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What do xinetd and Quagga do?

Mark Hinkle explains what xinetd and Quagga do to improve security and control program access.

What do xinetd and Quagga do?
Xinetd or eXtended InterNET services daemon starts processes and does so by listening to ports and then starting a service when requested rather than before it is actually needed. It provides a level of security by supplying access control and security for Linux and other UNIX-like systems based on the IP address they originate from. For example, when a request comes to a given port, xinetd passes the request to another program, tcpd, which can then look at the /etc/hosts.allow and /etc/hosts.deny files and determine if traffic from and to that IP address is allowable based on a list of access rules.

Quagga is similar in the net effect of allowing access, but it is a multi-server routing software that runs on numerous Unixes including FreeBSD, Solaris, NetBSD and Linux. Where xinetd is a single daemon, quagga is a collection of daemons that construct a routing table and provide a level of routing security rather than than allowing access via a single server running xinetd.

This was first published in September 2005

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