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Keeping your organization’s IT infrastructure secure is crucial. An integral part of maintaining the security of the IT infrastructure is vulnerability management, which involves identifying, evaluating, and mitigating vulnerabilities. Vulnerability management automation streamlines this process, providing numerous benefits to organizations during their digital transformation journey. This comprehensive guide will explain:
what vulnerability management automation is
best practicesWhat is vulnerability management automation?
Vulnerability management automation refers to using software tools, technologies, and methodologies to automatically identify, assess, and remediate potential weaknesses and risks in your IT infrastructure. This includes:
automated vulnerability scanning
prioritization of remediation efforts.The importance of vulnerability management automation
With the rising number of cyber threats and security incidents, organizations must stay ahead of the curve by proactively addressing vulnerabilities. 76% of applications have at least one vulnerability, and currently, the National Vulnerability Database (NVD) has over 176,000 vulnerability entities listed in its database. Vulnerability management automation is essential to maintaining strong cybersecurity defenses for businesses and organizations.
Enhanced security: By continuously monitoring and scanning your infrastructure, automation helps identify and address vulnerabilities in real-time, reducing the likelihood of a successful attack.
Reduced manual workload: Automation significantly reduces the manual effort required for vulnerability management, allowing your security team to focus on other critical tasks.
Improved efficiency: Streamlining processes and workflows through automation reduces response times and accelerates remediation.
Cost savings: Automation enables organizations to cut operational costs by minimizing the need for additional personnel and resources.Key components of vulnerability management automation 1-Vulnerability scanning
Vulnerability scanning is a crucial component of vulnerability management automation. It refers to the systematic and automated process of identifying, assessing, and managing security vulnerabilities within an organization’s networks, applications, and systems. Vulnerability scanning aims to provide insights into potential weaknesses, allowing organizations to address them and reduce the risk of cyberattacks proactively.
Read our “Ultimate Guide to Vulnerability Scanning Automation in 2023” to get a better understanding of this process.2-Asset inventory
Asset inventory is crucial in maintaining an up-to-date inventory of your organization’s assets, including hardware, software, and network devices.3-Risk assessment
The third process refers to evaluating the potential impact and likelihood of vulnerabilities, considering factors like the value of the affected asset and the severity of the vulnerability.4-Prioritization
Determining which vulnerabilities require immediate attention and which can be addressed later, based on their risk scores, is a crucial component of vulnerability management.5-Remediation
Remediation in vulnerability management refers to developing and implementing strategies to fix or mitigate vulnerabilities, including patching, configuration changes, or compensating controls.6-Reporting and analytics
Reporting and analytics, which is the final component of vulnerability management, is the process of generating reports and visualizations to track vulnerability management progress and inform decision-making.Top 5 Challenges of Vulnerability Management Automation
Despite its many benefits, automated vulnerability management can be difficult. These difficulties include:1-Integration issues
Integrating automation tools with existing systems and processes can be complex and time-consuming, requiring dedicated resources and expertise.2-False positives and negatives
Automated vulnerability scanners can generate false positives, which may cause an organization to spend resources on non-existent threats. Conversely, false negatives can result in real vulnerabilities being overlooked.3-Skills gap
Implementing and maintaining automated systems requires specialized knowledge, which may not be readily available within an organization.4-Incomplete coverage
Automated tools may not cover every aspect of an organization’s IT environment, such as legacy systems, custom applications, or third-party services. This can lead to blind spots and unidentified vulnerabilities.5- Need for costly continuous monitoring and improvement
Vulnerability management automation requires continuous monitoring and fine-tuning to ensure its effectiveness and adapt to the changing security landscape.Best practices for implementing vulnerability management automation
To optimize the effectiveness of vulnerability management automation, consider the following best practices:1-Define clear goals and objectives
Establish the specific outcomes you want to achieve with automation and ensure all stakeholders are aligned.
Select automation tools that fit your organization’s needs and can easily integrate with existing systems.3-Prioritize training and education
Invest in employee training and continuous learning to successfully adopt automation tools and processes.4-Establish processes and workflows
Develop processes and workflows for managing automation, including alert management, escalation, and remediation.5-Monitor and review
Regularly assess the effectiveness of your automation efforts, making adjustments as necessary to improve performance and minimize false alerts.6-Collaborate and communicate
Encourage open communication and collaboration between IT, security, and other relevant departments to foster a culture of security awareness.7-Stay current
Stay up-to-date on the latest vulnerability management best practices, industry standards, and emerging threats to ensure your automation strategy remains effective and relevant.
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Cloud computing is one of the most influential IT trends of the 21st century. Over two decades it has revolutionized enterprise IT, and now most organizations take a “cloud-first” approach to their technology needs. The boom in cloud has also prompted significant growth in related fields, from cloud analytics to cloud security.
This ultimate guide explains everything you need to know about cloud computing, including how it works, the difference between public and private clouds, and the benefits and drawbacks of different cloud services.
Bottom Line: Cloud Computing
There are many definitions of cloud computing, but the most widely accepted one was published in 2011 by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and subsequently summarized by Gartner as “a style of computing in which scalable and elastic IT-enabled capabilities are delivered as a service using Internet technologies.”
NIST’s longer definition identifies five “essential characteristics” shared by all cloud computing environments:
On-demand self-service: Consumers can unilaterally provision computing capabilities (such as server time and network storage) as needed.
