Bad Experience with Google Pixel XL (Android Oreo) and Google Support

I don’t know what I was thinking when I decided to switch from iPhone to Android. Right now, I am regretting it.

When I switched to Android Google Pixel XL in June, everything was working as expected. Battery life was not the best, but it was working and pretty snappy.

I got the Oreo upgrade three weeks ago and the experience was really awful since the upgrade. These are the issues that I am having:

1. The Pixel XL phone become really laggy
2. The wifi is now broken. I could not connect to any guest network that has captive portal
3. The Bluetooth is completely broken. When the phone decides to connect to Bluetooth, the metadata is not showing up anymore. Also, when someone calls me and I make a phone call, I have to use the speakerphone because Oreo decided to not to send the call to the car’s speaker system.

I called the support and after talking to the phone for about 45 minutes. I was told that Google would replace my phone, and since I bought the phone at the Google store, they would send the replacement phone first then I can send the faulty one to Google.

I got a call from their supervisor who’s name is Leo. That they tried to call me and since I missed the supervisor’s call, I would need to call back. Based on what the rep had explained to me, this call was supposed to verify the shipping information, etc

I called back and spoke with Jose and to make a long story short, after 30 minutes on the phone, I was told that Google would not send me a replacement unless I factory reset the phone. Well, the reason that the first rep told me that they would replace my phone since I was not willing to do a factory reset my phone because of Android lack of full backup. I have apps that have data on them. As far as I know, Google backup does not backup these app data, and text messages.

Right now, I was told that they would not help me to fix my Google Pixel XL phone.

As far as I can tell, Google just released an update that could potentially cause traffic accidents.

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Nested virtualization on Proxmox VE

I am not an expert on this and still trying to learn to use Proxmox. If you are trying to run GNS3, EVE-NG or may be studying for VMware, you probably want to enable hardware virtualization. Meaning your PVE as your main hypervisor can host another hypervisor as a guest VM that can host its own VMs. This reminds me of the movie Inception.

Anyways this feature is disabled by default. You will need access either via console to your PVE or SSH to it.

To verify if nested virtualization is enabled used this command:

root@pve:~# cat /sys/module/kvm_intel/parameters/nested 
N

If the output says ‘N’, then it is disabled. To enable the nested virtualization:

For Intel CPU:

root@pve:~# echo "options kvm-intel nested=Y" > /etc/modprobe.d/kvm-intel.conf

After issuing the command above, we will need to reload the kernel module by using these commands:

root@pve:~# modprobe -r kvm_intel
root@pve:~# modprobe kvm_intel

At this point, if reloading fails, ensure that all your VMs are have been powered off then try it again.

Once the kernel module reload works, check it again if the nested virtualization is enabled:

root@pve:~# cat /sys/module/kvm_intel/parameters/nested 
Y

If it returns ‘Y’, then you are good to go.

When creating a new VM such as GNS3, EVE-NG or ESXi, make sure you select host under CPU type.

Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 10.54.57 AM

Also, this should be enabled by default, but check it anyway. Once you created the VM, navigate to the VM and go to its Options. Make sure that the KVM hardware virtualization is set to Yes.

Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 10.57.15 AM

 

This is it. Cheers!!!

Posted in Misc., vmware, virtualization, Proxmox | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Plex server discovery from a different subnet

I am using unRaid server, but as far as I know, this can be done on any Plex app (QNAP or Synology) or containers. Okay, I am going to make this short. Installing Plex server on unRaid is pretty easy. The problem is if your unRaid is on a different subnet where the admin user is, you will never be able to discover the Plex server.

I am using bin-hex’ Plex container, but it should be the same with others too. What needs to be done is modifying the Preferences.xml file. The .xml file is in Plex Media Server folder. As long as you can find this folder, you will find the Preference.xml file. Since I am using bin-hex’ Plex container, the location is /mnt/cache/appdata/binhexplex/Plex Media Server/Preferences.xml. 

