Peterbe.com

A blog and website by Peter Bengtsson

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How to unset aliases set by Oh My Zsh

14 June 2018 1 comment   MacOSX, Linux


I use Oh My Zsh and I highly recommend it. However, it sets some aliases that I don't want. In particular, there's a plugin called git.plugin.zsh (located in ~/.oh-my-zsh/plugins/git/git.plugin.zsh ) that interfers with a global binary I have in $PATH. So when I start a shell the executable gg becomes...:

▶ which gg
gg: aliased to git gui citool

That overrides /usr/local/bin/gg which is the one I want to execute when I type gg. To unset that I can run...:

unset gg

▶ which gg
/usr/local/bin/gg

To override it "permanently", I added, to the end of ~/.zshrc:

# This unsets ~/.oh-my-zsh/plugins/git/git.plugin.zsh
# So my /usr/local/bin/gg works instead
unalias gg

Now whenever I start a new terminal, it defaults to the gg in /usr/local/bin/gg instead.

How to NOT start two servers on the same port

11 June 2018 2 comments   Web development, Linux


First of all, you can't start two servers on the same port. Ultimately it will fail. However, you might not want a late notice of this. For example, if you do this:

# In one terminal
$ cd elasticsearch-6.1.0
$ ./bin/elasticsearch
...
$ curl localhost:9200
...
"version" : {
    "number" : "6.1.0",
...
# In *another* terminal
$ cd elasticsearch-6.2.4
$ ./bin/elasticsearch
...
$ curl localhost:9200
...
"version" : {
    "number" : "6.1.0",
...

In other words, what happened to the elasticsearch-6.2.4/bin/elasticsearch?? It actually started on port :9201. But that's a rather scary thing because as you jump between project in different tabs or you might not notice that you have Elasticsearch running with docker-compose somewhere.

To remedy this I use this curl one-liner:

$ curl -s localhost:9200 > /dev/null && echo "Already running!" && exit || ./bin/elasticsearch

Now if you try to start a server on a used port it will exit early.

To wrap this up in a script, take this:

#!/bin/bash

set -eo pipefail

hostandport=$1
shift
curl -s "$hostandport" >/dev/null && \
  echo "Already running on $hostandport" && \
  exit 1 || exec "$@"

...and make it an executable called unlessalready.sh and now you can do this:

$ unlessalready.sh localhost:9200 ./bin/elasticsearch

How I found out where a bash alias was set up

09 May 2018 0 comments   Linux


I wanted to install a command line tool called gg. But for some reason, gg was already tied to an alias. No problem, I'll just delete that alias. I looked in ~/.bash_profile and I looked in ~/.zshrc and it wasn't there!

But here's how I managed to figure out where it came from:

▶ which gg
gg: aliased to git gui citool

Then I copied the git gui citool part of that output and ran:

▶ rg --hidden 'git gui citool'
.oh-my-zsh/plugins/git/git.plugin.zsh
104:alias gg='git gui citool'
105:alias gga='git gui citool --amend'

A ha! So it was .oh-my-zsh/plugins/git/git.plugin.zsh that was the culprit. Totally forgot about the plugin. It's full of other useful aliases so I just commented out the one(s) I knew I don't need any more.

By the way rg, aka. ripgrep is probably one of the best tools I have. I use it so often that it's attached to my belt rather than in my toolbox.

gtop is best

02 May 2018 0 comments   Javascript, MacOSX, Linux

https://github.com/aksakalli/gtop


To me, using top inside a Linux server via SSH is all muscle-memory and it's definitely good enough. On my Macbook when working on some long-running code that is resource intensive the best tool I know of is: gtop

gtop in action
gtop in action

I like it because it has the graphs I want and need. It splits up the work of each CPU which is awesome. That's useful for understanding how well a program is able to leverage more than one CPU process.

And it's really nice to have the list of Processes there to be able to quickly compare which programs are running and how that might affect the use of the CPUs.

Instead of listing alternatives I've tried before, hopefully this Reddit discussion has good links to other alternatives

Run something forever in bash until you want to stop it

13 February 2018 6 comments   Linux


I often use this in various projects. I find it very useful. Thought I'd share to see if others find it useful.

Running something forever

Suppose you have some command that you want to run a lot. One way is to do this:

$ ./manage.py run-some-command && \
  ./manage.py run-some-command && \
  ./manage.py run-some-command && \
  ./manage.py run-some-command && \
  ./manage.py run-some-command && \
  ./manage.py run-some-command && \
  ./manage.py run-some-command && \
  ./manage.py run-some-command && \
  ./manage.py run-some-command && \
  ./manage.py run-some-command

That runs the command 10 times. Clunky but effective.

Another alternative is to hijack the watch command. By default it waits 2 seconds between each run but if the command takes longer than 2 seconds, it'll just wait. Running...

$ watch ./manage.py run-some-command

Is almost the same as running...:


$ clear && sleep 2 && ./manage.py run-some-command && \
  clear && sleep 2 && ./manage.py run-some-command && \
  clear && sleep 2 && ./manage.py run-some-command && \
  clear && sleep 2 && ./manage.py run-some-command && \
  clear && sleep 2 && ./manage.py run-some-command && \
  clear && sleep 2 && ./manage.py run-some-command && \
  ...
  ...forever until you Ctrl-C it...

But that's clunky too because you might not want it to clear the screen between each run and you get an un-necessary delay between each run.

