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The Ninth Commandment of system administration
"For every network service you run, you've opened one more window on your server to the world. Firewalls are great for defending servers against attacks from the outside, but attacks don't always come from the outside. If you have a server inside your firewall hacked, the attacker can continue hacking away at other servers without worrying about the firewall stopping his progress. For this reason it is important to schedule network audits of all of your servers."

( Permalink: The Ninth Commandment of system administration      Submitted by Noel Mon Jun 27, 2005 )

Make Your Own "Phantom Edit" with Mplayer
"I've used mplayer as a media player under Linux for a long time, and while browsing through their steadily growing documentation, I came across the Edit Decision List (or EDL) feature. An EDL is basically a text file with each line containing a start time and end time in seconds, and an action. If the action is 0 mplayer will skip the scene, if it is 1 mplayer will mute it. Here's a sample file from the mplayer documentation:"

( Permalink: Make Your Own "Phantom Edit" with Mplayer      Submitted by Noel Mon Jun 27, 2005 )

1001 Ways to Harden Linux
Saw this post about a “10 step approach to a secure server” and decided to sort through old courseware I’d written and filter through my bookmarks to provide readers with a fairly comprehensive list of resources for hardening a Linux box (regardless of flavor/distribution/vendor/purpose).

Bearing in mind that there are probably several hundreds of websites and whitepapers that talk to this topic, I’ve tried my best to filter the wheat from the chaff, leaving only those resources that I believe are valuable and offer some unique insight, perspective or technique…

I will also try to keep this page up-to-date by adding new resources as I find them.

Read More

( Permalink: 1001 Ways to Harden Linux      Submitted by dr.kaos Fri Jun 24, 2005 )

A Festival of speech synthesis for Linux
"As information technology becomes more pervasive, the issues of communication between information-processing machines and people becomes increasingly important. Up to now such communication has been almost entirely by means of video screens. Speech, which is by far the most widely used and natural means of communication between people, is an obvious possible substitute. However, this deceptively simple means of exchanging information is, in fact, extremely complicated. Festival Speech Synthesis System aims to make things a little easier on interface developers."

( Permalink: A Festival of speech synthesis for Linux      Submitted by Noel Fri Jun 24, 2005 )

uCdynamo -- a hand-powered webserver
"Pierre Coupard, the genius behind the amazing Linux/RTAI based software radio, now brings us this interesting article that explains how you can build an environmentally friendly uClinux system that is powered by a hand-operated crank. Look ma, no batteries!"

( Permalink: uCdynamo -- a hand-powered webserver      Submitted by Noel Fri Jun 24, 2005 )

iCarrier Speaker Tower for your iPod
"As you can see, it’s a specially designed set of speakers with subwoofer, drivers and tweeters. The whole thing pumps out a somewhat less than impressive 45W, 20 of which go to the woofer. It comes with a remote control that presumably is able to interact with the iPod."

( Permalink: iCarrier Speaker Tower for your iPod      Submitted by Noel Fri Jun 24, 2005 )

How about, Don't Be Evil
"It's not much of a secret that I sincerely dislike the CISSP --- to the point of feeling slightly distrustful of people who openly admit to holding the certificate. Call me crazy, but a certificate that is held by less than 10% of the most respected practitioners in the industry, but that is held by more than 90% of third-string consultants and entry level IT secops, lacks some credibility."

( Permalink: How about, Don't Be Evil      Submitted by Noel Fri Jun 24, 2005 )

Mac OS X on Intel: Try before you buy?
"Given items two through seven, I estimate that we’re down to a matter of hours before Mac OS X 10.4.1 for Intel hardware is available for download on Internet software piracy sites and peer-to-peer piracy networks. (Update: A reader who for obvious reasons wishes to remain anonymous just demonstrated to me that the software is, in fact, already available on Internet software piracy sites.)"

( Permalink: Mac OS X on Intel: Try before you buy?      Submitted by Noel Thu Jun 23, 2005 )

Moodss: when capacity planning becomes a must
Capacity planning is an important part of the work that Systems Administrators perform on a regular basis. The knowledge about the current utilization levels becomes indispensable to predict when the next hardware upgrade will be needed.

In order to successfully achieve this goal, data regarding different systems statistics must be collected and made readily available for analysis. While there are many different commercial alternatives available, we will review one of the most powerful opensource solutions: Moodss (Modular Object Oriented Dynamic SpreadSheet).
Read more

( Permalink: Moodss: when capacity planning becomes a must      Submitted by Flavio Villanustre Thu Jun 23, 2005 )

Theo de Raadt talks about Linux
"It's terrible," De Raadt says. "Everyone is using it, and they don't realize how bad it is. And the Linux people will just stick with it and add to it rather than stepping back and saying, This is garbage and we should fix it."

( Permalink: Theo de Raadt talks about Linux      Submitted by Noel Thu Jun 23, 2005 )

Exploring procfs
"Procfs is a virtual file system in linux mounted in /proc, and serves multiple purposes including access to kernel information in userland or for debugging. One of the features which makes Linux special to me is access to process information as a text stream. A lot of linux commands (ps, top, pstree, etc.) rely on this filesystem for information."

