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(Fedora: Lesson 3)

{ Hardening the Boot Loader, /boot/grub/grub.conf }

Section 0. Background Information
  1. What is grub?
    • The grub stands for Grand Unified Boot Loader.
    • The grub loader can recognize various types of filesystems and kernel executable formats, allowing it to load an arbitrary operating system.
    • When you boot the system, the grub displays a menu of choices that is generated by the /boot/grub/grub.conf if the timeout directive is not equal to 0.
    • The /boot/grub/grub.conf file is the default configuration file.
    • To prevent the grub menu from being displayed the timeout directive should be set to 0.
    • To prevent an unauthorized user from physically gaining root single user access to the server by editing the kernel, you must add the password --md5 directive to the grub.conf file.

  2. Lab Notes
    • In this lab we will do the following:
      1. We will enter the grub menu
      2. We will create a md5 password
      3. We will add the md5 password to the grub.conf file
      4. We will test the grub menu to make sure it is password protected.

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Section 1: Configure Fedora14 Virtual Machine Settings
  1. Open Your VMware Player
    • Instructions:
      1. On Your Host Computer, Go To
      2. Start --> All Program --> VMWare --> VMWare Player
  2. Edit Fedora 14 Virtual Machine Settings
    • Instructions:
      1. Highlight Fedora14
      2. Click Edit virtual machine settings


  3. Edit Network Adapter
    • Instructions:
      1. Highlight Network Adapter
      2. Select Bridged
      3. Click the OK Button


Section 2: Login to Fedora14
  1. Start the Fedora14 VM
    • Instructions:
      1. Click on the Fedora14 VM
      2. Click on Play virtual machine


  2. Login to Fedora14
    • Instructions:
      1. Login: student
      2. Password: <Provide Your Password>
      3. Click the Log In Button


Section 3: Open Console Terminal and Retrieve IP Address
  1. Start a Terminal Console
    • Instructions:
      1. Applications --> Terminal


  2. Switch user to root
    • Instructions:
      1. su - root
      2. <Whatever you set the root password to>


  3. Get IP Address
    • Instructions:
      1. ifconfig -a
    • Notes (FYI):
      • As indicated below, my IP address is
      • Please record your IP address.


Section 4: Configure grub to provide single user root prompt
  1. Enter the Grub Shell
    • Instructions:
      1. grub


  2. Create a Grub Password
    • Instructions:
      1. md5crypt
      2. Password: n0H4ck1n9
      3. quit


  3. Copy Grub Password
    • Instructions:
      1. Highlight the encrypted string.
      2. Edit --> Copy


  4. Create file md5crypt.txt with gedit
    • Instructions:
      1. gedit md5crypt.txt &


  5. Save file md5crypt.txt
    • Instructions:
      1. Right click in the white part of the screen
      2. Click Paste
      3. Click the Save Button


  6. Open the grub.conf file
    • Instructions:
      1. cd /boot/grub/
      2. cp grub.conf grub.conf.bkp
      3. gedit grub.conf &


  7. Add Password Directive to the grub.conf file
    • Instructions:
      1. Place your cursor at the end of the line that contains the string default=0 and Press <Enter>
      2. Add the following password phrase after the default=0 directive
        • password --md5 $1$pK21O1$0WqruNZHjMEH1G0kR5881.
      3. Click the Save Button
    • Note(FYI):
      1. The password($1$pK21O1$0WqruNZHjMEH1G0kR5881.) string is located in your md5crypt.txt file.


Section 5: Verifying the boot loader is password protected
  1. Reboot the Machine
    • Instructions:
      1. reboot


  2. Boot to Grub 2 Menu
    • Instructions
      1. Once you see the below vmware screen, (1) Left Click in the screen and (2) press the "e" key
    • Note(FYI):
      1. This might take you a few times so be patient!!!


  3. Unlock Grub Menu
    • Instructions
      1. Press "p" key.
    • Note(FYI):
      1. Notice that there is no "e" option to edit the boot loader.  In order to edit the boot loader, you will have to press "p" to enter a password.


  4. Enter the Password
    • Instructions
      1. Password: n0H4ck1n9


  5. Enter the Grub Menu
    • Instructions
      1. Press "e" key


  6. Boot the System
    • Instructions
      1. Press "b" key
    • Note(FYI):
      1. Since we do not need edit the kernel, go a head and press the "b" key to boot up the system.


Section 6:  Proof of Lab
  1. Login to Fedora14
    • Instructions:
      1. Login: student
      2. Password: <Provide Your Password>
      3. Click the Log In Button


  2. Start a Terminal Console
    • Instructions:
      1. Applications --> Terminal


  3. Switch user to root
    • Instructions:
      1. su - root
      2. <Whatever you set the root password to>


  4. Proof of Lab
    • Instructions:
      1. cd /boot/grub/
      2. grep password /boot/grub/grub.conf
      3. date
      4. echo "Your Name"
        • Put in your actual name in place of "Your Name"
        • e.g., echo "John Gray"
    • Proof of Lab Instructions
      1. Press the <Ctrl> and <Alt> key at the same time.
      2. Press the <PrtScn> key.
      3. Paste into a word document
      4. Upload to Moodle

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