Linux Permissions Primer Part I

When you ever used a GNU/Linux distribution, you already did some of the things we’ll be discussing in this post. Maybe without thinking about it or without fully understanding what you’re actually doing. After you booted your Linux machine, you logged in, you know what a user name is and that you need to authenticate yourself. You probably also know that such a login doesn’t give you permissions to access the entire system or to do everything you’d like to do on Linux. If you want to install new software, you’re asked to enter a Read More …

How to do an Arch Linux Installation compared to a Linux Mint Installation

In my last post, Arch Linux: Myth and Reality I said about the ‘famous’ Arch installation procedure: Arch offers an excellent installation guide which tells you exactly what you need to do, and what to type in to archive that, step by step, line by line. In my humble opinion there is no reason why this can’t be done by anyone with average IQ of 100, who’s able to read and to use a computer keyboard. Now, this may have been a little rude or ignorant, since a lot of people simply aren’t used to work with technical Read More …

Arch Linux: Myth and Reality

/*this post is more opinion-based and less educational than other posts on my blog*/ One aspect of GNU/Linux, compared to other operating systems, is the simultaneous coexistence of multiple, equally supported versions, so-called ‘distributions’, based on the Linux kernel. The advantages or disadvantages of each distribution and the question which one is the right for a specific user, is one of the most consistent discussions in Linux communities. One distro, which kind of stands out in those discussions, is Arch Linux. It’s discussed and promoted in an enthusiastic way, something you don’t really see with Read More …

Change an unknown root password without access to any account

Even if you’re new to Linux, one of the first things you learned probably was the significance of the root account. It basically gives you the power to do whatever you want on a UNIX-like operating system. You understand that you should use a safe password, which you’d never tell anybody. But you might be surprised to hear that it’s easy for anybody, who has physical access to your machine, to change the root password in almost no time. Without knowing the original one, without being logged in, without knowing the name or password of any user. Read More …

Virtualization #0 – A boot camp for newbies (QEMU+KVM)

  If you want to improve your Linux or computing skills as a beginner, learning about virtualization is probably one of the most efficient things you can do. The ability to set up and use virtual machines on your system is the basis for practicing and learning about so many other subjects. No matter if you’re interested in software developing, networking, server administration, penetration testing etc, setting up a virtual system often is the first step if you don’t want to rent one or more servers for money. While I’m writing this post right now, Read More …

Improve performance, security & privacy for Firefox

The Mozilla Firefox web browser is one of the more popular open source products out there and comes as the default browser with most Linux distributions. Similar to Linux itself, Firefox is very configurable, not only in its appearance but also on the technical side and you really should utilize that. If it’s possible to optimize Firefox why doesn’t Mozilla ship it like that? A few weeks ago I saw a highly up-voted comment on Reddit or stackexchange telling people you can’t improve Firefox because if there was a way to magically speed it up, Read More …

What is systemd? A primer for noobs from A(F_UNIX) to Z

In case you’re a regular visitor of any bigger Linux related platform you’re probably confronted with the term systemd at least once a week for the last 4 years. If you still don’t really know what systemd actually is and why it’s usually discussed controversially, while the common wiki articles don’t tell you much, this is for you. Unfortunately a typical explanation sounds like that: systemd is a system and service manager for Linux, compatible with SysV init scripts using aggressive parallelization capabilities, socket activation and implements an elaborate transactional dependency-based service control logic. That’s Read More …