Tag Archive for: hamachi

Hamachi2 and Linux and Haguichi

02 Sep 2010
September 2, 2010

LogMeIn Hamachi2 imageI just realized that I haven’t written anything about LogMeIn Hamachi² here. Just like the predecessor Hamachi, Hamachi² is a peer-to-peer VPN service. Free version for non-commercial use and reasonably priced for commercial. I’ve been a fan for years – great way to link my various computers together.

Hamachi² changed things a bit by moving all the network management to a central web site and giving some more options to configuration. For instance, you can now configure “Hub-and-spoke” networks in which the clients can only see the servers (or the “hub”). Not quite as simple to configure as the prior version but I do like the additional security and configuration options so I upgraded last year. Always meant to mention it here, just never got the round ‘tuit…

When V2 was initially released it was only for Windows. Very disappointing. Happily, I recently noticed Linux and Mac beta versions on the LogMeIn Labs page – command line only, but better than nothing (and no, I have no clue when they appeared. Been a long time since I had checked the labs page!).

I installed it on my little Ubuntu Netbook Eee last month and have had no issues running it. Just pop to a terminal window and type hamachi –? to see your various options. It wasn’t too tough to sort out.

haguichi-64x64Today I discovered Haguichi. [hat tip to Web Upd8] A slick little graphical user interface for Hamachi2 on Linux that runs a lot like the original Hamachi for Windows UI but also supports Hamachi2 (as beta). I love it!

Start it up and it runs up in the notification area just like you’d expect. Single click and you get an easy to use interface to see your networks and their contents. Right click a machine and you’ll get some options. All very friendly.

I haven’t analyzed exactly how much space it uses… as a C# app built on the Mono framework there is bit of a footprint here. All I know for sure is I still have space left on the little 4GB SSD drive so I’m happy.

If you’re using this with Ubuntu Netbook Edition you’ll want to make one small change. By default, all apps are maximized when ran – that makes haguichi rather ugly… In a terminal window run gconf-editor In the resulting application, navigate to Apps and then click on maximus. On the right pane, right-click on “exclude_class” and click “edit key.” Now click the add button and type in “Haguichi” (this is case-sensitive, be sure that’s a capital H). Log out and back in and no more maximizing.

VMware Player 3.0 and Network Configuration

29 Oct 2009
October 29, 2009

I updated VMware Player to the latest version (3.0) on my home machine last night[1]. Wanted to check out the latest version and get a first hand look at the new features.

I pointed it to my trusty Xubuntu “security” virtual machine and booted up. I ran into a snag pretty quickly though. Seemed that the client couldn’t get an IP address to get on the network.

I’ve seen and fixed this before. VMware Player seems to like to grab my Hamachi “personal VPN” network adapters instead of the local Ethernet one – it will never get an IP from the Hamachi network!

That’s when I hit the next snag: the new version of VMware Player doesn’t include the vmnetcfg network configuration that I’ve always used to fix this in the past. I poked around a bit but it wasn’t there and I didn’t see anything that looked like a replacement.

I ended up fixing this in a bit more of a low-tech fashion. I simply disabled the Hamachi adapter and then booted the VMware client. Client got an IP and I then re-enabled the Hamachi adapter.

Disabling a network adapter

Of course, after my low-tech solution I went looking for better options… Turns out I’m not the first one to notice that vmnetcfg went missing. I found discussion and the answer in a forum post:

The vmnetcfg.exe is included in the installer, but won’t be installed.
1. Run the installer with /e option. For example:
VMware-player-3.0.0-197124.exe /e .\extract
All contents will be extracted to “extract” folder.
2. Open “network.cab” and copy vmnetcfg.exe to your installation folder,
typically “C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Player\”.

Well there you go. Even better.

[1] – Past mentions of VMware Player.

Broke (then fixed) VMware Player Networking

24 Feb 2009
February 24, 2009

As many long-time readers are aware, I’m a big fan of virtualization. I like to do testing and dev work in virtual machines as that helps keep my primary machine(s) cleaner and leaner. It also lets me keep a whole fleet of machines around without needing all that extra hardware and expense.

