Using 'obsolete' distros

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Using 'obsolete' distros

Postby rob1408 on Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:56 am

I'm aware that Linux Mint 11 'Katya' reached the end of it's lifespan late last year. It was my distro of choice from the day it was released to the day it died. Obviously there will be no more security updates, or updates in general as far as the OS goes, but what would be the 'dangers' of continuing to use Katya ?

I've tried 13 and 14 and also given Ubuntu's Unity a fair shot, just doesn't seem to click and there's always some niggle that stops me settling.

Cheers.
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Re: Using 'obsolete' distros

Postby viking777 on Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:01 pm

I don't think anybody can really answer that accurately. My guess is that the dangers would be fairly minimal. However, if a year down the line somebody manages to empty your online bank account and your bank starts asking what software you are using to access it (and they probably will), then referring them to this post will probably not convince them in the least to give you your money back.

Incidentally, this is the reason I always install an antivirus on linux, not because it is necessary, but because my bank explicitly states that anyone not running an antivirus software on a machine used to connect to their accounts will not be compensated. I am sure if you look in the small print of every online bank you will find the same sort of clause.
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Re: Using 'obsolete' distros

Postby xenopeek on Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:10 pm

Well, from user perspective you will probably be already--or very soon--be unable to install new programs through the repository. That might be a limitation for you?

If you are connected to the Internet, your web browser and you together are actually the most exposed targets to any malicious persons. You might get an email from an address that looks like your bank, requesting you to log it to confirm something or the other. Handily they have included a link, except it goes to a website with one letter difference from your bank's website. But it looks the same, so you log in and then they have your details. Or something like that is what happens often. Your web browser may also have weaknesses that can be exploited, though probably the most common effect is for it to crash or lock up your computer and not it divulging personal information or giving a remote attacker access to your machine.

If you are using a Cable or DSL modem to connect to the Internet, those often also include a firewall which makes it harder for malicious persons to gain access to your computer. Unless you are running a web or database server, for example, that you have made reachable on the Internet, then the security risks for that are probably small. If you don't log in remotely to your computer either, the security risks are even smaller.

But perhaps the questions you should instead be asking are how to solve the niggles or problems you were having with Linux Mint 13 and 14?
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Re: Using 'obsolete' distros

Postby odo5435 on Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:16 pm

viking777 wrote: My guess is that the dangers would be fairly minimal. However, if a year down the line somebody manages to empty your online bank account...

I can't be certain, but this statement seems to me to be the epitome of the FUD type comment of which most posters to this site accuse Windows devotees.

I'm sorry @viking, I generally respect your comments, but to make a sweeping statement like:

viking777 wrote:somebody manages to empty your online bank account

without explaining why you think this might be true, in your opinion, does not really contribute to the discussion. IMHO, such statements tend to lead new users to think that Linux forums are populated with know-it-alls who aren't really interested in solving problems. (I was hoping that comment would never apply to this forum.)

To attempt to give the OP some guidance, I'd suggest that a little searching in these forums indicates that there are no inherent problems in using an out-of-support operating system. However, if he/she wants to remain connected to the internet, it is possible that, due to the lack of updates. their system might become vulnerable to malicious attacks by newer software.

Another drawback is that, at some point, the applications being used will become obsolete and there will be no means to update because the older OS just can't cope with the advanced code.

However, if you're not connected to the WWW and are happy with your computer's performance, then there is no real reason to upgrade at all. My parents are quite blissfully playing card games using LM10. Why change?
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Re: Using 'obsolete' distros

Postby thegreatgazoo on Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:07 pm

I seriously doubt that banks will deny a claim from lack of antivirus. Right away, every Mac user, idevice user, and android user would automatically be out of luck.
Just because I'm curious though, I will read through the terms of service of my banks to see if anything interesting comes up.
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Re: Using 'obsolete' distros

Postby thegreatgazoo on Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:46 pm

usaa bank terms of use does not require antivirus, it just requires that your computer is compatible with the site:
usaa.png
usaa.png (24.88 KiB) Viewed 2898 times


chase bank terms of service just has a bunch of disclaimers stating that they are not responsible if you cannot access the site or have issues accessing the site.

wells fargo just requires that your computer meets hardware and software requirements needed to access the site.
wf.png
wf.png (6.57 KiB) Viewed 2898 times


no mention of antivirus requirements anywhere

I think it's good practice to keep your system up to date if at all possible.
I also thinks its not good to spread FUD, unless you supporting documents/web pages to back it up.
If i'm wrong, please post links to the relevant info so we could all benefit from it.

