IPSec, x509, iptables, SELinux

Here are some useful resources:

How Packets Traverse Linux 2.4 Kernels


selinux-usr CVS (SourceForge)
Gentoo SELinux kernel options (lists necessary kernel options)


iptables HowTo


ipsec-tools on SourceForge
Linux Kernel 2.6 using KAME-tools (lists necessary kernel options)
Automatic Keying
This is the secret Racoon error message decoder ring.
ONLamp.com: Cryptosystems: Debugging IPSec

Takeaway message: psk.txt is a sensitive little feller. Even if you think it’s setup perfectly, change the password again. I’ll bet it’ll work.

If you’re gonna use IPSec, save yourself a lot of hassle and just use x509 certs, like this part of the IPSec HowTo describes.

A troubleshooting tip: before you try IPSec with your newly installed certs, use OpenSSL to test that they are located correctly. For example,

[root@machine /usr/local/etc]# openssl verify -CAfile my_ca_cert.pem machine_cert.pem

If that works, then give IPSec a try.

Proxy ARP
Proxy ARP with Linux
Setting up Proxy ARP with subnetting

Originally I was interested in proxy ARP because I wanted to configure a machine running the Xen hypervisor to use proxy ARP to enable non-privileged domains to appear to be directly on the network. The 2.6 kernels (and perhaps even earlier ones, I don’t know) automatically manage the proper proxy arp settings for the virtual interfaces when you use ip route to make the necessary routing table entries. To enable proxy arp on the real interface (e.g., eth0), add the following line to /etc/xen/scripts/network-route:
echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/conf/eth0/proxy_arp.


Rainy Day Writing

So why, one might ask, would I suddenly put so much energy into this blog today, instead of some other day. The answer is simple: it poured rain today to the point that an electrical closet in IBM’s building flooded, and they had a casual evacuation since they were going to have to cut power until they could pump the water out.

It was an interesting ride home. I saw a FedEx truck in the middle of the road with water up to its steering wheel. It was no longer making progress of any kind. I’m wouldn’t hold out for the packages it contained either.

I also saw water on I-287 West that was about 3 feet deep in the rightmost (of 3) lanes, though only about a foot deep in the leftmost lane. Needless to say, the impact on traffic was dramatic.

Old Links

Every man, from time to time, throws a little effort at his online presence. Today is one of those days for me; the first one since December, really. I’m trying to consolidate things into this blog software, and eliminate the HTML pages I always tell myself I’m going to keep current, but then never do. Thus, here are some links from an old html links page that shall be no more.




Pittsburgh to Philly

I rode my bike from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia in May, 2005 in 4 days covering 407 miles with 2 friends, Justin (taller) and Gary (shorter). Here are some pictures from the trip. We mostly followed the BikePA route S, which means we mostly rode on side roads. The biggest exception was day 1, where we took a gravel “rail-trail” from the intersection of the Monogahela and Youghiogheny rivers through Ohio Pile to Somerset… over 100 miles of gravel on road bikes with 23cc tires. No flats!

It jacked me up mightily. I had some tendonitis in my achilles tendons, and my knees hurt a lot. I’m pretty much all better now though. I need to learn to build up to big long efforts instead of just jumping in cold-turkey.

Here are the directions we prepared before embarking on our trip. We stuck religiously to the route, but our lodging situation changed. More on that below the directions.

Monday May 16th: Day 1
Pittsburgh to Somerset 0-120 Miles

  • CMU to Waterfront
  • Waterfront to McKeesport
  • 837 west
  • 148 west and then south east
  • right over 15th street bridge (cross Youghiogheny)
  • Youghiogheny River Trail (RR) to Confluence (Giant Eagle along trail in W. Newton)
  • Casselman River Trail past Casselmam to Rockwood
  • Water level Road to S. Edgewood Ave, R on 31 (If you go left Giant Eagle 1.1 mile away), L on 601 Somerset, PA
  • 601 N (center ave), go 2 miles passed turnpike, R onto Gilmore Road (campground at lake somerset)

