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Correcting Common Linux Misconceptions?

Cliff posted more than 12 years ago | from the thou-shalt-not-fear-the-penguins dept.

Linux 44

abolishPenguinPhobia asks: "I am a teacher at a comm. college and was looking to install Linux on a couple machines for students to use. I figured since the students have to learn *nix anyway they might as well have access to some Linux machines. Anyhoo...I was told by the network administrator that the linux machines were not to be connected to the network for fear of viri, DoS attacks, and so on. My question for the /. community: Why do people fear Linux? It seems to me that people are misinformed that Linux is only a 'hackers' OS. How can we change this?" This is only one of the common Linux "myths", and there are several more where these came from. Is there a central clearing house of such myths and intelligent efforts at debunking them somewhere online?

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FOr EXample (-1)

TRoLLaXoR (181585) | more than 12 years ago | (#2727713)

Linux is gay? Well, that's not a misconception...

IT'S THE TRUTH.

d00d! (-1)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | more than 12 years ago | (#2727761)

you beet meee 2 the punch!

Re:FOr EXample (1)

deviantphil (543645) | more than 12 years ago | (#2752311)

Linux, Gay? Maybe you should look in the mirror my friend...

Never rub... (-1)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | more than 12 years ago | (#2727718)

...another man's rubarb.

The Linux Party-- Clearing Up Misconceptions (-1)

TRoLLaXoR (181585) | more than 12 years ago | (#2727726)

