Linux Basics for Hackers, Part 12 The Linux Philosophy

Linux Basics for Hackers, Part 12 The Linux Philosophy even though this text may have been better placed first on this series,

I doubt that every person Linux Basics for Hackers, Part 12 The Linux Philosophy:

might have examine it while just beginning out analyzing Linux. Now, that you are well into your Linux research and feature some familiarity with how it operates, i’d want to take this moment to explain the philosophy across the Linux running machine.

whilst i exploit the time period “philosophy,” i am not relating to such questions as “what’s the which means of life” or “does God exist,” however instead what turned into the underlying common sense and reasoning behind the layout of this ubiquitous and love-lived running machine.

As a lot of you already know, i am robust propose for the Linux working machine. this is for a large number of motives that i’ve attempted to explain in this newsletter. despite the fact that Linux may be ideally fitted to hacking and lots of different applications, I assume it is important to apprehend the philosophy underlying the Linux/Unix shape and version for any environment.

Linux Basics for Hackers, Part 12 The Linux Philosophy
Linux Basics for Hackers, Part 12 The Linux Philosophy 2023

In this newsletter, i can use the time period Unix/Linux to designate this operating gadget. Unix turned into the unique, evolved via Thompson and Ritchie, and Linux became a re-engineer of Unix through Linux Torvalds and group. Mac OS X, iOS, Android, Solaris, AIX, HP-UX, and IRIX are all styles of Unix/Linux.

similarly, pink Hat, Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora, Debian, Slackware, and SUSE are all distributions of Linux. A distribution of Linux is certainly an operating machine that makes use of the Linux kernel, but then provides in its very own extra additives. those additives vary, however may additionally consist of packages, utilities, modules, the GUI, and others.

This variability within the distributions is regularly difficult and frustrating to the amateur.

however it is simply part of the Linux beauty and electricity. Unix/Linux are designed to be bendy and transportable, allowing the give up-person to paintings the way they’re at ease, rather than the way the software program developer thinks you must paintings.

Unix turned into first advanced in the early 1970s by way of Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson at AT&T Labs. The reality that it is still getting used over 40 years later tells you something about the pleasant, sturdiness, and efficiency of this operating system. those guys did some thing right! what number of things in computing are nonetheless around from the early Seventies?

If some thing, in preference to this “historical” operating machine fading away, it’s miles gaining ground almost every day. Chrome, Android, iOS, Linux, and Mac OS X are all primarily based on this 40-yr-vintage working gadget. If we have a look at the fastest developing marketplace—cell devices—it’s miles dominated by using Unix variants with iOS and Android compromising over 91% of the market. It seems that the mobile market in the near future will be almost one hundred% Unix/Linux.

What about this modest running device has made it this durable and long-lasting? allow’s take a look then at some of the tenants of this design philosophy that has made Linux so a hit Linux Basics for Hackers, Part 12 The Linux Philosophy.

assume the user Is computer Literate

The builders of Unix (and thereby Linux) made an intensive assumption: That the users are laptop literate. We cannot say the same for plenty other operating structures. in lots of cases, the working system developers expect we are ignorant, illiterate Neanderthals who want to be blanketed ourselves. now not so with Unix/Linux.

As one sage stated, “Unix (Linux) was not designed to prevent its users from doing silly matters as that might additionally hold them from doing smart things.”

ideal! could not have said it better myself!

complete manipulate

considered one of key motives that hackers use Linux and best Linux, is that it gives us entire manipulate. different working structures attempt to disguise a number of their operations and features from us, afraid we can screw matters up. Linux is completely obvious and permits us to see and use the whole thing.

choose Portability Over performance

Unix changed into the primary transportable operating device, that means it could be used on many different hardware systems. This has served it nicely as Unix/Linux has now been ported and compiled for over near 60 hardware systems. This has been a critical detail in its toughness and potential to adopt to an ever-changing technological environmen Linux Basics for Hackers, Part 12 The Linux Philosophy.

store records in Flat textual content documents

Unix/Linux shops information in flat text files unlike different running structures. This makes the information as transportable, or greater portable, than the code itself. nearly all structures can import and use flat text documents.

Use Shell Scripts to growth Leverage & Portability

Shell scripts beautify the strength of our applications. by means of writing a script, we will automate an application to do some thing as many times as we would love, as well as leverage the capabilities of different packages simultaneously. in addition, these scripts are then transportable to other systems without having to recompile them Linux Basics for Hackers, Part 12 The Linux Philosophy.

Linux Basics for Hackers, Part 12 The Linux Philosophy
Linux Basics for Hackers, Part 12 The Linux Philosophy 2023

allow the user to Tailor Their surroundings
Unix/Linux became designed to permit the user to tailor their environment to their liking. The user is in control and not the software developer. Unix/Linux implements mechanisms for doing matters, however they don’t dictate the way you do matters. This tailoring can take many paperwork together with the graphical consumer interface (GUI) Linux Basics for Hackers, Part 12 The Linux Philosophy. there are various GUIs available for Linux along with GNOME (the default on Kali and the maximum extensively used), KDE, unity (Ubuntu’s default), Sugar, Trinity, Xfce, Enlightenment, and plenty of extra. In most cases, notwithstanding the default GUI that could come together with your system, you could installation and use any individual of the other interfaces, if you please Linux Basics for Hackers, Part 12 The Linux Philosophy.

Make the Kernel Small & lightweight

although many operating gadget kernels retain to add capabilities to the primary kernel to offer users greater functionality, they make it an increasing number of bloated. The Unix/Linux version is to hold the kernel small and light-weight, but permit the developers and customers to add additives and modules as they please Linux Basics for Hackers, Part 12 The Linux Philosophy.

consumer Lowercase & hold It short

lowercase names and commands are a unix/linux lifestyle Linux Basics for Hackers, Part 12 The Linux Philosophy.

