[phenixbb] off topic - linux flavors for crystallography

Engin Özkan eozkan at stanford.edu
Thu Dec 12 09:02:18 PST 2013

Let me clear this: the perfect storm of hacks *and* lost/stolen devices 
with private patient information appears to have led to changes at our 
institution. I guess these got our IT and lawyers to get religion on 
data security. Obviously, encryption won't protect against hacking.

That out of the way, nobody has encrypted linux machines?


On 12/12/13, 10:00 AM, Engin Özkan wrote:
> At the risk of hijacking the thread, is the other type of "safety" 
> considered? Our university is cutting net access to unencrypted 
> computers, after now-publicized hacks originating from a foreign 
> country. They do not seem to understand or know solutions for 
> encrypting linux machines (they are also banishing XP; all FPLCs may 
> have to come offline!).
> So, to cut to the chase, does anyone run RHEL/CentOS/Scientific Linux 
> on encrypted disks? I am assuming dm-crypt with LUKS would be the way 
> to go, and I would appreciate to hear about how easy it is to set it 
> up and maintain. Can this be done without wiping clean the system? We 
> are not system admins, and don't want to be. Otherwise, we may be 
> forced to switch entirely to Macs (a Mac OS X Server as our SBGrid 
> server?).
> Thanks,
> Engin
> On 12/12/13, 8:32 AM, David Waterman wrote:
>> CCP4 builds and tests on a handful of Linux distributions, but the 
>> distributed binaries are, I think, built on CentOS 5.9. I agree that 
>> RHEL derivatives are "safest" for a crystallography platform.
>> -- David
>> On 11 December 2013 23:15, Nathaniel Echols <nechols at lbl.gov 
>> <mailto:nechols at lbl.gov>> wrote:
>>     On Wed, Dec 11, 2013 at 2:24 PM, Andreas Förster
>>     <docandreas at gmail.com <mailto:docandreas at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>         Everyone has a favorite distro, and they all work
>>     I'm not sure about this - we have definitely found some
>>     distributions to be easier to support than others, even just
>>     compiling Phenix from source.  My advice would be to stick to
>>     distributions derived from RedHat (i.e. Fedora, RHEL, CentOS,
>>     Scientific Linux) or Ubuntu, simply because we will go out of our
>>     way to ensure that the binary Phenix installers work on these.
>>      (They also have Coot binaries.)  That doesn't mean other
>>     distributions are necessarily unsuitable, but the software
>>     support may be patchier.
>>     I can't remember what CCP4 builds on, but I would be surprised if
>>     it doesn't support at least the same OSes.
>>     -Nat
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