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Run Your Web Browser (and Other Apps) In A Secure Sandbox

Much more purposes in the sandbox? 13. Want more tips? 1. By default, Linux Mint is already very secure. Yet with a relatively small measure, you may improve the already high level of security of your Linux considerably. Namely by operating your internet browser from within a secure digital sandbox.

Because web browsers (and their plugins) are, by far, the applications which are most under attack. You’ll be able to simply obtain that protection by means of the application Firejail, which presents simple lightweight virtualization on the applying stage. Translated into abnormal language which means: you possibly can totally isolate your internet browser out of your private folder, in order that it might never do any hurt in your personal folder. With that, you are significantly better protected against hackers or malware breaking into your private folder (the information which can be accessible without root permissions). Firejail protects against malware that tries to do nasty issues together with your private recordsdata behind your back.

Because your internet browser and its plugins, are then remoted out of your private folder. Almost completely, because there are some helpful exceptions, like the Downloads folder and the configuration of the web browser. The system folders and information are also still accessible, however clearly as “learn-solely”. Firejail is properly designed: it causes solely a bit further system load. I absolutely agree with what Distrowatch has said about Firejail: the extra safety layer that Firejail offers, increases security significantly, uses only a few assets and requires nearly no effort to use.

In in the present day’s world of safety breaches and privacy issues, my opinion is: Why would someone not want to use Firejail? Everything has of course its value, even when it is a small one: the drawback of this isolation is, that you could for instance only add files to an e-mail message if those recordsdata are in the Downloads folder.

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Because for the remaining, your net browser is isolated out of your private folder. Also printing net pages may fail because of this. That’s why I advise to limit this isolation to the online browser launcher that is within the panel of your desktop. That means, you possibly can always launch a “regular” web browser from the menu. Sidenote: the isolation of Firejail is limited to your personal folder; your web browser can still access folders and recordsdata of the operating system itself.

That’s intentional and no drawback, as a result of these are owned by root, so they fall under the protection of the password requirement. Launch a terminal window. Press Enter. Type your password when prompted. In Ubuntu this remains completely invisible, not even dots will present while you type it, that is regular. In Mint this has modified: you will see asterisks while you kind.

2.1. At the time of writing of this how-to (November 2018), the Firejail version within the official repositories of Ubuntu 18.04 and Linux Mint 19.x is outdated and solely partially usable. That’s a severe shortcoming that has been solved in later Firejail versions. The Firejail developers maintain several collection of Firejail, amongst which a Long run Supported (LTS) sequence.

You can at all times get the latest upstream Firejail LTS from this internet web page. Download the .deb installer file (not the .tar.bz2) of the newest LTS Firejail. Don’t strive to install it by the use of the dialog window in your net browser (this usually doesn’t work), however just download it. Then launch your file manager and simply double-click on it, as if it have been a Windows installer. Launch a terminal window. Firejail has reasonable default settings for Firefox, which are hardly ever annoying and still increase your online security quite a bit.

The common desktop user doesn’t need to vary something in these settings. But that is a one-time launch only; it is of course not very handy to launch Firefox that approach each time. So I advise to create a desktop launcher that launches Firefox in a sandbox by default. In different desktop environments than Cinnamon, you have to edit the Firefox desktop launcher in a comparable means.