fping on windows

I started working on a ping plotter a while ago and back then I still was on linux and was currently getting into C. Now that I’m not on linux anymore I kinda dropped the project for a while. After that pause I’ve finally gone back I decided to ditch C and write it in Python since I’m developing it on windows but want it to work on linux aswell. The ping plotter is supposed to ping an ip over a timespan and then make a graph out of the latency values. For that I’ll use the ping command since that’s the easiest way to get latency values without adiministrative rights. The issue is that the windows ping.exe and the linux ping command return different outputs so formatting them means I have to differenciate between windows and linux.

After some searching I came across fping which is a custom ping program for linux. It’s designed to be used in scripts which digest it’s output. So now the only issue is to compile that for windows. I used cygwin for it since nobody seems to have done it before me. Sadly the build script returns errors when compiling. So here’s how I fixed that:

First get the sourcode from the releases. Now we’ll need to convince cygwin that we have the right headers. Download this header file (made by John Paul Morrison) as icmp.h. Copy it into these folders and replace it with the icmp.h that is in those folders (That one is empty, you can open it if you want):

\usr\include\icmp.h
\usr\include\cygwin\icmp.h

The path to cygwin will usually be C:\cygwin64\ or C:\cygwin\. Now you can run

$ ./configure
$ make

Now you’ll have a fping.exe in the ./src/ folder. Run a command prompt as admin and then run something like

C:\fping\src>fping.exe -s google.com

That should give someting like this

google.com is alive

       1 targets
       1 alive
       0 unreachable
       0 unknown addresses

       0 timeouts (waiting for response)
       1 ICMP Echos sent
       1 ICMP Echo Replies received
       0 other ICMP received

 36.6 ms (min round trip time)
 36.6 ms (avg round trip time)
 36.6 ms (max round trip time)
        0.038 sec (elapsed real time)

Pretty cool, huh? But if you read carefully it needs adminstrative rights on windows and root rights on linux so all of that was kinda wasted… I’ll just use the output of the native ping commands instead but if anyone needs fping on windows here you go. For those whore are to lazy to compile it themselves you can download my compiled binary for windows here (By the way there seems to be an infected version of fping on the web so if you need some confidence, that this one isn’t a virus heres a virustotal scan or scan it yourself). It’s completely unmodified and all credits go to the original authors.

I’ll now go back to getting back into python and formatting ping command outputs. Wohoo.

Wifi issues

This is something that I already dealt with about a year back but it has come again to hunt me. A year back I tried to make use of an old laptop (An IBM T23 to be exact) and install linux on it. The laptop doesn’t have any internal wifi card so I went with an old wifi usb drive. But that thing was already hard to use on windows so getting it to work on linux was a whole different story. First I needed ndiswrapper to get the windows driver to work. But that didn’t do the trick so I went ahead and asked on the Arch linux forums. In the end I dug up a solution which worked for me back then.

A year later I dig up another laptop (An IBM T41 this time) and tried the same procedure. Sadly the thing that did the trick last time wasn’t the whole solution. After some more careful reading of my old thread I put together what is needed to get a wifi pci card or a wifi usb drive to work on an old ibm with linux:

First you need ndiswrapper. For Arch it’ll look like this:

$ sudo pacman -S ndiswrapper

If you have issues running ndiswrapper later you might need the linux headers:

$ sudo pacman -S linux-header

Next up we need to install the driver:

$ sudo nidswrapper -i <driver>.inf

The *.inf file is usually distributed with the driver, sometimes it’s inside the *.exe which means you’ll need to extract it using cabextract.

Now you want to plug in the device of which you just installed the driver and run

$ ndiswrapper -l 

This will list all installed drivers and wether or not the device is present. If it says so the driver is correct and the device is recognized. Now with most devices the last thing you want to do is load ndiswrapper on startup using

$ sudo ndiswrapper -ma

And since this is your first time using it you’ll have to load it manually once:

$ sudo modprobe nidswrapper

Now the device should be ready to use and you can connect to your network using a network mananger or wpa_supplicant. But for me this wasn’t all that was needed. What I need to do is disable ipv6 by editing /etc/sysctl.d/40-ipv6.conf

net.ipv6.conf.all.disable_ipv6=1
net.ipv6.conf.<wifi device>.disable_ipv6=1

You can find the device name by typing ip link and for me it was the last listed device. The next thing to do is add these two lines to /etc/dhcpcd.conf

noipv6rs
noipv6
# Also comment out the line that says something like 'ipv4all'

Now this command has to be executed on every startup:

$ sudo dhcpcd <wifi device> --nohook mtu
# Once again get the wifi device with ip link

Now finally we’ll generate a wpa_supplicant config using

# wpa_passphrase <Networkname> <network password> /home/<username>/wifi.conf

You can get your exact Network name by scanning for networks over:

$ sudo pacman -S wifi-menu
$ sudo wifi-menu

Don’t use wifi-menu to connect (It’ll probably not work, but you can try).

