Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Upgrading Seafile Server from version 6 to version 7

In this post I'll cover the process of upgrading Seafile Server from 6.3.4 to 7.0.4. I've been running Seafile Server in an Ubuntu VM on my Linux Server for about a year and a half. Along with using Let's Encrypt's Certbot, it's been an incredibly stable and virtually 'hands off' service. 

Pre Upgrade

  1. Backup current system. As I run Seafile in a VMware Workstation (for Linux) VM, it's easy to create a quick snapshot of the current system and configuration that I can revert to in the case of any unforeseen issues. Additionally, I run Timeshift with daily/weekly/monthly rollups of my entire server. Can't ever be too careful!
  2. Download the new Seafile bits. Seafile Server is a quick download from their download page, and is simple to run a wget on the download to get it to your server. 
  3. Make sure the current server is functional. Before you perform any upgrade of any service/application, it's best practice to ensure the current iteration is up and running and functional. This is a practice any IT professional should follow regardless of your employer/application/service in question. Failing to do so can bring unwanted behaviors to your updated instance, or even cause the upgrade to fail altogether.
  4. Review the Release Notes. Once again, a best practice anyone in IT should follow before jumping into an upgrade is reviewing the Release Notes of the target version. Release Notes are known to include critical information not only related to new features, but often around the upgrade process itself.


  1. After reviewing the release notes and downloading the 7.0.4 bits to your server, untar the file using the command tar -xzvf seafile-server_7.0.4_x86-64.tar.gz and ensure the resulting folder is in the same directory as your current seafile installation
  2. The next step is to stop your seafile services (seahub and seafile) by running ./ stop && stop
  3. Once the services are stopped, go into the new 7.0.4 directory and find the upgrade scripts under the upgrade folder. Starting with the script of your current server (in my case, 6.3.4 would correlate to, run each script

  4. Run the upgrade script and press ENTER

  5. You may find some [info] and [warning] messages, but as long as there are no [error] messages, you'll look for "Upgraded your seafile server successfully"

  6. Ensure your seafile and seahub services start successfully, then verify your version on the server in the About section. 

    And congrats you're done! 

    One thing I tried testing that doesn't seem to be fully working yet is editing the new Published Library's .md file. I get a spinning circle as if it's thinking or loading something. In my case, it just spins indefinitely:
    At any rate, your server should now be upgraded! Let me know how your upgrade went in the comments. Thanks for reading!


Saturday, June 1, 2019

Troubleshooting the Zmodo Greet Pro Smart Doorbell

Earlier this year I bought a Zmodo Greet Pro Smart Doorbell. It was cheap, didn’t require a monthly subscription, and had relatively decent reviews. It was a breeze to install, and had it up and running the day it arrived. Fast forward about 1.5 months, and something weird happened.

I was on vacation, enjoying Yellowstone in the Spring, and noticed while I was out that my home network wasn’t working. I couldn’t connect to Plex, couldn’t connect to my OpenVPN server, etc. My roommate notified me soon after and had to reboot the router to get everything working again. An annoying issue, but a simple fix.

Upon returning back home, I noticed everything working as expected, except my Doorbell was flashing a green ring. I looked this up and the Zmodo documentation says that indicates it’s ready to be setup. So I checked the Zmodo app and sure enough, it showed my doorbell, which was previously configured and working fine, as “Device Disconnected.”

So I removed the device from the app, and attempted to set it up again from scratch. However this is where the frustration set in. Every attempt to add it back via QR code timed out and didn’t work. I thought cutting power to the entry way could help reset the thing, but that didn’t do anything. And to my surprise, it was still powered on when I killed the power. I just learned this thing has a battery.

Next I remove the thing off the wall, remove the back panel in an attempt to find the battery and disconnect it. Turns out I couldn’t locate that, so I just left it and waited for it to die on it’s own. It took about 15 or 20 minutes, but it eventually died out. So I put everything back together, plugged it back in on the wall and it now showed a solid blue ring. Documentation says this indicates it’s connected to WiFi. Sure enough, I see the device on my router. So I tried adding by QR code again to my app, and it still didn’t work!

This is when I found this Zmodo support article that mentioned how to add the device back to your app if it’s already connected to WiFi. You must add it by using the “Wireless Device and Smart Kit” option instead of the QR code option. Choosing “Wireless Device” from here, the app was able to locate the doorbell on my network and get it back into the app. Voila! I can now spy on the unsuspecting outside world.. that is on my front porch.

