Linux and UNIX security compared to Windows and Apple.

Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Quite comfy with their closed source operating systems.
Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Quite comfy with their closed source operating systems.

The OSGUI tech show host has posted a video with 6 reasons why Linux sucks, with one of the reasons being that there are many packaging systems instead of just one. But that is the thing with Linux, everyone has there own idea of what type of packaging system they want in their distribution. Linux is a free and open operating system and people are welcome to create their own distribution based on Ubuntu, or Archlinux if they want. OSGUI has been attacked by trolls apparently, this happens due to the mentality of the 12 year, old Youtube trolls that have nothing better to do than troll peoples videos instead of actually contributing something to the Linux community, like a blog, Youtube video or creating themes or wallpapers for the Linux community. The Fedora yum command is arguably as good as the Debian apt command, to add a package you type: yum install foo, this will download and install the RPM package and take care of dependencies as well. To remove a Fedora application, type yum remove foo. This will cleanly uninstall the RPM  package and just like the APT tools, it will tell you how much disk space will be freed. But Linux is not the only operating system around.

OpenSolaris is another option, and Haiku, which is an open source version of the BeOS operating system. OpenSolaris is a UNIX operating system that is very useful for business with many useful features. The ZFS  filesystem is one of them and the stable desktop is another. UNIX operating systems like OpenSolaris have their place in many Enterprise situations as the operating system is more secure than Windows. Some governments are running Windows servers and they have to re-boot them every month due to memory leaks and slowdown. What the heck is this, they could run a UNIX operating system and have far more stability and security, but no, they have to use a Windows server solution mandated by Microsoft instead. In other news it has come to light that there are software/hardware back-doors inserted into the Apple IOS operating system, this means that this closed source software that is very popular right now is not to be trusted with your private data as terrorist crackers in China and other rogue nations could steal your data. So if you are using this operating system on Apple hardware it is a good time to move to another operating system.

Linux. Linux is a free and open source kernel and uses open source software that can be trusted more than the closed source Windows or Macintosh alternatives that could be leaking your private data onto the Internet. The Google Android operating system is another closed source OS that has had a lot of issues with security, it may be based on Linux, but it is not secure. It is closed source, and there is a reason they named one of the releases Honeycomb, because it is full of holes. Sure it is very popular, but that makes it a target for Malware due to the large market share of this operating system, there could be malicious applications in the application store that could trick people into parting with their money, like those Nigerian E-mail scams. They are funny to read though, they are in all capitals and hardly ever look like serious messages, but a specially crafted Android application could look quite professional but if the users install it, it could install malicious code into your device. With the rapid spread of the Google Android operating system on mobile telephones and tablet computers, this becomes a real possibility, and since Google Android is based on Linux, this could harm its reputation.

If you must use Google Android, then be very careful what you install and keep up to date with security updates especially on tech news websites like Slashdot. They have just posted a story that seems to indicate that Apple as I mentioned before are putting back-doors into their software and that the governments of the world could be spying on users and their private information could be leaked to anyone who could utilise the back-door in the operating system, whether it be Apple or Microsoft. Windows does not have a stellar track record when it comes to security, judging by the amount of Spyware and malicious software that the operating system from Redmond WA has attracted over the years. Best not to connect to the Internet if you are using that operating system, it is just too insecure and unreliable to be trusted on a network connection even with all of the service packs and updates under the sun installed, it can still attract viruses and malicious software due to many games and applications requiring users to run as Administrator to execute them, which is unnecessary if they were coded properly. But lazy programmers are still coding the aforementioned applications to require Administrator privileges instead.

Windowmaker on OpenBSD.
Windowmaker on OpenBSD.

Linux, being a system derived from UNIX, uses a system where only system Administration applications require root access and every other application can work with only normal user access, due to the fact that they save their configuration in the users home folder and they do not need to save to /etc, the /home folder is used for saving configuration data and that is a system that works fairly well indeed. With some security tweaks you can lock it down so that one user can not access the /home folder of another user, as they will not have ownership of that folder. This works very well, especially with the old Mandrake Linux distribution, it would give you a tool to change the security level when you wished, and this would lock down the ownership of /home folders and stop one user from accessing someone else’s files. A locked down computer system is harder to use and not as much fun though, that is why people on Windows disable the UAC prompts and just let everything run. You do not do this on Linux/UNIX machines. That is not how any UNIX system administrator would set any such system up, the root account is powerful, but must be respected. And do not use it as your day to day account.

3 responses to “Linux and UNIX security compared to Windows and Apple.

Multiple package managers make Linux suck? Choice of software is a strength of Linux, not a detriment.

What’s the video link? I’d like to see the statement in context. They could either be clueless Windows nerds with a camera making ignorant commentary on something they don’t understand, or open source enthusiasts offering constructive criticism and encouraging discourse to make software better for all of us.

By the way, Linux is not derived from UNIX. It definitely incorporates many similar features and functionality (and software tools) but it’s still standalone code which didn’t originate from Bell Labs.

The Link to the video is here:

The guy used to be a real Linux fan and now he is posting this video with 6 reasons why the Linux operating system sucks. I think he is moving towards Windows these days. I actually like the RPM package manager and YUM these days, I am using Fedora Core 16 and I am perfectly happy with it. Anyway check out the video and see what you think.

The statement about multiple package managers sucking was attributed to the guy in the video and is not my opinion, I think it is OK if Debian wants to use APT and Fedora uses RPM/YUM.

Wow. I love how he vaguely cites technical aspects of Linux and gets the details completely wrong. Not to mention the poor video editing and terrible grammar. It’s a real shame someone this inept has a supposedly large audience. Also what is “dub ion”? It’s Debian, as in Debbie and Ian.

Poor form for trolls to slag him off for being gay. Poor form for him to make it a public issue. Who even cares? Talk about technology and keep your private life private.

I dislike yum as a package manager. It’s got some really poor default settings such as short metadata expiry. It seems really fragmented compared to apt, many of the yum tools have syntaxes and ways of being called which are different to each other. Its handling of dependency errors and post-uninstall leaf cleanups is very poor. It is basically a glorified Python wrapper script to the underlying package manager and many things can still only be done in RPM, not in yum.

I should try apt-rpm some day.

I would like to see some features of other popular package managers in apt and yum. For example, pacman’s capability to handle build scripts so it can fetch and compile source code directly from the upstream project.

Leave a Reply