[ubuntu-uk] Security on Version 6-06 LTS

Phil Bull philbull at gmail.com
Tue May 8 15:53:43 BST 2007

Hi Peter,

On Tue, 2007-05-08 at 15:14 +0100, Peter D Beattie wrote:
> Hello. I am a newbie to Linux system! My test bed is a partitioned
>         Pentium 3 also running the old MS Millenium Windows no longer
>         supported
>         that I can access via the intial Linux boot choice command. I
>         also run
>         an XP Tower and Laptop all on broadband. Being an old retired
>         guy I need
>         some encouragement and advice. Can access most things but need
>         advice on
>         how much security I get from version 6-06. I run McAfee firewall
>         and
>         viroscan on my Laptop and MS XP Firewall and AVG Free on my XP
>         Tower.
>         Linux security is a 'black hole' to me. Have tried to install
>         Snort and
>         lost myself somewhere out there on the internet! I have
>         downloaded the
>         new OpenOffice version from 2.0 to 2.2 but lost this program
>         somewhere
>         in the strange Linux filing system! How do I install it? Many
>         thanks.I know 

Linux is very different from Windows - especially in terms of security
and installing programs.

Ubuntu doesn't need the same kind of security set-up as Windows does.
You don't really need an anti-virus application; forget about snort as
it's probably overkill for a home computer; and there's a firewall built
into Linux itself. The only things I can recommend are to install the
Firestarter package, which lets you configure the firewall more easily,
and to keep up-to-date with security updates.

While Ubuntu isn't immune to security threats, it's nowhere near as
vulnerable as Windows is, so for the most part you can just sit back and
forget about security. I know this doesn't sound very sensible, but
unless you're running a server of some description, you should be
perfectly fine just accepting Ubuntu's default security setup. Better
security is one of Ubuntu's many advantages over Windows! If you're
determined to install some security software though, see the help wiki

As for installing things, on Windows you're probably used to downloading
an installer file and then running it to install a program. While you
can do this on Ubuntu (they're called .deb packages), it's normally
better to just install software from a software repository, which
automatically downloads and installs software for you. It takes a bit of
getting used to, but it makes life a lot simpler. See the help wiki [2]
for more information on this.

If you want to install a new version of OpenOffice, it's probably best
to take a look on the help forums for a step-by-step guide [3].

Hope this helps,


[1] - https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Security
[2] - https://help.ubuntu.com/community/SoftwareManagement
[3] - http://ubuntuforums.org/

Phil Bull

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