As for the question at hand, whether or not you can just keep using an old system, I think it can be done safely, especially if you have a very old pc that really can't be upgraded.
I would require three things though.
1. Use an up to date browser
2. use up to date flash.
3. disable java.

my preferred method
You can accomplish #1 and 2 by using chrome from google (not chromium from the repo).
It's repository will continue to update chrome and flash
chrome blocks java by default

alt method:
Also, you can uninstall firefox and flash from the system, and download the latest firefox binary from mozilla.
Firefox will run without installing (just extract and double click the binary), and it will update itself.
you will have to install flash from adobe manually though.

lastly:
remove the "icedtea" packages from the repo. this will remove the java plugin for all browsers.

Hope this info helps
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Re: Using 'obsolete' distros

Postby linbig on Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:06 pm

If things are working fine and you're happy with your current system, then you don't need to upgrade.

A new version of Linux Mint is released every 6 months. It usually comes with new features and improvements but there's nothing wrong with sticking with the release you already have. In fact, you could skip many releases and stick with the version that works for you.

Each release receives bug fixes and security updates for about 18 months (or 3 years in the case of "Long Term Support" releases such as Linux Mint 5 or Linux Mint 9). The development team is also focused on the latest release. If bug fixes and security updates are important to you, you should regularly upgrade to the latest releases, otherwise there's nothing wrong with keeping things as they are.

As a general rule... unless you need to, or unless you really want to, there's no reason for you to upgrade.

This comes from Clem on the community website and so I say (as an ordinary joe) who STILL uses Mint 9 Fluxbox everyday without any trouble at all, if you like what you've got and it works for you WHY change it.
Remember this is Linux and not M$ and I thought using Linux was all about choice.
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Re: Using 'obsolete' distros

Postby xenopeek on Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:25 pm

Good advice, but just because you found two banks that don't say you should be using a virus scanner and an up to date system that doesn't mean that is the case for all banks :wink:

In the Netherlands the major banks have together put up a website (http://www.veiligbankieren.nl/) for learning how to safely use Internet banking. It details what phishing, malware, social engineering, identify fraud and money mules are, and also shares what the banks are doing to protect you and what you can do to protect yourself. No surprises here though:
- keep all your software up to date
- use anti-virus, anti-spyware, and a firewall;
- only install software from official sources;
- and so on.
Software Manager + Update Manager tackle two of those already if you are on a supported release of Linux Mint.
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Re: Using 'obsolete' distros

Postby DrHu on Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:40 pm

I also think the dangers are fairly minimal; the only issue I would be concerned with would be if there were kernel (your Linux kernel version uname -a in a terminal version)

Other than that and only paying attention to remote exploits for browsers or some applications, I would relax about security issues..
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Re: Using 'obsolete' distros

Postby thegreatgazoo on Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:04 pm

Viking777 can you tell us which bank explicitly requires antivirus? I would like to look through their terms of service.
This is what concerns me most.
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Re: Using 'obsolete' distros

Postby I2k4 on Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:30 pm

I've decided to stick with Lubuntu 10.10 on my Acer netbook because the resource demands of all the later Ubuntu versions are essentially the same as Windows 7 and that's not what I want Linux for on this weakling machine.

As you say, system updates ended a year ago. My experience with software is that running Synaptic Package Manager the Firefox browser got stuck at version 11, but Chrome, Chromium and Opera have continued to update. I uninstalled Firefox and am using Chromium instead (mainly because it's less Google snoopy than Chrome but seems to run just as well.) That is the most important fact for me as internet browsing is my main use for Linux on the netbook.

