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Old 07-14-2007, 06:05 PM   #1
Registered: Jun 2007
Location: Bayou, Louisiana
Posts: 121
Blog Entries: 1

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Unhappy Old Guy with dementia needs help picking a Linux distro

Hi All,

Permit me to introduce myself. I'm nearly 61 years old and am on Social Security Disability due to medical and brain problems. I started out with Commadore 64, worked my way into DOS 5.0, WIN 3.0 up to WIN 6.22 then WIN PRO 2K.

I decided to get away from the Great Satan of Redmond by trying Redhat 6 then 7, but the documentation was written for folk who already KNEW linux, so, I tried Caldera. I liked it but then there were some unsavory characters that took it over and it went downhill fast. I tried Mandrake, it would not recognize my monitor, although there were drivers for it in Mandrake. <mumbling, Stupid French> I moved on to SuSe, Mepis, and several other distos with no success. I bought Xandros, but I can't seem to get any "help". I was told that Fedora 6 was the one to get, but the CD didn't load from that "Bible" book and the "copy" I got on 7 CD's loaded EVERYTHING upon install and I am THROUGHLY confused as to what I truly NEED to have for Linux. There IS no local Linux User's Group here in Shreveport, LA.

There are no explanations as to what a "basic" computer user needs to have. Do I NEED an "Apache" Web Server, What's SAMBA or an FTP server? Why do I need LDAP for addresses? I have those written down on paper. I don't need a MySQL Database as all I want to do is to keep up with my ham radio contacts: call, name, band, time, date, notes. Simple.

When I started the installation, it put ALL of this on the Hard drive and I just wondered if I really needed it all.

Simply put: I want to be able to "log" my ham contacts, surf the I-Net for ham radio information, play my music CD's to relax and send friends emails...simple.

Can anyone help me?

Thanks in advance,


Last edited by BuckNekkid; 07-14-2007 at 06:07 PM.
Old 07-14-2007, 06:16 PM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: Jun 2004
Distribution: Arch, Debian, Slack
Posts: 1,016

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hi Buck, sorry to hear about your medical problems. have you tried any of the ubuntus yet (ubuntu, kubuntu)? those are supposedly very user friendly.

you don't need apache web server or ftp server if you don't want to run a web or ftp server. samba is for sharing files with other computers on a network, usually windows computers. you also most likely don't need LDAP or mysql. the good news is that even if those things are installed, you can basically just ignore them (assuming disk space is not an issue).

if you post back with specific problems you're having trying to install or set up, i'm sure people here will be glad to help you get up and running. gl
Old 07-14-2007, 06:35 PM   #3
Senior Member
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Calif, USA
Distribution: Debian Wheezy
Posts: 2,838

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I was going to suggest Ubuntu also.
I see programs called "ham radio logging programs" in the package manager.
Old 07-14-2007, 09:05 PM   #4
Registered: Aug 2001
Location: Fargo, ND
Distribution: SuSE AMD64
Posts: 15,733

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There are no explanations as to what a "basic" computer user needs to have. Do I NEED an "Apache" Web Server, What's SAMBA or an FTP server? Why do I need LDAP for addresses? I have those written down on paper. I don't need a MySQL Database as all I want to do is to keep up with my ham radio contacts: call, name, band, time, date, notes. Simple.
If you don't want to publish your own website, you don't need apache. Samba is for networking between two or more computers using the windows smb protocol. If you only have one computer, you don't need samba or nfs. FTP is the file transfer protocol. If users on the internet on the lan don't need to access files on your computer, then you don't need an ftp server. There is an "ftp" program which is a client. You can use it do download packages. That you might need. The server is a system program that runs in the background all of the time waiting for users to connect to it. I don't think you need the server. Not installing, or un-installing ftp and apache since you don't need them will also make your system a little bit more secure.

LDAP is a server that large networks might use for identifying other computers on the network and for holding usernames and passwords. You definitely don't need that.

You don't need an sql server like mysql. Some programs like amarok can use it, but use database files instead to hold the tag information.