Finally we can use the config to connect via wpa_supplicant:

sudo wpa_supplicant -D wext -B -i <wifi device> -c /home/<username>/wifi.conf

To automate the connection you can follow the Arch wiki or create a service.

And that’s it, wasn’t all that hard, right? 😛

Livestreamer without commandline

Update: Livestreamer has been discontinued and has been replaced by StreamLink. So everytime I mention livestreamer just imagine I’m talking about StreamLink. It’s a fork of it and works exactly the same.

Now that my adventures on linux are over for a while I realized that some things are a lot harder on windows than on linux. For example: I use livestreamer (Now Stream Link) to watch livestreams in VLC.

VLC playing a livesteam over livestreamer

Originally because I wanted to avoid the Flash player and now that almost everyone has switched to HTML5 I use it only for convenience. On linux I started livestreamer like this:

$ livestreamer high & disown

Which allowed me to close the command line afterwards. Sadly windows doesn’t work that way so I always have to leave the cmd window open. But when something’s annoying enough I’ll fix it at some point and with this problem it’s possible over a *.vbs script.

This is the script I’m using (pastebin.com):

Dim streamer
Dim quality
Dim link

streamingSite = “twitch.tv”       ‘ The Site you want to grab the stream from
default       = “gamesdonequick”  ‘ The stream that is shown by default in the text box
defaultq      = “high”              ‘ The default quality

streamer = InputBox(“Enter livestream channel”, “livestreamer”, default)
quality  = InputBox(“Enter quality”, “livestreamer”, “high”)

link = “livestreamer ” & streamingSite & “/” & streamer & ” ” & quality & ”  –http-header Client-ID=jzkbprff40iqj646a697cyrvl0zt2m6″

CreateObject(“Wscript.Shell”).Run link,0,True
Set objShell = Nothing

Just save it as a *.vbs file and change the three variables to fit your needs and when launching it you should see this:

After clicking ok on the second dialog it’ll take some time, and if Livestreamer is installed correctly and finds a player (eg. VLC) you should see the player opening with the livestream and no command line. The last thing I did was make a shortcut of it and give it a nice icon.

MPD Query

So I mentioned in another post that I use mpd and ncmpcpp to listen to music. The positive thing about this is that I can just close ncmpcpp when I don’t need it anymore and the music will continue playing, since mpd is responsible for the sound which is running completely in the background. Now sadly I have no indicator about what song is playing right now.

So I looked if anybody made a patch for dwm to display the current song, but everything I found didn’t really work for me. And I didn’t want a bash script to be running in the background. So I found a few people suggesting to make a simple C program to query the current song.

Now this is easier said than done, since I have no idea how to use mpd and C. The first thing I did was download the source code of mpd and copied the include directory into my project folder. So now I can write a program utilizing code from mpd. Now for the tricky part: Getting my program to connect to mpd and get the song name and some other information. I had some example code which showed how to connect and get the play time of the current song, so that helped a little bit, but getting the song name doesn’t work the same way.

For experienced people this task probably would be a thing of ten minutes but I not only had to deal with how mpd worked I also had to figure out how C works. And most time that was me writing like three lines of code, compiling it and finding out it compiled fine but crashed when running. So here’s what I have done so far:

Created a Makefile where the include directory (which containes the headers of mpd) is:

Makefile

VERSION = 3.02
CC      = /usr/bin/gcc

mpdq: mpdq.c
    $(CC) -o mpdq -lmpdclient mpdq.c

So this way compiling is just the command ‘make’. Next up is writing the actual code which started by me finding out how the main method looks in C and then moving onto actually fiddling with mpd. To work with mpd I needed these two headers:

#include <mpd/client.h>
#include <mpd/stats.h>

When those are included and the compiler doesn’t complain about not finding them you should be able to access the necessary methods to connect and query information from mpd:

struct mpd_connection  *connection = mpd_connection_new(NULL, 0, 0);

This will open a connection to the local mpd and return the pointer to the connection if it succeeded. The three arguments are only needed if the connection is to another computer. After that we want to get the current song and from that we can read most Song tags:

// Get current song as a struct
struct song = mpd_run_current_song(connection);
// Read name and artist
char *song_name   = (char *) mpd_song_get_tag(song, MPD_TAG_TITLE, 0);
char *artist_name = (char *) mpd_song_get_tag(song, MPD_TAG_ARTIST, 0);

And that is technically everything important to read information from mpd. The only other things I did were putting this in a loop, adding a command to make it appear in the dwm bar, differentiating between paused/playing and  cleaning up when closing. That’s all I have done up until now. I’ll see if I can get some controls like pause/play into the dwm bar but for now this’ll suffice.

