Open Source

10 things you'll love about Ubuntu 10.04

Ubuntu 10.04 has greatly impressed Jack Wallen -- and he's happy to tell you why. Here's a rundown of enhancements in the stellar new release.

It's here: A shiny new release of the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution. But why should you care? You may not use Ubuntu -- or maybe you don't really know much about Linux at all. Well, here are 10 new or improved features that make Ubuntu 10.04 worth caring about.

Note: This article is also available as a PDF download.

[UPDATE: version number corrected throughout.]

1: GNOME 2.30

This is the final 2.x release before the major upgrade to 3. If you haven't seen what 3.0 is all about, I can promise you that you will either LOVE it or you will HATE it. But for those fans of GNOME, this is the last time you will see your beloved 2.x released in Ubuntu flavor. I have experienced 2.30 and it is fantastic. Is this new? Not really... but it marks the end of an era for GNOME that should be mentioned. GNOME 3 will be a graceful successor to GNOME 2.x. In fact, I can promise that GNOME 3 will succeed where KDE 4 failed -- in being a useful desktop upgrade right out of the starting gate.

2: HAL begone!

Ubuntu 10.04 has done away with HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) during the boot process. This means that 10-second boot time has finally arrived. I have tested this and have seen 10-second boot-ups, and they are a thing of beauty (if beauty can be measured in such ways). The removal of HAL also drastically speeds up resume-from-suspend times for those of you in laptop land.

3: Fully open source NVidia driver

This really speaks only to the purists out there, but as of 10.04, anyone using an NVidia graphics card can rest assured they are using a fully open source driver for it. No more having to rely on proprietary drivers (at least for NVidia cards). I have experienced these open source drivers and they work as well as their proprietary counterparts.

4: Social networking integration

From the main panel (top panel), you can instantly interact with social networking sites. This feature, called the MeMenu, is built upon the Gwibber framework (which itself has been rebuilt on top of the new desktopcouch backend). The MeMenu also supports multi-column view so that you can monitor more than one social network at a time.

5: Ubuntu One Music Store

Built into the Rythmbox Music Player, the Ubuntu One Music Store offers instant access to millions of songs you can purchase (a la iTunes). This falls with strategic perfection into the Ubuntu Software Center's ability to enable you to purchase commercial software right from the desktop. And did I mention these songs can be synced with all of your Ubuntu One-registered computers? Take that, iTunes!

6: Cloud computing

Is the cloud a buzzword or will it eventually overtake the computing world? Only time will tell. But with 10.04, at least that experience is made easier. The Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud Installer now supports auto-discovery of all UEC components (even if the controllers and Walrus are on different servers). This is a huge step forward in the cloud computing arena for sure.

7: KDE 4.4

10.04 is the first LTS release to contain KDE 4. And this version, 4.4.2, is the most useful, stable yet. If you have been waiting around for a release of KDE 4 that is actually USEABLE, this is it --a viable version of the KDE 4.x desktop that doesn't require a seemingly infinite amount of tweaking to gain any semblance of stability. KDE 4.4.2 is rock solid.

8: Ubuntu One iPhone apps

Canonical has released some Funambol-based mobile client applications. One such client is the Ubuntu One client for the iPhone. This lets you keep your files in sync between your Ubuntu machines and your mobile device. This is a paid-only service (with a 30-day trial for Ubuntu One members).

9: iPhone support

Speaking of iPhones... Ubuntu 10.04 has built-in iPhone support, allowing drag-and-drop capabilities in Rhythmbox. No longer do you need to hack-n-slash ifuse to try to get this system working (only to find it has totally hosed your music and downloads). Now you, your iPhone, Ubuntu, and Rhythmbox can happily drag and drop your way to music Nirvana (depending upon your tastes, of course).

10: MUCH improved sound control

Prior to 10.04, Ubuntu sound control was almost always hit or miss. You could control the volume from the panel applet and not much more. Now, however, you can control sound volume, input/output devices, and hardware all from one user-friendly location. And unlike previous versions, Pulse Audio comes with numerous improvements. Pulse Audio was one of the major misses in recent releases. It has now reached sufficient maturity so that people won't be begging for a coup.

