Working with Siemens IoT2000 series from Linux

The Siemens IoT2000 series has been a very interesting development from Siemens and it's really encouraging to see the use of Open Source in the Automation sector definitely on the increase. And that can only be a good thing for developer productivity. Seeing a different IDE for each manufacturer of a PLC invokes some nasty memories of last century web-application development... Siemens Simatic IoT2000 Unfortunately, all the documentation for these units still assumes a Windows PC. And since I have not really been using a physical Windows machine for 10+ years now, that is really slowing things down. For the last few I didn't really have to fall back to a VM, largely due to the fact that in web-development nobody cares about OS any longer. But I have a feeling that shifting my focus to the IIoT space this VM will get a bit more useful as some of these manufacturers don't even bother with anything but Windows and are challenged enough to keep up with Windows upgrades. Download existing image The image can be downloaded from the Siemens support site (if you don't have an account with Siemens you might have to sign up for a login first. Create image from sources If you want to create your own image from source you can find the instructions here: for getting around the system the example image has some additional software making it easier to find your way around the system. Create SD card image sudo dd…

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Setting up MultiTech LoRaWAN gateway on Ubuntu

As the convener for the Adelaide community of The Things Network, I am frequently setting up Multitech Conduit Gateways. Depending on your PC or notebook hardware you might have some problems with the Exar USB-UART driver on Linux. Here are the steps to getting this unit setup from an Ubuntu (should work for any other Linux distro) machine. lsusb Should show something like this: Bus 002 Device 006: ID 04e2:1410 Exar Corp. XR21V1410 USB-UART IC Download the driver for the Exar site: unzip cd xr_usb_serial_common_lnx-3.6-and-newer-pak make sudo insmod ./xr_usb_serial_common.ko Ensure driver is loaded at startup sudo vim /etc/modules #Add the following xr_usb_serial_common ls /dev/tty* should now show another USB port ttyXRUSB0 For the rest you just need to follow the excellent instructions by Jac Kersing who maintains the Multitech TTN installer and documentation here: Get EUI of your gateway mts-io-sysfs show lora/eui 2> /dev/null | sed 's/://g'

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Moving to KVM virtual machines

Installing VirtualBox is getting increasingly painful on Ubuntu due to the problems with UEFI Secure Boot and the VirtualBox kernel modules. Another reason for an alternative is that running VirtualBox VM's completely in the background is not as straightforward as it could be. From the available alternatives I looked into (VMWare, Xen & KVM) it was KVM that fitted my needs (casual VM usage with mostly headless VM's for testing purposes). Main reasons: Well supported by Ubuntu Easy, straightforward install Background VM's are simple as Moving VM's from one host to another is a breeze Checking system To check if the CPU can actually support egrep -c '(svm|vmx)' /proc/cpuinfo If the number returned is > 0 your systems should be capable to run. You will also enable your BIOS for virtualisation (in Security settings of most BIOS's) if that has not already be done. You will get an error if not enabled if you are trying to run an install. The Install of KVM will work fine. Installation sudo apt-get install qemu-kvm libvirt-daemon-system libvirt-clients bridge-utils virt-manager sudo addgroup libvirtd sudo adduser libvirtd sudo service libvirtd start sudo service libvirtd status sudo virt-manager Moving VM's to another host Source Host virsh shutdown VMNAME virsh dumpxml VMNAME > /tmp/VMNAME.xml scp /tmp/VMNAME.xml TARGETHOST:/tmp/VMNAME.xml scp /var/lib/libvirt/images/VMNAME.qcow2 TARGETHOST:/var/lib/libvirt/images/VMNAME.qcow2 Target Host virsh define /tmp/vm.xml virsh start vm Once you have confirmed operation you probably want to remove the source VM from the Source Host. virsh undefine VMNAME rm /var/lib/libvirt/images/VMNAME.qcow2

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Microchip LoRaWAN Development Utility on Ubuntu

