Understanding and managing security on Fedora 20

Security Basics

© Lead Image © Volodymyr Goinyk, 123RF.com

© Lead Image © Volodymyr Goinyk, 123RF.com

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The security models for Linux differ quite a bit from what users may be used to on Windows. We'll look at what Linux has to offer, how to manage it, and how to stay safe with Linux.

Security on Linux is a big topic. Huge. Mind-bogglingly big. You could produce an entire book on the topic (and people have) and still not be comprehensive. In realization of this, I'm going to pare down the topic to a manageable size for this article and cover some of the bare basics you need to know to use and manage your desktop system effectively.

I'll touch on the basic concepts of Linux security as they apply to Fedora 20, but I'll not get too far into the weeds in discussing theory or history. I'll describe using sudo to run commands and discuss when you might want to use su to become root (and, I'll explain what "root" is). You'll also learn about managing file and directory permissions, how to update your system, and managing the system firewall.

What I won't do is spend any more time at the command line than I absolutely must. A common complaint about Linux from new users is that they have to use the command line. Although I enjoy using command-line utilities most of the time, it can be confusing and there's no good reason for doing so if a GUI equivalent exists.

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