First, there was a plan: how to bring together the different development groups at work? My boss said there was a sort of tension he thought could be eased by some social interaction. Not easy. Almost all of the different development groups despised each other, each thinking its "art" was more important and eloquent than the others'. There was the kernel extension developer group, coding mostly in C and some PowerPC and x86 assembler. They worked on making our PCI board work with Linux, *BSD, Mac OS X, QNX, and Solaris. They worked "special hours," coming in at one and staying late, supposedly, until seven or eight at night. They enjoyed Jizz cola and had a penchant for ThinkGeek t-shirts and cracking jokes about Win32 API calls and the dreaded Blue Screen of Death. We had XML developers too. They worked on our website, documentation formatting, and simple apps to configure the driver software. They used HTML, XSL, JavaScript, and a bit of Java. They typically dressed casually, drank coffee and tea, and liked to work straight from the spec: no "Learn XSL in 30 Days" books were to be found in their cubicle farm. Then we had the guys who wrote full-out UNIX apps. These guys and the products they wrote had been acquired from another company, and were the source of most of the tension: they'd never really been integrated into our group except that they were physically present with the rest of us. They all had beards or mullets or long, unwashed hair. Many wore suspenders or the afore-mentioned ThinkGeek clothes; some even had Penguin tatooes or small C app code tattooed on them. Their cubicle farm was known for the bleating laughter that exploded when one of them found a "silly" bug on someone else's code, and for the rotten, fetid stench that could only be compared to three-day-old shit reeking from inside a rotting corpse's abdominal cavity. So, in order to get the guys to "know each other" my boss had asked me to organize a during-hours, alcohol-friendly party. My ideas ranged from a keg or two to live entertainment, AKA strippers. But as to what to get them to actually talk to each other in a human manner I had no clue. So I let it go til the last minute and decided to let my inherent creativity mull it over in the back of my head. When the day of the party had arrived, the catering company brought in a few trays of lunch meat, chicken, pizza, and side dishes, I had picked up the kegs (all four) from the local brewery, and the big-screen TV and DVD were set up ready to blast the Matrix into the eyes and ears of my co-workers. The eagerness in the the air was encouraging and I thought that loosening up and smiles going on even now were a good sign. I even saw some of the guys who'd known each other previously begin to bunch up, bringing along the co-workers they knew from everyday work. The first thing everyone did was hit the food line, loading up their plates and grabbing a cup for beer to wash it down with. A few approached me and thanked me for the food; it seems appeasing the belly really did tame the beast. After a few minutes of silence and eating and a few second and third courses, they guys were ready to sit down and be entertained. After asking if anyone needed anything else before the movie started, the lights went out and the Matrix began playing. I heard a few enthusiastic comments and jokes being told. About half-way through the movie I noticed a lot of the guys, especially from the UNIX app group, were getting up and presumably going to the restroom. No suprise, as the second keg was history by now and the third was probably half-way gone. I also noticed some of the guys bumping into things and stumbling. Alcohol's the social lubricant, eh? Well, not long after, my bladder beckoned and I answered. As I made my way to the restroom, I had a self-satisfied smile on my face: my little plan was working, my boss would be happy, and it might even a Christmas bonus or a promotion (even if in title only). Well, as soon as I pushed the restroom door open, I knew something was wrong. The smell of vomit was pretty strong and I hoped that it'd only been the work of one guy. But the smell was so pungent! After standing at the urinal, waiting for the golden flow to commence, I stood in silence. It was then that I heard grunting. Listening intently for a few seconds, I hoped whoever was upchucking their beer and munchies wasn't leaving a huge mess for the cleanup crew. After pissing and still hearing the noise, I approached the stall the that moaning was coming from. "Hey, you alright in there, man?" I asked cautiously. I was met by silence for a moment. Then I heard a few grunts and concealed giggles. Something was up in there. It was then that I heard what sounded like crying and more moaning. What the fuck? I decided I needed to see what was going on. I didn't want this party to come crashing down around my ears. I pushed the door open hard and then gasped as I saw the most sordid, disgusting thing I'd ever seen in my life. Standing on either side of the toilet were two if the UNIX app coders, their beards caked with vomit, their pants in puddles around ankles, with erect penises wagging in the air. Doubled over the toilet, his head nearly dunked in the swill, was one of the XML developers. His pants were also around his ankles and what appeared to be a combination of blood and semen were dripping from his torn, ragged anus. He was covered in vomit from head to toe, and he was crying hard into the toilet bowl, its echo an eerie accompaniment to the awful scene I was seeing but not believing. They two Linux coders slowly turned and looked me straight in the eye, evil grins smeared across both of their bearded faces. "What in Fuck's name are you doing!?" was all I could force out of my mouth. I still wasn't believing I was seeing this. Saying nothing, both of the Linux coders rushed me. Being in such a tense state, I threw both of them off and made a break for the door. And the fucking thing wouldn't open. In the follow two seconds that seemed like an eternity, the door was pushed open my way and two more Linux coders came in. Upon seeing what was happening, they immediately grabbed me and were joined by the first two. I was trapped. Then the one guy, who was a dead-ringer for Rasputin, the mad Russian monk, gazed into my eyes and said in a feminine voice, "Looks like Mr. Party is gonna get a taste of the real action!" and cackled insanely. Cold sweat spurted from the pores on my foreheads and cheeks as I was dragged by the four stinking, polluted hippies into the same stall their previous victim was in. Rasputin spoke again, excitement in his voice. "Thanks for the pizza and beer, now it's time for the weeners and buns!" Immediately the first two slogged their pants off and got down on their knees. The other two put there knees in my back and held me on top of the first victim, who now appeared to be unconscious. I heard their belts coming off and their zippers coming down, and some rustling around told me that their pants were coming down also. Then the first two started sucking off the other two, in what I could only call the most enthusiastic blowjobs I'd ever seen in my life. The moaning and slurping sounds turned my stomach and I retched. I could see why the first guy might have vomited. Eventually Rasputin and his cohort started moaning more loudly, and one of them said "fifteen seconds." This was followed by a series of rapid-fire belching and burping that shook me up and down on the guy underneath me. After about fifteen seconds, all Hell broke loose. The two guys behind me started vomiting on the two guys fellating them and I saw cumshot shoot and mix with the vomit all over the two cocksuckers' faces. It was then that I almost lost. I finally did refund when the first two vile fluids were followed by streams of piss. I heard swallowing and dripping and I yacked all over their first victim's head. Rasputin cried out like a little girl in ecstasy. "Oh god, I'd been waiting for that all night! This party fuckin' roxorz my coxor!" Now it was my turn, it seemed, as all four started tearing my pants down. Chunks of vomit-piss-semen fell on my back and soaked through my t-shirt. It was reviling. I shuddered as I felt their cold, clammy hands in my ass-crack and a very indelicate reacharound on my ball-sack. At this point I had no idea who was doing what, and I was just praying that I'd wake up and realize I was drunk and dreaming a la nightmare. Just then I heard the door boom open and my boss's voice fill the air. The stall door was open and he saw right away the turgid scene transpiring in front of him. His voice was immediately followed by two others, XML developers I knew, and they flew into the stall as best they could and began a fight to save my asshole. The poor guy underneath me had just woken up and started struggling and the extra weight of eight other bodies in the stall must have been suffocating. "It'll be all right, buddy," I offered to him. Within thirty seconds I was to my feet and was delivering the most heart-felt kicks to the guts of the rapist faggot Linux coders. Between me, my boss, and the two XML developers, we had the gang of four knocked out in a sloppy, excrement-filled pile of hairy body. It's now been a month since this horrible incident and I am in regular therapy with a sexual abuse counselor. In response to the terrible outcome of this party, my boss toyed with the idea of selling the group off to another company, sans the four hippies who'd been fired and arrested. After considerable urging on my part, and very open ear from my boss, the whole group was dissolved and the Linux coders lost their jobs. Their product was delayed by a year as my boss began hiring a new development team. We'd found evidence that the whole group had been involved in the planning of the gang-bangs and that had it not been for us everyone would have had a "turn" in the stalls. If there's one thing we learned from this tragedy is that Linux coders, users, and advocates are desperate cock-lusting homosexual faggots that can't be trusted in any situation, let alone a restroom setting. You've been warned. On the positive side, though, the whole incident brought solidarity between the other groups in the company and I am now on schedule to get a huge Christmas package that not only includes a gigantic bonus but a month's worth of paid time off and a real promotion.

Re:The Linux Party-- Clearing Up Misconceptions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2736938)

That was foul, but marvellous.

It's not entirely uncorrect (1)

gruntvald (22203) | more than 12 years ago | (#2727728)

So many distributions have left machines in a highly insecure state that they've gotten a bad reputation. The problem is significantly less now, but you'd have to come up with some "manufacturers" claims to back that up. Is the administration open to BSD? That may be a good alternative.

Re:It's not entirely uncorrect (1)

thegardner74 (457424) | more than 12 years ago | (#2727753)

Uh, that should be incorrect.