Having just wasted a few hours on getting this Java software running on Linux I am documenting this for future reference and hopefully saving other LoRa / TTN folks some time. Prerequisites Install a Java JDK + JavaFX. This should work with the default OpenJDK 8 or 9 which comes as part of the Ubuntu repositories. I ended up installing Oracle JDK 8 as well as I thought the error might be related to OpenJDK. sudo apt install openjdk-8-jre-headless openjfx Download & install utility Download location: LoRa® Technology Evaluation Kit cd ~/Downloads/ chmod +x ./ Fix User Preferences This step is required for the Utility to run. Unfortunately, this is documented NOWHERE... Change the following files to include the FilePath entry. The map is empty by default. /home/USERID/.java/.userPrefs/dfu/prefs.xml /home/USERID/.java/.userPrefs/fed/prefs.xml <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="no"?> <!DOCTYPE map SYSTEM ""> <map MAP_XML_VERSION="1.0"> <entry key="FilePath" value="/home/USERID/"/> </map> If you chose the default install location you can now start the utility java -jar ~/Microchip/LoRaSuite/Applications/LoRaDevUtility/LoRaDevUtility.jar A big thank you goes to The Things Network user JBI - who provided this answer in a TTN forum post. No thanks to Microchip as their forum and firmware release policy is a bit of a shocker. There are several reports of such problems in the forum with no answers. Unfortunately, this seems to be no exception with electronics manufacturers (Hello Kerlink!).

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GrovePi Zero – connecting your IoT sensors

I recently purchased a GrovePi Zero and expected this to be a reasonable straight forward way to connect Grove sensors to your Raspberry Pi, read sensor values via Python and pushing them upstream via MQTT. However the software side of things turns out anything but straight forward. Most of the suggestions on the Dexter Industries forum suggest to download some custom OS image - WTF? Hopefully this will save some people time to chase down the same rabbit holes..... The problem starts with the install scripts which (a pet hate of mine) assume the /home/pi account to be present. There is a variable in at least the 2 of the install scripts (another Github repository - one calls another from a Github URL - like that will ever work ???) which allows you to change the user account but there is also hard-coded references all over the place that still point to that user account. Trying to step manually through the dependency hell in these install scripts that call other scripts ended to be a complete nightmare. It seems to download specific (old !?!) versions of libraries all of which have perfectly fine binaries in the Raspbian repos. Most of the troubleshooting tips use the UI which is not much good on a headless system. Since all I wanted was to read the sensors from Python I found that there was a library on PyPi ( which should actually do this without installing all this redundant dependencies on what is…

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Connecting your LoPy to The Things Network in Australia

EDIT [2018-06-05]: I have updated the code with the Firmware 1.18.+ releases. The code is available at our Growing Data Foundation Github. These notes are to assist Australian IoT enthusiasts to get started in connecting a LoPy to The Things Network as it is unfortunately (not yet) straight forward to make them work with the current AU-915 TTN Channel plans. As the initiator of the local Adelaide Community of The Things Network I have been experimenting with a number of devices to connect sensors to #TTNADL. One of my personal favourites is the Pycom LoPy as a nice middle-ground between capabilities and technical complexity. However I ran into a problem where the LoPy would not get a signal back from the TTN network when joining over OTAA even though the TTN Console ( the device showed as connected. With some friendly help from Jose Marcelino at the Pycom Forum this turned out to be an issue with the 915MHz frequency regions. Since there is no actual a standard governing which of the channels are used by TTN gateways, what is outlined here is what is implemented by most TTN communities down under (I know that at least ADL, BNE, SYD and WOL adhere to those). This is the typical Sub-band 2 (Channel 8-15) implementation of AU ISM 915 with TTN Gateways. This channel plan is also implemented by the install script for the MultiTech Conduit Gateways which are currently the most common gateways installed across Australia (see Channel#DirectionFrequency MHzBandwidth…

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RaspberryPi Version 3 SOE

Since there is now a supported Raspbian version without GUI and other unneeded add-ons available as Raspbian Lite the need to use other installers (with sometimes some downsides) is now not a necessity anymore. Below is a list of steps I like to perform before using them for any purpose as my Standard Operating Environment. Download Raspbian Lite Download link: Write to SD Card dd bs=4M if=2016-05-27-raspbian-jessie-lite.img of=/dev/sdb Boot RPi Default login details are UID: pi PWD: rasbperry Regional settings locale-gen en_AU.UTF-8 dpkg-reconfigure locales ln -sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/Australia/Adelaide /etc/localtime System update sudo apt update && sudo apt -y upgrade apt install vim Setup SSH keys As a security precausion it's a good idea to disable password authentications ssh-keygen -t rsa vim /root/.ssh/authorized_keys # --> add RSA public key Setup Wireless LAN iwlist wlan0 scan wpa_passphrase SSID WPA_KEY vim /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf Copy the resulting hash from the previous command Example config country=AU ctrl_interface=DIR=/var/run/wpa_supplicant GROUP=netdev update_config=1 network={ ssid="YOURSSID" psk=123456789012345678901234567890 } Rename default user account The default Raspbian images use the default user 'pi' - I prefer to change this user to another account for security purposes and to be in line with other Linux system I use. Reboot and log in to the RPi as root - you need to run the following commands as root. usermod -l NEW_USER_ID pi usermod -m -d /home/NEW_USER_ID NEW_USER_ID groupmod --new-name NEW_USER_ID pi mkdir /home/NEW_USER_ID/.ssh/ vim /home/NEW_USER_ID/.ssh/authorized_keys # --> add RSA public key # change owner and permissions on key files chown -R NEW_USER_ID:NEW_USER_ID /home/NEW_USER_ID/.ssh/ chmod 700…