Other installed software is all working fine in the last supported version but has not updated. I've never thought Linux in any version has the security risks of Windows. My advice would be to consider how much Linux software other than browsers you want to run - if you want to run old Mint with an up to date browser, use Chrome, Chromium, or Opera.
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Re: Using 'obsolete' distros

Postby Zorba on Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:57 pm

To be on the safe side, I recommend that you end this romance with Katya, my ex-girlfriend, and be more practical. :D :D Linux Mint 13 Mate edition is ways better than katya; faster, easier on resources and compiz-compatible. If you don't know how to run compiz in Mate follow me :arrow: http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=199&t=103822#p637700 and for Linux Mint 14 Nadia :arrow: http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=212&t=118348#p653900

Make Maya and Nadia hotter with Burn effect!! :D :D
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Re: Using 'obsolete' distros

Postby KBD47 on Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:17 pm

Install Chrome browser with its own repo for updates and just use it, keep it updated for security, disable java. You can get app from the Chrome store to essentially make it a Chromebook with facebook, evernote, and other useful apps. I see no reason not to keep using what works for you. Stay abreast of any potential security issues, but with Linux you are mostly secure anyway, certainly moreso than with windows. My two cents.
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Re: Using 'obsolete' distros

Postby KBD47 on Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:23 pm

safe banking, if one is truly worried with Linux, might best be done with newer live cd distro like Tails, nothing can be installed or mucked with easily as you are running a fresh system from ram, at least that's my understanding.
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Re: Using 'obsolete' distros

Postby xenopeek on Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:22 am

Topic got derailed; moving it here. In the support section for Linux Mint, please stay on topic about Linux Mint.
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Re: Using 'obsolete' distros

Postby Zorba on Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:19 am

Security luminaries like Oracle's Mary Ann Davidson and Cigital's Gary McGraw have long argued poorly written, outdated software is the root of all evil.

If a release reaches End-of-life and become abandonware or obsolete, users are confronted with several potential problems:
1- compatibility issues.
2- missing community support; fewer Linuxers would be using an obsolete release.
:( :( :(
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Re: Using 'obsolete' distros

Postby viking777 on Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:46 am

Viking777 can you tell us which bank explicitly requires antivirus? I would like to look through their terms of service.
This is what concerns me most.


I'm sorry, but I am not going to reveal what bank I use on a public forum. All I can tell you is that last year I received an email from my bank stating EXACTLY what I posted above as a change to their terms and conditions - I am not a sensationalist and I don't make things up and I take grave exception to being accused of distributing FUD by members of the forum. This is what the terms and conditions for the bank concerned say (abbreviated - there are a lot more restrictions than just this):

Your Security Duties
Keep your personal computer secure by using anti-virus and anti-spyware software and a personal firewall
Responsibilities
You will be responsible for all losses if you intentionally or with gross negligence fail to use the service in accordance with the terms.


If you are concerned about your own bank I suggest you search through their small print and see if they have a similar clause.
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Re: Using 'obsolete' distros

Postby rob1408 on Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:23 am

Thanks for the replies people.

I've been playing around with MATE (Nadia) overnight and that seems to suit my needs. I've had one small problem where my panel disappeared after a reboot, but by the looks of things I've sorted that. Everything else seems to be working well, all the little niggles that I had on Cinnamon and Ubuntu aren't present on MATE (in all fairness these niggles weren't show-stoppers anyway) and it's very snappy. I'll continue to play around for the rest of the day but it looks like I may of found my new home. Time to stop living in the past I suppose, Mint 11 was one hell of a release though.

Thanks once again.
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Re: Using 'obsolete' distros

Postby xenopeek on Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:55 am

rob1408 wrote:Time to stop living in the past I suppose, Mint 11 was one hell of a release though.

Linux Mint 11 was my first Linux Mint installation, and yes it was a beauty :wink:
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Re: Using 'obsolete' distros

Postby Zorba on Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:57 pm

rob1408 wrote:Time to stop living in the past I suppose, Mint 11 was one hell of a release though.



Good conclusion!! :D Katya was my the first Linux Mint release I tried when I was looking for alternatives to that sloppy and impractical Ubuntu's unity!! Katya was the most complete distro I'v' ever seen :( But rob1408 , if you are a compizphile, note that "compiz-fusion-plugins-extra" is missing in Linux Mint 14 and so I recommend Maya which is an LTS release in case you fall in love with it and will be supported until 2017 :D :D :D :D
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