viernes, 31 de agosto de 2007

Finstall: a New Installer for FreeBSD

As some of you might now, I’ve been working on a GUI installer for FreeBSD as a Google Summer of Code 2007 project that would one day, with some luck, replace the aging sysinstall. The SoC is now officially over and it’s time to make a public release of what’s been done so far.


X.Org 7.3 Preview

Scheduled for release tomorrow is X.Org 7.3. Among the new features for X.Org 7.3 include the Xorg server 1.4, an application for adjusting a display's backlight, updated display drivers, and support for font catalog directories.


Gnash, the GNU Flash Player, 0.8.1 Released

The fourth alpha release of Gnash has just been made at version 0.8.1.

martes, 28 de agosto de 2007

Solaris Containers for Linux Applications

Solaris Containers for Linux Applications es una actualización a la tecnología de virtualización "Containers" incluída en Solaris 10 que le permitirá a sus usuarios ejecutar binarios Linux de Red Hat Enterprise y CentOS sin hacerles ninguna modificación. Solaris Containers for Linux Applications no es una distribución ni incluye software para Linux por sí misma, pero tiene todas las herramientas necesarias para ejecutar archivos binarios de Linux de 32 bits sobre un Kernel de Solaris de 32 o 64 bits.


New version of the Jihbed LiveCD

Zafer Aydogan sent me mail to let me (and thus you :) know that he has released a new version of his NetBSD-based Jihbed Live CD.


domingo, 26 de agosto de 2007

Compact x86 box targets custom routers

A startup hopes to challenge Soekris and PC Engines, among others, in the market for compact, customizable computing platforms for networking devices. HeroLogic's first system, the HL-463, is based on a 333MHz AMD GX466 processor, and lets users choose from several supported software options, including Linux.

HeroLogic cofounder and CTO Tony Fader, who previously spent a year at Soekris, explained, "Lots of its products are EOLed [end-of-lifed], and Soekris doesn't do any software support. [HeroLogic] can pre-install, say, BSD on 100 units and deliver them in two days."


Partition and Image Your Hard Drive with the System Rescue CD

You've just reinstalled Windows from scratch—again—but this time you want to preserve your sparkling clean setup for instant restoration down the road. Instead of dropping cash on Norton Ghost or Acronis True Image, burn yourself a free, bootable Linux-based System Rescue CD. The System Rescue CD includes open source tools GParted and Partimage, which can create a new partition and save your fresh Windows installation as a restorable image for the price of zero dollars. Never stare at those creeping Windows installation progress bars again: With the System Rescue CD, you can have that fresh new Windows feeling any time you need it. Here's how.

IPBlock - Graphical IP Blocker

IPBlock Features

* to protect your privacy while sharing with others
* to ban unwanted clients from servers
* to block whole countries or networks
* to block spam- and ad-servers


IPTraf, a ncurses based LAN monitor

Sometimes you just want to see what connections your machine is making to the outside world and what ports it’s using. While wireshark and tcpdump are really nice for inspecting detailed package contents. IPTraf is really about connections and interface statistics. Because iptraf is based on ncurses the program can be run from a text-console and still have a (primitive) `gui`. Navigation through the menus can be done using your arrow keys. Most of the time all the available options and their keys are shown on the bottomline of the sreen.


Wine 0.9.44 Released

This is release 0.9.44 of Wine, a free implementation of Windows on Unix.

What's new in this release:
- Better heuristics for making windows managed.
- Automatic detection of timezone parameters.
- Improvements to the builtin WordPad.
- Better signatures support in crypt32.
- Still more gdiplus functions.
- Lots of bug fixes.

Encrypt and hide a disk partition

Separate hard disk partitions can be used for any number of reasons. The basic advantage is the inherent separation of files. If one partition happens to be damaged, the files on the other partition will be saved. Also, one might need a secure place to keep those, ummm “personal” files. Either way, I think you’ll find the following guide rather useful. In it, I’ll guide you through the process of creating a partition, encrypting it, and then hiding it from prying eyes.


viernes, 24 de agosto de 2007

Linux vs. BSD, What's the Difference?

Ubuntu is known as Linux for Human Beings, because it's driven by the philosophy that "software should be available free of charge, software tools should be usable by people in their local language and despite any disabilities, and people should have the freedom to customize and alter their software in whatever way they see fit" (Ubuntu Documentation).

PC-BSD, on the other hand, "has been designed with the casual computer user in mind. Installing the system is simply a matter of a few clicks and a few minutes for the installation process to finish. Hardware such as video, sound, network, and other devices will be auto-detected and available at the first system startup. Home users will immediately feel comfortable with PC-BSD's desktop interface, with KDE 3.5 running under the hood. Software installation has also been designed to be as painless as possible, simply double-click and software will be installed"


Mambo Exploit Blocked by SELinux

If you operate Internet-connected servers, chances are you eventually will have to deal with a successful attack. Last year, I discovered that despite the multilayered defenses in place on a test Web server (targetbox), an attacker had managed to use an exploit in a partially successful attempt to gain access. This server was running Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 (RHEL 4) and the Mambo content management system. It had multiple defenses in place, including Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux). SELinux prevented the attacker from executing the second stage of the attack, possibly preventing a root compromise.

This article presents a case study of the intrusion response, explaining how I discovered the intrusion, what steps I took to identify the exploit, how I recovered from the attack and what lessons I learned regarding system security.

jueves, 23 de agosto de 2007

Top 5 Considerations while setting up your MySQL Backup

MySQL databases increasingly power production applications - whether these be web based collaboration tools or CRM applications. A well thought through backup plan and configuration will go a long way to ensure that you can recover your database - when a system or user error deletes important data stored in MySQL - without impacting your business.

In this article we provide a list of the top 5 considerations while planning a solution for backing up MySQL databases in your environment and implementing that plan.