DMEDYKJ

Here‘s the source code and here‘s a binary build. Just give it the run flag with chmod a+x and when running it should display the current song in the top left corner (Provided you use dwm and a song is playing in mpd :P).

Rocket League on Linux

So recently Rocket League got a linux version, which is currently in beta. But since I’m currently using Linux more than windows I thought I’d give it a try.

On Windows my controller just works when plugged in and is directly configured correctly. On linux, sadly it needs a little more work. Nothing surprising. So what I did was look around and found out that the default driver for controllers and joysticks, xpad, does not support Xbox controllers and any controllers that mimic them. Mine is some cheap Xbox 360 knockoff but it works just like an original one and I never had any issues on Windows.

So for linux, you’ll need a custom driver called xboxdrv. For the arch linux users, you can get it on the AUR here. I suggest you use an extention for pacman to support the AUR like yaourt, which makes installing software from the AUR a whole lot easier.

So when I got my hands on xboxdrv I started it as root (which is required) just to find out that Rocket League does not like it. Loading the driver works perfectly and programs like PPSSPP or other games work just fine. But in Rocket League I had several problems like constanly going in reverse without pressing any button, constantly looking up and other strange mismappings for the buttons. So after a lot of googling I stumbled upon someone else who happened to have issues with Rocket League and his controller as well. He posted his config for xboxdrv, which I promptly tried out and reduced to the important part. And with that config it worked perfectly without any issues and the exact same button mappings as on windows.

So here’s what I did:

Write this to a config file e.g. /home/username/xboxdrv.conf

[xboxdrv]
 silent = true
 mimic-xpad = true

and then run xboxdrv with the config:

$ sudo xboxdrv --detach-kernel-driver --config /home/username/xboxdrv.conf

And that’s it you can set it up so the driver runs in the background as a daemon but I’m waay to lazy to do that since I only need it for Rocket League 😛

Arch linux and dwm

So this is not the first time that I use arch and dwm, but after getting a new video card and cpu I took a break from using it and went back to windows.

Now that I’ve used windows for a while I decided to take a look at arch again. Sadly, like last time I used it, I had a few annoying issues when installing it. But those were mostly faults on my side.

Arch linux is a really customizable linux distribution which allows you to modify it from the ground up to fit your needs. That also means that installing process takes place in the console. No fancy GUIs. But the basic installation is a pretty straight forward process if you follow the guide.

What you get when booting the installation medium

Sounds like a doable thing, right? Well when I did this the first time the only issues I had were with dualbooting. Which ended up toasting my bootmanager. But that can be fixed with a windows installation disk. So booting the installation medium this time just got me a black screen. Fantastic. Later I found out that that is because I have a “fairly” new nvidia card which need the extra kernel parameter nomodeset to even get to the console.

So after all that and making sure that grub played nice with my windows partition I ended up installing xserver and other things I needed. That was when arch asks you which package you want for libgl. Theres a vesa package (I think that’s the opensource one) and three nvidia packages. Great. Now on the wiki it tells you which you need for your video card but reading the wiki is for loosers so I used the next best package. After installing the nouveau driver, which is the opensource driver for nvidia cards everything looked good. Until I rebootet and got a blackscreen instead of dwm. Now that’s not the first time I had that happend, I once had that on ubuntu as well when I installed the video card driver.

So the first thing where I don’ goofed is in the .xinitrc file. That file is executed when you start the xserver (which is responsible for the fancy nancy graphical stuffs). In there you tell it what window manager to start. But before starting my window manager I ran another command which prevented my window manager from starting. Soo yeah, that explained the blackscreen. After fixing that I found my desktop to be in a very low resolution, but at least I saw a desktop.

I spend about an hour trying to fix this problem by intalling the nvidia drivers from the repositories and the offical website switching between blackscreens and a low res desktop and ended up reinstalling arch completely.

This time I directly installed the proprietary drivers and tadaa, everything worked out fine. I still need to configure a few things like auto mountin usb drives and mounting my windows partition. But all in all I’m happy to get a break from windows from time to time and use linux.

My current setup (Open programs are caja and surf)

For dwm I applied the following patches systray and pertag so I have a sytem tray aswell as seperate modes for all virtual desktops.

That’s it. I also installed mpd and ncmpcpp, just because it looks cool 😀