Need guidance - Questions

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Thread: Need guidance

  1. Need guidance

    OK, the latest critical MS security patch has me baffled as
    to why I bother with their OS. Please help me find some answers to my
    own additional FAQ questions for their 28th Sec Bull of the year.

    23. Which Linux distro should I start with if I'm a newbie to
    it, but have been in IT for 15+ years?

    24. How do I know what hardware to put this Linux distro with
    if I'm building a new system?

    25. How do I build a completely MS-free, Linux-based system
    that even my technophobe wife (who may freak if it doesn't
    look exactly like our old MS system) can use?

    26. Is Linux any better, since I'll have to depend on several
    distros and/or word of mouth to get bug/security fixes for
    it, as opposed to one company like MS?

    If there's a better forum for these Q's please let me know.
    Thanx in advance,
    Robb


  2. Re: Need guidance

    In article , Robb wrote:
    >OK, the latest critical MS security patch has me baffled as
    >to why I bother with their OS.


    Can't help there - I haven't used windoze since 1992.

    >23. Which Linux distro should I start with if I'm a newbie to
    >it, but have been in IT for 15+ years?


    Got any friends using Linux? Use the one they do. Incidentally, that
    also applies if your friends are using {Open|Free|Net}BSD. That way,
    you have someone you can talk to. Also check to see if there are some
    Linux User Groups in your area. Same reason.

    Don't have a friend or usergroup? OK - what flavor of ice cream do
    you like? Favorite car or truck? Favorite cola or beer? Obviously,
    you know the best one of those, right? Does everyone agree with your
    choices? ;-) Try a site like distrowatch, sunsite (now called
    ibiblio.org) or the Linux Documentation Project.

    http://www.rodsbooks.com/distribs/ Rod Smith compares distributions
    http://www.DistroWatch.com/
    http://ibiblio.org/pub/Linux/distributions/
    http://en.tldp.org/

    Used to was. people were told to go to a GPL CD house like linuxmall,
    lsl, or cheapbytes, and get what was called a sampler or six pack.
    This was four to seven different distributions on a bunch of CDs and
    cost about $2 a CD. The documentation you needed was on each of the
    CDs. We've sorta gotten away from that (though you can still do it)
    because the distributions have gotten so large (7 CDs is not unusual)
    and the printed documentation is generally more usable. But the reason
    for the suggestion was so that _you_ could make up your _own_ mind.

    >24. How do I know what hardware to put this Linux distro with
    >if I'm building a new system?


    If you don't like to read, you're going to have problems. An important
    source of information is the HOWTOs - there are nearly 490 of them at
    this time. If you like numbers, there are 3.9 million words, on the
    equivalent of roughly 10,900 pages of text, just in the HOWTOs alone.
    http://en.tldp.org/HOWTO/HOWTO-INDEX/howtos.html

    279483 Sep 10 15:49 HOWTO-INDEX

    The Hardware-HOWTO is a good place to start, as is the
    Pre-Installation-Checklist, Install-Strategies, and Installation-HOWTO.
    There are also a number of books to be had from the LDP. Start at
    http://tldp.org/guides.html

    >25. How do I build a completely MS-free, Linux-based system
    >that even my technophobe wife (who may freak if it doesn't
    >look exactly like our old MS system) can use?


    A number of modern distributions can be set to look a lot like windize.
    See the web pages above.

    >26. Is Linux any better, since I'll have to depend on several
    >distros and/or word of mouth to get bug/security fixes for
    >it, as opposed to one company like MS?


    That's getting near advocacy, and a lot of us really do try to steer
    clear of that. Most of the popular distributions (Mandrake and SuSE
    are likely to be interesting to you, and are good examples) have
    easily accessed errata - in some cases almost being automatic. I'm
    an old f4rt, and I prefer manual operation - but it's up to you.
    Were you following the Bugtraq (or NTBugtraq) mailing list? You were
    able to find out about windoze problems there. Guess what. Bugtraq
    also covers Linux.

    >If there's a better forum for these Q's please let me know.


