Can’t connect to other machines on remote LAN via OpenVPN after dist-upgrade to Debian Jessie

After I dist-upgraded my Debian Squeeze to Jessie, I couldn’t connect to any machine on the remote LAN anymore after connecting via OpenVPN. The VPN connection to the OpenVPN server on my Debian server was successful, but I couldn’t ping or access machines on the remote network.

I found the solution to my problem by chance while searching for another error I found in the OpenVPN server logfile:

Fri Jan 22 16:20:40 2016 us=402991 pc/ MULTI: bad source address from client [fe80::487c:a5ff:f332:3df7], packet dropped
Fri Jan 22 16:20:44 2016 us=603301 pc/ UDPv4 WRITE [53] to [AF_INET] P_DATA_V1 kid=0 DATA len=52

While routinely checking the OpenVPN server configuration I noticed, that IP forwarding had been turned off. I don’t know how or why this happened during apt-get dist-upgrade, but after re-enabling it, I was able to connect to the remote machines instantly:

cat /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward
# 0
echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward
cat /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward
# 1


The Decline – NOFX (Best Punk Rock Songs 03/13)

This entry is part 10 of 13 in the series Best Punk Rock Songs

We’re getting close to the end of my list of the 13 best Punk Rock songs. Number 4 on the list is my favourite song by NOFX. Actually, it’s more of a whole album squashed into one song: The Decline.

NOFX are one of the bands that brought me into Punk Rock. I think after Bad Religion, NOFX was the second punk band I ever listened to. And Linoleum* was one of the first songs I practiced with my band 21st Century Punkband. We played a cover version of it at every gig for many years.

However, when I had to choose my favourite NOFX song, I instantly thought of The Decline. This epic 18 minute song actually combines multiple songs into one. The diversified styles and melodies really keep you listening to the song. It starts with a slow intro but instantly kicks in after a short time with Fat Mike’s virtuosic bass riff and Eric Melvin screaming. The main part of the song – the chorus if you will – the trumpet part by El Hefe will definitely be stuck in your ear for some time.

There’s even an acoustic version of The Decline played by a whole orchestra:

The song contains so many great parts, it’s hard to choose which one I like best. The impressing bass riffs throughout the song, the guitar solos, the fast and slow parts – they all add to this great song. And – once again – it’s completely FREE on Amazon Prime*! Go listen to it!

If you don’t know the “classic” NOFX songs, go listen to Punk in Drublic*, too. Linoleum* is a part of almost any NOFX concert.

What’s your favourite song by NOFX? What part of The Decline do you like best?

VirtualBox not starting VMs anymore after apt-get dist-upgrade on Debian Squeeze (Segmentation Fault)

After a recent apt-get dist-upgrade from Debian Squeeze to Jessie, VirtualBox didn’t start my VMs anymore. I found this error in /var/log/syslog:

Jan 22 14:39:11 macke kernel: [1477940.229596] vboxdrv: ffffffffa0cb2020 VMMR0.r0
Jan 22 14:39:12 macke kernel: [1477940.316166] VBoxNetFlt: attached to 'vboxnet0' / 0a:00:27:00:00:00
Jan 22 14:39:12 macke kernel: [1477940.317887] device vboxnet0 entered promiscuous mode
Jan 22 14:39:12 macke kernel: [1477940.694845] vboxdrv: ffffffffa070b020 VBoxDDR0.r0
Jan 22 14:39:12 macke kernel: [1477940.707820] vboxdrv: ffffffffa0481020 VBoxDD2R0.r0
Jan 22 14:39:12 macke kernel: [1477940.882702] EMT-1[28493]: segfault at 18 ip 00007f9b0e573213 sp 00007f9b406a0c40 error 4 in[7f9b0e503000+27b000]
Jan 22 14:39:17 macke kernel: [1477945.930164] device vboxnet0 left promiscuous mode
Jan 22 14:39:17 macke kernel: [1477945.947568] vboxnetflt: 0 out of 0 packets were not sent (directed to host)

As it turned out, the problem was a VirtualBox extension pack that didn’t match the version of my VirtualBox package. To clean this mess up, I did the following:

# find all installed VirtualBox packages
dpkg -l | grep virtualbox 

# for each VirtualBox package -> remove it completely
# in my case: virtualbox virtualbox-5.0 virtualbox-guest-utils virtualbox-guest-x11 virtualbox-qt
apt-get purge PACKAGE

# download the latest binary distribution of VirtualBox directly from Oracle

# install the package
dpkg -i virtualbox-5.0_5.0.14-105127~Debian~jessie_amd64.deb

# check the current version of VirtualBox
dpkg -l|grep virtualbox
# ii  virtualbox-5.0                 5.0.14-105127~Debian~jessie          amd64        Oracle VM VirtualBox
vboxmanage --version
# 5.0.14r105127