Give it a try

As you can tell, I am fairly excited about the new release. When you get your hands on it, prepare to be WOWed. Then, come share your impressions with fellow TechRepublic members.

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

91 comments
fssalaska
fssalaska

I love Ubuntu 10.4 , I have call of duty 4 running with wine, and quick books running in virtual box !!! Feels so sweet to not have to need winblows anymore. The best version of Linux I have ever used ! Very user friendly O.S. even with out knowing a lot of bash commands. I had to unlock the root login just to set so promisson for my backup hard drive as I could not do it with bash.

bckerr
bckerr

Unfortunately, Ubuntu 10.4 won't even install on my PC. Every other version installed just fine, but for whatever reason, this version won't install at all. Not really a let down though, as the drivers for my ATI Radeon 4800 series is still not easy to install and using Adobe CS5 is a no go on Linux. Can't do Sony Vegas Pro either, so in the end it's a useless OS for me.

Hell_Engraged
Hell_Engraged

1, hate Gnome 2, removing HAL was stupid because it makes a of stuff incompatible like my video card. Which would be fine and good normally, but without HAL to say what type of video card it was on boot, it no longer can detect or use it. 3, woop-de-freaking-do. Open source drivers suck 11 times out of 10. 4, WRONG! You do not want this because it will slow you down. If you like this, you're messed in the bloody head. 5, Big deal, go to the global store, most of the bands most people want or have heard of... not there. Same if you go the the specialized store for your country IF YOU'RE LUCKY ENOUGH TO HAVE ONE. 6, Nope. Just nope. If you trust cloud computing fine. Don't force it on everyone though. 7, hate KDE. 8 and 9 should have been one point you throw out. You're mimicing Apple for gods sake, if you need that junk, throw your distro off a cliff NOW. 10, that is the one thing I can agree to. Nothing more.

PromptJock
PromptJock

How easy would it be to upgrade Kubuntu from 9.04 to 10.4? I've already had a bad upgrade experience going from 9.04 (Jaunty) to 9.10 (Karmic) - I LOST network connectivity after the "upgrade"! I really don't want to go through the whole "backup, format, load 10.4, reinstall" hassle if that's what it'll take to do the "upgrade".....

erniervx
erniervx

i had bad experience with k/ubuntu in my laptop kubuntu is very heavy..

sar10538
sar10538

It's developers did state that the initial release was not for primetime use. Unfortunately, him and his brother distros just jumped the stick and included it as the prime KDE, whith disastrous results. This was a big mistake but I suspect that it was being forced on the KDE developers as the release of the new desktop was taking a long time so they felt that something should go out there. It really should have been flagged beta until 4.2 when it finally made a fully workable desktop (I've used KDE as primary desktop from .0 to the latest so I know the issues). The move to 4 was very radical with the whole desktop being redesigned. This was always going to take quite a time to do and it's hardly surprising there were problems given that it really equates to a completely new 1.0 version of the software. I'm glad I stuck with it as it's fast and is low in resource demands. I run 10 desktops all with running apps and my system is very useable. Of course you need enough memory for this but that is a given. The inclusion of all the compositing and window effects have allowed it to move away from the ugly and resource hungry compiz system. It's a rich desktop that's easy to use, easy on the eyes, highly customisable and it is only getting better. I've always thought that visually gtk looks ugly and out of date, I don't know if the latest Gnome will get a facelift but that's only my opinion, no flames please.

Dr_Zinj
Dr_Zinj

We've heard the pros; now is seems like we need to hear the cons. And it's not constructive criticism unless you provide a better alternative.

bookkeeper
bookkeeper

First no OS will ever be perfect for everyone mostly it depends on how you use your computer. I used an 8.xx version on a standard verison an never had any problems and thats with duel boot with Win Xp. I truly plan to try this verison as well basically it fun to do. Again to each his or her own some like and some don,t same same with Windows. Signed Just an opinion

mshamatuli
mshamatuli

I am loving this one. I am an MCSE in the making, but just migrated/put ubuntu 10.4 on my laptop. I connect my windows server seamlessly thru term. services. wow!

