* Posts by The Spook

5 posts • joined 4 Sep 2008

Microsoft tells US retailers Linux is rubbish

The Spook

MS software can seriously waste your weekend!

I totally trashed GDM (Gnome Display Manager - one of the many choices for a graphical desktop environment for *nix) the other day on my Ubuntu system (completely my own fault, being a little too zealous when removing 'orphaned' packages).

This in itself is not a unique Linux phenomena, I have terminally broken *plenty* of Win installations, they are just not as easy to fix.

So, I was faced with two simple choices (only no.2 would have been available with Windoze);

1) find, fix and reinstall the broken packages using the command line.

2) reinstall the OS.

I estimated that I might spend and hour or more on option 1, so I got out my CD and reinstalled (20mins).

Now, *here's the real killer*. After reinstalling the OS from scratch and rebooting, everything was still as I left it. Junk on my desktop, emails in my inbox, all passwords remembered, browser favourites, even my WPA keys! Do that on a windows box. I bet you can't.

Personally, I have pi$$ed away entire weekends reinstalling Windoze and the apps I had, then copying back all my data (if I had a recent backup).

The secret sauce? my home directory (it's like 'My Documents' but better because it actually contains *all* your stuff!) lives on a separate partition to the OS.

People that whine about Linux being hard to use make me want to puke. Have these people used Windows? I can only imaging that they haven't. My 2 year old daughter can use a Ubuntu machine with ease and, best of all, she can't break it. She can break a windows box in a few minutes!

The Spook

Linux - it just works!

I became battle-hardened on XP, but have had the misfortune to use both Shista and Win7.

To be fair, Win7 is a helluva improvement on Shista, but it still blows bigtime in comparison to any modern Linux distro. I have to work with crappy MS products, but I wouldn't switch my own machines back if you paid me. Probably not even then!


VPN security - if you want it, come and get it

The Spook


Yep, as I commented previously, El Reg seems to have missed that bit out of the article! Shame as it is essential.

All you need to do is type (on Windows) "build-dh" to generate the Diffie-Hellan parameter file. It will take a loooooonnnnnnnng time.

Of course, you may need to redo the entire process (CA, Server and Client key/certs) and do this last step *before* closing the command prompt.

The detailed explanation of the entire process can be found here:


The Spook

Ooops! My Bad!

D 'oh!

"I never actually tried to run my server with the dh.pem file" should of course have read;

"I never actually tried to run my server *without* the dh.pem file". Read first, *then* press enter!

The Spook

Err, Diffie-Hellman?

I am surprised that no-one else noticed this, but your guide makes no mention of generating the Diffie-Hellman parameters for the server! I see that your reporter did perform that step, because one of the screenshots shows the dh1024.pem file (mine says 2048 of course!).

Might make sense to include this is the guide though eh? For those people who can't actually be bothered to read the expansive Howto. I never actually tried to run my server with the dh.pem file, but my guess is that it ain't gonna like it!


Mines the uNSLUng NSLU2 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSLU2) with OpenVPN on it... small, cheap, silent and secure. Go Slug, Go!



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