Linux still sucks

A little tiny bug was found in Ubuntu ( apparently yet another flavor of Linux that I’ve never heard of ) that gives anyone root access. For those of you who don’t know, root access means you can do anything you want with the user’s computer. So much for Linux being secure. Via Gadgetizer.

9 Comments

  1. Jon said

    March 20 2006 @ 11:07 pm

    You’ve never heard of Ubuntu? Sheesh…it’s only been on Distrowatch’s top ten for a year or something.

    Clearly you don’t operate in the Linux world at all 🙂

  2. Leroy Brown said

    March 21 2006 @ 1:26 pm

    Hah you’ve got that right, I use Windows only at work. I’ve given Linux a few tries at the house, with different flavors. While I can see its uses, I just can’t get onboard. No matter what people say, windows is just much, much easier if you’re looking for a regular home computer. Crazy advanced networking tasks aside, Linux is very “clunky” to use in my experience. And I do love whenever a security flaw is found – just makes me feel all tingly.

  3. Jon said

    March 21 2006 @ 1:31 pm

    Linux is definitely an acquired taste.

    Your assessment of this being as security flaw in Linux needs another look, however.

    An Ubuntu developer wrote some sloppy code and left the root password in the logs. That’s a third-party introduced security flaw and has nothing to do with the OS.

    This ‘flaw’ is akin to me walking up to your desktop Windows computer, seeing your banking password scribbled on the desk and calling that an insecurity with Windows.

  4. Leroy Brown said

    March 21 2006 @ 8:37 pm

    I do see your point, in that it’s not the core OS in this case that has the flaw. It’s hard to compare this case to Windows though, since you can only buy Windows from Microsoft. With Linux, you can get a different flavor from a bunch of different companies. Each of these flavors is supposed to be a full-fledge OS, no? In that case, the Ubuntu developers definately left a flaw in the OS, even though it was a simple programming error. That’s my $.02, for what its’ worth.

  5. Jon said

    March 23 2006 @ 8:59 am

    No, the installer is not the OS any more than the MS Office install wizard is part of MS Office.

    This is FUD, pure and simple.

  6. Leroy Brown said

    March 23 2006 @ 3:09 pm

    True true, that is technically correct. Lemme try this metaphor – and I’m no good at metaphors so please forgive me if it doesn’t make sense.

    Say you buy some cereal – let’s say you’re a Cheerios fan. You buy a box of cheerios,only to find out later that the box manufacturer mistakenly left some poison on the box. Now, the box isn’t technically part of the cereal – after all, you made the purchase to get the Cheerios. However, the box does come as part of the package, so even though it’s not technically the same, you’re still in trouble because that poison probably ran off into your Cheerios.
    I hope that makes sense. But it might not.

    FUD – is that f*cked up development? Never heard the term before.

  7. Jon said

    March 26 2006 @ 9:53 am

    I think if your scenario occured, the courts would rule solidly against the box manufacturer.

    FUD = Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. It’s the practice of (intentionally or not) spreading uncertainty and fear about something based on erroneous or non-existent facts.

  8. Leroy Brown said

    March 31 2006 @ 1:09 am

    Ahh I’d never heard the term FUD before – I was just guessing.

    Ok so we’re suing the box manufacturer – makes sense. Who are we suing in the Linux world? Would it be more correct to blame Ubuntu for the gaffe ,or does someone else write the installer program?

  9. Jon said

    March 31 2006 @ 1:58 pm

    Spoken like a true American: “Who do we sue?”.

    I wrote an article about that a few days ago on ITechTips. It’s highly unlikely that the EULA for Windows would leave MS vulnerable for the same type of gaffe and therefore you wouldn’t be able to sue them either. However, at a guess (not a lawyer!) I would suggest that a suite against Ubuntu would have more traction than a suite against Linus Torvalds. Linus looks after the kernel, not the OS.

    In any case, everything has a EULA that indemnifies the vendor. A suit against MS, Apple, or Ubuntu would get thrown out.

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