Tea.Rollins
Tea.Rollins

I mean, linux doesn't really *do* anything with graphics hardware, short of shoehorning things into WINE. Even then, it's kind of a farcical impersonation of how things should performance. Let me know when they release direct x for linux so I'll have a reason to care about this point. Til then, it can happily live on my servers, dev machines and CentOS.

tkeller
tkeller

Wireless is still flaky for me on my Thinkpad. Works a little, then stops (but says it is connected). The last version was also flaky, and I was hopeful they would have ironed out the problems in 10.4. Alas, no. I spent hours and hours on the last version, perusing forums, trying offered 'fixes', with no success. With the amount of talk about wireless problems going on with the last version, I thought surely they would get a fix for this latest release. maybe next time. And, for the record, my wireless works rock-solid in win xp and in several other linux distros. So it is not a hardware issue.

donran
donran

Having made several attempts to install Ubuntu 10.04 in a Packard Bell Notebook PC with NVIDIA 128MB Graphics Card, 30GB hard drive, 1GB memory, 3.6GHz Intel Pentium 4 Processor, I failed to get it working. I have installed and used all other Ubuntu releases in the past without any problems. I have now gone back to Ubuntu 9.10, which works very well in the same Notebook PC. Ubuntu 9.10 boots up in approx. 20 secs and is an extremely stable version of Ubuntu I have used up to now. My view of Ubuntu 10.04 is that it requires a lot more participants to install and see how good and stable it is in their PCs. I have written to Ubuntu community and received many comments about the issues I had during the installation process and none of the comments helped me to resolve the problem.

Sepius
Sepius

I have always had difficulty with the mic inputs on the front and rear inputs on my machine. 10.04 has been the first out of box "Linux" that the recording works with no tweaking or modifying. Yup 10.04 is goooood ... yeah!

Jaqui
Jaqui

G.N.O.M.E. = Gnu's New Obsolete Moldy Environment. it was never designed for usability, not with that menu bar on the screen stupidity they stole from macos. KDE4.x is as useless as ever. it's an eye candy only change to KDE, and they don't want usability any more. as far as Ubuntu itself, until they fix their security flaw sudo config, they will remain 100% useless for anyone with 2 brain cells to rub together.

shodges119
shodges119

Spewing Garbage with not one technical fact about anything. I hate this and I hate that. If you ever ask yourself what qualifies as trolling blogs or boards. This is it folks... Read Below as posted above 1, hate Gnome 2, removing HAL was stupid because it makes a of stuff incompatible like my video card. Which would be fine and good normally, but without HAL to say what type of video card it was on boot, it no longer can detect or use it. 3, woop-de-freaking-do. Open source drivers suck 11 times out of 10. 4, WRONG! You do not want this because it will slow you down. If you like this, you're messed in the bloody head. 5, Big deal, go to the global store, most of the bands most people want or have heard of... not there. Same if you go the the specialized store for your country IF YOU'RE LUCKY ENOUGH TO HAVE ONE. 6, Nope. Just nope. If you trust cloud computing fine. Don't force it on everyone though. 7, hate KDE. 8 and 9 should have been one point you throw out. You're mimicing Apple for gods sake, if you need that junk, throw your distro off a cliff NOW. 10, that is the one thing I can agree to. Nothing more.

