Paranoid Penguin - Security Features in Ubuntu Server
As I discussed last month, the Ubuntu port of Novell AppArmor is installed by default in Ubuntu systems. This is true of both Server and Desktop. In Ubuntu Server, however, AppArmor is present but not configured; you'll need to activate any policies you want to enforce manually (AppArmor profiles reside in /etc/apparmor.d).
If you're unfamiliar with AppArmor, it's a powerful means of running applications in contained environments, such that applications' access to local resources is kept to a minimum. It's similar to SELinux, but less comprehensive and, therefore, easier to understand and administer.
However, on Ubuntu, no graphical tools are provided for this purpose, even in Ubuntu Desktop. What's more, the only Ubuntu documentation (besides man pages) is the AppArmor page on the Ubuntu User Community Wiki (see Resources), which is little more than a listing of commands and their command-line syntax; no HOWTOs or other introductory material are provided.
For the time being, it appears AppArmor on Ubuntu Server is for expert users only.
I've discussed Ubuntu's sensible omission of the X Window System in its default installations, enumerated security features in the Ubuntu Sever installer, pondered the merits of the disabled root account, listed some security-enhancing software packages available in Ubuntu Server and considered Ubuntu's fledgling AppArmor support.
My overall opinion? Ubuntu Server 7.10 is a remarkably compact, straightforward, command-line-oriented Linux distribution with a reasonably secure set of default configurations and an impressive array of fully supported, security-related software packages. (Fewer than Debian, but many more than CentOS or RHEL.) If you're an intermediate-to-advanced Linux system administrator, depending on what you need to do, Ubuntu Server may be worth checking out.
If you're a Linux newbie looking for a gentle introduction to the Linux experience, Ubuntu Desktop is a much better choice, even if you want practice setting up server applications.
That's it for now. Until next time, be safe!
The Official Ubuntu Home Page: www.ubuntu.com
Ubuntu Server Guide: https://help.ubuntu.com/7.10/server/C/index.html
Christer Edwards' blog, which consists almost entirely of handy Ubuntu HOWTOs: ubuntu-tutorials.com
“Ubuntu Server: Considering Kernel Configuration” by Carla Schroder: www.enterprisenetworkingplanet.com/netos/article.php/3710641
Home Page for Webmin, a Free Web-based GUI for Remote Server Management: www.webmin.com
The Ubuntu RootSudo Page, Describing Ubuntu's sudo Implementation in Detail: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RootSudo
Security Pages on the Ubuntu User Community's Wiki: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Security
AppArmor Page on the Ubuntu User Community's Wiki: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/AppArmor
The “Securing Debian Manual”, Indirectly Applicable to Ubuntu: www.debian.org/doc/manuals/securing-debian-howto/index.en.html
Bauer, Michael D. Linux Server Security, 2nd ed. Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly Media, 2005. Provides detailed procedures for securing popular server applications.
Mick Bauer (firstname.lastname@example.org) is Network Security Architect for one of the US's largest banks. He is the author of the O'Reilly book Linux Server Security, 2nd edition (formerly called Building Secure Servers With Linux), an occasional presenter at information security conferences and composer of the “Network Engineering Polka”.
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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