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Install Hugo on Ubuntu to generate static websites

Whilst there is a .DEB installer to download from the GoHugo sites I get all matter of warnings that the package is of bad quality and I am not comfortable to run these kinds of installers. I rather install from sources in this case which is very straight forward since the main dependencies (largely GO) are in the Ubuntu main repositories. Install dependencies sudo apt-get install golang git mercurial python-pygments Create environment variables vim ~/.bashrc #add the following 3 lines export GOROOT=/usr/lib/go export GOPATH=$HOME/go export PATH=$PATH:$GOROOT/bin:$GOPATH/bin Update Bash Environment Variables without logging out. source ~/.bashrc Install Hugo go get -u -v Start using Hugo #create new site hugo new sitename /path/to/sitename #change directory to site cd /path/to/sitename #create content page hugo new #edit content page vim content/

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ChromeOS – removing SSH known_hosts from Chromebook

One of the things that is not implemented in the Secure Shell Chrome extension is the ability to remove know_host fingerprints which alert you if the fingerprint for a specific IP address has changed. However there are times when you upgrade a systems and this need to be done. @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ @ WARNING: REMOTE HOST IDENTIFICATION HAS CHANGED! @ @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ IT IS POSSIBLE THAT SOMEONE IS DOING SOMETHING NASTY! Someone could be eavesdropping on you right now (man-in-the-middle attack)! It is also possible that a host key has just been changed. The fingerprint for the ECDSA key sent by the remote host is d6:be:12:7e:22:23:c3:e1:56:30:d6:cd:65:b7:ab:42. Please contact your system administrator. Add correct host key in /.ssh/known_hosts to get rid of this message. Offending ECDSA key in /.ssh/known_hosts:7 ECDSA host key for has changed and you have requested strict checking. Host key verification failed. NaCl plugin exited with status code 255. (R)econnect, (C)hoose another connection, or E(x)it? Here is how to remove a known host fingerprint (from known_hosts) on a Chromebook. You can find the index of the offending host entry reported by ssh if the connection fails (see above: "Offending ECDSA key in /.ssh/known_hosts:7"). Then you can open the JavaScript console (CTRL +Shift +J) and type the following into the console. term_.command.removeKnownHostByIndex(INDEX); Replace INDEX with the number obviously. To clear all the known hosts: term_.command.removeAllKnownHosts();

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Install Ubuntu 14.04 on a Chromebook

There are plenty of sites out there that give advise on this topic, unfortunately most of them are highly ad-infested to the point of being unreadable as well as only containing single bit rather that an overall picture. This is a collection of useful links to source materials as well as steps necessary to install.    by  Joe Wilcox  Resource Links Crouton Github: - Thank you David Schneider for the excellent work !!! Developer Info for Chromebooks: Put Cromebook into "developer mode" Back up any data as the process wipes the system Create a restore image for Chrome OS (install the Restore Image Chrome Extension for this task) Enter Developer Mode - hold down ESC and Refresh (F3) keys and press the Power button Download Crouton Script Download link for installer: Installing Crouton CTRL+Alt+t to open Cronos Prompt + type "shell" to enter proper bash shell. To see the list of supported releases: sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -r list To see a list of the supported desktop envoironments (target names): sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -t help I generally install LXDE on 'resource-challenged' devices. shell sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -r RELEASENAME -t TARGETNAME -e The '-e' at the end is optional to encrypt the chroot. Which is probably a good idea as the Chromebook in developer mode is completely open and allows any user to access. If you do not specify the Release it defaults to Ubuntu 12.04 (precise) My default install would be: sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -r trusty -t…

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