Tooey's Tech

As hinted by the URL, this blog used to be focused specifically on my DreamPlug devices. After doing very little with them for several years, I decided in 2022 to expand the scope of this blog to all tech-related topics, which will give me much more to write about. See the 25 JUN 2022 entry for more information and an explanation of "Tooey."

USB Device Assignment

Since I appear to have resolved the USB device mounting issues (mentioned in the previous blog entry here), I figured it would be good to document these changes to my DreamPlug for others and for my own future reference, while it's still fresh in my mind. This is specific to having both the internal SD card and an external hard drive be mounted consistently, which wasn't happening based on the original configuration.

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Samba, Apache, and Kerberos

I've made a little progress on my DreamPlug configuration. Now that I fixed a Samba configuration problem causing smbpasswd to fail in some cases, the basics of using the DreamPlug and its external hard drive as a network-attached "Windows share" file storage device seem to be in place. I discovered that, unfortunately, the system does not consistently mount the external USB drives at the same point each time; the drive that was at /media/usb2 shifted to /media/usb1 when I rebooted, without any change in the hardware. I will apparently need to force that mount to be where I want it so that the shares defined in /etc/samba/smb.conf will actually work consistently.

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Some WiFi Details

Since it seems to be consistently working correctly, I decided to briefly document my WiFi settings on the DreamPlug, in case it helps anybody else and/or if I need to refer to it later. One thing to note is that my DreamPlug has the SD8787 Marvell chipset, so what I write here may not be applicable to units that have a different (older or newer) chipset. It's also worth noting that the wireless network interface on this unit is "mlan0" but other units may call it something else (wlan0?).

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I Can Samba Without PAM

I'm definitely making progress toward my goals with the DreamPlug, but in some ways I feel like there's an invisible wall between where I am and where I want to be. Part of that wall seems to be PAM (Pluggable Authentication Modules). In theory PAM seems great, but in practice I feel the following quote from the Spinlock Kerberos setup guide is all too relevant to what I'm trying to do:

PAM configuration is quite fragile... pay special attention to seemingly insignificant variations — with PAM, they often make a whole world of difference.

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Slow Progress: LDAP, Kerberos, and WiFi

I haven't had much time to work on the DreamPlug configuration. Since I need to have it functional sooner rather than later, I've decided to mostly put my attempts at getting Kerberos working on hold for now. I say "mostly" because, well, I'm not very good at letting go of unresolved issues. However, all my attempts at getting it to work have ended up at the same dead end, so without some major breakthrough there's really not much I can do anyway.

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