Thursday, March 26, 2015

Windows cacls.exe cheatsheet

The windows cacls.exe is a confusing, un-intuitive, and poorly documented tool. I'm recording a few of my more frequent examples here as a cheat sheet.

Give all users full control over all files and subdirs in a directory:
cacls.exe target_dir /t /e /g Users:f

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

[SOLVED] fatal error C1902: Program database manager mismatch; please check your installation

I was running the Visual Studio compiler by ssh'ing into a cygwin SSH server running on windows and running "cmd /c msbuild" which gave me this error:
fatal error C1902: Program database manager mismatch; please check your installation
But strangely, if I connected over RDP and ran exactly the same command in a windows worked. This email led me to the solution so I'm giving it a signalboost. It turns out that if you authenticate to the SSH server with a key you run as a different user and in a login environment that somehow messes up the visual studio build process. You can see the difference by running whoami as below.

If you authenticated with a password you should see a proper username (in this case vagrant):
$ /cygdrive/c/WINDOWS/system32/whoami.exe
But if you authenticate with a key, you'll see something like this:
$ /cygdrive/c/WINDOWS/system32/whoami.exe

Monday, March 23, 2015

Building a Windows Vagrant VM to use WinRM

You basically have two options for talking to windows vagrant VMs. WinRM or SSH. For ssh you'll need to install cygwin's openssh server, or another ssh server. If you use cygwin you'll end up ssh'ed into the cygwin environment, which may confuse scripts you use that are expecting regular windows command shell. If that's the case, you need winrm. I followed these instructions, which also have some great tips for reducing the box size.

But I still had some trouble setting up WinRM. As a quick and dirty check before you go to the effort of creating the box, add a port forward in virtualbox for the winrm port 5985:
And try hitting this URL:
$ wget http://localhost:5985/wsman
--2015-03-23 13:25:00--  http://localhost:5985/wsman
Resolving localhost (localhost)... ::1,
Connecting to localhost (localhost)|::1|:5985... failed: Connection refused.
Connecting to localhost (localhost)||:5985... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 405 
2015-03-23 13:25:00 ERROR 405: (no description).
You should get a successful connection, but an error as above because this isn't a valid winrm call. If that doesn't work make sure you followed the vagrant instructions for enabling winrm. Try running this inside the VM:
winrm quickconfig -q
In my case quickconfig complained that:
WinRM firewall exception will not work since one of the network connection types on this machine is set to Public. Change the network connection type to either Domain or Private and try again.
But when I looked at network connections in the network connection manager I couldn't change the VirtualBox host networking adapter type as advised. This is a known problem where Windows 7 network connections get stuck in public, I fixed it with this tool from Microsoft. You can verify your winrm configuration is functioning correctly by installing pywinrm and running a command:
In [33]: import winrm

In [34]: s = winrm.Session('', auth=('vagrant', 'vagrant'))

In [35]: s.run_cmd('ver').std_out
Out[35]: '\r\nMicrosoft Windows [Version 6.1.7601]\r\n'

Switching a git checked-out repo from SSL to SSH

Occasionally I'll clone a git repo (or a tool will do it for me) over SSL like this:
$ git clone
Cloning into 'gxui'...
remote: Counting objects: 906, done.
remote: Total 906 (delta 0), reused 0 (delta 0), pack-reused 905
Receiving objects: 100% (906/906), 477.53 KiB | 0 bytes/s, done.
Resolving deltas: 100% (548/548), done.
Checking connectivity... done.
$ cd gxui/
$ git remote -v
origin (fetch)
origin (push)
But later on I might want to push code, which is more convenient over SSH since I have a github key added. Switch the remote like this:
git remote set-url origin
$ git remote -v
origin (fetch)
origin (push)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Install a OS X .dmg or .pkg from the commandline

If you have a dmg, you need to attach it:
hdiutil attach GPG_Suite-2015.02-b5-1161.dmg
Then install it:
sudo installer -pkg /Volumes/GPG\ Suite/Install.pkg -target /