Security with updated Linux

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Security with updated Linux

Postby RichardKweskin » Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:29 pm

Hello Stuart

The information on the iplayer desktop link lists old and new Windows versions including Windows 7 which is the newest. However, the Linux distros listed are only old ones, SUSE 10.3 dates back to the autumn of 2007. The only reason I mention this is to say that most organisations, unfortunately, do not keep up with foss developments. The fact that Linux is very good and is constantly developed, often with a new edition every six months compared with commercial software like Apple or Microsoft's operating systems that take years seems to not be understood by the BBC and many other organisations around the world.

However, Stuart, let's come back to what you need and have already found that works for you. Any Linux distro can be tweaked to run light, even though the edition is this year's! If you have already found a way that SUSE works for you, then I am willing to help enpower you to follow it through. If, however, you have come to an impasse and prefer Lubuntu which is “light” out of the box, then that is alright too.

Addressing your brief, secure shopping/banking, implies an Internet connection and begs for the latest versions possible of all the software in question. Even using the latest version we find frequent updates to all the different bits, something popping up almost every day. The reason for this state of affairs is that (often) a great many people are behind the scenes constantly improving, fixing and “hardening” the security as well as adding or changing features.

Iplayer desktop, on the other hand, implies downloading when an Internet connection is available and then enjoying the programs when no longer connected. Do both of these need to be satisfied by the same computer?

Richard
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Re: Security with updated Linux

Postby stuart_c » Tue May 01, 2012 3:50 pm

RichardKweskin wrote:Hello Stuart

The information on the iplayer desktop link lists old and new Windows versions including Windows 7 which is the newest. However, the Linux distros listed are only old ones, SUSE 10.3 dates back to the autumn of 2007. The only reason I mention this is to say that most organisations, unfortunately, do not keep up with foss developments. The fact that Linux is very good and is constantly developed, often with a new edition every six months compared with commercial software like Apple or Microsoft's operating systems that take years seems to not be understood by the BBC and many other organisations around the world.

However, Stuart, let's come back to what you need and have already found that works for you. Any Linux distro can be tweaked to run light, even though the edition is this year's! If you have already found a way that SUSE works for you, then I am willing to help enpower you to follow it through. If, however, you have come to an impasse and prefer Lubuntu which is “light” out of the box, then that is alright too.

Addressing your brief, secure shopping/banking, implies an Internet connection and begs for the latest versions possible of all the software in question. Even using the latest version we find frequent updates to all the different bits, something popping up almost every day. The reason for this state of affairs is that (often) a great many people are behind the scenes constantly improving, fixing and “hardening” the security as well as adding or changing features.

Iplayer desktop, on the other hand, implies downloading when an Internet connection is available and then enjoying the programs when no longer connected. Do both of these need to be satisfied by the same computer?

Richard


Hello Richard,

Thanks, as ever, for your thoughts.

It has been suggested to me that the, rather brief, system recommendations by the BBC are rarely updated and may be a snapshot of compatible OS's rather than an exhaustive list.

Apparently the acid test is whether a distro is compatible with Adobe AIR, ie. version 1.x or 2.x, (not yet sure which). Adobe will not guarantee forward compatibility with successive distro's; but suggests that there are unlikely to be major issues:

http://blogs.adobe.com/flashplayer/2008/12/tips_on_resolving_application.html#otherdistros

They also provide a link to the list of specific libraries required; though as I say, I'm currently unsure whether I need to meet the requirements of AIR 1.x or 2.x, and being new to the platform as a whole, I'm not familiar with any of them.

I actually decided to hang fire with OpenSUSE. That just seemed like a starting point given that the earlier versions were mentioned, I had some SUSE literature and that was the top recommendation from that link I posted on the other thread. Lightness, however, is indeed the main criteria with my current spec's.

We did consider a dedicated STB for the catch-up TV; but since these only support streaming, it would be unsuitable in area with such slow broadband.

