Console Framebuffer in Ubuntu

Posted by admin on December 25, 2007 under Tech Tips | 8 Comments to Read

The Linux console framebuffer allows you to achieve higher screen resolutions within your Linux console. However, as of this writing, Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy by default does not load the required kernel modules. By passing the “vga=XXX” kernel option without these modules loaded, you are left with a blinking cursor in the upper-left hand corner of your screen. Here’s how to get the console framebuffer in working order.

1. Ensure the initrd image includes framebuffer support by adding “fbcon” and “vesafb” to /etc/initramfs-tools/modules.

$ echo "vesafb" | sudo tee -a /etc/initramfs-tools/modules
$ echo "fbcon" | sudo tee -a /etc/initramfs-tools/modules

2. Remove (or comment out) “vesafb” from blacklisted modules in /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-framebuffer.

#blacklist vesafb

3. Add the desired framebuffer variable to the default kernel options section in /boot/grub/menu.lst. For 1024×768, the string should look like the following.

#defoptions=quiet splash vga=791

4. Update GRUB.

$ sudo update-grub

5. If Usplash is configured for a higher resolution than your framebuffer, it will appear off-centered. So adjust /etc/usplash.conf to use the same resolution.


6. Update initramfs to rebuild the initrd image.

$ sudo update-initramfs -u

After rebooting, your usplash will appear as normal and you can Ctrl+Alt+F1 to a console after your X environment has finished loading. The text in your console should now appear much smaller and will be much easier to use for large amounts of console work.

fwknop: Single Packet Authorization in Ubuntu

Posted by admin on June 24, 2007 under Tech Tips | 3 Comments to Read


While there may be useful information still contained within the article, there may be other more relevant articles out on the Internet. Please pay close attention to version numbers of software that this article refers to. If you're not careful, you could break your system if you do not understand what you are doing. If you would like to see this article updated, please contact the site administrator using the Contact page. Thanks!

Updated (11/21/2007): I’ve added an updated version of this How-to on the community supported Ubuntu documentation site. The new document can be found at:

Single Packet Authorization (SPA) using “fwknop” is probably one of the coolest recent innovations in server and network access control technology. Just what is SPA, you ask? SPA is a method of limiting access to server and network resources by cryptographically authenticating users before any type TCP/IP stack access is allowed.

In it’s simplest form, your Linux server can have an inbound firewall rule that by default drops all access to any of it’s listening services. Nmap scans will completely fail to detect any open ports, and zero-day attacks will not have any effect on vulnerable services since the firewall is blocking access to the applications.

The server however has a nifty trick up it’s sleeve. An authorized user sends a single encrypted UDP packet that is passively sniffed and analyzed by the fwknopd service running on the server using pcap. If successfully authenticated, fwknopd dynamically creates an iptables firewall rule, granting the source IP address of the authorized client access to the service for a defined period of time (default is 30 seconds). Pretty frickin’ cool, eh?

Okay, so here’s how to get it working in Ubuntu 7.04. Read more of this article »