Thursday, February 23, 2012

How to enforce a 14 digit password in Solaris

By default, Solaris sets the password length to around 8 digits. Many IT security departments want at least 14 digit passwords. Longer passwords make the system more secure.

The Solaris 10 OS needs to have the following settings to enforce a 14 digit password.

In /etc/security/policy.conf change the following line from _unix_ to either 1 or md5.
In /etc/default/passwd change the password length line from 8 to 14.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Installing Firefox on a Solaris server.

I looked all over the internet for a how-to for installing Firefox and could not find one. Even the Firefox web page and the download sites didn't have one. Basically the "powers that be" assumed everyone just knew how to do this. Well it is quite easy. Listed below, are the steps for installing Firefox on a Solaris system. This should as work for Linux systems as well, but it is best to use the Linux package manager.

Perform the following tasks as root.
1) Find the location where Firefox is installed and write it down.
# which firefox
# ls -l /usr/bin/firefox
/usr/bin/firefox     ->   /usr/lib/firefox/firefox
# ls -l /usr/lib/firefox/firefox
So in this case Firefox is installed at /usr/lib/firefox directory.

2) Download the latest version from or (sunfreeware).

3) Remove the old version.
# rm -r /usr/lib/firefox
You can also install on top of the old version, if you want. I don't recommend doing this because this will leave behind old unneeded files. It might be a good idea to backup the old files first or install the new version of Firefox in different directory to test.

4) Move file and extract the contents.
# mv firefox-* /usr/lib/
# cd /usr/lib/
# bzip2 -cd files.tar.bz2 | tar xvf -
The commands on the last line work like this; bzip2 uncompress the file and sends the output to tar, which then extracts this archive to the current directory. You have just installed Firefox.

5) Check to see if it works
# firefox
Make sure to test all possible uses of Firefox, such as pages that use JavaScript and Java.

Possible issues

You may need to relink /usr/bin/firefox  to  /usr/lib/firefox/firefox
# ln -s /usr/lib/firefox/firefox /usr/bin/firefox
Anther site that might be usefull.

*** Update ***
The site that hosted the files used in this how-to is no longer online. I have posted new instructions for installing Firefox on this blog. Click on the below to see them.

Installing Firefox on Solaris Update