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BSA 728x90 Center Banner - a new kind of bookmark

tl;dr -> Get Started at


I've been working on this project for about 1.5 months and I'm very happy that I can finally share it.


So... what is a JumpSquare? Let's start off with Why...


We've all been there before:

  • You start a new job and have no idea where anything is located
  • A contractor comes on site and you have to point them to every application
  • You are constantly sending emails asking where an application has been installed because you never bookmarked it
  • You have a very large datacenter environment and can't remember all the virtualization, storage, and network addresses
  • There may be 100+ different applications in your environment and you want to keep track of what's out there.
  • Maintaining excel documents or sharepoint sites suck
  • Browser bookmarks can be messy if you have a lot of them


The idea spawned because I had trouble keeping track of 6 VMware environments in our lab. Within those 6 environments, there were 100+ applications consisting of multiple vSphere Web Clients, vCOPs, vClouds, physical assets like switches and arrays. Bookmarks would have been messy and I got tired of sending emails trying to figure out what servers hosted which applications. I got a non-persistent desktop to access the lab environment so  bookmarks didn't stick (don't ask why they can't figure that out), plus those bookmarks are only personalized for me. So if someone goes and installs vCOPs for POD3, I have to go to the web client, open it up, search for the IP address, then try and guess to see if i can remember the port or slew of /'s to find the login page. There had to be a better way.


Introducing the JumpSquare (an image)



Take a quick tour and watch the video


The JumpSquare contains some great information. We have the title of our application (whatever you want to call it), choose an image logo from over 250+ images in the catalog, specify the server or location where the application is installed, and the ability to remove or edit the JumpSquare. What you don't see is the link to the application that can be either http(s):// or ssh:// and a description. Hover over the JumpSquare and the information populates so you can see it (above is a picture, see the animated SaaS version at


There will be three different versions of JumpSquares because security folks never trust anything:

    • "SaaS" version. Go to and get registered to get going. I would encourage SaaS first.
    • "Authentication" version: (download at bottom) is pretty much exactly like this hosted version. It gives you the ability to create users, give "admin" rights to users for Application Logo Type creation as well as many other privileges. There will be a bit more work for you to deploy this internally to setup proper email alerts.
    • "Wiki" version: removes authentication from the application. My original intention for this program was to create a mix between Pinterest and a Wiki. Essentially creating a landing page where anyone can create, edit, update, and delete JumpSquares. This allows a team to use it instead of just one individual.
      • The appliances will have 250+ AppType Logos included, but will allow you to create your own.
      • The appliances will not have a "Software Update" feature. You will have to run a bit of git/ruby code to update the application if I ever add additional features. Doing a git -HARD might jack some of your data, so I do not take any responsibility if you do screw something up.
      • I take no responsibility in keeping the Debian (OS) appliance up to date with security patches. You're on your own
      • As a final note, I do not take any responsibility for anything you post on JumpSquares


    • Built on twitter bootstrap for rails so it's pretty much mobile-ready
    • Create, Edit, and Delete all your own JumpSquares
    • Jump locations (links) can be internal or external addresses. Your internal DNS server will do the name resolution
    • Jump locations can be http://, https://, or even ssh:// when using the FireSSH plugin
    • Customize the JumpSquare size to your liking. Change the image size as well as the character count to fit more or less JumpSquares on the screen
    • Create your own Tags and assign multiple tags per JumpSquare
    • Tags create an easy way categorize JumpSquares
    • The hosted version doesn't allow you to upload your own Application Logos, but you can request one with a form after registering
    • View and Edit open Application Logo Type requests
    • Manage your own account. Deleting your account will erase all your data
    • All registered user passwords are stored in an encrypted and hashed format
    • The administrator dashboard can't view another users JumpSquares', only the count of how many you have created. Gotta keep that private
    • No "team" features are built-in. Just share a common username between a few individuals so you can act like it's a 'Wiki'



The Appliance versions

Again, I encourage you to go for the SaaS version at and try that first because rolling your own is something else you have to keep track of.


