Archive for the ‘Sys-Admin’ Category

Setup and Use GCC on Windows in 5 Easy Steps

Do you want to be able to compile C, C++, Ada and Fortran programs on Windows without losing time wrestling with a bulk, resource-intensive IDE? You can! The solution is to port the ultra-popular, lightweight GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) often used in *nix systems to Windows via MinGW + Cygwin.

MinGW is the minimalist GNU implementation for Windows.

If you’re like me then by the time you’ve come to the realization that you want to use MinGW and GCC on Windows for coding purposes, you’ve probably already installed it as a dependency of other software you might run, such as Anaconda or along with your Cygwin install (if so, skip to Step 3).

1. Install Cygwin, which provides many Linux commands/libraries to Windows

2. Install MinGW

3. Make sure that MinGW was added to your PATH by typing PATH in a terminal

If not, you can add it through Window’s GUI interface (just type PATH or Environment in Start on Win 7 or 8 and it will come right up as a search result).

4. In a terminal (cmd or PowerShell) go to the directory containing the code you want to compile, i.e.

cd c:\Users\Hackr\coolcode

5. Type the compile command:

g++ hackr.c -o hackr.exe

where -o is indicating your output file.

This also works with compiling multiple files:

g++ hackr.c econometrics.c hadoop.c overflow.c -o hackeconometrics.exe
That’s it!

This should take at least an hour or 2 less time than installing Microsoft’s Visual Studio (though the latter has it’s virtues) or a similar bulky IDE and will give you fewer headaches by avoiding complicating your life with a million unnecessary options and confusing attempts to “help” you build a simple project.


Python: Install easy_install for Python 3.4 under Windows 7 in 2 Steps

Sometimes your Python installation is a little more bare bones than it should be. To initialize easy_install do the following:

1. Download and run this file:

2. Specify easy_install commands with this syntax:

C:\Python34\python.exe -m easy_install packagename

Python: How to Install and Update pip on Ubuntu

Surprisingly, pip doesn’t come pre-installed on Python 2 or 3 in Ubuntu (as of v 14.04). This could be untrue in some flavors of the distro, but mine is pretty inclusive and yet no pip.

To install it:

$ sudo apt-get install python-pip python-dev build-essential
$ sudo pip install –upgrade pip
$ sudo pip install –upgrade virtualenv


CPU Registers: an Overview

Register: a small amount of storage on the CPU; the fastest method for a CPU to access data

In the x86 instruction set, a CPU uses 8 general-purpose registers:
  1. EAX — a.k.a. the accumulator register, used for performing calculations as well as storing return values
  2. EDX — a.k.a. the data register, basically an extension of EAX
  3. ECX — a.k.a. the count register, used for looping, counts DOWNWARD not upward
  4. ESI  — a.k.a. the source index, used for reading, holds the location of the input data stream
  5. EDI  — a.k.a. the destination index, used for writing, points to the location where the result is stored
  6. EBP  — a.k.a. the base pointer, used for managing function calls and stack operations, points to the bottom of the stack unless freed up from this function by the compiler, in which case it would be an extra general purpose register
  7. ESP  — a.k.a. the stack pointer, used for managing function calls and stack operations, points to the very top of the stack
  8. EBX  — an extra register, not designed for anything specific

    Another register worth mentioning is:
  9. EIP — a.k.a. the instruction pointer, points to the current instruction that is being executed; as binary code is being executed by the CPU the EIP is updated to reflect the location where the execution is occurring

White & Black box Debuggers, Intelligent Debugging, and Dynamic Analysis

Debugging is a common task for data scientists, programmers, and security experts alike. In good ole RStudio we have a nice, simple built-in white-box debugger. For many analysis-oriented coders, the basic debugging functionality of an IDE like RStudio is all they know and it may be a surprise that debugging is a bigger, much sexier, topic. Below I define and describe key topics in debugging and dynamic analysis, as well as provide links to the most cutting edge free debuggers I use.

Dynamic Analysis: Runtime tracing of a process, usually performed using a debugger. Dynamic Analysis is critical for exploit development, fuzzer assistance, and malware inspection.

