OpenOffice.org Quick Introduction For New User

Posted on in Categories GNU/Open source, Howto, Linux desktop, OpenOffice.Org, Troubleshooting, Ubuntu Linux, UNIX, Windows, windows vista last updated June 3, 2009

OpenOffice.org (OOo) is a freely available, full-featured office suite. OOo is both a software product and a community of volunteers that produces and supports the software. However, new users may get lost while finding help, support and productivity enhancing extensions. This blog post covers OOo new user orientation to to discover support, tutorials, community insights, templates, clip art, extensions, and blogs for OOo.

Linux Kernel Security (SELinux vs AppArmor vs Grsecurity)

Posted on in Categories CentOS, Debian Linux, fedora linux, Gentoo Linux, GNU/Open source, Linux, Linux distribution, Networking, RedHat/Fedora Linux, Security, Slackware, Suse Linux, Ubuntu Linux last updated May 27, 2009

Linux kernel is the central component of Linux operating systems. It is responsible for managing the system’s resources, the communication between hardware and software and security. Kernel play a critical role in supporting security at higher levels. Unfortunately, stock kernel is not secured out of box. There are some important Linux kernel patches to secure your box. They differ significantly in how they are administered and how they integrate into the system. They also allow for easy control of access between processes and objects, processes and other processes, and objects and other objects. The following pros and cons list is based upon my personal experience.

Download of the day: Ubuntu Linux 9.04 CD / DVD ISO

Posted on in Categories Download of the day, GNU/Open source, Linux desktop, Linux distribution, Ubuntu Linux last updated April 24, 2009

Ubuntu Linux 9.04 has been released and available for download ( jump to download link ). Ubuntu Linux is a community-based Linux distribution. The latest release of Ubuntu brings the best open source technologies together on one platform, with the benefit of free updates for 18 months. Also announced were the simultaneous releases of Ubuntu 9.04 Server Edition and Ubuntu 9.04 Netbook Remix (UNR).

What Do You Use to Debug Linux / UNIX C/C++ Programs?

Posted on in Categories Ask nixCraft, GNU/Open source, Linux, programming, UNIX last updated February 24, 2009

The purpose of a debugger is to allow you to see what is going on inside another program while it executes. It is useful to find out what another program was doing at the moment it crashed. I know most people will recommend GNU gdb, Nemiver, Valgrind or IDE such as Eclipse. I use gdb when it is really required; otherwise I debug the old fashioned way using printf() or cout statements.

Security Through Obscurity: MAC Address Filtering ( Layer 2 Filtering )

Posted on in Categories data center, fedora linux, FreeBSD, Gentoo Linux, GNU/Open source, Hardware, Iptables, Linux, Networking, RedHat/Fedora Linux, Security, Ubuntu Linux, UNIX, Windows, windows vista, Wireless networking last updated February 17, 2009

MAC Filtering (layer 2 address filtering) refers to a security access control methodology whereby the 48-bit address assigned to each network card is used to determine access to the network. Iptables, pf, and IPFW can block a certain MAC address on a network, just like an IP. One can deny or allow from MAC address like 00:1e:2a:47:42:8d using open source firewalls. MAC address filtering is often used to secure LAN or wireless network / devices. Is this technique effective?

How To Tail (View) Multiple Files on UNIX / Linux Console

Posted on in Categories data center, Debian Linux, Download of the day, fedora linux, File system, FreeBSD, Gentoo Linux, GNU/Open source, Howto, Linux, Linux Log Management, Monitoring, package management, RedHat/Fedora Linux, Suse Linux, Sys admin, Tip of the day, UNIX last updated February 9, 2009

The tail command is one of the best tool to view log files in a real time using tail -f /path/to/log.file syntax on a Unix-like systems. The program MultiTail lets you view one or multiple files like the original tail program. The difference is that it creates multiple windows on your console (with ncurses). This is one of those dream come true program for UNIX sys admin job. You can browse through several log files at once and do various operations like search for errors and more.

Woman Blames Dell and Ubuntu For Missing Online School Classes

Posted on in Categories GNU/Open source, Linux, Linux desktop, Ubuntu Linux, Windows, windows vista last updated January 15, 2009

Another clueless woman has claimed that Dell computer and Ubuntu Linux have kept her from going back to school via online classes. According to a story – a woman bought a Dell computer and realized she ordered it with the Ubuntu Operating System rather than MS-Windows. She tried to change OS to Windows but Dell refused. Her Verizon High-Speed Internet CD won’t load, so she can’t access the internet. She also can’t install Microsoft Word, which she says is a requirement for MATC’s online classes. As a result, with no internet and no Microsoft Word, Schubert dropped out of MATC’s fall and spring semesters. The full story is here including followup.

Now, I’ve no idea about Verizon’s modem and DSL connection but most A/DSL provider modem (router) comes with an Ethernet port. There is no need to use wizard or CD based installer. Other software such as MS-Word can be replaced with OO (I submitted all my school work using OO office writer and no one noticed the difference… ). Further both Verizon and MATC ready to help:

Verizon says it will dispatch a technician to try to assist her accessing the internet without using the Windows-only installation disk.

MATC also says it promises to accept any of Schubert’s papers or class documents using whatever software she has installed.

So what is the problem here?

Tutorial: OpenOffice.Org Mail Merge

Posted on in Categories fedora linux, Gnome, GNU/Open source, Howto, Linux, Linux desktop, OS X, Tips, Ubuntu Linux, UNIX, Windows last updated January 14, 2009

openoffice

Mail merge is a software function describing the production of multiple documents from a single template form and a structured data source. This helps to create personalized letters and pre-addressed envelopes or mailing labels for mass mailings from a word processing document which contains fixed text, which will be the same in each output document, and variables, which act as placeholders that are replaced by text from the data source. The data source is typically a spreadsheet or a database which has a field or column matching each variable in the template. When the mail merge is run, the word processing system creates an output document for each row in the database, using the fixed text exactly as it appears in the template, but substituting the data variables in the template with the values from the matching columns.

This technique of merging data to create mailshots gave rise to the term mail merge. OpenOffice.Org has a in built software mail merge feature.

If you haven’t tried OpenOffice.org’s mail merge feature because you find it confusing or difficult to use, you are in luck. Mail Merges in OpenOffice.org and StarOffice provides a detailed description of the mail merge feature from start to finish. Among other things, it shows how you can use the mail merge to create letters, labels, and envelopes.

=> You can download this excellent PDF ebook for your persusal or read the article online – Mail Merge in Openoffice.org: Everything You Need to Know.

Important: Openssl Security Update [CVE-2008-5077]

Posted on in Categories CentOS, Debian Linux, fedora linux, FreeBSD, GNU/Open source, Howto, Linux, News, RedHat/Fedora Linux, Security Alert, Slackware, Suse Linux, Sys admin last updated January 8, 2009

Linux / BSD and UNIX like operating systems includes software from the OpenSSL Project. The OpenSSL is commercial-grade, industry-strength, full-featured Open Source toolkit implementing the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL v2/v3) and Transport Layer Security (TLS v1) protocols as well as general purpose cryptography library.

The Google security team discovered a flaw in the way OpenSSL checked the verification of certificates. An attacker in control of a malicious server, or able to effect a “man in the middle” attack, could present a malformed SSL/TLS signature from a certificate chain to a vulnerable client and bypass validation.

This update has been rated as having important security impact on FreeBSD, all version of Ubuntu / Debian, Red Hat (RHEL), CentOS, Fedora and other open source operating system that depends upon OpenSSL.