Spring Cleaning Essentials


Cleaning up is an essential part of running a secure and efficient system. You can use resources most efficiently if your system doesn't have an abundance of unused services hanging around in the background, tying up CPU time. Unnecessary services are also an invitation to hackers. Can hackers exploit an open port you've forgotten about? In this technique, we explain the best ways to avoid these pitfalls by t Tidying up the runlevel you work in most often: Linux runlevels are collections of services that define your system's capabilities. Each runlevel has a purpose. You can choose from the predefined runlevels or customize runlevels for your use. Shutting down the extra services in the runlevel you're using saves CPU time and system resources.

t Shutting down unused services: When you leave an unattended service running, listening for a client's request, it can accept a request from either an approved user or a hacker. Shutting down the services that don't need to be running is a good way to tighten system security. That's because when you shut down services, you close off the extra open ports you're not using — and hackers can't use them either.

t Getting rid of old users' stuff: Old files are another waste of resources — why take up good disk space for outdated data? When users move on and you clean up, be sure to remove all their old files; otherwise, you're just wasting space by storing data that's unlikely to be used again.

The following sections are about cleaning house. By doing so, you'll keep your work environment neat, secure, and productive; and everyone will save time!

Running Down the Runlevels

You can save time and make better use of your system resources by running at the minimum runlevel you need. A runlevel is a collection of services. You can customize the services available at each runlevel to make the most of your system resources.

Save Time By i Customizing your runlevels i Disabling unused services to close extra, open ports i Removing unused services with the Service Configuration Tool i Cleaning up after ex-users

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