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Installing and using RAVADAVDI on Debian Jessie

Introducing RAVADAVDI

This is an incredible effort to bring the power of VDI to you using only open source libraries and tools. It is mainly developed in PERL 5, and it relies on KVM for virtualization, and Spice for sound, I/O and graphics. Of course, there’s still a lot of things to polish, such as increasing its security: it does not implement any sort of encryption save for TLS on the ravadavdi web framework part (by means of using Apache, for example). The way the user authenticates against the Spice remote server is poor; only a 4-character pseudo-random password easily prone to brute-forcing. But this is a start, and a hell of a start indeed! I’ve been testing this whole framework myself and I have to admit that I am impressed. Thus, I was a bit disappointed at discovering that it did not work out out-of-the-box on Debian systems. The installation is really easy, but only if you are deploying this solution on Ubuntu-based distros. A pitty. So I decided to have a look into it and make it work for Debian Jessie.

First Issue: MySQL version < 5.6

You can follow the instructions and install the framework on your Debian Jessie box up until the “Ravada Web User” section ( Debian Jessie ships with MySQL 5.55.084, and according to RAVADAVDI documentation, MySQL 5.6 is required. But in fact, it does not use anything from MySQL 5.6 that is not present on MySQL 5.55, so you can still use this framework without the pain of updating your MySQL version. MySQL 5.55 does not implement a DEFAULT value for DATETIME fields; therefore if you try to add a new user using the rvd_back perl script, you will get an error:

rvd_back –add-user lud.test
INFO: creating table messages
DBD::mysql::db do failed: Invalid default value for ‘date_send’ at /usr/share/perl5/ line 276.

You need to replace the field “date_send” in the table “messages”, which is of type DATETIME,  with  TIMESTAMP. TIMESTAMP fields in MySQL 5.55 does implement a DEFAULT value:

CREATE TABLE `messages` (
`id_user` int(11) NOT NULL,
`id_request` int(11),
`subject` varchar(120) DEFAULT NULL,
`message` text,
`date_send` timestamp default now(),
`date_shown` datetime,
`date_read` datetime,
KEY `id_user` (`id_user`)

Use your favourite ASCII editor and make this small alteration in the file /usr/share/doc/ravada/sql/mysql/messages.sql.

Second Issue: no kvm-spice binary

Reading the RAVADAVDI documentation we notice:

Debian jessie has been tried but kvm spice wasn’t available there, so it won’t work.

which is not true at all. Spice is already available on Debian Jessie. All you need to do in order to test that is to run the strings command on the kvm binary in Debian Jessie:

cat /usr/bin/kvm
#! /bin/sh
exec qemu-system-x86_64 -enable-kvm “$@”

strings /usr/bin/qemu-x86_64-static |grep spice

So, Debian Jessie does have spice support on the qemu-kvm package. The problem here is that on Ubuntu systems, there’s a file /usr/bin/kvm-spice, whereas on Debian Jessie there isn’t. To fix this, you can create a symlink and be done with it:

# ln -s /usr/bin/kvm /usr/bin/kvm-spice

Third issue: “persistent update of device ‘graphics’ is not supported”

This is a reported and well-know issue of libvirt0. The workaround on Debian Jessie systems is to add the backports repository and install spice from it:

apt-get -t jessie-backports install libvirt0

After that, make sure you have the right version running on your system:

apt-cache madison libvirt0
libvirt0 | 3.0.0-4~bpo8+1 | jessie-backports/main amd64 Packages
libvirt0 | 3.0.0-4~bpo8+1 | jessie-backports/main amd64 Packages
libvirt0 | 3.0.0-4~bpo8+1 | jessie-backports/main amd64 Packages
libvirt0 | 1.2.9-9+deb8u4 | jessie/main amd64 Packages
libvirt0 | 1.2.9-9+deb8u3 | jessie/updates/main amd64 Packages
libvirt | 1.2.9-9+deb8u4 | jessie/main Sources
libvirt | 1.2.9-9+deb8u3 | jessie/updates/main Sources

You should have version 3.0.0-4 instead of 1.2.9-9.

