Linked by Eugenia Loli on Mon 7th Nov 2005 00:10 UTC, submitted by Rob Teng
Mandriva, Mandrake, Lycoris In light of the many misunderstandings about Linux, software repositories and installation of packages, part one of this season's Mandriva Linux 2006 review includes an extensive background article about it. It explains why the nature of Free Software leads to a more userfriendly software installation setup for Linux distributions in general, as compared to proprietary systems such as the current desktop market leader. The process is illustrated with Mandriva Linux tools. This first part of the Mandriva Linux 2006 review also contains information on the installation and benchmark figures against previous Mandriva/Mandrake products, amongst other things.
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RE[2]: thumbs down
by Temcat on Mon 7th Nov 2005 14:56 UTC in reply to "RE: thumbs down"
Temcat
Member since:
2005-10-18

"guaranteed free of malware"

Do you really think that all packages in the repository has undergone security audit by the packagers? DO you think they have time to check the code line-by-line? You're seriously misinformed then. I could easily sneak malware in 100 packages and nobody would notice. In most cases, you have to TRUST upstream anyway, so it's no different from the case when I download software from the developer's site.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: thumbs down
by on Mon 7th Nov 2005 15:18 in reply to "RE[2]: thumbs down"
Member since:

Do you really think that all packages in the repository has undergone security audit by the packagers?

No, but the fact is that they all come from the same developers, that they pass through lots of distro, that a lot of companies do security audits on lots of these software, and all that thanks to 2 things : GPL and source code available. So in the end, it's still far better than any closed source app. Apart for experiment (gcc hack), I still never heard of any open source software with malware.

DO you think they have time to check the code line-by-line? You're seriously misinformed then. I could easily sneak malware in 100 packages and nobody would notice

You are plain wrong. Your zealotry is not reality. The fact is that you could not do that with official repositories. Taking Mandriva, you would have to sneak in the new package, then manage to create a MD5 and SHA1 (think it's SHA1) for all the packages, which is already hard to defeat. But you would have to infect all the repositories too. Some people already tried what you talk about for some distro, and it was quickly detected. So, for someone like you that does not even understand the power of the Linux distro repositories, that don't even know how they work, I can confidently say we have nothing to fear from you.
The only repositories you would have a chance of infecting are the one from easyrpmi, which are not signed or have no MD5.

In most cases, you have to TRUST upstream anyway, so it's no different from the case when I download software from the developer's site.

WRONG ! Trusting ONE upstream you got the system from (Mandriva) is not comparable with trusting any random provider on the internet. There is a reason why distro don't always provide the latest version of packages, but you could not understand that.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[4]: thumbs down
by Temcat on Mon 7th Nov 2005 16:23 in reply to "RE[3]: thumbs down"
Temcat Member since:
2005-10-18

No, but the fact is that they all come from the same developers

yes they do by definition, whether in a repository or not :-)

that they pass through lots of distro

...that also do not analyse most of the software for security that closely, because it is a really daunting task. That slightly increases coverage though, because different distro have different specialization. But no one of them does comprehensive analysis of all software.

that a lot of companies do security audits on lots of these software

on a limited set of software - mostly core one

and all that thanks to 2 things : GPL and source code available

which are a given whether or not an app is in a repository :-)

So in the end, it's still far better than any closed source app.

who spoke about closed source, buddy? :-)

I still never heard of any open source software with malware.

That IS the truth! And this is true not because of repos, but because of the availability of the source code.

The fact is that you could not do that with official repositories. Taking Mandriva, you would have to sneak in the new package, then manage to create a MD5 and SHA1 (think it's SHA1) for all the packages, which is already hard to defeat.

Hey, and why do I have to do that with repositories? I'll infect source that all repositories take. So that you could receive your malware properly signed :-)

WRONG ! Trusting ONE upstream you got the system from (Mandriva) is not comparable with trusting any random provider on the internet.

Dude, this provider IS the upstream! By definition. When a distro packages an app it hasn't thouroughly checked for security (which, as I said before, is the case for the most part of 17000 Mandriva packages), it means that they trust the author. And by installing this app from a repo, you implicitly trust him/her, too!

Oh, and why you are calling me a zealot is beyond me. Unless, of course, you define zealot as "having a different opinion on the general usefulness of repositories" :-)

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: thumbs down
by on Mon 7th Nov 2005 22:00 in reply to "RE[2]: thumbs down"
Member since:

{Do you really think that all packages in the repository has undergone security audit by the packagers? DO you think they have time to check the code line-by-line? You're seriously misinformed then. I could easily sneak malware in 100 packages and nobody would notice. In most cases, you have to TRUST upstream anyway, so it's no different from the case when I download software from the developer's site.}

ROFLMAO.

The security audit is done in the fact that the packages are open source.

Being open source, programmers who did not author the code get to see the code, and having seen it they still use the package.

It is not possible to sneak malware in. To put a package in a repository it has to be open source. As soon as anyone used the package and had a bad experience with it there would be complaint, the source would be examined, your malware-containing package would be out of the repository and you would never be allowed to submit anything ever again.

You seriously misunderstand open source and the way in which repositories work.

Guaranteed free of malware.

Reply Parent Score: 0