The VM is a simple 1vCPU 1GB/RAM OVA that has VMware Tools and ruby on rails installed. The web services are configured using thin and nginx.
Deploy the OVA into your environment and by default its configured with the hostname "jumpsquares" and DHCP for the NIC.
You can leave it or change it. If you want to change it, I created a bash script located in the /home/ directory called and you can edit that and run it to change all the parameters of the hostname. username: root, password: jump123


Wiki Version: nothing else to do but download it. Enjoy!

This version is 1.3. Check the change log below to see if there is a newer version that can be updated using the directions.


Authentication Version: there is a bit more work to do in terms of settings up ActionMailer. I will get an authenticated version made soon that looks like the SaaS based version. It's not available yet because I need to document everything that must be done to get this version working correctly. NOT AVAILABLE.


all downloads of the appliance are released under the Apache 2.0 license. The code is open sourced and available at the github repository. The operating system is based on debian and all updates are applied from the debian repository. I am not redistributing anything that isn't publicly available.



How to Update JumpSquares to the latest version

SaaS at

  • Nothing to do, this all done at my expense


Wiki Appliance Version:

  • SSH or console into the jumpsquares appliance
    • default username is 'root' and password is 'jump123'
  • Change to the var/www/jumpsquares directory
    • cd /var/www/jumpsquares
  • Do a git pull to bring down the latest changes from the repository
    • git pull
      • If you get an message talking about Gemfile.lock and needing to stash it, run this command
      • git stash
      • after stashing locally, run git pull again and it should pull everything down correctly.
  • Assuming you don't have any localized code changes, there will be no need to reset the 'head'
  • We need to keep the gems up to date
    • bundle install
    • bundle update
  • Most new features are going to require some type of database additions so we need to make those changes
    • rake db:migrate RAILS_ENV=appliance-production
  • Now you have the most up to date version of JumpSquares. You can reboot if you want but it's not necessary.


screenshots of the upgrade process



If you are upgrading from a previous version to 1.3 (you downloaded the appliance before 7/28/2014), then you need to follow these additional steps below

  • Perform the above git stash, git pull, bundle install, bundle update, and rake tasks within the /var/www/jumpsquares directory
  • Pre-Compile the assets by typing:
    • RAILS_ENV=appliance-production bundle exec rake assets:precompile
  • We have to add a value for the Jumpsize sort order. Open the Rails Console and update the attribute by typing the following
    • rails console appliance-production
    • (you will now be in the rails console)
    • u = Jumpsize.find(1)
    • u.update_attribute :sortorder, "name"
    • exit
    • (you will be back in the normal window)
  • Reboot your VM by typing reboot
  • Everything should be good once again



Change Log

Version 1.0 (11.15.2013)

  • 1.0 released


Version 1.1 (11.21.2013)

  • Read Here for in-depth posting with pictures
  • Added RDP, VNC, SSH to server string
  • Changed JumpSquare form language and formatting
  • Changed JumpSquare form helpers to modals instead of a block of help text
  • Updated homepage and help page with new features
  • Added documentation on how to add 'rdp://' as a Jump Location. No code change required
  • Added functionality to generate .rdp files to quickly RDP into servers


Version 1.2 (1.9.14)

  • Added Nmap Scan XML functions. Upload Nmap XML file to create JumpSquares quickly. 
  • Read Here for in-depth posting with pictures on v1.2
  • Changed a bunch of deprecated Rails 3 warnings to be Rails 4 compliant.
  • Uploaded new wiki appliance with all new functionality and Debian Wheezy patches
  • Fixed bootstrap modal appearing on right side of screen

Version 1.3 (3.27.14)

Version 1.3.1 (8.6.14)

  • Read Here for an in-depth posting on v1.3.1
  • Changed containers to fluid instead of fixed
  • Crammed more into the space
  • Added a new homepage with new CSS for
  • Made minor changes to bootstrap.css and application.css

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