Open source software: Safe? Easy to configure?

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Open source software: Safe? Easy to configure?

Postby justdfy » Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:37 am

 Edit: Split from Apache OO OCR software for photographed text? -- MrProgrammer 2019-07-14 00:04 
On Linux, RoryOF?

I've known about those systems for years, but being in "isolated circumstances" with no mates to assist, I've taken the safe view of not changing to, or downloading and trying Ubuntu or any other linux open source system.

I've still got the Ubuntu shortcut on my desktop. Sort of my "living optimistically" attitood.

So, if you've the time, were I to download a complete Ubuntu or such software 'kit', how difficult would it be to set it up and run on it, instead of the aging and no-longer-updated Windows7. On the hopeful prospect that I'll still be doing my REALPolitik stuff online for any time beyond the next six months?

Perhaps my bigger question is, how safe is open source, for a low-level amateur user, who really has no safety, for being the focus of the big dicks of such as western spy nobs.

Passwords etc., are worthless if they want, as they do, to get in and mess with my laptop's junk. (The irony being my genetic connections to their ultimate masters in the elite dynasties. That again, presents all manner of 'difficulties', if and when I post radical anti-establishment diatribes, which they, rarely, can handle. They are I think told to protect me, but yeah, in a wild western world with off-the-chain nutjobs in every town, yeah?)

So are the open source Linux etc types of systems any less secure than the complex (hahaha, I know) Microsoft or Apple systems?

To that, I have attracted a lot of 'antipathy' from geeks high and low on the corporate pyramids, in my undiplomatic but straight-and-true REALPolitik (anti for-profit) posts against such as Silicone Valley and it's various excesses.

So with Open source and coding/programming especially in the commercial arenas, and with hackers-various being so popular, many with NO morals, or social consciences, will I be exposing myself even more than now if I try change from the mainstream Microsoft etc, systems?

Like, are the mainstream internet security packages, like Norton, or AVG, or, or, worth a cracker with the open source Ubuntu systems?

Also, yes, I expect these questions need be posted to another forum.

"Paranoid"? Me? Just a little, HEALTHY paranoia, in these types of matters.

Trust, is very hard to find in my 'business'.


(Apologies for the TMI.)
Last edited by MrProgrammer on Sun Jul 14, 2019 6:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Add link to original post
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Re: Open source software: Safe? Easy to configure?

Postby RoryOF » Sun Jul 14, 2019 8:29 am

A quick (and only lightly considered) answer. Linux, when correctly set up, can be more difficult for the "amateur" hacker to crack.

Changing to linux is a major paradigm shift - do not think it will be as simple as Windows for installation of programs, or that these will have the same level of sophistication and integration one with another as Windows. If you built or repaired your own computer and/or upgraded Windows from one version to another yourself, then you might have the mindset to tackle it. It will allow old hardware continue in use for many years - this computer was bought in 2008, and the laptop from which I replied earlier today to your OCR thread is mid 2006.

My immediate reaction to your query: if you have to ask the questions you did, then linux is not immediately for you.

I stress that this is _my_ reaction: others may have different advice. In the end, it all comes down to you, what you want to do, what amount of time you will give to it, and how prepared you are to work around any problems.
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Re: Open source software: Safe? Easy to configure?

Postby RusselB » Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:08 pm

If you want to try a linux based OS but are completely used to the Windows interface, I have a system that uses an interface almost identical to that of Windows 7/8 called Xandros. It can even be installed on most systems that I've encountered beside Windows and configured to be either the primary or secondary OS.
Your primary OS (if you have multiple) is the one used when your system powers up and there's no interaction to tell it to use the secondary OS.
Regretfully the link I have for Xandros appears to be down, so I won't provide it, but a Google search should get you more information.
FYI: The first version of Xandros I obtained came on 2 5 1/4" floppies. I still have the discs and a drive that will read them.
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Re: Open source software: Safe? Easy to configure?

Postby RoryOF » Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:46 pm

One important matter to stress is that Linux _does not_ run programs coded for Windows. One can usually find programs with similar functionality; these often have differences in the methods of usage which Windows users can find irritating.
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Re: Open source software: Safe? Easy to configure?

Postby esperantisto » Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:43 pm

Some programs coded for Windows can run in Linux via wine or Crossover.
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Re: Open source software: Safe? Easy to configure?

Postby Villeroy » Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:15 pm

Create an USB-stick with Ubuntu Linux. Boot from that stick. This will start up your computer with the operating system that is installed on the stick, leaving your hard disk completely untouched.
Plug in all yout devices (printers, monitors, everything you have). Test if they work. Notice that you do not even need any installation CD. 95% of devices do work without any intervention. The test system bootet from USB will be very slow but it allows you to test documents, movies, audio, keyboard, mouses, sounds etc. with that operating system being installed.
If <ou want it, install it and keep the old WIndows installation. It is by far easier than installing Windows on a blank computer and you can switch between Linux and Windows on every reboot.
The deal is this: You get a system with tons of free software pre-installed from the sources of your Linux distribution (Ubuntu for instance). The software is more or less maintained, does what it is supposed to do and comes from a trustworthy source. You can not easily install any software from other sources. For instance, you can not install OpenOffice easily, however there is a much better program pre-installed (libreoffice). You may miss your old media player but there are one or two media players pre-installed which are usable. Dozends of other media players are installable from the sources of your distribution (a kind of web shop like on your phone), but possibly you may not find the media player you preferred on Windows. Most likely you will find Firefox as the pre-installed web browser. You can install Chrome, Opera and some less known browsers but not Edge/Explorer since the blue "e" are Windows-only products.
Yes, Linux is much easier to intall and configure than Windows if you are willing to accept what you get. Before buying new hardware, you should gather some information about Linux compatibility. Before you install new software from third party sources, you should be a little bit more familiar with the system.
Please, edit this topic's initial post and add "[Solved]" to the subject line if your problem has been solved.
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Re: Open source software: Safe? Easy to configure?

Postby keme » Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:21 am

+1 to Villery's comments.

Also, with older hardware some things work better with linux. In other fields the optimising efforts of a tighter development team (Microsoft) gives better performance in MS Windows. Due to DRM strategies, Microsoft will not certify "high definition" drivers for A/V-hardware where the HW vendor has enabled development of open source (i.e. linux) drivers yielding HD quality.

As for the "healthy paranoia":
Microsoft is a business entity, within the jurisdiction of a national government (US in this case). They have a tight, carefully selected development team, and will publish little of their technology "under the hood". This is the nature of proprietary development.

Linux have a much looser organization with less restrictions on who is allowed to contribute. However, all contributions are open for peer review, worldwide, so any hostile coding, backdoors and inferior/insecure solutions are likely to be discovered within reasonable time. This is the nature of open source.

  • Microsoft have had some issues concerning privacy (NSA and backdoors) and hostile action towards competition (EEE strategy).
  • Linux does not get optimized drivers for the newest audio/video hardware (cf. DRM strategy I mentioned above), and there is no entity to sue if you have issues.
It is all up to you to decide who to trust. Myself, I am using Linux, MS Windows, Apple MacOS and BSDs, and install open source and proprietary applications, without worrying too much. Not much we mere users can do about core features anyway, so just use what is available and steer clear of the suspicious bits. Use whatever tool you see fit, for security as well as for getting the work done, and get on with your business, whatever that be.
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