Broad network access: Capabilities are available over the network and accessed through standard mechanisms.
Resource pooling: Resources are pooled to serve multiple consumers using a multi-tenant model, with different physical and virtual resources dynamically assigned and reassigned according to consumer demand to allow for location independence and high resource availability.
Rapid elasticity: Capabilities can be elastically provisioned and released to scale rapidly with demand. To the consumers, provisioning capabilities appear unlimited and highly flexible.
Measured service: Cloud systems automatically control and optimize resource use by metering appropriate to the type of service (e.g., storage, processing, bandwidth, and active user accounts). To codify technical aspects, cloud vendors must provide every customer with a Service Level Agreement.
Cloud also makes use of a number of key technologies that boost the efficiency of software development, including containers, a method of operating system virtualization that allows consistent app deployment across computing environments.
Cloud computing comprises a lot of different types of cloud services, but the NIST definition identifies three cloud service models: software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS). While these three models continue to dominate cloud computing, various vendors have also introduced other types of cloud services that they market with the “as-a-service” label. These include database as a service (DBaaS), disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS), function as a service (FaaS), storage as a service (SaaS), mobile backend as a service (MBaaS), security as a service (SECaaS), networking as a service (NaaS), and a host of others.
All of these cloud services can be gathered under the umbrella label “everything as a service,” or XaaS, but most of these other types of cloud computing services fall under one of the three original categories.
In the SaaS model, users access applications via the Web. Application data resides in the software vendor’s cloud infrastructure, and users access it from any internet-connected device. Instead of paying a flat fee, as with the traditional software model, users purchase a subscription on a monthly or yearly basis.
The SaaS market alone is expected to grow from $273.55 billion in 2023 to $908.21 billion by 2030, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.7 percent. The world’s largest SaaS vendors include Salesforce, Microsoft, Google, ADP, SAP, Oracle, IBM, Cisco and Adobe.
IaaS vendors provide access to computing, storage, networks, and other infrastructure resources. Using an IaaS is very similar to using a server, storage appliance, networking device, or other hardware, except that it is managed as a cloud rather than as a traditional data center.
The IaaS cloud market, which was estimated at $118.43 billion in 2023, will be worth $450.52 billion by 2028, maintaining a CAGR of 24.3 percent over the analysis period. Amazon Web Services is considered the leading public IaaS vendor, with over 200 cloud services available across different industries. Others include Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, IBM SoftLayer, and VMware vCloud Air. Organizations like HPE, Dell Technologies, Cisco, Lenovo, NetApp, and others also sell infrastructure that allows enterprises to set up private IaaS services.
PaaS occupies the middle ground between IaaS and SaaS. PaaS solutions don’t offer applications for end-users the way SaaS vendors do, but they offer more than just the infrastructure provided by IaaS solutions. Typically, PaaS solutions bundle together the tools that developers will need to write, deploy, and run applications. They are meant to be easier to use than IaaS offerings, but the line between what counts as IaaS and what counts as PaaS is sometimes blurry. Most PaaS offerings are designed for developers, and they are sometimes called “cloud development platforms.”
The global PaaS market is worth $61.42 billion, an increase of 9.8 percent over 2023. The list of leading public PaaS vendors is very similar to the list of IaaS vendors, and includes Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, IBM Bluemix, Google App Engine, Salesforce App Cloud, Red Hat OpenShift, Cloud Foundry, and Heroku.
Cloud computing services can also be categorized based on their deployment models. In general, cloud deployment options include public cloud, private cloud, and hybrid cloud. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses.
As the name suggests, a public cloud is available to businesses at large for a wide variety of remote computing needs. These cloud services are managed by third-party vendors and hosted in the cloud vendors’ data centers.
Public cloud saves organizations from having to buy, deploy, manage, and maintain their own hardware. Instead, vendors are responsible in exchange for a recurring fee.
On the other hand, public cloud users give up the ability to control the infrastructure, which can raise security and regulatory compliance concerns. Some public cloud providers, like AWS Outposts rack, now offer physical, on-premises server racks for jobs that need to be done in-house for security and compliance reasons. Additionally, many vendors offer cloud cost calculators to help users better predict and understand charges.
A private cloud is a cloud computing environment used only by a single organization, which can take two different forms—organizations build their own private clouds in their own data centers, or use a hosted private cloud service. They’re also the most commonly used and best option for businesses that require a multi-layered infrastructure for IT and data protection.
Like a public cloud, a hosted private cloud is operated by a third party, but each customer gets dedicated infrastructure set aside for its needs rather than sharing servers and resources. A private cloud allows organizations to enjoy the scalability and agility of cloud computing without some of the security and compliance concerns of a public cloud. However, a private cloud is generally more expensive and more difficult to maintain.
A hybrid cloud is a combination of public private clouds managed as a single environment. They can be particularly beneficial for enterprises that have some data and applications that are too sensitive to entrust to a public cloud but need it to be accessible to other applications that do run on public cloud services.
Hybrid clouds are also helpful for “cloudbursting,” which involves using the public cloud during spikes in demand that overwhelm an organization’s private cloud. Managing a hybrid cloud can be very complex and requires special tools.
