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Exploring /proc

The most striking factor about the /proc file system is the fact that the

file system doesn't exist on any particular media. The /proc File System

is a pseudo file system residing in the virtual memory and

maintains highly dynamic data on the state of your operating system. Most

of the information in the /proc file system is updated to match the

current state of the operating system. The contents of the /proc file

system can be read by anyone who has the requisite permissions. However,

certain parts of the /proc file system can be read only by the owner of

Introducing Motor: An IDE for Linux

What is Motor?

Motor is an integrated IDE that works in the console and provides

the developer with a useful mcedit-like editor, front-end to the

compiler, linker, debugger (gdb), concurrent version system (cvs) and

other useful things. It can also generate distribution packages in any

format. Almost everything is done with templates, so any kind of

language or distribution can be added easily.

Some of you may remember RHIDE, another text-mode programming

Centralised authentication using NIS

To log on to a machine on your network, you need a login/password pair that

is valid on that machine. This can become a problem over a larger network

where you may have people using more than one machine. An example of this

would be your computer lab where people are going to be working off different

machines most of the time. You will then be forced to create logins for each

user on every machine that they're likely to use. NIS steps in here and

provides you with centralized authentication. All the logins are created on a

Securing Linux: Part 1

"Security is not an option, but a way of life". This is the mantra given by Kurt

Seifried, the author of the famed 'Linux Administrators Security Guide' and

numerous other Security HOWTO's available out there.

The theme in these series of articles is to make one aware of the trivial

security concerns on a stock Linux box. This article aims at giving novice users

an insight into conducting a security audit of their systems and helping them

take corrective measures in order to avoid any future security lapses.

Replacing Telnet; OpenSSH, a secure alternative

The Internet is built with communication in mind. You will routinely move

around the Web from one site to the other or telnet to another machine to

check your mail or to administer that machine. The trouble with most of

these protocols is that they are not encrypted. Over a telnet connection,

your passwords are sent as plain-text, which can be read by anyone.

Using sophisticated programs called packet sniffers, even a amateur hacker

can spy on your connection and grab your data.

Secure Shell (SSH) was built to address these faults and provide a more

Apache installation and configuration


It was a cold morning in New York City, early 1996 when I entered the office

and rushed to the kitchen for that hot mug of coffee to warm myself. I met

with my boss to discuss the tasks for the day, one of which was, "Install and

configure Apache".

Hmmm, I thought to myself. What is this Apache? I had heard about the Native

American tribe, the Indian who sings ragamuffin reggae and the 1957 Chevrolet

classic truck but I did not know that it was something that could be installed

and configured on my Solaris 2.5.1 box.

LILO configuration and usage

If this were the first time that you installed Linux, you probably, would have

gone the dual-boot way. But you do need a boot manager that will allow you to

switch between the different OS' installed on your system. Linux provides LILO

( LInux LOader ). This is a very simple but flexible boot manager. I use it to

boot multiple OS' and to check out various Linux kernels.

When your computer starts up, the BIOS executes a bootstrap program which lies

in the Master Boot Record (MBR) of your first hard drive or your floppy. The

Writing a Linux device driver

What do I need to know about writing drivers?

Basic knowledge of kernel compilation, a good deal of programming

experience in C under Linux and lastly, the right techniques of data

structures, like linked list is essential along with their data types.

The first thing a programmer must know before attempting to write a

driver, is to know how the Linux kernel source compiles, paying attention

to the compilation process (the gcc compiler flags).

Choosing the device type

a) Block drivers

Remote administration of Linux

The glory of Windows, Gates and the fences surrounding them ...

Ever wondered why you pay so much for those closed source products that

help you manage your system remotely on Windows. I guess it comes with the

territory. Realistically speaking there aren't many tools available out

there in the market that make remote administering of Windows a real easy

task. One of the most slick pieces of software that I know of comes from

the stables of Symantec called PC Anywhere.

In sharp contrast, the open source movement has several options for

Speech synthesis under Linux

The story begins some time back when a close friend of mine decided to

show me this new method of reading through documentation without actually

reading it. The whole idea was to feed your documentation into the

text-to-speech software and listen to what your machine blabbers out to


Text-to-speech software comes under the banner of speech synthesis. On

Windows this worked very well with a piece of software available called

ReadmePlus 2000, which is freeware. This is a nifty piece of software but

is available only for the Windows platform, which I would never