When running a CI job you may need to use some SAP tools. For instance, the MTA builder or Neo tools. Many CI servers include integration to build tools or plugins are provided by the community or vender. Jenkins offers plugins for Maven, Ant or Node that let you easily integrate these into a CI jobs. If you have a CI job for SAP, it is your task to make the necessary tools available. There are not many plugins for SAP available for Jenkins.
Some tools you may need can be found on SAP’s tool site. For instance, the MTA builder. A simple JAR file that is available for download and needed in case you are working with MTA apps.
Before you can download the JAR file, you need to agree to the EUL.
This means that you cannot download the JAR using cli:
Running the above wget command will not download the tool, but a web site. Some may know that this is very close to how Oracle protected it’s Java download. And the “solution” here is the same: send the right cookie via wget.
I have a git repository on SCP that I want to clone using git on my laptop. I thought this should be easy to do. The source code of my project is available in the git repo at SCP. Cloning the repo using git clone from this URL should work.
I did a), and b) did not apply, as I wasn’t asked for my SCN user ID nor password. SAP’s git troubleshooting guide contains a section about the error message. Good to know that there is a possible solution, but I already did already what the proposed solution to the error is:
„Ensure that you have the correct repository URL. Copy it from the Source Location section of the repository’s details page in the SAP Cloud Platform cockpit.“
As it is possible to access the repository in SAP Web IDE, it should also be possible to access it from outside SCP. I know that the git repository is protected. Maybe the requests from git cli is blocked by SCP? After all, I was not asked to authenticate. Maybe I can force SCP to ask me for my password? Changing the URL to include my SCN user ID did just that: I was asked to provide my password.
SCP is now asking for my password and – magic happening – the git service is now accessible and the repo can be cloned. Would be nice if the git service would ask me to authenticate instead of failing directly.
Configuring a reverse proxy is not an easy task. It involves some trial and error and dealing with unexpected errors. One of those errors is ERR_CONTENT_DECODING_FAILED. The web site won’t load in your browser and Chrome will show this error message:
Error ERR_CONTENT_DECODING_FAILED may show up in your browser when a resource is configured on your reverse proxy, and the backend communication is working. That is: the backend is returning data, but not in a form the browser expects. Like: browser expects a GZIP response, but receives plain text. Therefore the hint content decoding failed. Content received, but the browser is not able to decode / understand the data.
To solve this error, reset the Accept-Encoding request header in your Reverse Proxy configuration.
While setting up OpenVPN I came accross some common errors or workarounds that make life easier. To make it easier to remember these I have documented them in this blog. Maybe they are useful for others as well.
Remove pass phrase
In case you want to remove the pass phrase from the server key to make it easiert to start the OpenVPN server part, use the following command:
You’ll have to enter one more time the pass phrase of the key, and then a new server.key file is written without the pass phrase. You can see this when looking into the key files.
With pass phrase:
Note: file starts with: BEGIN ENCRYPTED PRIVATE KEY
Without pass phrase:
Note: file starts with: BEGIN RSA PRIVATE KEY
Run OpenVPN as a service on Linux
After installing openvpn via yum on AWS AMI Linux, a service script is also installed. How the file works and can be activated is written in the file itself:
The file should already be copied by yum to /etc/rc.d/init.d/openvpn
Activate the service
Check whether or not openvpn is already configured to run as a service. For each run level, the status is either on or off. In case of on, openvpn is already configured to run as a service. In this example, opevpn is not configured to run as a service in any runlevel.
sudo chkconfig --add openvpn
sudo chkconfig openvpn on
OpenVPN will now be started as a service in the run levels 2, 3, 4 and 5. Output of openvpn is then written to /var/log/messages
sudo tail -f /var/log/messages
To start and control openvpn via systemd. Check status of openvpn.
sudo systemctl status openvpn
Edit service configuration
sudo vim /etc/default/openvpn
Insert the client configuration to start automatically. Here, I am going to start client1.conf:
sudo systemctl start openvpn
sudo systemctl status openvpn
Solving common OpenVPN connection error message
Some information on how to solve common OpenVPN error message on the server and client. Most occur when trying to start OpenVPN for the first time.