It’s important to note that a hybrid cloud is managed as a single environment. Already the average enterprise is using more than one cloud, and most market researchers expect multi-cloud and hybrid cloud environments to dominate the enterprise for the foreseeable future.
Availability: It’s easier to recover data if a particular piece of infrastructure experiences an outage. In most cases, organizations can simply failover to another server or storage device within the cloud, and users don’t notice that a problem has occurred.
Location Independence: Users access all types of cloud environments via the internet, which means that they can get to their applications and data from any web-connected device, nearly anywhere on the planet. For enterprises seeking to enable greater workforce mobility, this can be a powerful draw.
Financial Benefits: Cloud computing services tend to be less expensive than traditional data centers. However, that isn’t true in every case, and the financial benefit varies depending on the type of cloud service used. For all types of cloud, however, organizations have a greater ability to chargeback computing usage to the particular business unit that is utilizing the resources, which can be a big aid for budgeting.
Of course, cloud computing also has some drawbacks. First of all, demand for knowledgeable IT workers remains high, and many organizations say it is difficult to find staff with the experience and skills they need to be successful with cloud computing. Experts say this problem will likely diminish over time as cloud computing becomes even more commonplace.
In addition, as organizations move toward multi-cloud and hybrid cloud environments, one of their biggest challenges is integrating and managing the services they use. Some organizations also experience problems related to cloud governance and control when end users begin using cloud services without the knowledge or approval of IT.
Most of the security concerns around cloud computing relate primarily to public cloud services. Because public clouds are shared environments, many organizations have concerns that others using the same service can access their data. And without control over the physical infrastructure hosting their data and applications in the public cloud, enterprises need to make sure vendors take adequate measures to prevent attacks and meet compliance requirements.
However, some security experts argue that public cloud services are more secure than traditional data centers. Most cloud vendors have large security teams and employ the latest technologies to prevent and mitigate attacks. Smaller enterprises simply don’t have as many resources to devote to securing their networks.
But organizations should not just assume that cloud vendors have appropriate safeguards in place—vendors and users share responsibility for cloud security and both need to play an active role in keeping data secure.
The popularity of cloud computing has grown steadily with no signs of slowing down since the phrase “cloud computing” was first used in the mid-1990s. It’s nearly ubiquitous among enterprises, with 87 percent operating a multi-cloud strategy and 72 percent a hybrid cloud strategy. Experts predict the market will continue to grow as organizations migrate more applications and data to the cloud. There are multiple models and a wide range of services available, giving organizations a lot of flexibility when it comes to cloud computing. From public to private to hybrid cloud, businesses can find or build the right configuration to meet their own particular budget, requirements, and needs.
Read next: Cloud Services Providers Comparison.
For many people entering into Debian/Ubuntu-based Linux distros for the firest time, package management may seem convoluted. Some tutorials tell you to use “apt,” others “apt-get,” and some really old or specific ones use “aptitude.” It’s high time to get down to the absolute minutiae and explain the “why, where, what, and how” of the strange and somewhat divided world in this little corner of the Linux universe.
If you are new to Linux, you may want to check out these useful Bash commands before heading to the terminal.Defining Apt-Get, Apt, Aptitude, and DPKG
Regardless of all the small details that distinguish them, apt, apt-get, and aptitude are all just different calling cards for Debian’s package management system that interacts with online repositories. As if there weren’t enough of these already, there’s also one more package management tool in Debian or Ubuntu-based systems you might have heard of that deals with on-disk installations: dpkg.
DPKG is a tool that runs in the background every time you install a .deb package. Apt, Apt-get and Aptitude all use dpkg to install packages.What’s Aptitude? What Is APT?
Known as the Advanced Packaging Tool, APT is Debian’s solution to mainstreaming the process of removing, installing, searching for, and managing the various applications you install in the operating system. Every distro based on it uses APT, though not all implementations of APT are equal. We’ll get to this in a bit.
For now, it’s important to note that APT as a package manager is not the apt command. It instead encompasses a variety of APT-related commands like apt-get, apt-mark, and apt-cache.
Think of Aptitude as the interactive command center of all your package management and APT as the Swiss-army knife that lets you quickly perform simpler tasks related to installing, removing, and updating your packages and repositories.What Distros Use APT?
If your distro is described as “Debian-based,” it uses the APT tool in one way or another. This includes but isn’t limited to:
Raspberry Pi OS
There are many, many more distributions based on Debian, so if you’re using something that isn’t listed here, check whether the apt-get command works by simply typing it in your terminal. If your terminal returns a confused message about the command not existing, then you’re definitely not running anything touched by Debian or Ubuntu developers.Apt-get vs. Apt
In many online tutorials involving the installation of a package, you’ll see apt-get and apt being used interchangeably as commands on Debian-based systems. When it comes to installing and removing stuff, there is indeed no difference which command you use. Just don’t confuse this for the two being versions of the other.
Remember how I said apt-get is simply one of a few other commands in the Advanced Packaging Tool? For someone who’s new to APT, it can be a little disorienting to have to memorize which commands are valid for apt-get, apt-mark, and apt-cache. For example, did you know that the command to search for a package is apt-cache search?
What if all three of these commands’ most useful functions for day-to-day life were more uniform?
This is exactly what the apt command does by itself. These three letters, when typed into your terminal, act as a “wrapper” for the APT ecosystem, simplifying the process for people who spend much of their time scribbling at their terminals.