Brainstorms
Brainstorms

I tried on one machine to upgrade 9.10 to 10.04 -- and it "ate" my system. The result was unbootable. Disappointing for an LTS distro (to say the least). I've been in the habit of doing fresh installs for a long time. To make this easier, I keep my '/home' directory on a separate partition. (Actually, it's in an LVM partition which sits on top of a pair of RAID 1 drives -- easy to set up & administer). Also, since disk space is cheap, it's easy to define parallel partitions on these drives to hold two distros, one on each drive (9.10 and 10.04, in this case). I thereby avoid having to do a backup to upgrade. Just wipe the oldest distro and install the latest (i.e., keep 9.10 and install 10.04 in what was used for 9.04). After running a few scripts to add extra apps & do some customizing to the install, I reconnect the '/home' partition and I'm done -- the '/home' files don't need upgrading, so why re-install /home?? Keep it on a separate partition and you won't have to. And if something "doesn't work", then I can just reboot to the previous version (or boot to it to tinker with something in the current one that can't be done while it's booted). Low risk, low effort. The key is separate partitions.

hondafrank
hondafrank

My only complaint so far is after doing an upgrade I have a very weak wireless signal. I haven't looked into it in depth yet so I'm not sure what's wrong but before I upgraded I had a strong signal, same computer on any other OS gives me strong signal.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

used to require knowing how to interface with Novell NetWare. I can see the day when it will require a degree of Linux knowledge, especially Samba and other interconnection tools.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

But then, you where not really meaning to provide a valuable comment with your "but I can complain because it won't run my specialty software example."

tmcmulli
tmcmulli

I've been running WUBI on my work laptop for a while (XP before, now Win 7) primarily because I could never get the wireless to work correctly in a native install. It doesn't seem to sacrifice too much speed...

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Audio is one of those things I'd like to see get much more polish. Volume control inconsistency seems to be an area needing that polish.

ogoforth
ogoforth

Pretty strong, ridiculous opinion. Also notice your are unemployed. Is there a correlation?

ssj6akshat
ssj6akshat

You should use the CLI only or if that was for trolling,you sure did succeed

shodges119
shodges119

Please explain this to someone with well over 2 brain cells. I run XP, Windows 7 and Ubuntu 8.04, 9.10 and now 10.04 on several machines both at home and at a small business. I really don't see where Ubuntu's Sudo Config trumps the vulnerabilities on the XP and 7 boxes. Please explain why you think this one vulnerability, if you call it that trumps, all others. I can think of at least 10-15 vulnerabilities in the last year on Microsoft that are significantly more dangerous. Since no one with 2 brain cells operates as root or with persistant root/sudo rights I don't see it as an issue. Now that being said if you go into the Ubuntu User controls and grant your user account god like rights then yes you have a brain cell issue. Again I think I am just confused about the vulnerability you are refferring to. It would appear to me,that having the user that installs Windows as a default be an administrator all the time is much worse way of doing things. This is not the case with Ubuntu. Again I might be confused here.

Jaqui
Jaqui

meant he can't spell :D

tkeller
tkeller

Mine is also weak/intermittent. The developers seem to have done a great job in most areas, but wireless seems to be an issue for some hardware configurations. As you said, other OS's (such as many other Linux distros) do wireless just fine on the same hardware. If others work great, what prevents Ubuntu from doing the same? Canonical needs to take good, hard look at the problem referenced in the forums and figure out what the issue is. Until then, Ubuntu is a non-starter for me.

tkeller
tkeller

So installing Ubuntu as a file based install (versus partition or live CD) using WUBI somehow gets wireless to work reliably. Odd. Although it doesn't help at all if I'm trying to do a native install to move away from windows. :( I might give it a try. Thanks for that. :)

Jaqui
Jaqui

an ubuntu fanboi. sorry, if all you can do is throw insulting comments, leave, you aren't worth anyone's effort. prove my points wrong. here in this discussion. to bad you can't.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Among security folk, the sudo issue is a common complaint about Cononical and usually voiced in relation to discussion about how *buntu distributions focus too much on nebulous "user friendly" at the expense of good security. Granted, the difference between the comment and intended trolling may be very slim.

