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Getting to https Sites: Retro Proxy/DOS How-To

Jake Page Icon Posted 2022-01-21 9:41 PM
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As hpcfactor.com contributors find new and clever ways to get legacy machines on-line, rendering https sites remains an issue. Retro Proxy, despite its determined lack of instruction, turns https to http. You may not be able to post to hpcfactor.com and other https sites, but you can certainly explore them, and news sites such as cnn.com and npr.org are at last accessible.

[This how-to operates on the assumption that you already have a working internet connection on the DOS machine]

Here's the set-up to turn 64-bit Windows 10 into a Retro Proxy server:

Software needed: git, node, yarn, and Retro Proxy

git = https://git-scm.com/downloads

node = https://www.liquidweb.com/kb/how-to-install-yarn-on-windows/

yarn = https://github.com/yarnpkg/yarn/releases/download/v1.22.15/yarn-1.22...

Retro Proxy = https://github.com/DrKylstein/retro-proxy

Install git, node, and yarn, using their defaults, but ignore any prompts to install extra software/dependencies (extras can be as much as 3gb and are not needed).

Use git to download Retro Proxy. In Windows cmd:

git clone https://github.com/DrKylstein/retro-proxy.git

Then:

cd retro-proxy 
copy example.env .env


From there, edit the new .env and put in the Windows IP address found with ipconfig. The default port is 3000. Save.

Back in cmd:

cd retro-proxy 
yarn start


I ignored yarn's complaint of being outdated, but if yarn declares itself missing entirely, try this:

cd retro-proxy 
yarn install


In DOS:

set http_proxy=windows.ip.address:3000


From there, your DOS browser should get you where you want, and in the cmd window, you can track your DOS browsing history. Closing the cmd window will shut down the proxy server.

Jake
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2022-01-22 10:32 AM
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This is great news. Presumably as (at a very quick glance) it is all node based, the same steps will work on Linux and macOS as well. So it could easily be set to run as a service on a Raspberry Pi or home server/NAS in a container and be left running?
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Jake Page Icon Posted 2022-01-22 2:21 PM
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I would imagine so. I don't know the vulnerabilities RP presents, but you can certainly let it simmer in the background on a home mothership.

I have found an issue with 68k.news, a site instrumental for retro browsing. Any clicked link brings up "That's not news " Once the proxy is disabled, 68k.news works as expected.

Also, text.npr.org won't register the article clicks and I don't yet know why, nor will the site work without a proxy.

Jake
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2022-01-22 3:08 PM
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As long as it only allowed local LAN connections, or it runs on an IPtables rule to only allow connections from the peer-to-peer IP address between the RPi and the H/PC. Security can be managed.

It certainly seems like something Joval could consider bundling into the RPi companion release to go with Stefan and Co's Linux distro.
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radiance32 Page Icon Posted 2022-02-16 11:41 AM
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Just make sure to run it on a host inside your network behind your router/firewall and you should be safe...
As long as there are no open ports or port forwarding configured on your internet router/firewall's public side to the host running the proxy on your internal network (eg everything behind your internet router/firewall). By default routers don't have any open ports or port forwarding configured from the public side to the internal network so by default you should be safe.

Cheers,
Radiance
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