[maemo-users] Unix vs Windows security (was Re: Nokia device usage)

From: Mark wolfmane at gmail.com
Date: Fri Mar 13 17:22:32 EET 2009
On Thu, Mar 12, 2009 at 11:16 PM, George Farris <farrisg at shaw.ca> wrote:
> On Thu, 2009-03-12 at 22:15 -0600, Mark Haury wrote:
>> James Knott wrote:
>> Windows doesn't need (never has, and never will) to have the capability for
>> simultaneous users. What would be the point? As PCs continue to shrink in size
>> as they increase in power, it makes a lot more sense for everybody to have their
>> own separate computer and not share someone else's. Home networking is a
>> no-brainer if they want or need to share anything.
> The point my friend, would be to separate the different processes such
> as apache, postfix, desktop apps etc into different user ids thus
> gaining a logical, built in, separation of security boundaries.

Windows does this...

>> The fact remains that in spite of theories and claims, actual unaided attacks on
>> Windows boxes that are successful are actually quite rare. The ones that are
>> successful are usually because of the gaping security hole between the keyboard
>> and the chair. The so-called holes are exploited in contrived circumstances
>> which are much more difficult to find in the wild.
> As evident by the HUGH number of patches we see coming down the pipe for
> Windows.  And yes, there are lots of patches for Linux but by far and
> wide most of those are for applications not the kernel.

Circular reasoning...

>> >>>
>> >> Again, Linux is *NOT* Unix. Regardless, since no one is putting
>> >> serious effort into developing viruses and such for it (there's
>> >> exactly zero payoff)
> No what would be the advantage to getting into such small sites as say
> oh Google, Youtube, Facebook, Wikipedia all of which run Linux, not
> Windows or Unix for a reason.

Yeah, that reason being that it's free and they can do what they want with it...

> Face it Windows is like stacking up books one on top of the other and
> standing on the top, after adding about 5 or 6 services it gets pretty
> wobbly and fragile.

...and as I've said, Linux isn't anywhere nearly as stable as you want
everybody to believe. I've already had to forcibly reboot my Eee PC
three times because kubuntu crashed, and I only got the machine
Tuesday night.

>> >>
>> > There's a lot more in common than different.  You can generally take
>> > source code and compile it to run on either.
> Way more common and Linux is pulling major market share from Unix.

...because it's *free* and Unix is more expensive than Windows...

>> As time goes on, Linux becomes more like Windows than like Unix as far as the
>> user experience. There are very compelling reasons for that.
> This is just plain not true.  Such as running Linux with only a console,
> nothing like Windows.  Look at Linux running on big iron and it's a
> different story.

Yeah, the "average user" really runs Linux with only a console...NOT!

>> >> ...and you make it sound so easy to compromise Windows, and so hard to
>> >> compromise *Linux* (you keep saying Unix when what you really mean is
>> >> Linux...). The reality is somewhat different, and the ease of security
>> >> breach is directly related to the operator/owner's actions and
>> >> settings rather than the OS.
> No the design of the systems are completely different, maybe have a go
> at reading Operating Systems, Design and Implementation by Andrew
> Tanenbaum, it laid out rather nicely in there.

Who said the underlying architecture isn't completely different? What
I said was that the user experience is becoming much more similar,
which is the only way that Linux will ever make inroads into the
average user's desktop, and that requires certain compromises that
reduce security.

>> I hate Micro$oft and Windows as much as anybody (as much because they've trained
>> society to accept bugs as "normal" than anything else), but I hate even more the
>> fact that I *still* have to waste a significant amount of space on my hard
>> drives for dual-booting into Windows to do the things that Linux can't do. The
>> fact remains that the reason Linux hasn't taken over the world is because it
>> just doesn't meet the needs of most users, especially the less techie ones.
> Hmm, first, try running VirtualBox or something similar and forget dual
> booting, and second the rest of the computing world seems to be heading
> towards the,

Virtualization is NOT the answer. It's a PITA to set up and has all
kinds of issues that no one is talking about.

>Yes Linux is good and does meet the needs of most users as
> evident by the growing number of users.

I guess your idea of "most users" is different than mine. "Growing"
and "most" are very different concepts in my mind, and "growing" from
0.44% to 0.80% market share is hardly impressive. That's an "82%
increase", which sounds good until you notice that the actual numbers
are so tiny.


Then there's the fact that the netbooks, which are the #1 reason for
the Linux market share increase in the last 18 months, are already
going back to Windows. Try and find an Eee PC with Linux at this
point, and your choices will be severely limited.

Various PC manufactures have tried over the years to make Linux a
viable consumer OS (after all, it would increase their profits
substantially and that is a strong motivator) but so far they've all
failed miserably.

Businesses and governments don't count, because they are far from the
majority of users and the overwhelming majority of their users simply
use whatever is put in front of them and have no choice in the matter.
The other major factor is that they are administrated by their IT
departments, so their users don't have to deal with any of the
problems, they just call the IT people to fix it or teach them how to
do things.

> 90,000 Ubuntu workstations for the French police force tell a different
> story, and this is just one of many.
> http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2009/03/french-police-saves-millions-of-euros-by-adopting-ubuntu.ars

Compared with how many millions of French citizens who will never come
close to a Linux box?!?!?!?!

If you watch government entities that have been mandating Linux in the
last few years, you'll see that many of them have backed off a while
later after the rude awakening that they can't actually do all the
things they need to do. But that doesn't make the news...


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