Linked by Amjith Ramanujam on Sat 19th Jul 2008 19:01 UTC, submitted by cypress
Linux Linux and UNIX-like operating systems in general are regarded as being more secure for the common user, in contrast with operating systems that have "Windows" as part of their name. Why is that? When entering a dispute on the subject with a Windows user, the most common argument he tries to feed me is that Windows is more widespread, and therefore, more vulnerable. Apart from amusing myths like "Linux is only for servers" or "does it have a word processor?", the issue of Linux desktop security is still seriously misunderstood.
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RE: Windows vs. Linux
by bogomipz on Sun 20th Jul 2008 03:44 UTC in reply to "Windows vs. Linux"
bogomipz
Member since:
2005-07-11

This is a valid point, but it doesn't change the fact that

1) Given typical Linux and Windows installs and usage patterns, Windows is way more vulnerable

2) More malicious software exist for Windows than Linux in the first place, at least by a factor of 10000:1

Reply Parent Score: 8

RE[2]: Windows vs. Linux
by rtfa on Mon 21st Jul 2008 07:51 in reply to "RE: Windows vs. Linux"
rtfa Member since:
2006-02-27

YOu forgot this very important one

3) Windows executes a file based on its file extension and is therefore immediately executable. Unix files have to be made executable. UAC in Vista may make the user think about it but its still a big big design flaw having a file executable based on its file extension.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Windows vs. Linux
by tomcat on Tue 22nd Jul 2008 01:08 in reply to "RE: Windows vs. Linux"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

1) Given typical Linux and Windows installs and usage patterns, Windows is way more vulnerable


If you're talking about Windows XP, then I'd agree with you. But not with Vista. User accounts don't run as 'admin' by default under Vista, and privileged operations require explicit user approval (UAC).

2) More malicious software exist for Windows than Linux in the first place, at least by a factor of 10000:1


Again, it depends on whether you're talking about Windows XP or Vista. Vista has effectively shut down the attack vectors which targeted XP, and malware authors have been forced into moving up the food chain to target applications such as Adobe Acrobat, Google Desktop, etc. This is actually a good thing. It means that Windows OS security has gotten demonstrably better.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Windows vs. Linux
by voidspace on Tue 22nd Jul 2008 11:17 in reply to "RE: Windows vs. Linux"
voidspace Member since:
2008-06-25

1) Given typical Linux and Windows installs and usage patterns, Windows is way more vulnerable

So it's a configuration issue, not a technical issue, and *other* than default configuration Windows is as secure as Linux?

If not, what are the *technical* reasons Linux is more secure.

2) More malicious software exist for Windows than Linux in the first place, at least by a factor of 10000:1

Which probably mirrors the usage patterns of the two operating systems on the desktop. Linux is more secure because on the desktop it is so insignificant that no-one writes malware targeting it? Again not a technical reason, more of a failing...

Reply Parent Score: 1