Four issue: “Unsupported machine type”

Finally, whenever starting a new VDI you will get this error:

ERROR starting domain status:’done’ ( libvirt error code: 1, message: internal error: process exited while connecting to monitor: redir -device usb-redir,chardev=charredir0,id=redir0,bus=usb.0,port=1 -device virtio-balloon-pci,id=balloon0,bus=pci.0,addr=0x6 -msg timestamp=on (process:29263): GLib-WARNING **: /build/glib2.0-ETetDu/glib2.0-2.48.0/./glib/gmem.c:483: custom memory allocation vtable not supported qemu-system-x86_64: -machine pc-i440fx-xenial,accel=kvm,usb=off,dump-guest-core=off: Unsupported machine type Use -machine help to list supported machines! )

Crystal clear: the -machine argument passed to every single machine defined using the proper XML files are Ubuntu-based. So you have to edit these files and use the right -machine flag for your Debian Jessie distro. For example, edit the “Debian Jessie AMD64” VM XML definition file and replace pc-i440fx-xenial with pc-i440fx-2.1:

vi /var/lib/ravada/xml/jessie-amd64.xml

<type arch=’x86_64′ machine=’pc-i440fx-2.1′>hvm</type>

Of course, you can do as suggested in the error message and get a list of valid machines by issuing:

kvm -machine help


It is quick and easy to make RAVADAVDI work on Debian Jessie. And it is better to use Debian than Ubuntu most of the time. So now, following these instructions, you can also benefit from this incredible work and start using an open-source  VDI framework right away on your amazing Debian GNU/Linux distro!

It’s so dark, that it is not even implemented (yet) Part III

The DIME standard and its tool

After fixing the signet and genrec tools, I had a valid signet for my test domain “” and the DIME management record correctly set up in my dnssec authoritative server (see Part I and Part II of this series). I tried it using dig:

dig +dnssec @localhost txt|grep TXT
; IN TXT 120 IN TXT “ver=1 pok=E7gyvx3E6ksBVkg9CD5XBoXX18txj45iFSqtn9NLqjA tls=c2jM4G+EFZROQYNOyvwVSiQhgL5QW3UJN3CaIipR/Z4hjoSZoO72UlGXdKsAl1T1RQh+/h9rETD1+vaPbkIGCg” 120 IN RRSIG TXT 5 3 120 20170630110908 20170531110908 10287 f8+HE5fw6cSsEwI1CznT2CUoJsIE57Bb/PsoLM4eNlkaIMoWtsLrh8sL EJ2GG2UtoJihLLEXLn+cmEFP7HT9971qd309et48oZCvwBfki0MG0HLy 9rEoG0XgrWODjBU5BKQcSC/dqOogiqTul55TjnCTGBNydYCklolcCQzK Wprsoa2qiBcrW8GFOMDKeXDgx6W7nZiaiYQs5n4aCAHtbXDODz/c89qi FI/5DAFvw/weVwAeRjqNBed4AsCp3UVSu+M4arqItrMagqb53G9OORH/ g4+olkIxNKw0Wqvcez6yHiZyETj0zChiM3zOwk3nrkAw+jrp6Yvztzon Xf/qjQ==

So next step would be to use the dime tool in dev/tools/dime in order to test some addresses. Of course, it would not be that easy!