It all starts in the home (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2727731)

To clear away these myths we must first stop all these hackers from using Linux.

Secondly, we need to get haircuts.

And finally, RMS must be bathed.

Maybe he read a very informative article (1, Offtopic)

TheDarkRogue (245521) | more than 12 years ago | (#2727733)

8. Is your son obsessed with "Lunix"?

BSD, Lunix, Debian and Mandrake are all versions of an illegal hacker operation system, invented by a Soviet computer hacker named Linyos Torovoltos, before the Russians lost the Cold War. It is based on a program called "xenix", which was written by Microsoft for the US government. These programs are used by hackers to break into other people's computer systems to steal credit card numbers. They may also be used to break into people's stereos to steal their music, using the "mp3" program. Torovoltos is a notorious hacker, responsible for writing many hacker programs, such as "telnet", which is used by hackers to connect to machines on the internet without using a telephone.

Re:Maybe he read a very informative article (1)

theevil1 (262588) | more than 12 years ago | (#2729498)

in case you don't know, this was from a hilarious Adequacy.org [adequacy.org] article- highly recommended.

Re:Maybe he read a very informative article (1)

Howie (4244) | more than 12 years ago | (#2729831)

Actually, I think the huge thread of indignant rebuttals is funnier than the article itself, almost. Thanks for the link.

For their own protection... (2, Funny)

phamlen (304054) | more than 12 years ago | (#2727737)

I'm sure he was suggesting they stay off the network for their own protection. After all, there are a LOT of viruses on Windows networks - especially if you're running Office.

It's nice of him to try to keep the Linux boxes safe - but he shouldn't worry. They're strong enough to surive even in such a dangerous environment.

Reasoning? (4, Insightful)

JMZero (449047) | more than 12 years ago | (#2727747)

Was his fear based on Linux, or on the simple desire to limit the diversity of machines on the network. Security is easier to administrate when you limit yourself to a certain selection of OS's and products. He may even understand that Linux is typically very secure.

I know my company often denies requests like this not out of fear of something, but of fear of _another_ something.

Re:Reasoning? (1)

bapink01 (137229) | more than 12 years ago | (#2727960)

Hear, hear!
Computers (or anything else connected to a network) should be actively maintained by someone who knows what they are doing.
Of course the network admins would not want more port scanning eating at the bandwidth (or anything making their lives more difficult than it has to be).
Some orgs have a policy of disconnecting misbehaving computers and charging (interdepartmentally) for reconnection (AKA lart).

Re:Reasoning? (1)

dago (25724) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731004)

... but security is also better when you have multiple servers/OS/hardware architectures.

Security will not be better when every PCs are the same and use the same software, system administration will be easier.

Re:Reasoning? (2)

JMZero (449047) | more than 12 years ago | (#2732054)

Security is better with multiple servers, simply because there are some exploits that require multiple services on the same machine. I'm not sure why you think multiple OS/hardware setups will make things more secure. There's plenty of ISP's that had one Solaris install, and that was the machine that got broken by sadmind exploits a year ago. That doesn't mean the Solaris box was less secure than the NT machines in the rest of their building - it means that sys admin time/knowledge was focused on another architecture and this left a hole.

Security isn't necessarily going to be worse when you add a mix of systems. Security may get better, if you add a more secure box in place of a less secure one - and you have the resources to administer all the types of systems you have.

However, because it's harder to administer, there's good odds it will be less secure in the end.

THE LINUX PARTY (-1)

TRoLLaXoR (181585) | more than 12 years ago | (#2727760)

First, there was a plan: how to bring together the different development groups at work? My boss said there was a sort of tension he thought could be eased by some social interaction. Not easy. Almost all of the different development groups despised each other, each thinking its "art" was more important and eloquent than the others'.

There was the kernel extension developer group, coding mostly in C and some PowerPC and x86 assembler. They worked on making our PCI board work with Linux, *BSD, Mac OS X, QNX, and Solaris. They worked "special hours," coming in at one and staying late, supposedly, until seven or eight at night. They enjoyed Jizz cola and had a penchant for ThinkGeek t-shirts and cracking jokes about Win32 API calls and the dreaded Blue Screen of Death.

We had XML developers too. They worked on our website, documentation formatting, and simple apps to configure the driver software. They used HTML, XSL, JavaScript, and a bit of Java. They typically dressed casually, drank coffee and tea, and liked to work straight from the spec: no "Learn XSL in 30 Days" books were to be found in their cubicle farm.

Then we had the guys who wrote full-out UNIX apps. These guys and the products they wrote had been acquired from another company, and were the source of most of the tension: they'd never really been integrated into our group except that they were physically present with the rest of us. They all had beards or mullets or long, unwashed hair. Many wore suspenders or the afore-mentioned ThinkGeek clothes; some even had Penguin tatooes or small C app code tattooed on them. Their cubicle farm was known for the bleating laughter that exploded when one of them found a "silly" bug on someone else's code, and for the rotten, fetid stench that could only be compared to three-day-old shit reeking from inside a rotting corpse's abdominal cavity.

So, in order to get the guys to "know each other" my boss had asked me to organize a during-hours, alcohol-friendly party. My ideas ranged from a keg or two to live entertainment, AKA strippers. But as to what to get them to actually talk to each other in a human manner I had no clue. So I let it go til the last minute and decided to let my inherent creativity mull it over in the back of my head.

