Linked by Howard Fosdick on Mon 24th Jun 2013 03:00 UTC
Linux I volunteer as tech support for a small organization. For years we relied on Ubuntu on our desktops, but the users didn't like it when Ubuntu switched to the Unity interface. This article tells about our search for a replacement and why we decided on Xfce running atop Linux Mint.
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RE: Partition lock-down
by Laurence on Mon 24th Jun 2013 08:30 UTC in reply to "Partition lock-down"
Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

I also tried to replace my aging Ubuntu 9.09 development box with Mint 13 (and also found Xcfe being the best distro for my Atom 330 board) but... while installing, partitioning the HD for a system part, a swap part and a data part, the data part was unaccessible after install :

"You don't have the permission to access this part"

Come on guy, I'm the installer of this machine, I have root permission and I cannot access the data part of my local hard disk ? And you call this "security" ?

Wiped off Linux Mint, re installed Windows 2000 Pro SP4 with all the remaining patches, not a single problem ever since.

KISS !

Kochise


Actually it is security. We all know the chequered past Windows has had by letting everyone run everything as Administrator. And since we're talking about Linux post-install, there's absolutely no reason why you should be running as root any longer.

However by the sounds of it, the fact that you had installed and rebooted into Mint, and the fact that you only had one "data" partition, would mean that your user profiles were stored on that and loaded. Which means you do have permissions access to that disk. What it sounds like to me is that you were trying to access system areas of that partition which are secured against user access - and that's an absolute must for security (in fact, Windows now does this as well!)

It interesting to hear that you're still using Windows 2000 though. That's a fantastic OS in my opinion (in fact it's the only release of Windows that I've genuinely loved). But Windows 2000 isn't secure by default (the default user is administrator, telnet is enabled by default, etc). Granted all these things are easily fixable, but my point is that you're applying an old and insecure Windows paradigm (lets be honest, Windows security has come along way since Win2k) to Linux and then bitching when a different OS behaves differently. The fault here is entirely with you.

In fact this is one of the biggest causes of Linux FUD. For some reason, when Windows users switch to OS X, they expect OS X to behave differently and are ready to learn how to use their new OS. But when many Windows users install Linux for the 1st time, for some reason they expect Linux to behave like a drop in replacement for Windows - which is completely unreasonable and leads to many of the daft complaints like the aforementioned.

Edited 2013-06-24 08:32 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Partition lock-down
by Kochise on Mon 24th Jun 2013 12:17 in reply to "RE: Partition lock-down"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Wasn't my first Linux install, had Ubuntu (from 7 to 10) without any problem and Fedora (which Anaconda's default behavior was to aggregate my ext3 partitions altogether, thus destroying my Ubuntu install and messing my MBR).

Tried Linux Mint 13, was pleased by the system, but was restrictive as hell :

The system partition (32 GB ext3) had the system installed on it, the swap partition (4 GB swap) and the data partition (200 GB fat32) had nothing on it, it was just purposed to store... guess it : data !

When I wanted to open/copy files on the DATA partition, Linux Mint shouted at me that I don't had enough privilege (as root !) to access it. And it's an offline ARM cross development PC.

I'm a geek though, but I do not expect to have to fine tune somewhere in the system the access to my DATA partition freshly formated of my newly installed system.

Security ? Paranoia !

The installation went pretty straightforward though, so imagine my frustration, and consider the newbie's, when you cannot use you locked down -"for security reasons"- computer.

It's Linux, the malwares and security holes aren't supposed to mirror Windows' ! So what's the point ?

If I quit Windows not to fight malwares and security holes anymore, it's not to find other flaws to chew on. If Linux cannot hide its "secutiry" behind the hood and had to put your nose into configurations files to "feel the power of the security by restrictive accesses" then I'm gonna quit immediately.

This is madness !

Kochise

Edited 2013-06-24 12:28 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Partition lock-down
by Laurence on Mon 24th Jun 2013 13:13 in reply to "RE[2]: Partition lock-down"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

The system partition (32 GB ext3) had the system installed on it, the swap partition (4 GB swap) and the data partition (200 GB fat32) had nothing on it, it was just purposed to store... guess it : data !

Is that the default auto partitioning? I'm more miffed why there's a FAT32 partition. That's just wrong. If it's a Linux only set up, then it should be running ext3 or ext4. If it's to be shared with Windows, then it should be ext3 (there are ext2&3 drivers for Windows) or NTFS. FAT32 should NEVER be used to store "data". So if that's a Mint default, I'm very disappointed.


When I wanted to open/copy files on the DATA partition, Linux Mint shouted at me that I don't had enough privilege (as root !) to access it. And it's an offline ARM cross development PC.


As I've already pointed out. You wouldn't have been root. Mint (like Ubuntu) doesn't assign a password to root so you cannot even log in as root. Thus you'd have been a regular user.

