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Powerusers thoughts after few mint installations

Posted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 5:29 am
by Czarny
Hello Linux Mint Community!

I'm a long linux distro developper (PLD Linux: http://pld-linux.org), so I'm quite familiar with linux in generall and how a distro should look like. But isn't a desktop distro at all and I wanted something to promote and install on my friends computers. Friends, who don't like poking with the system all the time.

So I've made like 10 seperate instalations of Mint and I've found it to be very good for normal desktop users. However I've got few tips I think would make my life (someone installing Your distro for other ppl) and users life a little easier.

1. There's totally no need for loging in into a desktop machine. IMHO autologging should be on by default. If there are some security considerations, it's better to secure the screensaver with a password, especially on the laptop lid closed event.
2. Language packages should be installed with the CD. It's a royal PITA to have the installer in my language, but after first boot installing the language packs from the net.

That's all I remember right now. If I catch anything else I'll try to post it here if You ppl think it's relevant.

Thatnks for a great desktop linux experience,
Cz@rny

Re: Powerusers thoughts after few mint installations

Posted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 5:56 am
by Fred
Czarny,

Thanks for stopping in. Just because you work on a different disto is no reason you can't hang around here too though. :-)

After all, sharing ideas is part of what Linux is all about. "Standing on the shoulders of giants," and stuff like that.

As for your suggestions, I think the second one about language support is a good one.

I must admit, the first one I am a bit skeptical about. Maybe an auto log-in GUI to make it easier to set it up, but even that bothers me some.

Being a general purpose desk top, Mint finds its' way into homes as the family OS. One of the advantages of Linux is its' ability to have a separate desk top for each user, tailored to their individual needs. Auto log-in by default, kind of defeats or at least discourages this advantage. So I wouldn't be in favor of doing that. It seems to me to be a solution looking for a problem.

Fred

Re: Powerusers thoughts after few mint installations

Posted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:10 am
by Husse
Yes language on the CD would be nice - but then it would have to be a DVD :)
We removed language packs so the main edition would fit on a CD which it does not with the language packs included. This is something under "constant watch"
And autologin - probably yes.

Re: Powerusers thoughts after few mint installations

Posted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:31 am
by AlsaPhil
I agree autologin :D

Re: Powerusers thoughts after few mint installations

Posted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:48 am
by Fred
AlsaPhil,

If you want to enable auto log-in, look in the menu and select system settings, system administration, and log-in manager.

That is for KDE, but you can do a similar exercise in Gnome. I would not advise it however, especially for a notebook or other computer that is easily accessible to others.

Using a log-in and password won't prevent break-ins from people that have physical access. But it will encourage honest people to remain that way. :-)

Fred

Re: Powerusers thoughts after few mint installations

Posted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:51 am
by AlsaPhil
Thanks Fred :wink:

Re: Powerusers thoughts after few mint installations

Posted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 2:47 am
by Lantesh
I happen to like the login screen. It provides me a certain level of control when it comes to children in the house.

Re: Powerusers thoughts after few mint installations

Posted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 3:03 am
by Zwopper
I don't like the auto login neither, keep it out! :twisted:

Re: Powerusers thoughts after few mint installations

Posted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 3:50 am
by Fred
Wow.... Somebody agrees with me?! lol

That's a scary thought. :-)

Crazy Fred

Re: Powerusers thoughts after few mint installations

Posted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 8:02 am
by rec9140
Czarny wrote: 1. There's totally no need for loging in into a desktop machine. IMHO autologging should be on by default. If there are some security considerations, it's better to secure the screensaver with a password, especially on the laptop lid closed event.
As some one who has to deal with this... NO NO NO on autologin. :evil: :evil: :evil:

All computers should require login at all times, ESPECIALLY laptops. Screensaver passwords are just another step in the process.

NO NO NO NO NO NO autologin.

Re: Powerusers thoughts after few mint installations

Posted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 8:47 am
by Dutchmaster
rec9140 wrote:
Czarny wrote: 1. There's totally no need for loging in into a desktop machine. IMHO autologging should be on by default. If there are some security considerations, it's better to secure the screensaver with a password, especially on the laptop lid closed event.
As some one who has to deal with this... NO NO NO on autologin. :evil: :evil: :evil:

All computers should require login at all times, ESPECIALLY laptops. Screensaver passwords are just another step in the process.

