Linux - does anybody use it as their desktop?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Dilraig, Aug 26, 2003.

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  1. Dilraig

    Dilraig Registered Member

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    I see a lot of programs from anti-trojan to network scanners discussed in the forums, but most relate to MS - linux gets little mention.

    Are any members savvy with Linux desktop security issues and solutions (software or configuration)?
     
  2. meneer

    meneer Registered Member

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    Linux on the desktop is fine.
    First golden rule: after installation first create a user account and never login as root (that's there only for maintenance and major changes and perhaps, calamaties).

    Second golden rule:
    Run only those services that you need on a desktop.

    Third
    Apply for a security alert mailing list of your distribution or check regularly (yes, looks like windows).

    In fact there's not much different from the Windows infrastructure, except for the fact that an equally well managed system contains less exploited (note: I didn't say exploitable) vulnerabilities to start with. The risks are somewhat less, because there are almost no services that run with system authorities (that's the biggest advantage over a default Windows setup).
     
  3. Dilraig

    Dilraig Registered Member

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    Thanks Meneer.

    I hear what your saying - less exploted <> less exploitable.

    I've got the router, are application monitoring (software) firewalls available? I've read briefly about ipchaines.. seems to deal specifically with intruder prevention.

    When the time comes I'll probably go with NOD32 for anti-virus. I've found very little re: trojans - does the Linux community consider trojans a risk, if so... any protection available (open source or pty)

    Last but not least, spyware... keyloggers etc... are they issues for Linux?

    If anybody knows of good sites to read up on this, feel free to post a link.

    Thanks.
     
  4. rerun2

    rerun2 Registered Member

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  5. vrf

    vrf Registered Member

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    I dual boot with Windows and RedHat9 and I like Linux a lot. The only problem is aplications&games, there are few compared to Windows. But on security Linux is much better. It's imune to most worms and trojans affecting Windows (not necessarily because it's perfect, but because there are few Linux desktops and virus writers don't bother making viruses for them). I think for a normal dial up internet user an antivirus for Linux is not necessary, only servers have a certain infection risk, in normal conditions a desktop user can very hardly get a virus with Linux. That's why I began to use more and more Linux, if I didn't have some hardware problems, I would have completely given up using Windows, seeing so many viruses and trojans that affect it.
     
  6. meneer

    meneer Registered Member

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    The linux risks are less than the windows risks, but they do exist.
    If you plan to use linux as your operating system, consider using a dedicated linux router/gateway next to your linux desktop. This will greatly enhance security and need not cost you a dime. Get an old pc, install e-smith or freesco for a firewall (e-smith is great, freesco is a floppy router, but there are plenty more) and you're all set.

    If linux is your only desktop and you're running linux software, there's no need to fear any windows threat (spyware, worms, viruses). But (as mentioned above) the are exploits by using rootkits (they act like trojans, alowing hackers to access your system). That's why using a dedicated gateway (that's built to protect against this kind of attacks) is usefull.

    - edited link -
     
  7. Dilraig

    Dilraig Registered Member

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    Good stuff.

    I'll look into the firewall & anti-virus links.

    Getting the feeling that unless your running under root privelages - installing aplications (with trojan like behaviour) are relatively harmless as they can't alter os services under Linux?

    Any major security complications maintaining a dual boot system? Just considering keeping windows around for games.
     
  8. meneer

    meneer Registered Member

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    You can install as root (you'll have to sometimes), but that doesn't mean that the installed apps have to run as a system account. Deamons are system processes, just like services in Windows.

    No problem running dual boot. Windows infections have no influence on linux (as long as the master boot record is not harmed).

    You might consider running vmware: it lets you run a virtual machine from your primary operating system. Perfect solution, because a destroyed operating system in a vmware session can easily be removed, without loss of your primary session.
     
  9. controler

    controler Guest

    I just downloaded the new mandrake 9.2 RC1 AND IT IS WORKING WELL.
    I could not get the last beta to work at all.
    Keb from the Linux forums even mentioned I was buring me cd's wrong mentioning stuff about Nero using Joliet. In Used Nero 6.0
    and Joliet to burn me cde's and it worked just fine.

    con
     
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