open magnet URLs with xdg-open

Browsers on Linux should use xdg-open to open URLs. From xdg-open’s description:

xdg-open opens a file or URL in the user’s preferred application. If a URL is
provided the URL will be opened in the user’s preferred web browser. If a file
is provided the file will be opened in the preferred application for files of
that type. xdg-open supports file, ftp, http and https URLs.

Magnet is a new type of URLs that’s currently not supported by xdg-open. It’s very easy to add a quick hack to support it though. Just copy xdg-open to a local binary path (e.g /usr/local/bin or preferably $HOME/bin) and apply the following patch. Change deluge with your preferred torrent application.

--- /usr/bin/xdg-open  2010-09-15 14:08:29.000000000 +0300
+++ bin/xdg-open  2012-01-24 22:05:03.935338593 +0200
@@ -437,6 +437,11 @@
                 exit_success
             fi
         fi
+    elif (echo "$1" | grep -q '^magnet:'); then
+        deluge "$1" 
+        if [ $? -eq 0 ]; then
+            exit_success
+        fi
     fi
 
     sensible-browser "$1"

For those who don’t know how to patch a file, here it is in full: patched xdg-open to open magnet URLs

Works fine on my Debian using Chrome which properly uses xdg-open to handle URLs. Firefox after version 3.5 became a piece of bloatware and it’s not possible to open magnet links using about:config settings or xdg-open. For Opera just go to Settings->Preferences->Programs and add new protocol with name magnet. At Open with other application, use the path that you saved the patched xdg-open.

Now go download some creative commons licensed files.

*UPDATE*
Patch for latest xdg-utils (since some people complained that previous patch does not apply):



--- xdg-open  2012-02-18 14:22:48.058497027 +0200
+++ xdg-open  2012-02-18 14:24:04.326875223 +0200
@@ -440,6 +440,11 @@
                 exit_success
             fi
         fi
+    elif (echo "$1" | grep -q '^magnet:'); then
+        deluge "$1" 
+        if [ $? -eq 0 ]; then
+            exit_success
+        fi
     fi
 
     IFS=":"

*UPDATE 2*
For Firefox/Iceweasel one can do the following:
go to about:config and right-click. Then click on New->Boolean->network.protocol-handler.expose.magnet -> Value -> false
Upon the next click Firefox/Iceweasel will ask you to choose a program to open magnet links, choose the patched xdg-open posted above.

AAAA records with Plesk

Plesk is surely not ready for IPv6. Despite that fact, many people – me included, have the DNS records of their favorite domains managed by Plesk and still want to be able to add some IPv6 records to those.

Some time ago I had posted on my twitter account a link to another blog that had a “hackish way” to add AAAA records to Plesk. I have written a slightly more elegant shell script (to be run by root only) than the one provided by experimentalworks.

First of all you _need_ to alter dns_recs table of the psa database to allow AAAA records:

# mysql -u admin -p psa 
mysql> alter table dns_recs modify column type enum('NS','A','AAAA','CNAME','MX','PTR','TXT','SRV','master','none') NOT NULL default 'A'; 

Then download my plesk-AAAA.sh script and use it like the following example.

To add www.foobar.gr to point to 2001:db8:1001::1

Usage: ./plesk-AAAA.sh [zone serial]
#./plesk-AAAA.sh foobar.gr www 2001:db8:1001::1
#./plesk-AAAA.sh foobar.gr ipv6 2001:db8:1001::1 12

Known bug/feature:
If you add a record without adding a serial, for the soa record, at the end, it will add the serial of the domain in the form:

YYYYMMDD10

So if you add two ipv6 hosts in the same day for the same domain you _have_ to manually add a serial >10 for the second host (and so forth).

