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Network printers Print E-mail

By tradition in Unix most services come with networking capabilities. This includes the printing server. You don't need to get third party software to make a printing server.

The lpd daemon allows you to print to your local printer, but also allows others to print on it, if you allow them.

By default the printing software will read on port 515 on the UDP protocol. It will allow hosts listed in the /etc/hosts.lpd to print using your printer.
For a full overview of the printing service, you should check the printing howto on the Web.
Who owns this port Print E-mail

Several utilities exist to check which ports are open, who is connected to your system and even what process owns a port number.
First a few ground rules. Ports below 1024 are reserved for common services, and only root can use them. Standard port numbers can be found in /etc/services. The maximum number of ports is 65k, so you have more than enough Internet ports for all your services. Here are some useful utilities. Netstat is a command that will list both the open ports and who is connected to your system. You should run it like this:

netstat -an | more

This way you can find out who is connected to which service.
Another interesting command is the fuser program. This program can tell you which user and process owns a port. For example, the following command will tell you who owns port 6000:

fuser -v -n tcp 6000

Names and name servers Print E-mail
Internet hostnames and domains are resolved using the Domain Name System (DNS) using Name Servers (NS). These name servers are usually hosted by your Internet provider. You can also host your own name server, using the program named. Every name server, upon receiving a request to resolve a hostname, will ask an upstream name server if it doesn't know the answer. Your name server may ask your ISP's name server, which will ask the backbone's main name server, which will ask a root server.

Linux knows which name server to ask by looking in /etc/resolv.conf. In that file, a number of name servers may be specified in the following way:

nameserver 192.168.0.1
nameserver 205.237.65.254

The name server itself, named, has a configuration file which is usually /etc/named.conf. In that file, you configure the domain names you are responsible for, and the zone file to use. A nice introduction to running a name server is available in the various named man pages. Various utilities are related to resolving hostnames. One is called whois, and will query the Internet main name servers to know who owns a domain:

whois linux.org

Another utility is called nslookup. That command will allow you to resolve hosts, and to get all kinds of information about a domain. See the man page for more.

Speed problems on a PPP connection Print E-mail


PPPd is the PPP connection daemon. It will try to connect to a server using a specified speed. The default speed is 38400. If you use a serial connection, or a 56.7Kbps modem, it may not be enough. If you want to use all the available bandwidth, you need to increase that number. For example, for a serial connection, you want the speed set at 115200.

Another reason for speed drops is unwanted packets. You may want to filter unwanted packets out of your network, like some ICMP messages and chat connections.

A last possibility for speed drops is Denial of Service attacks. DoS attacks are unfortunately very real and they occur a lot. Malicious people that can't handle their problems elsewhere turn to the Internet and launch attacks against networks. An attack against one user will always affect several thousands of people. By using bandwidth of an Internet provider to cause trouble to any one user, the whole provider will be affected. To prevent such attacks, firewalls exist, and tracking tools were invented to deal with abusers. MCI has a tool called DoSTrack that can be of help if you are victim of such an attack. For more information about various DoS attacks, you should search the Web.
Secure alternative to telnet Print E-mail
Secure alternative to telnet

Telnet is a protocol allowing you to connect to a remote system and run programs and commands on that system. It is very old and still very much in use today.

Unfortunately, a telnet client sends the user password as clear text, and the connection is not encrypted. On the other hand, a program called ssh exists that can replace both telnet and ftp in a secure, encrypted way.

Ssh stands for Secure Shell. It will encrypt each connection with a random key, so that it is impossible or at least very hard for a third party to decrypt the connection and find the password, or spy on you.
A more enhanced version is the ssh version 2 of this protocol.
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