Debugger: a program that is used to test and troubleshoot other programs.Intelligent Debugger: a scriptable debugger that supports extended features such as call hooking, such as Immunity Debugger and PyDbg.

White Box Debugger: Debuggers built into IDEs and other dev platforms, which enable developers to trace through source code with a high degree of control, as to aide in the troubleshooting of functions and other code breakages.
Black Box Debugger: Used by bug hunters and reverse engineers, black box debuggers operate on compiled programs when the source code is not available and the only information is available in a disassembled format. There are two broad subclasses of black box debuggers, which are user mode (i.e. ring 3) and kernel mode (i.e. ring 0).
User mode black box debugger: a processor mode under which your applications run, usually with the least amount of privilege (e.g. double clicking PuTTY.exe launches a user-mode process).
Kernel mode black box debugger: a processor mode where the core of the OS runs using the highest amount of privilege (e.g. capturing packets with a network adapter that is in passive mode).
User-mode Debuggers Commonly used among Reverse Engineers
WinDbg by Microsoft
OllyDbg by Oleh Yuschuk, a F.O.S.S. debugger
GNU Debugger (gdb), a F.O.S.S. Linux debugger by the community

Linux: How to Install and Configure a Seedbox

#rTorrent for Transferring Free and Open Source files only!
mkdir ~/install
mkdir /var/www/files
mkdir /var/www/watch
mkdir /var/www/.temp
chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www
apt-get update
apt-get -y upgrade
apt-get -y install apache2 apache2-utils autoconf build-essential ca-certificates comerr-dev libapache2-mod-php5 libcloog-ppl-dev libcppunit-dev libcurl3 libcurl4-openssl-dev libncurses5-dev ncurses-base ncurses-term libterm-readline-gnu-perl libsigc++-2.0-dev libssl-dev libtool libxml2-dev ntp openssl patch libperl-dev php5 php5-cli php5-dev php5-fpm php5-curl php5-geoip php5-mcrypt php5-xmlrpc pkg-config python-scgi dtach ssl-cert subversion zlib1g-dev pkg-config unzip htop irssi curl cfv nano unrar-free mediainfo libapache2-mod-scgi
ln -s /etc/apache2/mods-available/scgi.load /etc/apache2/mods-enabled/scgi.load
cd ~/install
svn checkout xmlrpc-c
cd xmlrpc-c
./configure --disable-cplusplus
make install
cd ~/install
tar xvf libtorrent-0.13.2.tar.gz
cd libtorrent-0.13.2
make install
cd ~/install
tar xvf libtorrent-0.13.2.tar.gz
cd libtorrent-0.13.2
make install
nano ~/.rtorrent.rc
# Configuration file created for for single user rutorrent seedbox
# Maximum and minimum number of peers to connect to per torrent.
# min_peers = 25
max_peers = 100
# Same as above but for seeding completed torrents (-1 = same as downloading)
min_peers_seed = -1
max_peers_seed = -1
# Maximum number of simultanious uploads per torrent.
max_uploads = 100
# Global upload and download rate in KiB. "0" for unlimited.
download_rate = 0
upload_rate = 0
# Default directory to save the downloaded torrents.
directory = /var/www/files
# Default session directory. Make sure you don't run multiple instance
# of rtorrent using the same session directory. Perhaps using a
# relative path?
session = /var/www/.temp
# Watch a directory for new torrents, and stop those that have been
# deleted.
schedule = watch_directory,5,5,load_start=/var/www/watch/*.torrent
schedule = untied_directory,5,5,stop_untied=
# Close torrents when diskspace is low.
schedule = low_diskspace,5,60,close_low_diskspace=100M
# The ip address reported to the tracker.
#ip =
#ip =
# The ip address the listening socket and outgoing connections is
# bound to.
#bind =
#bind =
# Port range to use for listening.
port_range = 6890-6999
# Start opening ports at a random position within the port range.
#port_random = no
# Check hash for finished torrents. Might be usefull until the bug is
# fixed that causes lack of diskspace not to be properly reported.
#check_hash = no
# Set whetever the client should try to connect to UDP trackers.
#use_udp_trackers = yes
# Alternative calls to bind and ip that should handle dynamic ip's.
#schedule = ip_tick,0,1800,ip=rakshasa
#schedule = bind_tick,0,1800,bind=rakshasa
# Encryption options, set to none (default) or any combination of the following:
# allow_incoming, try_outgoing, require, require_RC4, enable_retry, prefer_plaintext
# The example value allows incoming encrypted connections, starts unencrypted
# outgoing connections but retries with encryption if they fail, preferring
# plaintext to RC4 encryption after the encrypted handshake
encryption = allow_incoming,enable_retry,prefer_plaintext
# Enable DHT support for trackerless torrents or when all trackers are down.
# May be set to "disable" (completely disable DHT), "off" (do not start DHT),
# "auto" (start and stop DHT as needed), or "on" (start DHT immediately).
# The default is "off". For DHT to work, a session directory must be defined.
dht = disable
# UDP port to use for DHT.
# dht_port = 6881
# Enable peer exchange (for torrents not marked private)
peer_exchange = no
# Do not modify the following parameters unless you know what you're doing.
# Hash read-ahead controls how many MB to request the kernel to read
# ahead. If the value is too low the disk may not be fully utilized,
# while if too high the kernel might not be able to keep the read
# pages in memory thus end up trashing.
#hash_read_ahead = 10
# Interval between attempts to check the hash, in milliseconds.
#hash_interval = 100
# Number of attempts to check the hash while using the mincore status,
# before forcing. Overworked systems might need lower values to get a
# decent hash checking rate.
#hash_max_tries = 10
scgi_port =
To test: 
cd ~/install
tar xvf rutorrent-3.5.tar.gz
mv rutorrent /var/www
tar xvf plugins-3.5.tar.gz
mv plugins /var/www/rutorrent
mv /var/www/rutorrent/* /var/www
chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/rutorrent
#Set up authentication
nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/default
#paste this:
Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
AllowOverride All
Order allow,deny
allow from all
nano /var/www/.htaccess
#paste this:
AuthType Basic
AuthName "Protected Area"
AuthUserFile /var/passwd/.htpasswd
Require valid-user
#change permissions to enable www-data group
chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/.htaccess
# create pw file using Apache's htpasswd util
mkdir /var/passwd
htpasswd -c /var/passwd/.htpasswd testuser
chown -R www-data:www-data /var/passwd
#run on boot
nano /etc/rc.local
# add this before ‘exit 0’:
screen -S rtorrent -d -m rtorrent

