Download all files from a Google Cloud Storage bucket (in OSX)

To download all files from a Google Cloud Storage bucket (if you are using Google Cloud services like App Engine etc) is actually quite easy but you’ll need to use gsutil to do it. See the docs at You will need the Google Cloud SDK installed so you can run “gcloud”.

I’m using OSX and did the following:

Download gsutil from

Extract to your home directory:

tar xfz gsutil.tar.gz -C $HOME

Go to $HOME/gsutil and check the version, it may ask if you want to update Google Cloud components:

gsutil version -l

If you need to, update Google Cloud components:

gcloud components update

Authenticate with your Google Cloud account:

gcloud auth login

Set the correct project (in this case “project101″):

gcloud config set project project101

Copy everything recursively from the bucket “bucketname” to the directory “bucketname”:

gsutil -m cp -R gs://bucketname


Find and Kill HTTP Server Process Running on Port 80 or 8080 in Apple Mac OSX

I’m using a Mac to do Java development and occasionally need to kill the process running my development HTTP server on port 8080. It’s only 2 commands in the terminal.

Find the process running the HTTP server on port 8080:

lsof -n -i4TCP:8080 | grep LISTEN

Which returns something like:

java 554 myusername 62u IPv6 0xe02c342ea983a2b1 0t0 TCP *:http-alt (LISTEN)

The process ID is the second column (554 in this case), so kill the running HTTP server with:

kill 554

Compare Two MySQL Database Structures Using mysqldump and diff

To compare two mysql databases in linux/osx you can use a very simple script that calls the “mysqldump” and “diff” commands to output the difference in structure of two databases to an output file. In this case I was comparing my local database with another at IP address You will be prompted for passwords but to avoid this you can add “-pYOURPASSWORD” (less secure):

mysqldump --no-data --skip-comments --skip-extended-insert --host= -u root -p DATABASENAME>file1.sql
mysqldump --no-data --skip-comments --skip-extended-insert --host= -u root -p DATABASENAME>file2.sql
diff file1.sql file2.sql > diffoutput.txt
rm -f file1.sql
rm -f file2.sql

Forward ports in Ubuntu Server 12.04 using ufw

We needed to forward port 3307 to port 3306 to get around a new company wide firewall restriction blocking access to port 3306 (our MySQL server). It was a pain to find how to get port forwarding working in Ubuntu Server 12.04, which uses “ufw” as a front end to “iptables”. I couldn’t get it working without specifically forwarding to my IP, which I shouldn’t need to do (but at least it works).

This will forward port 3307 to 3306 so you can connect to your.ip.add.ress:3307 and have it automatically connect to a server (such as MySQL) on port 3306.

To do this you need “ufw” to be enabled, which you can check with “sudo ufw status”.

Make sure the ports you need are allowed:

sudo ufw allow 3307

Now open up “/etc/ufw/before.rules”:

sudo nano /etc/ufw/before.rules

Go to the bottom of the file and put:

# nat Table rules
-A PREROUTING -i eth0 -p tcp -m tcp -d your.ip.add.ress –dport 3307 -j DNAT –to-destination your.ip.add.ress:3306

Restart “ufw” to make sure everything worked ok:

sudo ufw disable
sudo ufw enable

Now when you connect to port 3307 it will forward to 3306.

Fix iptables error “Loading additional iptables modules: ip_conntrack_netbios_n[FAILED]” in XenServer 6 (and others)

As part of setting up and testing routing rules in XenServer 6 I used the built in “lokkit” tool to temporarily turn off the firewall. Unfortunately, just opening the tool overwrote our custom “/etc/sysconfig/iptables” rules and cleared the file. This wasn’t a huge problem as we had a backup and just recreated it (you shouldn’t really be editing iptables manually anyway). On restarting iptables using “/etc/init.d/iptables restart” we received the error:

Loading additional iptables modules: ip_conntrack_netbios_n[FAILED]

This is very easy to fix and is due to a setting in “/etc/sysconfig/iptables-config” which was set by “lokkit” by default. The issue is that iptables is trying to load the “ip_conntrack_netbios_ns” kernel module, which doesn’t exist by default in XenServer (and other linux distributions).

