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Old 2007-09-24, 21:35   Link #221
SeijiSensei
AS Oji-kun
 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Mucking about
Age: 64
There are at least four other wireless networks in a nearby radius of my house; most of them are also unencrypted.

I'm well aware that someone could spoof a MAC address, but really who would want to? If I saw someone parked outside my house with a laptop, perhaps I'd be concerned, but the reality is that no one has sufficient incentive to try and attach themselves to my wireless network when there are other, easier targets around. Oh, and I run DHCP off my Linux server and proxy my web traffic through Squid. I also keep lots of logs. It would be hard, though not impossible, to leech my connection without my noticing.

I'm actually impressed by the level of hardware support in most Linux distros compared to a vanilla installation of Windows. Just the other day I bought a Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse. The receiver plugs into a USB port just like a memory stick. Of course, the device included a disc with Windows drivers, but the receiver started working as soon as I plugged it into a Linux box. I didn't need to reboot or even restart my X session. I disconnected the PS/2 wires, plugged in the receiver, and starting using the new hardware. Perhaps there are some nifty utilities on that Windows disc, but I didn't have any trouble changing the mouse ballistics with the KDE control panel applet for mice.

Claims of hardware compatibility problems in Linux are mostly FUD. If anything, Linux seems to support more stuff out-of-the-box than a fresh Windows installation does. It may not have a driver for some arcane peripheral or a piece of hardware released last week, but most run-of-the-mill items work with little fuss.
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Old 2007-09-24, 22:18   Link #222
grey_moon
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Hee hee sorry I suffer from slight paranoia when it comes to IT I generally always try to go for the most securest set-up, at work I always have to temper my instincts with the realisation that it has to be usable as well....

Have you seen that article on how to get squid to turn images upside down etc? A guy did it as his neighbours were stealing his connection, it made for a really funny read.

http://www.ex-parrot.com/~pete/upside-down-ternet.html


Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
Claims of hardware compatibility problems in Linux are mostly FUD. If anything, Linux seems to support more stuff out-of-the-box than a fresh Windows installation does. It may not have a driver for some arcane peripheral or a piece of hardware released last week, but most run-of-the-mill items work with little fuss.
I can't say for Vista as I've only run that in VMware, but for XP I've always had to download drivers to get it into a working state, especially on laptops. I can't remember any kit that didn't involve a third party driver, but with OpenSuSE and Ubuntu I've had minimum work to get it up and running. When I say up and running I mean to be able to browse the internet with proper screen resolution and multimedia working.
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Old 2007-09-24, 23:02   Link #223
WanderingKnight
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Quote:
I can't say for Vista as I've only run that in VMware, but for XP I've always had to download drivers to get it into a working state, especially on laptops. I can't remember any kit that didn't involve a third party driver, but with OpenSuSE and Ubuntu I've had minimum work to get it up and running. When I say up and running I mean to be able to browse the internet with proper screen resolution and multimedia working.
What I hated about Windows is its complete lack of out-of-the-box audio drivers. Just the other day my family reinstalled Windows on their box, but being non-techie people they didn't have a clue about why their sound was not working when the install was finished. They were about to trash the sound card, but as soon as they told me I could easily recognize it as a missing driver issue. Luckily, digging up stuff in the storeroom, they managed to find a dusty CD with the audio drivers inside. I was actually extremely impressed the first time I booted on the Ubuntu Live CD interface in my own box, with the configuration needed being almost nonexistent.

Oh, and the last time I did a Windows installation on a friend's PC, he actually had to call his ISP as he had lost the CD with the modem's ethernet drivers
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Old 2007-09-28, 02:02   Link #224
Ledgem
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So I recently decided that, having gotten used to my Mac, I'd see what Linux was like on my desktop again. My OpenSUSE install hasn't been touched since last spring. I loaded in and was greeted by Beryl, and of course, notification that I had some 200 updates waiting for me. But there's a problem with the update process, because some necessary component to be updated can never be found, and the entire thing grinds to a halt. I've tried doing updates one by one and it won't work, either.

