Linux Blog

A Bug Hunter’s Diary Review

Filed under: General Linux — TheLinuxBlog.com at 11:27 pm on Monday, May 21, 2012

A Bug Hunter’s Diary, by Tobias Klein, from No Starch Press is a book that caught my eye. Reverse engineering is a topic I have an interest in, if not much experience, but I am not quite ready for a comprehensive book on the topic. A Bug Hunter’s Diary seemed like a good match for my interests but, initially, I wasn’t sure what to expect from it.

To my pleasant surprise, I walked away with a lot of fantastic technical information; much more than I expected from a technical book that read like a story. A Bug Hunter’s Diary gives great insight into the bug hunting process. It outlines various techniques used to find bugs, and then moves on to exploitation and outlines some of the remediation techniques and processes. For each bug, a chapter is presented with necessary background information, plenty of technical information and code, a detailed explanation, and a timeline outlining the process.

Tobias Klein did a great job explaining what was being done and why, even for those (like me) who know very little about assembly language. Unfortunately, due to the laws of the country in which the author lives, A Bug Hunter’s Diary doesn’t show working exploits but he does provide links to demonstration videos online throughout.

I initially read this book on the Kindle before a hard copy arrived. It reads very well on the Kindle, with the exception of a few tables. A short and delightful read, I devoured A Bug Hunter’s Diary cover to cover in record time. Once I started reading, I would find it hard to put down. For me it was a great book that has re-ignited my interests, motivating me to learn more, and I look forward to reading it again.

Guidelines for Beginners to Linux Directory Structure

Filed under: General Linux — TheLinuxBlog.com at 8:30 am on Friday, May 18, 2012

Guest Post by Brianne

Linux directory structure is not very complex but is different from the directory structure one comes across in other operating systems. The structure is so built that the different kinds of files with varied functions are effectively segregated into specific directories. The root partition and the root directory form the base of the Linux directory structure. Under the root directory, there are several directories that contain files meant for use for a particular purpose. System files are separated from the user files, so are the command and device files. Here is a detailed look at the various directories and the premise of their existence.

(Read on …)

Important Linux Distros for Beginners in 2012

Filed under: General Linux,Linux Software — TheLinuxBlog.com at 9:34 pm on Tuesday, May 1, 2012

This is a guest post from Brianne.

There is wide variety of Linux Distros in the market. Each one differs in size, design, support and layout, although the basic function is the same. Each distros offers several unique features apart from main features. There is a heavy competition among distributors to create and develop unique features. Each of these distros offers different types of support systems such as forums, live chat, and other means. That is why it is necessary to select the distributor based on your requirement.

Here is a list of Important Linux distributors for beginners in 2012.

(Read on …)

NetworkManager ‘device not managed’ Fix

Filed under: General Linux — TheLinuxBlog.com at 10:43 pm on Sunday, April 8, 2012

Recently I ran into an issue where a new installation of Debian didn’t have NetworkManager set up correctly. Everytime I tried to use NetworkManager it had an issue with the devices not being managed. Luckily there was a man page for networkmanager.conf and its a quick fix.

All you have to do is

sudo vi /etc/NetworkManager/NetworkManager.conf

and change:

[ifupdown]
managed=false
 
# to
[ifupdown]
managed=true
 
# Then
sudo service network-manager restart

And it’s fixed. Your wireless and ethernet connections will then be managed by NetworkManager. If you don’t want network manager to manage anymore you can just stop the service, or disable it at boot time by removing it from your /etc/rc[x].d/ directory where [x] corresponds to your runlevel. Enjoy!

Spring Cleaning

Filed under: General Linux,Shell Script Sundays — TheLinuxBlog.com at 6:30 am on Sunday, April 1, 2012

It’s that time of year, tree’s, plants and animals doing there thing. The time of the year where other wildlife and beings start cleaning up since the weather is nice. I guess it’s time for a post on some spring cleaning for the Linux folk

We will start off with a classic, sure to give you a clean start:
rm -rf .
Best done from root, just remember to press CTRL+c and/or reboot as quickly as possible when you realize what you have done.