DLL, SO, COM; Windows + Linux

DLL = Dynamically Linked Libraries (Windows)

SO = Shared Objects (Linux)
COM = Component Object Model functions (Microsoft); HRESULT error codes come from here
msvcrt.dll is located in C:\WINDOWS\System32 in Windows and is located in  /lib in Linux
Both contain printf() from the C runtime

Quick Tip: 4 Commands to Show Memory Information in Solaris

  1. prtdiag
  2. prtconf
  3. swap -l
  4. top

SAS: How to Run a SAS Script on Windows CLI

“E:\Program Files\SAS\SASFoundation\9.2\sas.exe” -sysin “\\path\to\script\”” -NOSPLASH -ICON -CONFIG “E:\Program Files\SAS\SASFoundation\9.2\nls\en\SASV9.CFG” -sasinitialfolder “E:\temp\foldername”  -work “E:\temp\foldername”

Windows: Generate a List of Installed Programs

Enter “wmic” (wmic is the Windows Management Instrumentation


Command-line tool) at the command line and press Enter.

NOTE: For more information about WMIC, see Microsoft – Using the Windows Management Instrumentation Command-line (WMIC) tool.

Enter the following line at the wmic:root\cli prompt and press Enter.

/output:C:\Users\jmiller\InstallList.txt product get name,version

NOTE: There is a space between .txt and product, between product and get, and between get and name.

You can also change the name of the output file and drive letter and path (right after /output:) if you want to modify the output location.


The InstallList.txt file is created on the root of the C: drive.

NOTE: Depending on how many programs are installed, you may have to wait a bit for the list of installed programs to be created. You will know that the list is complete when you get the wmic:root\cli prompt again.


When you open the InstallList.txt file in a text editor, you can view the Name and Version of every program installed on your computer in a nice table.