[ncolug] Re: 20 ways to break linux?
- From: Chuck Stickelman <cstickelman@xxxxxxxxxx>
- To: ncolug@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Mon, 10 Oct 2011 12:37:55 -0400
Interesting article. I've added my thoughts to each of the 20 listed items. Some seem to be right on the money, while other concerns appear to be blown out of proportion... Chuck 01. Fill a filesystem - Yup! It is bad to fill up /var. Filling your root (/) filesystem isn't too good either... But that's why most of the current File-Systems reserve 10% of their space, for administrative purposes. Monitoring this is mandatory for an active system. 02. Reinstall Windows - Yes, this will likely overwrite your MBR. One solution is to NOT put GRUB in your MBR. Let that store Microsoft's stuff, and then mark your Linux Boot partition as "Active", and boot from it. The second solution is to NOT dual-boot. Virtualization being what it is, there's often alternatives to dual-booting. 03. Run out of memory - Also bad! Bad for ALL contemporary OSs. Having SWAP space does two things: postpones the inevitable out-of-memory issue, alerts you to the problem by slowing your system down. 04. Follow instructions on the web - What can we say... Be careful whom you trust. Anonymous strangers may not be the best resource. 05. Install more Linux - Have seen this happen. Wanting to have a multi-boot system puts more pressure on the administrator to keep everything working together. Better option: Virtualization. 06. Update infrequently - Blind updating is a problem. Upgrading "just because" w/o research has burnt us all... Know what and why before you update. 20 ways to break Linux Linux is a robust OS but there are still lots of ways you can trash it Operating systems News By Neil Bothwick Thursday at 10:00 BST | Tell us what you think [ 2 comments ] 20-ways-to-break-linux There are many ways to break any operating system Linux has a reputation for robustness but there are still plenty of ways to damage a perfectly working system. Here we share some of the ways you can trash Linux so you don't make the same mistakes we did. 01. Fill a filesystem If the filesystem containing /var fills up, nothing can write its log messages and all sorts of system processes may stall. This can be caused by a runaway process spamming /var/log or, if everything is on the same filesystem, it could be all the downloads in your home directory. 02. Reinstall Windows No, this isn't a typical Linux user's anti-Microsoft jibe - the Windows installer doesn't allow for foreign operating systems or bootloaders, so if you reinstall Windows it will overwrite your bootloader. There's no need to reinstall Linux, though: the installer CD usually has an option to fix the bootloader, or you can run grub-install from a live CD. 03. Run out of memory 4GB of memory may seem like a lot, until you do something daft like running gimp *.jpg in a directory full of 12 megapixel photos (don't ask how we know this). Swap memory will help here, but it will run so slowly you will think the thing has crashed, which it may well do when you use up all the swap too. 04. Follow instructions on the web Web forums are full of useful hints, tips and commands, but there are also some that will do serious damage. The difficulty lies in telling them apart, dangerous advice may have been given with the best of intentions, or be good advice mis-typed. Be especially cautious of anything that uses su or sudo. 05. Install more Linux This is rather like the reinstall Windows situation. While distro installers do a good job of detecting Windows and setting up a dual boot, some still do not notice other Linux distros on your disk, so your existing distro may disappear from the bootloader, although the distro itself is still there. 06. Update infrequently Leaving an installation untouched for many months and then installing 300+ updates in one go isn't necessarily going to break anything, but if it does break - good luck in finding the culprit. Little and often is the safest way to keep a system up-to-date. 07. Update blindly - Yup, read 06. 08. Run bleeding edge software - Only run the latest and greatest if you have legitimate need for their features or you like being part of the software testing process. For Debian users, this means "Stay Away from Sid/Unstable". 09. Wipe /home - Yikes! This is a nasty one. Fortunately, all of the Linux distributions support storing /home on a separate partition, and all of your personal informatin (unless you login as root often...) is stored in /home, so it's easy to do backups. We all backup our data, right!? 10. Lose a password - Not a problem unless you lose the password to your encrypted file system... EVERY Linux SysAdmin should be able to recover from a lost root password, BTW> 11. Install a new kernel - NOT a problem. KNowing your hardware helps a lot, but I've installed many kernel updates w/o crashing a system once. (I have had to revert to older kernels, but all machines should have a known-good kernel available for just such an occasion.) 12. Try to use pulseaudio - Bullshit! PA works and works well. I have only been able to get my Bluetooth wireless headphones to work via PA. 13. Install packages from another distros - goes without saying. NEVER use 2 package management systems on 1 computer. NEVER. 14. Run a fork bomb - This can kill a lot of systems. (I wonder how well Windows 7 and Server '08 would handle this...?) 15. Reinstall it - While I ahve seldom needed to reinstall everything, reinstalling single packages (or a group of packages) IS an effective solution. (The article makes reference to configuration stored in teh users' HOME directories... create a new user for testing and see if they have the probelm. If so then attacking it at the package level is reasonable.) 16. Disable swap - If you have good base-line data regarding your system's memory foot print, then this might not be such a bad idea. The old adages about 1.5-2 times your physical memory don't seem to apply any more though... 17. Install from source - I agree! The only source code I'm comfortable w/ is Package Sources. Generally, I've found that picking source-code up from the Internet to be much more painfull than not having the capability. 18. Lose it - it's amazing how many of "us" (myself included) don't protect our data as well as we should. Drives die. 19. Treat it like Windows - I'm not sure what this means... 20. Spill coffee on it - Damn that Juan Valdez and his coffee!! Water and pop are just as good at killing electronics as coffee... Keep food and drink clear! On Mon, 2011-10-10 at 03:57 +0000, Ken Allen wrote: > http://www.techradar.com/news/software/operating-systems/20-ways-to-break-linux-991957
- [ncolug] 20 ways to break linux?
- From: Ken Allen
- [ncolug] 20 ways to break linux?
Other related posts:
- » [ncolug] 20 ways to break linux? - Ken Allen
- » [ncolug] Re: 20 ways to break linux? - Chuck Stickelman