I built this tool and executed it in order to verify a particular user signet using the Full fingerprint of “” organizational signet. This came out:

../../dime -f ‘UlVB9t7+GcttbVzhDgdHqyZWFWRZQOfFXW8HQIoZX+Rk6JkuuizQzqmyRriQ1pU667FnhSzODVT9tPugwQjvUg’ “”
Querying DIME management record for:
Establishing connection to DX server…
Error: could not connect to DX server.
[0]: src/providers/dime/signet-resolver/dmtp.c:178 [_sgnt_resolv_dmtp_connect()]: 4 (an unspecified error has occurred), errno = 0, aux = “could not establish DMTP connection to host: DIME management record DNSSEC signature was invalid”

So I re-ran the command using the “-v -v -v” flags to add some verbosity:

../../dime -f ‘UlVB9t7+GcttbVzhDgdHqyZWFWRZQOfFXW8HQIoZX+Rk6JkuuizQzqmyRriQ1pU667FnhSzODVT9tPugwQjvUg’ “” -v -v -v -n

— Started parsing DIME management record…
— — VERSION: — [1]
— — PUBLIC KEY: — [E7gyvx3E6ksBVkg9CD5XBoXX18txj45iFSqtn9NLqjA]
— — DX: — []

— DIME management record for: — hashed —
—— version : 1
—— pok : 13b832bf1dc4ea4b0156483d083e570685d7d7cb718f8e62152aad9fd34baa30 [1]
—— tlssig : [not present]
—— policy : experimental
—— syndicates: [not present]
—— dx : [1]
—— expiry : [not present]
—— subdomain : strict
****** This record was retrieved with an INVALID DNSSEC signature.

According to the previous output, the DIME management record was successfully read but its signature (RRSIG) was invalid.

Again, going through the sources I ended up here:

int _load_dnskey_file(const char *filename) {
// The ttl is unlimited and we don't want to save this entry to the cache.
if (!(dk = _add_dnskey_entry_rsa(dname, flags, algorithm, pubkey, keytag, rdata, rdlen, 0, 0, 1))) 
    RET_ERROR_INT(ERR_UNSPEC, "unable to import DNS root key entry");
// Any key from a local file is automatically validated.
dk-->validated = 1;

In my case, the “root-anchor.key” file located in /root/.dime/ already had the “.” and “” DNSKEYS. According to the previous code, any DNSKEY in that file would be automatically validated. Clearly, this was not the case. The memcached daemon was working fine, so I though that maybe the issue should reside in the way the object was constructed and then added to the cache. So I modified the  _add_dnskey_entry_rsa function so that, inside it, the key was already validated before adding the object to the cache:

dnskey->pubkey = pubkey;
dnskey->keytag = keytag;
dnskey->do_cache = do_cache;
dnskey->validated = 1;

Once this change was made, I re-built the dime tool and tried again:

++++++ This record WAS retrieved with a valid DNSSEC signature.
Establishing connection to DX server…
— Returning cached DIME record.
– Attempting DMTP connection to DIME record-supplied DX server #1 at …
—- Initialized openssl library.
—- Initialized SSL context with cipher list: ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384
— Established TCP connection (IPV4) to
– Attempting validation in x509 certificate chain: localhost.localdomain (level 0); verified = no / 18
– Attempting validation in x509 certificate chain: localhost.localdomain (level 0); verified = yes / 18
— Successfully established TLS connection to

So far so good; but after passing the signature validation of the RRSIG field, the tool blocked right after establishing a valid TLS connection to the DMTP Magma server. Again, reading the sources I discovered where the new issue resided:

if (!(banner = _sgnt_resolv_read_dmtp_line(session, NULL, &bcode, 0))) {
        RET_ERROR_INT(ERR_UNSPEC, "unable to read DMTP banner");
while (nleft && (!(lbreak = strstr((char *)session->_inbuf, "\r\n")))) {

Dime was expecting the server’s banner; inside _sgnt_resolv_read_dmtp_line the freezing happened because the tool was expecting “\r\n” as the end-of-line, but the server was returning only “\n” (this would be clearly demonstrated by looking inside the commands.c file in the srv/servers/dmtp directory later on; keep reading) So the loop never ended, and the whole dime tool blocked. I altered the line like this:

while (nleft && (!(lbreak = strstr((char *)session->_inbuf, "\n")))) {

This time it worked:

– Continuing verification of self-signed DX TLS certificate …
– DX TLS certificate matched DIME record signature.
– DX TLS certificate verification succeeded automatically (TLS cert match + dnssec).
– DX certificate successfully verified.
– Attempting to verify fingerprint (UlVB9t7+GcttbVzhDgdHqyZWFWRZQOfFXW8HQIoZX+Rk6JkuuizQzqmyRriQ1pU667FnhSzODVT9tPugwQjvUg) for signet:
Error: signet verification failed.