Jaqui
Jaqui

many website logins use any form of security for login purposes? 30%, maybe. and Ubuntu uses the end user password to access admin functions. the same password exposed by END USER using it to login on websites. that iis the critical flaw in Ubuntu's sudo config. they should REQUIRE a root password, not disable the root account, and sudo needs to require the root password to access admin function, not an END USER password.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I didn't see where Jaqui mentions Windows or states that Cononical's Sudo setup trumps all other vulnerabilities let alone across different OS platforms. My understanding was that Ubuntu does not generate a root account. The first user is given sudo rights to the entire system and may or may not confirm the user's password for each sudo request. Jaqui is probably talking in terms of Ubuntu compared to other *nix distributions where Sudo configuration is done more traditionally; assign sudo for comand/user combination only as needed, have a fully seporate root account, use su/sudo/gsudo/kdesudo as needed. (But I do have to agree, Windows has all kinds of housecleaning to do also.)

tkeller
tkeller

I'll have to double-check the wifi chipset. I could be mistaken in my recollection. With my luck, it could be a Broadcom...

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

That seems to be the poster-child brand name for wireless on Linux based systems. It does not bode well if they can't manage that but maybe it's some change in newer Atheros hardware.

pwarrenz3
pwarrenz3

I'll never, absolutely never order another laptop with a Broadcom device, and as soon as I can will be replacing the one I do have with the Intel one for mine. There are even constant dropping issues running Vista. Back to Ubuntu 10.04 Liked it while I had it setup, will return to it sometime in the future but need to adjust to Grub 2 first.

tkeller
tkeller

Atheros. I think that's it. Not sure of the exact model/revision of the chipset. (I'm at work, so I'm depending on memory)

Jeff Dickey
Jeff Dickey

If your laptop is degraded by a Broadcom wireless chip and it works AT ALL in Ubuntu, raucous cheering is in order. Broadcom's active hostility to Linux (and BSD Unix) is legendary. There have been at least two teams trying to do black-box implementations, and Ubuntu is one of only two current distros I've been able to get to wake that chip. Good luck.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Wubi creates a volume file which contains the distribution install though it remains bootable against the hardware. I'm not sure why the difference in NIC support then since your not running a guest OS through generic presentation of the host OS network card.

Alzie
Alzie

Wubi is a full Ubuntu install however it runs on a virtual disk. It doesn't run inside Windows but as an independent OS in a dual boot configuration. It allows you to save files to your drive and act like a normal OS would but requires no partitioning or formatting of hard drives. It isn't as fast as a regular install and some feel it is not as robust. It is nice for people who are either too afraid or too lazy (me) to partition a drive for an Ubuntu install. The other feature is that if you find you do not want to have Ubuntu on your computer you can use add/remove in windows to remove it and grub from your computer. As for playing nicer with wireless, I have no idea, but I have run into other quirks with linux distributions that seem to run fine from a live disc but give me fits when I install it.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I'm guessing blindly but I think he is booting win7 then using WUBI to run ubuntu as a windowed emulation inside Windows7. Ubuntu talks to emulated hardware NIC which talks to Windows7 which talks to physical NIC. I'm basing that gues on the "doesn't slow it down to much" bit suggesting the virutalization layer.

Jaqui
Jaqui

have you bothered to read the Article on Ubuntu I wrote? that's here on TR? obviously not. The flaws in Ubuntu are detailed in it, and Canonical based their "defaults" on something my 12 years with GNU/Linux has given me ZERO proof of, so a lie on their part. second, to bad you haven't yet gotten your one brain cell to recognize that I'm male.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

High download counts is an indication of popularity not quality. Popularity has never been a strong indication of quality either. Windows is the most popular software platform out there. Does that make it the best quality code available? Is it the most security conscious and hardened OS available because of it's popularity? Back on the *nix side, other distributions manage to be "user friendly" and "intuitive" (usually meaning "like Windows") without weakening the security mechanisms built into the OS.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

The point is that the security concerns with Ubuntu outweigh the benefits for the more security concious. In my case, why would I start with Ubuntu then go through the steps to harden it when I can simply choose a distribution with defaults better suited to my needs. I'll stick with the parent distribution and better defaults.

santeewelding
santeewelding

Was impersonal and obvious hyperbole. You tailor yours. Could be you are mortified and frightened that the secret of your one brain cell is out.

ogoforth
ogoforth

"as far as Ubuntu itself, until they fix their security flaw sudo config, they will remain 100% useless for anyone with 2 brain cells to rub together" The most downloaded and popular Linux distribution "100% useless"? Those that like it have less than 2 brain cells? Looks like you threw the first stone, princess.

ogoforth
ogoforth

Have been a member for years. Usually don't even comment on quotes like, "as far as Ubuntu itself, until they fix their security flaw sudo config, they will remain 100% useless for anyone with 2 brain cells to rub together". However, such ignorance simply distracted me. My point is... keep an open mind. Making statements like "100% useless" then insulting all those with a differing opinion suggesting they have less than 2 brain cells. Come on! Grow up! Put you nails away.

