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Deploying password quality checking on your Debian-base Linux servers can help to ensure that your users assign reasonable passwords on their accounts, but the settings themselves can be a bit misleading. For example, setting a minimum password length of 12 characters does not mean that your users' passwords will all have twelve or more characters. Let's stroll down Complexity Boulevard and see how the settings work and examine some settings worth considering.
First, if you haven't done this already, install the password quality checking library with this command:
apt-get -y install libpam-pwquality
The files that contain most of the settings we're going to look at will be:
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“The way we check for citizenship and nationality is inefficient, has too many edge-cases, and doesn’t take advantage of cgroups,” noted Lennart Poettering, original developer of systemd. “We’ve designed a more modern implementation in independenced.”
“Take visas, for instance. They’re basically kerberos tickets, but with none of the security. With independenced we can provide an API that ensures validity at the kernel-level. All we have to do is have all programs and the United Nations make a few additional API calls.”
independenced is a systemd service that provides citizenship for users and programs. Despite currently being in pre-alpha status, several distros have already indicated support.
“Canonical is 100% behind this new technology,” Mark Shuttleworth, CEO of Canonical, commented. “One of our strengths is reading the tech landscape, and we can tell independenced is the future.”
Not all groups were supportive of independenced, however.
“Most of the issues they mention in their rationale are non-problems,” one grumpy sysad reported. “Sure I can fake a passport. And not all nationals are citizens. And some countries have conflicting laws on dual-citizenship. And international waters are grey areas. And Antarctica. And space.”
“That’s what init scripts are for.”
When asked about how systemd will deal with legacy programs, Lennart shrugged and laughed.
“If you don’t know where a program comes from, it’s probably Chinese. That we can hardcode.”
systemd Set to Declare Independence
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