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Old 09-02-2004, 06:21 PM   #1
Jay Smith
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Newbie questions, Mandrakelinux10, KDE desktop


These may be available in answers somewhere but ive solved the problems i had which i could put into a sentence to search for, but these i couldnt. sounds stupid but true. for instance i searched the kde help for "resolution" and found 0 results.

1. how do i increase the resolution? Im using KDE.
2. how do i get the documentation of MandrakeLinux, without downloading? I looked on disc 1, all there was was languages other than English! On the Welcome to Mandrakelinux screen which comes at startup, i click on documentation and try to install it but i end up with it saying it cant be found, even though it hasnt looked on the disc.
3. what do i do when it crashes? it crashes a few minutes ago, and i didnt know what to do! on windows you click ctrl-alt-delete but all i could do on linux was shut it down!
4. where do i start if i want to make my system as secure as possible while still using the internet? in the mandrake control panel when i click on the firewall icon it "loads" forever and never comes up! By the way i clicked 'standard' security in the installation because it said recommended and i dont know much about computers. would high be good?
5. how sure can i be of my systems security, i mean domestic as well as internet. how easy is it for someone else using the computer to access my files?
6. is ALL records of computer usage stored in /var/logs? is it safe to regularly delete this folder?
7. how do i make it so that when i open an app it automatically maximizes the window?

thank you very much in advance.
 
Old 09-02-2004, 07:01 PM   #2
Mara
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1. Run KDE Control Center -> Peripherials -> Display
In fact, KDE has nothing to do with resolution. There's a lower level, called X that handles this.

2. Open the program to install packages and install mandrake_doc-(insert your country code here).

3. There is a number of options depending on what has crashed. If it's just one program, you can use kill or xkill (first text mode, second graphical) to kill the program. If you have no control over the GUI, you can press ctrl+alt+backspace to kill the whole GUI (will restart to the login screen), if you don't want to kill all the GUI programs, press ctrl+alt+f1, you should get to a text mode login screen, log in, then you can use 'ps' command to list all processes (in first column their numbers) and 'kill <insert process number>' to kill one of them.

4. 'Standard' level of security is OK for a desktop machine. 'High' is rather for a server. If Mandrake firewall doesn't work for you, I think you should go for a script you will install yourself. Keyword here: iptables. Iptables is the program (text mode) used to build firewall. It has quite complicated syntax, so for a first time I'd recommend to download a script (there are many of them when you search this site, choose the one that fits your situation most) or use one of the programs that generate firewalling scripts. Unfortunatelly I don't remember any name or link. Maybe someone will jump in and post one or two.

5. If the second person doesn't have a root password and doesn't know your password, access to your files is hard. Only you can root can read files in /home/yourname. But still, if someone has physical access to the machine, can boot from a floppy or cd and access your files. BTW Mandrake allows you to have encrypted filesystem (so you always need a password to access it).

6. All, I think. But old logs can be useful. For example when something stops working you can find out how it was earlier and even see what has changed.
 
Old 09-02-2004, 07:04 PM   #3
Tino27
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I can answer some of the questions for you...

1) I believe KDE comes with an application called SaX2 that will allow you to change the resolution.

2) Don't know, don't use Mandrake.

3) You didn't exactly say what crashed. Did X crash? Or was it just one program that crashed/hung? If it is simply a program that hung, you can kill the process by issuing the following command in a terminal window:

kill <pid> (where pid is the Process ID of the application you want to kill)

You can get the PID value by finding it in the list of running processes. You can find more out about the 'kill' command by typing 'man kill' in a terminal window. To get the list of running processes, in a terminal window, type:

ps aux

Or, if you know the name of the process, you can type:

ps aux | grep <progname> (obviously fill in the progname with the actual program name)

If, on the other hand, X is crashing, then that could be any number of things and you should probably post an entry specific to that problem.

4 & 5) I can't speak of Mandrake's firewall icon/program since I don't run Mandrake. However, I can speak on the general topic of security. First, realize that no system is entirely secure. Since I'm guessing you aren't willing to forgo an Internet connection in lieu of security, then you will have to take some active steps in order to protect your computer.

Step 1: Update, update, update. I'm sure Mandrake has a GUI based tool that will allow you to get the latest version of kernels, programs, etc.
Step 2: Disable any applications that are listening to TCP or UDP ports that you don't require. In otherwords, if you aren't planning on using your computer as a webserver, don't run Apache.
Step 3: Constant vigilance. Check the logs in /var/log on a regular basis to see if anything strange is happening.

You might start your search at www.tldp.org. There are many fine tutorials at that site.

6) /var/logs is the "standard" place for most OS and application level messages. However, that is no guarantee that all programs have to write their output there. It's going to vary with the program you are using.

7) This is probably a lot more specific to the application you are running. Some apps have been programmed to remember screen position upon boot-up. Some haven't. Fortunately, most apps I've seen implement this feature.

Good luck.
 
Old 09-02-2004, 07:18 PM   #4
Jay Smith
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Thank you for the replies. Just a newbie question, how do I know what to look for in /var/logs? wouldnt someone who has been doing something delete the logs of what they did?

Another question, I run Windows on another partition. Can a Windows user see the linux files like the linux user can see the Windows files?

Last edited by Jay Smith; 09-02-2004 at 07:19 PM.
 
Old 09-02-2004, 08:50 PM   #5
Tamsco
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Windows doesn't have linux file system support compiled in the kernel, and unfortunately you can't recompile windows. There are a few DOS tools that let you mount a linux partition, but they aren't very good.

If you for some reason ever have a situation where linux dies and you want to fix i from windows, just eep a copy of Knoppix (a distro entirely on your CD) around and you'll be fine.
 