Jaqui
Jaqui

has only 3 days as a member. obviously doesn't bother even checking things out before jumping into the pool. he didn't notice it's got a fairly substantial school of barracuda in it. :D [ barracuda, the predatory fish that works in team effort when hunting. ]

santeewelding
santeewelding

His comment came from so low on the ladder of intellect I'm surprised you could see it from where you are. I'm unemployed, too; in that, I am not kept by a greater. He apparently is, and he apparently makes of that his place, unable to see higher.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Think I ran into similar with VNC which can be run as a system deamon but you end up in a seporate session from your user unless VNC deamon is started within the user session. RDP got me thinking in Windows world though as *nix remote desktop for me is ssh with X forwarding if I end up needing a GUI app off the remote system. SSH and cli is usually all I need though. I actually admin'd a remote Mandriva box with the ability to pop open draketools through SSH though Webmin does a great job also and ISPConfig if it's a webserver. With the virtual KVM on my servers, I'm spoiled a little too though. I wonder if there is some sort of a security basis for the lack of remote desktop or is the need for a logged in user session common to most of them.

Brainstorms
Brainstorms

..I should have made: When you install Ubuntu, and you create that first "required" account, you are given the option of a regular password-secured login or making it an auto-login account. By default, it will be password-protected -- but one mouse click will change that. I can agree with those who argue that the auto-login feature should NOT be offered when creating the first account, which necessarily has to have sudo privileges. That's a valid criticism, I think -- it tempts bad policy. But, as you say, what someone does with their own system to get instant gratification... ::shrug:: I have tried to configure for Remote Desktop (vino/vinagre) with the remote system booted but no one logged in, but could never seem to get it to work. Ubuntu seems to require an a priori logged-in GUI session; it won't create one on connection. (A successful connection gives you the already existing desktop, not a new one.)

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

My usage of "autologin" would mean the same as yours based on my use of tweakui, *nix scripting and such along with scripted logins modem terminal apps back in the day. I was simply suggesting a possible meaning which is why I included "but jaqui would have to clarify". "It's useful for systems that run unattended that need to reboot after a power fail, for example, to, say, allow a remote desktop" The remote desktop application should connect with or without a user session unless it's been installed by the user rather than a valid administrator. I guess programs come in all sorts of shapes and development qualities though. The instant gratification user is a different case though. The login doesn't take enough time to justify skipping but what one does with there own computer... I know the last time I scripted an autologin, it was for a minimal build potentially destined for media displays so it had to boot up, load the user session and kick off the display app. A bit of a cludge but worked as a proof of concept.

Brainstorms
Brainstorms

Auto-login refers to configuring Ubuntu so that as soon as it boots up, it will automatically log into an account you specify. (You will have 30 seconds to request a different account to log into instead.) It's useful for systems that run unattended that need to reboot after a power fail, for example, to, say, allow a remote desktop connection. I'm sure many (lazy) desktop users instead employ it to turn their PC into an "appliance". (Their choice...) But it must be done explicitly -- it takes several steps and isn't obvious. This is very different from the fact that the first user you are required to create on installation has enough privileges to use the 'sudo' command -- because 'root' doesn't get a password by default. That account can (and should) require password log-ins. But you have choices here. I always make my first account a 'maintenance' account, with privileges, and create user accounts that don't have admin privileges. Problem solved. One could just as easily create the account on installation, then give 'root' a password, then delete the first account. You achieve essentially the same goal -- only the second choice is viewed as being riskier, due to the ever-present temptation to log in as 'root' to a GUI desktop (and keep working there) -- commonly regarded as a no-no.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

"Autologin" may refer to the fact that the first user automatically get's root privaledge rather than having to do something special like a system where root and user are explicitly seporate accounts. I don't know if that is what was meant though so the intended meaning would have to be clarified by Jaqui.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Might be a confusion of terms, generally he knows his stuff.

