Linux Speed Up! Get a faster boot-up, a swifter desktop and more responsive apps.

Everyone loves a speedy computer. In this section we’ll look at some essential tricks to speed up your computer. You don’t have to be an experienced campaigner to get more mileage out of your Linux box. There are some techniques that even new users can employ to trick their Linux distro to boot faster.

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Hey you! Why don’t you try Linux?!

Hi my name is Anis! And I’m a full time Linux user and I know a lot about it. It’s a great system, does not spy on you, and makes it very difficult to get malware. In the past few years, it’s also become a great platform for gaming, too. Here’s the answers to a bunch of questions I usually hear about Linux from Windows users.

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Why Linux Distro’s Are More Secured Than Any Other Operation Systems

Linux is an open source operating system where everyone can read the entire codes but still it is considered more secure as compared to the other operating systems. Linux has been extensively deployed in the tech market as many of the gadgets are Linux based and that is why more people are building trust on the Linux platform. To throw more light on why Linux has superior internet security capabilities, let us check out some of its security features.

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Ubuntu Security: The Wifi Passowords Are Stored In Clear Text, Outside The Users Home

A user has reported that the wifi passwords are not encrypted on Ubuntu systems, being stored in clear text in a folder outside the user’s home, (/etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/) making it accessible for unwanted users.

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After this issue has been reported, a Canonical developer has explained in the mailing lists that this is caused by the fact that the “All users may connect to this network” option is enabled by default.

This issue has an easy fix, directly from the graphical user interface. All you have to do is: Open network indicator -> Edit connections -> Select network -> Click edit -> untick “All users may connect to this network.” from the general tab.

By doing this setting, the password will be stored in the user’s home and so, it will become unavailable for unwanted users. Also, encrypt your homedir, for better security.

Mark Shuttleworth “Alright, Alright. I’m sorry!”

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The Ubuntu issue is complex and hard to pinpoint exactly. I agree with Shuttleworth that the trademark response was blown completely out of proportion. However, I find some things about his apology confusing.

For example, why would Shuttleworth call fixubuntu.com a “sucks” site without even having the courtesy to mention it by name? The name sounds kind of derogatory.

I also should say that I don’t agree with Shuttleworth that vocal non-technical critics of software are wasting time. There’s at least one person behind every software project, and it shouldn’t be considered a bad thing to know about the people and circumstances outside the actual code. If anything, I’d think Shuttleworth would agree with that.

Lastly, it’s a bit peculiar that he didn’t address the elephant in the room: Why Ubuntu’s online search lenses aren’t disabled by default.

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Full Disk Encryption Using Ubuntu In Most Secure Mode With AES-XTS-PLAIN64

Full Disk Encryption (FDE) is one of the best ways you can ensure all of the private information on your laptop stays private in case it’s lost, seized, stolen, or if you choose to sell or give away your computer in the future. This feature has been built-in to many GNU/Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, for many years. But until the recent release of Ubuntu 12.10, it was hidden away in the “alternate” text-mode installer of Ubuntu that many non-technical users don’t even know exists.

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Unlike passwords, full disk encryption can make the contents of a drive inaccessible to a powerful attacker who has possession of your computer. FDE provides the opportunity to protect your data with military-grade encryption that can’t be compromised on a reasonable timeframe. At least, not by any currently-known means. The only way to access the files protected by full disk encryption is to obtain the encryption key.

AES-XTS provides the most secure mode of full disk encryption. Unfortunately, it’s not available by default in many Linux installation packages. Ubuntu’s “alternate” installation image provides other implementations like AES-CBC, but not aes-xts-plain or aes-xts-plain64. If aes-cbc is good enough for you, it’s been available in the Ubuntu alternate installer for quite some time. A thorough but dated guide outlining the process is available here.

By downloading an Ubuntu desktop installation image and doing a little initial setup, you can use aes-xts-plain64 on your system. Aes-xts-plain and aes-xts-plain64 both provide the same mode of operation, but you’ll need to use aes-xts-plain64 if you want to format a partition larger than 2TB. Also, it’s important to note that using very large block sizes for XTS mode could lead to security issues. Using 512 byte block sizes mitigates this issue.

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