Laptops

Natty Narwhal Netbook: Ultimate Network Admin Toolkit


Natty Narwhal's baked-in software

There is a wide range of networking software included in the default Natty LiveCD image, so you don't have to install them. These break down into several useful categories.

Name services

* bind9-host helps with DNS lookups.

* dnsutils provides the dig DNS querying command, nslookup (deprecated DNS query), and nsupdate for dynamic DNS updates.

* isc-dhcp-client is a client for DHCP networks.

File transfer

* cifs-utils provides the SMB/CIFS protocol for cross-platform file-sharing with Unix, Mac OS X, and Windows.

* ftp is command-line file transfer protocol client.

* lftp is an advanced CLI FTP client that supports FTP, HTTP, FISH, SFTP, HTTPS, FTPS, IPv4, and IPv6, works in the background, and resumes interrupted transfers.

* mount displays and manages local and remote filesystems.

* rsync provides fast, efficient remote file copying.

* wget is a reliable HTTP and FTP file retriever.

Network and host discovery and connectivity

traceroute
* tcpdump is a powerful workhorse packet sniffer for most packet types and protocols.

* mtr-tiny is an ncurses traceroute tool that combines the functionality of the traceroute and ping programs.

* iputils-arping sends ICMP echo requests to an ARP address.

* iputils-ping is the good ol' ping command that tests to see if a network host is reachable.

* iputils-tracepath traces network paths to remote hosts.

* net-tools is a suite of networking commands, including arp, ifconfig, netstat, rarp, nameif, route, plipconfig, slattach, mii-tool, iptunnel, and ipmaddr.

* netcat-openbsd is a versatile tool that reads and writes data across TCP and UDP connections.

* iproute includes commands for networking and traffic control.

* telnet -- wait, really? Yes! It's insecure as it sends traffic in cleartext, but it's still a useful server diagnostic tool.

Hardware tools: Discover, configure, and manage hardware devices

* bluez, bluez-alsa, bluez-cups, and bluex-gstreamer are all Bluetooth utilities.

* hplip includes tools for Hewlett-Packard printers and multifunction printer/scanner/fax devices.

* cups, cups-bsd, cups-client all constitute a printing subsystem with query and test commands.

* ifupdown configures and control network interfaces.

* pciutils detects and identifies PCI bus devices.

* pcmciautils controls PCMCIA devices on laptops.

* parted takes care of disk partitioning and resizing.

* wireless-tools provides essential utilities for managing wireless interfaces.

* rfkill enables and disables wireless devices.

Security: Basic tools for secure network connections

* wpasupplicant is a client for WPA and WPA2 wireless networks.

* iptables provides packet filtering and network address translation.

* openssh-client is a client for connecting to SSH servers.

* openssl provides essential network cryptography and useful commands; one of the most important is s_server, which tests TLS/SSL on mail and other servers, and verifies encryption certificates.

A few miscellaneous (but important!) programs

* coreutils provides essential file, shell, and text commands.

* lsof shows what files have been opened by running processes.

* mobile-broadband-provider-info provides database of mobile broadband service providers in multiple countries.

* ppp and pppconfig supply dial-up networking capabilities.

* pptp-linux is a point-to-point tunnel protocol client.

* rdesktop is an RDP client for Windows NT/2000 Terminal Server.

* rsyslog provides an enhanced, reliable syslog over TCP and SSL/TLS.

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