I'm presently using SuSE. Initially, it didn't take to the 1280x800 display of my laptop, but the other distro's didn't either. Often, picking the proper monitor in sax2 is what is needed to fix display problems.
Old 07-14-2007, 09:45 PM   #5
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: USA & Canada
Distribution: Slackware 12.0
Posts: 978

Rep: Reputation: 30
Sounds to me...

Sounds to me that you would fit in quite well with a solid Slackware install. It's more roll your own, but if you can handle troubleshooting ham radio, you'll love the steadfastness Slackware gives you. With Slack, if something is broke, it stays broke until you fix it. And most often there is a perfectly logical and within your reach solution via the Internet. This site is about the best companion your going to get for helping you troubleshoot your linux install. The best part about installing Slackware is that your not depending on depend files like RPM. You can use that system but you'll find yourself much happier with swaret.

Here's jet black's install on slackware 10 (try 12 if like, but I like 10.1 because it still supports gnome which i still use). Also, the older the distro install, the more stable it becomes. As much as I would love to try out 12 (aka the latest and greatest, I normally give it about 6 to 12 months to give it a chance to get it's issues worked out for me).

Here's Jet Black's install on Slackware 10:
Let me know if you want the Configuring 10 follow up for it.


Installing Slackware 10

On the release 10.0 CDs are Advanced Linux Sound Architecture 1.0.5,

Apache 1.3.31, Bourne-Again SHell 2.05b, BitchX 1.1, Common Unix

Printing System 1.1.20, dvd-/+rw-tools 5.19-, Epiphany 1.2.6,

Fluxbox 0.1.14, Gaim 0.78, GNOME 2.6.1, GNU Binary Utilities, GNU C Library 2.3.2, GNU Compiler Collection 3.3.4 and

3.4.0, GNU Core Utilities 5.0, GNU Image Manipulation Program 2.0.2, GNU

Privacy Guard 1.2.4, Graphical User Interface ToolKit 1.2.10 and 2.4.3,

iptables 1.2.10, Java 2 Software Development Kit 1.4.2, KDE and KDE

Internationalized 3.2.3, kernel 2.4.26, Mozilla 1.7, MySQL 4.0.20,

Network Mapper 3.50, OpenSSH 3.8.1p1, OpenSSL 0.9.7d, Perl 5.8.4, PHP

4.3.7, Python 2.3.4, Qt 3.3.2, Samba 3.0.4, Scanner Access Now Easy

1.0.14, Tcl/Tk 8.4.6, teTeX 2.0.2, Vim 6.3, XFce 4.0.5, X.Org 6.7.0,

Xine 0.99.1, XMMS 1.2.10, Xpdf 3.00, and the list goes on.

Why oh why didn't they wait a few more days to get X version of Y

program, you wonder? Well, Slackware isn't a cutting-edge distro. It is

the distro for stability, simplicity, usability, flexibility and power.

Stability: Linux kernel 2.4.26 is stable. It's a production kernel for

production environments. The distro offers a 2.6.7 kernel in the testing

directory of the second CD for home users who wouldn't settle for

anything less than the latest and greatest. Aside from kernels, GNOME

2.6.1 is VERY stable. Slackware can be a good choice for servers.

Simplicity: The Keep-It-Simple-Stupid philosophy has kept the distro

simple. For instance, the user doesn't have to drill down to a million

levels of software package categories during install like some distros.

Choosing Full will install everything.

Usability: While it is true that slackers need to be more than button

pushers, Slackware is usable once it is set up. Booting to a graphical

user interface can be done. The user can do everything in Slack like

they do in other operating systems: check e-mail, browse the Net, chat

in Instant Messaging or Internet Relay Chat, do homework, keep tabs on

score boards, play games, write software programs, and work, work, work.

Flexibility: The distro doesn't shove stuff down your throat. Instead of

a glorified graphical control center, it uses Slackware Package Tool to

manage software. The distro has everything for manual software and

kernel compilation. If that's too much, you can always install swaret

that makes software management a snap.

Power: System administrators and hardcore users want control and power.

They don't want to be told what to do. Slackware gives the user complete

control and power. Hack around some config files. Turn on hardware

acceleration. No problem. Nothing will be reverted to defaults.

