Laser Blog

Articles tagged "linux"

108 ZFS and Linux?

Sunday 18th May, 2008

This is concerning a cryptic entry from the blog of Jeff Bonwick. The two guys in the photos (follow the link) are Linus Torvalds and Jeff Bonwick. Jeff Bonwick is maybe not quite as well known as Linus Torvalds. He's the CTO of Storage Technologies at Sun Microsystems, he's also the ZFS development team leader, and his blog pretty much focuses on ZFS.

So, what's this about? Aren't there supposed to be licensing issues with Linux and ZFS? All I can assume when Jeff Bonwick says:

All I can say for the moment is... stay tuned."
is that there are "talks about talks". There are certainly interesting possibilities, ZFS is impressive stuff.


103 Hotmail doesn't work with Firefox 2.0 and GNU/Linux

Monday 11th February, 2008

Personally, when I first saw the headline, I thought, "So what?" However on closer reading, it seems that Hotmail has been deliberately rigged not to work with Firefox 2.0 and GNU/Linux. To work around it, all you need to do is use User Agent Switcher to masquerade as Firefox running on Windows, and it works just fine. There is no technical reason why it shouldn't work, this just seems to be a deliberate attempt to block Linux users from Hotmail.

The funniest part of this whole story is when the author contacted Hotmail support with his woes, explaining that Firefox 2 wasn't fully supported under GNU/Linux, and he received a reply recommending him to use Outlook Express, as well as details of the steps required to set up Outlook Express on Windows XP and Vista.


102 Linux security tips from the pros

Sunday 27th January, 2008

I'm always interested in security tips for Linux. This article is short and sweet and contains brief snippets of advice from the likes of Ted Ts'o, Andrew Morton, Linus Torvalds, and Fyodor (yes, he of Nmap fame) on how they secure their Linux desktops and networks.


100 Malicious commands

Wednesday 28th November, 2007

There's an alarming post on the Ubuntu forums warning of a recent trend whereby new Ubuntu Linux users are being tricked into running dangerous commands which will delete home directories, or overwrite the system disk, or the like.

One of the great strengths of Linux in particular and Open Source software in general has been the approachability and helpfulness of the community, and it seems some dweebs think its funny to exploit this openness and trick a new user to trash their system.

It's made me think. A significant part (**) of the security of a system lies in the users. Linux and Unix have always been professional operating systems, written by professionals, for use by professionals. When you use the command line to ask a *nix system to do something, the assumption is that you know what you're doing. That system won't ask you if you're sure you want to do what you've typed. It'll just do it. I don't think that should change. For me it's part of the attraction.

I've only used Ubuntu once. I was impressed, but not that much that I would leave the distro I currently use :) . It seemed to me that the Ubuntu people have made it possible to do pretty much anything you might want to do using the GUI, and this is the attraction that has brought in many (welcome!) newcomers to Linux. However the command line is far more powerful and flexible than any GUI, and as people slowly come to realise this and naturally start experimenting, I feel more issues of a similar nature may arise.

If you want your PC (running Linux or Windows) to remain safe and secure, you need to have a particular mindset. "Wary" probably describes it. "Keeping it simple" and experience definitely helps.

(** This is not to say that all systems are equal. Not by a long shot.)


91 Analysis of a cracked Linux host

Saturday 18th August, 2007

Sadly, another case of link rot.
Rob. April 2015.

This is a fascinating analysis of a cracked Linux host. The cracker seems to have made a number of fundamental mistakes which led to the owner becoming concerned as to why some services weren't running. The owner then called in a friend (the author) who started to analyse why the server was behaving so unusually. Well worth a read.