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Hardening your systems with Bastille Linux

System administrators need to secure their systems while avoiding locking them down so strictly that they become useless. Bastille is a software tool that eases the process of hardening a Linux system, giving you the choice of what to lock down and what not to, depending on your security requirements. It bundles many of the tasks routinely done to securely configure a Linux system into one package.

Interview With GNU DDRescue's Antonio Diaz Diaz

Antonio Diaz Diaz, the developer behind GNU DDRescue, took the time to answer a few questions for Blue GNU regarding the GNU data recovery utility and how it compares to other projects.

To Groklaw's 'Pamela Jones': Get Your Facts Straight

A misleading article appeared Monday on an anti-SCO Web site called Groklaw run by a blogger who calls him or herself 'Pamela Jones.' Jones tried to pick apart a story I wrote about SCO v. Novell. I need to set the record straight because virtually everything 'PJ' said about my article is wrong. 'PJ', or whatever this person's real name is, claimed that a number of specific points I made in the 565-word story were inaccurate, and spent more than 3,000 words trying to prove it. But 'PJ' is wrong on every count except for one, minor numerical detail that I'll get to later.

[This is Paul's response to this Groklaw story, which in turn was a rebuttal of Paul's earlier story on SCO-Novell.—Sander]

Google Pack Gains StarOffice

In a surprise move, Google quietly released StarOffice in its Google Pack of free downloadable programs. StarOffice is Sun Microsystems' commercial office suite. A version of it, OpenOffice, is the most popular open-source desktop suite. StarOffice 8 was released in 2005. In eWEEK Labs' tests of StarOffice 8 at the time, the labs were pleased with the suite's word processing (Writer), spreadsheet (Calc), presentation (Impress) and database (Base) functions. In addition, the Labs had generally good results opening and creating Microsoft Office-formatted documents with StarOffice.

U.S. ITS project chooses Parvus Linux computers as in-car servers

Parvus Corporation, the U.S. subsidiary of the Eurotech Group, has announced that the Vehicle Infrastructure Integration Consortium (VIIC) in the U.S. has selected its DuraCOR 1100 computer for the federally-funded Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) initiative aimed at reducing highway congestion and collision prevention.

Securing Linux/Unix Systems - Part One

As an intro, Jay Beale from Intelguardians took an impromptu survey to find out who was using what Linux. This discussion was designed to discuss the types of attacks, how to recognize them, and how to defend them. The primary points that were covered were the secuing of a system from an O/S standpoint. In other words, look for things that shouldn’t be running, users that shouldn’t be doing things, and applications that shouldn’t be doing things and find ways to remove them, inhibit them, or remove them. Sounds simple enough.

Another update on ODF vs. OOXML file counts

It is now three months since I first posted the table of OOXML file types found by Google. I was curious how the numbers have changed. Google has indexed 162,700 ODF documents and only 1993 OOXML documents. In three months, 13,400 more ODF documents have been added to the web, with only 1,329 OOXML documents added. That isn't what I would call good traction for the overwhelmingly dominant office suite.

Review: Dell Inspiron 1420N with Ubuntu

After two weeks of using the new Dell Inspiron 1420N with Ubuntu, I decided it’s time to write down some of my thoughts about this new Linux offering from Dell. The time seems right for a company like Dell to partner with a distribution like Ubuntu and bring Linux to the masses. Unfortunately, Dell and Ubuntu’s parent company Canonical have not worked together closely enough to make this a first-rate offering. While I think the 1420N is a great computer overall, the lack of attention to detail (and unbelievably bad driver support) keep these latest Linux offerings from being ready for the general public.

XenSource bulks up and makes more pools with v4

XenSource has dished out a fresh version of its flagship server virtualization product that should help the vendor compete with market leader VMware. XenEnterprise Version 4.0 brings a host of new tools for managing large numbers of virtual machines, physical servers and storage boxes. In addition, the software provides serious scale improvements, including 64-bit support that allows for systems with more memory and support for both larger virtual and physical systems.

Palm announced two new software providers for Foleo: LogMeIn & Wind River

At LinuxWorld in San Francisco, Palm announced two new software providers for the Palm Foleo mobile companion. LogMeIn, the world's leading provider of remote connectivity, will bring remote PC access capabilities to the Palm Foleo through secure connections over the web, enabling easy desktop remote control, data backup and file sharing. With this application, users can quickly and securely access files and network resources on their home or work computers when away. Palm has also selected Wind River as its Linux platform provider for future Foleo software releases.

