Linux Penguin

Linux Security – Server Hardening

One of the most common areas in Linux that gets overlooked during a production deployment is overall security. Specifically, the hardening of the operating system against common exploits (and hardening can encompass both policy and configuration for both internal and external use). We are going to talk about some common ways to protect our server from both the inexperienced as well as the malicious users it will be exposed to.

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Stephens Home

Ubuntu and Multiple Monitors – AMD Edition

There are several ways to end up with a satisfactory experience on the desktop with Ubuntu despite their recent confusion of the user interface. We will discuss some of those another day (KDE vs. Gnome vs. Cinammon vs. Unity). Today we are going to talk about setting up your desktop environment for multiple monitors. This article assumes you are running Ubuntu 12.04 LTS or 12.10, however, the process should work equally well back to version 10.04 LTS unless otherwise noted.

Assuming you have installed Ubuntu and are successfully sitting at the desktop (the window manager at this point is irrelevant), a couple of questions will now come to mind. What am I going to be using my linux desktop environment for? If you are going to be running office applications, email, basic web browsing and the occassional movie, you might be done. The default (read: Open Source) binary video drivers for both AMD (radeon) and Nvidia (nouveaux) are perfectly acceptable for all of those things. In fact, recently, they both have picked up some compositing support (so you can run the nifty 3D window effects in Compiz or KWin) as well as support for gaming. However, that support is spotty and performance still leaves a lot to be desired.

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Tux Hired!

How to Get a Linux (Related) Job

Working in Information Technology over the last twenty years (and the last ten or so as a senior engineer or team lead in various organizations) has exposed me to a lot of resumes over that time. Over the last five years, one of the more common questions I am asked is “how can I get a Linux related job?”. I will attempt to address that in this space.

The most important thing to remember is that your quest for a Linux position at any organization is really no different than applying for any other I.T. position. Once you have identified the company and the posting (and a great place to get an idea of who is looking for Linux talent and with what experience, is The Linux Foundation), you need to focus on the attributes and experience you have that are directly applicable to the position you want. Your resume should then be tailored to highlight that experience throughout your career as much as possible.

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Linux Penguin

OpenLDAP – Fixing or Recovering a Corrupt Directory

Let’s discuss OpenLDAP. LDAP is a wonderful thing, but just when you get to relying on it too much, BANG! You are dead in the water. It won’t restart after a system reboot, it won’t allow authentication with an account that you know worked just yesterday, or worse, your local server logins seem to hang or time out altogether.

So what do we do? First, you have to get logged in. If you are unlucky enough to have your local server logins tied to LDAP and they are no longer working (you did have a couple of local accounts with admin privileges right?), you are either going to have to use a backup local account, the root account or reboot your system in single user mode and login as root. If you don’t know how to do any of those things, we can visit that topic at another time. For the purposes of our exercise, let us assume you are logged into the LDAP server itself with elevated privileges. Here are some things to try: 

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