Client starts connecting but no connection is established.
TLS Error: cannot locate HMAC in incoming packet from [AF_INET]
Server is configured to use ta.key.
Copy the ta.key into the openvpn configuration directory and specify its location in the conf file.
Cipher final failed
OpenVPN server accepts a client connection, but communication fails.
Authenticate/Decrypt packet error: cipher final failed
Server and client are using different algorithms for encryption and decryption. On the server, the log gives more information:
WARNING: 'cipher' is used inconsistently, local='cipher AES-256-CBC', remote='cipher BF-CBC'
Server uses AES-256-CBC, while the client is using BF-CBC. Adjust the client configuration in client.conf. Insert cipher AES-256-CBC in client.conf
Other parameters to adjust
During first startup, some warning message may be written on the server log. Most common they refer to link-mtu, cipher, keysize or comp-lzo.
WARNING: 'link-mtu' is used inconsistently, local='link-mtu 1557', remote='link-mtu 1542'
WARNING: 'keysize' is used inconsistently, local='keysize 256', remote='keysize 128'
WARNING: 'comp-lzo' is present in remote config but missing in local config, remote='comp-lzo'
Adjust the parameters in the client.conf file so that they match the server configuration. Also good to check this way if a not controlled/configured client is connecting to your server.
Configure the client to use the same mtu size as the server. Insert parameter link-mtu into client.conf.
Keysize used by client and server should be the same. Insert parameter keysize into client.conf.
After configuring and running both the OpenVPN server and client, it’s a good idea to test if the VPN is working. This involves some tests on both the server and client.
After the server is started, a new interface should be created. Run ifconfig to get a list of all available interfaces. In case tun is configured in the conf file as device type, a new interface with name tun0 is created.
Check server log for client connection
In case OpenVPN is started as a service, the log can be found at /var/log/messages. If you start it directly on the command line, the log will be shown on the shell. When a client connects, the log of the server shows the connection information.
tail -f /var/log/messages
The last lines show client1, meaning that the client not only connected, but is also correctly identified as client1. The connection is working.
Start OpenVPN and the client will try to connect to the server specified in the client.conf file. Client connecting and receiving IP.
After the connection was established, the client is also creating a new interface named tun0. Here a client named client1 connects and receives the IP 10.8.0.6.
Easiest way to test that client and server can talk to each other is to ping both. Just run a ping from the server to the client IP, and from the client to the server IP. For this, the VPN IP address must be used (e.g. 10.8.0.x).
OpenVPN uses certificates to authenticate the server and clients. Therefore, the client needs to have a valid client certificate. This certificate needs to be issued by the CA server that also issued the certificate of the OpenVPN server. In my case, this server is installed together with the OpenVPN server on the AWS EC2 instance. The process to create the client certificate is the same as with the server certificate, only the certificate type must be client, or: TLS Web Client Authentication. This is done by specifying the client parameter in the generate certificate request command.
Depending whether or not easy-rsa or any other tool to generate a certificate request is available on the client, the request can be generated directly on the client. The vantage by creating the request on the client is that the private key will stay on the client. In my example, I’ll make use of the already available infrastructure on the OpenVPN server and generate the client request and certificate on the server and copy later the generated artifacts over to the client.
Create client certificate
Log in to the CA (OpenVPN) server and issue a client certificate request. The name of the client will be client1. Note that you can use a different name, like the FQDN of the client.
sudo ./easyrsa gen-req client1
As with the server certificate, give a passphrase and common name.
Next: sign the client1 certificate by the CA.
sudo ./easyrsa sign-req client client1
You need to confirm the signing request by entering yes and informing the pass phrase of the CA certificate.
The client certificate is now issued.
Private key: easy-rsa/pki/private/client1.key
Public certificate: easy-rsa/pki/issued/client1.crt
Move these files to the OpenVPN client.
OpenVPN client Installation
The client going to connect to the OpenVPN server running on AWS EC2 is a Raspberry Pi. The RP uses a Debian based Linux, therefore apt is used to install software. On the RP, install OpenVPN. Easy-rsa is not needed, as the CA is running on the EC2 instance.