Set up a Web server cluster in 5 easy steps

Construct a highly available Apache Web server cluster that spans multiple physical or virtual Linux® servers in 5 easy steps with Linux Virtual Server and Heartbeat v2.


miércoles, 22 de agosto de 2007

Managing a Honeypot

A honeypot emulates a server with serious security holes. The intent is to attract network intruders so that they will spend their time on a useless job. Honeypots are closely-monitored network decoys that serve several purposes: they can distract adversaries from more valuable machines on a network, provide early warning about new attacks and exploitation trends, and allow in-depth examination of adversaries during and after exploitation.


Find out how many file descriptors are being used

Administrating a box, you may wanted to find out what a processes is doing and find out how many file descriptors (fd) are being used. You will surprised to find out that process does open all sort of files:
=> Actual log file
=> /dev files
=> UNIX Sockets
=> Network sockets
=> Library files /lib /lib64
=> Executables and other programs etc

The best way to find out this information is use lsof command or explore /proc/PID directory for each running processes (including kernel processes), containing information about that process.


Hacking the FreeBSD Boot CD

This is a disection of the FreeBSD BootCD. To learn how it all works and how to modify things. The cd that I'm going to be using is 7.0-CURRENT-200708-i386-bootonly.iso
Topics will be:
1)Opening the iso
2)Reading the boot options
3)Working with mfsroot
4)Customize the boot up
5)Burning a new CD to boot from


martes, 21 de agosto de 2007

Google Hacking 102

Just like my Google Hacking 101 post, I will show you some cool Google search tricks to get more out of Google, this time the tricks are for everyone, not just those who wish to cause some damage. Learn how to get the most out your Googling experience.


Create a simple honeypot with Debian and Nepenthes

We all know how important it is to run a firewall; whether it be the default Windows firewall, third-party software, or a hardware firewall on your network gateway, you would be mad to connect to the Internet without at least one! The ‘survival time‘ is the amount of time an unprotected machine will last before it’s infected with malware-it’s shocking to see that this survival time is generally no more than 90 minutes! Almost all of these malware infections are the result of self-propagating worms and viruses spreading themselves around using known vulnerabilities.

I wanted to see for myself just how quickly a machine would be infected, how it would be infected, and how frequently it would be probed. Rather than putting a target machine openly on the Internet, I decided to use the Nepenthes malware collector. Nepenthes is a low interaction Honeypot, which emulates known vulnerabilities and captures worms as they attempt to infect it. While the way that Nepenthes operates means that it won’t detect attackers trying to exploit unknown vulnerabilities, it does allow us to detect new ways of exploiting known vulnerabilities.


Turn your FreeBSD box into a Usenet downloader

This guide will tell you how to turn your FreeBSD box into a Usenet downloader, letting you get the latest and greatest files at decent speeds. The general principles will apply to any *nix box, but the processes we’ll be going through apply to FreeBSD specifically.

How to restore a hacked Linux server

Every sysadmin will try its best to secure the system/s he is managing. Hopefully you never had to restore your own system from a compromise and you will not have to do this in the future. Working on several projects to restore a compromised Linux system for various clients, I have developed a set of rules that others might find useful in similar situations. The type of hacks encountered can be very variate and you might see very different ones than the one I will present, or I have seen live, but even so, this rules might be used as a starting point to develop your own recovery plan.


Backups using GNU/Linux

There are a lot of ways to backup your files. One might spend some time working on a complex solution; spend some money on a commercial product or often both. From what I can tell, these are more suited for large scale deployments. If you are like me, a simple folk with a bunch of computers, this might be too much for your needs. This article focuses on quick and simple ways to backup your files using basic tools from any Linux distributions.

Setting the time of your system

Lots of the task your Linux machine are controlled by the time, things like cron jobs, emails' Date, file's dates, so it is really important to have your computer's clock on time.


Backing-up (imaging) a WindowsXP hard-drive using Knoppix

Having experienced a catastrophic hard drive failure in which I lost years of music, documents and digital photos, I decided to invest some time in finding a reliable, easy-to-use backup solution for my WindowsXP laptop.


A step-by-step guide to building a new SELinux policy module

Who’s afraid of SELinux? Well, if you are, you shouldn’t be! Thanks to the introduction of new GUI tools, customizing your system’s protection by creating new policy modules is easier than ever. In this article, Dan Walsh gently walks you through the policy module creation process.

PostgreSQL in the OpenSolaris OS

This article describes key features of PostgreSQL 8.2, which have been available in OpenSolaris since build 66.

Setting up Samba server!!

This Document describes how to set up Samba to give SMB services for other computers on your local network. Lets get started!!

lunes, 20 de agosto de 2007

NetBSD Fundraising Campaign 2007

The NetBSD Foundation would like to announce its 2007 fundraising campaign. Thanks to donations from earlier this year, we were able to fund a developer to work on NetBSD and we would like to extend that opportunity. We are aiming to raise $50,000 US by the end of the year. Every donation, both major and minor, is welcome and will be put to good use!


domingo, 19 de agosto de 2007

How to cross compile modular Xorg on NetBSD

Jörg Sonnenberger has worked hard on getting modular crosscompiled in pkgsrc as part of the xpkgsrc Google Summer-of-Code project. The code's being merged into pkgsrc right now, and crosscompiled X binaries for testing are already available for sparc64, sparc, macppc, and amd64/x86_64.

Joerg also posted a first set of instructions on how to cross compile modular on NetBSD yourself, from latest pkgsrc.


Securing FreeBSD Install

Learn some of the basic steps you can take to make your FreeBSD system more secure.


FreeBSD automatic updates

Learn how to configure packages included with FreeBSD to keep your OS and programs up to date. This will show you how to create scripts and run them via cron to automate the whole process.

How scriptkiddies turns Linux box into a Zombie

This is a good analysis and sort of demonstration for all new Linux admin. It does shows how to do forensic kind of analysis on a cracked box.


FreeBSD CVS pserver

Setting up cvs on FreeBSD is very simple and only takes a few minutes. CVS is installed by default on FreeBSD so all you need to really do is initialize the repository and set up the pserver listener. I will go through the simple steps to set up a cvs pserver on FreeBSD.


viernes, 17 de agosto de 2007

Creating a CSS layout from scratch

This guide will attempt to take you step by step, through the process of creating a fully functioning CSS layout. I will try my best to explain the concepts behind each step, but a lot of the time other people have already covered these things better than I can. Because of this there will sometimes be links to more information on external sites.