Here you will see the file Preferences.xml. I used nano to edit the file. Here are the steps:

  1. Stop the Plex server
  2. Navigate to the location of the Preferences.xml. In my case, is here /mnt/cache/appdata/binhex-plex/Plex Media Server/
  3. Before opening the file make a backup of the Preferences.xml
  4. Open the file using your text editor
  5. At the very end of the content before the /> add the following:
    1. allowedNetworks=”your-ip-subnet/netmask”
      1. For example:
      2. <Preferences OldestPreviousVersion=... ... ... allowedNetworks="172.16.0.0/255.240.0.0"/>
  6. Save the .xml and power on the Plex server
  7. GUI to the Plex server and you will see the UI will automatically find the Plex server

 

Cheers!

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Proxmox VE for my homelab

I finally spent and built a server for my home lab. I have the free ESXi 6.5 on my old server N54L, but it is very limited this server can do – does not enough power for real labbing and ESXi free is very limited and ESXi, in general, is really picky in regards to hardware. I don’t even know if my hardware that I bought from eBay recently is in WMWare HCL.

I have been looking for a free and stable hypervisor for my lab. For now my requirements are:

  • Widely supported – hardware wise
  • Will work with my hardware components
    • Intel Xeon E5-2650 v1
    • Supermicro X9SRL-F motherboard
    • Hynix HMT42GR7BFR4C-RD

  • Supports nested virtualization
  • Can be accessed by any device such as iPad/iPhone, Android, PC, Mac and Linux
  • Some enterprise features
  • Easy to use

After Google-ling for a while, I found XenServer, and Proxmox VE to be good candidates.

I tried XenServer at first since it is more use in Enterprise than Proxmox VE, and it is very VMware like. I would say if you are familiar with ESXi, you will get around with XenServer – just like if you are familiar with Cisco IOS you can configure Force10, Dell VRTX, etc.

I noticed some issues. The first problem that I have with the XenServer is, the XenCenter – it is similar to VMware’s vSphere thick client and it is only available for Windows. I know there is a Python version of the XenCenter which is called OpenXenManager. Again, it is still a desktop client. There is XenOrchestra a web based client, but it takes some more resources. The XenServer itself requires a lot of resources which I am very limited to for my Home lab. I thought may be I should try Proxmox. The good thing about the XenServer is it supports .ova files.

My gut feeling was telling to try Proxmox, so I went ahead and installed Proxmox VE 5.0. Some nice things about Proxmox VE:

  • I don’t need a third party VM for web UI. Proxmox supports it by default
    • I can access the server from any device
  • It does not require a lot of resources
  • It is Debian underneath, so if you are familiar with Debian or Debian based OS you are at home here. There is no need to learn a new syntax
  • Supports nested virtualization
    • So if you are studying for VMware certification, you can install it on a Proxmox server. I tested it.
  • Backup is built-in
  • Linux containers (LXC) supports by default
  • I am not going to list all the features here, but Proxmox VE gives you Enterprise feature for free
  • Supports is optional and it is available for a cheap

The only thing I do not like with Proxmox is the .ova file support. It does not support .ova. Therefore, if you have an .ova, you would need to convert that to .raw or .qcow2 after transferring it to Proxmox VE. I believe it supports .vmdk though, but not 100% sure.

Anyways, I am pretty happy with my Proxmox homelab. It met all my requirements in regards to access to the server and features. Actually, it offers more features than I need for my purposes. The only thing that it is missing is ova support, but converting it to raw or qcow2 is not difficult.

 

Cheers!

Posted in Linux, Misc., Proxmox, virtualization | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

unRaid and OSX slow directory listing

I have been using unRaid server for several months now, and it works the way I wanted it to be. However, there is one thing that was really annoying. Mapping a network drive on my OSX.

At first, I thought it was the unRaid server’s fault, but after several days of tinkering, it was my OSX that was slow. In Linux, the folder listing shows up very quickly, and the same with Windows, but not on OSX.