On a serious note, I had a bunch of annoying hidden files in backup directories I wanted to get rid of. This did the trick.

find . -iname ".*"
find . -iname ".*" | wc -l
find . -iname ".*" | while read i ; do echo rm "$i" >> possibly_remove; done;

The above is conservative. ‘chmod 755 possibly_remove’, verify there are no files in there you actually want, you are in the correct directory then ‘./possibly_remove’ and you’re golden. Mmm. Spring freshness.

Since I like to live on the wild side, I run it without creating a file of files to delete that can be executed like this:

find . -iname ".*" | while read i ; do rm "$i"; done;

This will also work to cleanup nasty files that may have been accumulating a while that may be have left behind. It can be used to find and delete all Thumbs.db files by doing this:

find . -iname "thumbs.db" | while read i ; do rm "$i"; done;

The above is pretty careless, in most cases it probably wouldn’t hurt.

That is all the spring cleaning I have done, except for some random fsck’ing’ that was long overdue.

Auto mounting a partition

Filed under: General Linux,Linux Software — TheLinuxBlog.com at 10:03 pm on Monday, March 26, 2012

It’s been a while. A while since I’ve had to actually had to manually edit the /etc/fstab to automount a partition. So long, that I searched my blog trying to find out how to do it. To my surprise, I’d never actually written one. If I had, I couldn’t find it. Here’s to you, memory:

According to /etc/fstab this is how it’s done

# <file system> <mount point> <type> <options> <dump> <pass>

For those of us that are human, that can mean very little. What you can do, in hopefully slightly more understandable terms is add a line that looks like this:

/dev/sd[a|b|c][x] /mnt/[location] [filesystem] defaults 0 0

What that looks like in my case is:

/dev/sda5 /mnt/sda5 ext4 defaults 0 0

Save, exit and reboot. Hope for the best :)

Disclaimer – I did manage to find the man page for fstab while searching!

OpenStack: A Story about Confidence

Filed under: General Linux — Owen at 7:25 pm on Saturday, March 3, 2012

Today we have a guest article submitted by Jesse L. on OpenStack. Enjoy!

Open source solutions, while certainly nothing new, have exploded into the consciousness of IT departments around the world over the past few years. Sensing an opportunity to move cloud computing forward, Rackspace introduced an open source cloud computing solution, OpenStack. The move was a risky one, but now it appears to be paying off as the technology has attracted supporters from around the IT industry.

OpenStack Origins
The origins for OpenStack date back to the summer of 2010 when Rackspace Hosting and NASA teamed up to create an open source project. The first release, code named Austin and released under an Apache License, was written in Python and designed to allow any organization to create a cloud solution for their clients. The original code included components for computing, object storage and image service, with security management and a user interface to be developed later. The software was initially well-received, and after a little more than a year it has attracted a number of major players in the cloud space, including HP, Citrix, Dell and AMD. In late 2011, Rackspace handed OpenStack over to a not-for-profit organization, which will support its continued development while attracting Rackspace’s competitors to use the solution.

The Risk of OpenStack
For a company that had cloud computing pretty well figured out, launching an open source product could have some serious drawbacks. But at the time, the future of cloud computing in general was at risk as vendor lock-in prevented many organizations from fully exploring cloud options. Once they chose a provider, companies simply wouldn’t have the option of an easy migration to another service. OpenStack aimed to become an open source solution that would do for the cloud what Android did for mobile devices, essentially becoming a base on which other companies could build and innovate. Rackspace considered the risk worth it, and if its collaboration with NASA paid off, the company would position itself as an industry guide for years to come. Almost two years later, that’s exactly what happened—and now Rackspace, and the cloud computing sector in general, are reaping the benefits.

