Learning To Use The Command Line On Your Linux Server Will Help You With Security

When people first started to use computers, there were no graphical interfaces for you to interact with. If you wanted something done you had to be able to type commands into the computer. Then a few years later, the graphical interface was introduced to these new machines and now average people found that they all of the sudden had a use for computers. This was great but it still took time for the graphical interface to be as useful and as efficient as typing in commands was. Now we have finally reached that point and now most people never type commands into a computer to get things done. All they have to do is to use the mouse to point and click and whatever command they need followed is automatically done.

Even though a graphical interface is more useful to 99% of the people out there who use a computer, there are still a small percentage of people who prefer the command line. Most of the time these people have jobs that are computer related and they need to be able to make the machine do things it is not used to doing. These are commands that would be hard to translate with a mouse.

People who run servers based on Linux know this fact real well. As a matter of fact, the majority of servers that run the web sites on the internet are based on Linux. And most of these servers are configured by people who use the command line. This is why knowing how to use the command line in a Linux server will help you be able to secure it better. In this article we will talk about that and then you will see why you should learn how to use the command line to better secure your computer.

using the command line on a linux server

using the command line on a linux server

What does the command line do exactly?

Before we go any further, we should really stop using the term “command line” but we are not. Since we have used it to this point we will continue for the rest of the article but it is known by most people as the “shell” or maybe even the “terminal”. There are several different types of shells that you can use on a Linux system but most people use what is known as the Bash shell.

These shells or command line terminals allow you to type commands into the Linux system. This has two different advantages. One, if you are used to typing, inputting your commands through text is a lot quicker than using the mouse. Of course, since you are probably mostly used to a mouse right now, you might be slow. But once you do get used to it, you will find that you are faster than you normally are with a mouse. Just think of how fast people can type when they use a text or Word document. You would have that same speed but only now it would be used for issuing computer commands.

Another reason why using the command line has an advantage is the fact that it allows you to use less resources on your system. If you are running a server then you need all of the resources of that computer that you can muster. This is especially true if you are hosting a popular web site on this server. If you are using command line text then you are able to control the computer without having a graphical interface. Graphical interfaces on a computer take up a lot of resources and if you can avoid using them then it is a lot easier not to.

Why would a command line keep me safe?

If you are running a Linux server then there are a lot of tools that are available for free that will keep you safe. But most of these tools are for use with the command line only. Some of these tools have graphical interfaces to them but for the most part they are only command line.

For example, if you need to quickly set up a firewall on your server, you can use the IPtables command to run the IP Tables software. If it is not already available on your server then you can use apt-get IPtables to download and install on your server in a little less than a few minutes. Again this is all done with a few simple commands typed into the terminal. You do not have to worry about anything else. Even the configuration of the software can be done from the command line as well. All you have to do is go to the folder, open up the config file with the vim command and you can then make any changes that you need to. And there is a ton of other security software available for Linux that is just like this.

If you need to run a Linux server then the best thing for you to do is to make sure that you learn how to use the command line. Everything will run much smoother if you do.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.


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