Introduction to CSS

Two tools for enabling wireless cards

No other hardware nowadays supports GNU/Linux as weakly as wireless network adapters. Between the constant release of new models and major vendors who are uninterested in supporting the operating system, free drivers for wireless cards are next to impossible to reverse engineer. Nor can you find many retailers willing to customize laptops as readily as they do workstations. In this situation, ndiswrapper and the Broadcom firmware cutter provide a functional, if not always satisfactory, solution.

Recompile your kernel for a perfect fit

After I wrote an article on optimizing disk performance, some readers commented that tweaking settings was just part of the job. They pointed out that you can get more speed if you also compile your kernel, adjusting it optimally for your specific hardware and needs. Compiling the kernel isn't the challenge it used to be; nowadays the process is streamlined, and you don't have to do much but pick your choices and key in some commands.


Laptops, PC Cards, and FreeBSD

FreeBSD on laptops has had a checkered history. For a long time, unique laptop hardware had minimal support. Eventually, various Japanese users began the FreeBSD-PAO project to support this hardware. The main FreeBSD tree finally absorbed most of PAO just before 4.0-RELEASE. Now, various people are working on a complete rewrite of the laptop system to accommodate CardBus. FreeBSD on a laptop is quite comfortable to work in; my main system has been a laptop for the last two years, and I’ve never regretted it.


Running Windows Applications on FreeBSD

In the last article, we looked at using VNC for accessing other desktops in a network. This week, I’d like to continue in this vein by looking at running Windows applications from within your FreeBSD system.One of the neatest things about FreeBSD is that if it is running on a dual-boot computer, you don’t have to exit FreeBSD to access data contained on the other operating system’s partition. It is a simple matter to mount the other partition and to then read, write, or even delete the files contained on that partition. Ah, but what about running executable files, you may ask? If that other operating system is made by Microsoft and you’re running the Windows emulator (Wine) on your FreeBSD system, it is possible to run many Windows applications from your FreeBSD system.

NetBSD for the FreeBSD User: Building a NetBSD kernel

Building a kernel is considered a rite of passage in the open-source Unix world. What nobody mentions, though, is that each new Unix you encounter has its own tricks and methods. What’s normal behavior for one Unix can be strange and unusual for another. In short, a Unix administrator gets to have one rite of passage after another. Don’t you feel lucky?

Having said that, building a NetBSD kernel isn’t that different from building a FreeBSD kernel. The bumps and gotchas are just enough to keep you on your toes, not enough to actually stop you.

Upcoming changes to FreeBSD File Locking

I have been looking at file locking for 8.0 and have come up with a way to completely eliminate the file lock, reduce the size of struct file by ~4 pointers (22%), remove the global list of files and associated lock, and restrict the scope of unp_gc while removing several race conditions.

The whole thing hinges on reducing the complexity and scope of unp_gc to remove several fields from struct file. The remaining parts can be protected by atomics or are already protected by other locks. f_count and f_type are now completely updated using atomics. The ref counting with atomics results in significantly fewer atomics and cheaper fhold/fdrop. Protecting f_type was only complicated in cases where there were compound operations done on it, which are now implemented with atomic_cmpset_int loops.


Debian 4.0r1 released

The Debian project has updated the stable distribution Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 (codename Etch). This update adds security updates to the stable release, together with a few corrections to serious problems. As always, the first point release also corrects a few issues that have been noticed too late in the release process to stop the release, but still should be fixed.

jueves, 16 de agosto de 2007

How to test Snort

"How do I test Snort?" is one of the most popular questions asked on the snort-users mailing list. While a seemingly simple question, the answer depends on your intent. Value-added resellers (VARs) and systems integrators (SIs) may need to provide customers with validation that the network intrusion detection system (IDS) is working as expected. This edition of Snort Report explains what it means to test Snort. I reveal some common misperceptions and offer alternatives to satisfy the majority of readers.


Interview with Will Backman

In this episode: an interview with the host of the BSDTalk Podcast, Will Backman, in which we talk about the history of the BSD’s, including FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, DragonflyBSD, PC-BSD, and DesktopBSD, and discuss some of the goals and features of these projects.

Putting a stop to PDF spam

As I mentioned a little while ago spammers are now using PDF documents to spam users with fake stock alerts. While the spammers are now diversifying by enclosing a PDF file inside zip files and even hiding their adverts inside Excel files, we can still have considerable success filtering them out.

I’ve recently happened upon a plug-in for SpamAssassin and some third-party Phishing and Scam databases for ClamAV; combined, these cut out substantial amounts of spam including PDF, XLS, and other difficult to deal with variants.


FreeBSD & Beryl + Nvidia

This guide will help you to install the new wm beryl with gnome and the nvidia driver. First start from here ( .Read it and print it :)
Then be prepared to do a full clean install if you want the best results.

miércoles, 15 de agosto de 2007

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.


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.


martes, 14 de agosto de 2007

Is my hardware Linux-compatible?

Deciding whether a particular computer is a good candidate for installing GNU/Linux can involve a nightmare of details about hardware compatibility. Nor is assembling a custom computer on which to run GNU/Linux any easier. In both cases, you need to evaluate video cards, sound cards, printers, scanners, digital camera, wireless cards, and mobile devices for compatibility with the operating system. Fortunately, help is available.

Copy hard disk or partition image to another system using a network and netcat (nc)

netcat utility (nc command) considered as TCP/IP swiss army knife. It reads and writes data across network connections, using TCP or UDP protocol. It is designed to be a reliable “back-end” tool that can be used directly or easily driven by other programs and scripts. At the same time, it is a feature-rich network debugging and exploration tool, since it can create almost any kind of connection you would need and has several interesting built-in capabilities.

I also install the netcat package for administering a network and you’d like to use its debugging and network exploration capabilities.