Delivering stability, simplicity, usability, flexibility and power in a

distribution is an impressive feat. Team Slackware deserves a pat on the

back for a job well done.

Getting Slackware

Download slackware-10.0-install-d1.iso, slackware-10.0-install-d2.iso

and MD5 checksum files from download mirrors. Verify the downloads in


md5sum -c slackware-10.0-install-d1.iso.md5

md5sum -c slackware-10.0-install-d2.iso.md5

If they return ok or nothing, burn the first ISO's on a 650 MB CDR/

W disk, and the second ISO on a 700 MB CDR/W disk. If it returns "fail",

download the ISO image and MD5 checksum file from another mirror.

Booting Slackware

Boot Slackware CD 1 of 2 in the first optical drive, press Enter to use

default boot options, enter "1" to select a keyboard map, highlight the

keyboard map for the keyboard (i.e. qwerty/ for U.S. English

keyboard), <OK>, enter "1" to accept it, enter "root" to log in as root

without password.

Partitioning Hard Drive

Slackware needs a pair of Linux and swap partitions to install. You can

skip this part if you have made them previously, and you are installing

Slackware over the old system.

Run Curses-based disk partition table manipulator, replacing hdx with

hda for the 1st hard disk, or hdb for the 2nd, etc.:

cfdisk /dev/hdx

Highlight a 5 GB or larger partition for Linux, make a note of it (/dev/

hdx?), [Type], enter "83", highlight a 512 MB or smaller partition for

swap, [Type], enter "82", [Write], enter "yes", [Quit].

Running Installer

Run Slackware Installer:


In the installer, you press Up and Down direction keys to highlight an

item, press Spacebar to select or unselect an item, and press Enter to

accept the selection.

Configuring Partitions

Next thing to do is to format both the swap and Linux partitions.

Highlight "ADDSWAP", <OK>, <Yes>, <OK>, highlight the Linux partition,

<Select>, highlight "Format", <OK>, highlight "ext3" to choose Third

Extended Filesystem as the filesystem for Slackware, <OK>, highlight

"4096" for 1 inode per 4096 bytes, <OK>, <Continue>, <OK>.

Configuring Windows Partitions

<Yes> if there is a need to access Windows partitions in Slack,

otherwise <No> and skip to the next part, highlight a Windows partition,

<Select>, type "/mnt/mydoc" for Windows My Documents folder or something

that makes sense, <OK>, redo this step with a different mount point as

many times as there are Windows partitions that you want available in

Slackware, or <Continue> when you are done.

Installing Slackware

Highlight "1 Install from a Slackware CD or DVD ", <OK>, highlight

"auto", <OK>, select all package categories, <OK>, highlight "full" for

installing everything, <OK>, replace CD 1 with CD 2 if the installer

ejects the CD and asks for the next one, highlight "Continue", <OK>.

Installing Kernel

There is a number of custom-built kernels on the CD-ROM disk. Find the

one that matches your hardware. Highlight "cdrom", <OK>, highlight, for

example, "/cdrom/kernels/bare.i/bzImage", <OK>, <Skip> to skip making a

boot disk.

Configuring Modem and Hotplug

Highlight "no modem" if there is no dial-up modem in the computer, <OK>

or configure the dial-up modem following the on-screen instructions.

<Yes> to enabling hotplug for USB and Cardbus devices.

Configuring Optical Drives

Configure as many installed optical drives as you wish. Highlight

"expert", <OK>, highlight "Begin", <OK>, type "hdc=ide-scsi" for only

one CD/DVD drive or type "hdc=ide-scsi hdd=ide-scsi hde=ide-scsi

hdf=ide-scsi" for 4 IDE optical drives, for example, <OK>.

Configuring Console Resolution

A console is the same as a terminal where one does command lines in full

screen. Highlight a screen resolution for the console, <OK>.