Brainstorms
Brainstorms

Quoting Jaqui: weaken ubuntu security? you must be nuts! ubuntu's security is a joke. their setup has you effectively, running as administrator all the time. worse, they default to AUTOLOGIN to the "administrator" enabled account. ubuntu has zero security, and fails for wireless networking functionality more often than not.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Who said anything about autologin, aside from yourself of course?

Brainstorms
Brainstorms

They default to "requires a password to log in each time". You have to explicitly tell it that you want it to AUTOLOGIN to the initial account. Which, we both agree, is insecure and unwise. If there's a criticism, it's that they even offer this option during installation. If one needs such behavior, it's better to set up an unprivileged account, then allow that one to auto-login.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

a different password is hardly weakening security. I've never heard any security professional who's opinion I respect in that arena recommend Ubuntu's crippling of SU. Not one, ever... Seeing as one of the main attractions of linux for me is security, their opinion matters much more than those with other goals.

Jaqui
Jaqui

you must be nuts! ubuntu's security is a joke. their setup has you effectively, running as administrator all the time. worse, they default to AUTOLOGIN to the "administrator" enabled account. ubuntu has zero security, and fails for wireless networking functionality more often than not.

Brainstorms
Brainstorms

might be a good idea running on a public kiosk, but would you really find that level of security conducive to getting your work done in the office or at home? We all have our favorite distros (for one reason or another), and you can "tighten the screws" on pretty much any of them to harden security. Some may install out of the box with more restrictions than another -- and if you have root access, you can weaken any of them to suit your tastes. The consensus I've read about Ubuntu is that it installs out of the box with an appropriate set up regarding security. What the user does after that (knowingly) to weaken security is their business. I've never found it necessary to weaken it in order to make it more approachable. Anyone who's doing that might benefit from a bit of training or reading up on better ways to get things done. It's like having the freedom of driving a car versus riding the train. The train will only take you where the rails go -- and if that's where you want to go, fine. But having the greater freedom of driving has its benefits. And just because I *could* choose to commit infractions if I drive a car instead doesn't mean I'm condemned to do so.

ogoforth
ogoforth

1) Remove the network cable. 2) Turn of the WIFI card. 3) Disable Bluetooth 4) Disable USB ports 5) Never allow anyone other than you to use the machine. Now you machine is secure.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

a distro where it's set up properly in the first place..... If Ubuntu offers you enough in other areas to unf**k it, fair enough, not for me though. Where there's one security flaw to improve approachability, there's always another. Windows taught us that, did it not?

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

They compromised default linux security, so you didn't have to remember more than one password....

volto
volto

Just don't use your sudo password for any web apps. Isn't that common sense?

Brainstorms
Brainstorms

Anyone who uses their account name/password to log into websites should have their head examined -- and maybe deserves the security breach they're inviting. ALWAYS use a different name & password for websites, never your machine's values. As for Ubuntu, you CAN set a 'root' password if you insist. But I've never found it necessary. Here's how to add a layer of protection: When you install, create a "maintenance" account as your first account; it will have "admin" privileges, including the ability to run "sudo". Then make your normal user account a "Desktop" account -- with limited permissions; it will NOT be able to run "sudo". How then to do things from your user account? First "su" to the maintenance account, and THEN you can run "sudo". Tedious? Yes... But that was the point, wasn't it? Add another layer of password firewalling to get to 'root' privileges -- while at the same time having the added security of making it impossible to log in directly as 'root'.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Windows sacrificed security for 'usabilty' that by choice I'd always put it behind a 'nix box in prefrence. BSD is something I keep meaning to look at based on Chad's recomendation but I keep successfully not finding the time at home, and work wouldn't entertain non windows for a hot minute.