The biggest problem is that with using watch or copy-n-paste the command many times with && between is that if you need to stop it you have to Ctrl-C and that might kill the command at a precious time.

A better solution

The important thing is that if you want to stop the command repeater, is that it gets to finish what it's working on at the moment.

Here's a great and simple solution:

#!/usr/bin/env bash
set -eo pipefail

_stopnow() {
  test -f stopnow && echo "Stopping!" && rm stopnow && exit 0 || return 0
}

while true
do
    _stopnow
    # Below here, you put in your command you want to run:

    ./manage.py run-some-command
done

Save that file as run-forever.sh and now you can do this:

$ bash run-forever.sh

It'll sit there and do its thing over and over. If you want to stop it (from another terminal):

$ touch stopnow

(the file stopnow will be deleted after it's spotted once)

Getting fancy

Instead of taking this bash script and editing it every time you need it to run a different command you can make it a globally available command. Here's how I do it:

#!/usr/bin/env bash
set -eo pipefail


count=0

_stopnow() {
    count="$(($count+1))"
    test -f stopnow && \
      echo "Stopping after $count iterations!" && \
      rm stopnow && exit 0 || return 0
}

control_c()
# run if user hits control-c
{
  echo "Managed to do $count iterations"
  exit $?
}

# trap keyboard interrupt (control-c)
trap control_c SIGINT

echo "To stop this forever loop created a file called stopnow."
echo "E.g: touch stopnow"
echo ""
echo "Now going to run '$@' forever"
echo ""
while true
do
    _stopnow

    eval $@

    # Do this in case you accidentally pass an argument
    # that finishes too quickly.
    sleep 1

done

This code in a Gist here.

Put this file in ~/bin/run-forever.sh and chmod +x ~/bin/run-forever.sh.

Now you can do this:

$ run-forever.sh ./manage.py run-some-command

If the command you want to run, forever, requires an operator you have to wrap everything in single quotation marks. For example:

$ run-forever.sh './manage.py run-some-command && echo "Cooling CPUs..." && sleep 10' 

Be very careful with your add_header in Nginx! You might make your site insecure

11 February 2018 13 comments   Nginx, Web development, Linux


tl;dr; When you use add_header in a location block in Nginx, it undoes all "parent" add_header directives. Dangerous!

Gist of the problem is this:

There could be several add_header directives. These directives are inherited from the previous level if and only if there are no add_header directives defined on the current level.

From the documentation on add_header

The grand but subtle mistake

Basically, I had this:

server {
    server_name example.com;

    ...gzip...
    ...ssl...
    ...root...

    # Great security headers...
    add_header X-Frame-Options SAMEORIGIN;
    add_header X-XSS-Protection "1; mode=block";
    ...more security headers...

    location / {
        try_files    $uri /index.html;
    }
}

And when you curl it, you can see that it works:

$ curl -I https://example.com
[snip]
X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN
X-Content-Type-Options: nosniff
X-XSS-Protection: 1; mode=block
Strict-Transport-Security: max-age=63072000; includeSubdomains; preload

The mistake I had, was that I added a new add_header inside a relevant location block. If you do that, all the other "global" add_headers are dropped.
E.g.

server {
    server_name example.com;

    ...gzip...
    ...ssl...
    ...root...

    # Great security headers...
    add_header X-Frame-Options SAMEORIGIN;
    add_header X-XSS-Protection "1; mode=block";
    ...more security headers...

    location / {
        try_files    $uri /index.html;
        # NOTE! Adding some more headers here
+       add_header X-debug-whats-going-on on; 
    }
}

Now, same curl command:

$ curl -I https://example.com
[snip]
X-debug-whats-going-on: on

Bad score on Observatory for www.peterbe.com
Yikes! Now those other useful security headers are gone!

Here are your options:

  1. Don't add headers like that inside location blocks. Yeah, that's not always a choice.
  2. Copy-n-paste all the general security add_header blocks into the location blocks where you have to have "custom" add_header entries.
  3. Use an include file, see below.

How to include files

First create a new file, like /etc/nginx/snippets/general-security-headers.conf then put this into it:

# Great security headers...
add_header X-Frame-Options SAMEORIGIN;
add_header X-XSS-Protection "1; mode=block";
...more security headers...
# More realistically, see https://gist.github.com/plentz/6737338

Now, instead of saying these add_header lines in your /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/example.conf change that to:

server {
    server_name example.com;

    ...gzip...
    ...ssl...
    ...root...

    include /etc/nginx/snippets/general-security-headers.conf;

    location / {
        try_files    $uri /index.html;
        # Note! This gets included *again* because
        # this location block needs its own custom add_header
        # directives.
        include /etc/nginx/snippets/general-security-headers.conf;
        # NOTE! Adding some more headers here
        add_header X-debug-whats-going-on on; 
    }
}

(You need to use your imagination that a real Nginx config site probably has many different more complex location directives)

It's arguably a bit clunky but it works and it's the best of both worlds. The right security headers for all locations and ability to set custom add_header directives for specific locations.

Discussion

I'm most disappointed in myself for not noticing. Not for not noticing this in the Nginx documentation, but that I didn't check my security headers on more than one path. But I'm also quite disappointed in Nginx for this rather odd behaviour. To quote my security engineer at Mozilla, April King:

"add" doesn't usually mean "subtract everything else"

She agreed with me that the way it works is counter-intuitive and showed me this snippet which uses include files the same way.