But rather than ask how to fix that (I suspect that changing my update server might do it), I've been thinking of returning to Ubuntu (Kubuntu). I have a 160 GB HD dedicated to mucking around with Linux, and I believe it's currently partitioned into three pieces. I don't think I have anything that I care about on there, so I could wipe the drive and do a fresh install. However, I was considering installing over it, ideally overwriting OpenSUSE itself while leaving my user partition in-tact. Is it possible, and am I setting myself up for a situation where I'll need to reconfigure a lot of stuff? I have considered leaving OpenSUSE on and having both (heck, why not?) but my OpenSUSE install does seem a little messy...
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Old 2007-09-28, 02:40   Link #225
grey_moon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
So I recently decided that, having gotten used to my Mac, I'd see what Linux was like on my desktop again. My OpenSUSE install hasn't been touched since last spring. I loaded in and was greeted by Beryl, and of course, notification that I had some 200 updates waiting for me. But there's a problem with the update process, because some necessary component to be updated can never be found, and the entire thing grinds to a halt. I've tried doing updates one by one and it won't work, either.
The fix is to remove zenworks it bugs out and slurps up all the cpu. They have dropped it in the latest release from what I gather. To fix it you need to:

A. Rebuild the database

OR

B. Remove zmd.

A.

Quote:
Originally Posted by opensuse.org
killall zen-updater

* Stop zmd

/etc/init.d/novell-zmd stop

* Remove the zmd database

rm -f /var/lib/zmd/zmd.db

* Restart zmd

/etc/init.d/novell-zmd start

* Restart zen-updater

zen-updater &

* Rebuild the RPM database

rpm --rebuilddb
B.

Quote:
Originally Posted by opensuse.org
su -

Next step is to stop ZMD service, just execute this command:

rczmd stop

Finally we can remove ZMD from our system by using this command:

rpm -e zmd libzypp-zmd-backend sqlite-zmd rug zen-updater
The updater will fall-back to opensuseupdater, but will not detect non standard suse repo application updates, so u need to track and update them.

Before switching to Ubuntu I would recommend waiting for the latest of either Ubuntu or OpenSuSE is released as they are both about to arrive. *excited*
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Old 2007-09-28, 10:50   Link #226
Syaoran
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Desktop will get OpenSuse. Except for the updates, I'm happy with it (this one completely disabled the update stuff).
Laptop gets Ubuntu... but no online update this time :3
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Old 2007-09-28, 11:22   Link #227
Ledgem
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What's your reason for using OpenSUSE on the desktop, even though you're using Ubuntu on your laptop?
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Old 2007-09-28, 11:26   Link #228
grey_moon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syaoran View Post
Desktop will get OpenSuse. Except for the updates, I'm happy with it (this one completely disabled the update stuff).
Laptop gets Ubuntu... but no online update this time :3
OpenSuSE 10.2 got an absolute hiding over its ZMD, it was a great idea but such a hard thing to implement. ZMD works fine in an enterprise environment with its dedicated multiple directory service servers, but on a desktop pooooooooooooooooooo. As I mentioned earlier the opensuseupdater doesn't detect non suse repo updates which means its a pain keeping track of other sources such as the most valuable packman etc.

Ubuntu has it's own problems with the speed that applications are updated, from what I gather its something to do with what counts as a release as a bug fix, or a major version number update. A few examples that come to mind are thunderbird, ndiswrappers and audacity... Not to much of an issue to compile working versions, but as one of the flagship desktop distros I would like for it to be as easy to use, bugless and up2date as possible. Not asking for much am I
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Old 2007-09-28, 13:34   Link #229
SeijiSensei
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Not to sound like a broken record, but you should really give Fedora a try.

Easy to install
Detects most any hardware I've thrown at it, but you do need to check the KDE box during installation if you want a KDE desktop. You should also install most of the development tools so you'll have a copy of gcc, autoconf, and friends. I don't bother with things like X development or Qt since I don't write code, but the basic compiler tools come in handy.

Well supported
I just use the standard Fedora repositories and Livna. Once in a while if I need an unusual RPM i'll look in RPMfind, When I can't find a binary for my distro (very rare) I'll use a source RPM from RPMfind or Dag and run "rpmbuild --rebuild" to get a binary.

Handles dependencies well
After I install a vanilla Fedora box, I'll install the Livna RPM (see site above) that adds livna.repo to /etc/yum.repos.d and installs Livna's GPG signing key. Then I just run "yum install mplayer* xine* mencoder* k3b* kaffeine* kplayer*" to get everything I need including codecs. Once in a great while I'll have a dependency conflict, but that's also very rare these days.

Software updates
You can configure updating by editing /etc/yum/yum-updatesd.conf. You can give it a period to sleep between checking for updates, and then indicate whether any updates should be downloaded and/or installed and/or installed with any new dependencies. If something goes wrong, you can look in /var/log/yum.log to see what's been changed.