When searching for a package, apt search should mostly return the same results as apt-cache search.
Instead of typing apt-cache search, apt-mark hold, and apt-get remove in your terminal, you can instead use apt search, apt hold, and apt remove.
APT is an ecosystem where both apt-get install and apt install are both valid options but behave a little differently. The simple apt is an application that wraps around the old-school APT commands to provide a simpler structure that’s more intuitive to users who don’t want to memorize a bunch of different commands to perform different tasks with their package managers.
In some distros like Ubuntu, the apt command is a separate application that will sometimes just execute one of the older commands with specific options enabled (like a progress bar when installing), making it appear more feature-rich to newer users who don’t want to complicate themselves with several obscure flags in the package manager.
Other distros like Linux Mint achieve the same thing by making a simple Python wrapper. To the end user, both will appear identical.A Word on APT Flags
If you paid close attention to the images showing the outputs of both search commands, they show slightly different information, as the apt command grabs information about the status of the application in your system in addition to whatever apt-cache search puts out.
Now is probably a good time to explain what that “i” meant next to the package name in the output of apt search. It’s a flag placed by aptitude, the front-end of the Debian package tool.
Below is a list of flags you’ll see in your terminal and what they mean:
A – automatically installed, perhaps as part of a larger meta-package or the installation of the operating system itself.
B – the package is flagged as broken and must be reinstalled.
H – half-installed. The package needs to finish installing.
c – the package was removed, but its “ghost” lingers on in the form of configuration files. You can solve this by using apt-get purge or apt purge, followed by the name of the package with this flag.
p – package purged or was never installed.
v – the package is installed and is generically used by others to provide a function. For example, Firefox provides browsing capabilities that can be used by other applications, making it a virtual package.
i – this package is installed in your system.
h – there’s a hold on this package, preventing it from being updated to newer versions.Not All APT Implementations Are Equal!
Before going any further into the topic of package management, it’s extremely important to note that the apt command may have more available arguments in one distro than it does in another. For example, Ubuntu lacks “hold” while Mint has it.
To fully take in what I’m saying here, we need to have a look at the Ubuntu and Mint listings for what arguments you can pass in apt and see the sheer chasm between the two.
The below image shows Ubuntu on my newly minted (pun intended) test-bed for tutorials.
The following image shows Linux Mint.
By far, Mint has the most fleshed-out wrapper of all Debian-based distributions I’ve seen up until now. This isn’t surprising when you realize it was tailor-made by the community that maintains Mint to cater both to starters who just want to install their apps in peace with a short command and to the turbo-geeks who want to tune everything just the way they want with millimeter precision.The Ultimate Guide to APT Commands
There’s no better way to understand the power of the APT package system than sinking your teeth into some important commands. The list will consist of APT commands followed by the apt simplification, where it’s applicable, in parentheses. If the simplification does not work in your particular distro, it’s either because yours hasn’t included it for some reason or you’re not running Mint’s behemoth of a wrapper. In that case, you can safely fall back on the vanilla command without losing too much.Add a Repository
add-apt-repository – adds a new repository to your list of software sources from a package maintainer.
For example, if I want to add Lutris’s current repository for Mint 20, I can type either sudo add-apt-repository or sudo apt add-repository, followed by ppa:lutris-team/lutris. Each repository is unique, and most application developers that don’t have packages found in the official ones for your distro will include instructions that will point you to their own.Clean & Autoremove
apt clean & apt autoremove – often used together, these two commands sweep out the dust in your system in the form of lingering install scripts and installation media you no longer need (clean), as well as automatically freeing your storage of packages that no one uses or depends on (autoremove).
Example: sudo apt autoremove && sudo apt clean will hoover all the unnecessary applications and cache files from your main drive in one single line in your terminal.
If you just want to remove a file, you can use the rm command instead or the dd command if you want to free up the disk usage space.Changelog
apt changelog – spot the latest changes in a package.
Example: apt changelog brave-browser will tell me what the latest version of the Brave browser includes compared to its last revision.Contains
apt contains – found only in Linux Mint and maybe a few other Ubuntu-derived distros, this command is what you use when you encounter a “file not found” kind of error in a program. With some luck, apt contains will find that file for you in some far-flung folder from an application you installed!
Example: apt contains chúng tôi will look for the application that contains the shell script for gettext. If you have gettext-base installed in your Mint distro, you should find the app that has it immediately!Install & Reinstall
apt install – as the name implies, it installs a package. Passing the --reinstall flag will immediately reinstall your package.
Example of installing: sudo apt install firefox. Example of a Firefox reinstallation: sudo apt reinstall firefox. A more simple variant through the apt wrapper is sudo apt reinstall firefox.
If you prefer a graphical application to help you install applications, you can check out Synaptic Package Manger.Remove (Uninstall)
apt remove – Another frequently used tool in the terminal cave-diver’s arsenal. This command will uninstall anything that was installed either by the APT ecosystem or the DPKG package manager.
