Boast about Security

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Boast about Security

Postby blankenshipma on Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:23 am

This isn't just for Mint specifically, but for Linux in general. The security of Linux compared to Windows is hands-down the best selling point of it. No need to Buy $80/year security software, or worry about whether your security armada (AV, Firewall, Anti-spyware, etc...) can catch the latest and greatest worm or trojan. That's what sold me.

The one strength of Linux, its plethora of options of installs and distributions, is also its weakness. Someone thinking of switching to Linux from Windows sees hundreds of options and doesn't know where to go from there. It's rater intimidating, speaking from experience. Mint and other leaders in the Linux community can still market themselves though. combining resources with other leaders and possibly advertizing a bit to combat Windows being the default OS would be awesome. To remove the Windows addiction, one has to market a product as easy to use, and Mint is certainly the closest in my opinion. That is my two cents.
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Re: Boast about Security

Postby DrHu on Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:32 pm

People in the windows and Apple world are being oversold on products that they may very well be able to do without, and in general because of the initially more complete separation of user and admin (sysop: superuser) on Linux compared to most windows versions, it could be considered more secure in its default installation..

Some people do however consider UNIX/Linux convenience of privilege escalation for a user, either via sudo or su, to diminish the overall security of the system, bt not requiring a separate root login to manage the system's aspects.
    And when some Linux distributions decided to not require a separate root user to manage the system, but instead escalated the first user account as an almost root user, merely as a convenience, and possibly to match the windows way of doing things, they tended to defeat the better secure separation provide by UNIX/Linux from its inceptions..
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Re: Boast about Security

Postby cwwgateway on Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:22 pm

blankenshipma wrote:This isn't just for Mint specifically, but for Linux in general. The security of Linux compared to Windows is hands-down the best selling point of it. No need to Buy $80/year security software, or worry about whether your security armada (AV, Firewall, Anti-spyware, etc...) can catch the latest and greatest worm or trojan. That's what sold me.

The one strength of Linux, its plethora of options of installs and distributions, is also its weakness. Someone thinking of switching to Linux from Windows sees hundreds of options and doesn't know where to go from there. It's rater intimidating, speaking from experience. Mint and other leaders in the Linux community can still market themselves though. combining resources with other leaders and possibly advertizing a bit to combat Windows being the default OS would be awesome. To remove the Windows addiction, one has to market a product as easy to use, and Mint is certainly the closest in my opinion. That is my two cents.

While I almost completely agree with you, I have some things to clarify. If Linux was much more popular, people would try to make viruses for it. Mac OS X is facing this, where it boasted "no viruses" for many years, but recently, many Macs have been infected with the flashback trojan and mac defender. This is because Mac OS X users don't run antivirus (unlike a lot of Windows users), yet there are enough of them to make a profit. Don't get me wrong, Linux is much more secure than Mac OS X, but it is not infallible. The advantages of linux with security largely have to do with root vs administrative accounts (administrative accounts can't modify the system without being root), the openness of it, meaning that people can easily find problems and submit fixes, repositories, meaning all of the software is at least somewhat checked to make sure it isn't bad, and how it updates everything through one component (the update manager). Also, because of the sheer number of different distros, bases, and package formats, it's very hard to write a virus that'll affect a lot of people because a virus for, say ubuntu, won't work on any non-ubuntu based distro (although it would probably work on Mint and most other Ubuntu based distros).

@DrHu
Sudo, IMHO is still pretty secure, and possibly even more secure than having a root acount, because every single time you want to do something root, you have to use sudo. But sudo in implementation, is pretty similar to su because it basically doesn't need the root password when you type sudo xyz if you've already used sudo once. Su, where you are completely root, is pretty insecure. Having a root account though, means that you have to do more steps for su, but you still use su. I could see a user just using root because they didn't want to log out and log back in. But that's just my opinion, and I haven't ever used a distro where you have to manually use a root account, so I don't know how it's like in practice.
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