The connection to the DMTP server was fine this time, but the signet could not be verified. That was odd, because I made sure to have that user signet already installed in the database. So I tried the connection to the DMTP server myself using the openssl connect command:

openssl s_client -crlf -connect

220 DSMTP Magma

Then, I tried the EHLO command and the VRFY command to no avail:


I tried some other commands, according to the specs document reference to no avail either. The only ones working were: RST, NOOP, and QUIT. So I went, once again, through the sources and I found simple function placeholders for the DMTP commands:

 * @brief       Specify the destination domain for a message in response to an DMTP RCPT command.
 * @param       con             the DMTP client connection issuing the command.
 * @return      This function returns no value.
void dmtp_rcpt(connection_t *con) {
        con_write_bl(con, "250 RCPT COMMAND COMPLETE\n", 26);
 * @brief       Specify the origin domain for a message in response to an DMTP MAIL command.
 * @param       con             the DMTP client connection issuing the command.
 * @return      This function returns no value.
void dmtp_mail(connection_t *con) {
        // Spit back the all clear.
        con_write_bl(con, "250 MAIL COMMAND COMPLETE\n", 26);
 * @brief       Process an DMTP MAIL command.
 * @param       con             the DMTP client connection issuing the command.
 * @return      This function returns no value.
void dmtp_data(connection_t *con) {
        con_write_bl(con, "451 DATA FAILED - INTERNAL SERVER ERROR - PLEASE TRY AGAIN LATER\n", 65);

So, basically, the DMTP server is not functional at all yet. This surprised me a lot, because there’s a talk at Defcon in 2014 where Ladar shown his MAGMA server capabilities (there’s even a video showing the direct communication and sending of DMTP commands via Telnet). If you are as mystified as I am, go watch it: (minute 40:00).

So maybe they have been tuning things a bit, or they have decided to start afresh, or whatever. I opened a new issue on @github but they have deleted it. So, well, as far as I’m concerned, DIME and MAGMA are far from being something to test and deploy. Hopefully, this great idea would come to fruition, eventually. In the meantime, I suggest to keep an eye on this project.

It’s so dark, that it is not even implemented (yet) Part II

The DIME management record

According to the specs document, the DIME standard is based on “the DIME management record”. This record, set as a new sort of TXT record in a DNS domain server, will allow other DMTP-capable servers to communicate securely and privately with no information leakage. Its the cornerstone of the standard, so to speak. This record, of course, has only one mandatory field (POK), and a bunch of optional ones. The Public Organisational Key (POK for short) can be easily obtained by means of using the signet tool, as described in my previous POST. However, and according to the specs document, an additional TLS field must be provided in order to secure the channel. When using dnssec, it is possible to have a self-signed server certificate, but it is mandatory to provide the TLS field in the DIME management record; otherwise there is not going to be any valid TLS communication using the DMTP (DSMTP in this case) protocol.

Inside the dev/tools directory there is a tool called “genrec”. This is the tool you are supposed to use in order to generate this record for your DNS authoritative server. Well, as expected it did not work.


I had my new signet and my MAGMA server set up accordingly; next step I guessed was to generate my DIME management record. So I built the genrec tool and executed it:

../../genrec -k -c tls.localhost.localdomain.pem
Error: could not read ed25519 POK from keyfile.