Installing LInux LOader

LInux LOader installs itself on the hard drive, and loads Linux kernel

into memory. Every Linux distro needs a boot loader. For Slackware, it's


Highlight "Root" to install LILO on the root section of Slackware

partition, <OK>, highlight "None" to make LILO boot straight to

Slackware, <OK>, highlight "Linux", <OK>, type the Slackware partition,

<OK>, enter "Slackware10" as the partition name, <OK>, highlight

"Install", <OK>.

Selecting Mouse Type

Highlight the correct mouse type if there is a mouse device, <OK>, <No>

to not load GPM for cutting and pasting text in command line interface.

Configuring Network

<Yes> to configure network, type "slackware" as the hostname, <OK>, type

"" as the domain name, <OK>, highlight "DHCP" if you're on

a cable modem or router connected to DSL, <OK>, <OK>, type a DHCP

hostname for cable modem or leave blank, <OK>, <Yes>.

Selecting Services

Minimize unnecessary services that start at boot, and stop at reboot or

shut-down. Unselect rc.inetd, rc.pcmcia, rc.sendmail and rc.sshd to

disable them, select rc.cups for using Common Unix Printing System to

print, and rc.syslog for running a system logging daemon, <OK>.

Selecting Screen Font and Time Zone

<NO> to not custom screen fonts for the console, highlight "No" to use

local time, <OK>, highlight a time zone, <OK>.

Selecting Graphical Desktop

There is a number of installed graphical desktops. Window managers are

typically lightweight and good for old computers. Desktop environments

are heavyweight and good for new computers. You can still choose which

graphical desktop to log into in KDE or GNOME Display Manager.

Highlight a default graphical desktop, <OK>.

Setting root Password

A user account is used for daily operations such as Web browsing,

whereas root is the system administrator, who takes care of the


<Yes> to set root password, enter a root password twice separately,

Enter, <OK>, highlight "EXIT" to exit the installer, <OK>.

Rebooting Computer

Remove CD, and reboot the computer:


Check out Configuring Slackware 10.

Check Out


Copyright (C) 2002-2004 by
Old 07-14-2007, 10:07 PM   #6
Senior Member
Registered: Oct 2005
Location: It varies, but usually within 100 feet of a keyboard.
Distribution: Fedora 10, Kubuntu 8.04, Puppy 4.1.2, openSUSE 11.2
Posts: 1,126

Rep: Reputation: 51
If you liked Windows except for Microsoft's politics, you would probably like Kubuntu a little better than Ubuntu. The difference between them is the desktop environment.

I am a little surprised that SUSE did not work out for you, although I will admit that the 10.1 version was . . . well, crap. Version 10.2 is fine (again), although you will need a few tweaks to put it in top shape:
Old 07-14-2007, 10:11 PM   #7
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: USA & Canada
Distribution: Slackware 12.0
Posts: 978

Rep: Reputation: 30
Configuring Slackware 10

Since your interested in what services to run and which ones to disable, I thought I'd go ahead and include this for you anyway:


Configuring Slackware 10

In the first half of this training manual, the Slackware recruit will

use Secure Locate, say no to fortune cookies, default vi to Vi IMproved,

set shell environment, add user accounts, enable Advanced Power

Management, enable graphical login, configure X Window, configure video

hardware acceleration, mouse speed, mouse wheel, X Window screen and

video memory, enable reboot and shutdown for users in GNOME Desktop

Manager, set terminal font, install Microsoft fonts, manage software

with swaret, and read documentation.

In the second half of this training manual, the Slackware veteran will

disable unnecessary services, disable Internet services daemon, delete

unnecessary accounts and groups, restrict services, logs and root files,

tighten login definitions, restrict remote access to computer, and

install a firewall rule set.

Getting Started

Reboot to Slackware on hard disk, and log in command line interface as


Using Secure Locate

slocate is a secure version of locate in that only accessible, located

files are listed, depending on the account's security clearance. Disable

the slocate cron job, and update slocate database in the background,

excluding device directory, any mount point, variably-sized contents,

Windows FAT and process information pseudo filesystems:

chmod -x /etc/cron.daily/slocate

slocate -e /dev,/mnt,/var -f vfat,proc -u &

Saying No to Fortune Cookies

If you don't want Slack to serve you any more fortune cookies, just say


chmod -x /etc/profile.d/

To elvis or Not To elvis

vi runs elvis, a vi text editor clone. The HOME and END keys move to the

beginning and end of a line respectively ONLY if vi is running in CLI.

