More Debian 8 for Beginners by Ed Hurst by Ed Hurst - Read Online




Continuing as the second volume, this book is also aimed at the great average middle of computer users, proficient but by no means a technician. We cover more of the same beginner level topics. You gain even more control you could not otherwise have. After replacing Windows with Linux (it runs on Macs, too), there is a lot to learn. It’s quite possible the average computer user can learn to run Debian with at least as much savvy as you ran Windows. You don’t have to become a computer technician to understand it; it’s not that hard. But if computers are your hobby, this is well worth the time and effort to gain expertise.

Published: Ed Hurst on


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More Debian 8 for Beginners - Ed Hurst

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This book is the companion or sequel to Debian 8 for Beginners. This volume assumes that you have read the first already, or that you at least understand what is taught there. It is not that the subjects covered here are more advanced, but they are more of the same level of tutorial that covers things not appropriate for a bare introduction. This volume takes you farther along the same beginner’s path.

As with the previous volume, I recommend you read through the book before trying any of it.

1. Firewall and Little Extras

The firewall is simple. You probably understand the original concept: There is something you really need to use, but which is troublesome. So you build a barrier between yourself and the trouble to reduce damage when it catches fire. So it is with computers and the Internet. Unless you have no use for the global communications network, you'll need an electronic firewall to prevent damage to your computer when you connect.

It would be impossible to cover every sort of connection people use to get online. There are two configurations most common today: laptops with wifi and home computers with routers. A great many people combine the two, with wifi routers in their home. Frankly, the intermittent connection of a mobile device is safer for the device. But it's inconvenient to cut off your PC connected by an ethernet cable during those moments when you have no need for the Net. With a laptop, a great many people carry them around to places with public wifi requiring they trust an unknown connection, so it balances out in terms of risk.

The simplest answer on Debian is a package called ufw. Install that. To make it work properly is simplicity itself; two commands from your root account:

ufw enable

ufw default deny

The first turns it on. The second tells your system to ignore anything that isn’t a response to some traffic you sent out. Both of those should result in some feedback on the CLI, so don't be surprised by what appears as warnings. Unless the message indicates something isn’t working, it's okay – those messages let you know that the instructions were received properly.

The other smart defense is already in place. Debian by default does not run any services that you don’t actually need. This is easily one of the biggest problems with Windows. For the sake of user convenience, there is a standard profile of services that are running in the background on Windows. If you understood it better, you would wonder about some of them. They are obviously there for the convenience of someone else, not you. Even some of the bigger Linux projects tend to do this,