Tag Archives: Operating system

Spring Time! Now you are ready to protect your Ubuntu – Debian system from Rootkits and Viruses

It’s Spring Time and after a long Winter surfing the web and testing new programs, it’s time to give a short rest to your computer, delete old files and scan the OS looking for possible rootkits or viruses. I usually use Ubuntu and the possibility of viruses is not high but… why I shouldn’t double-check to avoid viruses or rootkits?

– First step: Rootkits

Open your favourite Software Manager (I am na old school boy so Synaptics it’s my choice) and install rkhunter and chkrootkit. I know, they are two different programs that have the same goals so you can decide to install and use just one of them…

After the installation you can start using them just typing into a Terminal:

sudo rkhunter --update
sudo rkhunter --check

and/or:

sudo chkrootkit

Examine all the results and don’t be disoriented by possible “”false positives”. Try to understand if some “risks” you find in the results logs could be regular software you are using (e.g. encrypted disks, etc..)

– Second Step: Viruses

Install ClamAV to scan your disks and be sure you have not infected by common viruses.

Open a Terminal and type:

sudo aptitude install clamav clamav-daemon clamav-freshclam clamtk

Then to update the ClamAV engine and the virus lists just type:

sudo apt-get upgrade clamav clamav-daemon clamav-freshclam clamtk

At this point you find ClamTk into the Accessories Menu and you are able to scan your PC just clicking on some intuitive buttons in the graphical interface.

Good Luck!  AddThis

How to upgrade your Fedora system when the Software Upgrade doesn’t work!

Sometimes, if you use Fedora 18 – Spherical Cow, the Software Upgrade program couldn’t work properly. Software Upgrade shows you all the available upgrades but it is not able to install them. The download process starts but it will never finish and you wait for hours with no results. When and if you have this problem you can easily solve it launching a Terminal and typing the command:

yum update

In few minutes (depending on how many updates you need) your Fedora will be updated perfectly.

Last but not least, if you want to have a list of all the potential upgrades on your OS you can type:

yum list updates

and a complete list will be shown.  AddThis

Bodhi: a less known but powerful Linux distribution

If you are looking for a light Linux OS for your computer you can test Bodhi Linux. This specific Linux version, based on Ubuntu, utilizes the enlightenment graphical interface. For this reason Bodhi is particularly indicated also to give new life to computers with no updated hardware.

The graphical interface is really “zen” or rather clean, easy to navigate but complete. We tested the 32 bit version and it was a smooth experience also if we used a single core pc with 2 GB of RAM.

Before testing Bodhi you have to keep in mind that this Linux OS is really user oriented. It means it has just some few pre-installed programs and so you are free to customize it as you prefer. Last thing to remember is that Bodhi is a semi-rolling distribution ans so it will be updated in occasion of Ubuntu Long Term Releases (LTS). Try it, it is worth a chance!

Remastersys: the easy tool to backup your PC or to create a personalized Linux (Debian – Ubuntu) distribution

Everyday we improve the OS we usually use adapting it to our specific needs. Consequently, we are worried about major OS upgrades between one version to another because we know that bugs could affect our installation and indirectly corrupt our saved data. Usually backup software are the right solution for data but, if something goes wrong, we have to reinstall all our OS and reconfigure it. Better, we have to spend many hours to download and configure all the single software we had installed into our original OS.

This is always but annoying and time-wasting. To avoid this specific problem we can decide to install Remastersys on our Linux distribution and use it regularly. Remastersys is very simple to install. For example, if you use Ubuntu, you have just to download its pgp key and save it into the Home folder then you can go to Synaptic Package Manager –> Other Software –> Add and enter the apt line specific for your Ubuntu version:

deb http://www.remastersys.com/ubuntu precise main

or

deb http://www.remastersys.com/ubuntu quantal main

if you use quantal.

On Synaptic Package Manger go to Edit and click on Reload Package Information then look for remastersys. Now you have Remastersys launcher under System –> Administration.

Remastersys has a very intuitive menu and you will be able to powerfully use it after just few tests. Please, remember to set-up Remastersys using its Customize –> Configure menu and you avoid any beginner mistake. If your iso will be bigger than 4GB, and you want to save it in to a FAT disk, you have to back-up documents, pictures, videos, etc.. separately because FAT formatted disks don’t allow files bigger than 4GB.

Important, if you are creating a ISO to distribute it to friends, don’t forget to not include personal folders, documents or your sensible data. Enjoy it and, if you want to share with us your personal Debian – Ubuntu distribution, add the specific download link into a comment to this post!  AddThis

Repair GRUB on IBM Thinkpad – The best Linux solution

When you decide to add another OS to the usual OS on your PC you can potentially damage your grub package. The Grub (GNU GRand Unified Bootloader) is the “soul” of you hardware, the program which allows your PC to find the OS during the boot-up.

Today we will not discuss about the old and new malware that are able to influence the GRUB but we will focus our attention on how repairing your computer when you see grub rescue> on your black screen…

The first solution you can find on internet is a detailed command solution but it was unfortunately usefulness in my case because my PC was not able to correctly accept the insmod command. Consequently I decided to use a portable rescue CD-USB to fix the matter.

Normally, if you use an Ubuntu derived OS, you can use Boot-Repair and it will semi-automatically fix your Grub problem in just few minutes. In any case, it is moderately easy but you have to be 100% sure about what HD partition you want to repair. As usual, this wasn’t my case. I had to find something more generic -in term of serviced OS- but effective.

At the end I bumped into the Boot Repair Disk. I had just to burn the free iso on a RW DVD and I could start to test it on my “out of service” laptop. The Boot Repair live CD is a wonderful tool! As soon as you boot up the live CD, Boot Repair guides you to the best possible solution. You have just to follow the suggestion on the screen and, in few minutes, the Boot Repair Disk is able to fix the Grub and to perfectly restore your computer.

Easy, Fast, Effective!! AddThis

QuotationLinux poses a real challenge for those with a taste for late-night hacking (and/or conversations with God).   Matt Welsh

Solve audio troubleshooting on Ubuntu and start planning to migrate to another Linux OS

It was just a simple system update which dropped off audio on my Ubuntu 12.04. It was really strange to admit that I had experienced a crash (better: an audio crash) on a Linux but the 12.04 Ubuntu actually caused similar problems to a numerous bunch of long-term aficionados around the world.

The real problem with the last Ubuntu versions is that this OS is not supporting properly “old” hardware as it did previously during so many years. Reading some other bug reports on the web I discovered that these audio troubleshooting crashes happen principally to “old” IBM ThinkPad and Dell. I hope Ubuntu developers will consider to solve immediately these kind of issues or many users certainly migrate to other Linux version.

In any case the best and complete guide to solve audio troubleshooting has been developed by Ubuntu itself. The guide is very detailed but, if you want to definitively solve this bug, you have to spend more or less 40 (forty…. sic!) minutes and follow all the 17 (seventeen… sic!) steps.

In my case the audio was back after the first step and I decided not to follow the other instructions but the audio troubleshooting comes back, more or less, every two months. Just to you if you want to spend 40 minutes only one time or a couple of minutes every two/three months.

When I consider all the problems I had with Ubuntu on “old” hardware starting from the 12.04 version, my advice is to start thinking about a migration to another Linux OS. I am testing some Ubuntu alternatives and in the next weeks I will post something about the tests I’m doing on old laptops. Stay connected!   AddThis