In a graphical desktop, you have to use the shortcuts ^ to go to the

start of a line and $ to go to the end of a line. Or you can default it

to Vi IMproved:

ln -sf /usr/bin/vim /usr/bin/vi

Setting Shell Environment

/etc/profile sets the shell environment at login. However, /etc/profile

doesn't run if you open a terminal or console in X Window. For every

account including root, add the command to .bashrc:

echo ". /etc/profile" > ~/.bashrc

Adding User Accounts

Only root account was created during install. The root account is used

for system administration. A user account is used for daily operation.

Add as many user accounts as you wish.

In GNOME, click Applications menu > System Tools > Terminal. In KDE,

right-click on empty desktop > Open Terminal. Run adduser, enter a login

without spaces, press Enter seven times, hit CTRL C, create the user's

password where username is the name of a user:


passwd username

Enabling Advanced Power Management

If the desktop computer is powered by an ATX power supply unit that

reboots and shuts down the computer through software, you can enable APM

in Slack. Start the service, and uncomment apm in rc.modules to have it

auto-start on next boot:

modprobe apm

vi /etc/rc.d/rc.modules

/sbin/modprobe apm

Enabling Graphical Login

Slackware boots to command line interface. You can boot to the default

GNOME Desktop or Login Manager. Change the run level to 4 in inittab:

vi /etc/inittab


Configuring X Window

Before starting X Window, configure X:


Follow the on-screen instructions. Start the X Window System:


Configuring Acceleration, Mouse, Screen and Video RAM

The mouse speed is slow, any mouse wheel is disabled, screen is off

center, monitor power saving mode is off, and video RAM isn't set. My

mouse is a Microsoft Wheel Mouse Optical on PS/2.

Open a terminal or console, run video mode tuner, center the screen,

[Apply], [Show], [Quit], highlight to copy your mode line, uncomment

OpenGL for X (glx) for primarily nVidia video or Direct Rendering

Infrastructure (dri) for primarily ATI video in Module section,

uncomment Resolution option and add the ZAxisMapping option in

InputDevice section, paste your ModeLine with middle mouse button, add

DPMS option in Monitor section, and uncomment VideoRam option in Device

section, of xorg.conf:


vi /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Section "Module"

Load "dbe"

SubSection "extmod"

Option "omit xfree86-dga"


Load "type1"

Load "speedo"

Load "freetype"

Load "glx"

# Load "dri"



Section "InputDevice"

Identifier "Mouse1"

Driver "mouse"

Option "Protocol" "IMPS/2"

Option "Device" "/dev/mouse"

Option "Resolution" "256"

Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"



Section "Monitor"

Identifier "My Monitor"

HorizSync 30-70

VertRefresh 50-160

ModeLine "1024x768" 94.50 1024 1088 1184 1376 768 769 772

808 +hsync +vsync

Option "DPMS" "true"



Section "Device"

Identifier "NVIDIA GeForce"

Driver "nv"

VideoRam 65536


Enabling Reboot and Shutdown for Users in GDM

GNOME Desktop or Login Manager logs a user or root in a graphical

desktop. You can let the user(s) reboot or shutdown the computer in GDM.

Log in KDE as root > click main menu > System > Login Screen Setup, or

log in GNOME as root > click Applications menu > System Tools > Login

Screen Setup.

In General tab, type "Slackware 10" in Welcome string: text box under

Greeter, check "Login a user automatically on first bootup" and select a

user name from the username: drop-down menu under Automatic Login.

In Graphical greeter tab, select a login theme.

In Security tab, check only "Allow root to login with GDM", "Show

actions menu", "Allow configuration from the login screen" and "Always

disallow TCP connections to X server" (port 6000), and uncheck

everything else.

Click [Close].

Setting Terminal Font

If you don't want any anti-aliased font like Courier in a windowed

terminal or console, try Terminal font.