When the day of the party had arrived, the catering company brought in a few trays of lunch meat, chicken, pizza, and side dishes, I had picked up the kegs (all four) from the local brewery, and the big-screen TV and DVD were set up ready to blast the Matrix into the eyes and ears of my co-workers. The eagerness in the the air was encouraging and I thought that loosening up and smiles going on even now were a good sign. I even saw some of the guys who'd known each other previously begin to bunch up, bringing along the co-workers they knew from everyday work.

The first thing everyone did was hit the food line, loading up their plates and grabbing a cup for beer to wash it down with. A few approached me and thanked me for the food; it seems appeasing the belly really did tame the beast. After a few minutes of silence and eating and a few second and third courses, they guys were ready to sit down and be entertained. After asking if anyone needed anything else before the movie started, the lights went out and the Matrix began playing. I heard a few enthusiastic comments and jokes being told.

About half-way through the movie I noticed a lot of the guys, especially from the UNIX app group, were getting up and presumably going to the restroom. No suprise, as the second keg was history by now and the third was probably half-way gone. I also noticed some of the guys bumping into things and stumbling. Alcohol's the social lubricant, eh? Well, not long after, my bladder beckoned and I answered. As I made my way to the restroom, I had a self-satisfied smile on my face: my little plan was working, my boss would be happy, and it might even a Christmas bonus or a promotion (even if in title only).

Well, as soon as I pushed the restroom door open, I knew something was wrong. The smell of vomit was pretty strong and I hoped that it'd only been the work of one guy. But the smell was so pungent! After standing at the urinal, waiting for the golden flow to commence, I stood in silence. It was then that I heard grunting. Listening intently for a few seconds, I hoped whoever was upchucking their beer and munchies wasn't leaving a huge mess for the cleanup crew. After pissing and still hearing the noise, I approached the stall the that moaning was coming from.

"Hey, you alright in there, man?" I asked cautiously.

I was met by silence for a moment. Then I heard a few grunts and concealed giggles. Something was up in there. It was then that I heard what sounded like crying and more moaning. What the fuck? I decided I needed to see what was going on. I didn't want this party to come crashing down around my ears. I pushed the door open hard and then gasped as I saw the most sordid, disgusting thing I'd ever seen in my life.

Standing on either side of the toilet were two if the UNIX app coders, their beards caked with vomit, their pants in puddles around ankles, with erect penises wagging in the air. Doubled over the toilet, his head nearly dunked in the swill, was one of the XML developers. His pants were also around his ankles and what appeared to be a combination of blood and semen were dripping from his torn, ragged anus. He was covered in vomit from head to toe, and he was crying hard into the toilet bowl, its echo an eerie accompaniment to the awful scene I was seeing but not believing.

They two Linux coders slowly turned and looked me straight in the eye, evil grins smeared across both of their bearded faces.

"What in Fuck's name are you doing!?" was all I could force out of my mouth. I still wasn't believing I was seeing this.

Saying nothing, both of the Linux coders rushed me. Being in such a tense state, I threw both of them off and made a break for the door. And the fucking thing wouldn't open. In the follow two seconds that seemed like an eternity, the door was pushed open my way and two more Linux coders came in. Upon seeing what was happening, they immediately grabbed me and were joined by the first two. I was trapped. Then the one guy, who was a dead-ringer for Rasputin, the mad Russian monk, gazed into my eyes and said in a feminine voice, "Looks like Mr. Party is gonna get a taste of the real action!" and cackled insanely.

Cold sweat spurted from the pores on my foreheads and cheeks as I was dragged by the four stinking, polluted hippies into the same stall their previous victim was in. Rasputin spoke again, excitement in his voice.

"Thanks for the pizza and beer, now it's time for the weeners and buns!"

Immediately the first two slogged their pants off and got down on their knees. The other two put there knees in my back and held me on top of the first victim, who now appeared to be unconscious. I heard their belts coming off and their zippers coming down, and some rustling around told me that their pants were coming down also. Then the first two started sucking off the other two, in what I could only call the most enthusiastic blowjobs I'd ever seen in my life. The moaning and slurping sounds turned my stomach and I retched. I could see why the first guy might have vomited.

Eventually Rasputin and his cohort started moaning more loudly, and one of them said "fifteen seconds." This was followed by a series of rapid-fire belching and burping that shook me up and down on the guy underneath me. After about fifteen seconds, all Hell broke loose. The two guys behind me started vomiting on the two guys fellating them and I saw cumshot shoot and mix with the vomit all over the two cocksuckers' faces. It was then that I almost lost. I finally did refund when the first two vile fluids were followed by streams of piss. I heard swallowing and dripping and I yacked all over their first victim's head.

Rasputin cried out like a little girl in ecstasy. "Oh god, I'd been waiting for that all night! This party fuckin' roxorz my coxor!"

Now it was my turn, it seemed, as all four started tearing my pants down. Chunks of vomit-piss-semen fell on my back and soaked through my t-shirt. It was reviling. I shuddered as I felt their cold, clammy hands in my ass-crack and a very indelicate reacharound on my ball-sack. At this point I had no idea who was doing what, and I was just praying that I'd wake up and realize I was drunk and dreaming a la nightmare.