Open-Source Radeon TV Out

Last week the TV-Out support for the Radeon driver was merged into the open-source Radeon RandR-1.2 driver. This TV-out support should work with all ATI graphics cards supported by the open-source driver. In Alex Deucher's list announcement he mentions that the driver will only work with composite and S-Video output and is currently limited to a resolution of 800 x 600.

Vista Ultimate vs. Ubuntu 7.04 - Which Install Is Easier?

This weekend I suffered a meltdown of my workstation’s main hard drive. The drive help my Windows Vista Ultimate install, which in turn held several hundred pictures, music files, movies etc. Circuit City had a great deal on drives, so a quick car trip landed me a brand new 500GB Seagate drive for $109.99. After popping the drive into the machine, I gathered up my respective DVD’s and set off to rebuild the beast. Only this time, Vista was going to have company - and maybe competition. This time, Ubuntu 7.04 was getting an equal share of the drive. It is time to really see which one is easier to install.

Sabayon Linux: Something for everyone

The Sabayon Linux live DVD distribution, based on the unstable branch of Gentoo Linux, has been in development for several years and caters to a wide variety of users. Having started out with a beautiful but mainstream appearance, it now boasts one of the most unique looks in Linux and more usability options than most other distros. The distribution offers premium open source games, accelerated desktop effects, a large and varied software suite, and several variations. Besides the full release, Sabayon also comes in a Business Edition and usually a Mini edition. With all it has to offer, Sabayon has something for everyone.

GNOME Turns Ten

"We want to develop a free and complete set of user friendly applications and desktop tools, similar to CDE and KDE but based entirely on free software." Those were the opening lines of Miguel De Icaza's email announcing the GNU Network Object Model Environment, better known as GNOME, exactly ten years ago, on 15th August 1997.

Hardening Linux

Linux is an enterprise-grade operating system and is capable of the utmost security. However, many installations fall short because the out-of-the-box setup routines have to cater for the lowest common denominator. There are tools to tighten up and harden your server – and we’ll introduce you to Bastille – but it’s important to understand how to do it manually too.

"A few more" versions of Linux Kernel 2.6.20 planned

Willy Tarreau, maintainer of the 2.4 kernel series, wants to continue to oversee the Linux version 2.6.20 a bit longer than the maintainers of the stable kernel series would normally have done. Tarreau wanted to persuade the two maintainers to also oversee an updated version for 2.6.20. He wound up doing the work himself; he put a series of patches up for discussion, from which the Linux kernel 2.6.20.16 should ultimately be developed.

Novell: We Won’t be SCO 2.0; BoycottNovell: Who is We?

A few days ago, amid great victory to Linux, we dared to argue that UNIX copyrights in Novell’s hands are a worrisome business. We later argued that inheritance of these copyrights might be an issue as well, especially at times when SUSE mimics Microsoft’s technologies and adopts Microsoft formats/protocols. We are relieved to hear that Bruce Lowry offers some reassurance. He promises that Novell won’t be the “next SCO”, i.e it won’t be trolling companies.

Ask a penguin to see which way Linux wind blows

The nonprofit Linux Foundation has unveiled the Linux Weather Forecast, a Web site aimed at giving people a better sense of the status of specific Linux kernel projects. The forecast, which will be officially announced on Wednesday, is already live and tracks work in the Linux developer community likely to be included in the operating system's kernel and in major distributions of the open-source software, or both.

System Administration Toolkit: Distributed administration using SSH

Use Secure Shell (SSH) to run commands on remote UNIX® systems and, with some simple scripts, put together a system that enables you to manage many systems simultaneously from one machine without having to log in directly to the machines themselves. Also examine the basics of a distributed management system and some scripts and solutions using the technique.

Sidux 2007-03 a.k.a. "Γαια" released

After less than 3 months of development, we are proud to announce the immediate availability of the sidux 2007-03 "Γαια" release for amd64 and i686 systems, shipping in a ≈440 MB lite KDE and a ≈700 MB full KDE flavor. sidux is a full featured Debian sid based live CD with a special focus on hard disk installations, a clean upgrade path within sid and additional hard- and software support. Our third official sidux release concentrates on overhauling the SysV initsequence of the live CD, refactoring the installer backend and laying the foundation for proper gettext based localisations of our toolset, with additional efforts regarding general clean up, obsoletion of gtk+ 1.2 based tools and especially the kernel.

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