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I get this when trying to run this command: desktop:~$ grep nobody /etc/passwd
this "nobody" just popped up one day under my normal profile name and i cannot set it to /dev/null. I get permission denied.
You are seeing this error because you don't have permission to edit the /etc/passwd file. Try changing to the root account or invoke an editor using sudo.
BUT ... the nobody account is useful. It is a standard account used to perform tasks that don't require any privileges or normal user account status. The updatedb utility is usually run in a cron job under the nobody account. That way it does not update the locate database with user files unless the "others" group can see those files.
that did it! you guys are awesome. Since I have used MS systems for so long and support them professionally I am very unfamiliar with Linux in every aspect ( although i do have to say even being as new to it as i am, i am WAY happier to use it than any MS product i have ever seen). I am a pretty big security guy so if anyone could point me to some references on tools to be used in securing my Linux box i would appreciate it. Also, guarddog vs. firestarter, any opinions?