Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 19th Dec 2005 16:32 UTC, submitted by Valour
Linux "There is a lot of confusing information about the GNU/Linux operating system, open source and free software, and related issues in the press today. Many of these technologies and concepts are difficult to understand because they deviate from the standard historical traditions of the software industry. There are also a number of sponsored reports and other corporate propaganda published around the Web that smear the image of Linux and free software. In the interest of making a few basic concepts clear, this article will bring light to the darkness perpetuated by uninformed journalists, campaigning CEOs, and misleading advertisements."
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RE[3]: 9. GNU/Linux is hard to use
by on Tue 20th Dec 2005 00:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: 9. GNU/Linux is hard to use"

Member since:

This is hysterical. I don't think I even know where to be begin tearing this apart. Let's see...

1. Installing a font in FC4.

You just don't know how, plain and simple. It's a simple matter with either Gnome or KDE to install any TTF in the user space with the graphical utility provided with each.

2. Spyware

You go ahead and tell your users every day that they have to be careful what they click on while browsing the web. My experience tells me that they will at best be disappointed that their browsing experience will never be safe, not knowing what to avoid and what is safe. And they'll be even more afraid of their computers. Mac and Linux users simple don't have that handicap.

3. Directory structure

The directory structure has EVERYTHING to do with security; I never mentioned executing a file. If you can't lock down the directory with the binaries/executables in it, you'll have the nightmare situation that most Windows users suffer from today.

4. FUD

I have never said it's impossible to secure Windows. But it is a fruitless effort. Our LAN admnistrators where I work have been chasing their tails with GPO after GPO trying to rein in the madness. The only thing that's holding that crap at bay is a proxy server with a white list of permissible web sites. Pretty sad to have to resort to that, but hey, that's Windows for ya.

So let's not talk about masturbation, ok? The right tool for the job might be Windows if there's no other choice (vertical markets come to mind). But then again, there's always Citrix. Get your facts straight, friend, then we can debate the merits of what's out there.

Reply Parent Score: 1

smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

sorry to quote you on this:

Get your facts straight, friend, then we can debate the merits of what's out there.

but

If you can't lock down the directory with the binaries/executables in it, you'll have the nightmare situation that most Windows users suffer from today.
is plain wrong

it seems to me that you never got beyound the simplified file-permissions in windows.
the dark side is like this ;) : http://temp.funtech.org/permissions.PNG

Reply Parent Score: 1

Member since:

No, the problem isn't file permissions or directory structure, its that Windows users often have administrator priveledges and uses these priveledges to execute code with or without the end user's permission. This code often is included as an attachment in an email or as an executable file downloaded from the internet or as the payload of a worm. The end results are the same. Your system files get replaced by trojans and viruses that give other users the impression your system is insecure because it keeps getting compromised.

Perhaps PBKAC is an acceptable explanation for you, but I prefer to believe the problem is not with all these dumb users who can't keep their proprietary systems secure, it lies with Microsoft for not doing what they know was necessary to secure the system before they released XP. By the time Vista is released, Vista might be secure, but XP, without a firewall, virus and spyware scanner, is not.

Don't complain on here how Linux should be less secure because its source code is open. The facts speak for themselves. Go check the facts if don't know them. Don't make us point out the obvious. At least provide a logical excuse for all the Windows worms if you want to argue its security. You can't blame security on the end users of a proprietary system. They, at the very least, need access to the source code to take security into their own hands. Seriously.

Reply Parent Score: 1

elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

2. Spyware

You go ahead and tell your users every day that they have to be careful what they click on while browsing the web. My experience tells me that they will at best be disappointed that their browsing experience will never be safe, not knowing what to avoid and what is safe. And they'll be even more afraid of their computers. Mac and Linux users simple don't have that handicap.


This is the one that kills me from the MS camp. They call linux users geeks, talk about how complex it is to install and use, and then talk about how easy it is to secure Windows: Install one or more spyware blockers, an A/V app, a personal firewall, install HiJack This, disable ActiveX objects, disable unnecessary services, install an alternate browser, tweak permissions settings for C:Windows and the registry, and any number of other tweaks to the default settings. It's just THAT easy, see? It's so easy that it's hard to believe millions of Windows users around the world are zombified without even realizing it.

Microsoft's ease of use has come at a considerable cost to thing such as core security. Although the MS zealots are loathe to admit that, at least Microsoft did and worked on trying to fix many of these problems with Vista.

3. Directory structure

The directory structure has EVERYTHING to do with security; I never mentioned executing a file. If you can't lock down the directory with the binaries/executables in it, you'll have the nightmare situation that most Windows users suffer from today.


This one I've got to call you on though; other issues aside, NTFS allows some very granular lockdown capability including execution, right down to the file level, as well things like file encryption. NTFS is something I've personally felt that Microsoft did right and will give them credit for.

Although I prefer linux and don't use Windows much anymore, I never felt there was anything inherently wrong with NT/2K/XP. They were stable and secure and could stay that way if you knew what you were doing, which regrettably most average users don't and MS catered to them by dumbing things down; they basically broke these secure and stable OSes themselves with weak default settings and heavy tendency to plant their own applications with deep roots into the core for (ahem) competitive reasons. The sad part is that most users just don't care, as long as it stays easy to use. Witness many of the trolling/FUD posts in this thread...

Anyways, just my 2c.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Member since:

I agree with you to a point. But the fact that in the Windows world (as in DOS and CP/M before it) binaries and libraries can live in the same directory is, IMO, just asking for trouble. I think the POSIX idea is better, where, apart from user data, binaries, libraries, configuration files, even help files are each in their own directory makes it much easier to assign privileges to each file type, making it more secure.

Reply Parent Score: 0

twitter Member since:
2005-07-25

You just don't know how

Hysterical, yes. That's the feeling I get when I use that KDE "font installer" (font installer!! What an earth-shattering idea!) to "install" a .PCF or .TTF font and I get a message saying "Only fonts can be installed" Isn't that just hysterical? And it's the same in user (~/.fonts) or root mode. Hysterical!!

have to be careful what they click on

Yes, it's called "when you get that stupid dialog asking you if you want to install something say no". Better yet, install the ActiveX controls they need (Flash/Adobe/etc) and then just lock down IE. Hilarity ensues!

can't lock down the directory with the binaries/executables in it

ROFL, yes, that's impossible in Windows. You are a genius.

Get your facts straight, friend

Will do. Hysterical!

Reply Parent Score: 0

Member since:

Well aren't you just a kick in the pants, smart-ass! Then YOU explain to me why it's so easy to compromise Windows security and have so many infestations of spyware that a whole subset of security software and hardward had to be created just to protect against it. And don't give me any claptrap about how if Linux or Mac OSX were as popular as Windows is now they'd be in the same boat.

The fact that Microsoft doesn't demand a separate administrator account on 2k/XP and seems content to let its hapless customers carry on as their own admins just shows how inane the situation on that platform is.

To me, it matters very little that there are solutions to virus and spyware epidemics. That they happened to begin with speaks volumes about how 'secure' Windows is.

Have fun in your little bubble.

Reply Parent Score: 1