To summarize:
- Wifi going wonky can cause Zmodo Greet Pro to lose its mind, and flash a green ring
- When that happens, remove the doorbell and let its battery die all the way down (it will stop flashing green)
- After the battery dies, reinstall it and connect it to power. I’m guessing this would be all you need to do to get it working again. In my case, I had removed the device from the app before killing the battery
- If you removed it from the app like me, re-add it once the ring is a solid blue, by using the Wireless Device and Smart Kit option

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

vROPs for Horizon - Regain Compatibility and Insight into your VDI

If your business happens to utilize VMware Horizon for VDI, and vRealize Operations (vROPs) for infrastructure monitoring, insight, and capacity planning, you may also be a business that uses the vROPs for Horizon Adapter (V4H) to bring that level of insight into your virtual desktop infrastructure. That being the case, you likely noticed that good stretch of time where vROPs 6.7 broke compatibility with the existing vROPs Horizon Adapter (V4H) 6.5.1 forcing you to delay upgrades, or lose your vROPs insights into the Horizon environment until it was fixed.

So what's needed to bring everything to compliance and compatibility to get insight back into Horizon with vROPs? Ultimately, you need the 6.6 adapter and a patched vROPs instance. The V4H Adapter 6.6 now supports vROPs 6.7 and 7.0. And the process for patching and licensing the vROPs instance is outlined below.

Step 1:  Upgrade your V4H license

Head to the VMware Portal and find your vRealize Operations 6 Manager for Horizon license. Go through the process via the portal to upgrade it to vRealize Operations Manager for Horizon

Reference: How to upgrade license keys in My VMware

Step 2:  Patch vROPs

Follow the steps outlined in KB 60301 to apply the appropriate patch to your vROPs instance

NOTE: vRealize Operations Manager 6.6.1 GA, 6.7 GA, and 7.0 GA, do not include the Security Patch.

How can you tell if you already have this patch? 
If you're on version 7.0 and you see the patch below, you're still on GA and need to apply the security fix. Once it's been applied, you should see  build Verify your working build per the KB linked above.

Step 3:  Install the new license 

Implementing the new key in your vROPs manager will bring compliance and compatibility once again. Here's the official documentation for applying licenses.

For the latest on vROPs and Horizon compatibility, always check the Interop Guide, and take a peek at KB 59651 as well.

Happy patching!


Friday, March 15, 2019

VMware Horizon 7.8 is here!

Horizon 7.8 was pushed yesterday, along with version 5.0 of the Horizon Client, App Volumes 2.16, and UEM 9.7. Here's what's new! Links to AppVol/UEM release notes below.

Update: check out the technical overview video recently posted!

Horizon 7.8

  1. Enhance HTML5 console functionality as we drive toward feature parity with Horizon Admin Console (Flex)
  2. Support for Windows Server 2019 for Horizon Infrastructure/Management components
  3. Increase CPA scale to 250k session
  4. Improved RDSH load balancing
  5. RDSH App restriction using OU
  6. TrueSSO unlock support for vIDM
  7. Windows Server 2016 support in nested/dual hop mode.
  8. UEM: Enable application blocking and privilege elevation in SyncTool scenario
  9. Support latest RHEL 7.6 and CentOS 7.6 with LinuxVDI.
  10. Support SLED 12.x when using NVIDIA GPU hardware
  11. Improved LinuxVDI feature compatibility across distributions.
  12. Qualified for VMC deployments

Horizon Clients 5.0, Blast Extreme and Remote Experience

Check out the new Icon and Dark Mode!
  1. Client UI redesign
  2. Resolve Blast uplink bandwidth usage spike caused by network continuity
  3. Support for 6 monitors for trader/financial uses cases with Blast Extreme
  4. Support multi-threaded encoding for Blast protocol on Windows
  5. Improved USB redirection peripheral support over WAN
  6. Enhance URL redirection to use IP addresses
  7. Support scanner redirection on Linux clients
  8. Support IPv6 addressing with RTAV
  9. Allow session collaboration in view only mode
  10. .net smartcard support for MacOS clients
  11. DPI synchronization per connection

Release Notes

  1. Horizon Server
  2. App Volumes
  3. UEM
  4. Clients


Take note of this security vulnerability posted today. Check out the details on the announcement page, but ultimately you'll want to bring any Horizon 7.x environment to at least version 7.5.2 (if you're on the ESB branch), or the newly released 7.8

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

VMware Recertification Rollback

Whoever thought we'd see this?! VMware made an overwhelmingly well-received change today regarding its VCP Certification program. Effective immediately, VMware is removing the requirement to recertify their VCP certifications within a two-year period. The decision to update and recertify is left up to YOU!

What does this mean for your expired certifications?
If you hold any of these previously expired certs, it will flip to showing Active starting in April 2019. If your cert changes to being active, you can complete the upgrade path to earn the latest version - no more expired cert upgrade path!

What if you spent time and money re-certifying one of these newly active certs?
VMware will provide you a free one-year premium license to the VMware Learning Zone - assuming you certified within the last 6 months.

