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Linux

SSH: Best Practices

Post date: January 17, 2008, 13:01 Category: Security Views: 5337 Comments
Tutorial quote: Are you using SSH in the best way possible? Have you configured it to be as limited and secure as possible? The goal of this document is to kick in the new year with some best practices for SSH: why you should use them, how to set them up, and how to verify that they are in place. All of the examples below assume that you are using EnGarde Secure Linux but any modern Linux distribution will do just fine since, as far as I know, everybody ships OpenSSH.
Debian

Creating .deb-Packages With Checkinstall

Post date: April 12, 2005, 17:04 Category: Miscellaneous Views: 3132 Comments
Tutorial quote: Checkinstall is a nice tool to create simple .deb-packages that you can use in your local network (e.g. if you have to install the same piece of software on multiple computers running Debian). It lets you compile and install software from the sources like before, but with the difference that you end up with a simple Debian package which also means that you can easily uninstall the software you just compiled by running dpkg -r!

I will demonstrate the use of checkinstall by compiling and installing the anti-virus software ClamAV on a Debian system.

This howto is meant as a practical guide; it does not cover the theoretical backgrounds. They are treated in a lot of other documents in the web.
Ubuntu

Installing Windows XP As A KVM Guest On Ubuntu 8.10 Desktop

Post date: February 15, 2009, 12:02 Category: Miscellaneous Views: 5369 Comments
Tutorial quote: There's a bug in virt-install and virt-manager on Ubuntu 8.10 that does not let you run Windows XP as a guest under KVM. During the Windows installation, the guest needs to be rebooted, and then you get the following error, and Windows XP refuses to boot: "A disk read error occured. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart". This guide shows how you can solve the problem and install Windows XP as a KVM guest on Ubuntu 8.10.
Ubuntu

Things To Fix / Tweak After Installing Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

Post date: November 1, 2009, 12:11 Category: Miscellaneous Views: 4557 Comments
Tutorial quote: Fixes / tweaks in this post: fix the Internet connection, change Ctrl + Alt + Backspace behaviour, tweak update manager behaviour, disable the login sound, enable icons in menus and buttons, make Nvidia Settings save changes to xorg.conf, fix the popping sound, Firefox scrolling issues fix, make the Super Key bring down the Applications menu, change notify-osd behaviour.
Linux

Setting up a serial console

Post date: February 19, 2007, 19:02 Category: Miscellaneous Views: 4286 Comments
Tutorial quote: This tutorial will show you how to set up a serial console on a Linux system, and connect to it via a null modem cable. This is quite useful if your Linux server is in a headless configuration (no keyboard or monitor), as it allows you to easily get a console on the system if there are any problems with it (especially network problems, when SSH is not available). In the end, the GRUB menu will appear over the serial link, as will the bootup messages (output when booting the system). I am using Debian Etch on the server and Ubuntu Edgy on my client, although this should work on any Linux distribution.
Debian

Manipulating the windows upon your desktop

Post date: January 19, 2006, 13:01 Category: Desktop Views: 3325 Comments
Tutorial quote: If you're like me you'll most likely use a wide variety of desktop applications, and spend a lot of time setting up your desktop first thing in the afternoon when you login. Minimising some applications, setting others up to be visible upon all virtual desktops, etc. Even if you have a basic window manager you can automate this activity using Devil's Pie.

Devil's Pie is a simple utility, inspired by the Sawfish's matched windows option, which allows you to conduct actions upon desktop windows. Using it is a simple matter of creating a configuration file and starting the program when you login.
Unix+clones

Using Impress-ive Charts In OpenOffice.org

Post date: April 14, 2005, 13:04 Category: Software Views: 3096 Comments
Tutorial quote: Anybody that does presentations will someday need to use a chart. A manager needs charts to show production numbers and profits. A scientist or trainer needs charts to show facts, figures and results. A sales seminar leader needs charts to explain sales figures. So, what's involved in getting these nifty things into your OpenOffice.org-based slide show?

The process of integrating charts into your Impress slide show is fairly straightforward, although it does involve a few steps and two different components of OpenOffice.org.
Linux

Benchmarking Maildir Delivery on Linux Filesystems

Post date: April 12, 2005, 07:04 Category: Benchmarks Views: 3813 Comments
Tutorial quote: The goal of this set of benchmarks is to determine which of the leading Linux filesystems (ext2, ext3, ReiserFS, and XFS) offer the best performance when used for accepting maildir deliveries. The resulting system should be a good balance of delivery and retrieval performance under potentially high concurrent filesystem load.
Linux

Rip DVDs in Linux the (Semi-)Easy Way

Post date: December 8, 2007, 14:12 Category: Multimedia Views: 4208 Comments
Tutorial quote: With its hacker-friendly aesthetic and open source mentality, you'd think a Linux desktop would be the best place to assert your digital rights—you know, make backup copies of your DVDs, convert them for iPods, that kind of thing.

And you'd be half right. There are plenty of programs that let you take control of your video discs, but they're only useful if you can make it through a maze of configuration menus, command line options, choices about bit rates and codecs, and the occasional confusing message about a missing library.

I've tried out a good number of DVD ripping and conversion programs, and I've made peace with one method, and one program, that gets the job done more often than not. It's not exactly one-click, but once your system is set up, you can drop in DVDs and back them up or convert them with relative ease.

Note on system differences: I set up my ripping/burning system on a Lenovo Thinkpad T61 running a brand-new installation of Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon). As with so many things Linux, packages and commands may vary based on your system. But for the most part, the tools I use in this walkthrough work across distributions and on both major desktop environments, GNOME and KDE.
Unix+clones

How to restore a hacked Linux server

Post date: July 30, 2006, 18:07 Category: Security Views: 4519 Comments
Tutorial quote: Every sysadmin will try its best to secure the system/s he is managing. Hopefully you never had to restore your own system from a compromise and you will not have to do this in the future. Working on several projects to restore a compromised Linux system for various clients, I have developed a set of rules that others might find useful in similar situations. The type of hacks encountered can be very variate and you might see very different ones than the one I will present, or I have seen live, but even so, this rules might be used as a starting point to develop your own recovery plan.
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