Silence Is Golden

Unix/Linux commands have a tendency to be silent when you have achieved matters successfully. this may power some new users a bit batty after they, for example, copy a report from one region to another and Unix/Linux has nothing to mention. now not a confirmation or maybe a pat at the back.

think Hierarchically

The Unix/Linux working gadget become the first to broaden a report gadget prepared into a hierarchical tree. This hierarchical wondering has prolonged into many different regions of the working system, along with networking and object-oriented programming Linux Basics for Hackers, Part 12 The Linux Philosophy.


i am hoping this little foray into the philosophy of Linux helps you to recognize why Linux is so specific than those different operating systems. The result of this philosophy is an working device this is small, light-weight, and bendy, which treats all users with recognize.

In my persevering with series on Linux fundamentals for aspiring hackers, I now need to cope with Loadable kernel modules (LKMs), which are key to the Linux administrator due to the fact they offer us the functionality to add capability to the kernel without having to recompile the kernel. things like video and other tool drivers can now be delivered to the kernel without shutting down the device, recompiling, and rebooting Linux Basics for Hackers, Part 12 The Linux Philosophy.

Loadable kernel modules are essential to the hacker due to the fact if we will get the Linux admin to load a new module to their kernel, we not handiest personal their gadget, however due to the fact we are on the kernel level of their operating system, we will manage even what their device is reporting to them in terms of techniques, ports, offerings, tough drive area, and so on.

So, if we can offer the Linux consumer/admin a “new and progressed” video driver with our rootkit embedded in it, we are able to take manage of his system and kernel. this is the manner some of the maximum insidious rootkits take benefit of the Linux OS Linux Basics for Hackers, Part 12 The Linux Philosophy.

So, i hope it is clean that expertise LKMs is prime to being an powerful Linux admin and being a very effective and stealthy hacker.

Step 1What Is a Kernel Module?
The kernel is a center thing of any Linux working machine, including our go into reverse gadget. The kernel is the important nervous machine of our working device, controlling the whole lot an running gadget does, which includes coping with the interactions between the hardware components and starting the essential services. The kernel operates between user packages and the hardware inclusive of the CPU, memory, the hard pressure, and many others Linux Basics for Hackers, Part 12 The Linux Philosophy.

as the kernel manages all that is taking place with the working device, occasionally it needs updates. these updates may include new tool drivers (which includes video card or USB devices), file gadget drivers, or even device extensions. that is in which LKMs are available in. we are able to now simply load and unload kernel modules as we need them with out recompiling the kernel Linux Basics for Hackers, Part 12 The Linux Philosophy.

Step 2Checking the Kernel

the primary element we need to do is take a look at to peer what kernel our machine is walking. There are at the least approaches to try this. we can type:

uname -a

be aware that the kernel tells us its kernel build (, but additionally the structure it’s miles constructed for (x86_64). We can also get this information by “catting” the /proc/version file, which without a doubt gives up even greater data.

cat /proc/version Linux Basics for Hackers, Part 12 The Linux Philosophy

Step 3Kernel Tuning with Sysctl
every so often, a Linux admin will need to “track” the kernel. this could consist of changing memory allocations, permitting networking feature, and even hardening the kernel from hackers.

With present day Linux kernels, we’ve the sysctl command to music kernel alternatives. All modifications you’re making with the sysctl remain in effect simplest until you reboot the system. To make any changes permanent, the configuration record for sysctl have to be edited at /and so on/sysctl.conf Linux Basics for Hackers, Part 12 The Linux Philosophy.

Be cautious in the use of systctl because without the right expertise and revel in,

you can easily make your system unbootable and unusable. allow’s check the contents of sysctl now.

sysctl -a |less
To view the configuration record for sysctl, we will get it at /and so on/sysctl.conf.

less /etc/sysctl.conf

one of the methods we may also need to apply sysctl for hacking is to permit ipforwarding (net.ipv4.conf.default.forwarding) for man-in-the-center attacks. From a hardening perspective, we can disable ICMP echo requests (net.ipv4.icmp_echo_ignore_all) if you want to make extra difficult, however not impossible, for hackers to discover our system Linux Basics for Hackers, Part 12 The Linux Philosophy.

Step 4Kernel Modules
To manipulate our kernels, Linux has at the least two ways to do it. The older manner is to use a collection of commands constructed around the insmod command. right here we use one of those—lsmod—to list the installed modules in kernel.


we will load or insert a module with insmod and eliminate a module with rmmod.

Step 5Modprobe
maximum more moderen distributions of Linux, consisting of our back down 5v3, have transformed to the modprobe command for LKM control. to look what modules are mounted in our kernel, we can type Linux Basics for Hackers, Part 12 The Linux Philosophy:

modprobe -l

To eliminate a module, we genuinely use the -r transfer with modprobe Linux Basics for Hackers, Part 12 The Linux Philosophy.

modprobe -r
a main gain of modprobe is that knows dependencies, alternatives, and set up and elimination methods for our kernel modules.

to peer configuration files for the hooked up modules, we list the contents of the /and many others/modprobe.d/ directory.

ls -l /etc/modprobe.d/

bear in mind, the LKM modules are a comfort to a Linux consumer/admin, however are a first-rate protection weak point of Linux and one the expert hacker need to be familiar with. As I stated earlier than, the LKM can be the right automobile to get your rootkit into the kernel and wreak havoc!

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