One my favorite usage is to migrating data between two server hard drives using netcat over a network. It is very easy to copy complete drive image from one server to another.

You can also use ssh for the same purpose, but encryption adds its own overheads.


MySQL Proxy Load balancing and Failover Tutorial

MySQL Proxy is a simple and new program that sits between your client and MySQL server(s) that can monitor, analyze or transform their communication. Its flexibility allows for a wide variety of use cases, including:

a) Load balancing
b) Failover
c) Query analysis
d) Query filtering and modification
e) and many more…


lunes, 13 de agosto de 2007

Introduction to Linux penetration testing with nmap

How can you be sure your network is secure? Before you can patch vulnerabilities you need to discover them. You need to think like a cracker might. You need to hack your own system. This is known as “penetration testing” – a more palatable term to corporations – and the rich tool set of Linux makes it a superb platform for doing this.


Shellcoding on FreeBSD

The purpose of this tutorial is to help familiarize you with creating shellcode on the FreeBSD operating system. While I endeavor to explain everything in here thoroughly, this paper is not meant to be a primer on assembly coding.

FreeBSD resources

I've been using FreeBSD since 2004 and the version at the time was 5.2, if I am not mistaken. To start using any operating system, one needs some guidance in form of documentation...

domingo, 12 de agosto de 2007

Basics of securing a Linux server

One of the most important jobs that someone who calls themselves a “System Administrator” has is securing their servers. Whether it’s a personal server you are tinkering with, or a production server at work somewhere, keeping a server secure is paramount for many reasons, not just keeping your data safe. If your server were to get compromised, depending on what happened, it could be used as a zombie to target other machines in a massive DDoS attack. It might be used to send yet more spam out to the users of the world, or it could even be setup as a platform to launch more viruses and attacks against unsuspecting users all over the Internet.


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.


sábado, 11 de agosto de 2007

Desktop FreeBSD Part 7: Terminal Emulator Settings

To really take advantage of the best tools in computing requires that you become quite comfortable with using the command line interface (CLI). In general, nearly every task -- aside from graphical work itself -- can be accomplished from the CLI. Once the user becomes more adept at CLI work, these non-graphical tasks can be done more quickly, with more fine-grained control, and with less demand on computer resources.


FreeBSD update software and apply security patch

Updating FreeBSD server system is quite easy. You can apply security patch to keep freebsd system up to date...

FreeBSD Install Lighttpd Web Server

Lighttpd a secure, fast, compliant and very flexible web-server which has been optimized for high-performance environments. It has a very low memory footprint compared to other webservers and takes care of cpu-load. Its advanced feature-set (FastCGI, CGI, Auth, Output-Compression, URL-Rewriting and many more) make lighttpd the perfect webserver-software for every server that is suffering load problems. Installing lighttpd is quite simple under FreeBSD operating system using ports.


BSD License Explained In Layman Terms

It’s always bothered me, how confusing the many Free and Open Source Licenses are. There are many to choose from. As a developer, which one do you pick? How do you choose what software to run? What applications or services will you deploy pending licensing? These are big questions, and I hope to make explaining licenses easy and in simple terms for the average user. I’ll start with one of the more common licenses, the BSD license.


GNU Screen

What is so special about screen? If you’re a command line freak and usually work on several things at a time then screen can have a very special place in your life. It can multiply one shell prompt into several allowing you to run IRC on first window, Vi on the second, Reading man pages on third, browsing sites via Lynx on fourth and reading your emails on 5th window and so on.

Hide your email from spam bots

Wired offers a couple of good tips for hiding your email address from spam bots without pulling it from your web site altogether. The most user-friendly suggestion is the Email Protector tool, which encrypts your email address.


viernes, 10 de agosto de 2007

KRename: powerful renaming tool

KRename is a powerful batch renaming tool for KDE that allows to rename lots of files in one step. The design of the program is suitable for both advanced and novice users.


Installing OpenBSD

I’ve used OpenBSD once before, when I installed it as a home server. I had little experience with *nix systems at the time, and had to use “Absolute OpenBSD” by Michael Lucas to even get it installed. I eventually switched over to Debian as it’s a bit more user-friendly…but user friendliness isn’t what I’m all about these days, and I wanted to give OpenBSD another shot…mostly because I remembered how insanely awesome PF was. I still had to refer back to Lucas’s book at one or two points during the install, but with a few years of Linux experience under my belt, the install was much smoother this time. So, here are some notes I’ve made on the install process, both for myself and others.


Custom Linux Kernels with Debian and Fedora

Earlier this week we took a tour of the generic way of building custom Linux kernels. Today we'll look some nice Debian shortcuts, and Fedora's unique way of building custom kernels.


Why You Should Encrypt *All* of Your Google Activities

Everyone loves Google. They want to be everything to everyone, and they’re getting pretty damn good at it. Once you start using their services it gets easier and easier to migrate more of your life to them. But there’s a slight problem.

Google, like any other legitimate service provider, encrypts login traffic, but not your content. So the moment you’re signed in they switch to plain-text communications and send everything to you in the open.


MySQL Ends Enterprise Server Source Tarballs

The folks at MySQL has quietly announced that it will no longer be distributing the MySQL Enterprise Server source as a tarball. It's been about a year since the split between the paid and free versions of the database project. The Enterprise Server code is still under the GNU General Public License (GPL), and as a result MySQL appears to be making it harder for non-customers to access the source code.


jueves, 9 de agosto de 2007

Cambridge Researcher Breaks OpenBSD Systrace

University of Cambridge researcher Robert Watson has published a paper at the First USENIX Workshop On Offensive Technology in which he describes serious vulnerabilities in OpenBSD's Systrace, Sudo, Sysjail, the TIS GSWTK framework, and CerbNG. The technique is also effective against many commercially available anti-virus systems.


miércoles, 8 de agosto de 2007

Seahorse - Encryption Made Easy

Seahorse is a GNOME application for managing encryption keys. It also integrates with nautilus, gedit and other places for encryption operations.