I ran into an interesting situation this morning with networking though. See, I’ve been running VMware Player on my home machine for a few months with no issues. This works especially well when I’m doing some work projects – helps me keep things self-contained. I just schlep the VM clients around on external USB 2.0 hard drives.

Last night I installed the Hamachi client on that home machine. This morning I fired up my work virtual machine and had no network connection! It didn’t take more than 5 seconds for me to realize that it was probably related to the Hamachi install.

imageMy theory was that VMware was trying to bridge my network with the Hamachi adapter instead of the LAN interface.

From my experience with VMware Server, I know about the Virtual Network Editor application. A quick look under the Start menu didn’t show it grouped with VMware Player, but a quick dive into the VMware Player install directory found the executable easily enough.

I ran the VNE app and was initially stymied: I could see everything but I couldn’t change anything. All the good stuff was disabled and grayed out:

Read only mode in the VNE

Oh yeah, I’m running Vista. I bet things work better if I run it as Administrator… So I right-clicked on the vmnetcfg.exe and gave that a shot.

image

Lo and behold, I can change things now! I used the “Add” button to chose the Hamachi interface for exclusion and now my VMware clients are back on track.

Exluding a network interface from Hamachi Bridging

Problem solved.

Old Machine? Try antiX Linux

13 Nov 2008
November 13, 2008

As the long-time readers know, I’m always looking for Operating System options suitable for the older hardware — especially my beloved old IBM Thinkpad 600e. Just back in September I thought I had hit upon the perfect solution: Dual-booting Windows 2000 and Puppy Linux. However, after just a few weeks I stopped using Puppy due to some browser issues and was back to full time Win2K.

Not that Windows 2000 is a bad OS, mind you, but … *yawn*. Boring. Sure, it works great on the old hardware, no doubt. It’s from that era, after all. Just a bit of “been there, done that” to the whole thing.

Fortunately, I learned of another Linux distribution this week that is aimed at the older hardware: antiX.

antiX is a fast, lightweight and easy to install linux live CD distribution based on MEPIS for Intel-AMD x86 compatible systems. antiX offers users the “Magic of Mepis” in an environment suitable for old computers. So don’t throw away that old computer yet! The goal of antiX is to provide a light, but fully functional and flexible free operating system for both newcomers and experienced users of Linux. It should run on most computers, ranging from 64MB old PII 266 systems with pre-configured 128MB RAM to the latest powerful boxes. 128MB RAM is recommended for antiX.

It offers two lightweight window managers: fluxbox and IceWM. Both are configured nicely and both are definitely light-weight, especially if you’re used to Gnome or KDE. I prefer the fluxbox configuration but the machine appears to prefer icewm as everytime I reboot, that’s where I start. Weird, but not the end of the world… I need to sort out why that’s happening some other day.

For browsers we have Firefox 3 and Dillo. I still think Firefox3 is a bit “heavy” for these older distros but, compared to Dillo, at least it renders sites as one would hope to see them. Dillo is certainly light-weight and very fast, but it seems to work best with the sites from the 90s (and that’s not always a bad thing if we ignore <blink> tags!). I may have a try at upgrading to the newer Dillo 2 and see how that works, though.

Aside from web browsing, the other main use of this machine is to run Hamachi (w/ gHamachi GUI) and remote desktop to a machine at work. And for that, it works great.

It is an easy distro to work with and using the apt based package stuff is familiar. So far, I haven’t had any issues installing stuff which is a plus when working with these “for old machines” distributions. Only real issues I’ve had relate to the window managers (above) and the age old challenge of getting sound working on this laptop (I found some good posts at the mepis forums though, so hopefully that’ll be resolved soon).

antiX is definitely worth a look if you want to keep some older hardware alive and functional. Heck, it is worth a look for newer hardware too. Nice and small with low hardware requirements and a common package management system are all pluses. And the end result doesn’t feel like a compromise.