One desktop computer for these two objectives would indeed be the ideal. One boot volume would be preferable and, if there's any way Lubuntu would be compatible with AIR, I'd certainly give that a shot. Booting from different volumes would seem to be the next best thing.

There aren't any other light-weight distro's that stand out for me ATM. I think I posted the link I was sent about 'Chrome OS'. It is apparently Linux based, boots from USB and I understand the security of it's browser "sandbox" has yet to be breached; however, it would appear to be a "browser-come-OS" and lack "Persistence"/any way of installing anything, so I'm guessing it wouldn't be compatible with AIR.

Thanks again,


Stuart.
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Re: Security with updated Linux

Postby RichardKweskin » Fri May 11, 2012 11:00 am

stuart_c wrote:
I actually decided to hang fire with OpenSUSE. That just seemed like a starting point given that the earlier versions were mentioned, I had some SUSE literature and that was the top recommendation from that link I posted on the other thread. Lightness, however, is indeed the main criteria with my current spec's.

Stuart.


Hello again

Ok. Which version of OpenSUSE are you using?

Richard
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Postby johnhudson » Sat May 12, 2012 8:57 am

I downloaded get_iplayer to my /home partition where I run it as user 2½ years ago; I have never updated it as I have changed distro and it runs fine.
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Postby RichardKweskin » Mon May 28, 2012 7:22 pm

Hello again

Ok. It seems the bit about the BBC offline is sorted. So the other bit is to run an up to date linux to do online banking and such. If the SUSE you're using for the BBC is up to date, then let's look at that. If it is not then I recommend another pc or partition on which you install the latest version of some distro. You can use SUSE again if you are more comfortable with it. If there is a need to use a lighter desktop than what you are already using for the BBC, SUSE, like most distros offer a selection. I recommend the lxde desktop as it is both light and in active development.

If you can provide more specifics:

1 - What version of SUSE are you using with the BBC?
2 - What desktop (I think kde is a likely default) does it have?
3 - What are the specs for a pc to be used for online banking? Ram and cpu are the most vital to determine whether the latest SUSE with lxde is viable. The lxde together with certain other wise choices would lower the hardware requirements considerably.

Richard
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Re: Security with updated Linux

Postby stuart_c » Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:06 am

Hello Richard,

Sorry I have not been around here to update the thread for such a long time and also if my last post was perhaps ambiguous.

RichardKweskin wrote:
stuart_c wrote:
I actually decided to hang fire with OpenSUSE. That just seemed like a starting point given that the earlier versions were mentioned, I had some SUSE literature and that was the top recommendation from that link I posted on the other thread. Lightness, however, is indeed the main criteria with my current spec's.

Stuart.


Hello again

Ok. Which version of OpenSUSE are you using?

Richard


What I actually meant was since downloading OpenSUSE was my preferred option prior to consulting yourself and others and lighter distros such as Lubuntu have subsequently been recommended, I actually abandoned that idea at that stage, not least because I didn't have the disk space to install it fully and to "try" that distro by running it live requires more RAM than I have on any of my current PC's.

The only distro I'm aware of which I could have tried running live with 256mb is 'Puppy Linux' and I was advised at any early stage that this was unlikely to be supported by Adobe Air and therefore the official BBC s/w.

With regards to your original post, I have since picked up a 'Sling Box', (network television receiver), with which I will need to have a completely different PC of Pentium 4 class and an installation of Win2K+ on it, so I could no longer reasonably expect one Linux distro to run all my s/w of choice.

So I am now at the stage of reviewing my hardware, which would be the time to factor in a Linux distro. If Lubuntu could boot any of my PC's from an external HDD, I shall still consider this.

What I now need to find out is:

How do you know what s/w supports which distros?

If indeed the Linux distro is to be used for online banking, what is the further cost of installing Bitdefender on a single PC under Linux?

What role does "sandboxing" play in internet security and is this performed most effectively by the OS, the security s/w, the browser, or more than one of the above?

I am very grateful for your contributions since I last posted and will continue to be should you think of anything further.

Thanks again,


Stuart.
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