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Linux doesn't get viruses?
feiling152




msg:4492863
 4:41 am on Sep 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

I keep hearing that Linux get not viruses.I am using my pc for browsing,watching movies,playing games. so please anyone inform me is this true that Linux get not viruses?

 

drhowarddrfine




msg:4519898
 3:11 pm on Nov 17, 2012 (gmt 0)


Yes, Linux is a LOT safer than Windows, and better than MacOS as well (and about as good as BSD?)
Well, OSX is certified Unix. Linux is not. The BSDs have better security cause they are more than just the kernel while Linux is only a kernel.
drhowarddrfine




msg:4519900
 3:17 pm on Nov 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

@bill - The difference between *nix and Windows is that *nix does not allow download or installation or execution of any file unless each of those is given permission by the user to do so. Regular users cannot even do any of those for files that have access to the root of the system. So any virus or trojan would need to clear 3-4 hurdles just to get onto a users system to cause damage. Even then, that damage would be restricted to the user's files alone and not the system as a whole. Drive-by infections, so common in Windows, are virtually impossible on *nix.

This is one of the reasons that the last effective virus against *nix was in 2001 and only last a day or two.

graeme_p




msg:4520651
 6:45 am on Nov 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

I am not convinced MacOS is more secure because it is a BSD. Quite the opposite. The likes of FreeBSD are secure because they audit code - but so do the major Linux distros. From what I have read, Apple is less careful.

Linux also has very effective security mechanisms like Apparmor and SELinux, which distros integrate (so they work without the average user even knowing about them).

Mac OS also, until recently, lacked an integrated update system, and still does for the many apps installed from outside the store. Huge security drawback.

The lack of dependency management is also an issue, because any library not built into the OS needs to be separately updated by the authors of each application that uses it: on linux the distro just updates the library. It also means greater use of memory and disk space.

drhowarddrfine




msg:4520732
 1:23 pm on Nov 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

I am not convinced MacOS is more secure because it is a BSD.
OSX is not BSD. It's Unix. Some people think it's based on FreeBSD but its core is Mach with FreeBSD components.

My point about security is that, unlike Windows, any Unix/Linux/BSD system only allows installation, reading and execution if given the permission to do so and therein lies major security compared to Windows where driveby installation and execution is the norm.

As far as updates on OSX go, I don't know, I don't own a Mac.

dstiles




msg:4520854
 7:35 pm on Nov 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

Graeme - there are such things as compromised repositories, libraries and distros. Not many and not often for linux, as far as I know, but it's still possible at any given time. This is especially possible for third party repositories which are added to the updater in order to force updates on new versions.

From a linux server aspect, a new rootkit has just been discovered...

https://threatpost.com/en_us/blogs/new-linux-rootkit-emerges-112012

"The rootkit is designed specifically for 64-bit Linux systems..."

"Since the command is appended to the end of rc.local, there might actually be shell commands that result in the command not being executed as intended. On a default Debian squeeze install, /etc/rc.local ends in an exit 0 command, so that the rootkit is effectively never loaded."

"Researchers believe that the Linux rootkit likely is being used in cybercrime operations rather than in targeted attacks..."

How the virus gets implanted in the first place I'm not sure.

drhowarddrfine




msg:4520931
 12:58 am on Nov 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

Mac OS also, until recently, lacked an integrated update system, and still does for the many apps installed from outside the store. Huge security drawback.
I don't see how Apple has any control over apps installed from outside the store.
graeme_p




msg:4521018
 9:56 am on Nov 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

@dstiles, of course its linux repos are perfect, but the system is better than the Windows or MacOS alternatives.

OSX is not BSD. It's Unix. Some people think it's based on FreeBSD but its core is Mach with FreeBSD components.


It has a hybrid kernel with a lot of BSD derived code, and with some BSD derived userland, it seems reasonable to classify it as a BSD.

I don't see how Apple has any control over apps installed from outside the store.


That is part of the problem. Naive Linux users install everything from the distro's repository, more sophisticated users should be able to look after themselves.

The other part of the the problem is that MacOS has one copy per app of a third party library. Linux would usually have one shared copy installed which would be updated from the distro's repo. I.e. you are not reliant on apps being promptly updated to get security fixes to libraries.

drhowarddrfine




msg:4521162
 4:31 pm on Nov 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

Putting Ford parts on a Chevy doesn't make it a Ford but I don't feel like arguing about it.

I still don't see why Apple should be responsible in any way for users installing apps outside of the store. Microsoft isn't responsible for 3rd party apps so why should Apple? Maybe I'm just misunderstanding.

dstiles




msg:4521264
 9:37 pm on Nov 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

It's a case of responsibility. If Apple managed app installation responsibly there should be fewer viruses on Apples. It's not impossible to do, surely. Most people who install apps on computers, phones etc have no idea what they are installing, especially whether the app is benign or malign (benign useless is a different matter).

drhowarddrfine




msg:4521312
 11:22 pm on Nov 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

But then you're saying "You can't install that cause we don't approve!". Not on my computer you don't.

pp46




msg:4521350
 1:05 am on Nov 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

If you want an OS that works all the time every day the same thing, forget Windows, Mac...

I install Linux (Ubuntu) on a lot of my web clients PC's for free I never hear any complaints, they are happy and will not, never ever go back to Microsoft.
Let alone viruses and security issues they find it much more user friendly.
To sum it up Linux just works all the time where as Windows does not (work all the time)
I do recommend Debian as the ultimate Linux distrib, takes a bit of knowhow..
Virus what is that ?

pp46




msg:4521356
 1:12 am on Nov 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

I keep hearing that Linux get not viruses.I am using my pc for browsing,watching movies,playing games. so please anyone inform me is this true that Linux get not viruses?

I confirm this no worry

graeme_p




msg:4521735
 4:59 am on Nov 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

@drhowarddrfine, yes you are misunderstanding what I (and dstiles?) am saying, probably because you have not seen how Linux does this.

1) You can have multiple "app stores"
2) They all use the same mechanism, so you only one run software installer and updater, and they look, in the GUI, like a single "app store".
3) Common components, like languages, libraries, etc., as well as any app available from more than once source, are updated to the latest version available from any "store".

The benefits of 3) are:

1) You get updates soon, which is good for security.
2) You save disc space, memory and bandwidth because you only need one copy of each library.

In theory this can cause compatibility problems, but in practice this has happened to me once in the last few years, I could not install a flight simulator because a library was too new for it. You can get similar problem with DLLs on Windows, but Linux handles the problem much better AND it is rare.

drhowarddrfine




msg:4521739
 5:44 am on Nov 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

I was a system engineer on Unix for Silicon Graphics and Pixar in 1991 and use FreeBSD and Linux since then and now so, yes, I know how it all works.

I just don't get your statement that Apple is somehow neglecting security by allowing users to install 3rd party software.

graeme_p




msg:4522525
 8:00 am on Nov 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

That is because I am not making that statement!

I am saying that Linux repos are far superior to the App store and the install and update mechanisms commonly used on Windows are MacOS (in terms of security and otherwise), for the reasons given above.

graeme_p




msg:4522614
 5:17 pm on Nov 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

Um, "Windows and MacOS" not "Windows are MacOS". Sorry.

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