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Hardening Linux Paperback – January 31, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 584 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1 edition (January 31, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590594444
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590594445
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 8 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #516,394 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Hardening" is the process of protecting a system and its applications against unknown threats. Hardening Linux identifies many of the risks of running Linux hosts and applications and provides practical examples and methods to minimize those risks.

About the Author

James Turnbull is the author of five technical books about open source software and a longtime member of the open source community. James authored the first�and second books about Puppet, and works for Puppet Labs, running client services. James speaks regularly at conferences including OSCON, Linux.conf.au, FOSDEM, OpenSourceBridge, DevOpsDays and a number of others.�He is a past president of Linux Australia, has run Linux.conf.au and serves on the program committee of Linux.conf.au and OSCON.�James is Australian but currently lives in Portland, Oregon. His interests include cooking, wine, political theory, photojournalism, philosophy, and most recently the Portland Timbers association football team.

More About the Author

James Turnbull is the author of seven technical books about open source software and a long-time member of the open source community. James authored the first (and second!) books about Puppet and works for Docker as VP of Services. He was formerly VP of Engineering at Venmo and at Puppet Labs running Operations and Professional Services.

James speaks regularly at conferences including OSCON, Linux.conf.au, FOSDEM, OpenSourceBridge, DevOpsDays and a number of others. He is a past president of Linux Australia, a former committee member of Linux Victoria, was Treasurer for Linux.conf.au 2008, and serves on the program committee of Linux.conf.au and OSCON.

In his spare time his interests include cooking, wine, political theory, photojournalism, philosophy, poetry, and cats.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Chapter 10 covered securing FTP, which is nice, and 11 covers Bind.
Michael Stahnke
I strongly recommend this book for systems administrators and those running personal Linux systems.
Jack D. Herrington
While the chosen types of applications are covered in great depth, some applications are missing.
R. Lodato

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Lawrence VINE VOICE on March 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
I thought this might just be a book on iptables and other firewalls, but it's much more. In 400 pages, this covers everything from initial installation right through what to do if you did get breached. It covers email security, ftp,

dns and bind, ssh, file systems, pam authentication, firewalls, penetration testing and more.

The really impressive thing is that everything is covered well - obviously some of these subjects could be hundreds of pages by themselves, but the author manages to succintly present the important concepts.

I'd certainly recommend this to anyone running a Linux box.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Lasse Koskela on August 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
I haven't run a Linux box since 2002. Some time ago, realizing that I'd soon have a chance to migrate to using Linux for everyday work, I decided I should start refreshing my *NIX commands and shell scripting. Then, I saw "Hardening Linux". Rather spontaneously, I decided to start with this security-focused title instead of the perhaps more intuitive path of installing the latest distro, setting up a bunch of daemons, installing databases, etc. That proved to be an excellent decision. "Hardening Linux" is not a small book. Yet, I read the 500 pages more or less cover to cover. Even though we're talking about a book of which purpose is to help you to secure your Linux server, I felt like I learned more about Linux reading this book than I've learned during the last year at work.

Turnbull kick starts the book by explaining user and group management, basics of the Linux file system security, how to verify downloaded packages, which tools and packages you probably should remove from a production server. By page 50, he had also shown how to compile your kernel with security flags and the Openwall project.

After the rather intense first chapter, the rest of the book's chapters each focus on a certain aspect of a system or a specific product, showing how to secure your system from that particular perspective. Most of these chapters are really top-notch compared to most of the online material I've resorted to in the past. For example, Turnbull presents the most intuitive tutorial on configuring the iptables firewall I've seen so far.

Another excellent description is the chapter on file system security.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Michael Stahnke on May 2, 2006
Format: Paperback
After reading this book, I think it is going to be the mandatory companion I hand out to new Linux administrators, along with Essential System Administration. The first 6 chapters are exceptional. I can't say enough good things about them. The coverage of PAM is better than anything I have seen. The coverage of authentication, groups, users and best practices surrounding them was very good as well. The logging chapter alone is probably worth the purchase of the book.

After the first section, the book covers more specific topics that are of less interest to me. I realize that a lot of people use email, of all kinds. Chapter 7, 8 and 9 cover email, and I just wasn't that excited about it.

Chapter 10 covered securing FTP, which is nice, and 11 covers Bind. I guess I wonder why some of the topics were chosen. There are whole books on email and bind, available, but there isn't always good material for some other services, like CUPS, maybe some web-based administration tools, or SELinux. The coverage of topics that made the table of contents are very good.

I would say if you are new to Linux Security, or a seasoned player looking for just another reference, this book is great.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By R. Lodato on August 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
<em>Hardening Linux</em> by James Turnbull, stands out in my mind as a vitally important text that clearly lays out how to make your Linux boxes as secure as possible. Mr. Turnbull has done a remarkable job in delineating the potential vulnerabilities, and how to mitigate them. Each chapter covers a particular focus area in depth, with carefully worded and easy-to-follow examples. In the cases where you need to install some other piece of software to provide the extra security, he gives you the step-by-step details, leaving nothing for misinterpretation. This is one of those books that, as you finish each chapter, you'll want to apply your new-found knowledge to the machines at your disposal.

As each subsequent chapter unfolds, James explains very carefully how to tighten remote administration, files and file systems, mail, ftp, and DNS/BIND. Additional information is given on how to log important information securely, and efficiently monitor the data collected. In addition, tools for testing the security of your hosts is described very clearly, from the inside-out and the outside-in, along with explanations of how to detect penetrations and recover from them.

Writing about securing a computer system can be written on a few different levels, from the general suggestions which apply to just about any program, to the specific which apply to just one. Mr. Turnbull has chosen to pick commonly used programs and provide step-by-step procedures for locking them down. For example, if you are hardening a mail server, you will find descriptions of Sendmail and Postfix, but not of Qmail or Courier. While this might limit the appeal of the book to just those using the more common programs, it allows a depth that would be otherwise unavailable.
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