NO NO NO NO NO NO autologin.
I agree totally - especially laptops

Re: Powerusers thoughts after few mint installations

Posted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:42 am
by foggytown
I can see both sides of the auto login argument. I personally would not use it but how hard would it be to make it part of Mint Assistant?

--john

Re: Powerusers thoughts after few mint installations

Posted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 12:03 pm
by rec9140
Surreal Killa wrote:But some people won't like auto login, so an easy compromise is at the very first boot of a mint installation where it asks if you want root to be able to login and if you want the fortune thing in terminal there could be another saying do you want auto login.
If its an OPTION, and ONLY AN OPTION like this along with a BIG FAT RED FLASHING SIGN that says your compromising your system for ease of use! Think twice you twit!

Security on laptops to desktops should not be circumvented even in the home environment. Its just plain bad habit to get in to, and even worse for laptops.....

If its an option with a big fat warning fine, but automatic and default. NO NO NO NO.

Re: Powerusers thoughts after few mint installations

Posted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 12:06 pm
by Fred
Surreal Killa wrote:
And I would like to be able to have root auto login too.
No insult intended, but that is a terrible idea. You should never run in root unless you are doing a specific root task. When finished you should go back to a user account.

Auto login to root and running in root is just asking for trouble. You may as well save time and go ahead and post the contents of your hard drive to an advertised web site. While you are at it go ahead and ask for the schedule for when you will be allowed to use your machine.

Fred

Re: Powerusers thoughts after few mint installations

Posted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 5:43 am
by Husse
Please don't use foul language even if someone comes up with a really bad idea.
autologin to root - irony?
I use autologin as there are only two in the house, me and my wife - and I trust her :) and it's a desktop
Any (normal) laptop should not use it
Remember if someone has physical access to your computer no password in the world will help, only perhaps an encrypted hard disk

Re: Powerusers thoughts after few mint installations

Posted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 7:21 am
by MagnusB
Husse wrote: Remember if someone has physical access to your computer no password in the world will help, only perhaps an encrypted hard disk
Yes, it does, for the casual user who just want to have fun, or maybe they don't know what they are doing and break your system. Auto login per default is a bad idea, auto login as root is a horrible idea, in fact, logging in as root is a bad idea altogether. But still, for most desktops and laptops, all that is needed is a liveCD and you have access to most of the data on the HDD, unless it is encrypted...

Re: Powerusers thoughts after few mint installations

Posted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 6:09 pm
by Husse
Yes, it does, for the casual user who just want to have fun
Yupp - if you have kids....
My situation with just two (somewhat elderly but computer savvy) people is not common I guess

Re: Powerusers thoughts after few mint installations

Posted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 6:35 pm
by deadguy
MagnusB wrote:Auto login per default is a bad idea, auto login as root is a horrible idea, in fact, logging in as root is a bad idea altogether.
I agree with MagnusB. default auto login is a bad idea, but having it as an option in mint assistant would be nice(as Foggytown suggested)
for people who want it I suppose.....

Re: Powerusers thoughts after few mint installations

Posted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 9:15 pm
by Fred
Let me clarify my thoughts on auto log-in. No additional comments needed on root log-in, auto or otherwise. I have already made my feelings on that issue clear.

I don't think auto log-in should be the default because it fosters bad habits. It discourages separate user accounts in a multi-user environment, like a family with children as an example. I think it is good training for multiple members of a group, no matter how close, to have their own /home and desktop that they can feel is only theirs and won't be randomly tampered with by other members of the group. A given group member should have to make a conscious choice to invade another members privacy. It fosters a sense of ownership and responsibility.

I don't think the case for or against auto log-in should be framed as a security issue, but a social issue. MagnusB already mentioned one way to simply get past most grub and OS password schemes. There are many others that are equally simple and effective. Even an 8 year old can insert a live cd and force a reboot. Or cause an abort to a root prompt during boot. I have said it before, there is no protection that is even remotely effective if one has physical access to the machine, except cryptography.

There will always be situations like Husse's that auto log-in is a plus, but I don't think his situation applies to the greater Mint using community. I have a similar situation but don't use auto log-in. It isn't for privacy or security. After all, I cross mount our data partitions anyway. Both of us know the other's password, so why use log-in? To be completely honest it is so neither of us forgets our password. lol

Using auto log-in is fine in some situations, but it shouldn't be the default. Again, the reasons for or against shouldn't be security related but social.

Fred

Re: Powerusers thoughts after few mint installations

Posted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 7:57 am
by Husse
@ Fred
Amen