Urs Riggenbach Webdesign, Consulting, Renewable Energies

My Time

Open Access to Renewable Energies

Since 2012 I've been working with GoSol.org toward initiating a global wave of solar enterpreneurship.

Practical Tools for Change

Building web-platforms and systems with purpose that connect actors, empower people and facilitate change.


Curriculum Vitae

I am a Web-Designer, Sysadmin and Renewable Energy specialist. I'm a UWC and COA graduate, Farmer, Human Ecologist, Open Source Enthusiast, Techno Peasant, Biker, Longboarder, Scout, Hiker, Junglist and Salsa dancer.

My mantra is Global Collaboration - Local Production.

I bring an international Baccalaureate from the United World College, India and BA in Human Ecology from the College of Atlantic, US.

Chief Operating Officer

June 2012 - now
Launch of innovative platform for the spread of solar thermal energy solutions.

Solar Fire Concentration Ltd, Finland
Chief Operating Officer

June 2012 - now
Solar thermal technology solutions in the humanitarian and industrial sector.
- Technological development, project management, IT consulting, web and communication.

Autodesk Inc, San Francisco
Pier 9 Impact Residency

February 2017 - May 2017
- Industrial CNC machine training (Waterjet, Lasercuting, 5 axis CNC)
- Rapid prototyping using state of the art CNC machinery

Oekozentrum Langenbruck, Switzerland
Swiss Civil Service

August 2013 - February 2014
- Support in research and development.

WWF Switzerland
Swiss Civil Service

February 2013 - July 2013
- Development of exhibition on renewable energies.

Sustainable Design/Build, Yestermorrow, USA
Semester course in sustainable design and building practices

- Instructors from the fields of architecture, construction and joinery/Carpentry
- Application of principles of sustainability and sustainable design in the architecture of a "tiny house" of 227 square feet.
- Project planning and management with different build milestones.
- Construction of entire tiny house, see it in New York Post "Tiny House 227".
- Study and implementation of HVAC systems.

College of the Atlantic, USA
Bachelor of Arts in Human Ecology

September 2008 - June 2012
- Relevant Coursework: Agroecology, Economic Development, International Water Resource Management, Physics II, Collaborative Leadership, Fieldwork: Seminar in Community-based Research, Documentary Film Making, Webdesign, Fixing Food Systems, Sustainability, Local Production - Global Collaboration.
- Senior project in Nepal installing renewable energy framework at rural school
- Spanish proficiency during project-stay in Yucatán, Mexico
- Davis UWC Scholar: full scholarship awarded

United World College, India
International Baccalaureate, IB

September 2006 - May 2008
- International Baccelaurate (IB) with major biology and economics.
- Course language English.
- Extended essay: Sugarcane Cultivation in the Mulshi Valley, India.
- Full Scholarship from the Swiss Association for UWC




Qemu Headless Install

Posted Thursday 25 May 2017 by Urs Riggenbach.

I use qemu to virtualize appliances on my servers, and I access them over SSH. Allthough SSH supports streaming X windows so it is possible to fire up a graphical install, it is not so convenient as the connection may drop and cancel the install.

A convenient workaround is to use qemu’s curses interface, where instead of a display, a terminal is attached to the virtual machine. That way you can install and use your virtual machines directly in the SSH terminal.

To install a new system from scratch, simply define the -hda, -cdrom and -boot flags, and add the -curses option:
qemu-system-x86_64  -hda /dev/sdc1 -m 1500 --enable-kvm -curses -cdrom images/debian-stable.iso -boot d

The Debian installer supports headless mode, but we have to add two settings at the boot prompt to make it work with curses.

1. Fire up qemu with the command above. Wait a few seconds, the screen will turn black after loading syslinux. Hit ESC, and enter:
install fb=none vga=normal

and follow the install. Voilà, you’re installing your VM in qemu directly over ssh.

Tip: To prevent losing the install if the network connection is lost, run the commands in a screen terminal.

LXC IPTABLES Error When Not Loading Kernel Module

Posted Tuesday 29 December 2015 by Urs Riggenbach.

Recently I was deploying a service that made use of Linux’s IPTABLES feature, but this time in an LXC container. LXC containers provide an extremely lightweight virtualization technology and a simple way to separate environments.

When loading IPTABLES rules in the container I encountered the following error:

ERROR: initcaps
[Errno 2] modprobe: ERROR: ../libkmod/libkmod.c:556 kmod_search_moddep() could not open moddep file '/lib/modules/3.16.0-4-amd64/modules.dep.bin'
ip6tables v1.4.21: can't initialize ip6tables table `filter': Table does not exist (do you need to insmod?)
Perhaps ip6tables or your kernel needs to be upgraded.

This was due to the fact that on the host, the ip6table_filter module was not loaded. Usually, the iptables command will by itself load the module when needed, but LXC shares the kernel of the host system and a container is restricted from loading modules into the host’s kernel.

The solution is to simply load the kernel module on the host:

# on debian jessie, as root:
modprobe ip6table_filter

After that the container will be able to make use of the new kernel module.

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Contact Me

Send me an email to mail@ursrig.com