"Humble Ubuntu"

This blog records my personal adventures with Ubuntu Linux.

Friday, March 23, 2007

SSH and Protecting SSH from Hackers

I found this useful tidbit in one of Chess Griffin's Linux Reality forums...

On episode 37 Chess discussed ssh and in paticular "changing the port number of ssh to something beside port 22. Though this might stop some of the casual thugs from trying to crack your system, it isn't that hard to scan and find out the port that you have chosen to move ssh to. Another way would be to use a program called DenyHosts which scans the auth.log file and than adds all ip(s) that scans your ssh to the hosts.deny file. Their website is http://denyhosts.sourceforge.net/ It is extremely easy to configure and can be configured to suite almost any needs or wants."

I wanted to hold onto this for when I decide to open my SSH port for remote access.

Another interesting article... SSH dynamic port forwarding with SOCKS

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Podcasts I listen to on a regular basis

Thought I would just provide a list of the podcasts I listen to each week:

SecurityNow (Leo Laporte/Steve Gibson.)
FreshUbuntu (Halem)
Linux Reality
GlobalGeek Podcast
The Linux Action Show
Ubuntu Podcast
Linux Install Podcast

Friday, March 9, 2007

Was listening to Linux Reality podcast this morning and ran across an interesting utility called "Screen". Will need to research it more and provide some info..

Friday, March 2, 2007

Ubuntu LAMP Server setup

HOWTO: Setup a Debian/Ubuntu LAMP Server


Configuring Apache 2 on Debian, Ubuntu


Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy Eft) LAMP Server Installation with Screenshots


My Sql setup


Thursday, February 1, 2007

Understanding Open Source...

In the past I had spent time trying out and browsing different “live CD” distros but had been a little disappointed because they weren't able to do all the normal things I do daily while using Windows XP for surfing the net, listening to live streams, (ie.. www.air1.com,) watching videos (ie. www.youtube.com), watching/listening Windows Media Player files, listening to mp3's or running quicktime movies. It seems that these are fairly easy things to do in Windows as a plug-in can easily be installed to handle it.

However, after researching Linux more (and in particular Ubuntu,) I found the biggest reason was that all the stuff I came to know and get used to in Windows, actually had propriety rights and thus needed acknowledgment of a licensing agreement. Before in Windows, I routinely agreed to the various licensing agreements without giving much thought to this concept. What I have found is that Linux in general (and in particular Ubuntu) strives to use software that is Open Source using Open Source formats, thus staying away from having someone agree to various non-open source agreements. Furthermore I found I could actually get the same functionality by downloading and installing optional packages that will serve up these media types. However, I now find myself giving this concept more serious thought and it's impact overall. Open Source vs. Proprietary... all the things I've come to know and enjoy in the Windows realm have proprietary roots, which means we are driven by key supplier vendors and what they want. On the other hand Open Source says here's something, try it, improve upon it and share it again. With this model we don't have to get caught up in a trap of following key vendors and overall the community gets a much better product.

I believe this to be a big hurdle Windows users have in trying or adopting Linux as a platform (I know it was for me.) Windows users are so used to getting the mainstream of Internet communications mediums that work with little or not trouble. Without understanding this key concept, one may get discouraged and wonder why they should convert (especially if the things we consider normal everyday Internet activities don't work.) Maybe there should be a warning sign or description of this fact that people can read before they dive in. They too, like myself, my obtain a stronger feeling/liking to the Open Source community.

I'm not completely converted over to Open Source software yet (I'm off to a good start using Firefox, Ubuntu and Open Office on my test laptop, however, I still use commercial software and proprietary formats on my primary work and home computers... well I did switch over to using Firefox as my main browser, guess this counts...) however, the seeds have been planted, and who knows what will grow. I am committed to working with and using Open Source more and more, and will probably embrace more use of “ogg” vs. “mp3” (I wonder if my MP3 player will recognize and play “ogg” formats... will have to research this and see what I can find) as well as convert even my Home Windows Office productivity software to Open Office.

Stay tuned... I'll write more about what I'm learning/finding...

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Welcome to my blog

Hi, this is Mark and this is my first time creating a blog. I was recently listening to a "Ubuntu Podcast #25" from www.ubuntuos.com. Sal, one of the podcast team suggested that every new Ubuntu/Xubuntu user create a blog to record what they've learned and things they've tried.... so here I am!

I'm going to go ahead and use this blog to record my personal adventures with Ubuntu Linux 6.10 (Edgy Eft). Here's my brief story:

I have been a Windows user for most of my professional life (many years, actually I can date my starting computer experience to the Apple IIe and MS-DOS, yes... the some really old days.) I currently manage a team of Windows/Solaris System Administrators and Network Engineers. Several of my Unix System Administrators routinely use Ubuntu Linux at work. I often wondered what the big attraction was for them and why they choose to snub Windows (the software on 90% of personal computers today.) I often loaded and tested different distributions of linux under VMware Player in Windows XP, but never really spent more than just a few minutes poking around.

So just before Christmas 2006, I was taking a quick break from my regular schedule of work, ministry (I lead a community group in my congregation) and college (I decided to go back and finish the degree I started many years ago), I decided to learn more about network security and realized that there were a lot of tools out there that ran on linux. So I decided it was time to blaze the trail and really learn about it and how to use it. Then I could move forward with network security tools.

For a while now, I have spent lots of time downloading various live CD distros trying to decide what I would settle on. I found that I liked the "gnome" interface and tended to go back to distros that used this. Eventually I settled on Ubuntu. I'll post later on about my search process.

A few weeks ago I converted a four year old Compaq Evo laptop, 500mb ram and 30mb hard drive that used to run Windows XP into a dedicated Ubuntu system. It was my desire to use this system more and more at home so that I could get familiar with it.

I've up and running on it for several weeks. I'm using the system right now to type this blog.

Stay tuned... more to come!