( Permalink: Exploring procfs      Submitted by Noel Thu Jun 23, 2005 )

Staying Connected
"For most people, the meaning of "mobile Internet" ranges from an amusing toy to the Holy Grail of the future of computing. For me, however, it's no more or less than a basic necessity: I live aboard a boat that is anchored out, away from marinas and land-based connections - and when I travel for business, I'm either on the road, at a hotel (which may have one of a wild variety of connection methods - or none), or at a client's site (generally excellent connectivity, but via another wide variety of connection methods.) In some ways, all of the above makes an excellent laboratory for exploring the limits of Linux - in fact, of both computer hardware and software. In this article, I'm going to explore the systems that I have evolved for coping with this wide variety of options over the years; at this point, all my systems work well and smoothly enough that I am able to reliably do the work that is required of me by both my clients and my duties here at the Linux Gazette, and believe that my experience could serve others who find themselves dealing with similar challenges."

( Permalink: Staying Connected      Submitted by Noel Thu Jun 23, 2005 )

Problems in the Kernel, OS X, and WordPress
In this weeks Security Alerts, we look at problems in the Linux kernel, Mac OS X, bzip2, WordPress, WebSphere, Peercast, PHPMailer, Binutils, Popper Webmail, Dzip, and FreeBSD's gzip.

( Permalink: Problems in the Kernel, OS X, and WordPress      Submitted by Noel Wed Jun 22, 2005 )

The /proc Filesystem as a Programmer Tool
"Before we begin to talk about the proc filesystem as a programming facility, we need need to establish what it actually is. The proc filesystem is a pseudo-filesystem rooted at /proc that contains user-accessible objects that pertain to the runtime state of the kernel and, by extension, the executing processes that run on top of it. "Pseudo" is used because the proc filesystem exists only as a reflection of the in-memory kernel data structures it displays. This is why most files and directories within /proc are 0 bytes in size."

( Permalink: The /proc Filesystem as a Programmer Tool      Submitted by Noel Wed Jun 22, 2005 )

Beginner’s guide to Linux distros
"There are two major trunks for most Linux distros. There are plenty of ground up distros, but most are derived either from RedHat using RPMs (RPM stands for RedHat Package Manager) or Debian using dpkg files. This file formats are used to install software on your computer. Currently, the biggest distros not derived from RedHat or Debian are Slackware and Gentoo which also have their own package management systems with various advantages/disadvantages."

( Permalink: Beginner’s guide to Linux distros      Submitted by Noel Wed Jun 22, 2005 )

Featured Articles:
Unix and Linux Podcasting Guide

Expect and SSH

The Linux Enterprise Cluster

Book Review: Podcasting: Do-It-Yourself Guide

Remote Backups With Rsync

Weakness and Security

Essential CVS

Spring Into Technical Writing

Other News:
Biodiesel Resources

Older News

KSpread - App of the Month
(Wed Mar 9, 2005)

Database applications with PHP
(Wed Mar 9, 2005)

Linux Aliens: Portable Package Power
(Wed Mar 9, 2005)

Getting your digital pix using Linux
(Tue Mar 8, 2005)

GNU Octave - Functions and Scripts
(Tue Mar 8, 2005)

How is software development like moviemaking?
(Tue Mar 8, 2005)

The Linux of Satellites
(Tue Mar 8, 2005)

Rules Of THREAD World
(Mon Mar 7, 2005)

File Synchronization with Unison
(Mon Mar 7, 2005)

What could a psychologist do for my Interface
(Mon Mar 7, 2005)

OpenOffice 2.0 Pre-review
(Mon Mar 7, 2005)

Chips in SPACE!
(Sat Mar 5, 2005)

Introducing the PowerPC SIMD unit
(Sat Mar 5, 2005)

The Network Poltergeist
(Sat Mar 5, 2005)

Overview of the Mandrake-Conectiva Acquisition
(Thu Mar 3, 2005)

Open source XML editors examined
(Thu Mar 3, 2005)

The (Practically) Ultimate OpenSSH/Keychain Howto
(Thu Mar 3, 2005)

Xandros vs. Mepis
(Thu Mar 3, 2005)

Forgotten Security
(Wed Mar 2, 2005)

Realistic SELinux
(Wed Mar 2, 2005)

Gammu open source cell phone synchronisation
(Wed Mar 2, 2005)

Preserving Backward Compatibility
(Wed Mar 2, 2005)

Trouble in the Kernel, VMware, and PostgreSQL
(Tue Mar 1, 2005)

Interview: Google Hack Honeypot Project
(Tue Mar 1, 2005)

FreeBSD Tips and Tricks for 2005
(Tue Mar 1, 2005)

Basic Tasks for New Linux Developers
(Tue Mar 1, 2005)

Lobotomy for the D-Link DCS-900
(Tue Mar 1, 2005)

Theo de Raadt wins 2004 Free Software Award
(Mon Feb 28, 2005)

Scott Long talks about FreeBSD
(Mon Feb 28, 2005)

Desktop Face-Off: Xandros vs. Mepis
(Mon Feb 28, 2005)

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