Few Useful Netcat Tricks

I always say that small, simple and self contained tools can often be more useful, and more feature rich than huge bloated frameworks. For example lets take legendary “Swiss Army Knife of Networking” - netcat. It is a single binary, which takes up about 60KB of space on your disk (give or take a few KB depending on where and how you compile it). What can it do?

New elements in HTML 5

Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) 5 introduces new elements to HTML for the first time since the last millennium. New structural elements include aside, figure, and section. New inline elements include time, meter, and progress. New embedding elements include video and audio. New interactive elements include details, datagrid, and command.


MidnightBSD 0.1-RELEASE

MidnightBSD 0.1-RELEASE is now available. It includes several software packages such as ksh, sudo, OpenNTPD, gcc 3.4.4, BIND 9.3.4 (plus patch) and others in the base system. Disc 1 ISO includes the entire Operating System and X11 (xorg 6.9) packages. Disc 2 ISO includes a selection of additional packages such as GNUstep, bash 3, zsh, and cups-base. There are additional packages on our FTP server. More will be added in a few days. Only disc 1 is required for installation. This release is intended for enthusiests, developers and people interested in new operating systems that can handle bugs. The core OS is stable, but many elements such as ports are in flux.


martes, 7 de agosto de 2007

Rescue Linux when it won't start

Despite its rock solid reputation, occasionally Linux can crash and fail to start back up. ZDNet details several steps you can take to help get your penguin back on its feet. The tips include restoring to the proper runlevel, managing multiple kernels, entering into rescue mode, and creating rescue CDs.


Webmail accounts hacked via WLAN

It has been recognised for some time now that it is a bad idea to check your emails through an unencrypted WLAN hotspot. If the information is unencrypted, an attacker can, for example, hijack the log-in information for webmail or POP3 accounts. However, this can be accomplished with even less effort, as demonstrated by Robert Graham of Errata Security at the Black Hat Conference. In order to hijack a Gmail account, for example, an attacker can simply read the connected victim’s cookies and use this information for logging in later. It is thus no longer necessary to find out the login name and password.


How to setup Apache2 web server to host multiple sites on 1 IP address

It’s very common these days to host multiple websites on a server using only a single IP address. This is done with the Apache web server using ‘Virtual Hosts’.


Process Control for UNIX

Here's a listing of common process controls. This listing contains controls codes accompanied with descriptions.

Using the Common UNIX Find Command

One of the most useful utilities in the UNIX systems resources directory is the find command. System administrators use this powerful utility frequently. Here are a few common tasks performed by the ubiquitous find command. I'll add more as time goes on.


lunes, 6 de agosto de 2007

Data Recovery With TestDisk

TestDisk is a powerful free data recovery software which was primarily designed to help recover lost partitions and/or make non-booting disks bootable again when these symptoms are caused by faulty software, certain types of viruses or human error (such as accidentally deleting your partition table). TestDisk is available for lots of operating systems, including Linux, Windows, and MacOS, and supports lots of filesystems.

This article is meant as a short introduction to TestDisk.

Tracking TCP Connections With tcptrack

Basically, tcptrack is a sniffer which will show the information about TCP connections on a specific interface. tcptrack will watch all the connections that occur and show the information in a nice interface. Although it's on a text user interface but it's simple and easy to understand. tcptrack has been packaged on several popular Linux distributions.


Filtering PDF-/XLS-/Image-Spam With ClamAV (And ISPConfig) On Debian/Ubuntu

There is currently a lot of spam where the spam "information" is attached as .pdf or .xls files, sometime also hidden inside a .zip file. While these spam mails are not easy to catch with e.g. SpamAssassin or a Bayes filter, the ClamAV virus scanner can catch them easily when it is fed with the correct signatures as ClamAV is built to scan mail attachments.

The website Sanesecurity ( provides up to date signatures for these types of emails including image spam. The following guide will show you how to install the spam, phising, scam and image signatures from and MSRBL into your ISPConfig ClamAV installation under Debian or Ubuntu Linux.

Spammer tricks getting more personal; PDF spam also increasing

Internet security firm MessageLabs has more evidence that executive-level positions are increasingly becoming the targets of direct-attack spam/malware e-mail. Worse yet, the usage of infected and encrypted PDF documents among spammer is also on the rise.


create virtual terminals with single ssh connection

How to create virtual terminal from a single ssh connection?
How to have multiple terminal screen from a single ssh connection?
How to disconnect / reconnect back with running download jobs after disconnecting from ssh?
How to re-establish pending jobs and restore screen after exiting ssh connection?
How to detach and reattach ssh connections?
How to know which tty does your current ssh connection is connected to?
How to restrict root logins via ttys and vcs?

Here's a quick and brief way on how to do this stuff.

Fail to prepare or prepare to fail- backing up your Master Boot Record (MBR)

Backup, like security, is a well-worn mantra in the world of GNU/Linux—and even the most battle-hardened, street-wise user has, for whatever reason, thought about regular backups after disaster has already struck. It is an all too familiar story. System Administrators, by the very nature of their work, will have that imperative carved on their headstones. For them it will be a way of life. Desktop users, being responsible only for themselves, can afford to be a little more louche about such things. If it all goes a bit “arms in the air” there is no one to reproach them but themselves.

You should backup many things: the files in your home directory, configurations files in /etc, (and there are many excellent graphical tools to do the job) but one of the simplest and best things you can do is to backup your boot master boot record (MBR). It’s one thing to experience lost or corrupted files, it’s quite another not to be able to bootup your computer at all. What follows may just get you out of a fix.

How to use PortAudit

This is going to be a fast way to test your install stalled ports for problems.

DragonFlyBSD: 1.10 Released

Matthew Dillon has announced the release of DragonFly BSD 1.10, the sixth major DragonFly release since the project's creation in 2003.


FreeBSD Developer About Linux SD, CFS Schedulers

I took a little while to learn more about SD and CFS to see what the linux guys were up to. I have a couple of interesting comments. Including some discussion of increased algorithm complexity in the CFS scheduler; it's no longer O(1). Please keep in mind that these comments are entirely from reading code and documentation...

ssh log parsing and monitoring

SSH is a remote login protocol used to login to a remote host for executing and managing remote machines. It is one of the most usable and known linux binary program ever, and it comes for free.

