Category Archives: Security

KeePassX – The Best Password Manager for Ubuntu/Linux

KeePassX is a cross-platform password manager application. It has very high security standards. Since, it stores data locally in encrypted format, it’s probably a better alternative to any online password manager. If you want to share it across multiple devices/platforms just sync the database file using some apps like Dropbox. Make sure you’re synchronizing the encrypted file(*.kdb), not the raw *.xml export or anything else.

add password keepassx

It has simple and lightweight graphical interface, with all the basic features, to make password management easier for everyone. It comes in very handy if you manage lots of online accounts at various sites, because having a unique and strong password for each website is highly recommended. With KeePassX, the Master Password is all you need to remember.

Installing/Setting up KeePassX on Ubuntu [14.04 LTS]

It’s very likely (in most common GNU/Linux distributions – Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint etc) that it’s already there in your default package repository. Just open a terminal (default shortcut : Ctrl+Alt+t) and type

sudo apt-get install keepassx

After installing KeePassX, set up the Master Password or Key. And you should also configure/specify the location for storing the database file. KeePassX will prompt you to enter the master key every time you open the application. Keep a very long Master password (I use 22 letters with lower & upper case letters, numbers and special characters) and remember that. On the other hand, you could also use key pairs instead of password. (or both if you wish)

Additional features include a random password generator, storing urls, comments, usernames, attachments etc in a simple and easy way. Passwords can be easily organized in multiple groups and unique icons can be specified for each group.

Visit the official site to know more about the features (or to get package for other distro) and drop a comment here if you’ve any question/issue related to KeePassX.

access blocked website

How to Access blocked websites on Ubuntu

Earlier, I wrote an article about – how to block a website on Ubuntu and now I feel that I should also share some tips about unblocking a website on Ubuntu (or other GNU/Linux based operating system such as Linux Mint), just for the sake of free speech and liberty. It will also help you in bypassing Internet censorship etc if there are any, based on your geographical location.

Although the post has been written for Ubuntu users but some the tips may work well on other operating system too. I’ve tested these techniques on Ubuntu 10.04/12.04 LTS (Long Term Support) but it should work well with older and newer versions such as 14.04 LTS.

access blocked website

4 ways to unblock websites in Ubuntu

1. Using OpenDNS or Google DNS

OpenDNS can also be used in blocking a website but it is good for unblocking a website if your ISP is blocking access to your favorite sites. OpenDNS servers are far better DNS servers than your ISP DNS servers. They provide 100% uptime with extra security, so it will also boost your web surfing pleasure. But in some cases the latency may be high as compared to your ISP DNS server, so first test it well before completely switching to it.

Setup Open DNS in Ubuntu 12.04/14.04
Go to Network settings – > Configure -> IPv4 Settings -> Automatic DHCP Address Only and enter these IP address in Name servers field, separated by comma.,

[ More detailed instruction about opendns set up on Ubuntu ]

Google DNS IP,

2. Using Proxy Server

Proxy surfing is one of the most popular technique to unblock the websites which are blocked in a particular country. The website are banned based on the I.P address so the proxy surfing can easily bypass the IP filtering mechanism as it acts on the behalf of client (eg. Your Computer). There are many ways to use a proxy server – from Network settings (system level proxy) or browser settings (if you want to use proxy server for specific browser) but first you need access to proxy server. There are free proxy servers available that you can use but I won’t recommend that for anything related to sensitive data (e.g your email, password etc). Most of such free options are not reliable and secure enough in most cases.

Update! ZenMate is offering quite reliable service for free and you can install their extension (available for Chrome, Firefox etc). Check out ZenMate to find out more.


Tor is a free software and open network, the best way to access the Internet using virtual tunnel and thus form an anonymous network that will allow you to surf anonymously over the web – without any restriction. The Tor program isn’t only good for unblocking sites but also for privacy and security reasons, it will also prevent you from Internet Surveillance commonly i.e traffic analysis. It is available for all major platform.

Download Tor (If you’re not sure then go with bundled option)

3. By Editing Hosts File

This method is very simple and works if the site is blocked by counter method or if you know the IP address of the website (you want to unblock). Simply open /etc/hosts file and remove the entry for your favorite websites and flush the DNS cache to propagate the changes.

gksu gedit /etc/hosts

In other case if you know the IP address of target website, which blocked using some other mechanism such as ISP level or something else then add an entry (/etc/hosts) for that website along with the correct IP address. The second method seems to be logically correct – if a domain name is resolved at host level then the lookup process is terminated, so host level dns entry should bypass other DNS filtering e.g at ISP level. Therefore it is expected to work (but I have not tested yet, I’ll let you know if it works), give it a try it may work. But it may not work if the website’s IP address changes frequently – because in that case it would be difficult to update the etc/hosts file manually to reflect the new value of IP address.

