Past BLUG Events

What is Coda?

08/05/1999 at 12:00 AM

In a situation where a single computer is used, all files are often stored on the local disk. When the computer is part of a network of workstations, it is often advantageous to have the workstations share files across the network. This talk will explore network-based file systems and give an introduction to the distributed file system called Coda. Coda will be demonstrated using several networked PCs.

Linux Security Tools I: nmap and ssh

07/01/1999 at 12:00 AM

John’s suggested URLs are located at:

This is the first installment of a series of presentations on the subject of running a secure Linux system.     This meeting we will go over the use of nmap, a network port scanner, and ssh, a more secure replacement for telnet and ftp.     Future sessions are planned for tripwire and other tools.

nmap, a tool often used by crackers, allows a system administrator to create a “security profile” of services that are running on a system.     These services are potential entry points for intruders and need special care in configuration and prompt updateing when security bugs are found.     Old versions of software with known holes are a MAJOR source of system breakins.

Telnet and ftp were two of the first tools developed on the early DARPANET, and are still widely used by sys admins today.     But they have a major security hole, that send passwords over the net in CLEAR TEXT!     ssh provides a replacement for these programs that uses RSH keys for authentication and encryption for privacy. We will go over how to setup and use ssh on linux.

Configuring Apache to do interesting things

06/03/1999 at 12:00 AM

It has been said many times that Apache is the world’s most popular webserver. Because it lacks a GUI environment it may not appear as friendly to a newcomer as it’s commercial rivals. Recently I’ve gotten over that awkward phase and have begun to make Apache work for me. I’d like to share what I’ve learned in the hope that it will help others flatten their learning curve.Apache has a ton of features that are primarily controlled by in a text file called httpd.conf. Here are a some features I plan to cover at the meeting that are defined in httpd.conf and a few other config files.

  * Virtual hosts on one machine
  * Using a single IP address for multiple hosts
  * Using a separate IP for each host
  * Setting up a Virtual host as a user inside a /home directory
  * Configuring http.conf other non apache files to enable Virtual Hosts

Protecting files, directories and servlets:

  * Authenticated realms
  * Storing users in a File
  * Storing users in a Database
  * Using .htpasswd to protect access to a directory
  * Setting file and directory permissions so the server process can read them but other users can’t.
  * Telling “polite” search engines where to look for pages and where to stay out

Turning Apache into an “Application Server” using servlets:

  * Adding servlet parameters and directives to httpd.conf
  * Servlets owned by a single Virtual host
  * Servlets available to all Virtual hosts
  * Liabilities of the Java Virtual Machine

The Future of the Linux Desktop: KDE vs GNOME

05/06/1999 at 12:00 AM

Pics from this meeting: – John at the whiteboard; – Gnome; – KDE;

You have read the flame wars, you have seen the screenshots, now find out the TRUTH! We will show you the good, the bad and the VERY ugly of these two contenders for the Linux desktop crown.


          * Why are these important
          * Installation and setup
          * Customizing and Themes
          * Applications
          * Usability Issues

Setting up a Home Network: Linux, Windows, Mac

04/01/1999 at 12:00 AM

Microsoft and Apple are well-known bitter enemies. So it’s no wonder that there’s no obvious way to get their operating systems to cooperate. Luckily, it’s easy to get a Penguin to watch over them and make them play nice with others. This paper is a semi-detailed outline of how I setup my home network with a little hardware, some software tweaks and a whole bunch of HOWTOs.


  1.Introduction and Goals
  2.TCP/IP Networking with Linux and Win95
  3.Windows Networking with Linux and Win95
  4.TCP/IP Networking with Linux and MacOS
  5.AppleTalk Networking with Linux and MacOS
  6.Wrapping Up

Loading and Installing a Custom Kernel with Linux

03/04/1999 at 12:00 AM

Description not available.

Beyond HTML: Programming Dyn Web Pages in Apache

02/04/1999 at 12:00 AM

There are some things you just can’t do with static web pages. Ever wonder how sites like slashdot work, or how you can do things like check you email from a web page? Well, then this presentation is for you!

Web servers can be used to create programs that output HTML These programs are the basis of dynamically changing web pages and web based applications. This presentation will provide short introductions to three programming environments available for the Apache web server, PHP, mod_perl and Java servlets.

  * What are dynamic web pages and why are they important (10 Min/John)
  * Why I like Mod_perl (20 Min/Damian)
  * What’s cool about PHP (20 Min/Chris)
  * Servlets rule! (20 Min/Joel)
  * Panel discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of each / Q and A (whatever time is left)

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