By default ssh installation, ssh open host port number 22 unless customized by user by editing /etc/ssh/ssh*config files. It also uses /var/log/secure as its default log file. This log file contains a lot of important authentication log details and system messages.

In addition from having rpm packages like denyhosts and logwatch, that scans and parses your server's ssh log files, I have compiled these quick and dirty brief examples below to parse /var/log/secure ssh log file and obtain more specific results.

All commands issued here would be done inside CLI terminal.

From /var/log/secure...

Netcraft Says IIS Gaining on Apache

In the August 2007 survey we received responses from 127,961,479 sites, an increase of 2.3 million sites from last month. Microsoft continues to increase its web server market share, adding 2.6 million sites this month as Apache loses 991K hostnames. As a result, Windows improves its market share by 1.4% to 34.2%, while Apache slips by 1.7% to 48.4%.


domingo, 5 de agosto de 2007

Setting Own CVS Repository

In this guide I'd like to present a short info on setting own CVS repository. It has been written with an assumption that the repository will be accessed locally and through the SSH connection. Using ssh might require setting $CVS_RSH=ssh environment variable on client system.

Configuring IPSec VPN Connection Between FreeBSD and OpenBSD

Although there are some good tutorials on setting VPN connections using IPSec in FreeBSD-to-FreeBSD or OpenBSD-to-OpenBSD configurations, only tutorials on setting FreeBSD-to-OpenBSD IPSec tunnels are at least partly outdated, mostly due to changes introduced in OpenBSD 3.8.

In this tutorial I'll demonstrate how to configure such a VPN connection (tunneling mode) using racoon and isakmpd IKE daemons along with x509 certificates. The IP addresses used throughout this tutorial are:
- gateway A running FreeBSD with internal IP address:, and external IP:,
- gateway B running OpenBSD with internal IP address:, and external IP:

For the purpose of this tutorial I have used FreeBSD 6.2-RELEASE and OpenBSD 4.1-RELEASE operating systems, but the configuration covered here should be applicable in any reasonably recent version as well.

Graphically analyze your boot sequence

Want to know exactly what's going on when your Linux system boots? The bootchart utility creates a PNG image that details exactly what process is loading during the boot sequence.


Securely remote control your Ubuntu via putty from a windows host (VNC+SSH)


Speed up file copying with TeraCopy

Free file-copying utility TeraCopy speeds up file transfers and can pause, resume and test file copy operations.


Delete an Undeletable or Locked File

Have you ever run into a situation where you wanted to delete a file, but Windows simply wouldn’t allow you to do it? Personally, these things happen to me all the time, especially when I’m at a client’s house trying to get their machine clean of malware. Have you ever tried deleting a locked file using common windows commands? If so, then you’ll know that this is just not possible.

The main reason behind this is that the explorer.exe process locks files that are in use, effectively preventing you from deleting them. Usually, these files should not be touched, but sometimes, situations arise when you really need to erase some troublesome ones.


5 steps to create a PDF printer (print to PDF) in Ubuntu

Ever wanted to print a document of just about any sort to a virtual printer that would then turn it into a PDF? It’s pretty easy to do in Ubuntu. In fact you’ll need just 5 steps and about as many minutes of your time to set this up.


Create .iso disk images and generate MD5 checksums

The Ubuntu Guide web site runs down how to turn your CDs/DVDs and folders into .iso disk images. The process even demonstrates how to create your own MD5 checksum files.


Building a BitTorrent Box


While most of our time on the Internet is spent IM’ing, e-mail, or just browsing the Web, you may run in to situations when you need to do some powerful file transfers. If you use a laptop, you’re use to getting up, suspending your laptop, and running out the door all of the time. But, sometimes you know you just need something dedicated to get work done. You’ll need a solution to retrieve files and serve data when you need it. In this guide, you’ll learn how to set a small headless Ubuntu server used to retrieve BitTorrent files, while even saving them to a external USB hard drive that can be disconnected on the go. You even discover how to remotely administer your server from the Web using SSH, VNC, and an intuitive HTML UI, while being able to retrieve files while you’re away from home.

This tutorial takes for granted you have a spare computer laying around. Building a computer is out of the scope of this article.

Search text across multiple files with Windows Grep

Windows Grep searches user-defined files and folders for text or regular expressions, offering quick and powerful results of all of the matches within your defined search locations.


Install missing codecs with CodecInstaller

Freeware app CodecInstaller searches your computer for commonly used codecs and displays which codecs you have installed and which codecs you need.


Reset your lost OS X password

If you've ever forgotten your user account password in OS X, the Hackszine weblog details the simple process of resetting or changing your password.


Advanced CD/DVD management with AcetoneISO

Free open-source app AcetoneISO provides a great deal of disc image manipulation tools not found in the Gnome desktop. AcetoneISO can mount/unmount a variety of image formats (ISO, DMG, MDF, NRG, BIN, NRG), convert images, create, encrypt, and decrypt ISOs, play DVDs (with the required codecs installed), and much more.

Edit PDF files for free with PDFill

Free utility PDFill can create, update and merge existing PDF files for free.

Analyze and visualize hard drive usage with Baobab

Open source app Baobab is a disc usage analyzer that visually represents the space taken up by various files and folders on your hard drive. Baobab is the Linux equivalent of WinDirStat for Windows and GrandPerspective for Mac and possesses most of the functionality of those apps. Baobab can be used to search for and locate unusually large files, and it is not limited to your local hard drive -- it can also be used to analyze folders over FTP and Windows shares.


10 things you can do when Windows XP won't boot

When your computer hardware appears to power up okay, but the Windows XP operating system won't boot properly, you have to begin a troubleshooting expedition that includes getting into the operating system, determining the problem, and then fixing it. To help you get started on this expedition, here are 10 things you can do when Windows XP won't boot.