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install openvpn
Create a openvpn directory. Can be in /etc/ or in your user’s home. Put the client’s public certificate and privte key there. To use HMCA for additional security, copy the ta.key file from the server there too.
Copy the OpenVPN sample client configuration to your openvpn directory and edit the file client.conf.
cp /usr/share/doc/openvpn/examples/sample-config-files/client.conf .
Adjust the following lines to point to the correct server (AWS EC2) and local certificates and key. Example:
remote server.domain.com 1194
tls-auth /home/tobias/openvpn/ta.key 1
The tls-auth parameter is needed in case the server is configured to use HCMA. The shared key ta.key from the server is needed for this to work.
Start OpenVPN client
To start the OpenVPN as client, run the executable and pass the path to the configuration file as parameter.
You need to provide the pass phrase of the client1 private key.
The client will automatically connect to the OpenVPN server defined in the client.conf file (remote parameter) and the given port (1194). Make sure that on AWS EC2, this port is accessible for the client.
If all works, the client connects to the server and gets an internal IP assigned.
Recently I got some new hardware that I will use to run some useful software. To use the software from anywhere, I’ll need to have remote access. As I cannot do DMZ or port forwarding with my new internet provider, I decided to connect my home server using VPN to a access machine running on AWS.
The AWS EC2 Linux computer will serve as my entry point. Services running on the RP at home connected via VPN can be accessed from EC2. Other computers at my home cannot be accessed, as the IP is different and no route is configured.
This setup comes with several architectural questions to solve:
How to ensure the communication is secure?
How to guarantee the tunnel is up?
How to enable access from EC2 to the services running on the client?
The client must be assigned the same IP for the services be accessible from EC2
How to give access to the services from the internet?
The three top question will be answered in my next blogs about how to set up OpenVPN server and client. The first question is the easiest to answer: by using a VPN solution. I am going to use OpenVPN and this blog is about how to setup OpenVPN. I’ll cover the installation on the EC2 instance and on the Raspberry Pi, as well as the initial setup with the certificates, server and client configuration and how to connect. Starting the client and server as service keeps them running and in case the connection fails, an automatic reconnect is attempted. The EC2 instance can access the services running on the client automatically. The last two questions will be answered sometimes later.
Install OpenVPN on EC2
The OpenVPN software is available in yum on EC2 Linux AMI. You may need to enable the REPL repository. I assume you did this already. The packages to install a openvpn and easy-rsa.
sudo yum update
sudo yum install openvpn easy-rsa
This will also install a public key to install a package and ask for your permission to do so.
The easy-rsa package is needed to set up a certificate authority. In case you do have a CA available, you can use your CA to generate the certificates used by OpenVPN. For those that do not have a CA available, take the easy-rsa functionality.
The command above installs easy-rsa 3.x. With 3.x, the way how to use easy-rsa and to set up a CA and issue the certificates changed. You can see in detail how to use easy-rsa 3.x at the documentation available at the GitHub project site.
OpenVPN uses certificates, and easy-rsa issues those certificates. Basically, you have two components of easy-rsa to deal with:
Configuration of OpenVPN is put and read from /etc/openvpn. Easy-rsa software should be in a separate folder, like /home/ec2-user/easy-rsa, but to keep all in one place I’ll put easy-rsa inside the /etc/openvpn directory.
Note: for real productive usage, don’t do this. Separate easy-rsa executables and config files.
Copy easy-rsa to your selection location. For this, first find out where easy-rsa is installed.
repoquery -l easy-rsa
Location is /usr/share/easy-rsa/3.0.3. I’ll copy these files to /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa.
Follow the steps outlined at the easy-rsa git site. For the following steps, go into the directory where easy-rsa is installed.
sudo ./easyrsa init-pki
This will create the CA certificate to sign certificate requests. In other words: whoever gets access to the private key of the CA created in this step, can create new valid OpenVPN clients for your setup. Take care of the CA certificate and key.
sudo ./easyrsa build-ca
You’ll need to enter:
PEM pass phrase
The passphrase is used to unlock the private key and is an additional level of security. Even when someone gets a copy of the private key of your CA, without the pass phrase the key is not usable. The common name is used to identify the CA. I used the FQDN of my web server. After execution these two commands, the CA is initialized and can be used to issue certificates.
