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Linux, Unix, and *nix like Operating Systems Forum

    
Linux: Maintenance, Security, etc.
Need a few answers for my site.
Echo_Tyme




msg:906944
 9:28 pm on Jul 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hello! I have a site all about computer maintenance, optimization and security... Unfortunately I don't own *nix nor have I ever had any experience in it. This along with a few other OS's, i will need answers for. If your willing to help I would be VERY appreciative!

Ok as for the questions just general.

How do you maintain and optimize (like windows defragmenter, scandisk, etc.)

What are good ways of security, like Windows has the XP firewall and various applications that can be bought, linux (to my knowledge) doesn't have much of a compatibility, so they can't run them. Plus Windows has the Windows update... what about linux, it's open-source and ever changing... so what would be good things to add to the code to make it a more secure system.

(I have to be writing this for people who barely have a grasp on *nix to people who are advanced... along with this I have to be able to understand it to a degree)...

Thank you.

 

MattyMoose




msg:906945
 10:12 pm on Jul 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

How do you maintain and optimize (like windows defragmenter, scandisk, etc.)

No need to use anything like defrag, etc, since most *NIX file systems are intelligent enough to write data to the disks where they're actually needed, and not to the first place it can find free space, and aligns data to accord for growth in files.

The recommended thing is to enable Journalling [en.wikipedia.org] so that if there's a power outage, you'll help prevent data loss when you startup again.


What are good ways of security, like Windows has the XP firewall and various applications that can be bought, linux (to my knowledge) doesn't have much of a compatibility, so they can't run them.

Linux does have a firewall system, built right into the kernel, without requiring any purchased or downloaded programs. ;)

It's called iptables (or older version used ipchains). It's a robust, stateful packet-filtering system.
There are many web-based and GUI-based systems out there that ease the pain of setting up your firewall rulesets, and of course, there's the command line. ;)


Plus Windows has the Windows update... what about linux, it's open-source and ever changing... so what would be good things to add to the code to make it a more secure system.

Many different distributions use different Package Managers [en.wikipedia.org], which have their strengths and their weaknesses. The more you play around, the more you'll find out what it is that you'll eventually want in a system as a whole.

That being said, each of the major distributions (distros) of Linux have their own "linux update" system. RedHat has the RHN, and Fedora has YUM, debian has apt, gentoo has portage, Slackware has swaret, FreeBSD has the ports tree/cvsup, NetBSD pkgsrc, etc etc etc. They all have methods for updating both the kernel/core as well as applications/userland.

It's up to you to figure out which one works best for you, and essentially, it's up to you to decide which distro you'll use (which implies which update management system you'll use).

As for adding things to your system to make it more secure, you can look at logging systems, file system monitors (a la tripwire), security auditors (nessus, etc) and just basically thinking through everything that you do. People don't need FTP? Then why open it up? Don't need Windows shares? Don't enable samba. Things like the "minimalist approach" help tremendously in making a system that will be not only secure, but rock-solid for a long time to come.

HTH,

-MM

nobody




msg:906946
 10:18 pm on Jul 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

IMHO that is a really big question, since different distributions & different users do it in different ways.

What are good ways of security, like Windows has the XP firewall and various applications that can be bought, linux (to my knowledge) doesn't have much of a compatibility, so they can't run them. Plus Windows has the Windows update

Erm, not quite sure what you are getting at here? - Linux can't run WindowsXP firewall? No, it can't your right. But then, Linux has tools like ipchains which allow you build your own firewall. Again, there are different distributions which focus mainly on these aspects..

With respect to maintence different Linux distributions do it in different ways. RedHat has RPM and up2date, Debian apt-get and so on, or just download the patches for code and re-compile.. whatever floats your boat.

I personally would suggest running linux, either dual-boot or using something like knoppix, to gain an understanding of these issues with Linux, since there is too much to fit in here!

Echo_Tyme




msg:906947
 12:09 am on Jul 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

lol i don't wanan learn it (yet). I mean I know about the CLI and that's about it lol. The first post that was VERY helpful (MM? do you know about my site? lol), thanx for that i'll ahve to check out everything u said.

Second post lol I know XP can't go on linux lol. i'm not a PC noob lol. I am a linux noob though lol...

Nother question... Unix... Flavors? Linux... what's the dif between all the *nix's?

MattyMoose




msg:906948
 7:15 pm on Jul 24, 2004 (gmt 0)


(MM? do you know about my site? lol)

Nope, I'm not really sure what you mean... :(


Unix... Flavors? Linux... what's the dif between all the *nix's?

Well, the history of UNIX (and variants) is a pretty long and convoluted one, which is actually really interesting, if you consider the issues at the times of great changes, and political upheavals and so on. Much more interesting than MSDOS->Win 3.11->win95->NT4->win98->ME/2K->XP (IMHO).

If you look at UNIX History [levenez.com], you'll see all the massive branches and merges and splits happening everywhere. For Linux, if you look at the lower part of that chart, in Aug, 1991, Linux was branched from Minix. Not entirely true, since Linux code was *based* on Minix ideas, but no actual code transferred itself from Minix to Linux. And towards the top of the chart, you'll see where the *BSDs emerged.

Notice how the Linux thread doens't show any splits by distribution. That's because "Linux", as a "brand" (or whatever you want to call it), is actually just the Kernel, and nothing more. RedHat, Debian, and all distributions are actually different sets of applications that are packaged along with the Linux kernel. The kernel is the same (relatively) between all the distributions. It's each distribution's decision on how to package things, lay out the filesystem (for example -- the configuration file directories differ between some distros).

BSD, on the other hand is an actual whole OS, with kernel and userland implementations that are the same. You won't be confused between FreeBSD 4.9 on my machine and 4.9 on yours. They are one and the same. There are many really fascinating differences in philosophies in both "camps" (which are even more split up into different "camps" -- ie slackware rules, redhat sucks), and often times it's just your idea of how things should be done that helps make the decision between one *NIX variant and another. For example, I like the way FreeBSD places everything on the file system, its ports tree, the way everything is a little more "controlled" than they are Linux environments. Again, it's entirely up to the individual as to which one works for them.

A friend of mine used to constantly ask "what makes this OS better? What about this one?" And the answer was invariably: "It feels right". ;)

I know I've rambled on here, but I hope it helps you out a little bit. :)

Echo_Tyme




msg:906949
 8:15 am on Jul 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

Wow... you wouldn't happen to... need a small (non-profit for now) job would u? lol.

And MM is the initials of my site that I frequently use "Monthly Maintenance"

You helped me see the whole world of *nix and what it is called *nix lol. This is.. wow lol, by the way where's Lindows?

I could really use you, you know your stuff on *nix, you could really give me ideas (like u have) and help me sort things out and all that. I need a good *nix person on my staff, better then me trying to understand the terms lol.

If u don't that's fine, I can still ask, I realize now I have alottttttt to learn b4 I can make this project be born lol.

By the way Slackware and Redhat... why's redhat "suck" to u?

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