To Run or not to Run
In the present day multitasked-multithreaded computing environment, where people talk about their computer’s processing power and capacity in terms of Giga values, often, they keep running unnecessary, unwanted processes and services in their computers. Some of these services, not needed in the very first place, may pose serious security threat in networked environment. In general, default OS installation and preset system setups are adopted as is where is basis. As there is no dearth of system resources in present day and with better management of processing power, you will not notice any performance degradation in your computing tasks and that is why you least bother about the running tasks. Remember- wise man’s saying that- do not run without a cause in open; else, people will start seeing you with suspicion. Therefore, it is time to give a close, suspicious look to your computer’s running services and immediately stop the unwanted ones since some of the unwanted running services may pose some serious security threats since they open different ports of computer for possible attack. Further, for the best system, only the needed application and services should be kept running and nothing else.
Services in Windows (XP / 2000)
Out of 80 or more odd services in Windows XP, most of them installed by Operating system, you can easily survive with as little as 8-10 running services, and a couple of more for some specific task!. And believe it or not, you will never use most of the services if you are using your computer in
To change property of the services so that it may start or disable during system startup, right click on that service, click on Properties, and then select one from startup type- Automatic, Manual or Disable. Upon next boot, changes will take effect. While a close judgment is desire in every service to what to run and what not, however, some service like Help and Support should be disabled for advanced users since this is seldom used.
Services in Linux
To install and function easily, the default installation scripts of popular Linux distribution adds a vast number of services to run on your system. Some of these services are probably never used. For example, the apmd service that monitors condition of battery status, meant for Laptop computers has no use in Desktop computers and hence should be disabled. Similarly there are other services that you may never use in Linux and some of these may leave your computer’s ports open to external break-ins. The more services are left running un-necessary, the more ports will be left open to intruders for nothing. Therefore, to protect your system, it is best to turn off unnecessary services.
To disable running services or to remove them from starting during system startup, in Linux, there are various ways in doing so. One is to use command line utility ntsysv, through which you can enable or disable services during system startup. Simply run command ntsysv and follow on screen instruction to know more about and enabling/disabling services. You can also edit startup script file /etc/init.d/ or /etc/rc.d/init.d/ if you have fair idea of services. For GUI based administration, if KDE is installed in your Linux machine, there is Service Configuration menu in KDE’s System menu through which you can enable / disable services. There is also a nice utility- SysV-Init Editor in KDE menu through which you can control services for certain run levels.
Services are great in making your life easier. So disable them only when you see the potential threat they provide dominates the apparent benefit, else it is better to let them run even for no reason at all!
- Run1.jpg Windows Task Manager (run it by pressing Windows panic button, Alt+Ctrl+
key combination in Windows 2000/ XP ) displays the running services and process. Del
- Run2.jpg Among installed 80 odd services, Start / Stop certain services or set the startup type through command services.msc in Windows 2000/XP.
- Run3.png In Linux, there are various ways through which you can set services to be started automatically during boot up. One such command line utility is ntsysv that lets you define services to start with system startup.
- Run4.png With SysV-Init editor, you can define services to run on particular run level in Linux.
- Run5.png KDE’s Service Configuration utility lets you choose different services to run at different run level.