Renaming a GNOME keyring (for seahorse, the passwords and keyrings application)

The GNOME Keyring is a great tool to unify password management across the desktop. Sadly, Firefox is the one application that doesn’t support this natively. (Chrome actually does!)

Seahorse is a useful tool to browse and manage your keyrings. Each keyring is physically stored in: ~/.gnome2/keyrings/$something.keyring

Usually the “$something“, matches the name of the keyring, however the real name comes from within the file. I had an older ubuntu machine running GNOME, and I wanted to import my keyring. Here’s how I did it:

  1. Copy ~/.gnome2/keyrings/login.keyring (from the ubuntu machine) to ~/.gnome2/keyrings/ubuntu.keyring (on the new machine)
  2. Open up seahorse and change the keyring password of this “login” keyring to the empty string. This stores the passwords in a plain text format, which is briefly necessary.
  3. Edit the ubuntu.keyring file. There will be an obvious “display-name” section at the top of the file to edit. I changed it to:
  4. After restarting seahorse, I now changed the password back to something secure. If this process worked, you should already see the new keyring name in your keychain list.

Obviously this is a bit of a hack, and a proper rename function would be preferable, but until that exists, hopefully this will fill a niche if you’re stuck and you want to pull in an old keyring into your already populated $HOME.

Happy hacking,


SElinux causes pain when using puppet 2.x with hiera

So hiera wasn’t working when used through my puppetmaster. It worked perfectly when I was running my scripts manually with: puppet apply site.pp but the moment I switched over to regular puppetmasterd usage, everything went dead.

I realized a while back, that I could always expect some hiera failures from time to time. Whether this is hiera’s fault or not is irrelevant, the relevant part is that I quickly added:

$test = hiera('test', '')    # expects: 'Hiera is working!'
if "${test}" == '' {
    fail('The hiera function is not working as expected!')

to my site.pp and now I don’t risk breaking/changing a node because some data is missing. Naturally you’ll need to add a little message in your globals.yaml or similar. If you’re really cautious, you could change the above to an inequality and have your code “expect” a magic message.

To continue with the story, blkperl from #puppet recommended that I try running puppetmasterd manually to watch for any messages it might print. To my surprise, things started working! This just shows you how helpful it is to have a second set of eyes to help you on your way. So why did this work ?

To make a long story short, after following a few dead ends, it hit me, and so I looked in /var/log/audit/audit.log:

type=AVC msg=audit(1358404083.789:55416): avc:  denied  { getattr } for  pid=13830 comm="puppetmasterd" path="/etc/puppet/hiera.yaml" dev=dm-0 ino=18613624 scontext=unconfined_u:system_r:puppetmaster_t:s0 tcontext=unconfined_u:object_r:admin_home_t:s0 tclass=file

to find that selinux was once again causing me pain. When I had started puppetmasterd manually, I was root, which allowed me to bypass selinux rules. Sadly, I like selinux, but since I’m not nearly clever enough to want to learn how to fix this the right way, it just got disabled on another one of my machines.


restorecon -v /etc/puppet/hiera.yaml

fixed the bad selinux context I had on that file.

Hope this saves you some time and,

Happy hacking,


Dynamically including classes in puppet

As you might already know, I like pushing the boundaries of what puppet is able to do. Today, I realized that I needed to include a class by variable name. A simple way to do this is possible with:

$foo = 'world'
class { "hello::${foo}::params":

I then realized that you could also do this with the standard include keyword:

$foo = 'world'
include "hello::${foo}::params"

If you’re really insane enough to need to have your include depend on a variable, then this should suit your needs. The advantage of the second form is that if that statement appears more than once, you won’t cause a “duplicate definition” error.

Recently, I’ve been playing around with hiera. For completeness, I will mention one more form. It turns out that the hiera puppet functions offer a hiera_include function. As with all the hiera functions, the second argument lets you specify a default:

$foo = 'world'
hiera_include('...', "hello::${foo}::params")

which finishes off the trilogy. Hope this was useful, now start getting creative and

Happy hacking,



Clustering virtual machines with rgmanager and clusvcadm

This could be a post detailing how to host clustered virtual machines with rgmanager and clusvcadm, but that is a longer story and there is much work to do. For now, I will give you a short version including an informative “gotcha”.

With my cluster up and running, I added a virtual machine entry to my cluster.conf:

<vm name="test1" domain="somedomain" path="/shared/vm/" autostart="0" exclusive="0" recovery="restart" use_virsh="1" />

This goes inside the <rm> block. As a benchmark, please note that starting the machine with virsh worked perfectly:

[root@server1 ~]# virsh create /shared/vm/test1.xml --console
(...The operation worked perfectly!)

However, when I attempted to use the cluster aware tools, all I got was failure:

[root@server1 ~]# clusvcadm -e 'vm:test1' -m server1
Member server1 trying to enable vm:test1...Failure

Whenever I think I’ve done everything right, but something is still not working, I first check to see if I can blame someone else. Usually that someone is selinux. Make no mistake, selinux is a good thing, however it does still cause me pain.

The first clue is to remember that /var/log/ contains other files besides “messages“. Running a tail on /var/log/audit/audit.log while simultaneously running the above clusvcadm command revealed:

type=AVC msg=audit(1357202069.310:10904): avc:  denied  { read } for  pid=15675 comm="virsh" name="test1.xml" dev=drbd0 ino=198628 scontext=unconfined_u:system_r:xm_t:s0 tcontext=unconfined_u:object_r:default_t:s0 tclass=file
type=SYSCALL msg=audit(1357202069.310:10904): arch=c000003e syscall=2 success=no exit=-13 a0=24259e0 a1=0 a2=7ffff03af0d0 a3=7ffff03aee10 items=0 ppid=15609 pid=15675 auid=0 uid=0 gid=0 euid=0 suid=0 fsuid=0 egid=0 sgid=0 fsgid=0 tty=(none) ses=1 comm="virsh" exe="/usr/bin/virsh" subj=unconfined_u:system_r:xm_t:s0 key=(null)

I am not a magician, but if I was, I would probably understand what all of that means. For now, let’s pretend that we do. Closer inspection (or grep) will reveal:

  • test1.xml” (the definition for the virtual machine)


  • “/usr/bin/virsh” (the command that I expect rgmanager’s /usr/share/cluster/ script to run)

A quick:

[root@server1 ~]# selinuxenabled && echo t || echo f

to confirm that selinux is auditing away, and a short:

[root@server1 ~]# /bin/echo 0 > /selinux/enforce

to temporarily test my theory, and:

[root@server1 ~]# clusvcadm -e 'vm:test1' -m server1
Member server1 trying to enable vm:test1...Success
vm:test1 is now running on server1

Presto change-o, the diagnosis is complete. This is a development system, and so for the time being, I will accept defeat and workaround this problem by turning selinux off, but this is most definitely the wrong solution. If you’re an selinux guru who knows the proper fix, please let me know! Until then,

Happy Hacking,