Just then I heard the door boom open and my boss's voice fill the air. The stall door was open and he saw right away the turgid scene transpiring in front of him. His voice was immediately followed by two others, XML developers I knew, and they flew into the stall as best they could and began a fight to save my asshole. The poor guy underneath me had just woken up and started struggling and the extra weight of eight other bodies in the stall must have been suffocating.

"It'll be all right, buddy," I offered to him.

Within thirty seconds I was to my feet and was delivering the most heart-felt kicks to the guts of the rapist faggot Linux coders. Between me, my boss, and the two XML developers, we had the gang of four knocked out in a sloppy, excrement-filled pile of hairy body.

It's now been a month since this horrible incident and I am in regular therapy with a sexual abuse counselor. In response to the terrible outcome of this party, my boss toyed with the idea of selling the group off to another company, sans the four hippies who'd been fired and arrested. After considerable urging on my part, and very open ear from my boss, the whole group was dissolved and the Linux coders lost their jobs. Their product was delayed by a year as my boss began hiring a new development team. We'd found evidence that the whole group had been involved in the planning of the gang-bangs and that had it not been for us everyone would have had a "turn" in the stalls.

If there's one thing we learned from this tragedy is that Linux coders, users, and advocates are desperate cock-lusting homosexual faggots that can't be trusted in any situation, let alone a restroom setting. You've been warned.

On the positive side, though, the whole incident brought solidarity between the other groups in the company and I am now on schedule to get a huge Christmas package that not only includes a gigantic bonus but a month's worth of paid time off and a real promotion.

78648765748969645345234565786970079645

Misconceptions? Here's my take: (1)

TeleoMan (529859) | more than 12 years ago | (#2727772)

Well, going out on a limb here, I sincerely do not mean this as a troll. I am both a user of Windows and Linux, and I don't lean zealously in either direction. But, if nothing else, at least with Windows there's a large company with financial interest behind it all. Sure, Windows sucks in lots of ways, but at least you won't find them generally working toward what customers want.

With Linux, it's a bit scarier. Not so much with the kernel as with desktop environments and applications. With WordPerfect for Linux, I felt like I was just being used as a pawn by Corel to get a foothold in a new market, and the quality of the software was secondary. Miguel, of Gnome fame, often sounds an overly idealistic college student. It makes me stop and think "Should I really be letting this guy determine the direction of the software my company uses?" Sure, you can pick and choose different products, but with Windows you don't have to. If you go with Windows 2000 or XP and Microsoft Office (or just Word) then you don't have to worry about making the wrong choice. There's often too much personal agenda behind open source software for Linux.



"Life simply cannot exist in the solar system" - Dan Quayle

Re:Misconceptions? Here's my take: (2, Interesting)

gi-tux (309771) | more than 12 years ago | (#2727930)

I disagree with your take. I use both Windows (unfortunately) and Linux (fortunately). I have less trouble deciding what to use on Linux than on Windows. With Windows I can't afford to make a mistake due to the cost of everything. When you are talking about spending several hundred dollars for Office versus one hundred dollars for Anyware 2.0 Desktop for Linux (from Vistasource) the decision is much easier. I can buy several different packages for Linux to find the parts that work for me.

I can even go find Star Office (from Sun), or KOffice (from KDE), or Gnome Office (from Gnome) for free.

And being a System Administrator for many years, I know how to secure a system, either a Linux/Unix system or a Windows system. Unfortunately neither Microsoft nor most of the Linux distributions (until recently) came very secure. Both have gotten a little better with recent releases. Unfortunately, it takes several years to get the older machine out of the loop. Given the fact that you can go to CompUSA or Best Buy or many other stores and get a new Linux distribution for under fifty dollars while a Microsoft OS will cost several hundred dollars, more folks are likely to upgrade their linux distributions. This doesn't totally fix security problems, but it does help get rid of some of the issues.

While there may be personal agenda behind some open source software, there is a much worse agenda (IMO) behind Microsoft. Have you tried to find a competitive office suite recently? What has happened to web browsers? Where are the email programs that used to be out there? What about development tools? It is beginning to be like a song I remember from way back when "I owe my soul to the company store".

Someone from Mircosoft once called Linux a virus, it seems to me that Microsoft is more of a virus as it is killing off everything else. At least with Linux you have choices. They may not all be good and they may not have all the features, but there is usually a choice.

Expensive = important, cheap = insecure: (1)

chanio (321367) | more than 12 years ago | (#2729818)

I doubt this preconception. But these times seem to believe that all is in perfection. Linux, in my case, is the land of hope. Where everything may come true anytime. Would someone think the same about Windows?

Somewhat true, but still is a myth (1)

topside420 (530370) | more than 12 years ago | (#2727801)

Depending on your definition of a 'hacker', your results will vary -- if you mean someone who loves learning how things work, Linux is perfect for those types. Linux simply gives more control to the user, not the other way around. This also gives more control to the admin of the system. With a good admin, you can have a good system, even with malicious users on the machine. Connecting a Linux box to a network poses no threats unless that network is unsecure. Of course, even secure systems can be broken into, but thats ussually through social engineering or newly found exploits in the target OS. Seems that the admin fears that hes got an unsecure network, and doesnt know what can/can't hurt it.

