GitHub Enterprise Command-line Alias

To keep to my cli-workflow, I make regular use of the GitHub CLI tool, gh on the command line. The manual specifies that you can specify the GH_HOST environment variable to direct it to a GitHub Enterprise server, but I don’t want to have to type that in every time. I added the following to my .bashrc: ghe() { GH_HOST="" gh "$@"; } complete -o default -F __start_gh ghe Now, I can just run gh for public GitHub actions, and ghe for anything to do with example....

November 20, 2022 · 2 min · Jason Lavoie

Leaving Bowdoin

After almost 20 years at Bowdoin College, I’ve decided to move on. This has been one of the most difficult decisions of my professional career. I thought it might be nice to mark this milestone – or is “fork in the road” a better metaphor? – with a bit of a retrospective of the projects I have initiated, led, and been involved in. In short, this has been a way for me to reflect on my experiences and process this life transition....

October 3, 2022 · 14 min · Jason Lavoie
End of the Line

Markdown line breaks

After using Markdown daily for many years, including all the content in this blog, I learned there was another way to do line breaks. I had always thought that the only way to do was to either have a blank line (which is not a line break, but a paragraph break) or add the <br /> HTML tag. I avoided the latter because I think it just plain looks ugly, and erases the elegance of using markdown, formatting without tags....

August 18, 2022 · 2 min · Jason Lavoie
Carpentry Plane

Git autoSetupRemote

I regularly read the git blog and release notes, but did not see mention of this new feature in either. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw this tweet from James Ide: With the newest version of Git 2.37.0, you can run just "git push" to push new branches. No more "--set-upstream origin". Enable with: git config --global --add --bool push.autoSetupRemote true — James Ide (@JI) July 12, 2022 This may be minor as it saves only a few keystrokes....

July 14, 2022 · 2 min · Jason Lavoie
Pile of Wood

List All Certificates Issued for a Domain

The certificate transparency project maintains logs of all certificates issued. My understanding is that this was originally started by Google, but is now a distributed trust network where all CAs submit certificates to at least two “public logs.” This means that there is a collective, verifiable data about all trusted certificates on the Internet. From a security perspective it is helpful to have a full inventory of all certificates issued for your domain(s)....

July 13, 2022 · 2 min · Jason Lavoie
Megaport and Terraform logos

Using the Megaport staging API with Terraform

I have been working on rearchitecting our backup cloud connectivity and am considering using Megaport’s cloud router (MCR) product. I’ll post again in the future with more details of the design and its implementation, but I wanted to write a short note of appreciation about Megaport’s provisioning interface. They provide a complete self-service portal and REST API. In addition, they provide a separate “staging” portal and API, where “all actions mirror the production system, but services will not be deployed and you will not be billed for any activity....

July 6, 2022 · 3 min · Jason Lavoie

Unauthenticated Git protocol

While updating some old code to add a small feature, I noticed a new error in the deployment where a puppet vcsrepo resource was failing. Error: /Stage[main]/Mirror::Crowdstrike/Mirror::Pymirror[crowdstrike]/Vcsrepo[/opt/crowdstrike-mirror]/ensure: change from 'absent' to 'latest' failed: Execution of 'git clone git:// /opt/crowdstrike-mirror' returned 128: Cloning into '/opt/crowdstrike-mirror'... fatal: unable to connect to[0:]: errno=Connection timed out I logged into the box and ran the command directly to confirm. p-mirror-a:/opt/crowdstrike-mirror$ git fetch origin fatal: unable to connect to github....

June 23, 2022 · 2 min · Jason Lavoie
Silk Ties

Bash arrays

Bash arrays are one dimensional variables. They may be one of two types, indexed or associative. Indexed arrays have integer keys and associative arrays have string keys. Values for both are strings. (Other languages call an associative array a “dictionary”, “hash”, or “map”.) Initializing Indexed arrays are declared using declare -a, but can also be implicitly declared (in the global scope) using ARRAY[subscript], where subscript is an arithmetic expression. For this reason, associative arrays must be explicitly declared using declare -A....

June 16, 2022 · 5 min · Jason Lavoie
Double Rainbow

Nagios check_procs unable to read output

I recently upgraded an old Debian system sitting in the lab to a modern release. I had neglected to keep it updated, and it was flagged on an internal scan for having out of date software. To prevent this oversight in the future, I added it to our puppet deployment (so it would get software updates and be kept in line with our standards) and set it up in our monitoring cluster (so that we’d know if puppet or the updates broke)....

May 31, 2022 · 2 min · Jason Lavoie
Diagram of data flow between NetBox, Teams, and Intrado EGW

Enhanced 911 with NetBox

Summary Over the past few months, I’ve been part of a project team to migrate an on-premises IP PBX to the Microsoft Teams cloud-based phone system. One component of this project is the Enhanced 911 (E911) service. E911 enables the capability to automatically provide the location information of the caller to the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) when an emergency call to 911 is placed. Any multi-line phone system implemented today must provide dispatchable location information....

