Category Archives: linux

Tracking people’s history

FROM http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/securing-debian-howto/ch4.en.html

4.10.9 Hand-made user auditing

If you are paranoid you might want to add a system-wide /etc/profile that sets the environment in a way such that they cannot remove audit capabilities from the shell (commands are dumped to $HISTFILE. The /etc/profile could be set as follows:

       HISTFILE=~/.bash_history
       HISTSIZE=100000000000000000
       HISTFILESIZE=10000000000000000
       readonly HISTFILE
       readonly HISTSIZE
       readonly HISTFILESIZE
       export HISTFILE HISTSIZE HISTFILESIZE

Techie dinner

Last night, I had dinner with William Yu, Miguel Paraz, and Jijo Sevilla. Jijo organized the get-together.

While waiting for Migs and William, Jijo and I chatted about his new IT consultancy. He described the fat client Debian-based system he had in mind, with computers automatically drawing updated packages from a central repository. Jijo wanted to know what I thought of the project.

I told him to check out FAI, a Debian package for doing fully-automated installs. I also told him about configure packages to help propagate configurations. He could set up a network-booting system, with CD backups in case the network went down. He was delighted - these tidbits would make his job a whole lot easier.

He asked me because he knew I watched the debian-user list and so might know of similar problems and solutions.

Here's how I keep an idea of all Debian packages in my head:

- I spent some time reading the package summaries of all the packages

available in Debian's unstable+experimental archives. This was part of choosing new packages to install, so it was fun.

- I use aptitude's "forget" command to mark all of those packages as old.

- Whenever I update my package lists, aptitude marks packages I

haven't seen as "new."

- I review those and then use "forget" again to mark all of them as old.

That's how I keep track of all existing packages available for i386. I still use apt-cache search and aptitude's search functions extensively, but at least I know what to look for.

I also watch debian-devel for Intent to Package (ITP) announcements. I used to keep track of freshmeat.net, but found it too far from my normal workload, and not useful enough.

Looks like that's my Geek Power - I'm a search engine. ;)