WINS and Linux

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What is WINS?

WINS is NetBIOS names over TCP/IP. It is what allows Microsoft Windows machines to contact each other via their Computer name from instances i.e.


In a domestic network setup, the computer names are not included in a local DNS server and so this is where WINS comes in.

WINS & Linux

Linux doesn’t try to contact other computers with their WINS names by default so the following will activate this.

apt-get -y install winbind
apt-get -y install -f
nano /etc/nsswitch.conf

Search for the line starting with hosts (ie “hosts: files dns”)

Change it too: hosts: files wins dns

Press [CTRL] + [X] hit [Y] and then [ENTER]

/etc/init.d/networking restart

You should now be able to ping a Windows Computer name.

PuTTY and .pem

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I was beta testing out an OVH cloud server and to login initially, you were required to use a .pem authentication key, this would be fine from a Linux box as you could just execute SSH like this

ssh -i key.pem user@computer

but with Windows, this becomes a problem as Windows doesn’t have native SSH support and the best SSH client for windows is PuTTY but PuTTY doesn’t support pem files. Luckily, someone thought of this and so PuTTYgen was born but unluckily, not everybody knows about this.

  1. Download PuTTYgen
  2. Startup PuTTYgen
  3. Click load
  4. Choose your .pem file
  5. Click OK
  6. Click save Private Key

And that should be it.

Web2Messenger API Library

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Web2Messenger is a tool/WebSite that enables users to message MSN users that are registered via a ‘bot’. This service is provided free of charge, while they provide a simple API of requesting data ie Status, Display Name and Personal Message, they do not provide any code that will grab and manipulate the data.

So I have attempted to provide an API library of functions which will retrieve data. W2M dont provide any documentation or code on how to send messages apart from a custom web form, so this library also aims to include a function which will simply send a message without any user interaction and will not display any W2M pages etc.

This API library might not be much use to anyone but it was written for me to over come some problems I had while I integrated W2M into my dissertation.

Download the W2M API Library ( and give it a go!

I have licensed this under the GNU General Public License 2.0.

The GNU General Public License is a Free Software license. Like any Free Software license, it grants to you the four following freedoms:

  1. The freedom to run the program for any purpose.
  2. The freedom to study how the program works and adapt it to your needs.
  3. The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor.
  4. The freedom to improve the program and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits.

A useful summery is at
Full License available at
A link to this license will be included in the source of the work that it applies to.

PLEASE NOTE: The emoticons included in the compressed files are NOT included in the licensing, although they are available from various sources online they still remain the property of Microsoft Corporation.

How to Install Webmin on Ubuntu/Debain

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I wanted to use Webmin as a web-front end to configure my Ubnutu Server; as webmin isn’t in the aptitude repository so it required installing from a Debian package from their site.

apt-get install perl libnet-ssleay-perl openssl libauthen-pam-perl libpam-runtime libio-pty-perl libmd5-perl
dpkg -i -y webmin_1.460_all.deb
apt-get -y install -f
rm webmin_1.460_all.deb

These commands are for a root terminal.

The Webmin being installed is an older version, change the .deb package name for the latest version.

Windows 2003 & WLM

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While playing about with Microsoft Windows 2003, I needed to install an MSN client, which at the time was Windows Live Messenger 2009.

Now Microsoft in their wisdom has for some reason stopped WLM 2009 from installing easily onto any of their servers OS’s i.e. Windows Server 2003 from their normal downloads.

There was numerous guides on how to “bypass” their checks, non of which worked.

After some digging around, I found the .msi separate installers packaged in the distributable installer. These msi’s install silently and more importantly, don’t check the OS version. These msi’s will allow you to install WLM onto any computer and they should also help roll it out over a network.

Click Here to grab the files (wlm2009.rar)

If all you require is messenger, all you need to install from it is ‘Contacts‘,’wllogin‘,’Messenger‘ and ‘dw20shared‘.