Re:Somewhat true, but still is a myth (2, Interesting)

gi-tux (309771) | more than 12 years ago | (#2728017)

Yes, the word 'hacker' is usually used when 'cracker' would be better. With a properly configured Linux/Unix machine, you can really restrict users. In the past, I have seen some that were locked down almost as tight as an IBM mainframe using RACF.

While the standard permissions set on Linux/Unix isn't as rich as the ACLs on some other OSes, the capabilities are much more versatile. For instance, most Unix systems have rsh (restricted shell) that will completely lock down the programs to which the user has access. With rsh as their shell, they can't even execute a command if they know the full path to it.

On most Unix systems, services can be locked down with limited access. On all Unix systems, services can easily be turned off. With no services running, you don't have to worry about being attacked nearly as much as you have no doors or windows (no pun intended).

Watch your $PATH (1)

LoonXTall (169249) | more than 12 years ago | (#2732414)

"With rsh as their shell, they can't even execute a command if they know the full path to it."

My community college set rksh to run with a path of /rbin, which gave access to random things like hostname, passwd, write, ls, and pine, but they didn't alter .login, so the final path ended up being /rbin:/home/$USER/bin, with the latter being user-writable. They used Win95 PCs to mimic the real world, so I used vim and the Explorer to write a shell script and set proper permissions on it; thanks to the magic #!, it ran the script unrestricted.

That exploit is still open. Too bad their policy wouldn't let people report holes without getting in trouble.

Linux Anywhere (1)

booradley215 (537044) | more than 12 years ago | (#2727811)

I've spent most of my career as a technician dual booting Linux and Winblows. I'd run linux if I could but many of the places I've worked seem to think about linux in the same fashion as these folks. They believe it is some special secret tool to destroy networks. I've had my network priveleges taken away from me at 3 previous jobs because I was running linux. Sux. But finally I'm in a job where they recognize the beauty of open source. Most times its because the Network Admin is terrified about something he/she doesn't know (this is the case in ALL my situations). Instead of reading up on it they just assume that you are attempting to corrupt the entire network (what kind of network admin blieves this sh*t anyway?)

Either he's a Bastard or a moron. (1, Funny)

azephrahel (193559) | more than 12 years ago | (#2727884)

My bet is, he's a Bastard.
Yea he could be moron and really belive that, but here the quetions:

Does anything get installed HW or SW that he doesnt approve? no=bastard, yes=moron.

Are all of the schools servers running windows? yes=probably moron.

Is he pissed about the servers running windows?
yes=he's OK, no=deffinately moron.

There's really only two ways to go, he's either protecting his territory, making sure no one encroaches, or he's a moron.

Ask Forgiveness, not Permission (1)

rossy (536408) | more than 12 years ago | (#2727931)

I grew up in a world where we had Linux/Unix before Windows. I would recommend a Mandrake install with High/Paranoid security setting. To me this is much tighter than the old Win95/98 do nothing password. I would set the systems up stand alone in a local subnet perhaps using IP Forwarding such as the Cable Modem HOWTO for a home network. Then either get a static IP from your IT folks for a WIN computer or run a DHCP client on the single node that connects through to your University LAN. (i.e. to make it easier for your IT people... have only ONE node tied to the IT network, and manage your subnetwork in your classroom yourself). My opinion of any WIN only sys admin type is VERY LOW. This would be the difference between an auto mechanic (Linux Sys admin), and the guy who does oil changes only at QuickLube (WIN sys admin). All fear of Linux is based on ignorance. It is truly a superior and more elegent solution and a MUCH better way to teach students how computers actually work, than the Win XX platform. I'm reminded of an Isacc Asimov story (I believe) where the main character actually read books and learn, and was an outcast because he didn't conform to the pre-programmed training syllabus of computer learning machines in use in his future world. Turns out this individual was recruited to the secret cadre' of people who wrote the computer learning packages at the end of the story. A Linux user can live in a Windows world and be successful, however a Windows user cannot do the same. -- Regards Ross

Might not be that easy. (2)

Remote (140616) | more than 12 years ago | (#2730283)

Ive been trying that for 2 weeks now. Not that our netadmin wont let me hook up a Linux box, just that the hub in our location is all taken up!

Hows this Win machine supposed to route packets? Win 9.x doesnt do that, I dont know about ME or XP.

Assumming he has a NT Workstation: how to find a subnet range that wouldnt conflict with the rest of the campus? How to tell other routers about the new subnet without the netadmins consent? And he would need at least Windows NT *Server* 4.0 to do DHCP relay to the small net.

Unless you know something I dont, in which case Id be more than happy to learn! ;)

Re:Might not be that easy. (2)

ninewands (105734) | more than 12 years ago | (#2730411)

Hows this Win machine supposed to route packets? Win 9.x doesnt do that, I dont know about ME or XP.

Beginning with Win98SE, there is an "Internet connection sharing" component available in Windows that is a crude version of a routed/NAT protocol.

Assumming he has a NT Workstation: how to find a subnet range that wouldnt conflict with the rest of the campus?
Assuming this network is a typical university network, all the machines probably use public IP addresses. Pick a subnet from those allocated for private networks (e.g. 192.168.*.*) and use NAT on the gateway.

How to tell other routers about the new subnet without the netadmins consent?

