Monitor rsync’s Progress

In this article, we’re going to learn how to monitor rsync’s progress. It’s a pretty trivial article, but it’s something you may want to know – especially if you’re using rsync often. Read on and learn how to monitor the progress of rsync. 

For the curious, I use rsync every day. It’s a part of what I do to beta test Lubuntu. It’s pretty handy for syncing my existing .iso with a fresh daily .iso, saving both Ubuntu and I a bunch of bandwidth.

I also use it locally. If I want to backup something like my home directory, there aren’t many better choices. Rather than mess with various applications, I can just write a simple command and can even automate it by making it a cronjob. 

However, it’s nice to get some feedback. It’s nice to see how far and how fast the syncing is taking place. It’s handy to monitor rsync’s progress. There are a couple of neat ways to do this, so I’ll show you them. 

If you don’t know, rsync is a tool used to sync files. It’s great for copying files from one location to another location. It even has some checks and balances, so it’s pretty great. By the way, the man page defines it like:

rsync – a fast, versatile, remote (and local) file-copying tool

Which I think is an apt and fair description. So, with that in mind, let’s move into the article about how to …

Monitor rsync’s Progress:

This article requires an open terminal, like many other articles on this site. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

For the most part, rsync works like so:

Now, you can just show the progress with the -av flags. The ‘a’ for “archive” and the ‘v’ is for verbose. That is a handy command. You will also need the ‘–info=progress2’ to go along with it. 

To use it, it might look something like this (to backup sync your entire home directory in this example):

See? That’ll output the progress as you go. For local stuff, that’s pretty much my ‘go-to’ command, or close enough.

But wait, there’s more!

That’s right, there’s more to know if you want to monitor rsync’s progress!

First, install ‘progress’. It’s probably not installed by default, so you’ll have to install it manually with your own package manager. For example, with apt in Ubuntu, it’s just:

With that done, it’s a tiny application, open up another terminal window – so that rsync is still happily running in your first terminal instance, and run the following command in the second terminal:

Pretty frickin’ neat, huh? You can monitor your rsync command’s progress quite easily with that command. It gives you a pretty good readout for your rsync’s progress. If nothing else, it’ll keep you amused while your data syncs. 

Closure:

Yay! Today you have another article. I still haven’t missed a day. You’ve had an article every other day for a long time now. Well, today is no different and in this article you learning how to monitor rsync’s progress – a pretty handy tool, especially for the inquisitive. 

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Let’s Take A Look At Logged In Users

Today is a good day to learn how to take a look at logged in users. The vast majority of my readers are desktop users, so you can mostly skip this article. On the other hand, when you take a look at logged in users, you might find users you didn’t know were logged in and discover a problem like unknown users.

Yeah, most of you – including me at the moment (which makes it difficult to do things like take useful screenshots) are using Linux (mostly) as a single user. You have a user and you login to that user account when you start your system up.

While you do have other system-configured users, you don’t generally login as those users. As such, you probably spend very little time thinking about the users you have. Those system users aren’t generally logged in but are there for permissions purposes, so they’re out of mind for most of us.

Well, for the rest of you, you can use this article to learn how look logged in users – even getting a glimpse at what they’re doing. I mentioned some difficulty in taking screenshots, so I’ll provide you with just one. Cherish it, as it’s the only one you’re getting!

Here it is:

looking at other users
See? I’ll reference some of this below, in the article itself. I might as well…

Have A Look At Logged In Users:

This article requires an open terminal, like many other articles on this site. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

As you can see from the image above you can see all the logged in users with the first command. The following command will list them:

You’ll see the same thing, with a bit more information, when you use the following command:

Now, in the image above, you can see where I used it once and then ran it again. What you don’t see is that, in between those two commands, I opened up another TTY and logged in again as ‘kgiii’. If you want to replicate that, just press CTRL + ALT, then F3 to F6, and login at the prompt with any user(s) you happen to have.

Finally, you can get a look at what they’re doing – like one has a desktop session open and two of those login instances just have bash sessions open in TTY sessions. To do that,  you just use:

That should be easy enough for you to remember! By the way, if you did login as an additional TTY instance, run ‘users‘ again and you’ll see the output for that command has changed accordingly. The command’s output will may also give you a good idea about how long the system has been up and what the system resources are like.

Closure:

There you have it. You have learned how to have a look at logged in users so that you can have an idea of what’s going on with your system. If you spot a user you don’t recognize, that might be indicative of a problem. If you spot a user you don’t recognize, you’ll need to do some more investigating. By the way, if you have ‘finger’ installed you can always run ‘finger <username>‘.

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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Make wget Use IPv4 or IPv6

Today’s article is a fun one, an article where you learn how to make wget use IPv4 or IPv6. Not only is this useful, it’s easy! In fact, it’s easy enough for most anyone to figure out. Plus, this will be a fairly short article – I think. I mean, I haven’t written it yet, but it seems like a short one.

I’ve done a couple wget articles, with the most recent showing you how to make wget ignore certificate errors. In fact, in that article I showed you how to enable that permanently. I’ll have to add that to this article. That’ll come in handy for like 0.01% of you.

If you don’t know, wget is a tool for downloading content from servers. These days, we use it to grab stuff from web servers without having to go through a browser – more often than not. Sometimes we use it to scrape entire sites without actually visiting them in a browser! (Sometimes, doing that makes you a dick.) It’s a handy tool for that sort of stuff.

Once in a while, while using wget, you’ll come across a finicky download that will throw an error about wanting IPv6 (or IPv4 if you’re using IPv6). That’s when this article is going to come in handy. Sometimes, a server isn’t configured for, or will refuse connections from, one or the other. That’s when you’ll see errors and that’s what we’ll resolve in this article.