# download the correct extension pack for my installation

# install the extension pack
vboxmanage extpack install Oracle_VM_VirtualBox_Extension_Pack-5.0.14-105127.vbox-extpack

# just to be sure: clean up the extension packs
VBoxManage extpack cleanup

# check the version of the installed extension pack
VBoxManage list extpacks
# Extension Packs: 1
# Pack no. 0:   Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Pack
# Version:      5.0.14
# Revision:     105127
# Edition:
# Description:  USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 Host Controller, Host Webcam, VirtualBox RDP, PXE ROM, Disk Encryption.
# VRDE Module:  VBoxVRDP
# Usable:       true
# Why unusable:

Now my VMs work like a charm again! 🙂


On The Outside – No Use For A Name (Best Punk Rock Songs 05/13)

This entry is part 9 of 13 in the series Best Punk Rock Songs

This week we’re entering the Top 5 of my list of the best Punk Rock songs. As I’ve already mentioned last week, it’s a song by No Use For A Name: On The Outside.

What can I say about On The Outside? If you don’t know this song, go and listen to it. Tony Sly’s vocals and especially the duet parts give me goosebumps everytime: “Whatever we go through, my heart is stuck with you”.

I also really like how the song instantly kicks in after the spoken intro. No wonder, On The Outside is the only song on the tribute album to Tony Sly* (he died in 2012), that is covered by two different bands.

Tony Sly also did an acoustic version of On The Outside. Here’s a live video of him performing it together with Joey Cape. Tony himself mentions, that it probably is his best song.

Making Friends* also contains number 2 on the list of my favourite songs by No Use For A Name, that almost made this list: The Answer Is Still No*. And like almost all of the albums on this list before, it’s completely FREE on Amazon Prime*!

If you like the band and want to support Tony Sly’s family after his early death, go buy The Songs Of Tony Sly: A Tribute*. The revenues go into a fund for his daughters.

What’s your favourite song by No Use For A Name? Did I pick the right one for my list?

Alison’s Disease – Lagwagon (Best Punk Rock Songs 06/13)

This entry is part 8 of 13 in the series Best Punk Rock Songs

I took a short Christmas and New Year’s break, but here is number 6 on my list of the Top 13 Punk Rock songs: Alison’s Disease by Lagwagon.

Perhaps you already guessed this one, because I gave a hint in the article for position 9 (Always by Good Riddance). I’m sure many of you will disagree with me for choosing Alison’s Disease as my favourite song by Lagwagon. However, I couldn’t think of any other Lagwagon song that instantly grabs me like this one. Well, perhaps Dis’chords* would make the list.

I really like Alison’s Disease because it starts strong and gets even better later on. The diversified guitar play adds perfectly to the vocals and the guitar solo right after the first chorus really rocks. I also like the slower part in the second half and the ending of the song.

Joey Cape also did an acoustic version of the song for his second album together with Tony Sly (who also made it to this list, in fact, my favourite song by No Use For A Name gets revealed next week):

As I’ve mentioned before, Live Fat, Die Young* contains even more great songs. So go and listen to it! 🙂

Let’s Talk About Feelings* also contains many of my favourite Lagwagon songs. And like so many albums on this list before, it’s completely FREE on Amazon Prime*!

Do you agree with me or would you choose a different Lagwagon song for your list?

How to open PDF files in Foxit Reader without exclusively blocking the files

I use Foxit Reader as my default PDF viewer for quite some time now. The only thing that bugged me, however, was its exclusive access to the opened PDF files. When working with LaTeX and using Foxit Reader for displaying the compiled PDF files, I had to close the PDF file manually everytime I wanted to recompile the document (which can be quite often).

Today, I found the solution to this problem: Foxit Reader is able to open PDF files without blocking them. With a simple command line argument you can enable this non-blocking mode:

/A nolock=1

For example, if you wanted to open D:\mydocument.pdf, you would call Foxit Reader like this:

FoxitReader.exe D:\mydocument.pdf /A nolock=1

Attention: For this to work, you need at least version 7 of Foxit Reader.

However, calling Foxit Reader manually like this can be pretty cumbersome. So I decided to make the non-blocking opening the system default. This turns out to be pretty easy. Just fire up regedit.exe and add the above command line argument to the key HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\FoxitReader.Document\shell\open\command. Here’s a complete REG file for this (you may need to change the path to Foxit Reader):

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

@="\"C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Foxit Software\\Foxit Reader\\FoxitReader.exe\" \"%1\" /A nolock=1"

Now I’m able to open PDF files directly from Explorer, PowerShell etc. without Foxit Reader blocking them. And Foxit Reader even automatically updates the file, if I change it while it’s open.

