Speed-up page loading time with pi-hole

Even though you are using pi-hole to stop showing ads which should speed-up page loading since it does not need to featch unwanted ad material.
But sometimes slow down your page loading, since many ads are delivered via HTTPS port 443.

Pi-hole only knows about domain being requested and it is blocking the ad domains on DNS level. It is not aware about the specific protocols used for ad delivery. Slowdown can occur waiting for HTTPS request to timeout to unreachable domain because you have blocked it on DNS level.

To speed things up you could use these three simple iptables rules:

iptables -A INPUT -p tcp -s 192.168.1.0/24 --destination-port 443 -j REJECT --reject-with tcp-reset
iptables -A INPUT -p udp -s 192.168.1.0/24 --destination-port 80 -j REJECT --reject-with icmp-port-unreachable
iptables -A INPUT -p udp -s 192.168.1.0/24 --destination-port 443 -j REJECT --reject-with icmp-port-unreachable

In this case my home network is 192.168.1.0 and all request coming from your local clients to pihole on ports 80,443 are rejected which should hopefully result in speedy page loading.

Save the rules in your local boot script or use iptables-save.

Mapping Sony Bravia remote RM-ED060 CEC for Android Kodi player

I recently bought an Android box to replace my Raspberry Pi 3 player running Xbian.

One of the features I love the most on Raspberry Pi is support for CEC, since I prefer to have only one remote in use. I have controlled Kodi by using my RM-ED060 remote from my Sony Bravia KDL-50W815B that looks like this:

I did some small customization to remote configuration in Kodi on Raspberry pi by hand and I wanted to keep as much of that with my new Android box.

In order to re-map keys I used Kodi add-on called keymap editor which allows you to map almost every key you want.

This is my current gen.xml file that can be found in Android/data/org.xbmc.kodi/files/.kodi/userdata/keymaps/

<keymap>
<global>
<keyboard>
<key id="61670">activatewindow(videos,tvshowtitles)</key>
<key id="61669">activatewindow(pictures)</key>
<key id="61668">activatewindow(music)</key>
<key id="61664">activatewindow(weather)</key>
<key id="61666">info</key>
<key id="61665">contextmenu</key>
<key id="61667">activatewindow(videos,files)</key>
</keyboard>
</global>
<fullscreenvideo>
<keyboard>
<key id="61453">osd</key>
<key id="61667">subtitledelayminus</key>
<key id="61668">subtitledelayplus</key>
<key id="61669">showsubtitles</key>
<key id="61670">activatewindow(subtitlesearch)</key>
<key id="61638">aspectratio</key>
<key id="61453">osd</key>
<key id="61665">info</key>
<key id="61666">codecinfo</key>
</keyboard>
</fullscreenvideo>
</keymap>

If you would like to have the same configuration without doing the re-configuration of the keys yourself, you should copy this file to the same directory.

If you are wondering what are those key id definitions, here are all the codes that I was able to identify with keymap editor for this TV:

61448 - Return/Back
61453 - Select/OK
61488 - 0
61489 - 1
61490 - 2
61491 - 3
61492 - 4
61493 - 5
61494 - 6
61495 - 7
61496 - 8
61497 - 9
61568 - Up
61569 - Down
61628 - Stop
61636 - Rew
61637 - Fwd
61638 - Rec
61664 - Guide
61665 - Options
61666 - Info
61667 - Red
61668 - Green
61669 - Yellow
61670 - Blue
61750 - Left
61751 - Right

Restore GRUB2 MBR with Debian based live ISO

When Debian based live ISO is booted start terminal and type:

mount -t proc proc /mnt/sda5/proc
mount -t sysfs sys /mnt/sda5/sys
mount -o bind /dev /mnt/sda5/dev
chroot /mnt/sda5 /bin/bash

Then run:

update-grub2
grub-install /dev/sda

Server side solution to stop redirect from http to https in Chrome

If you have configured your main web site domain to use SSL for example https://your.domain and https://www.your.domain and you have other sub-domains that you access without SSL you could face an issue where Chrome browser insists to use HTTPS on your sub-domains as well. This can cause problems accessing your sub-domain if it is not using SSL.

Even if you manually type http://subdomain.your.domain it will automatically redirect you to https://subdomain.your.domain Continue reading “Server side solution to stop redirect from http to https in Chrome”