Example: sudo apt remove grub-customizer.Update, Upgrade & Hold
apt update – this command does not update the applications in your system. It simply refreshes the APT cache so that your system can compare the versions available in your repositories with what’s currently installed on your system. It’s checking for updates but not performing them.
apt upgrade – this will download updates to your packages that your system found if they are available. You generally don’t have to close anything that’s running to perform this.
apt hold/unhold/showhold – This series of commands manages your held applications. Holding a package tells your operating system not to update it in the future. With hold and unhold, you can initiate or cancel an update hold on an application. The showhold argument will list what you currently have on hold. If you can’t use this in your installed system, try apt-mark showhold instead!
Example: sudo apt hold pulseaudio. A word to the wise: holding updates on packages that others depend on may damage your system in the long term if you’re not certain what you’re doing.Search & Show
apt search/show – This lovely pair of commands bonds well together. Use the first to find a package, then use show followed by the package’s full name to find out more details about it.
Example: sudo apt search gimp.
If you wish to read more on the intricacies of APT for your particular distro that may not have been covered here, their manuals are in the terminal. Just type man before the command without any further arguments, and press Enter.
Tip: you can also search the web from the terminal.The Dreaded APT “command not found” Issue
If you can’t install anything on your terminal because APT just went poof and disappeared, this isn’t the end of the world. With a little bit of elbow grease, you’ll have your favorite package manager up and running.
First, if this is a new system, just double-check that it’s supposed to be using APT as a package manager. Fedora uses DNF/yum, Arch uses Pacman, Solus uses EOPKG, openSUSE uses zypper, and Mandriva uses urpmi. If your distro is not listed anywhere, you’ll have to look up its documentation on package management, usually found on the site where you got the distro in the first place.
Once you’re sure you’re in a Debian-based system and APT is indeed missing, it’s time to move on to the next step.
To walk you through this with a little extra stake in the matter, I am crippling my Ubuntu system and will not allow myself the easy escape of reinstalling the OS!
The result is now either a “command not found” error or an inability to process the command.
It’s time to go and find the appropriate APT package for our system and install it. Since we don’t have APT to work with, we can’t automatically download the dependencies either.
In my case, upon attempting to install the latest version of APT, the dependencies were all there but were not recent enough.
You discover these things when you type dpkg -i /path/to/your/apt/deb/file. Obviously, you need to replace that phony path I typed with whatever path corresponds to the .deb file you downloaded from the website.
Instead of version 2.3.11, I chose to go for version 2.0.6, which is what is typically installed in Mint at the time of writing.
After fiddling around with versions here and there, you’re going to eventually stumble upon one that works with your current setup. This is what happened to me. After typing sudo dpkg -i followed by this older package, it installed smoothly.
Generally, APT’s most dire dependencies are things your system wouldn’t be missing. However, since you’re missing APT, anything’s possible. In any case, if you find that you lack one of the dependencies listed after looking with dpkg -I as discussed earlier, have a look through the parent folders in the linked repository. They should be in their corresponding alphabetically-sorted folders.Frequently Asked Questions Are there unsafe APT commands?
Generally, if you type anything APT-related in your terminal, you should be aware of what that command is about to do. Before major updates, especially those where you install a new kernel, make a full backup of your system just to be safe.
All that aside, the commands you have to really be careful with are apt hold and apt full-upgrade/dist-upgrade. Holding may break your system until you lift your holds, especially if you’re doing it to dependencies of other applications. They may fall too far behind and not perform the functions those applications expect them to.
full-upgrade and dist-upgrade are only useful when your distro releases a new long-term version that you’d like to migrate to, but they will also potentially remove installed packages that you were accustomed to using. You’re generally in much safer territory by performing a normal apt upgrade, then doing an apt autoremove to clear out the packages truly gathering dust.Is Apt better than Apt-get?
I know this is a tired statement, but it really does depend on what you’re doing. Are your fingers getting rug burn from typing so many commands? You may want to use apt as a shortcut if you don’t need something specific that apt-get would be more suitable for. In many ways, apt not only streamlines the package management process but also provides extra information as we saw earlier when comparing apt-get search to apt search.
However, if you’re not on Mint with its gargantuan argument list for apt that almost entirely renders apt-get superfluous, you may have to use apt-get to do some more niche tasks.What's the difference between a repository and an app store?
To the day-to-day user, the differences are insignificant. Where they begin to part ways is in software “fungibility.” Linux has a very fluid software market, where users are presented with a sometimes-overwhelming amount of choices. Smartphone app stores are pretty much set in stone, and it’s hard to imagine users seeking alternatives.
At the same time, in theory, the personal package archives (PPAs) that people enjoy using in Ubuntu can be compromised and lead to the proliferation of malicious software by bad actors.
If there’s one thing to take away from this, it’s that decentralization comes with some responsibility on the part of the user. Make sure that the repositories you add to your distro are from sources you can trust and projects that have stood for a long time.
Image credit: All images by author.
Miguel has been a business growth and technology expert for more than a decade and has written software for even longer. From his little castle in Romania, he presents cold and analytical perspectives to things that affect the tech world.
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Unfortunately, if you’re reading this page, you’re probably having some trouble with your Playstation 4 system. As with any new hardware, there are always kinks to be worked out. Luckily, the PS4 has a built-in safe mode option that lets you try and fix your system.
What’s funny is the fact that Sony put a safe mode option in the PS4, but Microsoft does not have a comparable option for the Xbox one, even though everyone knows about safe mode from Windows. You can boot the Xbox one in a low resolution mode, but that’s about it. There is no dedicated diagnostic mode for fixing problems.
