From the Editor - Security
You can talk about cost savings, performance and flexibility all you want, but the advantage driving more and more companies toward Linux is security. Just look how much time the big cheeses in the proprietary OS business spend telling the media about their catch-up plans. Thanks to some bad mistakes in the design of one vendor's browser and mail client, CIOs are asking vendors for Linux answers faster than the vendors were expecting.
Some OSes are born ubiquitous, others attain ubiquity and Linux is having ubiquity thrust upon it. Customer pull is nothing new to the Linux vendors, and they'll cope. And for you, the Linux professional, it's opening night at the big show. Everyone bought a ticket to see the amazing singing, dancing, secure operating system. They're waiting for the curtain to go up, and you're the stage manager.
Don't panic. Security depends more on policies and attention to detail than on any program or product. And you have a secret weapon. As you move more systems to Linux, you can start enforcing more secure policies and conceal the changes in the smoke and mirrors of the OS migration. If anyone points out that you could relax security to the way you had it in your old OS, you can say “that's the way it's normally done under Linux.” Yes, Linux will get some of the credit for your good decisions, but you'll get credit for putting in Linux.
Everyone will tell you to run Nmap to keep track of open ports and get an early warning of unnecessary or misconfigured software, but when you're keeping track of thousands of systems, that's a lot of data to watch. Log your Nmap data to an SQL database with Hasnain Atique's article on page 56.
Makan Pourzandi and Axelle Apvrille are bringing security to the Linux cluster environment (page 64). If you're sharing a cluster among multiple project teams, have a look.
SELinux is one of the most promising developments in Linux security, and it's worth keeping an eye on. No more will an attacker be able to “get root” on a whole system by compromising one dæmon. I'm planning to use SELinux at first for simple bastion hosts such as name servers, then add it to other systems as the administration tools get better. SELinux is complicated, though, so watch Linux Journal for more articles about it. James Morris explains SELinux and filesystems on page 22.
Finally, we normally don't bother with making fun of proprietary operating systems, because we're just quietly replacing them and interoperating with them where they're still in use. But Marcel Gagné got a little too annoyed by the latest batch of worms targeting other OSes that clobbered his network, so he blew off a little steam with some games on page 30. Have fun, keep your systems secure and enjoy the issue.
Don Marti is editor in chief of Linux Journal.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
Free to Linux Journal readers.View Now!
|The Firebird Project's Firebird Relational Database||Jul 29, 2016|
|Stunnel Security for Oracle||Jul 28, 2016|
|SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager||Jul 21, 2016|
|My +1 Sword of Productivity||Jul 20, 2016|
|Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!||Jul 19, 2016|
|Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)||Jul 18, 2016|
- The Firebird Project's Firebird Relational Database
- Stunnel Security for Oracle
- My +1 Sword of Productivity
- Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!
- SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager
- Managing Linux Using Puppet
- Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)
- Parsing an RSS News Feed with a Bash Script
- Google's SwiftShader Released
- Doing for User Space What We Did for Kernel Space
With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide