Thursday, June 28, 2007

Misc Mac X11 Stuff

I like iTerm, but I have yet to waste enough time figuring how to get display forwarding for remote logins to work, so when logging into remote machine, I drop back to xterms. Here are a couple of tips:

1. From the xterm command line, use "ssh -Y" for easy X11 forwarding.

2. The default window is black and white and has tiny fonts. Create a .Xdefaults file in your home directory and give it some reasonable values, such as here:

Monday, June 11, 2007

Web 2.0 Tutorial Slides and Survey Doc

Some time ago , I promised to put my Web 2.0 musings for science gateways on this blog. These actually turned into a tutorial and a short book chapter, linked below.

Web 2.0 Tutorial slides are here:

My related survey document is here:

If I was in charge, Web 2.0 would be called Web 2.0 Beta.

Finally, anyone who thinks the Semantic Web is "Web 3.0" should think again.

Importing and Exporting Thunderbird Message Filters

Here's a nice little tool for importing and exporting. Files are text, so it works between Windows and Mac.

Note you don't want to click the install button, since you are installing in Thunderbird and not Firefox. Right click the link, save to desktop, and then install as an extension/add-on.

Friday, June 01, 2007

TeraGrid Single Sign On

I don't understand why the TeraGrid brain trust doesn't have this more clearly documented. You'd think they'd also want to automate all of the following steps.

If you get a Teragrid roaming account, you will get access to ~ a dozen clusters and supercomputers. You'll also get several different usernames and passwords for each site. It's a big mess.

Luckily, you can use your Grid credentials as a single sign-on (just like Kerberos!). This will save you from remembering 10 different usernames and passwords. Here are the steps:
  1. Login to one of the teragrid machines (I used one at SDSC) and create a grid public and private key pair. Use the "cacl" command.
  2. Copy your key pair (should be in your $HOME/.globus directory) to all other machines you plan to use. This can include your Linux/Mac desktop. If you use Windows, try Gregor's Java CoG kit.
  3. Run the gx-map command on all the machines you plan to use. This will automatically update the /etc/grid-security/grid-mapfile and add your local username and global DN. The update is probably done with a cron script, so it may take an hour or so.
You're done. Well, you may want to install Globus on your local desktop machine. This is a little heavy (you don't need all the services, probably), but it gives you access to all the command line clients, including GSI-enabled ssh.

GSI-enabled SSH is where the magic happens. This is should be located somewhere under your globus installation like $GLOBUS_LOCATION/bin/ssh.d/ssh. Do the following shell commands:
  1. export GLOBUS_LOCATION=/path/to/your/globus
  2. source $GLOBUS_LOCATION/etc/
  3. grid-proxy-init
  4. which ssh
Step #3 will get you a grid proxy credential that is good for a few hours (just like Kerberos!). Step #4 is a check to make sure that you are using the GSI enabled ssh. If not, modify your $PATH or use the full path as shown above.

You can now ssh to any machine in the TeraGrid as long as you have gx-mapped your self into the grid-mapfile. The grid-mapfile will take care of mapping your global DN identity (part of your grid keys) to your account name on the local machine.