Category Archives: key

VirtualBox Manager Pro – UI Updates and Stability

I have added a variety of user interface updates to the pro version. In addition to the toast popups actual notifications add a sence of feedback and depth to the program. I want the program to feel that its actually aware of what you are doing and processing interactions accordingly. I feel with recent enhancements this is becoming more and more the case.

I have fixed a couple of potential situations where an i/o exception can occur. I have also added enhancements that clarify a particular action based on the current state of setting. All in all the depth and feedback offered by the application is improving.

Without substantial feedback/comments by actual users, I see very little confusion using the app and no bugs. Every action performs accordingly. The primary situation I think users may encounter is the inability to login. In such a situation the connecting dialog will just continue to spin. VirtualBox Manager is designed for users to first login to a host using password authentication. Therefore for each host the first connection must be made to an ssh server with PasswordAuthentication set to yes in /etc/ssh/sshd_config. Withe the correct host/port/username/password set in the app, and port forwarding properly configured in a users router/network a connection will occur. The user can then click the menu, and select generate key; which generated a new 1024 bit DSA key. The user can view the private and public keys directly from buttons in the menu. There are strategic dialog boxes that state the user can then upload the key to the server, which automatically appends it to the bottom of ~/.ssh/authorized_keys2. Pressing upload automatically enabled key login for the particular host. Enabling and disabling key login is done via the hosts configuration options accessible on the main screen.

There are many checks to prevent confusion. A user cannot enable key login unless there is a key. Keys cannot be displayed/uploaded before they are created; which would be an i/o exception. There is also a warning when a user tries to generate a key when a key already exists. This can cause a problem that will prevent other hosts from loggin in; if the key changes it will no longer match the public key stored on the host. A dialog will appear explaining that password login will be re-enabled for the host, and that when the key is uploaded password authentication will be used. If a new key is generated the user must disabled key authentication for other hosts configured in the app; once logged in to other hosts using password auth the user can easily upload the new public key to the server, reestablishing key based authentication for the respective host.

After a public key is uploaded to the server password authentication can be disabled. This substantially diminishes and practically eliminates the possibility of a brute force intrusion.

The pro version adds support for 20 hosts, and 20 machines per host. This is done using a ScrollView wrapped around each activity. Its a logical addition. If users request support for more hosts it can easily be added.

I want to change the oncreate structure to each of the three activities. I want to initialize the buttons in a background thread. While the UI is fast and there is no visible delay I would like to code the oncreates as such. Frankly given the speed of recent phones I don’t think there will be any visible differences. Theoretically on a slower processor the activity would display with no button, and then as the thread processes the views they will display on the screen one by one.

I will add some additional features in time, but until comments start rolling in a new project is in the works. Linux Manager Pro. I’ll posts as it develops.

VirtualBox Manager Pro – Launched with Public Key Authentication

VirtualBox Manager Pro has been launched on the Android Marketplace. It has many enhancements over the free version. The user interface has additional notifications, and the most important feature, public key authentication, has been fully implemented. Once logged into a host using password authentication, VirtualBox Manager Pro can create a 1024 bit DSA encryption key, which can then be uploaded to the server. The upload method automatically appends the key to the bottom of the authorized_keys2 file. From then on pub key auth is used to connect to the particular host. Pub key authentication can be enabled and disabled in the hosts configuration menu. The application has many checks and when a situation may require explanation several dialog boxes have been strategically implemented to avoid problems with pub key authentication.

VirtualBox Manager Pro is excellent for serious IT departments that require minimum security requirements. Using pub key authentication the use of password authentication can be completely disabled. This is a huge security enhancement over the free version. VirtualBox Manager Pro is available for $19.99, and is targeting IT departments rather than the individual. Home users can utilize password authentication to a great extent without detrimentally exposing a server to internet based threats, whereas IT departments host servers that are business dependent.

Try VirtualBox Manger Pro today to experience a stable, intuitive, and fully function VirtualBox remote management solution.