In KDE, right-click on empty desktop > Open Terminal > Settings in menu

bar > Font > Custom > Font: Terminal, Font style: Regular, Size: 10,

[OK] > Settings > Save settings.

In GNOME, click Applications menu > Desktop Preferences > Font >

Terminal fonts > Family: Terminal, Style: Regular, Size: 10, [OK] >


Installing Microsoft Fonts

Mozilla 1.7 and Firefox 0.9 scroll pages real smooth and fast. The only

downside is the fonts. You can install Microsoft fonts and make Mozilla

fonts look identical to its Windows version.

Install Microsoft fonts, set their file permissions to 0755, and add the

font path to xorg.conf:

vi /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Section "Files"

RgbPath "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/rgb"

# ModulePath "/usr/X11R6/lib/modules"

FontPath "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/local"

FontPath "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/misc"

FontPath "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/75dpi:unscaled"

FontPath "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/100dpi:unscaled"

FontPath "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/Speedo"

FontPath "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/Type1"

FontPath "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/TTF"

FontPath "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/cyrillic"

FontPath "/usr/local/share/fonts"

FontPath "/usr/share/fonts"

FontPath "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts"

FontPath "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/ttfonts"


Close all Web browsers, and reset X font paths:

xset fp rehash

Configure the new fonts in KDE Control Center or GNOME Preferences, and

Mozilla or Firefox Preferences. You may have to log out and/or restart X

by pressing CTRL ALT Backspace.

Managing Software with Swaret

You can manage software easily Using swaret.

Reading Documentation

Don't miss out a good source of information about the software in

Slackware. If you're running GNOME, click Applications > Help > Desktop

> User Guide to get started. If you're running KDE, click main menu >

Help > "Welcome to KDE" in the left panel. If you're in command lines,

list the software documentation directories:

ls -l /usr/doc | more

Press Spacebar to continue, double-click to copy the directory name and

press q. Then read, for example, K Desktop Environment base package:

less /usr/doc/kdebase-3.2.3/README

Press Page Up/Down key to scroll, / to search for a keyword, ESC to

cancel the search, and q to quit the program.

Where Do You Go From Here?

If you are a Slackware recruit, you are done tweaking Slackware. I would

never recommend the following advanced topics to recruits. If you are a

Slackware veteran, proceed with caution as the following will

considerably tighten up the system security to the point some things may

not work. i.e. A user couldn't read system logs.

Disabling Unnecessary Services

There is a bunch of services that are not necessary for a stand-alone

home PC. atd runs jobs at a later time. cron is a good replacement. Stop

the service, and disable it from starting by commenting out this snippet

in the multi-user init script:

killall atd

vi /etc/rc.d/rc.M

# Start atd (manages jobs scheduled with 'at'):

#if [ -x /usr/sbin/atd ]; then

# /usr/sbin/atd -b 15 -l 1


The following table describes the init scripts or services in the /etc/

rc.d directory that should be enabled. The other services can be


Minimal Services

rc.0 Symbolic link to rc.6

rc.4 Graphical login

rc.6 Shutdown or reboot

rc.K Safe mode for system administration

rc.M Multi-user login

rc.S System initialization

rc.acpid Advanced Configuration and Power Interface

rc.alsa Advanced Linux Sound Architecture

rc.cups Common UNIX Printing System Console font

rc.hotplug Hotpluggable subsystems

rc.inet1 Network initialization

rc.iptables Arno's firewall ruleset (optional)

rc.keymap Keyboard map

rc.local Local system initialization

rc.modules Extra hardware drivers

rc.serial Serial port initialization

rc.syslog System logging

rc.sysvinit System V init script compatibility

rc.udev Dynamic device naming support

The following are cut-and-paste console utility, network services and

filesystems, wireless devices, and Yellow Pages Network Information

Service. Disable these unnecessary services if you don't need them:

cd /etc/rc.d

chmod -x rc.gpm-sample rc.inet2 rc.nfsd rc.wireless rc.yp

Disabling Internet Services Daemon

You disabled Internet Services Daemon if you'd followed my install guide

to the letter. The leftover is its config file. Rename and empty it if

you want:

mv /etc/inetd.conf /etc/inetd.conf.old

touch /etc/inetd.conf

Restricting Services, Logs and root Files

You can restrict services, logs and root files to everybody but root:

chmod -R go-rwx /etc/rc.d

chmod -R o-rwx /var/log

chmod -R go-rwx /root

Deleting Unnecessary Accounts and Groups

There are accounts that can be used against the system per se. If you

don't run an ftp server, news server, RPC port mapper, Secure Shell,

Unix to Unix Copy, the following accounts and their corresponding groups

can be deleted.