Configuring the DHCP Server

Normally if you have a cable modem or DSL, you get your home PC's IP address dynamically assigned from your service provider. If you install a home cable/DSL router between your modem and home network, your PC will most likely get its IP address at boot time from the home router instead. You can choose to disable the DHCP server feature on your home router and set up a Linux box as the DHCP server.

This chapter covers only the configuration of a DHCP server that provides IP addresses. The configuration of a Linux DHCP client that gets its IP address from a DHCP server is covered in Chapter 3, "Linux Networking", on Linux Networking.

FreeBSD high reliability rankings in July 2007

Four of the 10 most most reliable hosts run their web sites on Windows, two on Linux and three on FreeBSD.


Why do I need a custom kernel? - OpenBSD -

Actually, you probably don’t.

A custom kernel is a kernel built with a configuration file other than the provided GENERIC configuration file. A custom kernel can be based on -release, -stable or -current code, just as a GENERIC kernel can be. While compiling your own GENERIC kernel is supported by the OpenBSD team, compiling your own custom kernel is not.

The standard OpenBSD kernel configuration (GENERIC) is designed to be suitable for most people. More people have broken their system by trying to tweak their kernel than have improved system operation. There are some people that believe that you must customize your kernel and system for optimum performance, but this is not true for OpenBSD. Only the most advanced and knowledgeable users with the most demanding applications need to worry about a customized kernel or system.

sysjail redivivus: emulation, cleanliness, and completion

sysjail,, is a user-land virtualisation system first released early last year. The primary goal of sysjail is to provide the functionality of FreeBSD's jail(8) to OpenBSD (and NetBSD) users.


Adding OpenBSD to Grub

I added OpenBSD to my GRUB menu.lst config file today. After a bit of messing around, it still didn't boot. So I did a Google search and came across this file: GRUB's menu.lst config file, with examples for various OSes.

This file details where I was going wrong, and how to boot OpenBSD using GRUB.


OpenBSD turns 4.2-beta

Norbert Copones writes:

This news may be late...
OpenBSD turns 4.2-beta:

Module name: src
Changes by: deraadt at cvs openbsd org 2007/07/25 14:07:28

Modified files:
etc/root : root.mail
share/mk :
share/tmac/mdoc: doc-common
sys/conf :
sys/sys : param.h
sys/arch/macppc/stand/tbxidata: bsd.tbxi

Log message:
crank to 4.2-beta


Announcing the OpenBSD MailServer Project

Following the success of the PFW iso images, I have now released a MailServer following a similar concept. With this MailServer, you will get a state of the art open source mailserver using:

* Posffix MTA
* Dovecot POP/IMAP Server
* SpamAssassin and Clam AV
* IlohaMail webmail interface
* Webmail interface to manage users, domains and forwardings


OpenBSD installer for the lazy

Corporate server rooms are not nice places to hang out. They’re very noisy and cold (at least in front of the racks) and they generally lack the comfort of the ergonomic office chair at my desk. Normally any kind of food or beverages are strictly forbidden in server rooms so I have to leave my precious coffee behind before entering the holy grail which makes me a bit cranky, especially in the early hours.

But now there is light at the end of the tunnel and it’s name is Yaifo.

Emulating OpenMoko on NetBSD using Qemu

OpenMoko is a mobile phone that was designed to run open source software (i.e. Linux :). There are some ideas to port NetBSD to that platform, but until there's hardware available, Noud de Brouwer pointed me at instructions on emulating the OpenMoko hardware in Qemu, using software available in pkgsrc-wip. Includes links to a number of screenshots, showing Qemu-Neo1973 running OpenMoko/Linux on NetBSD.


OS Virtualization on FreeBSD vs. Linux

I was talking to somebody at OSCON last week and they made an off-hand comment about using FreeBSD jail to isolate software applications in a development environment.

Being a linux guy, it took a while to sink in that jail was a form of operating system virtualization.


Securely Delete Files in Linux

It used to be that only paranoids cared a whit about shredding their data—or their office paperwork, for that matter. But these days, there really are people out there just waiting for you to slip up and expose your private data. Fortunately, if you're running Linux, deleting sensitive information is fast and easy with the 'shred' utility.

Which OS is secure?

Generally speaking – when it comes to computer security there is a continuum…

Usability/manageability Security

The more “usable and manageable” a system is the less likely it is to be secure. What is the most secure OS? OpenBSD As our text points out it is unlikely to be used as a desktop OS since it doesn’t come with a GUI – therefore my generalization holds true.


TorrentSpy advertises torrent client with malware

TorrentSpy, the public torrent tracker in the midst of a lawsuit from the MPAA is apparently advertising, even promoting fake torrent clients that are bundled with malicious adware.

The clients, created by a Swedish company called Wakenet, look like legit torrent clients but instead just infect computers with adware that is hard to uninstall.


How to recover data and deleted files from Ext3 partitions

A lot of times aroud the net i read posts like "help help! my cat walking over my keyboard delete some files and i must recover it" and a lot of times the answers is "you can't undelete or recover files from ext3 partitions, i am sorry".
This is wrong.

Understanding SpyWare

ParasiteWare is the term for any Adware that by default overwrites certain affiliate tracking links. These tracking links are used by webmasters to sell products and to help fund websites. The controversy is centered on companies like WhenU, eBates, and Top Moxie, a popular maker of Adware applications. These companies have release their software to assist users in getting credit for rebates, cash back shopping, or contributions to funds. To the end user ParasiteWare represents little in the way of a security threat.


Download Managers for Linux

Most of the people suffering from low speed of downloading. Some suffering from crashed downloaded when using browser’s download manager. Here are four popular download managers for Linux. All of them are free software.

sábado, 4 de agosto de 2007

Automatix 'Actively Dangerous' to Ubuntu

Ubuntu developer Matthew Garrett has recently analyzed famed Ubuntu illegal software installer Automatix, and found it to be actively dangerous to Ubuntu desktop systems.


miércoles, 1 de agosto de 2007

Instant backups with smbmount and grsync

Need a simple yet effective way to back up your laptop or desktop machine to a network-attached storage device or a network hard disk running Samba? Using Samba's smbmount utility and the grsync backup tool, you can set up a backup system that is both reliable and straightforward in use. And since both programs are available as packages for most Linux distributions, you don't have to get your hands dirty compiling from source code and fiddling with settings.