Table of ContentsBooting the PS4 into Safe Mode
To boot your PS4 into safe mode, just follow the steps below:
1. Turn off your PS4 by pressing the power button on the front. It might take a few seconds before it turns off completely.
3. Once it boots up, connect your DualShock controller to the system using the provided USB cable and press the PS button. It won’t connect wirelessly, so you’ll need to go find that cable, which is hopefully still sitting in the box.
The safe mode screen should pop up at this point if you did everything correctly and you should see the following options:
Let’s go through the different options to see what they do and what data on your system gets affected.
1. Restart the PS4 – Like restarting your computer, this will restart the PS4 in normal mode. Turning off your PS4 and turning it back on is the same thing as restarting, so if that didn’t fix your problem, let’s move down.
2. Change Resolution – This is useful if you connected your PS4 to an older monitor that doesn’t support high resolutions and you end up with a blank or black screen. Choosing this option will restart the PS4 in 480p resolution.
3. Update System Software – You can use this option to update the PS4 software via Internet, USB or disc.
4. Restore Default Settings – This will reset the Playstation 4 to factory default settings. According to the Sony website, it seems like this option will not delete your user data, but just reset the settings to their defaults. This includes the date and time, network settings, video/display settings, audio settings, video playback settings, etc. It will not downgrade the system firmware.
5. Rebuild Database – This will delete the current database, create a new database and scan all of the content on the system. If the database has become corrupt, this should fix the problem
6. Initialize PS4 – These last two options will pretty much reset your PS4 back to a clean slate. This option will delete everything except the system firmware. This means you can turn it back on and it’ll start up brand new.
7. Initialize PS4 (Reinstall System Software) – This option is the same as 6, but will delete the system software too. You’re basically starting with a blank hard disk. This option is really use if you want to replace the PS4 hard drive with a faster or bigger one. By default, it’s a 500GB 7400 RPM drive. After you put in the new drive, you would use this option and download the system software onto a USB stick from your computer. Plug that in and it’ll reinstall the system firmware.
Other problems with your PS4 might indicate problems with the actual hardware. For example, the blinking blue light and blinking red light issues seen by many PS4 users. These two are also the major culprits behind the PS4 shutting down or turning off unexpectedly.Troubleshoot PS4 Blinking Blue Light
If your PS4 is not powering on correctly or turns off randomly and gets stuck with a blinking blue light instead of turning white, then you could have a problem with a piece of hardware. Here are a couple of things you can try:
1. Check the power adapter and the power port on the back of the PS4. Make sure nothing is visibly damaged or bent. You can even use a power cord from the PS3 on the PS4.
2. The second issue that can cause the blue light problem is if the hard drive bay is not connected properly or has become loose. You should turn off the console, detach any cables and then slide the HDD bay cover out in the direction the arrow is pointing.
There is apparently one screw that holds the whole thing down, so if that’s loose, then the hard drive may not be connected properly. You can remove that screw and take out the HDD and put it back in.
3. Lastly, it could be an issue with the HDMI out port or a TV compatibility issue. Remove the HDMI cable and make sure there is no damage to the port on the PS4. Try a different HDMI cable, if possible. You should also try connecting the system to another TV to see if that solves the problem.PS4 Blinking Red Light
If you’re getting a blinking red light instead of the normal white light, this indicates the PS4 is overheating. The system is not getting enough airflow or it’s simply too hot in the current location. Try moving the system to a more open space if it happens to be stuffed inside something.
Another thing you can try is to stand it upright rather than laying it flat. Seems like the Xbox One fixed this infamous problem they had on the Xbox 360, but it’s not eradicated on the PS4 just yet.PS4 Software Update Problems
If you try to update your PS4 system software and something goes wrong, pretty much your only option is to erase everything and start from scratch. If you installed an update, but restart the PS4 and are prompted to reinstall the same update like it never got installed the first time, you’ll have to reinitialize the PS4.
You can do that by going into safe mode, choosing option 4 and then when the console restarts, choosing option 6. You’ll have to set it up all over again.PS4 Audio Problems
One of the more prominent problems with the PS4 has to do with audio output. The PS4 can output audio in digital or optical format. By default, it’ll automatically detect and optimize the audio based on the connections. If you have an HDMI cable connected, audio will be sent over HDMI. Problems start to occur when you have a complex setup or a system that doesn’t support a certain type of audio.
The first issue is that you won’t get any sound if you connect your PS4 to a device using HDMI that doesn’t support HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection). Actually, if it doesn’t support that, you won’t get audio or video, so try connecting to another device or directly to your TV if you’re going through a receiver.
Secondly, you might need to change the audio output settings. Go to Sound and Screen and then Audio Output Settings.
Here, make sure Output to Headphones is greyed out and try changing the Primary Output Port between Digital Out (Optical) and HDMI. If you have an audio splitter and your center channel is not outputting any audio, you should set the output to Digital Out (Optical), uncheck DDS5.1, ACC, and DTS5.1 and then check Linear PCM under Audio Format.
Now when you are playing a movie that supports DTS5.1 or DDS 5.1, it will only detect Linear PCM stereo output. To fix that problem, you have to press Options when the disc is playing, go to Settings and chose Bitstream (Direct) under Audio Format.PS4 Console Freezing
If your PS4 console freezes a lot, there are a few things you can do. Firstly, you should download any update to the system software as soon as possible from the Playstation Network.