Of course I should have generated a new TLS file (this file has the certificate and the private key), because my test domain was “”. However, this had nothing to do with the issue at hand. Again, I delve into the source code and I found this:

if (!(pemdata = _read_pem_data(filename, "ED25519 PRIVATE KEY", 1))) {
    RET_ERROR_PTR(ERR_UNSPEC, "unable to read ed25519 private key data from PEM file");

So, genrec was looking for a file with the tags “—–BEGIN ED25519 PRIVATE KEY—–” and “—–END ED25519 PRIVATE KEY—–“. Guess what? The private keys file that was generated using the signet tool had these ones instead: “—–BEGIN ORGANIZATIONAL SIGNET—–” and “—–END ORGANIZATIONAL SIGNET—–“. This is a clear example of forgotten left-overs!

So because I was a bit impatient, I made a copy of my file and then I changed the tags accordingly. Again, genrec complaint about not being able to read the key. So more code-delving! A bit later, I ended up here:

if (!(keys_bin = keys_file_serialize(filename, &keys_len))) {
    RET_ERROR_PTR(ERR_UNSPEC, "could not retrieve keys binary string");
key = keys_signkey_from_binary(keys_bin, keys_len);

The previous code snippet was reading a total of 73 bytes! Obviously, a valid key is 32-byte long (after being base64-decoded, of course). So I had a quick look at the way the signet tool was generating and reading the keys. Loaded with this useful information, I set about to modify the function _load_ed25519_privkey, the one performing the loading of the private keys file for genrec (the commented-out lines are mine):

ED25519_KEY * _load_ed25519_privkey(char const *filename) {
        ED25519_KEY *result;
        //unsigned char *keydata;
        //char *pemdata;
        //size_t klen;
        if (!filename) {
        /*if (!(pemdata = _read_pem_data(filename, "ED25519 PRIVATE KEY", 1))) {
                RET_ERROR_PTR(ERR_UNSPEC, "unable to read ed25519 private key data from PEM file");
        // TCG: proceed as the signet code; first read from the key file:
        if (!(result = dime_keys_signkey_fetch(filename))) {
                RET_ERROR_PTR(ERR_UNSPEC, "unable to read ed25519 private key data from PEM file");
/*      keydata = _b64decode(pemdata, strlen(pemdata), &klen);*/
//      _secure_wipe(pemdata, strlen(pemdata));
//      free(pemdata);
//      printf("Keylength: %zu\n", klen);
        /* Okay, something is really wrong here. The klen is 73 bytes!! */
//      if (!keydata /**/|| (klen != ED25519_KEY_SIZE)/**/) {
        if (!result) {
/*              if (keydata) {
                        _secure_wipe(keydata, klen);
                RET_ERROR_PTR(ERR_UNSPEC, "bad ED25519 key data was read from file");
/*      if (!(result = malloc(sizeof(ED25519_KEY)))) {
                _secure_wipe(keydata, klen);
                RET_ERROR_PTR(ERR_NOMEM, "unable to allocate space for ED25519 key");
        memset(result, 0, sizeof(ED25519_KEY));
        memcpy(result->private_key, keydata, sizeof(result->private_key));
        _secure_wipe(keydata, klen);
        ed25519_publickey_donna(result->private_key, result->public_key);*/
        return result;

After this change, I re-built the genrec tool and tried again:

../../genrec -k -c tls.localhost.localdomain.pem
ver=1 pok=E7gyvx3E6ksBVkg9CD5XBoXX18txj45iFSqtn9NLqjA tls=c2jM4G+EFZROQYNOyvwVSiQhgL5QW3UJN3CaIipR/Z4hjoSZoO72UlGXdKsAl1T1RQh+/h9rETD1+vaPbkIGCg pol=experimental sub=strict

This time it did work; I made sure the POK value was the same by calling signet: they matched up. So I added the DIME management record to my zone file and re-signed the entire zone: 120 IN TXT “ver=1 pok=E7gyvx3E6ksBVkg9CD5XBoXX18txj45iFSqtn9NLqjA tls=c2jM4G+EFZROQYNOyvwVSiQhgL5QW3UJN3CaIipR/Z4hjoSZoO72UlGXdKsAl1T1RQh+/h9rETD1+vaPbkIGCg”

dnssec-signzone -l -o -k

So far so good. But there’s still more to come! See you guys in Part III!