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. https://support.industry.siemens.com/cs/document/109741799/simatic-iot2000-sd-card-example-image Create image from sources If you want to create your own image from source you can find the instructions here: https://github.com/siemensHowever 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: https://www.exar.com/design-tools/software-drivers unzip xr_usb_serial_common_lnx-3.6-and-newer-pak.zip 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: https://www.thethingsnetwork.org/docs/gateways/multitech/mlinux.html 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 LoRaSuite-linux-1.0.run ./LoRaSuite-linux-1.0.run 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 "http://java.sun.com/dtd/preferences.dtd"> <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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Display your Flickr Favourites as Screensaver Slideshow

Install XScreenSaver and remove Gnome default sudo apt remove gnome-screensaver sudo apt install xscreensaver xscreensaver-gl xscreensaver-gl-extra Run the Screensaver UI and configure In the "Advanced" section enter your Flickr RSS URL in "Choose Random Image" https://api.flickr.com/services/feeds/photos_faves.gne?id=YOURFLICKRUSERID #replace with your Flickr User ID Create a systemd user service to autostart mkdir -p ~/.config/systemd/user/ vim ~/.config/systemd/user/xscreensaver.service Past the following [Unit] Description=XScreenSaver [Service] ExecStart=/usr/bin/xscreensaver -nosplash [Install] WantedBy=default.target Start and enable systemd user service systemctl --user enable xscreensaver systemctl --user start xscreensaver To copy the settings (including RSS URL) onto other PC's or re-install it might be a good idea to backup or copy the contents of ~/.xscreensaver

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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 github.com/spf13/hugo 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 about.md #edit content page vim content/about.md

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Good bye Android ? Hello Ubuntu ! Not yet unfortunately …

As a long-term Ubuntu user I am extremely interested in what Canonical and the Ubuntu community are doing on the mobile front. Their convergence strategy (I am testing Snappy Core on IoT devices as well) seems very well thought through and once the the Meizu MX4 phone was released I got myself an invite and ordered a unit. It took a while to ship and then also had to make it's way down under as Meizu only ship to Europe (and Asia I believe). Having played with Ubuntu on the phone a while ago on an old Nexus 4 as well as a Nexus 7 unit it was a much more pleasant initial experience and I was really hoping to make this my day-to-day phone. After the initial excitement and a few days of use (including with my main SIM card) however it is clear that we're not at this stage yet. I am quite prepared to forego some conveniences I got used to on CyanogenMod (Android) over the years, but at this stage there are just too many things not working consistently. On the surface most of the critical components are there, but there is just too many bugs and inconsistencies in heavy usage left to make this a solid experience unfortunately. The single button hardware also doesn't seem to work with the UI as in a lot of places you are searching for a back button and there ain't one. And to my surprise the browser feels pretty…

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Finding Notebook Hardware for Ubuntu – 2015 Edition

Unfortunately it is still much harder than necessary to find notebook hardware to use with Ubuntu (or other Linux variants). This blog is full of past experiences (some of them quite time-consuming) on finding notebook hardware that will work without too much fiddling. This short note is to document my recent research on that front to help others who want to do the same (as there doesn't seem to be a lot of good current info around).    by  TAKA@P.P.R.S  There are some vendors that do ship with Ubuntu, however they are generally all based in the US and their pre-sales communications are pretty horrible (I am talking to you ZaReason - still waiting for reply email as well as tweet). Then there is Purism Librem, but unfortunately they have still not shipped their 15" version and I need a tool now. The jury on this is still out and I don't really have the time to be a guinea-pig. Maybe next time (as I like what they are doing) ... There was one option from one of the top-tier manufacturers (Dell XPS 13 - Developer Edition) which ships with Ubuntu. But as - per usual - NOT in Australia. However there was a lot of conflicting evidence I found that the Windows Version had some issues with current Ubuntu versions (Dell ship 14.04 LTS - which makes sense from their point). I ended up buying the Lenovo X1 (3rd Generation) and after the install of Ubuntu I have to say…

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SShuttle – quick and temporary VPN over SSH

Every once in a while you find a gem. One of these for me is SShuttle - until now I have not known about this one.    by  Stephan Geyer  Sometimes you need to quickly forward all your traffic via a remote server quickly. And while you can do all of this manually using OpenSSH it's not a quick one-step process (https://help.ubuntu.com/community/SSH/OpenSSH/PortForwarding). Dynamic SOCKS5 proxies are great if all you need is browser traffic, but there is always software that won't play ball with SOCKS. Use-case: I just been trying to get Ubuntu Make to install Eclipse IDE and the local AARNET download mirror is just refusing to cooperate (https://github.com/ubuntu/ubuntu-make/issues/90). A quick forward to a remote VPS fixed the issue without headaches Install sudo apt-get install sshuttle Run sshuttle -r username@servername.tld 0.0.0.0/0 -vv That's all - it sets up routing & iptable rules transparently and removes them after use. Kudos goes to https://github.com/apenwarr - thank you. A VERY useful utility !!! Source link: https://github.com/apenwarr/sshuttle

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Installing Ubuntu Phone (Touch) on Nexus 7 LTE

Add SDK repository sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-sdk-team/ppa sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install ubuntu-device-flash Enable USB Debugging on the device Make sure you have developer mode enabled (see http://developer.android.com/tools/device.html if you are unsure). Navigate to Settings > Developer options Enable USB Debugging. When a device is connected, you will be prompted in Android to authorize it. Unlock Bootloader adb reboot bootloader fastboot oem unlock fastboot reboot Check that you have the right device adb shell grep ro.product.name /system/build.prop > mydevicedata \ && adb shell grep ro.product.device /system/build.prop >> mydevicedata \ && adb shell grep build.id /system/build.prop >> mydevicedata ro.product.name=razorg ro.product.device=deb ro.build.id=KTU84P Check which channels are available ubuntu-device-flash --server="http://system-image.tasemnice.eu" query --list-channels --device=deb ubuntu-device-flash --server="http://system-image.tasemnice.eu" query --list-channels --device=deb ubuntu-touch/ubuntu-rtm/14.09 ubuntu-touch/ubuntu-rtm/14.09-proposed ubuntu-touch/utopic ubuntu-touch/utopic-proposed ubuntu-touch/vivid ubuntu-touch/vivid-proposed ubuntu-touch/devel (alias to ubuntu-touch/vivid) ubuntu-touch/devel-proposed (alias to ubuntu-touch/vivid-proposed) ubuntu-touch/ubuntu-rtm/devel (alias to ubuntu-touch/ubuntu-rtm/14.09) ubuntu-touch/ubuntu-rtm/devel-proposed (alias to ubuntu-touch/ubuntu-rtm/14.09-proposed) In my case I am going for the currently stable 'ubuntu-touch/vivid' channel. Install Ubuntu Touch ubuntu-device-flash --server="http://system-image.tasemnice.eu" touch --channel="ubuntu-touch/vivid" --bootstrap References Ubuntu Devices: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Touch/Devices

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