A plea about passwords

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Re: A plea about passwords

Postby Spacedog on Wed May 21, 2014 11:34 am

Distro-Don wrote:Are you saying that just because some people want to install things in a very insecure way that all of us should not have a secure password? That sounds like a very dumb argument, or Microsft trolling to me. It sounds to me like you would probably be happier installing Windows on their machines, so why don't you do that?


At no point have I suggested that everyone should do the same, only that it should be an option available to those who want it.

I am trying to move my customers away from Microsoft to get them the best value and quality setup I can, they are not all rich so anything I can do to save them money is good. I am also trying to be helpful by bringing an outsider's perspective to this community, accusations of being dumb or trolling are not very constructive.
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Re: A plea about passwords

Postby wanderer7 on Wed May 21, 2014 12:30 pm

Spacedog, I believe you have good intentions indeed. However, let me give you some advice.
First of all, you should learn more about GNU/Linux. As other members already said, you can't provide support for the system you don't know well enough. Secondly, when you show your customers Linux Mint or any other distro, don't tell them that it has a "disadvantage", because it requires a password. Most GNU/Linux users will tell you this is its one of the main advantages. Who knows, maybe your customers will like it too. Tell them the truth - GNU/Linux is much more secure, they won't need an antivirus any more, it is free (both free as in free speech and free as in free beer), it protects user's privacy, it's fast and stable, they can customize the system to such extent that even its developers might not recognise it. And tell them about the disadvantages too - hardware incompatibility, a bit more difficult to use (at least for some users), photoshop not working in WINE as it should, etc.
And then, let them make the choice on their own.
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Re: A plea about passwords

Postby roblm on Thu May 22, 2014 7:47 pm

On some days where I'm doing a lot of testing on one or more Linux distributions, often to help solve some other users problems,
I may have to type my password well over 50 times. I'll admit that on those days I sometimes wish Mint had an option in System
Settings to temporarily disable the need for a password, just as easy as it is to disable UAC in Windows.
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Re: A plea about passwords

Postby Jonmo1 on Thu May 22, 2014 10:04 pm

I can see both sides of the argument.

Isn't the whole point of LInux about Choice?
Then there should to be a choice to not require a password...
But proceed at your own risk.
And certainly not as the default choice.. It should require some knowledge to disable the need for a password.


But on the other side of the coin, what's the big deal.
The Possiblity of forgetting the password isn't really a good argument against requiring a password.
Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE including 'Granny Smith" has at least one password memorized.
Credit Card Pin # ?, a Phone number? Name of a Child or Spouse or Sig. Other. etc..

Anything.
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Re: A plea about passwords

Postby wanderer7 on Fri May 23, 2014 12:59 am

A door can be locked or unlocked, but it will never be as secure as a wall, because it can be opened - with or without a key.
My point is, if another user could disable passwords and therefore, do all the admin tasks without a password, root won't be root anymore. It will become just another user, much like windows admin. All the power of root will be gone, IMO.
Besides, back to the door analogy above, if Mint actually had this feature, it would be dangerous for all users - for those who decide to disable passwords and even for those who decide not to. It's like creating a door, where previously used to be a wall.
It would make the task easier not only for lazy/bored users but for malware too. Malware would target this feature, disable passwords and that's it - no need to elevate priveleges or something, it would be able do anything then.
If it can be done by a user, it can be done by malware too.
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Re: A plea about passwords

Postby /dev/urandom on Fri May 23, 2014 4:54 am

Generating secure passwords is not trivial either.
Linux is not the only answer! :: eD2k/Kad mirrors for Linux Mint and LMDE.
Users who misspell "Windows" as "Windoze" intentionally will be considered stupid.

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Re: A plea about passwords

Postby Previous1 on Fri May 23, 2014 4:02 pm

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Re: A plea about passwords

Postby xenopeek on Sun May 25, 2014 3:51 am

Spacedog wrote:Imagine I sell old Granny Smith a shiny new laptop with Linux Mint on it. All good, apart from previously she would just use her Windows PC, now she has to have an extra password. I try and keep things as simple and usable as possible, so I disable as passwords as far as possible. She doesn't want or need them.

A friend comes to visit and wants to show her a new piece of software. He goes to download it and it asks for her password. She enters her e-mail password and it doesn't work. Of course I've told her what the Linux password is but it is written in a book full of old passwords interspersed with scribbled notes on how to write files to a CD in windows. In my book this is complete usability failure. I would never want to risk leaving a customer in this situation, therefore I couldn't in good conscience install Linux for her.

I don't get the example. You want to login without passwords? Enable automatic login. You want to install software without passwords? Configure sudo appropriately. Boom! Done. No more passwords.

So yes if you want to do Linux Mint installs where users are never asked for their password, you can.

You should read up on the sudoers manpage first, but in short: run the command `sudo visudo` to edit the sudoers file (never edit it another way!) and add a line at the end like "Defaults:USER_NAME !authenticate" (or for a non-admin user "USER_NAME ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL") where you replace USER_NAME with the username you want to remove password prompt for. Or use %GROUP_NAME in place of USER_NAME, to remove password prompt for all users in group GROUP_NAME. The manpage covers it in more detail.

Spacedog wrote:My Windows PC has no password, it works fine. Neither does my phone, it's great too. I use them both for online banking and accessing the cloud all the time. Its more risky I'm sure, but that is my risk to take and I haven't had a problem yet.

With a sample size of 1 these statistics are meaningless :wink: Just because you don't want passwords doesn't mean nobody wants them. There are plenty of examples of why one would want a password. Mum and dad would want a password protected account on the family PC, so their home administration files and such can't be accidentally deleted by the kids. Or so the kids can't install or remove software on their own. And so on.

