C# – MVC Identity login with WebAPI

Having an existing C# MVC application with Idenity authorization there was a necessity to implement the same Identity authentication with WebAPI within the same web application and allow a desktop app to authenticate via WebAPI.

The way to get this working is to implement the MVC login authentication generated into the WebAPI controller. The last POST method is the one used to authenticate from the desktop app that uses HTTP Post. The way shown here, the username and password are accepted (and therefore have been submitted) in plain text JSON format. You need to implement your encryption method to get this secure.

using Microsoft.AspNet.Identity;
using Microsoft.AspNet.Identity.EntityFramework;
using Microsoft.AspNet.Identity.Owin;
using Newtonsoft.Json.Linq;
using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Net;
using System.Net.Http;
using System.Web;
using System.Web.Http;

namespace MyAppNameSpace
    public class WebApiController : ApiController
        private ApplicationSignInManager _signInManager;
        private ApplicationUserManager _userManager;

        public WebApiController() { }

        public WebApiController(ApplicationUserManager userManager, ApplicationSignInManager signInManager)
            UserManager = userManager;
            SignInManager = signInManager;

        public ApplicationSignInManager SignInManager
                return _signInManager ?? HttpContext.Current.GetOwinContext().Get();
            private set
                _signInManager = value;

        public ApplicationUserManager UserManager
                return _userManager ?? HttpContext.Current.GetOwinContext().GetUserManager();
            private set
                _userManager = value;

        // GET: api/WebApi
        public IEnumerable Get()
            return new string[] { "value1", "value2" };

        public HttpResponseMessage Post([FromBody]JToken jsonbody)
            AccountController accountController = new AccountController();

            dynamic data = JObject.Parse(jsonbody.ToString());

            string userId = data.userid;
            string userPassword = data.password;

            var result = SignInManager.PasswordSignIn(userId, userPassword, false, false);

            if (result.Equals(SignInStatus.Success))
                return new HttpResponseMessage(HttpStatusCode.Accepted);
                return new HttpResponseMessage(HttpStatusCode.Forbidden);

Having the controller ready, the next step is to call the method via our desktop app to perform the login:

private void LoginPostRequest(string username, string password)
                var httpWebRequest = (HttpWebRequest)WebRequest.Create("";
                httpWebRequest.Method = "POST";
                httpWebRequest.ContentType = "application/json; charset=utf-8";
                httpWebRequest.Accept = "application/json; charset=utf-8";

                using (var streamWriter = new StreamWriter(httpWebRequest.GetRequestStream()))
                    string loginjson = new JavaScriptSerializer().Serialize(new
                        userid = username,
                        password = password


                    var httpResponse = (HttpWebResponse)httpWebRequest.GetResponse();
                    using (var streamReader = new StreamReader(httpResponse.GetResponseStream()))
                        var result = streamReader.ReadToEnd();
            catch (Exception ex)
                throw new Exception(ex.Message);

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VTK re-compile (for Python) with PowerCrust algorithm support

The following was performed with VTK 5.8 and Python 2.7.8 on Debian Wheezy x86_64.

  1. Get the VTK source-code: http://vtk.org/VTK/resources/software.html
  2. Get the Tim Hutton’s PowerCrust C++ source-code: https://github.com/timhutton/vtkpowercrust
  3. Unzip both archives
  4. Copy the C++ files (.cxx & .h) into VTK/Hybrid
  5. Edit VTK/Hybrib/CMakeLists.txt and add the PowerCrust .cxx file
  6. cd VTK; mkdir build; cd build; ccmake ..
  7. Set desired installation directory
  9. While on ccmake first configured [c] and then generate [g]
  10. make && make install
  11. cd Wrapping/Python; python setup.py install
  12. Assuming all go well export the VTK libraries: export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/<installation_path>/lib/vtk-5.8

VTK export JPG from DICOM

Exporting .jpg image copy from .dcm input using VTK in Python.