Check out the official Blog Announcement and happy certifying!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Horizon 7.7.0 has just dropped

VMware Horizon 7.7.0 is now generally available, along with Horizon Apps 7.7.0, and the coinciding Horizon Clients 4.10.0. This release brings support for the brand new vSphere 6.7 U1 and vSAN 6.7 U1!

As always, be sure to check out the Known Issues and Resolved Issues in the Release Notes.

Horizon 7.7 comes loaded with new stuff:
  • Disable session roaming and allow multiple app launch
  • RDS drain mode improvements for easier maintenance
  • Allow Connection Server BSG to only be used for direct HTML Access client
  • [Flex Only] Show Pod Name in console header area and browser tab
  • Easier management with new columns in admin console - connected user field
  • Enable single vCenter to support multiple CPA pods
  • Increase RDS Host support per FARM from 200 -> 500
  • Hybrid logon for RDSH unauthenticated access
  • Support new VMC M5 features with Horizon 7.7
  • Cloud Connector : Upgrade support
  • vSphere 6.7U1 and vSAN 6.7U1 support
  • Support for UAGS in Horizon Admin Console
  • Additional functionality in LEO
  • Enhance Horizon integration with VAC by support Horizon client info
  • Instant Clone and App Volumes supported on VMware Cloud on AWS
For the Linux side of the house:
  • Remove gaps in feature support across distros
  • Session Collaboration
  • Support VMC deployment
Here's what's new with the 4.10 Clients
  • Project Brown: Native printer driver support (That's right.. Brown...)
  • Blast Extreme HEVC/H.265 encoder support
  • Physical PC remoting with Blast Extreme
  • True drag and drop of files in and out of VM
  • Serial port redirection support in nested mode
  • UAG and Horizon Client support for custom thumbprints
  • Enhancements to Geolocation redirection - VDI Driver and Chrome Plugin
  • Select monitors for RDSH apps
  • Improved drive redirection performance
  • Subfolders for shortcuts
  • Support for Windows Server 2019 as RDSH host and VDI agent
  • OS updates: iOS 12, Windows 10 1809, Android 4.10, Chrome M69
A jam packed release no doubt! Links after the break!


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Home Server Update

If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you’ve known my home server has served multiple purposes over the years and has been built with simplicity in mind. We’re not talking enterprise grade components or architecture here. I’ve found that many consumer-grade resources work extremely well for my needs.
What are those needs?
Simple: media management/DVR capability, and private cloud file server. This is where Plex and Seafile step in.

Most everyone’s heard of Plex these days. It’s a media-managing powerhouse that makes organizing and consuming your content easy and enjoyable. As a Plex Pass subscriber, you also gain OTA TV DVR capabilities. As a closet cord cutter, this has been a crucial capability. The fact that it adds the DVR’d content into my normal TV Media Library is a huge win!

Second is Seafile which is a Dropbox/Google Drive alternative. It’s open source, lightweight, and runs beautifully on a Ubuntu Server mini.iso build. With Seafile, I can access my files and documents from anywhere, using any device.

It came time to upgrade my Server as I wanted to get better transcoding power for my DVR content, and faster access to all my files. Additionally, a major goal of this upgrade was to rid myself of Windows 10. If you recall, I ran Windows 10 on my server natively, then ran my Plex/Seafile servers in VMs using VMware Workstation. This made management incredibly simple, however Windows 10 became such an annoying ‘hypervisor’ that I couldn’t wait to get rid of it. Furthermore, my MSI Motherboard was old enough that it wouldn’t allow installation of newer Linux Operating Systems. The last BIOS update was from 2014 and there were no signs of a newer version coming.
So as any geek would logically conclude, it was time for an upgrade!

After some research, I ended up with the following components:

1. AMD Ryzen 5 2400G with Radeon RX Vega Graphics (Coming from an A10 6800k APU)
2. Asus PRIME B450M-A Motherboard (Micro ATX)
3. Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 Memory, 16GB running at 2900 MHz (Coming from 8GB 2100 MHz.. fast memory compliments the APU)
4. Linux Mint 19 installed natively on a 500GB WD M.2 SSD (Blue)

The rest of my Media is stored on a random selection of spinning disk that are configured with LVM. LVM allows me to specify a single location for Plex to reference for all the video/music/photos.

Seafile is still running in a VM as it was much easier to move this over along with its Certificates and configurations than to rebuild. I was really impressed at how it booted up, connected to the new data repository and took no additional configuration!

I like the concept of the APU for my home needs. It creates a flexible environment as my needs grow and change with the home server (if I choose to run Steam in the off hours, for example!)

One thing I’m missing is a DR plan

As it stands, if a disk within my LVM group fails, I lose that data. I need to look into the best DR option in this setup. Let me know in the comments if you have any recommendations!

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