If you’re experiencing the freezes when trying to download the updates themselves, then you should download them directly from the Sony website, copy them to a USB drive and install them directly by connecting the USB drive to your console. It’s a bit of a tedious process, but hopefully when you are running the latest version of the system software, you won’t have to manually do it again.
Are you facing glitches in your existing Windows 11 PC? Do you want to upgrade your Windows 10 to the latest Windows 11 OS? You must be looking for Windows 11 22H2 download options. Find below how to get Windows 11 22H2 instantly.
Microsoft rolled out Windows 11 2023, the most sought-after feature update 22H2, on September 20, 2023. The Windows 11 22H2 update or fresh download is available for eligible Windows 10 and 11 devices in 190+ countries.
It’s a major feature update since the launch of Windows 11. Most Windows PC experts consider this update will resolve many bugs and glitches of the initial Windows 11 operating system.
If you’ve been waiting for the most stable version of the Windows 11 OS, it’s the right time to download the Windows 11 22H2 update on Windows 10 PC.
Continue reading to explore the options for Windows 11 22H2 download in various ways.Windows 11 22H2 Download: What’s About It?
Windows 11 22H2 update or standalone download is the most stable and user-friendly version of the Windows 11 operating system. Now, you can experience various known features of previous Windows OS on Windows 11 without trouble.
All eligible Windows PCs will get the update option when the users check for updates. It’s important to note you must be running Windows 10 20H2 or later to receive the update.Windows 11 22H2 Download: Why You Should Get It?
Conventional wisdom says you must keep updating your Windows PC as long as Microsoft offers you security and feature upgrades. However, if you’re worried about the glitches of the initial Windows 11 release, you may not have upgraded to Windows 11 yet.
With the Windows 11 22H2 feature update, you don’t need to wait anymore to experience the awesome look and functionalities of Windows 11. Just download Windows 11 22H2 update now and experience seamless computing.
There are more reasons for you to get the latest Windows 11 22H2 download, and these are as mentioned below:
Move files from one folder to another using the drag-and-drop feature that also works on the File Explorer tabs.
Get suggestions for video calls, audio calls, and calendar events when you copy any phone number to Windows 11 Clipboard.
Now you can back up almost everything on your Windows 11 PC using its revamped Windows backup feature.
You can now set a bunch of priority notifications to get emergency, and critical updates from business communications apps even when you’ve activated the do not disturb feature.
Windows 11 22H2 update lets you group important work, educational, or entertainment apps in one folder for quick access.
The updated Windows 11 OS 22H2 now offers more emojis and an emoji customization feature.
Clipchamp has become the built-in video editor tool for the latest Windows 11 OS.
Now you’ve got a built-in captioning tool for most audio and video content you play on your Windows 11 PC.
For touch-screen Windows 11 PC, there’s an iOS and iPadOS-like gesture to reveal the Start menu. Just swipe up from the bottom of the screen at the center of the Taskbar. Also, swipe up on the System tray to reveal the Quick Settings menu.Windows 11 22H2 Download: from Windows Update
The easiest way to download Windows 11 22H2 update is from the Windows Update app. Here are the steps to get the latest Windows updates:Update from a Windows 11 PC
Select the Windows Settings app. It looks like a cogwheel.
You should see the Feature update to Windows 11, version 22H2 text.
Update from a Windows 10 PC
It seems pretty easy to download the Windows 11 22H2 update. However, it’s not! Many users are struggling to get the over-the-air (OTA) update.
What’s more concerning is some Windows 10 devices aren’t compatible with this major Windows 11 upgrade. If you’re facing any of such issues, follow these methods below:Windows 11 22H2 Download: Using the Windows 11 Installation Assistant
This is an automated way to upgrade or install Windows 11 22H2. Follow these instructions to get the latest Windows OS update:
It’ll instantly show you if your device is eligible or not.
The app will guide you through the update or new installation process if eligible.Windows 11 22H2 Download: Using an Installation Media
If you see the following error after trying the above method, you must install a fresh copy of the Windows 11 22H2 OS. For that, you need a bootable OS disc. Here’s how you can get it from Microsoft for free:
Download the Windows Media Creation Tool from the Microsoft Software Download portal.
Select any one between the USB flash drive and ISO file options.
If you select ISO, the wizard will download an ISO copy that you’ll have to burn on an 8GB+ DVD.
If you select USB flash drive, the wizard will format and copy Windows 11 22H2 on the USB stick.Windows 11 22H2 Download: Direct ISO Download
Here, you can download a genuine copy of Windows 11 22H2 in ISO image format from Microsoft by following these steps:
Choose the language of the product and continue.
The link will stay active for 24 hours from the time of the creation of your IP address. It’s a multi-edition Windows 11 OS image.
Hence, depending on your license key, you need to choose the appropriate edition when installing the actual OS.
Downloading this ISO is also suitable if you plan to set up a Windows 11 virtual machine on Oracle VM VirtualBox or VMware Workstation.Windows 11 22H2 Download: Via Rufus
The best and most effortless option to create a bootable USB with the Windows 11 22H2 edition is using the Rufus app.
You can’t just copy an ISO file of Windows 11 on a USB stick. You must make the USB bootable first before copying the ISO file. Here comes the Rufus app to rescue.
