Archive for December, 2012

XenServer (licensed) – adding license from command line

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

I have had a single node of a pool using a different license server. Temporary, unfortunately. It has expired, and as the purchase process was somewhat prolonged, I have had to extend it. I did not want to disconnect my other-four-hosts-pool from the permanent license server, which works so fine for the last year or so, so I have had to change the license only for a single host.

XenServer 6.1 XenCenter does not allow changing the license server for a single host in a licensed pool. I have had to search for a solution. The solution looks like this:

As for a while now, Citrix do not use license file, but license server, and alternate solution had to be found.

xe host-apply-edition edition=advanced|enterprise|platinum|enterprise-xd license-server-address=<license_server_address> host-uuid=<uuid_of_host> license-server-port=<license_server_port> 

This has solved the problem immediately.


IPSec VPN for mobile devices on Linux

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

I have had recently the pleasure and challenge of setting up VPN server for mobile devices on top of Linux. the common method to do so would be by using IPSec + L2TP, as these are to more common methods mobile devices allow, and it should work quite fine with other types of clients (although I did not test it) like Linux, Windows and Mac.

I have decided to use PSK (Pre Shared Key) due to its relative simplicity when handling multiple clients (compared to managing certificate per-device), and its relative simplicity of setup.

My VPN server platform is Linux, x86_64 (64 bit), Centos 6. Latest release, which is for the time being 6.3 and some updates.

I have used the following link as a baseline, and added some extra about IPTables, which was a little challenge, where I wanted good-enough security around this setup.

Initially, I wanted to use OpenSWAN, however, it does not allow easy integration with dynamic IP address, and its policy, while capable of being very precise, was not flexible enough to handle varying local IP address.

First – Add the following two repositories: Nikoforge, for Racoon (ipsec-tools), and EPEL for xl2tpd.

You can add them the following way:

rpm -ivH
yum -y install
yum -y install ipsec-tools xl2tpd

Following that, create a script called /etc/racoon/

# set security policies
echo -e "flush;n
        spdadd[0][1701] udp -P in  ipsec esp/transport//require;n
        spdadd[1701][0] udp -P out ipsec esp/transport//require;n"
        | setkey -c
# enable IP forwarding
echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward

Make sure this script allows execution, and add it to /etc/rc.local

Racoon config /etc/racoon/racoon.conf looks like this for my setup:

path include "/etc/racoon";
path pre_shared_key "/etc/racoon/psk.txt";
path certificate "/etc/racoon/certs";
path script "/etc/racoon/scripts";
#log debug;
remote anonymous
      exchange_mode    aggressive,main;
      #exchange_mode    main;
      passive          on;
      proposal_check   obey;
      support_proxy    on;
      nat_traversal    on;
      ike_frag         on;
      dpd_delay        20;
      #generate_policy unique;
      generate_policy on;
      verify_identifier on;
            encryption_algorithm  aes;
            hash_algorithm        sha1;
            authentication_method pre_shared_key;
            dh_group              modp1024;
            encryption_algorithm  3des;
            hash_algorithm        sha1;
            authentication_method pre_shared_key;
            dh_group              modp1024;
sainfo anonymous
      encryption_algorithm     aes,3des;
      authentication_algorithm hmac_sha1;
      compression_algorithm    deflate;
      pfs_group                modp1024;

The PSK is kept inside /etc/racoon/psk.txt. It looks like this for me (changed password, duh!):

myHome   ApAssPhR@se

Both said files (/etc/racoon/racoon.conf and /etc/racoon/psk.txt) should have only-root permissions, aka 600.

Notice the bold myHome identifier. As the local address might change (either ppp dialup, or DHCP client), this one will be used instead of the local address identifier, as the common identifier of the connection. For Android devices, it will be defined as the ‘IPSec Identifier’ value.

We need to setup xl2tpd: Edit /etc/xl2tpd/xl2tpd.conf and have it look like this:

debug tunnel = no
debug state = no
debug network = no
ipsec saref = yes
force userspace = yes
[lns default]
ip range =
local ip =
refuse pap = yes
require authentication = yes
name = l2tpd
ppp debug = no
pppoptfile = /etc/ppp/options.xl2tpd
length bit = yes

The IP range will define the client VPN interface address. The amount should match the expected number of clients, or be somewhat larger, to be on the safe side. Don’t try to be a smart ass with it. Use explicit IP addresses. Easier that way. The “local” IP address should be external to the pool defined, or else a client might collide with it. I haven’t tried checking if xl2tpd allowed such configuration. You are invited to test, although it’s rather pointless.

Create the file /etc/ppp/options.xl2tpd with the following contents:

asyncmap 0
name l2tpd
lcp-echo-interval 10
lcp-echo-failure 100

The ms-dns option should specify the desired DNS the client will use. In my case – I have an internal DNS server, so I wanted it to use it. You can either use your internal, if you have any, or Google’s, for example.

Almost done – you should add the relevant login info to /etc/ppp/chap-secrets. It should look like: “username” * “password” * . In my case, it would look like this:

# Secrets for authentication using CHAP
# client    server    secret            IP addresses
ez-aton        *    “SomePassw0rd”        *

Select a good password. Security should not be taken lightly.

We’re almost done – we need to define IP forwarding, which can be done by adding the following line to /etc/sysctl.conf:

# Controls IP packet forwarding
net.ipv4.ip_forward = 1

and then running ‘sysctl -p’ to load these values.

Run the following commands, and your system is ready to accept connections:

chkconfig racoon on
chkconfig xl2tpd on
service racoon start
service xl2tpd start

That said – we have not configured IPTables, in case this server acts as the firewall as well. It does, in my case, so I have had to take special care for the IPTables rules.

As my rules are rather complex, I will only show the rules relevant to the system, assuming (and this is important!) it is both the firewall/router and the VPN endpoint. If this is not the case, you should search for more details about forwarding IPSec traffic to backend VPN server.

So, my IPTables rules would be these three:

iptables -A INPUT -p udp --dport 500 -j ACCEPT
iptables -A INPUT -p udp --dport 4500 -j ACCEPT
iptables -A INPUT -p esp -j ACCEPT
iptables -A INPUT -p 51 -j ACCEPT # Not sure it's required, but too lazy to test without

This covers the IPSec part, however, we would not want the L2TP server to accept connections from the net, just like that, so it has its own rule, for port 1701:

iptables -A INPUT -p udp -m policy –dir in –pol ipsec -m udp –dport 1701 -j ACCEPT

You can save your current iptables rules (after checking that they work correctly) using ‘service iptables save’, or manually (backup your original rules to be on the safe side), and you’re all ready to go.

Good luck!

XenServer get VM by MAC

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Using the GUI, it could be somewhat complex identifying a VM based on its MAC address. There are several solutions on the network using PowerShell, but I will demonstrate it using a simple bash script, below. Save, make executable, and run.



if [ -z "$1" ]
	echo "Requires parameter - MAC address"
	exit 1

# You might want to check MAC correctness here. Enjoy doing it. RegExp, man!

# XenServer is agnostic to case for MAC addresses, so we don't care
VIF_UUID=`xe vif-list MAC=$MAC | grep ^uuid | awk '{print $NF}'`

VM=`xe vif-param-list uuid=$VIF_UUID | grep vm-name-label | awk '{print $NF}'`

echo "MAC $MAC has VM $VM"