To make this post short, the resolution is by going to:

Finder > ViewShow view options then uncheck the Show icons preview

That pretty much fixed my slow directory/folder listing for me. Hope this simple fix would work with yours.

Cheers!

Posted in Misc. | Leave a comment

OpenVPN for Android phone

I am assuming that you already exported the client profile from the OpenVPN server. I am talking about the .ovpn file.

The process is pretty simple. The goal is to import the .ovpn file to the OpenVPN Connect app. Download the OpenVPN Connect app at the Google Play Store. I am lazy, and don’t want to grab the USB cable for my phone. There are three ways to

Now, there are three ways to upload the .ovpn file to an Android phone via USB, email or remote access app.

  • USB is pretty straight forward. Just plug it in to your laptop and drag and drop the .ovpn file.
  • Email – you can attach the.ovpn file to your email and send it to yourself. Open the same email from your phone and download the attached .ovpn. Once downloaded, you will find this .ovpn file in the Download folder Settings > Storage > Explore > Download. I am using Google Pixel so the path might be different compare to yours. 
  • Remote access app – I used the app called AirDroid. It is pretty nice app. You can upload the .ovpn file via web browser. Just remember the location where you uploaded the .ovpn file. Once the app is open via web-browser, I would upload the .ovpn file to Files > Download
    • Here is a youtube video of AirDroid https://youtu.be/51Dti57Z9IY?t=61

Anyways, so once we got the .ovpn file to our Android phone, we need to import it to OpenVPN Connect app. To do so, open the OpenVPN Connect app and click on the three vertical dots in the upper right corner

 

01

Figure 1

 

In the menu, select Import > Import Profile from SD card

 

02

Figure 2

03

Figure 3

 

Navigate to the location of the .ovpn file. In my case, it will be in the Download folder

 

04

Figure 4

 

Select the .ovpn file for the android phone then click on Select

 

05

Figure 5

 

The profile will have a very long name that kind of like gibberish. You can rename the profile by tapping on the Notepad icon then select Rename Profile

 

 

06

Figure 6

08

Figure 7

 

Enter the name that would make sense to me you

 

09

Figure 8

 

Then that is it

 

10

Figure 9

 

Cheers!!!

 

 

Posted in Misc., Sec, Security, vpn | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

OpenVPN for OSX desktop client

I guess we can start with Mac. You can use the Viscosity for $9. You can also use the TunnelBlick which is what I am going to be using here. Download the latest stable release of TunnelBlick, and install it.

Before we start, make sure that you have exported the client vpn profile from OpenVPN server. I got mine from my OPNsense (see the previous post).

Once the TunnelBlick is installed, open the app and you will be prompted with the Welcome message.

 

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 8.27.48 AM

Figure 1

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 8.29.57 AM

Figure 2

After clicking the OK button, the app will be in the menu bar

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 8.36.25 AM

Figure 3

Click on it then select VPN Details. This will open the app

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 8.43.45 AM.png

Figure 4

There are two ways to install the VPN profile. You can either drag and drop the .conf file or right click the .conf file and select TunnelBlick. Either one will install the profile. You can either drag and drop the .conf file or right click the .conf file and select TunnelBlick. Either one will install the profile.

You will get a pop-up prompt for the configuration install. Click on Only Me. After this, you may get a prompt to allow the installation by entering the admin user’s credential.

 

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 8.48.31 AM

Figure 5

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 8.50.32 AM

Figure 6

 

Once the profile is installed, then you can connect to the VPN

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 8.53.34 AM.png

After installing the config file, you can rename this config file to any name that makes sense to you by click on the cog or gear icon > Rename configuration in the lower left corner.

Once you are connected, you can see the icon will change and if you hover your pointer to the TunnelBlick icon, you will see some data.

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 9.10.19 AM

This is pretty much it. Cheers!!!

Posted in Misc., Sec, Security, vpn | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment