Cooking with Linux - Security's Front Door
More information on Kommander is available from the official Kommander Web site at kommander.kdewebdev.org.
It's frightfully easy to use. Select the Password length and the number of passwords you want to generate, and then click Generate. You can cut and paste your new password into whatever application requires a password change. You also can save those passwords to a file by clicking the Save to file check box and selecting a name. If you want your password to use specific characters, check Modify Character Set, and enter your characters. The default uses the ten digits as well as the 26 letters in uppercase and lowercase—just like that, totally random passwords. Increase the password length, and your passwords will be even more secure.
The only catch—and this is the catch with any random, non-pronounceable password—is that the passwords are hard to remember, which, sadly, leads to people writing them down and potentially compromising security. How do we deal with this problem?
Tarek Saidi's KeePassX is a great place for this information. This password manager and data safe provides a secure location for your vast collection of user names and passwords. It's also a cross-platform application that runs under Mac OS X and Windows too. If, like many people, you work on multiple systems and need access to your information, you can copy the database to a USB key and carry it with you. To get and start using KeePassX, visit keepassx.sourceforge.net, or check your distribution's repositories for prebuilt packages (some binary packages are available at the KeePassX Web site).
When you start KeePassX the first time, you'll see that it is divided into two main panes. The left pane is labeled Groups. To the right, in the larger section, are headings for Title, Username, URL and so on. To begin, you need to create a new password database. Click File on the menu bar, and select New Database. A dialog appears asking for a password, which you must enter twice (Figure 2).
The database itself is encrypted using 256-bit AES by default, but you also can select 256-bit Twofish. The number of rounds to encrypt is 6,000, making this a very safe place for your personal information. However, don't ever forget that master password. If you want to change the encryption format or the number of rounds, click File and select Database Properties from the menu bar.
The next step is to enter a group. Click Edit on the menu bar and select Add New Group. The Group Properties dialog appears (Figure 3). This is purely informational and serves as a folder for storing passwords. So, enter a title that means something to you, then select an icon from the drop-down list. Click OK when you are done.
You can create as many of these as you like with names like System passwords, Family PCs (if you are doing the administration on your family's systems), Customer systems and so on. The groups will appear in the Groups column. Select a group, click Edit on the menu bar and then select Add New Entry (or click the plus sign on the icon bar). The Edit Entry window appears (Figure 4). The Group is selected automatically, but if you want, you can choose another at this point. Enter a title to identify the entry, then enter your user name and password information. As you enter your password, the quality of the password is analyzed and reported on the Quality bar. You can add a comment if you like, but it isn't necessary. Additionally, you can select an expiration date, attach a file or simply click OK if you are done.
Look closely to the right of the Password Repet. field, and you'll see a button labeled Gen. Given the earlier programs we've looked at, this might sound interesting, non? Click the button, and a password generator appears (Figure 5). KeePassX's password generator allows you to define what characters are included in your password, such as the use of special characters, spaces and so on. You also can define the password length; the default is a difficult-to-crack 20 characters.
Click Generate and your password appears in the New Password field. If you like what you see, click Accept. In some ways, this brings us back to where we started, using a tool to generate secure passwords rather than relying on common words or phrases.
Later, when restarting the program, KeePassX challenges you with your master password before giving you access to the safe. If you are the sort of person who needs a tool like KeePassX, you also will have numerous passwords to look through when checking for a login you haven't used in ages. For that inevitable day, KeePassX provides a quick search feature, right on the main window at the far right of the icon bar (Figure 6). Enter one or more words in your title or comments, then press Enter. To see the actual password, double-click on the result, then click the ... button next to the hidden password.
I can see that closing time has arrived, mes amis. Given François' penchant for exposing sensitive information, I may do the locking up myself tonight. Even though I poke fun at François, he still is the best waiter I've ever employed and an artist when it comes to opening and pouring wine. In that, I trust him completely. Please, François, take a moment to refill our guests' glasses a final time. Raise your glasses, mes amis, and let us all drink to one another's health. A votre santé! Bon appétit!
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
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.Register Now!
- Google's SwiftShader Released
- SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager
- My +1 Sword of Productivity
- Interview with Patrick Volkerding
- Managing Linux Using Puppet
- Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)
- Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!
- SuperTuxKart 0.9.2 Released
- Tech Tip: Really Simple HTTP Server with Python
- Parsing an RSS News Feed with a Bash Script
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