the linux newb

all things tech

Linux Filesystem Permissions

Scott Morris over at has released a free ebook on Linux filesystem permissions and how to manage them.  As I am taking classes right now on Linux, not many of the students have learned what they need to know about permissions and think this is a great way to learn them.

You can find Scott Morris’ blog on this here

or you can find his free e-book here.

I would like to say a huge “Thank you” to Mr. Morris for this material!


28/02/2008 Posted by | Linux | | 1 Comment

Online backup company

Browsing through the interwebs and found a company that will allow you to backup 25GB worth of stuff FOR FREE!  MediaMax is a company that will allow individuals the ability to backup videos, photos, music, and files for free.  I have not had a chance to try this service out, but I’m sure I will be soon.  If you have tried it out, tell me about it in the comments section.

25/02/2008 Posted by | backup, Productivity | Leave a comment

Nmap’s new scripting engine…

In the past, pentesters would have to write their own scripts for further exploration of results found from an Nmap test. But now with the stable release of Nmap 4.5, the Nmap Scripting Engine (NSE) is included (the project actually started with the alpha release in version 4.21)(some scripts can be found in /usr/share/nmap/scripts).

What does NSE do? Well, for example, if a penetration test is ran and an HTTP server is found running on one of the machines; then, in the past, administrators would write a script to determine the version of the web server. Now, with NSE, the scripts are already written or easier to write.

Developers say that NSE is most effective with small to mid-sized organizations. If you have to scan a large organization, Nessus or GFI LANguard would be more effective.

For more information, click here

22/02/2008 Posted by | Linux, open source, Security | Leave a comment

Everything you need to know about the “dd” command

I was trying to find out some information about the “dd” command in Linux and came across the web page posted below. The “dd” command’s primary purpose is low-level copying and conversion of raw data. Check out the link below to find out things that you might not have already known…

dd command

13/02/2008 Posted by | backup, Linux, Productivity | | Leave a comment

USB support in VMware Workstation 5 and OpenSUSE

Another one courtesy of Chris, but this one is not tested…but should work.

If you would like USB support for VM Workstation 5 on OpenSUSE follow the directions below. If it works/does not work, please make note in the comments section, so I can correct this problem.

  • Mount the USB file system with parameter auto with this line in fstab:
    usbfs /proc/bus/usb usbfs auto 0 0
  • Each Guest O/S has its virtual configuration storage, including the virtual hardware config file with extension .vmx. Ensure that .vmx file contains this line:
    usb.present = “TRUE”
  • After installing VMware Tools: GoTo the the top menu –> VM –> Settings –> Hardware: Make sure that USB Controller is listed as Present and if not then Click to Add –> USB Controller.
  • Now you can view and install your USB devices/drivers at Menu –> VM –> Removable Devices –> USB Devices –> select to install.

12/02/2008 Posted by | how-to, Linux, opensuse, VMware | | Leave a comment

OpenSUSE 11.0 Alpha 2 released…

The second alpha release of openSUSE 11.0 is available at, or you can download the torrent here (Right click, save as…).  Changes from the first alpha release include replacing KDE 3.5.8 with KDE 4.0.1 as the default KDE, Linux 2.6.24, continued work on the installation work-flow, and OpenOffice 2.4 Beta. There are also Live Gnome and KDE CDs available for download. I have not tried it out as of yet, but plan to soon.

11/02/2008 Posted by | KDE 4, Linux, opensuse | Leave a comment

VMware Workstation 5 and OpenSUSE 10.3

A huge thank you to Chris for this one.

I received an email from Chris the other day because our group was having a hell of a time trying to install VMware Workstation 5 on our OpenSUSE 10.3 machines. Well, he worked it out. Now, you have to search for the newest any-any patch for VMware, I am using 116, and Chris is using 115, for this to work. Here are the steps…hope this helps…

Installing VMWorkstation 5.0 from source in OpenSUSE 10.3

  1. Using YAST, ensure that kernel-source, gcc, and make are installed

  2. Open a terminal

  3. run “su -”

  4. run “rpm -qa kernel* gcc* make”

  5. Ensure that all versioning information corresponds exactly (eg. kernel, gcc)

  6. run “cd /usr/src/linux”

  7. run “make mrproper; make cloneconfig; make modules_prepare”

  8. Install application by running “./”

  9. Use default answers except for the one regarding


  11. Install any-any file by running “./”


  13. run “cd /usr/src/linux/include”

  14. Determine the ASM directory that corresponds to your version (eg. asm-i386)

  15. run “ln -s /asm/i386 /asm”

  16. In line above note where the spaces are…..
  17. Now run “”

  18. I used the default answers to all of the rest of the questions. The only problem that I’ve had so far is that under Preferences, I can’t set updates to “Never”. It just silently crashes.

  19. Remember, if your kernel ever does an update, VMware will quit working. You will probably have to go back to /usr/src/linux/include and rerun the ln -s command again. Then you must rerun “” Then it should fire right back up for ya.

Thanks again Chris! And Mike, next time you and I are having trouble, we’ll just let Chris find out a way to do and save our time.

10/02/2008 Posted by | how-to, Linux, opensuse, VMware | Leave a comment

The Walk…

I know this isn’t technology based, but it is worthy of exposure.  My girlfriend’s father is planning on walking the Natchez Trace in May to bring awareness to Parkinson’s disease.  Mr. Ruffin was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2001, and instead of being a slave to the disease, he has decided to take it “head-on.”  On May 13, he is going to walk the Natchez Trace Parkway from the Mississippi/Alabama border and arrive 21 days later in Natchez, Mississippi.

If you would like to donate to this cause, visit .

I commend Mr. Ruffin on this endeavor, and wish him and those involved the best! Now, get off your ass and donate!

09/02/2008 Posted by | Random | , | Leave a comment

Windows Automated Installation Kit for Vista and Server 2008…

Windows has released an Automated Installation Kit for Vista and Server 2008 for technicians that want an easier way to image computers.

Click here for WAIK for Vista and Server ’08

08/02/2008 Posted by | Productivity, Random | | 1 Comment

Install Backtrack 3 on USB

Here are some pretty easy steps to install Backtrack 3 to your USB drive.

Go to Offensive-Security and get the Backtrack 3 Beta USB rar file, about 946 MB in size.

I got on my Windows XP machine and used WinRAR to uncompress to a folder on my machine.

Copy the BT and BOOT folders to your thumb drive.

If you are on a Windows machine, go into the /boot folder and run bootinst.bat, if you are running Linux or OSX run This will set your thumb drive to be bootable.

I am running BT3 on my Dell E1705 laptop with Compiz running. In the grub, it says that this is experimental, but I have not seen any errors as of yet.

06/02/2008 Posted by | Linux, Security | , | 21 Comments