Security ? Paranoia !

That's what they all say until their computers are infected with all sorts of crap...

It's Linux, the malwares and security holes aren't supposed to mirror Windows' ! So what's the point ?

That doesn't even make sense. You're complaining about security features. ACLs and other access permissions are not malware.

If Linux cannot hide its "secutiry" behind the hood and had to put your nose into configurations files to "feel the power of the security by restrictive accesses" then I'm gonna quit immediately.

How would you suggest we secure computers without user access controls? It's my day job to implement security procedures, specialising with Linux and UNIX (I'm not making that up either!) and I can't think of a better foundation to begin with. At some point in the stack, you're going to need to know who's using the computer and whether they're allowed to access that subsystem. And whichever way you try to implement that, you ultimately end up with a list of users and permissions.

This is why your arguments about computer security really don't make any sense. Granted, in this particular instance the workstation is intended to be kept offline. But since you're the one arguing about noob-friendliness, it makes infinitely more sense to assume that all the Mint desktops are going to be connected to the internet than have all the security turned off by default and expect those users to turn them on manually (but don't take my word for it, let's just look at Windows 95 through to Me and how well it's security model worked).

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: Partition lock-down
by acobar on Mon 24th Jun 2013 23:17 in reply to "RE[2]: Partition lock-down"
acobar Member since:
2005-11-15


The system partition (32 GB ext3) had the system installed on it, the swap partition (4 GB swap) and the data partition (200 GB fat32) had nothing on it, it was just purposed to store... guess it : data !


I may be wrong but the last time I checked, and it was a long time ago, you had to resort to some not trivial steps to create and use a fat32 partition with more than 32GB. Perhaps, was this the root of the problem?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Partition lock-down
by lucas_maximus on Wed 26th Jun 2013 19:11 in reply to "RE: Partition lock-down"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

It interesting to hear that you're still using Windows 2000 though. That's a fantastic OS in my opinion (in fact it's the only release of Windows that I've genuinely loved). But Windows 2000 isn't secure by default (the default user is administrator, telnet is enabled by default, etc). Granted all these things are easily fixable, but my point is that you're applying an old and insecure Windows paradigm (lets be honest, Windows security has come along way since Win2k) to Linux and then bitching when a different OS behaves differently. The fault here is entirely with you.


Why is Windows 2000 is considered good? It was terrible until Service Pack 3, hardly anything worked on it and was completely redundant after XP came out which was miles better in comparison.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Partition lock-down
by Laurence on Wed 26th Jun 2013 20:06 in reply to "RE[2]: Partition lock-down"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26


Why is Windows 2000 is considered good? It was terrible until Service Pack 3, hardly anything worked on it and was completely redundant after XP came out which was miles better in comparison.

I love how short some peoples memories are :p

Given the alternatives on the desktop 2000 was epic. WinMe was just a clusterfuck of fail, Desktop Linux was still in it's infancy, and BeOS -while awesome- was failing to gain traction. Then let's look at what 2000 was superseding (the 9x era - which were never good. Not even in their day. And NT4 that had so much potential but just failed to really deliver and wasn't practical outside of corporate environments). Even outside of x86, most Apple users were still stuck on OS 9 (which was buggy as hell) with OS X due to hit the shelves a few months later.

Windows 2000 supported DirectX, OpenGL and ASIO, which made it practical for gaming and music production. It was the first and only time Microsoft had released a desktop edition of 'Windows' which wasn't chocked full of bloat. It was lean, yet had all the features you'd need available to install on demand. It was clean, lacked unnecessary clutter and "bling" while still adding some missing usability features (eg hotkeys in notepad.exe). Even the bundled Windows Media Player followed the design guides at that time (in fact it spawned a clone after MS decided to "XPify" it: MPC, Media Player Classic)

Windows 2000 was also the most stable x86 desktop at that time. We all know how poor the 9x range was, but Me just took the piss. It was up and down more often than a whores draws. In fact Win2k even outperformed Linux desktop environments in terms of bug-free stability.

Everything that made Windows 2000 great, Microsoft did a U-turn with XP (dumbed down control panel et al, ugly and highly unnecessary skins, etc). While XP has since evolved into much more, originally it was little more than an uglier and stupider version of Win2k (and those skins nearly doubled the system requirements - Win2k being 128MB and XP being 256MB). In fact The only improvement that XP offered at launch was a significantly improved boot time.

Basically people revere Windows 2000 because it was the start of NT on desktops and the first time most home users were offered a glimpse of a stable desktop OS for x86. Windows 2000 was basically the first time (and only time, in my opinion) Microsoft pulled ahead their competition. It was simply awesome. It's just a pity MS decided all their users were idiots in every release of Windows since.

Reply Parent Score: 6