Tuesday May 17th Day 2
Somerset to Carlton Heights 120-220 Miles

  • 31 ( east main street) to Berlin plank Road to Menser rd back to 31 (glades pike road)
  • 31 for ~ 25 miles to 96 (maybe just joins 31) and then back on 31 to 30 through Bedford (Giant Eagle: Bedford (814) 623-2775 510 E Pitt St Bedford, PA 15522 – 160 miles)
  • Pitt street to 326 (E. Gold Road) – E Golf Road to Main (326 turns south but keep east)
  • Lutzville North to Aschcom Road
  • L on Blackvalley, L on W 5th ave, R on W. Main (30), R on 26 (state road), L on E. 4th ave (26)
  • L on Winding ridge road, L on ritchey road, R on pointer Road to E. Mattie Road
  • Main to 30, (food in breezewood!) 915 N, R. on Mountain House Road
  • R. on N. Hess Road, L to stay on N. Hess
  • Straight onto 655 (Waterfall Road), to 475
  • L on Forbes Trail Road, L on 522, R onto Great Cove Road (stay on 522)
  • @Burnt Cabbins (200 miles) go straight (off of 522) onto Great Mill Road
  • R onto Aughuillick, R onto Carrick Valley, L onto State Spur 45 (Richmond Rd)
  • R onto 75, Path Valley Road
  • L onto Main Street, Main to 30, L on twin bridge road to campsite (1.25 Mi off of 30) (for food store, instead of L go 2.7 miles further on 30, turn right on 995 for .1 miles. To get back to campsite from food: back West on 30, R onto Shatzer Orchard, L onto Crottlestown, to twin bridge road)

Wednesday May 18th: Day 3
Carlton Heights to Columbia 220-300 Miles

  • 30 towards Chambersberg, R on S. Coldrock Ave (far side of Chambers) (for food lion go straight here instead, Food Lion Stores Inc: Store 883, (717) 263-6040, 1320 Lincoln Way E, then cut back a little and go L on Falling Spring)
  • L on 316, L on Garber Rd, L on Cider press, R on Falling Spring
  • L on Mt. Alto Road. Straight onto Bekle Road, L on Anthon Hwy 997
  • R onto 30, through Caledonia St. Prk,
  • L onto 234 Buchanan Valley Road, R to stay on Buchanan Valley Road and 234
  • 234 for ~37 miles to york
  • 462 through York, (cross susquehannah) go through Columbia and R onto Prospect to campground (< 1 mile) (for supermarket don’t go L on prospect instead go straight, L on college Ave, R on Hempland, L on Centerville 4.3 Mi from campsite. To continue East from supermarket take Centerville to 462)

Thursday May 19th Day 4
Columbia to Philly to Justin’s 300-390 Miles

  • 462 East through Lancaster to 340 (dozens of food places in town)
  • L on Horseshoe Road, R onto W. Eby Road  E Eby Road, R. to stay on E. Eby
  • R on S. Groffdale, L onto Musser School Road, R onto Zeltenreich, L onto Hollander, L to stay on Hollander, Straight (off of Hollander) changes to Diller
  • R onto 23, L onto N. Railroad Ave, R. onto East Spruce, L to stay onto E. Spruce
  • R. onto W. Weaverland, R onto Weaverland Valley Road
  • L onto Weaverland, L to stay onto Weaverland, R onto Churchtown, L onto 23 Main Street
  • R onto 100 in Bucktown, L onto Pughtown (L and R zigzag to stay on pughtown)
  • Pughtown changes into cold stream rd, (for wawa L on 113/kimberton and then R on pothouse, R on charlestown) L onto Charlestown (at VFCA)
  • R onto Buckwalter, L onto State, R onto Creek, Straight onto Valley Park Road, L to stay on Valley Park Road
  • L onto Country Club Road, Straight onto Ferry Lane, R onto Pawlings
  • Enter Valley Forge Park, find Schuykill River Trail along RR
  • Head to Philly 25 miles
  • Kelly Drive to Main St. through Manyjunk, L on Belmont Ave
  • R. on Rock Hill Road, R on 23, R to stay on 23, R on Hagys Ford
  • Eat large Dinner at Vinny T’s

