Tails above the Rest, Part II
The Tails Desktop
Before you get to the Tails desktop itself, you are greeted with a login prompt (Figure 1) that asks if you'd like more options. These additional options allow you to use persistent volumes, set administrator passwords and go into incognito Windows mode. But, I'll cover more advanced features in a follow-up column, so in the meantime, just click Login.
Figure 1. The Tails Pre-Desktop Prompt
Tails uses the all-too-familiar GNOME 2 desktop (Figure 2) with a panel along the top containing Applications, Places and System menus; a few icons for application shortcuts; and a notification area to the far right that lists the time along with icons, so you can see the status of the network, Tor, your battery (if you are on a laptop), a PGP applet and even an on-screen keyboard you can use to enter passwords if you suspect your computer might have a keylogger installed.
Figure 2. Default Tails Desktop
Tor and the Iceweasel Web Browser
Like with the Tor Browser Bundle, all the sites you browse in the default browser go over the Tor network. The browser also uses search engines like Start Page in the default search bar. Start Page returns Google results but acts as a proxy to help anonymize your search queries. Don't be surprised if you sometimes get Web pages localized in a foreign language—Tor may route you over an exit node in a different country, and often sites try to be helpful and set the default language based on where they think you are from. If for some reason you need to use a Web browser outside Tor (for instance, so you can authenticate to an active portal on hotel Wi-Fi), there also is an unsafe browser option you can launch that bypasses Tor. Just be sure to close the browser once you are done so you don't mistakenly use it when you intend to browse over Tor.
Kyle Rankin is a VP of engineering operations at Final, Inc., the author of a number of books including DevOps Troubleshooting and The Official Ubuntu Server Book, and is a columnist for Linux Journal. Follow him @kylerankin.
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!
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