Find the following line at the top of “/etc/sysconfig/iptables-config”:


And set to:


A few people have said to also set “IPTABLES_MODULES_UNLOAD” to =”no”:


But I found that “/etc/init.d/iptables restart” still failed so I left it as “yes”. You may be able to set to “no” so try this first.

This will stop the missing kernel module being loaded and allow iptables to start properly.

If you get any other errors about loading modules when restarting iptables, check “/etc/sysconfig/iptables-config” isn’t trying to load something in “IPTABLES_MODULES=” that you don’t have installed.

Installing a Network Shared HP LaserJet 4050 in Windows 7 x64

This is fairly specific but was difficult to find a fix for. The HP universal print driver cannot be used when installing a LaserJet 4050 that is not attached directly to your PC. The problem is down to the plug-n-play ID for the printer not being found and the driver not installing correctly. Thanks to the guys on the HP Support Forums I found a solution.

Initially I tried just installing the universal printer driver and adding a network printer (with the correct machine and printer name) but it couldn’t find the driver. I even manually selected the download folder for the driver “C:\HP Universal Print Driver\pcl5-x64-″ but it wouldn’t have it.

Next I tried adding a local printer on LPT1 (with no physical printer present) and using the same driver. This didn’t work.

The solution is to add a local printer using LPT1 then click the “Windows Update” button, wait a few minutes then select Manufacturer “HP” and Printers “HP LaserJet 4050 Series PCL 5″. This will install a working driver, which is then used automatically when you add a network printer.

Use a Spring InitBinder to Resolve Type Mismatch and Bind Exceptions in POST from Spring Framework MVC Forms to Controller Actions

As a follow up to the previous article on binding entities and their children to form objects in Spring Framework it’s important to know how to submit the values of form objects in a standard form back to the controller. In the previous example we had a “Parent” entity, with a dropdown “select” on the form where you could choose one of the available “Children” objects. We also had a “Description” textbox that allowed the user to type in a suitable description.

The actual form, a very simple interface with both these elements and a submit button looks like:

<%@ taglib uri="" prefix="c" %>
<%@ taglib uri="" prefix="form" %>

<c:url var="saveParentUrl" value="/parent/save" />
<form:form modelAttribute="parent" method="POST" action="${saveParentUrl}">
Description:  <form:input path="description"/>
Child:  <form:select path="child" id="child" items="${children}" itemValue="id" itemLabel="name"/>
<input type="submit" value="Save Parent" />

In this example, when the user clicks on the “Save Parent” button the form will be posted to the “parent” controller action “saveParent” at “/parent/save” where we can save the updated “Parent” object.

Now the problem is that the POST header only contains text strings, not a full description of the actual “Child” object we have chosen for “Parent”. When you try to save the “Parent” object in the controller action the result is an exception,  “org.springframework.validation.BeanPropertyBindingResult”. The error message itself tells you exactly what is happening:

default message [Failed to convert property value of type ‘java.lang.String[]’ to required type ‘models.Child’ for property ‘Child’; nested exception is java.lang.IllegalStateException: Cannot convert value of type ] to required type [models.Child] for property ‘Child’: no matching editors or conversion strategy found]

The message tells you that Spring can’t automatically convert from the POST string value of the “child” select option (actually “id” in our case) to an actual “Child” object. We need to convert this string to a “Child” object in order to save the updated “Parent” entity. This is easily achieved using an “InitBinder” method within the controller class and a “@Validated” annotation on the “save” action’s “Parent” “@ModelAttribute” argument.

The code for the controller action looks like the following. Note that in this example I am using a “parentService” to pull the protocol to be updated from a “Parent” stored in session. It is likely that you will have something different or even pass in the id as part of the POST:

@RequestMapping(value = "/save", method=RequestMethod.GET)
public ModelAndView saveParent (@Validated @ModelAttribute("parent") Parent formparent, HttpServletRequest request )
    // find parent to update in database using parent service
    Parent parent = parentService.findById(sessionparent.getId());

    // set parent description and Child based on user input and save

The “formparent” is the “Parent” object passed in POST and mapped by Spring using the “@ModelAttribute” annotation. The “InitBinder” required to map the “Child” id passed in as part of POST to an actual “Child” object is:

protected void initBinder(HttpServletRequest request, ServletRequestDataBinder binder) throws Exception {
    binder.registerCustomEditor(Child.class, "child", new PropertyEditorSupport() {
    public void setAsText(String text) {
        Child ch = childService.findById(Long.parseLong(text));

