Simple Icinga2 Plugin

I’ve seen bits and pieces of the process of creating an Icinga2 (or Nagios) plugin, so here are my notes dumped straight from my brain.

First and foremost we need a script to call from Icinga, in this case I created a very simple Python script to simply get the version of LibreNMS running on my monitoring system.

This is a pretty simple script, you could call it with ./check_lnms_ver.py -H 192.168.1.100 to see how it works.  With the script working the next portion is done in the command line, first create the directory that will later be referenced as CustomPluginDir

# mkdir -p /opt/monitoring/plugins

Now we need to tell Icinga2 about the directory, this is done in a few different places

in /etc/icinga2/constants.conf add the following

const CustomPluginDir = "/opt/monitoring/plugins"

and in /etc/icinga2/conf.d/commands.conf we add the following block

The block above defines the custom command, specifies the script we created first and also passes the correct flags.  Now its time to add the check into the hosts.conf file, so place the following block into /etc/icinga2/conf.d/hosts.conf

And with that we wait for the next polling cycle and should see something like the screenshot below

This is a highly simplistic example, but figuring it out was necessary for me because I had to port some existing code from Ruby to Python so I wanted to know exactly how a plugin was created to understand what values were returned and how it all fits together.

Homelab: Synology failure post-mortem

I take my homelab very seriously, its modeled after several production environments I have worked on over the years. What follows is my recap of events over a few weeks leading up to the total failure of my central storage system, my beloved Synology DS1515 hosting 5.5TB of redundant network storage. The first signs of problems cropped up on May 31st and culminated over the last week in June.

Read moreHomelab: Synology failure post-mortem

So long Github!

So Microsoft bought Github for a moderate mountain of money and now everyone is fleeing it before the deal has even been approved by regulatory bodies. Some folks are calling it over-reacting but the reality is that Microsoft has a terrible track record (Nokia, Skype, Codeplex) and has been at times outright antagonistic to Open Source as a whole. Given that lately purchases are often about getting access to data I really don’t feel like providing useful metrics to Microsoft about the projects I work on no matter how small and insignificant they may be so all new work will appear on my Gitlab account. I went through by hand and tried to find all the places I linked my code here but if I happened to miss something either leave a comment or hit me up on Twitter and I will update the links.

How fast does the NATO phonetic alphabet go through letters?

So I saw a thread on reddit about people using phrases like usual “quick brown fox” one to test out fountain pens and it got me to thinking, I normally use the NATO phonetic alphabet to test my pens out but how fast does that go through all the letters of the alphabet.  After some banging around I came up with code that figures it out, just without all the hassle of actually trying to time it.

 

Turns out that it really doesn’t use up everything until the very end but by the time you get to the word papa all but 4 letters have been used already.

So as a way to work through all the letters of the alphabet its really not the most efficient way to go but perhaps there are better phrase combinations than the quick brown fox?

Fakes abound!

Its already making the rounds in various online news outlets that Reddit banned deepfakes (AI assisted fake pornograph videos), and naturally its causing all manner of consternation as people on every side of the issue get all twisted up and yell at each other incoherently.  Whats slipping through the cracks however is that there is also technology out there to fake voice as well and while its not great its not absolutely terrible as one might expect.  Since I have no desire to see myself superimposed on the body of another I figured I might as well see how good a computer was at faking out my voice since so many things take only very brief conversations to authorize these days.

In order to prime the software you have to record yourself reading a bunch of sentences, enough material for at least 30 seconds according to the prompts.  Once you have that corpus of material ready you tell the service to go build your voice (I was imagining Bene Gesserit Voice training while it processed) and when its done you can type in anything you want and the synthesized version of your voice spits out the phrase for better or for worse.

Non-generated

Generated with Lyrebird.ai

 

Naturally there are some modulated sounds in the generated one, however having reviewed recorded phone calls of myself it sure could pass for me if the phone mic was bad.  What is scary is that it correctly hit the emphasis that I naturally put on some words, enough that I suspect had I not been sick when recording this and had a better soundproof room to do it in it might have done better. Of course for like 30 minutes of screwing around on the site re-recording my various gaffs I think it did an admirable job of spoofing my voice and I suspect given enough time to refine the software it could probably get pretty good, fortunately I’m broke compared to the Hollywood folks who are turning coal into diamonds right now worrying about faking technology producing sex tapes that they never actually starred in.

