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Linux NOOB. Need advice.

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#1
Ok I have an old laptop here at my house my daughters were always going on. Well one day we had a guest over and they used the computer and installed something that almost wiped my home network. After that I took the computer away from EVERYONE. :laugh:

Anyway yesterday I installed Linux Mint 64bit on it. I created a admin account for myself and a guest account with basic privlages for everyone else (no installs or setting adjustments). I also enabled the Firewall which was off by default. Then I installed Chrome and Ad Blocker. Is there anything else I should do? Any other settings I should adjust?
 
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#3
What settings? Security?

If you want to do some tweaks with UFW (firewall) here's a nice straightforward guide

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UFW

or

http://ihaveapc.com/2012/07/quickly-secure-ubuntulinux-mint-systems-using-ufw-firewall/
Any settings man. I'm a full blown noob to this stuff. Just looking for advice from some of the veterans.

Edit: I wanna start doing some Linux news on the front page but I cant until I am more educated on the subject. Been reading a lot but I wanna hear from users that know WTF is going on.
 
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#4
you should be good with a limited account. As long as no one gets the password for the Admin/root account. You can go in to the limited account and do some testing if you like and see if you can do any breaking. :toast:
 
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#5
you should be good with a limited account. As long as no one gets the password for the Admin/root account. You can go in to the limited account and do some testing if you like and see if you can do any breaking. :toast:
I did try and needed an admin for everything. Love that. Anyway I was reading there are less then 900 confirmed Linux viruses and to get one is a super pain in the ass. Basically you have to LOOK for them and install them. However Linux can be a carrier monkey so a anti virus is still suggested. Something like Sophos or Avast. Is that worth looking into or am I being paranoid?
 

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#6
for antivirus, just check the software repos to see which ones linux mint already includes. i know avg and avast make linux versions that people seem to like.
 
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#7
for antivirus, just check the software repos to see which ones linux mint already includes. i know avg and avast make linux versions that people seem to like.
Without admins its not for the Linux install. Just for files they (guest user not system admin) might download that might be malice if moved to another computer correct?
 
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#8
No I think that is generally it for a general use home computer. The OS is designed to not let a normal user do shit and that coupled with the lack of much malware out there that can do anything on a Linux box in the first place means you're pretty much good. Just make sure the admin (root?) password is strong, of course. And maybe change it every few months.

The firewall could probably be configured to disallow traffic from that box to other specific IPs on your network, as well. Not sure such is absolutely necessary, however.
 
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#9
No I think that is generally it for a general use home computer. The OS is designed to not let a normal user do shit and that coupled with the lack of much malware out there that can do anything on a Linux box in the first place means you're pretty much good. Just make sure the admin (root?) password is strong, of course. And maybe change it every few months.

The firewall could probably be configured to disallow traffic from that box to other specific IPs on your network, as well. Not sure such is absolutely necessary, however.
Cool. Sounds like even the everyday admin should run as a guest on a Linux OS just to be safe. Kinda like Windows. Is that correct?
 
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#10
Well to be safe I guess especially if there are more then one user. I run my 3 Linux boxes as admin all the time. I have never had a problem, but then again I never go out looking for stuff either. You should be golden how you have it setup. How many different users are there going to be on this system? I might be getting the feeling you may be a tad paranoid. Meant in a good way though. If this was going to be a public system where any joe blow can use it then the extra precautions would be in order. But just for family members you are good where you are at with it.
 
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#11
Yeah I suppose it's "safer" to always log in as a regular user ("guest") if you don't need to do any admin tasks. But the chances of you personally screwing anything up logged in as an admin are still pretty low despite your lack of experience. That "admin account" you created is not the root (superuser) account I assume, though even if it were you are probably okay using it. Just pay attention and don't do anything you are not sure about.
 

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#12
NOTE: The remote server thing doesn't need to be used, it was in the case that you didn't have access to a linux system, since he warns against dual booting until you know what you're doing since a typo or 2 can apparently wipe crucial files from your primary OS, forcing a reinstall...
for most purposes, install linux in VMware or any other virtualization software.

You will still have access to all your usual software making your life much easier

Virtualization also supports snapshots, so you can take system back in time if you screw up
 

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#13
but there's a problem... I have to have the file on my local computer in order to upload it to the teacher. But the file saved to the school's linux server.
ssh into your school's Linux server using your account and cd to the directory where the file is that you need to upload. if your teacher gave you an ftp address to upload to you can use the sftp command to send it from your school's Linux server to your teacher.
 

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#14
as for the permissions side you are golden there. Linux is pretty much a "idiots nightmare" quoted from my UNIX/Linux professor. what he means by that is people just want to go around doing all this stuff to their computers without using their brains. well linux doesn't allow. it is best practice to keep urself as a normal user and not be root. yes u have to be in root for certaint things but not all the time. good luck sir!

and no i dont think an anti virus will be needed either. we had a lab in our class and it was to go and search for a virus. out of the 24 computers none got infected... (we downloaded everything under the sun)
 
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#15
on mythbuntu, (as i guess any unbuntu) without "sudo" can't do much damage... (barring using su...)

LOL long story short... just beware the "fstab" is not a place for spelling errors... typed jfz instead of jfs and it was easier to reinstall than trying to learn how to fix the error...

installing software is easier than windows... just go to the software center... boom... find what you need... boom... installed... boom LOL

permissions are a pain, adding a new hard drive is a pain...
but i am rewarded with the knowledge that i am not using win7...
(I just wish furmark,cpu-z,gpu-z were available in linux)
really, unigine topics is available for ubuntu... same as the windows version!
prime95 is available as mprime...
(i know that all the info is in linux somewhere, but cpu-z, and gpu-z are so much easier to use)
 
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#16
for most purposes, install linux in VMware or any other virtualization software.

You will still have access to all your usual software making your life much easier

Virtualization also supports snapshots, so you can take system back in time if you screw up
You can use the computer as a thin-client and connect it to your local virtual machines. The VMWare software limited license is free for single users.

This will avoid the users being able to ctrl+alt and get back into windows.

It is very difficult for a virus to get anywhere on a linux machine that has a strong root password.
 

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#17
mailman, are you still running linux?
 
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#18
More specifically, are your kids? :)
 
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#19
mailman, are you still running linux?
Nope. It was to confusing. I would love to take the time to learn but I just don't have it. I had no idea how to secure anything honestly and I can't have something like that on my network.
 

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#20
Their are butt loads of sites out there for linux noobs. Hell go to Ubuntu website and they have documentation for configuration and also have news groups. Its ridicoulous. But good luck with what you get into.
 

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#21
Nope. It was to confusing. I would love to take the time to learn but I just don't have it. I had no idea how to secure anything honestly and I can't have something like that on my network.
uh, linux by default is more secure than a hardened windows desktop box. :slap:
 
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#22
uh, linux by default is more secure than a hardened windows desktop box. :slap:
Two good reasons:

1. Without root, very minimal damage can be done.
2. Linux has a very small user base, so there is not a whole lot built to target a linux machine, and malware HAS to be built specifically to target a linux machine.
 

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#23
and probably that most people who are writing the malware are using linux which means why would they f-up their own platform? :p