Divorce – Craig’s Brother (Best Punk Rock Songs 07/13)

This entry is part 7 of 13 in the series Best Punk Rock Songs

Number 7 on my list of the Top 13 Punk Rock songs is Divorce by Craig’s Brother. Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, there are unresolved issues with GEMA and YouTube. So here’s a live version of the band performing the song instead of the album version.

Although quite unknown, Craig’s Brother wrote a lot of really great punk rock songs, in my opinion. Divorce was the first one I listened to and I was instantly hooked. The melodic vocals and their diversified instrument parts add up to some really catchy songs.

I really like the 2001 version better than the “original” one from Keepin’ It Real. I think the newer version sounds more mature. But decide for yourself.

Lost At Sea* contains quite some more really good songs. In fact, it was hard for me to decide which song to choose for this list. Glory* ranked high on my list, too.

But Craig’s Brother also released a new album a while ago (The Insidious Lie*, 2011, which is completely FREE on Amazon Prime*, by the way) and they continue to rock! Take The Thousand Yard Stare*, for example. How can it get more melodic than this chorus?

Did you know Craig’s Brother, already? What’s your favourite song by the band?

Torches – Rise Against (Best Punk Rock Songs 08/13)

This entry is part 6 of 13 in the series Best Punk Rock Songs

Number 8 on my list of the Top 13 Punk Rock songs is Torches by Rise Against.

It was really hard to decide which Rise Against song is my favourite, but I’ve finally ended up with Torches. Its mix of fast Punk Rock riffs, catchy vocals and just the right amount of screaming really makes it stand out. It’s again the intro riff that instantly grabs my attention whenever I hear it. It makes me want to grab my guitar and play along! 🙂

According to Wikipedia (see Rise Against – Wikipedia), Rise Against already had two albums on position 1 in the German album charts. And Satellite* even gets played on major radio stations in Germany. But unlike other bands that give in to mainstream sound, Rise Against continue to provide solid Punk Rocks songs and don’t shy away from fast riffs and screaming.

Torches is from my favourite album Revolutions Per Minute*. It contains even more killer songs like Black Masks & Gasoline* or Blood-Red White & Blue*. And it’s completely free on Amazon Prime*! So go and listen to it now! 🙂

Revolutions Per Minute* was the first album by Rise Against, that I listened to, and it still ranks high on the list of my all-time favourite albums.

As Rise Against have definitely arrived in the mainstream market, you may already know a few others of their songs. Did I pick the right one for my list?

Always – Good Riddance (Best Punk Rock Songs 09/13)

This entry is part 5 of 13 in the series Best Punk Rock Songs

Number 9 on my list of the Top 13 Punk Rock songs is Always by one of the most influential bands of my youth: Good Riddance.

Good Riddance are known for their intense but short songs. Their newest album Peace In Our Time* from 2015 is only 27 minutes long (and it contains some really good songs, by the way!).

Always is my favourite song, because it is short, to the point, and really catchy. It starts with a powerful guitar riff and rocks all the way through to the end. The octaves in the chorus complete the band’s well known sound.

The song was first released on the Fat Wreck Chords sampler Live Fat, Die Young, that also contains song number 6 on my list. Perhaps you are able to guess which one it is!? 🙂

Good Riddance later re-released the song in 2010 on their compilation Capricorn One, to which you can listen for free, if you are on Amazon Prime:

What’s your favourite Good Riddance song? A few others come to mind: Last Believer* or A Credit To His Gender*.

Cease – Bad Religion (Best Punk Rock Songs 10/13)

This entry is part 4 of 13 in the series Best Punk Rock Songs

Today we enter the Top 10 of my favourite Punk Rock Songs. And it’s time for one of the most influential Punk Rock bands ever: Bad Religion. My number 10 is Cease from their 1996 album The Gray Race.

When I think of Bad Religion, I immediately think of Cease. I scrolled through their hundreds (!) of songs from the last 30 years, but I couldn’t find a song that better captures the band’s style and what I like most about their music: meaningful lyrics and a straight Punk Rock sound.

The song starts with the catchy guitar riff and kicks off with a melodic guitar solo. The first few bars of the verse are a bit slower and give room for the main vocals. But the rest of the verse is classic Bad Religion again: power chords in Punk Rock rhythm. Melodic background vocals support Greg Graffin on the way to the chorus. And the cycle repeats.

The song is very melodic and catchy. I recommend you also listen to its acoustic version. Great songs simply sound good regardless of which muscial style they are played in:

Bad Religion don’t stop the rocking even after over 30 years in the business and I like their newer material as well as the classic albums. They even seem to increase the speed with every new album. Listen to their newest album True North* to get an impression.

The Gray Race contains quite a few more classic Bad Religion songs like Punk Rock Song and A Walk (which I both played with my band when I was younger 😉 ). If you haven’t checked out the album yet, I would definitely recommend to do so!

What’s your favourite Bad Religion song? Did I pick the right one for my list?