NHL API Documentation

In the process of working on the project mentioned in my previous post I decided to try to round up all the bits and pieces of information I had found into a single place.  Some of the endpoints I was using even turned out to be undiscovered as far as I can tell (such as the one for standings) so I created a repository on Gitlab to try to collect it all along with examples of data returned in cases where it was feasible to include it.  The information is by no means complete as its largely a trial-and-error process to find new endpoints, however here is what I have been able to document so far in the NHL API.

dword4/nhlapi

If you happen find something that wasn’t included or otherwise incorrect feel free to open a PR and I will get it updated.

hockeystats for sopel

During a bout of boredom recently I set out to create a module for the Sopel bot framework to gather information about hockey games since a bunch of the guys on my IRC server are hockey fans to one degree or another.  Apparently there are lots of betting and analytic services out there that provide APIs however they all seem to charge or have some gimped up scheme for accessing the data, I easily spent a few hours searching around trying to find something that didn’t suck.  Finally I stumbled upon the work of Kevin Sidwar who partially documented some of the actual NHL API which provides game data.  Fast forward a few days of clicking and clacking about in vim and I managed to churn out a semi-functional module that will drop right into Sopel without any configuration at all.

Hockeystats is about as simple as it can get, having a grand total of 4 callable functions to grab previous game details, next game details, team stats and division standings.  I made sure to make it a little picky about user input so the risk of user abuse is fairly low and also tossed in docstring documentation so that the !help command will work for each function in the module.  A word of warning however, this is one of my fastest projects so far so its not gone beyond a smoke test and there aren’t any rate limits on commands so user beware and all that.

Open links from iTerm2 in a specific browser

So by default iTerm2 uses whatever is the default browser, which I generally use Chrome for work related things, however I like to use Firefox for personal stuff.  I had to look around for a while to find this since I am not an OSX person really, figured someone else will find it useful.

Go to Preferences > Profiles > Advanced > and in the Smart Selection area hit Edit.

Select HTTP URL and hit the Edit Actions button

Add the following entry:

Title: Open in Firefox

Action: Run Command

Parameter: open -a Firefox \0

Hit OK and you should be good to go, now if you hold ⌘ and click on a link (say within Weechat) it will kick it over to Firefox specifically.

 

A cautionary tale of Git and Virtualbox

I have been trying to keep the code chops sharp since work doesn’t require it very often anymore, usually by working on polishing up projects I’ve started in the past but let fall by the wayside.  Last night was a bugfix session on imgur2pdf which I have been neglecting for a while now and specifically working on the resizing logic which was hosed up and created some ugly PDFs.  All told I think I spent about two and a half hours working on the code testing it over and over with galleries to make sure sizes were right and it made changes as appropriate to large dimension images.  Once I got things right to where I wanted them I pushed my commit up to the repo and took a break for a while, grabbing some tea and having a look at why the virtualbox VM I was working on wasn’t letting me copy/paste between it and my parent OS.

Some quick poking around and I realized I hadn’t installed the Guest Additions software so I loaded that up and rebooted the VM only to be graced with a solid black screen that was unresponsive. I rebuild the VM since it was mostly empty and try it a second time and the exact same thing happens when rebooting after installing.  Asked around on IRC and a buddy pointed out to me that this is kind of a known issue and there is a potential fix out for it, so I guess I know what I am doing with my evening tonight.

Thinking about this today made me realize that the old way of doing code would have probably cost me several hours of work and resulted in a great deal of profanity had I wiped out everything.  So let this be a lesson to anybody just getting started with Git, commit/push often as it beats the alternative of losing hours of work

Log parsing for cell phone records

Update

So I totally screwed up the code previously, it didnt have any logic to look at only the target phone number so it was just running calculations on the entire log.  Also tossed in some avg calculations for number of calls and time per day for the hell of it.


So I was curious how much time I spend on the phone to certain people, so I decided to write some quick python to figure this out.

 

This is pretty straight forward, change the value for target_number to whatever number in the logs you want to look for then let it rip like so

Bitnami