What this does is register a binder for the “child” object when it is passed from the form to Spring that converts the value to an actual object. By overriding the “SetAsText” function I use a “childService” service to retrieve the correct “Child” entity based on the text value passed in POST. Spring can now understand and convert the POST values to actual objects and the “Parent” entity can be safely modified by the “saveParent” controller action mapped to “/parent/save”. More information and some alternative methods are available at Develop and Conquer and Empire5.

Quickly add a Virtual Host to Apache Tomcat to Map URLs to Java Web Applications

Adding a virtual host to Apache Tomcat is really easy and just involves pointing the address at the right directory. This means you can map web addresses pointing at your server IP to Java web applications running on Apache Tomcat. This assumes you already have a hostname such as “” pointing to your server with an IP (for example) of

Just modify you server.xml file (in our Ubuntu Server tomcat7 setup in “/usr/share/tomcat7/conf/server.xml”) to include the following at the end of the file in the “Engine” element after the “Host” element for localhost:

      <Host name="localhost"  appBase="webapps"
            unpackWARs="true" autoDeploy="true">

        <!-- SingleSignOn valve, share authentication between web applications
             Documentation at: /docs/config/valve.html -->
        <Valve className="org.apache.catalina.authenticator.SingleSignOn" />

        <!-- Access log processes all example.
             Documentation at: /docs/config/valve.html
             Note: The pattern used is equivalent to using pattern="common" -->
        <Valve className="org.apache.catalina.valves.AccessLogValve" directory="logs"
               prefix="localhost_access_log." suffix=".txt"
               pattern="%h %l %u %t &quot;%r&quot; %s %b" />


      <Host name="" appBase="/usr/share/tomcat7/webapps/myapplication">
        <Context path="" docBase="."/>

Note here that the web address is and is being resolved to the application at “/usr/share/tomcat7/webapps/myapplication”. More information about this “Host” element is available at the Apache Tomcat website.

Binding Entities and Their Children to Java JSP Form Elements in Spring Framework MVC

Binding objects to JSP form elements is actually quite easy in Spring Framework using the “modelAttribute” and “path” tags. Our scenario was the use of two Hibernate POJOs comprised of a parent entity “Parent” and a single “Child” entity which needed to be displayed on screen with appropriate form elements (“input” and “select”). The entities were annotated for use as part of a larger application but the basic structure was:

public class Parent{
  private Int id
  private String description
  private Child child

public class Child{
  private Int id
  private String name

To display these objects on screen as part of a form in Spring Framework MVC we used the following “ParentController” controller with a “showparent” action. The action uses a “parentService.getParent(id)” method (not shown) to retrieve a single parent entity based on “id” and attach it to the form using a Map “model” and a returned “ModelAndView”. A “childService” is used to get the list of every possible child entity (also not shown) and this is also added to the “ModelAndView”:

@RequestMapping(value = "/showparent", method=RequestMethod.GET)
public ModelAndView protocolList(HttpServletRequest request)
	Map<String, Object> model = new HashMap<String, Object>();
	model.put ( "children", childService.getAll());
	model.put ( "parent", parentService.getParent(id));
	return new ModelAndView ( "showparent", model );

The form itself is very simple and uses Spring binding to automatically create and populate input fields:

<%@ taglib uri="" prefix="form" %>
<form:form modelAttribute="parent" >
Description:  <form:input path="description"/>
Child:  <form:select path="child" id="child" items="${children}" itemValue="id" itemLabel="name"/>

Spring Framework uses the “modelAttribute” and “path” tags to determine what is set on the form. In this case the forms “modelAttribute” is “parent” which means that the elements in the form are properties of the “parent” entity. The “description” is shown as the contents of a simple textbox input using “form:input”. The interesting part is the “form:select” which automatically populates the select with option objects based on the set of “child” objects in “children” and selects the correct “child” option for the “parent” based on the “itemValue”, “id” in this case.

Submitting changes to “parent” entities is covered in my more recent post.