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#1 2015-02-16 13:40:59

CBizgreat!
#! Die Hard
Registered: 2011-07-27
Posts: 1,865

Common sense and you, choosing a gnu/Linux distribution. :)

Various events got bizzy thinking. Things like anyone and by that I mean pretty much absolutely anyone can come out with a gnu/Linux distro. Whether this person is malicious, horridly incompetent ... both. Something horridly malicious and incompetent azztards scrape off the bottom of their shoes. Or an uber l33t and kickbutt nixer with something awesome to offer. Doesn't matter, it doesn't take much to respin whatever "base" add some branding and WHAM. Folks could perceive it as a new distro.

This is cool in many ways imo. However it's also clearly cause for concern in any number of other ways too. One of the golden rules of intelligent and safe computer usage as an example. Comp users are NOT EVER ... supposed to install software from questionable sources. Doesn't matter what platform peeps are using. You DON'T do such PERIOD.

There are enough azzhatz in the world trying to mess with your hardware and crap up your tech-life, they need no help from the users. So while many will be like shut it cbiz, everybody already knows this. Maybe ... but maybe not.

Sometimes it's hard to restrain the urge to try good looking gnu/Linux distro's. Esp initially, with so much to choose from. Hey, I wanna try this one, that one ... those 42 distro's ! I know this can happen because I did it. Though was mostly protected by common sense and sometimes informed by better informed people of risks I'd taken and hadn't known about.

Common sense guidelines to live by:

Do homework first, install second. Google is always a persons friend. Research a gnu/nix distro you're considering beforehand. How long has it been around etc etc. Don't just assume it's safe to install and use. Things like visiting it's community and forum.

Visit distrowatch, off the top haven't bothered finding out what criteria DW requires for a distro be allowed a listing. However there is obviously a criteria and anyone serious about putting out a distro, would want a DW listing. Site is plenty handy with a summary of much info about the one's a nixer is considering. Date it came out, age of current release, packages included, active status or not, link 2 home website/community etc etc.

Couple of examples of risks I took starting out. Really not that serious overall. Tried stuff like DSL= damn small Linux and various puppy Linux or technically guess they'd be puppies. big_smile Some of these hadn't had releases in quite awhile, weren't really actively maintained. The kicker being that in these distro's the user was always running as root user.

Not the end of the world and is something vast majority, includ myself do all the time while using Window$ anyway. Know I should take 3mins to setup an admin acct though. One of the well known security enhancements w gnu/nix. A sudo or root user account majority of the time come w right out of the box and separate from a regular user(s).

A good looking website, with a sweet sounding sales pitch does not a legitimate distro make. Are a buncha questionable looking forks and distro's popping out atm. Just something folks could want to keep in mind. Couple specifically, Devuan and this crappy #!++ thing.

When started out w gnu/Linux, came out of the gate full bore distro-hopping. Took some of these common sense precautions. Same time was thinking, hey ... Linux is massively secure, so what's the harm ? I'm gonna install em all ! As with all software, security depends on the source and the hands it's passing through.

Last, not least. In no way saying don't get off the beaten path. Some of the nix I liked most were single dev/maintainer. ie: #! and Slitaz, Vector Linux light (tiny community), BUNCH. Please nix responsibly. smile


Vll!

Last edited by CBizgreat! (2015-02-16 13:51:22)


Some common cbiz abbreviations. This will save me time and yet @ same time tell folks what the babble is supposed to mean.

Vll ! = ( Viva la gnu/Linux !)    Vl#!! = ( Viva la #! !)    Last but not least, UD ... OD ! = ( Use Debian ... or die !) tongue

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#2 2015-02-16 16:29:19

ratcheer
#! Junkie
From: central Alabama
Registered: 2013-07-23
Posts: 338

Re: Common sense and you, choosing a gnu/Linux distribution. :)

That's a very insightful post. I have tried some questionable distros in the past, but right now, I'm only using pretty "big" ones - Arch Linux and openSUSE. I hope that means a little safer.

Thanks,
Tim

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#3 2015-02-17 03:04:50

jdonaghy
The Manatee Whisperer
Registered: 2014-03-12
Posts: 925

Re: Common sense and you, choosing a gnu/Linux distribution. :)

Whether this person is malicious..

Is this really a concern? I don't believe that people are malicious.


"If you can't control your peanut butter, you can't expect to control your life."
    --Bill Watterson

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#4 2015-02-17 06:04:58

intoCB
Scatweasel
Registered: 2012-10-25
Posts: 2,412

Re: Common sense and you, choosing a gnu/Linux distribution. :)

Nobody's perfect. There was never a perfect person around. You just have half-angel and half-devil in you.

There are people who will do you harm all over the internet and in meatspace, unfortunately. I think people should be given the benefit of the doubt but trust is something earned over time. Or get in the car to see those cute little puppies... It's up to you.

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#5 2015-02-17 06:12:16

chillicampari
Pinball Wizard
Registered: 2009-10-09
Posts: 2,728

Re: Common sense and you, choosing a gnu/Linux distribution. :)

^Agreed.

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#6 2015-02-17 08:53:17

pvsage
Internal Affairs
From: North Carolina
Registered: 2009-10-18
Posts: 13,970

Re: Common sense and you, choosing a gnu/Linux distribution. :)

Off-topic:  When I first read the thread title, I thought it said "Common sense and ew". lol

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#7 2015-02-17 13:03:23

spacex
ew
From: Norway
Registered: 2015-01-17
Posts: 385
Website

Re: Common sense and you, choosing a gnu/Linux distribution. :)

pvsage wrote:

Off-topic:  When I first read the thread title, I thought it said "Common sense and ew". lol

lol Me too...

