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Showing posts from 2008

Acer bets big on Linux

As the cost of Windows becomes a larger and larger portion of the cost of computer hardware, more vendors are going to look at Linux as a viable alternative. Acer is already selling Linux on its low cost ultra-portables, but will expand Linux options to notebooks this year.  Another interesting advantage of Linux for hardware manufacturers: because it's open, they can customize it for their specific hardware models and the differing requirements of laptops or Media PCs. According to the article, using Linux helps them "extend battery life from five to seven hours."  This means that hardware manufacturers could build special hardware features into their boxes and then not only write the drivers to support the hardware, but also modify any aspect of the operating system to better support the new features. That's an appealing option to companies that are currently competing primarily on price.

Joomla 1.5 Directory Status: Writeable

[UPDATED] Joomla 1.5 is acting flaky on one of our installations because the directories are set to ‘unwriteable’. To see the their current state, log in as Super Administrator and go to Help > System Info > Directory Permissions. Elsewhere, it's been suggested that the specified directories must be set to “world-writeable” (777). This works, but it is a very bad idea, since it means anyone can change your files! Not cool. Fixing Security with User and Group Settings To perform these changes, you need shell (command line) access to your server. If you don't have it, you can beg your host to make these changes for you, or switch to a Joomla-friendly host. I'm going to assume that you are using a LAMP (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP) server because if you're not, then ... well, these instructions should work in principle, but the specifics for your server may be quite different. Here's the issue: you, the FTP user, need full access to your files. So does Joomla, wh…

Configuring Joomla Safe Mode on a Plesk box

At Cadent, we use Parallels Plesk Control Panel Software for Hosting on our servers (we’ve also used the open source Webmin and the commercial CPanel). Plesk has a great user interface, which our clients appreciate. It also imposes its own way of doing things, which can be a bit of a pain when tracking down subtle issues with server configuration. Because Plesk rewrites many configuration files automatically, it’s really critical to ensure that I make any manual changes to the server configuration in the right place, or Plesk will overwrite my efforts without remorse. The issue we needed to address was this: we installed Joomla! 1.0 on our development server, and Joomla reported the following configuration problems:         •        Safe mode was on, needs to be off.         •        The session directory was unwriteable. PHP: Safe Mode is a global setting allows only a file's owner or group to execute the script or read a file. Clearly, this is a good thing for security reasons…

TrueCrypt ships version 5.0 today

Version 5.0 of the free, open-source and cross-platform encryption program TrueCrypt is now available for download and installation for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. TrueCrypt: Creates a virtual encrypted disk within a file and mounts it as a real disk. Encrypts an entire hard disk partition or a storage device such as USB flash drive.Encryption is automatic, real-time (on-the-fly) and transparent. Further information regarding features of the software may be found in the documentation.

Virus scan Windows using a Linux live CD

[There's been quite a bit of interest in this post and I've expanded on it quite a bit. Please post any comments or questions to help me improve this guide. - Neil] Keith and I have both run into situations where we want to recover a Windows computer by cleaning it up with a Linux Live (bootable) CD distro. This offers several advantages to cleaning up an infected or compromised computer by booting into Windows: It prevents the malware, if it exists, from jumping from the infected computer or partition we are trying to fix to the repair partition or boot medium.If we boot from a CD, there's actually no way to alter the boot medium, since it's read-only. Naturally, we started with Knoppix -- download it here. Installing and scanning with F-Prot is covered in this discussion thread, Virus Scan from LiveCD, which describes how to install F-Prot from the command line using apt-get. Also, In Knoppix 5.1, you can boot from the Knoppix CD and install F-Prot wi…