For the ones who don’t like downloading but would like to see the script source, here it is:

  1 #!/bin/sh
  2 
  3 usage () {
  4         echo "Usage: $0 <domain> <hostname> <v6 IP> [zone serial]"
  5         echo "Usage: $0 foobar.gr www 2001:db8:1001::1"
  6         exit 1
  7 }
  8 
  9 if [ $# -lt 3 ]; then
 10         usage
 11 fi
 12 DOMAIN=$1
 13 HOSTNAME=$2
 14 v6IP=$3
 15 INPUT_SERIAL=${4:-10}
 16 FULLHOST="$2.$1."
 17 
 18 ADMIN_PASS=`cat /etc/psa/.psa.shadow`
 19 MYSQL_BIN_D=`grep MYSQL_BIN_D /etc/psa/psa.conf | awk '{print $2}'`
 20 PRODUCT_ROOT_D=`grep PRODUCT_ROOT_D /etc/psa/psa.conf | awk '{print $2}'`
 21 SERIAL=`date +%Y%m%d${INPUT_SERIAL}`
 22 mysql="${MYSQL_BIN_D}/mysql -N -uadmin -p${ADMIN_PASS} psa"
 23 
 24 query1="SELECT dns_zone_id FROM dns_recs where host like \"$DOMAIN%\" LIMIT 0,1"
 25 ZONE_ID=`echo "$query1" | $mysql`
 26 echo "ZONE_ID=$ZONE_ID"
 27 query2="INSERT INTO dns_recs (displayHost, host, displayVal, val, type, dns_zone_id) VALUES ('$FULLHOST', '$FULLHOST', '$v6IP', '$v6IP', 'AAAA',$ZONE_ID)"
 28 echo "$query2" | $mysql
 29 
 30 query3="UPDATE dns_zone SET serial=\"$SERIAL\" WHERE id=$ZONE_ID LIMIT 1;"
 31 echo "$query3" | $mysql
 32 
 33 echo "REBUILDING zone file for $DOMAIN"
 34 $PRODUCT_ROOT_D/admin/sbin/dnsmng update $DOMAIN

The script has been tested with bash and zsh. I have no idea whether it works under any other shells.
The script probably won’t delete your databases, but…use it at your own risk :) I hope someone finds it useful.

Using halevt to automount media and make them appear on ROX desktop

With the recent addition of halevt in Gentoo’s portage it is now relatively easy to automatically mount media like USB sticks and CD/DVD discs on /media.

What I wanted to do was to emulate my previous set of configs and scripts that ivman used to create icons of automatically mounted media on ROX desktop (called pinboard). I am using ROX pinboard on top of my favorite window manager, fluxbox.

The idea is that halevt is started by the fluxbox startup config file and when a new device is attached to the computer, halevt config calls a script that creates an icon on the ROX pinboard using ROX rpc. When a device needs to be removed ROX pinboard is configured to call a special eject command that checks for a couple of things before unmounting the device and calling the script to remove the icon from ROX pinboard.
Apart from automatically mounting/unmounting of devices I have also added a nice option in the halevt config to unmount and eject the CD/DVD drive when the eject button on the device is used and of course when the CD/DVD is not in use. That emulates a bit the windows behavior that so many users have gotten used to.

Since the script used by halevt involves a lot of file reading/writing and parsing I thought it would be wise to convert my old rox.panelput bash script to perl. And I was correct, the speed difference, even for such simple tasks is more than noticeable.

The installation process. Please take notice of the user executing the commands, $ is for normal user, # is for root:
0) create /usr/local/bin/ path and put it in your shell’s PATH
# mkdir /usr/local/bin
$ echo "export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/bin/" >> ~/.bashrc

1) install halevt
# echo "sys-apps/halevt ~x86" >> /etc/portage/package.keywords
# emerge halevt

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Convert greek characters from latin1 mysql database fields to pure utf8

The Problem
To sum it up, the case is this: many many many web applications were programmed so that they used latin1 collation for their fields inside mysql databases. But most users now use utf8 from within their browsers. What happens is that utf8 characters are getting stored inside latin1 fields, which in return produces chaos! A huge web application that used that kind of madness was WordPress. Luckily (or not) WordPress now uses utf8 everywhere. I’ve known many many many people that got so frustrated when they tried to move from their old WordPress installation to a newer one because all their greek posts couldn’t be exported “easily”, I won’t say “properly” because there are always solutions to problems like this, but all the solutions were not straightforward at all, that they finally dumped the idea of moving the posts and started a new blog.

This is a HUGE problem for many greek (and not only) users and I hope I now have an elegant(?) solution to it.
(more…)