Old 09-02-2004, 09:06 PM   #6
Jay Smith
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Thank you for replying.

Anyway yes I run the Mandrakeonline software and keep it updated however i fear this is not enough. I got the firewall working BTW, but i dont know how to configure it well, theres only one thing to configure, what things to allow to access the internet, like SSH, mail server, domain name server that type of thing. I dont know what to block.

Also, how do do this? I want to be able to quickly block all internet access to ports and quickly open them, so that I only open ports when i need to use them. Im a complete newbie to this stuff but i want a secure system.
 
Old 09-02-2004, 09:18 PM   #7
Tino27
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First off, what is the purpose of this computer? Is it supposed to be your desktop computer? Is it a server you plan to use as a file and print server? Are you going to be hosting a website? Before you can figure out what you need to block and what you don't, you should figure out what services you want your computer to provide. If you don't know yet, then simply block all the services. Find and read up on the various services you might want to provide and then slowly unblock them one by one.

One thing you should realize about firewalls is that they are not the be-all-end-all of security devices. They should be used in conjunction with other good security practices -- such as only starting services that you actually want to offer to other computers (or the Internet). Generally speaking, turning on/off the firewall as you immediately need a particular service is unnecessary.

My advice? Offer no incoming services until you know what you want. No Telnet, no SSH, no sendmail, no ftp, nothing. The only service that I offer the world (i.e. Internet) on my one file server is SSH access. And I've taken the time to go through the documentation and figure out how to lock it down as best I can. Sure, it could still get rooted, but it will be a lot harder to do than a default install.

You might also want to consider spending $30 on a good Linux Security book. I personally like the Linux Security Toolkit by Daniel Bandel. While it covers the 2.2.x kernel, a LOT of what he talks about can be applied to any kernel. Plus, since it was used, I got it for $4.
 
Old 09-02-2004, 09:29 PM   #8
Jay Smith
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Well, all I really use is web browsing and IRC, and sometimes FTP. I dont know yet what SSH is, but this is a desktop computer I use it for using software like Maya, and using the web, I dont run a server or anything. What port is used by web browsing?
 
Old 09-02-2004, 09:30 PM   #9
Jay Smith
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Also, even when I dont tick anything, FTP or SSH or anythng else, i can still access the web why is this?

Two other things:

1. I looked at periphals but the max. resolution is 1024x768, whereas its 1280x1024 in Windows. I want it to be 1280x1024.
2. I want to setup my computer so that it and my PS2 can share the internet, and use it at same time. How do I do this? Is it easier than Windows? On Windows you have to setup internet connection sharing or spend on a router.

Last edited by Jay Smith; 09-02-2004 at 09:33 PM.
 
Old 09-02-2004, 09:41 PM   #10
Tino27
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Wow, you are definitely posting to the right sub-forum. Don't worry, we were all there at one time.

Your computer can act as both a consumer of services as well as a provider of services. When you surf to a webpage, you are acting as the consumer and the computer providing the web page content is acting as the provider. A firewall is designed so that it can block incoming or outgoing requests. Now, considering that this is just a general desktop computer and not a server of any kind, I would say it is a good idea to block INCOMING requests for various services (FTP, HTTP, SMTP, etc.). You block these because you are not providing any services to other computers (or the Internet). A firewall can also be configured to allow (or block) OUTGOING requests. This is generally useful in corporate environments where the company doesn't want people using things like instant messenger clients or FTP, etc. Since you are administrating this computer, I would assume you wouldn't block any outgoing requests since you would essentially be limiting what you could do on the Internet or any other network. For instance, if you blocked outgoing FTP requests, you would be unable to FTP to another site.

There's no way to learn it all in one day. If you are serious about security, you are going to have to take some time and read.
 
Old 09-02-2004, 09:43 PM   #11
Tino27
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Make your life easy. Buy a router.
 
Old 09-02-2004, 09:46 PM   #12
Jay Smith
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What about the resolution problem?

As for the firewall, the mandrake one has only one screen with about 10 boxes to tick. They dont say outgoing or ingoing. Is there any slightly more advanced firewall, yet still basic for a newbie like me?
 
Old 09-02-2004, 09:47 PM   #13
Jay Smith
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tino27
Make your life easy. Buy a router.
Yeah its just the damn router costs 70 where i live not including the wires and NIC, probably the same including shipping if i imported it. Ive already paid too much for online gaming not another 70+.
 
Old 09-02-2004, 09:51 PM   #14
Tino27
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If it is that simple, then the Mandrake firewall probably means incoming requests (or services you wish to provide to others). All firewalls are based on iptables (2.4 and 2.6 kernels) and any GUI based programs simply sit on top of iptables. I personally use Guarddog to configure my firewall. But for your needs (at least until you understand firewalls a little better), I would just stick with Mandrake's version.

As for the resolution problem, check out what Mara has to say about this -- posted as #2 in this thread.
 
Old 09-02-2004, 11:06 PM   #15
pongmaster
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Smith
What about the resolution problem?
Open Konsole.
$ xvidtune
You can do everything monitor related with this program.
Your resolution problem maybe graphic card related though - suggest you get some nvidia/ati drivers installed if you run into problems using xvidtune.

Quote:
As for the firewall, the mandrake one has only one screen with about 10 boxes to tick. They dont say outgoing or ingoing. Is there any slightly more advanced firewall, yet still basic for a newbie like me?
Configuring the standard Mandrake firewall is pretty easy. If you just want to surf, download files and download POP type email (like you did with Outlook Express) then in the firewall configuration window, put check marks in the boxes labelled:
Web Server
Domain Name Server
POP and IMAP Server
For services you want to allow your computer to connect to.

Last edited by pongmaster; 09-02-2004 at 11:09 PM.
 
  


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