You'll understand that Linux Mint comes with passwords enabled by default. But you have the option of disabling that.
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Re: A plea about passwords

Postby Spacedog on Sun May 25, 2014 11:57 am

Thanks xenopeek that worked a treat.

What would be nice now would be if there was an option in the settings so when the grandkids come over Granny can re-enable an admin password herself :-)

As for being a sample size of 1, I have been self employed for 12 years doing this and in that time I have never advertised, all of my business is word of mouth. I now count over 700 customers on my books. I know my customers, I understand them and I know how they use their machines. I know that if Microsoft decided to enforce passwords on it's users there would be uproar of epic proportions.
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Re: A plea about passwords

Postby JSeymour on Tue May 27, 2014 7:16 am

Spacedog wrote:Thanks xenopeek that worked a treat.

What would be nice now would be if there was an option in the settings so when the grandkids come over Granny can re-enable an admin password herself :-)

Ah, the truth finally emerges: It's not that granny can't remember the password, it's that granny doesn't understand the need and doesn't care to be bothered. So, like a poor doctor that can't be troubled to explain to a patient the many reasons why antibiotics won't cure their flu, you find it easier to give them what they want than explain to them why what they want is a Bad Idea.

Spacedog wrote:I know that if Microsoft decided to enforce passwords on it's users there would be uproar of epic proportions.

It's no accident that MS Windows is the most exploited operating system in the history of computing. While some of the reason for that is certainly its ubiquitiousness, a lot of it is also because it's so trivially easy to do.

Poor user rights management goes a long way toward making exploiting MS-Win machines so easy.

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Re: A plea about passwords

Postby Jonmo1 on Tue May 27, 2014 9:07 am

Since it's now established that Granny 'Can' remember the password, but just doesn't want to be bothered with it all the time..

Is it possible using the solution posted by xenopeek than you could have 2 user accounts?
1 for Granny that will only require the password to log on, but not for installing apps and such.
and a 2nd 'standard user' account for the grandkids that will not allow any root access.
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Re: A plea about passwords

Postby Spacedog on Tue May 27, 2014 10:05 am

The point is that Granny may become proficient with the computer and so may want to install a password down the line. She may just be happy just using it and occasionally installing a new app and never have a password.

My aim is to make sure she isn't reliant on me, if she is able to use the machine in a basic way at first then if she wanted to put a password on later then she can I wish that option would be available to her.
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Re: A plea about passwords

Postby wanderer7 on Wed May 28, 2014 12:57 am

What I learned from this thread: windows is probably an ideal OS for Granny.
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Re: A plea about passwords

Postby Spacedog on Wed May 28, 2014 4:54 am

You are probably right, we may never find out.
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Re: A plea about passwords

Postby monkeyboy on Wed May 28, 2014 9:29 am

I fall into the grandparent age group and look at the age thing as a red herring. If a user of any age can't deal with their own passwords then they need real help beyond installing the an OS. To me the age thing falls into the "Linux will never grow unless..." and "not for normal people lines", lines often used by folks who failed at Linux and are looking for an excuse as to why they failed. Enjoy
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If you can't do either ball your panties up and cry.

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However doing it in public is really hardcore.
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Re: A plea about passwords

Postby wanderer7 on Wed May 28, 2014 2:56 pm

monkeyboy wrote:I fall into the grandparent age group and look at the age thing as a red herring. If a user of any age can't deal with their own passwords then they need real help beyond installing the an OS. To me the age thing falls into the "Linux will never grow unless..." and "not for normal people lines", lines often used by folks who failed at Linux and are looking for an excuse as to why they failed. Enjoy


I agree.
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Re: A plea about passwords

Postby WinterTroubles on Wed May 28, 2014 6:06 pm

monkeyboy wrote:I fall into the grandparent age group and look at the age thing as a red herring. If a user of any age can't deal with their own passwords then they need real help beyond installing the an OS. To me the age thing falls into the "Linux will never grow unless..." and "not for normal people lines", lines often used by folks who failed at Linux and are looking for an excuse as to why they failed. Enjoy


+1
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Re: A plea about passwords

Postby Distro-Don on Wed May 28, 2014 6:43 pm

monkeyboy wrote:I fall into the grandparent age group and look at the age thing as a red herring. If a user of any age can't deal with their own passwords then they need real help beyond installing the an OS. To me the age thing falls into the "Linux will never grow unless..." and "not for normal people lines", lines often used by folks who failed at Linux and are looking for an excuse as to why they failed. Enjoy

I will be 80 in July and I agree 100%. My wife also agrees.
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Re: A plea about passwords

Postby JSeymour on Wed May 28, 2014 8:08 pm

monkeyboy wrote:I fall into the grandparent age group and look at the age thing as a red herring. If a user of any age can't deal with their own passwords then they need real help beyond installing the an OS. To me the age thing falls into the "Linux will never grow unless..." and "not for normal people lines", lines often used by folks who failed at Linux and are looking for an excuse as to why they failed. Enjoy

My wife and I fall easily into the grandparent age group. Being an IT geek, I, naturally, have no problem with passwords. My wife, however, is no tech. geek, and she has no problem with them, either.

Jim
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Re: A plea about passwords

Postby lexon on Mon Jun 02, 2014 3:49 pm

Passwords are not a big deal. Some people are just lazy. That is why there are so many viruses running rampant all over the Internet. Many do not care about security until they get hit.
I have auto login because I am the only user.
When I started using Linux back in 2003, I got some cheese to go with my Whine when I realized I would have to use passwords. No more issues. And I have a few different login names and passwords for different forums, buying online, etc.

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