Anyway, Cbiz got a point. But how boring would it be if we only should try the big trusted distros. I will much rather live a little dangerous and have some fun. Just never risk anything important. It's perfectly fine to try some untrusted software and iso's, but do it in a safe enviroment, or on a pc or device which contains nothing important. Install it to a old HDD, a old laptop or a usb-stick or something. Only when you find that you like it, and trust it, then and only then, let it in on your main computer.


Regards,
spacex/ew
http://tweaklinux.org

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#8 2015-02-17 15:25:39

CBizgreat!
#! Die Hard
Registered: 2011-07-27
Posts: 1,865

Re: Common sense and you, choosing a gnu/Linux distribution. :)

+1 all the responses already given about the existence of malicious people. Am not going to bother ranting about it though. Think just leaving it at yes, there's no shortage of malicious or MUCH WORSE in this world.

Not saying only stick to the biggies. Am trying to say do a bit of due diligence, be aware and use common sense. Lol not common-sense aka: Ew type of common sense. Another example I can remember and that was well into having learned about using gnu/nix. Installed Archbang one time and noted that out of the blue I could run all privileged commands without sudo, w/o having to enter my users PW. There's no way that just "happened". Hadn't edited visudo in any way that would've explained such behavior. Never bothered really looking into it either. Immediately shutdown, overwrote the install and got on w life.

Am not saying Archbang is malicious either. Just an experience I had and remember. Thought hey, that's odd ... I'm outta here. Some of the kickbuttest out of the box gnu/Linux could be one person show kinda deals, small community distro's. Personally like being closer to the source, source for me turned out to be Debian itself. Making a #! look alike config'ed to imitate the parts of #! I admire ... is not rocket science. Same pretty much goes for all the others too.

Though majority of people don't take that route, I didn't. Started w Linux Mint 10 and went from there. For me "there" meant was distro-hopping like a person possessed in 3-4wks. Felt like a dork even posting this topic. Seems like there's some oddball people closing in on the #! community at this time, so wanted to bring this topic to front of mind for whoever. Thanks for the positive feedback Ratcheer + others. Makes me feel like a bit less of a dork.

Which hey, LM is still a distro am fond of, kickbutt community, has 100% Debian based release and #! is kickbutt w a great community, even though much of what made it a great community left, shrugs. Which brings cbizcuit to a couple other helpful common sense tips for distro selection. It's not hard to tell which nixers in a community know what they're talking about and those who are clearly good people. So nothing wrong with asking cool/kickbutt nixers for recommends and stuff like searching a good nix community, which is a part of doing some basic homework thingy.

That's topic's been discussed endlessly in #!-forum-etc blahblah babble. big_smile


Vll! smile

Last edited by CBizgreat! (2015-02-17 15:28:28)


Some common cbiz abbreviations. This will save me time and yet @ same time tell folks what the babble is supposed to mean.

Vll ! = ( Viva la gnu/Linux !)    Vl#!! = ( Viva la #! !)    Last but not least, UD ... OD ! = ( Use Debian ... or die !) tongue

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#9 2015-02-17 16:28:22

AnInkedSoul
#! CrunchBanger
Registered: 2010-06-30
Posts: 232

Re: Common sense and you, choosing a gnu/Linux distribution. :)

I doubt you will find much maliciousness in free/open software as that is one of the many benefits of such.

That is also one reason to not use closed/non-free/propreitary software as you cannot verify what is/isn't going on.

While I certainly would not download any old iso image from some file sharing site I have no problem downloading and trying out most anything from someone who has gone to the trouble of paying for and registering a domain name.

But by all means be as cautious as you feel prudent

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#10 2015-02-17 20:55:19

arcum
#! Junkie
From: Belgium
Registered: 2013-06-11
Posts: 279
Website

Re: Common sense and you, choosing a gnu/Linux distribution. :)

AnInkedSoul wrote:

I have no problem downloading and trying out most anything from someone who has gone to the trouble of paying for and registering a domain name.

a domain name at it's cheapest cost you 5$ orso... hmk...  it all starts to make sense now...


playtime's over - shit just got real

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#11 2015-02-20 12:40:46

spacex
ew
From: Norway
Registered: 2015-01-17
Posts: 385
Website

Re: Common sense and you, choosing a gnu/Linux distribution. :)

arcum wrote:
AnInkedSoul wrote:

I have no problem downloading and trying out most anything from someone who has gone to the trouble of paying for and registering a domain name.

a domain name at it's cheapest cost you 5$ orso... hmk...  it all starts to make sense now...

What's the problem. If paranoid enough, then test anything 100% safely by installing it to a old laptop not connected to your network at all. What's the worst case scenario?


Regards,
spacex/ew
http://tweaklinux.org

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#12 2015-02-20 13:15:21

damo
#! gimpbanger
From: N51.5 W002.8 (mostly)
Registered: 2011-11-24
Posts: 5,434

Re: Common sense and you, choosing a gnu/Linux distribution. :)

spacex wrote:

.... What's the worst case scenario?

Your old WinXP installation gets borked ]:D


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#13 2015-02-21 11:00:21

spacex
ew
From: Norway
Registered: 2015-01-17
Posts: 385
Website

Re: Common sense and you, choosing a gnu/Linux distribution. :)

damo wrote:
spacex wrote:

.... What's the worst case scenario?

Your old WinXP installation gets borked ]:D

lol That would be no biggie. But to be 100% sure. Remove any harddisks, swith off your router. Put a blank usb-stick into the laptop, and install the untrusted distro to the stick. No risk at all.


Regards,
spacex/ew
http://tweaklinux.org

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