Adding a DNS entry in etc/hosts file –


Then execute the following command – (to flush DNS cache)

sudo apt-get install nscd
sudo /etc/init.d/nscd restart

4. Use VPN

If you want to explore web without any restrictions then using VPN would be more easier and simple way to achieve that. Your Internet speed should be decent, plus you should be willing to spend some money on a decent VPN service.

I would recommend Private Internet Access, as I’m using this and I’m pretty happy with the service. It’s one of the most trusted VPN provider, they respect user’s privacy more than anyone else. (they’re anonymous VPN provider and they don’t log any connection)

Signup For Private Internet Access (costs $39.95 per Year or you can choose monthly plan if you wish)

If you need any help in setting up private internet access on Ubuntu, you should read this article on setting up VPN in Ubuntu.

Update! – Added 4th point (VPN section) above.
Image Credit : binsurf 
Reference(s) and Recommended Reading(s)


Avast Antivirus for Ubuntu 11.04/11.10

Antivirus software for Ubuntu Users – is it optional ?

Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) or 11.10 (Few alpha versions has arrived, the stable will be released after few months) or 10.10 or any Linux based distributions are very less prone to virus attacks or malwares, spywares (or any similar *wares). The reason is pretty straight forward – First Linux based operating systems are highly secure and the second reason is that Microsoft Windows (XP, Vista, 7 ..) has been the targeted systems for crackers / hackers or malicious programmers (may be due to the fact that most of the common users uses Microsoft Windows operating system).

Therefore, in general, you don’t need to install any antivirus software on Ubuntu; it’s OK!

Avast for Ubuntu 11.04/10.10/11.10..

I have tried avast antivirus on Window 7, it was really good, and its basic version is free for Windows as well as Linux based OS such as Ubuntu! For ubuntu there is another antivirus software called – ClamAV, a simple and effective antivirus application. Avast is a antivirus software program based on central scanning engine (ICSA Lab certified), although it is a proprietary software but the ‘Linux Home Edition’ is available for personal and non commercial uses (Pro version provides extended functionality and features (e.g Command Line Scanner) for some price), free of cost.


Anyway, if you want to try Avast then you need to download the debian package and install it – either from command line or using Ubuntu Software Center.

How to install Avast on Ubuntu (11.04/11.10/..)

step 1 : Download the debian package.

Download Free Avast Antivirus for Ubuntu

step 2 : Install the *.deb package by Right Click -> Open with Ubuntu Software Center, and click on install button and relax! or just enter the following command –

cd move_to_target_directory
sudo dpkg -i file_name.deb

step 3 : To start using avast antivirus software, You need to Register with avast to get a free license key (Don’t worry it’s free!). The license key will be delivered to your email address within 24 hours (usually withing a couple of hours).

step 4 : Start the program and enter the license key. That’s all!

gufw - firewall configuration tool

firewall for ubuntu 11.04

A Firewall is a program (software) or a device which allows us to set different types of rules for a network i.e how the packets will be treated at different ports ..and it’s very widely used in protecting a computer from unauthorized/unwanted access through a network. Due to an exponential growth in computer related crimes, Firewall is a mandatory application for every computer users.

Ubuntu 11.04 – Natty Narwhal or any other Linux distros is very secure by default as they have built in firewalls running by default. So normal Ubuntu users do not need any firewall (Unlike the windows users do because Windows is insecure by default! , Comodo is an excellent firewall for Windows users) in order to protect themselves from crackers or hackers or cyber criminals.

firewall-configuration for ufw

Advanced or ‘geeky’ Ubuntu users may need (or they just want to do that for learning purposes) to set inbound and outbound traffic rules/policies manually for any ports (I mean virtual or software ports), In that case you just need to use UFW (Uncomplicated Firewall; a frontend of IPtables, which works as an interface to netfilter (Package Filtering System provided by Linux Kernel)) , which is installed by default on all Ubuntu versions, but by default it has only Command Line Interface. So in this post you will learn how to install a front end for UFW, Firewal Configuration (gufw), to manage and configure UFW easily in GUI mode. gufw is a simple (probably the best and fast) firewall configuration software that works! and got 5 star in Ubuntu Software Center ratings. You may need to enable (by check the square box) the universe repository in Synaptic Package Manager -> Settings ->Repositories -> Ubuntu Software .

how to install Firewall Configuration Application – gufw on Ubuntu 11.04

#1 : Open Ubuntu Software Center and search for ‘gufw’.

installing-firewall on Ubuntu 11.04

#2 : Then, click on install button in the search result, and enter your login password if required.

#3 : Now, wait for the installation to complete ..relax it will hardly take a minute..

#4 : That’s All..

Alternative Way – Install gufw from Command Line / Terminal

If you enjoy terminal on Ubuntu then the best way to install is to use terminal/shell (bash). Open terminal (CTRL+ALT+T) and enter the command(s)  –

sudo apt-get install gufw