Generate Diffie-Hellman parameters.
sudo ./easyrsa gen-dh
Generate OpenVPN server certificate
The OpenVPN server needs a certificate issued by the CA to identify itself against the clients. This is a nice “feature” when using PKI. Server and client can validate the other side. Both need just to trust the CA certificate for this. The difference between the two certificates (client and server) is the included type. This is done by including an additional value in the certificate specifying the type of certificate:
TLS Web Server Authentication for the server and
TLS Web Client Authentication for the client
Which kind of certificate is going to be issued is specified by the easy-rsa command when creating the certificate request.
Generate certificate request
Create a certificate request containing the identity information of the server and let this request be signed by the CA. By specifying the server parameter, the request is for a server and the CA will include the value TLS Web Server Authentication in the extension.
sudo ./easyrsa gen-req server
As with the CA certificate, inform a pass phrase that adds additional security to the private key and a common name to uniquely identify the server. I used server as CN. Of course, it could also have been openvpn.mydomain.com or something else.
Send the request to the CA and sign it to issue a valid certificate. With that, the CA information is added to the CA, making it official and clients that connect to OpenVPN server will know if they can trust the server. Only when trust is verified, a connection will be established between the server and client.
sudo ./easyrsa sign-req server server
You’ll need to confirm the request by typing yes and the pass phrase.
The following certificate is needed to harden the overall security of OpenVPN. As OpenVPN is using TLS, it makes sense to add HMAC to validate integrity of the packages received. For this to work, a shared secret key is needed. This key will be written to a file named ta.key.
Take a sample configuration file as a template. Can be found in the doc folder of openvpn. The sample configuration file for the server is server.conf, and for the client, client.conf.
ls -1 /usr/share/doc/openvpn-2.4.4/sample/sample-config-files/
Copy server.conf to /etc/openvpn and edit the file.
sudo cp /usr/share/doc/openvpn-2.4.4/sample/sample-config-files/server.conf /etc/openvpn/
sudo vim /etc/openvpn/server.conf
Adjust the path to the ca, cert, key and dh files
These parameters inform OpenVPN where the certificates and Keys are stored. The CA cert ca.crt is used to validate the client certificates. They must be issued by this CA. The server.crt and server.key are used by the OpenVPN server to encrypt traffic and authenticate itselfs against clients. Diffie hellman dh.pem is used to provide Perfect Forward Secrecy.
Start OpenVPN server
To start the OpenVPN server and to test the current setup, run the following command:
sudo openvpn /etc/openvpn/server.conf
During startup, you need to provide the passphrase of the server certificate.
If all works, OpenVPN starts without erros: Initialization Sequence Completed. After this, the server is waiting for clients to connect.
If someone is reading my blogs for the last years you may remember that I have once written about setting up OpenVPN for accessing SUP on AWS. That blog was all about Windows and is outdated. I wrote it in 2012. But, as I published it once at SAP Community Network, it is not available anymore. SAP lost it during their last migration.
7zip is a popular compression program for Windows. It allows to effectively compress files, split them into several archives and to add protection by using a password. This all works fine if you are a Windows user. In case you now want to extract such a multi part password protected file in Linux, you’ll find out that this isn’t a standard use case. Uncompressing these files involves some work. 7zip is not made available for Linux by the developer. Gzip or zip won’t work with 7zip compressed files. But: an unofficial version is available and it is possible to extract 7zip files in Debian/Linux.
You have some options available for installing 7zip for Debian, like apt or by compilation. The version you get with apt is quite old: 9.2. In case the version of 7zip used to compress the file on Windows is higher than the one available for Debian, uncompressing may not work. An algorithm may be used that is not available on the lower version. In that case, 7zr will exit with an error and showing Unsupported Method.
Compilation from source
This option will give you the latest available version of 7zip for Linux. Especially useful when you try to unzip a file and get the message: Unsupported Method. To solve this, try to install a higher version of p7zip by downloading the source and compile p7zip.