Hmm… Do I need to explain wget more? Nah, y’all know what it is. IPv4 vs IPv6? Well, how about you check out this link to learn the difference and why it matters. That’s a good link. Alright, moving on…

Make wget use IPv4 or IPv6:

This article requires an open terminal, like many other articles on this site. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open. The wget command will throw an error, letting you know if you must use one or the other.

If you need to force IPv4, it’s nice and easy:

If you need to force IPv6, it’s also nice and easy:

If you find yourself doing this often, one way or the other, you can actually tell wget to do this on a permanent basis. Like in the previous wget article you can edit your .wgetrc file (create it if it doesn’t exist) to include either --prefer-family=IPv4 or --prefer-family=IPv6 and it’ll try one before trying the other if it’s available.

Closure:

See? Nice, neat, and simple. You’ve learned how to make wget use IPv4 or IPv6 – should you find yourself needing to do so. It’s a handy trick to have up your sleeve, ’cause you will eventually find a server that requires one or the other. Given enough use, it’s gonna happen.

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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Disallow SSH Login For A Specific User

In today’s article, we’re going to learn how to disallow SSH login for a specific user. The reasons you might want to do this should be obvious, so that’ll save some time! Read on to learn how!

I’ve covered SSH in many articles. If you search for “SSH”, you’ll find a bunch of articles covering the subject. I’m not sure why there are so many, but there are. I seem to have a lot of notes on the subject. 

Here, this link will help you search for SSH articles.

SSH is “Secure Shell”, a method to login to remote computers so that you can manage them without being their physically. It’s used by systems administrators regularly, without ever needing a GUI to manage their Linux systems.

It’s also used by people like me, too lazy to walk to the other side of the room. I’m literally using SSH to manage stuff on my laptop from here on this desktop as I write this. On top of that, while not logged in right now, I was using SSH to manage a VPS earlier today.

So, SSH isn’t just for professional system administrators and, if you use SSH at home, you might as well know how to secure it. This article will help you secure your system – by learning how to disallow SSH login for a specific user.

Disallow SSH Login For A Specific User:

This article requires an open terminal on (and connection to) the computer you wish to change. That may require you to login to that computer remotely. If you’re on a local device and you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open. Otherwise, SSH into it like a boss.

With your terminal/connection now open, enter the following command:

Find a place to make a new line and enter the following with some care:

Now, this one is a bit picky. Obviously, you substitute <username> with the real name – but in between “DenyUsers” and the username you absolutely MUST press the TAB key. If you try to just use spaces, it will not work! You MUST use the TAB key which will appear to insert spaces for you!

Assuming you’ve done everything correctly, you’ll need to restart SSH for the changes to take effect. You can do that with this command:

If you were logged into a remote system to make the changes on that system, the above command is gonna log you out and you’ll need to login again. You knew that, but I figure I’ll mention it.

Hmm… If you’re a barbarian that doesn’t use systemd, try this:

When SSH restarts, the prohibited user will get a “Permission Denied” message when they try to login. Ha! That’ll teach Jerry in accounting from thinking he’s a system admin!

Closure:

Whelp… You have another article. This one has shown you how to disable SSH login for a specific user (Jerry in accounting, who had no business accessing the server anyhow). You’re welcome!

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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Check Your SSH Server Configuration

Today, I’m going to show you how to check your SSH server configuration. It’s a simple process, but not one many people seem to know about. It’s also a pretty handy tool if you’re having SSH issues. Once again, this one isn’t all that complicated, I think… Read on!

So, why would you want to check your SSH server configuration?

Your SSH server might not be working. You may have made some changes and want to test it before moving it to production. An upgrade to the SSH application may have made some of the options different or even removed the options entirely.

There are all sorts of reasons why you’d want to check your SSH server configuration. Those are just a few of them. Not only will the article show you how to check your SSH configuration files – it’ll show you how to test alternative configurations. So, you can test your changes before making them – potentially saving you a physical trip to the server.

Check Your SSH Server Configuration:

This article requires an open terminal, like many other articles on this site. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

By the way, I would test/learn this on a local system. You’re potentially going to break things. In fact, let’s start by breaking them! Well, let’s create a backup first, and then we’ll break stuff.

Okay. Now let’s break something! Run this command:

Find a line that has a command and doesn’t start with a #. You can also remove the # from an option and it’ll be work. Find a one line option that has a “no” option field and change it to “oh_no” *sans quotes, though that probably won’t matter) and then save the file. 

(Also, to save the file in nano, press CTRL + X, then Y, and then ENTER and that should do it.)

Now, let’s check that SSH server configuration with the following command:

If things go according to plan, it will tell you that you have an error. On top of that, it will tell you on which line you have the error. If it doesn’t throw an error, it means your configuration is fine – or that you may need to restart your SSH service for it to see the new configuration.

If you do somehow need to restart SSH server (you shouldn’t have to), restart it with the following command:

Run the command again and that should definitely show the error, which you can easily fix by simply undoing what you did in the steps above and saving it. You almost certainly shouldn’t need to restart SSH to show the error, though you may want to restart it after you’re done playing around in the config file. Of course, if you did have to restart the SSH server, you’ll need to do so again after fixing the error you intentionally introduced.

BONUS: If you want, you can list the path and check a configuration file that’s not actually in use. So, you can check the configuration file before putting it into production. That’s just:

Again, under normal circumstances, it won’t show any output if it finds no errors. It only outputs information if there’s actually an error. So, a null response is considered normal and good.

Closure:

See? Nice and easy. Now you can check your SSH server configuration for errors – even doing so before putting the config into production. It’s a pretty handy tool to have. Also, you’ll need SSH installed and running on the machine you’ll be testing with. I figure that’s obvious, but I better mention it somewhere or someone will point it out or ask about it. Then again, people seldom read this far down in an article.

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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