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Hacking

If you have LUKS partitions on gpt-partitioned drives, you might have noticed that cryptsetup doesn’t handle PARTUUID=[…] entries in /etc/crypttab, even though it does understand the traditional UUID=[…]. There’s an Ubuntu bug for this (since 2010, because that’s how much Ubuntu cares about bug reports), and apparently Arch is patching cryptsetup to make it work.

But it turns out there’s an elegant workround for everyone, as inspired by this Debian mailing list post, where a user has /dev/disk/by-id/[…] entries in their /etc/crypttab. /dev/disk is just the most delightful symlink squaredance! If you don’t know about it yet, just ls -lR /dev/disk and prepare to be amazed 🙂

So, to make cryptsetup correctly parse the gpt partuuid of your drives, just use /dev/disk/by-partuuid/[…] symlinks in /etc/crypttab. Here’s an example of such a setup:

root                     UUID=00000000-[…]-444444444444 none luks
backup0 /dev/disk/by-partuuid/55555555-[…]-999999999999 none luks
backup1 /dev/disk/by-partuuid/aaaaaaaa-[…]-eeeeeeeeeeee none luks

Have fun!

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In my university’s research group, there’s a traditional weekly seminar known as „Kaffee und Technik“, where people will show each other tricks and methods they learned in the course of their research. Recently having taught myself a working knowledge of simple binary data storage and readout with Python, I compiled a little lecture on the subject.

Hoping that someone out there might also find this useful, I’m posting my slides here:

In case you’re wondering: The editor I am using is wxHexEditor. I found it to be a very good hex editor, with many more capabilities than most others out there. It is actively being developed and works equally well on Windows and Linux. It even compiled without any dependency hassle on an oldish system of mine.

So, if you’re looking for a good hex editor, try wxHexEditor. The project’s homepage is somewhat of a hassle to navigate around, but it’s definitely worth it.

28c3 was my first Chaos Communication Congress, and it was an awesome experience. I loved the atmosphere, dominated by what might be called the hacker way of life. Stuff didn’t start before 11 AM, and few people went to sleep before 4 AM. There was plenty of Mate for everyone, and I slept in a frickin‘ ball pit! I also got to know a bunch of cool people, took my first steps in the sport of lockpicking and made an acquaintance that may prove very fruitful for my university studies. Also, I got to play in both the Pentanews Game Show and Hacker Jeopardy, and I gave a Lightning Talk!

I called the Lightning Talk Life Hacking: Personal Finance Logging for Fun and Profit, and in it I talked about how I have been keeping track of all my private incomes and spendings for five years. Boring as it may sound, this actually produces a lot of useful data over the course of time, and being a physicist, I love to play around with data and statistics. The amazing video crew of 28c3 has uploaded separate videos of all the Lightning Talks to Youtube, and here’s mine (I also have the slides right here):


As for KMyMoney, the software I used: You can visit their project site to download it, but you will probably also find it in most distributions‘ repositories. As @Scheneiderlein42 has reported on Twitter, it will also run on Mac OS X using Macports. As for Windows, there is no sure way, but there seem to be several possible avenues: a) Downright installing KDE on Windows: see this guide, b) using a lightweight Linux for use with Windows running as described here, and then there’s an Australian guy pledging to build a Windows port, and you can sign up for notifivations on his progress here.

If you’ve done interesting stuff with KMyMoney, or your favorite personal finance software, or if you know a way to use them on other platforms than described, or how to use them efficiently and with even more fun, post a comment!