Managing wireless connections seamlessly with wicd

The nature of my work forces me to be something of a digital nomad -- my notebook computer and a wireless connection are essential parts of my working day. I've been known to move between several wireless access points in one day. While I've had never had any problems with the wireless cards in my Linux-powered notebooks, most of the wireless connection tools I've used have fallen a bit flat. One of the few wireless connection managers that I've actually found useful is wicd -- the Wireless Interface Connection Daemon, pronounced "wicked." It's a lot like the Windows wireless network connection tool in both appearance and ease of use.


Custom Kernels with Debian and Fedora

Last week we took a tour of the generic way of building custom Linux kernels. Today we'll look some nice Debian shortcuts, and Fedora's unique way of building custom kernels.


FreeBSD Security Advisory FreeBSD-SA-07:07.bind


FreeBSD Security Advisory FreeBSD-SA-07:06.tcpdump


FreeBSD Security Advisory FreeBSD-SA-07:01.jail [REVISED]


Cisco elimina la marca Linksys

Cuatro años después de comprar Linksys, e incluir este negocio como una división para consumo y pequeña empresa, Cisco ha anunciado su decisión de eliminar la denominación de esta marca para que todos sus productos lleven su mismo nombre. John Chambers, CEO de Cisco, dejado entrever que este movimiento se produciría a lo largo de este año, y que todos los productos de Linksys serían “rebautizados” bajo el nombre de Cisco y entrarían a formar parte de la nueva división para PyMES de la compañía.


Upgrading ports and preserve make options

FreeBSD uses make options while building ports in order to build a certain extension or (de)activate certain features.

MySQL 4.1 for example can be build with the following options:


There are two ways of utilizing these options. If the port uses OPTIONS in the Makefile, you can configure the options with

# cd /usr/ports/databases/mysql41-server
# make config

You will get an ncurses screen from which you can choose your options. Your configuration will be saved in /var/db/ports/PORTNAME/options and each time you build this port you get the same options. Reconfiguration is done through calling make config in the port directory again.

But many ports do not use the OPTIONS framework in their Makefiles. MySQL for example does not.

If you want to use some of the build options you have to do it like this:

# cd /usr/ports/databases/mysql41-server
# make -DBUILD_OPTIMIZED install clean

The problem is that you build options are not saved. So when you have to update MySQL, you can't just use portupgrade -a because your options will be lost. You have to upgrade MySQL yourself (make && make deinstall && make install clean) and remember to use all your options again.

The author of portupgrade though of this problem and introduced /usr/local/etc/pkgtools.conf. With pkgtools.conf you can specify arguments that portupgrade uses while upgrading a port.

# a) Separate them with the space
'databases/mysql41-*' => 'WITH_LINUXTHREADS=1 BUILD_STATIC=1',

# b) Specify them using an array
'databases/mysql41-*' => [

So you just edit all your ports with the correct build options here and you're done right? No.

Only portupgrade will use this file so if you happen to build any of the ports yourself, your options are not used. And worse, if a port gets updated THROUGH portupgrade as a dependency of another port, the options will NOT BE USED by portupgrade.

So the only solution left is to use /etc/make.conf.

Acer ya vende PCs con Ubuntu (?)

Primero fué Dell, ahora, sigue Acer: Al menos eso es lo que se desprende de la publicidad mostrada en Memory World, una distribuidora online de sus productos. La portátil Acer Aspire 5710Z parece ser el primer equipo de Acer con Ubuntu preinstalado. Aunque no se ha recibido comunicación ni confirmación oficial de Acer, el anuncio parece ser totalmente auténtico, y en él se vende un equipo portátil de Acer en el que destaca la frase “Powered by Ubuntu Linux OS”.


BSD Certification Exam Beta

Who can participate in the beta?

The intended audience of the BSDA exam is junior level administrators of BSD systems. If you are a working sysadmin with some experience on BSD systems, an instructor who teaches system administration and/or BSD systems, or someone with at least 6 months experience in using BSD systems, you can assist the BSD Certification Group by participating in the beta. We suggest that you skim through the BSDA Exam Objectives to familiarize yourself with the type of material being tested. The objectives are available for download from BSD Cert Site

What will the beta exam be like?

* The beta exam is available in English only.
* The beta exam will contain 120 - 150 multiple choice questions.
* The beta exam will be paper based. This means that the questions are in a question booklet. Exam takers will need to shade in the appropriate answer box on a separate answer sheet.
* A three hour time slot will be available for the beta; it is expected that 60 to 90 minutes will be sufficient time for most beta testers to complete the exam.


Reduce permissions to increase DNS security

Every server process you run on your system provides another potential point of compromise. That’s why it’s so often recommended that you turn off unnecessary services on Windows machines and deactivate unneeded daemons on UNIX operating systems.

You can’t simply turn off all services and daemons, however, as the ability to use your operating system environment would be severely crippled if you did. As a result, it becomes necessary to attempt to secure the operation of the server processes you need.

When you provide a server system on which multiple clients rely, that can become even more important. Every one of the systems that connects to your server relies on its security — in effect, trusts it, to some extent.

If your server is compromised, it may then become a vector for attacks on clients that connect to it. When you run a server system, you become responsible not only for the security of that system, but at least in part for the security of every computer that connects to it.

An example of such a case is a UNIX or Linux DNS server. Just like any other server software, the BIND server daemon named process may occasionally be subject to security vulnerabilities that may allow a malicious security cracker to gain unauthorized access to your system. It is thus important to configure your system to minimize the damage a security cracker can do when he or she exploits such a vulnerability.

One way to do so with the named process on UNIX and Linux systems is to ensure that it doesn’t run as the root user. If the process runs as a less privileged user account, the damage it can do when compromised by a malicious security cracker is greatly reduced.