Country Onion Soup

Country Onion Soup

Serves 6-8

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 pounds yellow onions, thinly sliced (12 ounces)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup tomato puree (4 fluid ounces)
6 cups vegetable or beef broth
3 ounces spaghettini or vermicelli
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
salt, Cayenne pepper, and freshly ground black pepper

In a large soup pot, saute onions in olive oil until they start to caramelize, about 8 to 10 minutes. Season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Add garlic and cook 1 more minute. Add tomato puree and cook 2 more minutes. Add broth, stirring to incorporate. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, break pasta into 1 inch pieces. Uncover soup and season to taste with another 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. Bring to a boil and add pasta. Cook pasta in the soup until al dente. Add more hot broth or some water, if necessary, to make the dish as soupy as you would like.

Serve in warmed soup bowls. Garnish with grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

Amateur Radio

FCC Investigating Whether Cuban Government Is Jamming HAM Radio


Waiting for warmer weather

Waiting for warmer weather to continue working on the Mitsubishi MT372 tractor.


Mitsubishi MT372 Diesel Mini Tractor

Computers Home Improvement Information Technology

2012 WAP Install

My 2012 wireless access point installation. Used the existing doorbell wiring to pull CAT5e to the switch in the basement. Doorbell works and everything looks tidy.

Home Improvement

Heavy Duty Bulb and Bedding Plant Auger

I inherited this Heavy Duty Bulb and Bedding Plant Auger with the house. I’ve been using it for years to mix concrete, but I’ve finally been able to use it as intended. Tulips.

Bulb auger in use

Beekeeping Gardening


My mountain mint brings all the bees to the yard.

Honey bee on mountain mint

Honey bee on mountain mint

Amateur Radio Home Improvement

Pulleys for G5RV antenna

I bought two of these pulleys for my G5RV antenna. Nylon cord comes from the antenna’s insulators and is tied to a brick on each side. This allows the antenna to move with the wind or a tree limb.

Information Technology

SSH/SFTP Rsync backups done with chroot


Rsync, for those who aren’t familiar, is a file copy tool, which, after the first copy, will only send changes during subsequent updates. This makes it a very efficient tool, especially when used over an internet connection.

Anyway, to enable rsync from server A to server B, it is common to perform the login via key. This means that on Server A you’d generate a SSH keypair for your backup user, then copy the public key that was generated into the ~/.ssh/authorized_keys file for your backup user on Server B.

Because rsync is going to be executed automatically via cron script, it is necessary to create the key file without a password.


  • Configure your SSH server
    • Open up /etc/ssh/sshd_config
    • At the end of the file, tell SSH to create a chroot jail for your backup user:
      ChrootDirectory %h
      AllowTcpForwarding no
      PermitTunnel no
      X11Forwarding no

      Note, because of the way chroot works, you’ll need to make sure the chroot directory is owned by ROOT, even if it’s actually the home directory of your backup user.

  • Save, and restart your SSH server.

This gets you part of the way, you should now be able to SSH/SFTP into Server B using your backup user, and when connected, you will be restricted to the location set in ChrootDirectory.

Unfortunately, rsync needs more than this, and in order to copy files it’ll need access to the shell (I’m assuming bash), as well as the rsync application itself, together with whatever libraries are required.

Therefore, it becomes necessary to create a partial chroot image in the backup user’s chroot directory. You could do this the traditional way (e.g. by using something like debootstrap), which will create a mirror of your base operating system files in the chroot jail. However, this generally takes a few hundred megabytes at least, and if all you want is to copy some files, you don’t want to give access to more than you need.

Instead, I opt to create a skeleton chroot jail by hand.

The goal here is to mirror the filesystem of your server inside the chroot jail, so that if a file exists in /foo/bar, then you need to copy it to /home/backup-user/foo/bar, and make sure it’s owned by root.

  • Copy bash from /bin/bash to the directory /home/backup-user/bin/
  • Copy rsync (on my system this was in /usr/bin)
  • Next, you need to copy the symbolic link libraries to which these files are linked against. You can use the tool ldd to interrogate the executable and get a list of files to copy, e.g:
    root@server-b:/home/backup-user# ldd /bin/bash =>  (0x00007fff52bff000) => /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/ (0x00007f412810a000) => /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/ (0x00007f4127f06000) => /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/ (0x00007f4127b79000)
        /lib64/ (0x00007f4128340000)

    Copy the files which have directories into the appropriate locations, e.g./lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/ should go into/home/backup-user/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/

  • Do the same for /usr/bin/rsync
Computers Gallery: Tech Junk

Android Apps – August 2015

Here are the Android Apps I regularly use as of August 2015.

Home Improvement

Electric Earwig

A few weeks ago our downstairs heat pump failed. Cause? An earwig fell (or crawled?) into the space between the contacts on the 24 volt relay that send 240 volts AC to the heat pump. When it was zapped, it became stuck to the relay contact until cleaned.

Earwig on 24v relay

Amateur Radio

New license plates

Check out the clean plates on the dirty car!

Amateur Radio License Plate