Change directory to /etc, back up group, password and shadow files,

delete ftp, news, operator, rpc, sshd, sync and uucp accounts, check the

integrity of the password file, delete news, sshd and uucp groups, and

check the integrity of the group file, and delete ftp directory:

cd /etc

cp group group.old

cp passwd passwd.old

cp shadow shadow.old

userdel ftp

userdel news

userdel operator

userdel rpc

userdel sshd

userdel sync

userdel uucp


groupdel news

groupdel sshd

groupdel uucp


rm -fr /home/ftp

Next, comment out this line in syslog.conf to disable their logging:

vi /etc/syslog.conf

#uucp,news.crit -/var/log/spooler

Finally, restart the system logging daemon:

killall -HUP syslogd

Tightening Login Definitions

The login definitions are lax. What the settings do is explained in the

same file. Tighten them up:

vi /etc/login.defs


# Enable logging and display of /var/log/faillog login failure

# info.




# Enable display of unknown usernames when login failures are

# recorded.




# Enable logging of successful logins




# Enable logging and display of /var/log/lastlog login time info.





# Enable additional checks upon password changes.





# Enable checking of time restrictions specified in /etc/porttime.





# Password aging controls:


# PASS_MAX_DAYS Maximum number of days a password may be used.

# PASS_MIN_DAYS Minimum number of days allowed between

# password changes.

# PASS_MIN_LEN Minimum acceptable password length.

# PASS_WARN_AGE Number of days warning given before a

# password expires.








# Max number of login retries if password is bad





# Should login be allowed if we can't cd to the home directory?

# Default in no.



Restricting Remote Access to Computer

If you're using TCP wrapper or Secure Shell, you can restrict access

from outside to the local computer. Edit hosts.deny to read this:

vi /etc/hosts.deny


Installing a Firewall Rule Set

Please refer to Using iptables for installing a firewall rule set.

Official Book


Basic Slackware Security


Direct Rendering Infrastructure



Software Management

Slackware Software Packages

Kernel Insecurity


Copyright (C) 2002-2004 by

Old 07-16-2007, 09:34 AM   #8
Registered: Mar 2007
Location: Amiens, France
Distribution: Debian Etch,
Posts: 181

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it would not recognize my monitor, although there were drivers for it in Mandrake. <mumbling, Stupid French>
Hey, if I were French I'd resent that! But I'm not so I don't Anyway, as to an easy OS I've tried a few, and I've found Ubuntu to be the simplest. It's not as powerful as Debian or Slackware, but it's more straightforward to configure.
Old 07-16-2007, 10:13 AM   #9
Registered: Oct 2005
Location: Willoughby, Ohio
Distribution: linuxdebian
Posts: 7,231
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Originally Posted by perry
Since your interested in what services to run and which ones to disable, I thought I'd go ahead and include this for you anyway:

Wow.. Wouldn't a link to those Slackware how-to pages, have been a little more appropriate, than copying and pasting the whole thing here ? Yikes !!
Old 07-16-2007, 10:23 AM   #10
Senior Member
Registered: Jun 2004
Distribution: Arch, Debian, Slack
Posts: 1,016

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Originally Posted by farslayer
Wow.. Wouldn't a link to those Slackware how-to pages, have been a little more appropriate, than copying and pasting the whole thing here ? Yikes !!
yeah perry, maybe you could at least edit out all that white space. :-/
Old 07-18-2007, 05:41 PM   #11
Registered: Jun 2007
Location: Bayou, Louisiana
Posts: 121
Blog Entries: 1

Original Poster
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Old Guy with dementia needs help picking a Linux distro

Hi Guys!

