restart the service, the errors would follow. So you could say, why did you just uninstall it? We did and we found ourselves with corrupted vCenter services and an Update Manager wouldn’t start.

I proceeded to uninstall all vCenter components because there was no way to tell what had installed properly and what may have been corrupted. After uninstalling I rebooted for good measure and had everything installed and setup in another 45 minutes.

So I guess you never stop learning and I will from now on make sure virus scans are completely removed from the OS until the installation is complete.

The vCenter 5.5 appliance is very capable of replacing this process entirely though, so maybe this will be the last time I install it on a Windows server :)

Dell OEM vSphere ISO upgrade from 5.0 to 5.1 fails?

From the VMware KB 2036167

Cannot upgrade ESXi 5.0.x hosts installed using the Dell custom image to ESXi 5.1
Upgrading the ESXi 5.0 host fails at 26% of remediation
Upgrading the ESXi 5.0 host installed using the Dell custom image fails and reverts to the previous build
In the ESXi console, you see these errors:

Could not obtain module order from esx image db : Error (see log for more info):
File path of/etc/vmware/oem.xml is claimed by Multiple overlay VIBs: set(['Dell_bootbank_dell-configuration-vib_5.1-0', 'Dell_bootbank_Dell-Configuration-VIB_5.0-0'])
File path of/etc/vmware/support is claimed by Multiple overlay VIBs: set(['Dell_bootbank_dell-configuration-vib_5.1-0', 'Dell_bootbank_Dell-Configuration-VIB_5.0-0'])

To resolve this issue:
Upgrade the ESXi host using a VMware image/customized Image. To download the VMware image, see the VMware Download Center.
Before you upgrade, run these commands from ESXi shell:

# esxcli software vib remove –n Dell-Configuration-VIB
# esxcli software vib remove –n Dell-License-VIB
# esxcli software vib remove -n Dell-esx-boot-options

For more information, see Using ESXi Shell in ESXi 5.x (2004746).

Reboot the host for the changes to take effect.
Retry the remediation

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