Some time back we showed you how you can administer a Linux server using Webmin and a browser. Let’s look at another tool aimed at something similar, only this time it is a command line tool, albeit the only command you need to remember is “proshield”. ProShield is available for Debian and Debian based distros (think the likes of Ubuntu and Linux Mint).
The installation process for Proshield is a little different than the simple apt-get command that you are used to, simple nonetheless. All you have to do is to download the DEB package and double click on the downloaded DEB file (or if you are so inclined you can also do this via dpkg -i <fullpath of the downloaded deb> inside terminal). All the dependencies will be taken care of automatically and you will have ProShield installed in no time.
ProShield does a lot of heavy lifting for you. Keep in mind that everything that ProShield does to to secure your computer system can be accomplished separately as well, without requiring ProShield at all. However, ProShield looks at a number of important areas of your system to decide if it is secure, up to date and well backed up. If you are a new user, ProShield is great for you as you might not know where to look for the required information and how to resolve the issues. On the other hand, if you are an experienced sys-admin, ProShield can be a valuable addition to your favorite tools that can simplify maintenance and to greatly secure your computer system.
As detailed on ProShield’s webpage it performs some important tasks like helping you in backing up your system weekly, checking for extra root accounts, checking for correct access control permissions, checking to see if apt is fetching only the information that is required, deleting unneeded packages from the local archives, synchronizing the system clock and plenty more.
ProShield is a command line tool that is very simple to use. All you have to do is to issue “sudo proshield” and follow the prompts. ProShield requires that you are connected to the Internet for proper functioning, so you should keep that in mind. If everything is fine, ProShield will set about its task and examine the system for you offering status and seeking input where ever necessary. After it’s done ProShield offers a set of recommendations based on your computer’s analysis.
So now you know where you need to put in your efforts to fine tune your system. You can now set out to follow these recommendations if you know how or want to, or you can stick around and ProShield will also help you fix these issues. Hit Enter and ProShield starts resolving the issues one by one. Read the description and instructions carefully and choose an option (usually something as simple as a Yes/No), ProShield will do the rest for you. This continues till ProShield goes through each and every issue and tries to resolve them. At this point, depending upon your choices you have potentially resolved all the issues reported by ProShield.
ProShield will even backup your computer if it has not been done in a long time. While it doesn’t offer all the features of a sophisticated backup software, it still lets you choose the important locations to backup and would create a Gzipped backup archive for you to use whenever you might need to restore back the files and folders.
Overall ProShield is an excellent tool which is useful for new users and experts alike. It checks your debian (debian based) Linux install to identify potential issues that can compromise security, tries to optimize apt functioning, manages local package archives and most of all – it is simple and easy to use and can save you a lot of time with just a single command – ProShield.
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