    Well, seeing as how this isn't an official newsgroup (and isn't carried
    by many news servers), yeah, you should start lurking in the main
    groups, From the "List of Big Eight Newsgroups" posted on th 15th of
    every month to news.announce.newgroups, news.groups, and news.lists.misc:

    comp.os.linux.advocacy Benefits of Linux compared to other operating systems.
    comp.os.linux.alpha Linux on Digital Alpha machines.
    comp.os.linux.announce Announcements important to the Linux community.
    (Moderated)
    comp.os.linux.answers FAQs, How-To's, READMEs, etc. about Linux. (Moderated)
    comp.os.linux.development.apps Writing Linux applications, porting to Linux.
    comp.os.linux.development.system Linux kernels, device drivers, modules.
    comp.os.linux.embedded Linux operating system on embedded hardware.
    comp.os.linux.hardware Hardware compatibility with the Linux operating system.
    comp.os.linux.m68k Linux operating system on 680x0 Amiga, Atari, VME.
    comp.os.linux.misc Linux-specific topics not covered by other groups.
    comp.os.linux.networking Networking and communications under Linux.
    comp.os.linux.portable Linux OS on portable PCs.
    comp.os.linux.powerpc Linux systems running on PowerPC microprocessors.
    comp.os.linux.security Security and the GNU/Linux Operating System.
    comp.os.linux.setup Linux installation and system administration.
    comp.os.linux.x Linux X Window System servers, clients, libs and fonts.

    Old guy


  3. Re: Need guidance

    in ci8u6h$j1v@odah37.prod.google.com Robb posted:

    > OK, the latest critical MS security patch has me baffled as
    > to why I bother with their OS. Please help me find some answers to my
    > own additional FAQ questions for their 28th Sec Bull of the year.
    >
    > 23. Which Linux distro should I start with if I'm a newbie to
    > it, but have been in IT for 15+ years?
    >


    If you have a Windows machine and want to try Linux I suggest either a
    bootable CD or a distro that installs on a FAT32 partition, like
    DragonLinux. Either way will allow you to get the feel of the OS without
    having to repartition your hard drive.

    > 24. How do I know what hardware to put this Linux distro with
    > if I'm building a new system?
    >


    Just about every Linux distro can be scaled to run on most any hardware.
    If you have plenty of ram and HD space go with the fancier GUI packages.
    If you are using old hardware to try Linux on, go with a lighter windows
    manager like blackbox. You have the choice of what and how much to load
    at install with most distros.

    > 25. How do I build a completely MS-free, Linux-based system
    > that even my technophobe wife (who may freak if it doesn't
    > look exactly like our old MS system) can use?
    >


    You can set the system to boot into GUI mode. It comes up with a
    graphical user login and then gives each user the desktop style they
    like. There is even a windows manager that tries to look as much like a
    MSWindows desktop as possible.

    > 26. Is Linux any better, since I'll have to depend on several
    > distros and/or word of mouth to get bug/security fixes for
    > it, as opposed to one company like MS?
    >


    Here we go again...
    Bug fixes for MSWindows will often have to do with vulnerabilities that
    compromise the whole system while doing everyday tasks, such as browsing
    the internet, or reading email. With the interconnectivity of all the MS
    programs the exploits, once installed, have the keys to the system.

    Bug fixes in Linux are usually for usability of a particular program. If
    the problem is an exploit, you have to have that program (from among
    many others) installed and usually configured a particular way for the
    computer to be compromised. Also, the exploit must often be used from
    the keyboard, or require some other lack of security on the machine.
    Many descriptions of Linux problems state that they allow a user to run
    this or that malicious code. "User" implies that the malicious intruder
    already has a login name and password for the machine, or that they have
    physical access to it. There are actually very few "remote" exploits for
    Linux compared to MSWindows. Most of those remote exploits are easily
    guarded against with basic security protocols.

    As for getting the fixes or updates... I run Slackware on my server and
    a laptop. I use swaret to periodically check for updates. It's an
    automated package handling system that makes installing, updating, or
    uninstalling a breeze.

    I simply run -

    swaret --update
    swaret --upgrade

    - and all my installed packages are current.

    > If there's a better forum for these Q's please let me know.
    > Thanx in advance,
    > Robb

    --
    Stephen S.
    -------------------------




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