The current release is Fedora 7, but there are torrents for Fedora 8 betas as well. The "Rawhide" distribution is always the current release candidate and has had that name for years.
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Last edited by SeijiSensei; 2007-09-28 at 13:48.
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Old 2007-09-28, 14:30   Link #230
Ledgem
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Sure, I'll give Fedora a try if I get around to working on my Linux disk before the next Ubuntu version comes out, I suppose. As far as I'm concerned, the differences between each of the systems are in the fine-tuning of the GUI and the repository addresses (as well as some specific commands). It's a gross oversimplification, I know. Looks like the simplest thing to do will be to wipe the disk... how will this impact my GRUB configuration? I had a pretty nasty issue with it before due to my strange HD setup.
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Old 2007-09-28, 16:06   Link #231
SeijiSensei
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Will this be the boot drive? If so, put GRUB in the master boot record. I do that routinely, even if the drive already has a Windows partition, and it works fine. Windows appears in the GRUB menu at boot along with one or more Linux kernels. If you're installing this on top of OS X or something like that, I'd install the VirtualBox beta for OS X then install Fedora in a VM.

I'd agree that various distros have much in common these day. Sometimes the differences concern the filesystem layout, though even that's become pretty standardized. If I do have to find a configuration file that's not in the place I expect it to be, using "locate filename" usually does the trick.

Oh, you might need to install beryl and compiz separately after installation as well. I don't use these at all; I'm happy with the stock KDE desktop. Running the graphical package manager called "Add/Remove software" in the menus, aka "pirut" at the command line, lets you search for packages with string matching. (kyum isn't bad, either.) Choose the Search tab, then type "beryl" in the search box. You'll see all the available Beryl packages.

If you have an nVidia or ATI card, Livna maintains binary kernel modules for both cards that match up with the current kernel (e.g., the kmod-nvidia package). Once I had a synchronization problem when the kernel was updated but Livna hadn't released a matching module yet. Rebooting with the old kernel image solved that problem until the new image was available a day or so later.

If you're just trying out a standard desktop, I'd accept the default disk configuration. The disk management software is really powerful, but rather clunky to use. On servers, I usually have two identical drives with a tiny /boot and /boot2 partitions, half my swap partitions (e.g., 1 GB on each if I have 2 GB of swap), and the result set up as RAID1. (I don't like booting from RAID; just adds another possible point of failure.) Then you can install LVM on top of the RAID device (/dev/md0, usually) and create virtual partitions for /, /home, and maybe /var, in LVM. [Edit]You might also want to make /tmp a separate logical volume so you can mount it noexec for security purposes. On a personal workstation I wouldn't worry about this. On a server visible to the Internet. marking /tmp noexec prohibits some intruder from writing a program or script to /tmp then running it.[/Edit]

By default, on a single-disk installation, Fedora installs LVM as well.

If you want to exert more control over partitioning before installing Fedora, I recommend running Knoppix, then using fdisk from the shell. I did that recently when I was converting a server from Dell with those diagnostic partitions they like to include. I blew them away in fdisk, then created the partitioning scheme I wanted. When I ran the Fedora installer, I just told it what I wanted it to do with the already existing partitions.

On a single-disk vanilla installation, you should just accept the defaults.

I think that's most of the "gotchas" I can think of in advance. I'll be glad to answer any other questions either here or in a PM.
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Last edited by SeijiSensei; 2007-09-28 at 21:38. Reason: Mounting /tmp noexec
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Old 2007-09-28, 19:15   Link #232
WanderingKnight
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Quote:
Ubuntu has it's own problems with the speed that applications are updated, from what I gather its something to do with what counts as a release as a bug fix, or a major version number update. A few examples that come to mind are thunderbird, ndiswrappers and audacity... Not to much of an issue to compile working versions, but as one of the flagship desktop distros I would like for it to be as easy to use, bugless and up2date as possible. Not asking for much am I
By default, Ubuntu only checks for security bugfixes. More options can be enabled in the Software Sources application (under the 'Updates' tab), like unsupported updates and prerelease updates.
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Old 2007-09-28, 21:18   Link #233
grey_moon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
By default, Ubuntu only checks for security bugfixes. More options can be enabled in the Software Sources application (under the 'Updates' tab), like unsupported updates and prerelease updates.
Unfortunately the apps that I found a bit buggy or not on the version I want are not covered by checking the pre-release and unsupported updates , but I think it is a good bit of information
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Old 2007-09-28, 22:19   Link #234
Epyon9283
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
Not to sound like a broken record, but you should really give Fedora a try.

