Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sidewinder Admin Console Problem

In a previous post I talked about how to use wine on OS X and linux to run your Sidewinder Admin Console even though this is a windows only application. Well, something has changed.

This morning I was applying some patches and updates to my Sidewinder. I was a little bit behind, when all of a sudden my updating technique stopped working. I would log into the firewall, and it would inform me that I needed to update my client. So far so good; then it starts downloading the update. After a brief pause it tells me that it has successfully downloaded AC407.exe and asks if I want to shut down the client and install the update. Now here is where things change. In the past, I've said no to the application, opened my command prompt and gone to the ~/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/Secure Computing/Sidewinder 7 Admin Console/ac/ac_updater folder and ran the newest executable in the list. But this time around no executable is present. I tried using the find command to see if the executable had been saved in a new location, but no dice.

After trying a couple of times I went looking for new files on my system. I used the find command to see what files had changed in that directory recently:
cd ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/Secure\ Computing/
find . -newerct '5 minutes ago' -print
I found an interesting file called tempfile.pyc that appears to have been updated as I was downloading the executable. So I tried running pythonw.exe against that file, but nothing happened. I also tried to run pythonw.exe against ac_updater.pyc, which gave me an error about not being able to read the package list. Well, this is a start, but it doesn't get me much closer to getting into my admin console.

Of course, I'm going to keep looking for a way to make this work. I know that running that admin console on OS X is not supported, but I hate having to open a virtual machine to make a small change in a firewall rule.

UPDATE: I have a fix. The process that the admin console uses to update itself hasn't changed. It still tries to copy an executable to the client in the same directory, but for whatever reason it just wasn't showing up on my OS X machine. So I installed the updates on a Windows machine, and then I copied the executable over to my OS X machine and ran wine on the file. Now I'm back to running my firewall without having to use a virtual machine.

The lesson to be learned here, and something I should probably have impressed on everyone to begin with, is that you should still have a Windows machine with the admin console installed and available to you. You don't have to always use that, but if you're in a pinch you want to make sure that the supported option is available to you.

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