Get the latest version of p7zip from SourceForge. Unzip it and then run make. After the compilation is done, you’ll have the executable 7za in the bin folder. This version should be able to work with files compressed by 7zip for Windows. Make sure to read the README.
Copy the correct makefile. 7zip provides several makefiles, for each target platform / architecture. In case of Linux, the default one should work. To start compilation, a simple make is sufficient.
This gives you the binary ./bin/7za
Unzip a file multi-part password protected file.
7za x h1.7z
Install the 7zip program for Debian. This installs version 9.2.
sudo apt-get install p7zip
Let’s say we have 1 file that was zipped to file h1.7z using 7zip and splitter into 650 MB. 7zip produces 2 archives:
To list the archive:
7zr l h1.7z.001 -tsplit
We can see that the split archives contain one file named h1.7z. That is the zip file created by 7zip under Windows.
When you first start Docker, the size of this image is around 1.4GB. Adding containers, image, etc and it will grow to 64GB.
The 64GB default size can be seen when using qemu-img info:
qemu-img info ~/Library/Containers/com.docker.docker/Data/com.docker.driver.amd64-linux/Docker.qcow2
When this limit is reached, Docker should automatically increase the size of the image, but this isn’t working always. As a result, when the image is at 64 GB, you can get an error message stating that the device is full:
no space left on device
At least with my Dockerfile for SAP NetWeaver ABAP Developer Edition Docker is not increasing the image file dynamically. Because of this I had to split the automatic installation process in two parts: base image setup and installation. I guess that right now the SAP Installation is filling up space faster than Docker can react.
The Docker.qcow2 file is a VM disk. Therefore, it is possible to manipulate it like any other virtual disk: you can increase the disk size and access files within the VM disk when you mount the image in a VM. An easy solution to change the disk size Docker has available to store images and containers is to increase the disk size. This can be done by using Qemu and GParted.
Locate qcow2 on your Computer
Click on open in finder. Finder opens at the specified location.
Starting the virtual machine will take some time. Be patient. Next you’ll have to configure the GParted ISO image.
The default values should be enough. This gives you a keyboard, mouse, English and X. After that, Gparted is started and you should see the Docker.qcow2 disk in the Gparted app.
Select the disk and click on Resize / Move. In the new size (MiB) field, enter the new size of the disk you need. The disk size is allocated dynamically and won’t occupy immediately space on your physical disk. So don’t be shy. Assign all free space to the partition.
Click on Resize/Move and on the Apply button
Last chance to stop. But as you need the new free space for Docker, click again on Apply.
The partition will be resized. In case something goes wrong, please restore the backup of the Docker.qcow2 file you made previously.
After the operation finishes, you can see that the partition is now offering 164GB.
Shutdown the VM. As the Docker.cqow2 file changed was the original one used by Docker, you have only to restart Docker to benefit from the new image size. Now you can use Docker to run SAP NetWeaver ABAP with just one command. As the Docker.qcow2 file is empty, even when the image size is reported as 4 GB, compressed (zipped) it’s just a few MB.
With the new Docker disk file you can even start SAP NetWeaver ABAP without getting the “no space left on device” message.
Image creation works. The space occupied by just the SAP NetWeaver ABAP image is already at 65 GB.
Start a container
docker run -P -h vhcalnplci --name nwabap751 -it nwabap:latest /bin/bash
Change to user npladm
su - npladm
Problem with starting SAP
When you log in to your container and run startsap, the program will fail. It will report that no instance profiles were found.
Take a look at the available profiles.
ls -1 /sapmnt/NPL/profile/
During the installation, the installation script installed the profile files for the container with the dummy name 4f65[…], after starting the container, we specified a specific host name: vhcalnplci. Of course, these do not match and make sapstart fail.
Let’s adjust the instance profile configuration.
Substitute references to old hostname to correct one vhcalnplci
Mac is a nice computer for developing, MacOS and Apple can make your developer life a challange. After updating XCode – after all, why have a Mac when you do not develop iOS apps – it may happen that git stops working.