I've switched over to Fedora on all of my non-Mac machines. Stuff generally works. Livna makes things livable. I like the LVM by default stuff. It also seems pretty secure with SELinux enabled by default.

Installing Java correctly can be a pain since Redhat insists on using gcj. They also do not so minor updates to apps during the life of a version of the distro. For example, they've updated the kernel to 1 or 2 versions up from what it was on release. They also updated pidgin to the latest which screwed with the interface. I always thought that kind of thing was frowned upon.
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Old 2007-09-28, 23:28   Link #235
SeijiSensei
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Ah, you reminded me of what I forgot to add to the last post, Epyon.

First, I routinely disable SELinux, or at least set it to permissive. For the machine sitting in front of me here, SELinux is overkill. But then I've already expressed my preference for convenience over bastion security when the subject of wireless protection came up here recently.

Second, I exclude all Java options from the packages offered during installation, then install a copy of the Sun JRE. Azureus seems quite happy running on top of Sun Java. I'm not enough of a purist to use gcj; after all I'm using proprietary codecs from Livna and the proprietary nVidia driver for my video.

As for kernel upgrades, you do get them with Fedora but they're pretty infrequent. As I mentioned above, the only problem I've had was when a newly-installed kernel and kmod-nvidia were out of sync. If you need real stability, use CentOS. The standard RHEL kernel changes rarely except for back-ported security fixes or major kernel improvements. RHEL 4 ran on 2.6.9 plua patches for years.

You can also exclude the kernel from updates by adding "exclude=kernel*" to fedora.repo, as I do. That could expose me to some arcane kernel code exploit, I suppose, but once again I'm willing to take that risk to avoid losing my video for no good reason.

I don't do IM so I know nothing about pidgin.
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Old 2007-09-29, 02:25   Link #236
Epyon9283
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I leave SELinux enabled. With the more recent policy updates I almost never get denials in my daily work. On a stock install of Fedora 7 though even the included cron jobs were getting denied.

I usually leave gcj installed on the box because some packages have a stupid dependency on it. I then install the sun jre and use update-alternatives to get the jvm I need.

IIRC they went from 2.6.21 to 2.6.22 in Fedora 7. I don't really mind but it is a bit unusual compared to the other binary distros with a relatively frequent release schedule.
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Old 2007-09-29, 08:38   Link #237
SeijiSensei
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Join Date: Nov 2006
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"update-alternatives," huh? I'll have to look into that. I knew there are these "alternatives" settings in Fedora, but I didn't know how to control which alternative is used. I agree that stripping out gcj is a pain because of dependencies, but the only Java application I use regularly is Azureus. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 2007-09-29, 17:21   Link #238
Syaoran
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
What's your reason for using OpenSUSE on the desktop, even though you're using Ubuntu on your laptop?
The last Suse version I've worked with was Suse 6.4 ... so I wanted to know what kind of distro it became.
Secondly: Ubuntu doesn't come with LVM during installation and you've to mess with the shell to install it. My desktop has a RAID 5 controller (Intel SRCS14L) with 4x 250GB SATA and I put LVM on top of the RAID. It gives me some breathing space for the partitions should it ever be needed.

With Ubuntu I don't understand why, but samba stuff in painfully slow... especially between Linux and XP/Vista machines. It's not even comparable on how smooth it runs with OpenSuse and it better be that way: fast & reliable
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Old 2007-09-30, 06:46   Link #239
grey_moon
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Heya all

I thought I'd post on this thread as my laptop is Ubuntu and most likey will stay Ubuntu.

Right I've always been a bit concerned about securing my mobile devices, it is just too easy for someone to walk off with my lappy when I am going from A to B. Now I don't have that much private information that I cart around, but I do work on some documents with sensitive data on it so I do have an encrypted partition on my device.

I've always used truecrypt and I manually mount an encrypted partition within my normal home directory where I store most of my data. I use truecrypt because I can then mount any removable media on XP as well.

I know with the above scenario is not that secure as places like the var, tmp and swap are left open to attack. With the current level of data sensitivity not being that high I never really looked into it much.

Does anyone else have any pointers or tips on securing Linux laptops from physical attacks?
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Old 2007-09-30, 07:12   Link #240
Sarugaki
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Hey Ubuntu user right here !
I've been using Linux for about 3 three years now : mandrake, mandriva, ubuntu, kubuntu, xubuntu and now ubuntu 64 bits
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