April 27, 2022 · 35 min · Jason Lavoie
Vector-based example SVG

Convert SVG files

I often want to use a third party logo or icon in one my OmniGraffle diagrams. To avoid any jaggies with scaling raster images, I prefer to use a vector image format. These are commonly SVG files. Unfortunately, current versions of OmniGraffle have limited SVG import functionality. (This is a known issue, and OmniGroup are working on it.) A workflow I’ve found helpful in the interim, is to convert the SVG file(s) to EPS, and drag the resulting file into the document....

April 15, 2022 · 2 min · Jason Lavoie

Using a .terraformignore file

By default, a Terraform Cloud remote run will copy the entire source repository to the TFC runner before it runs the plan. If there are lots of files in the repository that aren’t needed by Terraform, this can take a long time. Using the .terraformignore file can significantly reduce the time for TFC to prepare a remote plan. A common pattern is to have a terraform/ subdirectory in a repository to deploy the infrastructure that supports the application/service/code in the repository itself....

March 21, 2022 · 3 min · Jason Lavoie

How to Identify Private MAC Addresses

While troubleshooting a wireless issue, I mentioned offhand to another engineer that a particular MAC address was private. They immediately asked me “How did you know just by looking at it?” I said “Look at the second least significant bit of the most significant byte,” but quickly realized that needed a bit more explanation. “Private” MAC addresses, at least as implemented by Apple and Android, sets the locally-administered bit for their randomized addresses....

March 9, 2022 · 2 min · Jason Lavoie

ERSPAN on Nexus

Today, while troubleshooting a reported SIP trunking issue, I was seeing a firewall claiming it was transmitting packets, but they were not seen by the downstream endpoint. I didn’t trust the ASA packet capture in this case, so I decided to collect traffic from its immediately-connected device, a Nexus 7009, to verify. Cisco has a technote for a configuration example on this platform. ERSPAN is handy to be able to do ad-hoc troubleshooting when you need to a packet capture from a remote device, so I configured an erspan-source session to capture traffic on that particular interface and sent it to a remote Linux machine....

March 1, 2022 · 2 min · Jason Lavoie
Big Ben

Disable time sync in VMware

Background In a recent upgrade of our monitoring infrastructure, I moved network monitoring off of physical hardware and onto virtual machines running on our VMware infrastructure. The migration was completely successful except for one small issue: clock drift. One of the many data points we monitor on servers and network gear is whether their configured time is in sync with the rest of the infrastructure. This is done by querying their current time (usually via NTP), and comparing it to the local monitoring server’s clock (also synced via NTP)....

February 25, 2022 · 4 min · Jason Lavoie
Four Site Hub and Spoke Network Diagram

BFD over broadcast networks

Overview What is BFD? Bidirectional Forwarding Detection (BFD) as defined in RFCs 5880 and 5881 is a protocol to detect network faults between the forwarding planes of two network devices. It is designed as a low-overhead protocol that can run over media that may not have built-in failure detection, including Ethernet, tunnels, and MPLS LSPs. Multiple control plane protocols can subscribe to a BFD session to be notified when connectivity is interrupted....

February 8, 2022 · 7 min · Jason Lavoie
Okta and NetBox logos

Integrating Okta SSO with NetBox

Overview NetBox is a DCIM and IPAM tool for modeling infrastructure and serving as a source of truth for the desired state of the network. Okta is an IAM company that offers a single sign-on product, which can act as a central point to manage user access. As of NetBox version 3.1.0, native support for SSO authentication was added via inclusion of python-social-auth. This library supports many backends, including Okta via both OAuth2 and OpenId Connect....

February 3, 2022 · 4 min · Jason Lavoie

Powershell on macOS WSMan issue

There is an issue with the current build of powershell on macOS where certain commands fail with the error WSMan is either not installed or unavailable for this system. Here’s the command I was trying to run when I first observed the issue: PS /Users/jlavoie> Test-CsOnlineLisCivicAddress -CivicAddressId fb281cc9-eb22-4464-9bde-20b89ab3569d New-PSSession: /Users/jlavoie/.local/share/powershell/Modules/MicrosoftTeams/3.0.0/netcoreapp3.1/exports/Test-CsOnlineLisCivicAddress.ps1:130 Line | 130 | $steppablePipeline.Process($_) | ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ | This parameter set requires WSMan, and no supported WSMan client | library was found....

December 21, 2021 · 2 min · Jason Lavoie
Banana Pieces

Troubleshooting TFTP

Another engineer reported that “TFTP is not working” when he was trying to stage firmware upgrades on our Cisco access network. I offered to help, and ended up spending a good portion of a day troubleshooting it. Replicate the Issue Fortunately, we have lab gear that I could test this on without affecting any production service. I logged into a 3850 stack in the lab and successfully transferred a test file from a TFTP server on a bastion host....

December 9, 2021 · 19 min · Jason Lavoie

No matching key exchange method

After upgrading some bastion hosts to Debian 10, connections to some older network gear failed with the following error: ssh_dispatch_run_fatal: Connection to port 22: Invalid key length It turns out that newer versions of ssh (client) now have a minimum key length that they will negotiate. This device had its ssh host key generated many years ago, and a shorter key length was used: % Key pair was generated at: 18:12:01 EST Dec 27 2007 I needed to generate a new key with a longer key length, so I (temporarily) installed ssh1 on the bastion host, connected to the device, and regenerated a new key....

November 30, 2021 · 1 min · Jason Lavoie