OpenStack Benefits
The major benefit of OpenStack is that organizations can build on a technology that is quickly becoming an industry standard, making it easier to fully explore cloud computing options from a variety of providers. Since OpenStack is open source, it also benefits from the culture of open source software with people viewing, updating and perfecting the code. Since industry experts from around the world are involved in the project, OpenStack is poised to become stronger and more dominant as time moves on.
While not all open source software gambles pay off, OpenStack looks like a winner for Rackspace. From being little more than an interesting piece of open source news last year, the technology has grown and gathered the attention of most of the major players in the cloud computing industry. While there will always be vendor-specific cloud options available—especially from major vendors who already have tons of support and investment in their architecture—OpenStack is on its way to becoming an industry standard. A few hurdles still stand in the way, and only time will tell if the OpenStack Foundation can properly shepherd the technology into the future. But for now, Rackspace’s experiment looks like a success.

The Linux Command Line – Review

Filed under: General Linux,Linux for Newb's — TheLinuxBlog.com at 4:32 pm on Friday, February 24, 2012

Linux Command Line, A Complete Introductionwas given an opportunity to review The Linux Command Line, a Complete Introduction, by William E. Shotts, JR from No Starch Press and decided to give it a go. Being somewhat of a command line geek, I’m always on the lookout for good material to learn new and interesting things, and perhaps recommend to others. This is one of the better books I’ve read on the Linux Command line. It is easy to read and users with a little experience will find it has straight forward descriptions and examples. The book contains a lot of information and the only thing I’ve found lacking is diagrams, but if you’re not a particularly visual learner, this may work for you.

The book is intended to be read from cover to cover, which is exactly what I did (very rare for me, I tend to jump around.) It is not supposed to be a reference work, but more of a story. The story starts off basically enough, moving on to more advanced topics, finishing with shell scripting, though there may be some squabbling over the order in which it is presented. The gentle introduction to vi gives enough information on how to use it without being too overwhelming, and to be honest it covers just about everything I can remember how to do with vi without picking up a reference. Pretty much everything I’ve ever written in the Shell Script Sundays could be explained in this book, but as it wasn’t written as a reference, it doesn’t really work well as one.

If you’re new to the Linux command line you’ll walk away knowing what it is capable of; how to do all kinds of stuff that the “experts” do on a daily basis and probably more. For example, I can’t remember the last time I printed something from the shell. There is so much information contained within this book, you’re almost guaranteed to learn something, I did.

Linux Blog Updates

Filed under: The Linux Blog News — TheLinuxBlog.com at 3:07 pm on Tuesday, February 21, 2012

It’s been a while since I’ve done some feature improvements on TheLinuxBlog and quite frankly it’s about time for some updating and modernization. Here are some changes I’ve made and some features I’m planning on adding.
(Read on …)

Mandatory New Years Post

Filed under: The Linux Blog News — TheLinuxBlog.com at 7:37 pm on Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy new year! I guess it’s time for a yearly update, I feel like everyone else has done it and now its my turn. Hit the jump for some more statistics that are probably only interesting to yours truly.

Top 10 Posts
Interestingly enough none of these were written this year. Perhaps I should write a query to extract the most popular ones of this year, I’m not sure they’re getting the same search love as my older stuff.

Using cut, Shellscript string manipulation 8.54%
Handy Linux Wallpaper 7.33%
Shell script to get user input 7.18%
The Linux Blog 6.38%
Rsync to SMB Share 4.26%
Apache director index forbidden by options directive 3.97%
Working with CSV files in bash 3.64%
Rotating videos in Linux 2.46%
Recursive md5 sum script 2.28%
iphone ssh client 2.04%

(Read on …)

Packages you should install from the get-go

Filed under: General Linux,Linux Software,Quick Linux Tutorials — TheLinuxBlog.com at 3:45 pm on Wednesday, December 28, 2011

When re-installing or performing a fresh installs of Linux, I’ve found that packages often disappear from default installations. These are the tools I install from the get-go. I’m sure there is more that I’m missing, next time I re-install I’ll update the list. Feel free to contribute your favorites to the list in the comments!

(Read on …)

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