With NAT, all your admin will see is a single IP address ... that of the gateway box. The address translation will be done in that one machine.

This is basic TCP/IP networking.

Re:Might not be that easy. (2)

Remote (140616) | more than 12 years ago | (#2730606)

This is basic TCP/IP networking.

OK. Im not a network engineer, rather a do-it-yoursefer. Not that the netadmin wouldnt help me, hes fine, just that he is absurdly overloaded and I dont think its nice to ask him to spend any of his time so as I can browse in my Linux notebook because my NT machine swaps too much.

We have more than 30 LANs, all in a private address scheme. But now that you mention NAT, that shouldnt be a problem... Ill check tomorrow if the service is running.

But I just came accross this:

"IP addresses are not permitted to have the value 0 or -1 for any of the , , or fields (except in the special cases listed above [relating to broadcast or network addresses]). This implies that each of these fields will be at least two bits long." [RFC 1716, Almquist & Kastenholz, p.45]

In one of my early attempts I tried to sub-subnet and used 255.255.255.64 as a subnet mask. The NT machine didnt complain (no surprise) so I left it that way but I dindt pay much attention to the output of ifup in the notebook. That may be part of the problem.

Reasons (4, Funny)

uslinux.net (152591) | more than 12 years ago | (#2727965)

My old employer used to be the same way. They didn't want non-NT systems on their network because those systems allowed "too much control and access of the network and its resources". Essentially, they were afraid Linux was too powerful, and that users might be able to compromise an NT system by using a Linux system. Yes, as bizarre as it sounds, that was their reasoning. I suppose it was more than NT, as insecure, bug ridden, and exploit prone as it is was at least a known quantity - something they could patch the hell out of and continue on their way.


It's funny, you'd like gov't defense contractors dealing with classified information would WANT a more secure OS...

Re:Reasons (1)

nlaporte (116203) | more than 12 years ago | (#2735581)

My school told me the *exact* same thing when I asked about running Linux on my *personal* laptop. They said they had no way to stop me runing it at school, but if they caught me connecting it to the network that I would lose my network privileges. I asked why, and they said that they have "found that the only reason people want to use Linux on the network it to try to break in." It's a case of once-bitten, forever shy until the last syllable of recorded time.

Fear of student unix systems is not unrealistic (1)

sepulcrum (161180) | more than 12 years ago | (#2727972)

On the university where i study all students got access to a number of unix systems (SunOS not Linux) and what happend was a huge number of hack attacks from those machines. Simply because students downloaded DoS and other 'hacker' tools.

Also they installed things like eggdrop that drew attention from people on IRC. Because of all this miss-use these servers are now limited to internal university traffic.

In practise the network admin will be better of with some windows boxes that get their states restored after each reboot from an image. Give students anything more powerful and they can do a lot more damage.

Re:Fear of student unix systems is not unrealistic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2728139)

just firewall off all the ports on the boxes. thats the fault of the guy who set em up not the students. a simple ipchains or ipf preventing incoming connections woulda done it.

liars and scoundrels and idiots... (1)

aminorex (141494) | more than 12 years ago | (#2728088)

.. will always be with us. Let's just accept
them as such, and be sure to inform their bosses
that they are such, since otherwise they will
harm many other people. One day they may change.

Have you thought about a seperate network? (1, Interesting)

qurob (543434) | more than 12 years ago | (#2728096)

Some old PC's, a old hub, and some wires.

This way you can do anything you need to do, but, it won't affect the network at school.

He'll either come to understand, and let you play with the rest of the network, or he won't.

You win either way.

Fear of Viri and Dos Attacks ? Please! (1)

jcasey (264935) | more than 12 years ago | (#2728306)

Hello ? I am assuming that this admin thinks that his Microsoft based computers are less vulnerable to viruses and dos attacks ?

For one thing, because of the popularity of windows, windows bases systems are a prime platform for virus writers.

Windows products such as Outlook, Word and Excel have been a nightmare security wise - have we forgotten about the love bug & melissa ?

The biggest factor of all is the user who allows these malicous programs to run on their systems. Keep in mind that windows was designed for the less-sophisticated end user.

Install and forget (1)

naig (55196) | more than 12 years ago | (#2728423)

IMHO, one of the most dangerous myths out there is people thinking Linuxen as "install-and-forget" -type of solutions to eg. Windows securityholes. Linux installation, as any other operating system, needs constant administration and security auditting. With new serious holes like the recent one in wuftpd, this gets more and more meaning. This does not imply Linux being a 'hacker' OS, but it's security being as low as it's administrators recklessness.

Just ignore him (1)

SanLouBlues (245548) | more than 12 years ago | (#2728626)

Say they'll be dual boot or some similar hooey to get the ip's and whatever else you may need to connect these computers. If you get yelled at later, say you couldn't get the windows partition to work well, so you deleted it.

Common Linux Misconceptions: (4, Interesting)

Webmoth (75878) | more than 12 years ago | (#2729075)

Myth: Linux is a "hacker's OS"
Rebuttal: There are more well-known, well-*cough*-exploited security holes in *cough* Microsoft Windows *cough* than in any *nix. This makes it appear that *cough* hackers *cough* no, crackers, *cough* are more interested in cracking *cough* Microsoft Windows *cough* than Linux. (Please excuse my *cough* hacking, I have junk in my *cough* throat.)