Friday May 20th – drive back to Pittsburgh 300 miles

Planned Lodging
Night 1 – Mon 5/16 (120 miles)
Woodland Campsites, Somerset
Grace A. Shoffstall
291 Gilmour Rd
Somerset, PA
Telephone: 814-445-8860
$20 – reservations not needed

Night 2 – Tues 5/17 (220 miles)
Twin Bridge Meadow Family Campground
Wilbur & Florence Mackey
1345 Twin Bridge Road
(5 mi West of Chambersburg)
Chambersburg, PA 17201
Telephone: 717-369-2216
$17/$19 w/ electric (reservation made)

Night 3 Weds 5/18 (300 miles)
Prospect Valley Farm
Columbia, PA
1334 Prospect RD.
Telephone: Disconnected???

Possible Backups
80 miles
#2423 – Scarlett Knob Campground
2.5 miles N of Ohiopyle

160 miles
#2156 – Bedford
Friendship Village Camp and RV Park

270 miles
#2087 – Big Mount (West of York)

340 miles
#2490 – Warwick Woods Campground, St. Peters
Warwick (15 miles west of Valley Forge)

A few bike Shops right along the way…
Korber’s Bicycle Shop – 106 W Main St West Newton 724-872-2185
Bentz Bicyle – 239 E Church St, Somerset, 814-443-3069
Family Cycling Center – 359 E Washington St, Chambersburg, 717-263-9684
Bike Line – 117 Rohrerstown Rd, Lancaster. 717-394-8998

Elevations (feet)
(these are for towns, not necessarily roads/trails by the town which might be a lot higher)
Pittsburgh 770
Ohiopyle 1220
Rockwood 1813
Somerset 2190
Shawnee Lake 1170
Bedford 1106
Earlston 1060
Breezewood 1356
Cowans Gap Lake 1217
Chambersburg 621
Biglerville 636
East Berlin 420
York 400
Columbia 300
Lancaster 368
New Holland 494
Morgantown 600
Valley Forge 237
Philadelphia 40

In the end, our lodging situation became more complicated. We did camp at the first planned campground in Somerset. The second day, however, we ended up sleeping in a kind soul’s yard behind a pizza place where we ate dinner. The pictures of our tent near a building are from this stop. The trampoline was right next to our tents. The third night, the campground we had planned to stay at was found not to be there anymore. We ended up staying in a very cheap motel simply because it was dark and that was the closest place.

Interestingly, the bike shops along the way were all closed on consecutive days, such that we encountered a shop closed on Tuesday, on Wednesday, and on Thursday, on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, respectively. What are the odds?

We had a few flat tires, and Gary’s rack had some issues. We took a tent that we didn’t need.

My favorite parts of the trip were the rail-trail the first day, the mountains near breezewood, and Amish country. My least favorite parts were the roads without a shoulder but with a lot of traffic.

iPod woes

My iPod has periodically decided to not work. Its symptoms include the hard drive making a “spin….. CLICK” sound repeatedly instead of playing music. I tried doing a cold reboot (hold down menu and select (the round button)) until it reboots (about 5 seconds). This fixed it once.

Recently it misbehaved a second time. The cold reset was not good enough. I then tried to troubleshoot the iPod with Apple’s instructions. Putting into disk mode did not help; it just did a spin…. click in disk mode instead. I connected it to the computer anyways, which pissed the computer off horribly since it couldn’t actually read the data (you all know what it’s like when Windows Explorer freezes because some hardware device is broken).

So I downloaded the iPod Updater from Apple and I was at first still stuck because the thing is just spin…. click-ing and the computer won’t recognize it. So I tried an age old technique — I smacked it off the table. Wouldn’t you know it, it spun up normally and I was able to update its firmware.

Since then it has behaved properly for one commute to work. We shall see what the future holds!