# Iterate through .dcm files and export to .jpg
for image in os.listdir(PathDicom):
if (image.endswith(".dcm")):

# Need to cast before writing to .jpg
castFilter = vtk.vtkImageCast()

# .jpg file write
writer = vtk.vtkJPEGWriter()
jpg_filename = image.replace(“.dcm”, “.jpg”)

Disable internal audio

Have been working with Ardour lately and the multiple audio devices (internal + PCI) have been causing issues both on output and input. The easiest workaround is removing totally the unused sound card, which in my case was the internal Intel HDA. The single step required was to blacklist the module of the sound card. You can identify the module by “lspci” and then blacklisting the module is straight forward:

vi /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist

and add the line

blacklist <module name>

A single reboot should do the job or you could unload the module instantly. Although, reboot would confirm whether the blacklist function worked or not.

GoogleMaps API multiple markers

I have a database with some records that among other details they also declare a local (Greek) street addresses. The requirement is to retrieve all these records from the database and display them with markers on a Google Map. Before everything, if you want to get an idea on how the API works see the following links:

GoogleMaps API – Getting started
GoogleMaps API – Simple markers

The flow for my task has as follows:

– Connect to database
– Retrieve all the locations from DB
– Convert Greek characters to Latin for avoiding issues with the Web Service request [ code on code.loon.gr ]
– Use GoogleMaps API to retrieve GPS coordinates based on the given location
– Parse JSON response
– Use JavaScript to add the markers layers

Full code on GitHub.


Remote cPanel backup via FTP

Here is the scenario:

– Domain that needs to be backed up (public_html, mail, database).
– Only access available via cPanel and FTP.
– Need automated daily full backup.


– Take full backup on server and compress its contents (cronjob on remote server)
– Download via FTP the compressed file to the local machine (cronjob on local machine).
– Delete compressed file.

There might be tools that do this, although I didn’t come across any while looking on the web. I implemented a simple solution based on bash scripts that gets the task done.

backup.sh: Goes on the remote server to run as a cronjob.
ftp.sh: Runs locally (on the machine that will store the backup) as a cronjob.
.netrc: Defines the FTP account details (stored in /home/$user/.netrc)

Gmail SMTP relay with Postfix

The following configuration has been performed in Debian but should apply in any Linux distro with Postfix installation. The task quite simple: use Gmail as SMTP relay for outgoing email traffic.

1) At first place I had to install the following packages and turn off sendmail:

apt-get install postfix mailutils libsasl2-2 ca-certificates libsasl2-modules
service sendmail stop

2) Then edit the configuration file at /etc/postfix/main.cf by adding the following options at the end of the file:

# Gmail SMTP relay
relayhost = [smtp.gmail.com]:587
smtp_sasl_auth_enable = yes 
smtp_sasl_password_maps = hash:/etc/postfix/sasl_passwd
smtp_tls_CAfile = /etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt
smtp_sasl_security_options =

3) Create the authentication file at /etc/postfix/sasl_passwd and set the right permissions:

[smtp.gmail.com]:587    <username>@gmail.com:<password>
chmod 400 /etc/postfix/sasl_passwd

Make sure the file is owned by the user who runs the Postfix daemon.
4) Reload Postfix:

service postfix reload

5) Confirm the configuration is actually working by sending a test mail:

echo "Test mail from postfix" | mail -s "Test Postfix" pkritikakos@isbs.gr

The sender of the email should be the given Gmail account. Also, in the “Sent” folder of the Gmail account you should see the email you have sent with Postfix.

If your domain is using Gmail’s infrastructure for handling emails, you can replace @gmail.com with your domain and use the corresponding account details.

NOTE: This configuration will be sending any system message as “username@gmail.com” and therefore is not advised to be used in multi-user environment.

Java HTTP library

Being in need to issue POST requests from within a Java application, and wanting re-usable code, I created a very simple Java library for issuing POST and GET requests to a remote server.

POST source codeGET source code

Usage (POST example):

POST post = new POST();
post.postRequest("http://www.myservice.com/service", "param1=foo&param2=bar", "Mozilla/5.0");

In other words, the arguments are:


The output can be manipulated as desired, depending on what you response you except you should use a corresponding element/object.