Myth: Linux is hard to set up.
Rebuttal: No harder than setting up multiple simultaneous users and desktops under Windows 95.

Myth: Linux has no support.
Rebuttal: On the contrary, my Linux server is sitting on a concrete block as we speak. I set my Win2K server on the edge of my beanbag chair and it crashed immediately. On to the floor, I mean.

Myth: Linux is not ready for the desktop.
Rebuttal: In my new office, I will have a Linux box sitting on the floor on each side of me. A large sheet of plywood will lay across the tower cases, on which I will set my monitor and keyboard.

Myth: Linux is hard to use.
Rebuttal: Bicycles are hard to use, too, if you've never ridden one before. Windows probably was the first time you used it. It's just a matter of having patience, learning, trying, experimenting, and falling over a few times, getting up, dusting off, a couple of stiches here and there, you'll be good as new. And you'll have learned something.

Myth: I don't have time to learn Linux.
Rebuttal: You have time to wait for your Winows box to restart 10 times a day.

Myth: Most Linux advocates are zealots.
Rebuttal: All. (Just kidding)

Myth: The command shell is obsolete.
Rebuttal: The command shell is ugly. It's also extremely useful when you screw up your window manager or need to administer the system remotely. vi from the command line, you can change the configuration very much more efficiently than from a pretty window. You've also got access to every configuration parameter this way. Nothing beats the command shell for a quick connection to your mailserver to check your mail when you don't have time to wait for Outlook Express to open, download all your messages, render and display the HTML, ad nauseum.

Myth: Linux is hard to configure.
Rebuttal: Learn how to use a vi. In Linux, every option can be changed with a text editor. In Windows, you might get lucky in the Registry Editor -- if the option is there, if it's documented, etc.

Responding to the ignorant (2)

ninewands (105734) | more than 12 years ago | (#2730377)

...I was told by the network administrator that the linux machines were not to be connected to the network for fear of viri, DoS attacks, and so on.

There are over 15,000 viruses documented that are active in the Windows environment. I am only aware of two that can infect a Linux box, and the damage they can do is minimal if users aren't permitted to install executables in their $HOME directories. Linux boxen ARE popular targets for crackers because they have a fully implemented IP stack that allows forging packet headers for DoS attacks against other computers, but a little thought given to the job of locking the box down can prevent that. Of course, this particular "advantage" to cracking Linux boxes is going to disappear as the home version of Windows XP becomes more common, since Windows boxen are MUCH easier targets than ANY flavor of n*x is. As for the "and so one," all I can say is "etc."

Why do people fear Linux?

Because it's easier to say "No" than it is to learn something new.

It seems to me that people are misinformed that Linux is only a 'hackers' OS.

But, but, but ... this is true. Linux users eventually become hackers ... however, they almost always become white-hat hackers.

How can we change this?

Hit 'em with a clue-by-four? I don't know the answer to this ...

This is only one of the common Linux "myths", and there are several more where these came from. Is there a central clearing house of such myths and intelligent efforts at debunking them somewhere online?
Although the comments are really aimed at the embedded OS space, a lot of what was said in the responses by Lineo and LynuxWorks to Microsoft's white paper on the subject of Windows XP Embedded also applies to the desktop.

Here's a bright, although somewhat backwards way to subvert your admin's thinking process. Get a handful of PCs and install Linux on them, then connect them to the network through a Win2K box configured as a gateway. That way you can point out how the Win2K box is "protecting" (teeheeheehee) his network from those "renegade Linux boxen. I would submit to you that after about six months go by without ONE of the Linux boxes being cracked, he/she might have to develop a sudden appetite for crow.

Here's a suggestion (1)

DRACO- (175113) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731015)

Hit them with this idea. Get them to install your own line to the internet. If they say the costs are too prohivitive then tell them to allow you to get network access. They probably have an extra t1 around anyways.. they could probably just drop you a line to the linux lab.. and have you be the network admin for the linux lab.

I would also suggest making a gateway server or requesting them to give you a router to lock down offending ports. (good for shutting down port 80 during lectures)

DRACO-

My lab... (1)

Beowulf_Boy (239340) | more than 12 years ago | (#2731194)

My school got some used computers, and wanted me to setup them up with with windows for 2 labs. One lab needed it, because some of the computers already there had linux, but for the other lab, I got to use Linux.
Basically, I convinced the admin. by setting up Redhat and KDE, and showing it to him. First words out of his mouth where "That looks like a mac!" I said how would you like to save 250$ a computer on licenses? How would you like Word for free? How would you like almost everything for free? So, he let me set it up.
My lab is now running with 30 p1 200's with 32 megs of Ram, running Redhat 7.1 XFS +IceWM +netscape. They just use them for webbrowsing, which is a shame, BUT, hopefully by next year, they can see the beauty of it, and let me install KDE or Gnome and Openoffice or Applixware.
I made it impossible for them to turn them off without logging in as root, and impossible to logout of X, or just about anything. I can't waite to see if any get hacked.

...some compiled information (1)

tmontes (80312) | more than 12 years ago | (#2735731)


The New Linux Myth Dispeller [eruditum.org]

BTW: Google [google.com] is your friend...
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