Polish Linux

Posted in Uncategorized by Scott on June 29, 2008 is an informational site aimed at helping Linux/BSD newcomers choose a distro that’s right for them. I found them while searching for comparisons of Debian to Ubuntu, and they helped me decide that I’m going to stick with Ubuntu. While I was there, I noticed they have a Gimp tricks section, where you can find a few nifty tips.

Go check them out, I’m sure they’ve got something to interest you.

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Offtopic — Crackers! (or praise for DenyHosts)

Posted in Uncategorized by Scott on November 4, 2007

This post does not have anything to do with the GIMP. If you don’t care about Linux server administration, you should just skip this post.

I run a very small Ubuntu LAMP server that I use for small tasks such as Perl and C programming and a personal wiki. This morning, I was checking out /var/log/auth.log, and noticed multiple login failures for user ‘root’ from a strange IP; specifically A whois lookup revealed that the IP was from China. The activity is typical of brute force cracking, so I started to get a little worried. Thinking I’d have to bite the bullet and install a firewall, something I didn’t want to do due to the very small amount of resources this server has, I did an apt-cache search for ‘firewall’ and began the tedious process of reviewing the results.

Well, I didn’t have to look long. Not far down the list was an entry called ‘denyhosts’ with the description: an utility to help sys admins thwart ssh hackers. Well this is exactly what I’m trying to prevent, so I went to their website and read up. It sounded perfect, so I went ahead and installed it. Immediately after install, I got a system message saying I had email. The email informed me that IPĀ had been added to the deny list. Wow! That was fast, and easy. I literally didn’t have to do anything. That’s the kind of tool I like! It’s also FOSS, and in the Ubuntu repositories.

In short, if you host a LAMP server, even if it’s not Ubuntu, I highly recommend DenyHosts as a simple solution for preventing this type of attack.

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[H] On Ubuntu

Posted in Uncategorized by Scott on March 5, 2007

I don’t have any actual content for you right now, but I just saw this article, 30 Days With Linux that I thought I’d share. This is a very even handed review of my favorite linux distribution, Ubuntu.

The article is geared towards people who like to tinker with their machines but who aren’t necessarily programmers or even script kiddies. (This group is also sometimes referred to as “power users” but that just sounds so lame… I shudder every time I hear it.) If you’ve been wondering if the time is right for a move toward linux, or if you’re (rightly) upset about the price range or hardware requirements, or embedded DRM of Windows Vista, I’d highly recommend reading this article. The article is a bit long, so if you’re short on time, you might just read the first and last pages. If you do have time, the article is well worth the read, even if you’re already using linux.


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