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Linux and firefox

By stugra65 ·
Is it possible to load linux as a second os on a computer to boot into and surf the web with a safer browser such as mozilla.
Would the combination of linux and mozilla mean the system would be less vulnerable to attacks which seem to be designed to exploit the flaws in windows and explorer.
Would the experience of the web be as good?
Is there a firewall with linux or any other protection it needs?
I undestand there are office type applications for loading on to linux. Can they open files created in microsoft applications and visa versa?

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by jmgarvin In reply to Linux and firefox

1) Yes. Linux can use Firefox/Mozilla and surf the web
2) The system is just as vulnerable if you surf as root, you must create a user account and surf from there.
3) Yes, many web pages display just fine. You can also install Flash to view Flash pages (just put the Flash files in the plugins directory of your browser)
4) Yes, Linux has a firewall (IPtables) and Fedora Core 3 has an easy to configure firewall (RH Lockit)
5) Open Office works in Linux and is very similar to MS Office. Abi Word is a great low footprint word processor. You can import/export file formats so that each app can read the format of the other.

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by jmgarvin In reply to

Good point...are you talking about dual boot or VMWare?

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by Jaqui In reply to Linux and firefox

no you cannot use a vmware hosted os to surf the internet.
a hosted os like that is locked from even accessing a cdrom
it is meant to protect the hosting os from damage by denying a virus in the hosted os access to the drive where it can replicate itself into other files.

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by K12Linux In reply to Linux and firefox

Yes you *can* surf the Internet from a VMware guest operating system as long as it is configured correctly. Also, technically, the first answer was correct that you are still vulnerable if you are running as root, however, there are very few attacks against linux systems vs Windows. In practice you probably will never see one. Still, don't run root and your risk is very minimal.

For secure surfing with Firefox on Linux, try one of the bootable CDs like Knoppix or Kubuntu live ( http://releases.ubuntu.com/kubuntu/hoary/ )

Not only do you not have to install or change anything on your computer, any virus or trojan will not be able to write anything to your hard drive. The down side is that if you want to save things (like your passwords, etc) you will have to save to a USB key or take other steps to keep the data from vanishing the moment you reboot your PC.

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by Luker In reply to Linux and firefox

Yes it is very possible to dual boot Linux and Windows. The trick is to partition your drive (or have a second harddisk) ahead of time. Install Windows first, then install Linux. Most of the Linux distributions will detect the Windows install and offer to add a line in the boot loader for that OS.
I have been running an exclusive Linux desktop for a few years now using Mozilla/Firefox and have yet to have any attacks affect my machine. I do have a firewall between myself and the internet and I do run Clam A/V antivirus to see if any compromises have occurred. So far nothing has attacked my workstation. There are a few vulnerabilities out there that could affect a Linux machine, however I do not log in with root privileges so the affect would be minimal if I was compromised.
There are a few web sites that will not load correctly, however they don't load well on a Windows machine running Firefox either. Adding plugins has been challenging, but not so difficult that an experienced user couldn't do it. Also, plugin vendors are recognizing the rise of use of Linux/Firefox and are responding by making it easier to add the plugins.
As mentioned above there is a builtin firewall that comes with the Linux kernel and GUI tools to configure it abound on most distributions.
I have used OpenOffice with great success on both Windows and Linux moving Word and Excel files back and forth.

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