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Remote Administration with Linux

The next best thing to being there is being able to log into your systems remotely. One of the great things about Linux is the variety of tools you can use to remotely administer your Linux desktop and server systems. From the command line to GUI tools, you can take control of it all right from the comfort of your very own desktop anywhere you happen to be.

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Linuxables: Introduction to the Nano Text Editor

Welcome back to Linuxables, where Linux.com makes you very "able" to use Linux! We resume our series with my favorite text editor Nano. Nano is an ncurses-based editor (which means it must be run from a terminal window) that focuses on simplicity. Nano is a clone of the aging Pico text editor,  the editor for the Pine email client that was very popular, back in the early '90s, on UNIX and UNIX-like systems. Pine has now been replaced by Alpine and Pico by Nano, but some things haven't changed — like the simplicity of editing with Nano.

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Weekend Project: Secure Your System with Port Knocking

Port knocking is an authentication system that allows a server to keep ports closed by default, and open them up only when clients send a pre-determined sequence of connection requests aimed at particular TCP or UDP ports. as a result, you can, for example, keep SSH both invisible and inaccessible to passersby, but still allow clients armed with the secret knock to connect. setting up port knocking on your Linux system is easy, but make sure you set aside time to familiarize yourself with the security and practical risks.

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Lightweight Linux Desktop Alternative: Xfce

GNOME and KDE may be the first desktops that come to mind when you think of the Linux desktop, but they're not the only ones. From the overly minimalistic Rat Poison window manager to the eye candy of the Enlightenment E17 desktop, Linux has just about every type of desktop you can imagine. Want a desktop that's lean and resource friendly without giving up features? It's time to take a look at Xfce.

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Desktop Linux Showdown

Last week I gave a presentation at LinuxCon in sunny Boston entitled Desktop Linux Distribution Showdown. The premise was to compare the three most popular desktop distributions to find out which is most user-friendly. It wasn't easy, and the results might (or might not) surprise you.

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