tbmay
tbmay

...it's actually quite secure if it's locked in a closet and has never been used. ;) Seriously. I agree. But it's simply not going to be my first choice in any internet facing server role. Hey, I'm an OpenBSD guy when it comes to security roles. I'm not completely unsympathetic to Jaqui's position. However, generally speaking we all have to compromise to get along with users at least well enough to keep our jobs. The fact of the matter is basically EVERY corporate desktop I see and have seen is Windows, with a Mac here and there. I encourage them to keep Windows machines because they have real jobs to do with real software that was written for Windows. I can't afford to be an OS evangelist so Ubuntu is not going to be on my clients desktops. But then again, neither is Slackware....just to reference a much more secure Linux distro. So I push hard-drive protection for the workstations as the primary defense against things such as malware. I make them aware of the risks associated with allowing many things on the

Jaqui
Jaqui

Ubuntu Server version uses same stupid configuration. and twits who would pick it would likely be stupid enough to use ubuntu, with it's default configuration, as a corporate desktop

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Just lakes a heck of a lot more effort than nix, Including Ubuntu...

tbmay
tbmay

Honestly, this is a broader issue of just who REALLY needs to be involved in system administration though. If someone has decided to run what supposed to be secure services on Ubuntu because it's easy, well, this is someone I wouldn't intentionally trust my secure data to. Sudo in and of itself isn't the problem. I've never tried to make Ubuntu any more than a Microsoft alternative though. And lets be honest. Using Microsoft and security in the same sentence is comedy.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

The appliance users Ubuntu is designed to appeal to wouldn't even know it was an issue to look at how simple it is to do. My own take, is that if security is deliberately crippled out of the box in one place, probably is in several others as well....

tbmay
tbmay

Ubuntu's not a good choice for servers anyway. It's an attempt provide an alternate desktop to non-unix people. It's pretty good for that purpose. If you want a root account it's VERY simple to activate it. This is not something to get bent out of shape over. If you're talking about setting up a secure server, use something else, I completely agree. Desktop?? Who cares. It's a pretty good way to get one up and going quickly.

Brainstorms
Brainstorms

..run root as a GUI. Mainly it would be done as a convenience, I suppose. There are some things that are quick & easy via a GUI tool; others are faster/easier from the command line. But if a file or directory is not accessible from your normal account for GUI use, you could just as easily make a temporary change in permissions on the file/directory (as root) to allow your normal GUI account to have access & editing ability -- and then change the permissions back when you're done. Of course, that leaves the possibility that you'll forget or you won't restore the permissions correctly. So just take care in how you do it and don't worry about whether you're doing it "the correct way or not". Then you won't have to care how it looks. At least you won't be running as "administrator" all the time -- which is the biggest risk, and a common one.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

as a GUI? There's a point in any bad idea where you just have to say f*** it, and start again instead of making serial attempts to make it look better than it is.

Brainstorms
Brainstorms

The difference is that it does not create a password for the 'root' account as other distros do. That heads off the temptations (and risk) of logging in as 'root' -- The Revealed Wisdom says that one should never run as 'root' using a GUI interface. But there is a 'root' account (there has to be); to access it, you can enter "sudo su -" and you will have effectively logged in as 'root' -- using a command line interface. Onesy-twosy admin commands are intended to be entered using "sudo" in a terminal to launch the command with 'root' privileges. Neither approach works if you need to run a GUI application with 'root' privileges, however -- there's no DISPLAY defined in these cases, so there's no way to open the GUI app's window. (Another protection mechanism.) Yet there is a way to meet this need, too: Press Alt-F2 to get a "Run.." dialog and precede the GUI app's command with "gksu", the GUI equivalent of "sudo".

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Advanced users should have no problem adjusting the defaults in Ubuntu. The problem is that the weaker default is delivered to users who do not know how to go correct the setting. As a result, we end up with another userbase with publicly accessible systems vulnerable by design.

shodges119
shodges119

The command is real simple to change it to a more native feel.

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