Thanksfor all the nice answers. Slackware
scares me. I need something real simple to use.

Here's the Opportunity To Learn, LOL! It sounds soooooo much better than saying you have a problem.

I have an old, IWill K-266 Plus/3510A board. The Bios is Award v. 6.00, the CPU is a AMD Athlon 1.2 gig and it has 1,048576k of P-133 RAM. It has a
WDC400BB-75FRA0 40 gig HD and a Maxtor 6Y080L0 80 gig HD. It also has a primary CD Burner/etc/ Lite-On LTR-523275 and the secondary r/o CD is a FX 3210S.

I have Win 2k Pro installed on the WDC drive and Xandros Linux is dual-booted on the Max drive. The Max drive shows a WIN partition of only 30 gig, so that means the rest is Xandros.

I tried re-loading WIN 2k Pro some months ago, to take the Maxtor (Linux) partition out. But, it says
that the files on the CD are "corrupted"(BULLSHIT!)

I was told that after a certain "date" in the bios, the WIN 2k CD won't work and you're forced to get a new one, after you already paid for it once!

[Cursing Bill "Grates" under my breath]. Only problem is they don't sell it anymore! I've got some
mp3 on there that I wanted to keep that folks have sent me on the WIN side.

QUESTION: How do I delete (re-partition) the Maxtor drive, taking Xandros OFF and making the 80 gig and exclusive WIN drive?


Old 07-18-2007, 07:14 PM   #12
LQ Veteran
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Australia
Distribution: Lots ...
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From a Linux terminal session enter this and post all the output
/sbin/fdisk -l
(lower case ell).
Handling the partitions is easy - probably easiest to leave things as-is and just add an extra drive to W2K ( D: or E:...) after reformatting.
Old 07-18-2007, 07:31 PM   #13
Registered: Sep 2006
Location: Munich, Germany
Distribution: Debian / Ubuntu
Posts: 292

Rep: Reputation: 46
Hi Buck,

while I haven't used too many different Desktop distributions (SuSE, Debian, Ubuntu), of those Ubuntu would be the clear winner in this case. It's the first time that after (and during) a default install I thought: Wow, this is finally a distribution that I can recommend to "normal" users. The default package selection is very sound -- everything you need for every-day usage, no more no less. (And if you need more, it's readily available.)

Old 07-18-2007, 08:28 PM   #14
Registered: Sep 2006
Location: Munich, Germany
Distribution: Debian / Ubuntu
Posts: 292

Rep: Reputation: 46
Originally Posted by BuckNekkid
I was told that after a certain "date" in the bios, the WIN 2k CD won't work and you're forced to get a new one, after you already paid for it once!
Even though slightly off topic here: if this were true (which I highly doubt), all it would take is set back the cmos clock during installation.
Old 07-19-2007, 05:29 AM   #15
Registered: Jun 2007
Location: Bayou, Louisiana
Posts: 121
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Original Poster
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Question Old Guy with dementia needs help picking a Linux distro


SIG00, I'm a bit confused... If I'm in Xandros and use the command line to type in your "suggestion", does it remove the Linux partition or the WIN 2K partition?

I'd like to add a 300 gig HD, although I don't know if the MB and Bios will handle it. It sounds like I need to get a NEW computer and reformat the drive to take VISTA off of it, and start over by reformatting and transfering the WIN files to the new machine. Then, I could use the 80 gig Maxtor drive to run Linux

I know nothing about how to make an ISO or run it, so I'll just "buy" a CD for Unbuntu, Debian, and maybe FreeBSD and try them all out.

I hear FreeBSD has a tighter security package to keep [I]intruders [I] out. The last thing I want is a "bugaboo" in my machine destroying my data or giving me headaches, LOL! With the dementia, I'm already confused enough.

Rupert, Danka for the suggestion on "re-setting" the Bios clock back. I forgot I used to do that when I was running DOS, LOOL!

Well, I'm going back to bed, for now.

Much Thanks for all y'all's help.




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