Follow these steps to create a bootable USB flash drive using Rufus:
Get Rufus for free from the Rufus Download page.
Connect a blank USB with more than 8 GB of storage.
Select the drop-down arrow in the Select button.
The Release edition should be 22H2.
Then, you must choose Edition, Language, and Architecture.
Once the ISO downloading is done, Rufus will walk you through USB burning.Conclusion
So, now you know how to download Windows 11 22H2 update or fresh ISO to install the most stable Windows 11 version.
Give the above methods a try depending on your Windows PC configuration and Windows 11 update compatibility.
Next up, explore cool tips to help you install Windows 11.
9to5Mac has partnered with leaders in the iPhone/iPad/Laptop cash trade-in and repair industries. The easiest way to get cash for your device is to head over to chúng tôi for an instant quote. We chose this partner in particular because of their industry-leading paybacks, rapid payment service, integrity, and reliability. They’ll accept most iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, MacBook, iPod, Apple TV, AirPods, and more — as long as they are relatively recent and in working order, of course.
While 9to5Mac does do business, use, and endorse Decluttr, the sites are external and we cannot be held liable for your experience with them. We may receive a small commission if you are satisfied with and move forward with your cash trade-in or repair, which is a great way to support the site. We love Decluttr, and we use it ourselves.The Best Apple Watch Trade in Sites Trade in your Apple Watch at Apple Trade In/GiveBack
Apple Trade In/GiveBack isn’t the most generous trade-in option when it comes to trading in your Apple Watch, but it is very easy and dealing with Apple comes with a peace of mind you won’t find elsewhere — you can be absolutely sure that the price you’re quoted for your old Series 1 Apple Watch (which, honestly, won’t be much) is going to be yours — unless you send in something other what you said you would.
Trade In/GiveBack also isn’t limited to just taking old Apple Watches. Apple will take your iPhone or smartphone from a variety of OEMs, MacBook, iPad, and even iMac. They’ll also recycle anything that they won’t buy. Head over to Apple GiveBack to get started.Trade in your Apple Watch at Decluttr
Decluttr is our Apple Watch trade in spot of choice — as mentioned, we’ve partnered with them for our own 9to5Mac trade-in portal. At Decluttr, you’ll find an excellent combination of trade in values, seamless experience, and customer service.Trade in your Apple Watch at Gazelle
Apple Watch owners also have the option of trading in their old smartwatch through Gazelle. In my experience, their trade in values are a bit lower than the rest of the options on this page, but they’re a popular and reliable destination nonetheless. The process of trading in your Apple Watch with Gazelle works about the same as the rest of the other device trade in sites.Trade in your Apple Watch at Best Buy Trade in your Apple Watch w/ carriers: Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and more
Chances are your cellular carrier would also love to take your old Apple Watch off your hands. Depending on the carrier, you should be able to get a pretty decent quote for your Apple Watch. One upside, too, is that your carrier will often just put your trade in value toward your bill, meaning you might be able to skip a phone bill for a month or two with your Watch trade in. You can find a trade in program at just about every major carrier, including Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint. Here are some quick links if this is the direction you want to go:Even more sites: Trademore, Igotoffer, Itsworthmore, BuyBackWorld
Gazelle, Decluttr, and Apple GiveBack aren’t the only destinations for trading in your Apple Watch. Some sites, if you’re willing to give them a chance, might even offer more. Be aware, though, that depending on the site you might run into issues not actually get those extra dollars. Some sites have rough Trustpilot ratings with reported issues with receiving payments for their devices, for example.
That said, these sites aren’t all bad — many of them have enough positive reviews and reputation that it’s pretty unlikely you’ll get straight up scammed. Check out Trademore, Igotoffer, Itsworthmore, and BuyBackWorld if you want to dig around to find an alternative destination to trade in your Apple Watch.Best Online Marketplaces to trade in/sell your Apple Watch Swappa
When it comes to selling your Apple Watch yourself, Swappa is one of the best sites on the web with a quickly growing community. The things that makes Swappa stand out from the crowd is that it’s a marketplace dedicated to selling consumer electronics like the Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad, Android phones, and more. they also have pretty low flat fees and they’re transparent throughout the process.
If you’re serious about getting the max value out of your Apple Watch while also resting on the comforts of a proven and well-moderated community of buyers, Swappa is the place to be . All transactions go through PayPal and come with the protections that provides, and the Swappa team has done a great job of making sure first-time sellers feel confident and secure fishing for a good buyer for their lightly-used goods.eBay
eBay is undoubtedly the most popular place to sell used anything on the web, and it should come as no surprise that a fair volume of Apple Watches are swapped there indeed. It might not the be the easiest or most secure of destinations to sell your Apple Watch, but it does have the largest pool of potential buyers. And unlike Swappa, you can hold auctions to potentially juice that Apple Watch for every dime it’s worth.
It goes without saying that eBay is a pretty good place to get a fair price for your Watch, but it also comes with a few downsides. It’s going to take way more work to list and watch and monitor and eBay listing than it will to just send in your device through a trade in site, and you’re also putting yourself at slightly higher risk of ending up with an undesirable buyer. eBay’s fees are also higher than many other sites. Check out eBay.More trade in guides on 9to5Mac:
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