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So, what if Linux won the war?

By Oz_Media ·
What if Linux won the OS battle, put MS out of business and MAC ran and hid under the bed? (shhhh, stop laughing)

Right now, as Linux has next to no market penetration at all, it isn't a target or virus writers and PC hackers/trackers. Therefore the big Linux boast is how secure and solid it is, like a rock.

However, being thrust into the market forefront, do people actually believe that Linux would remain stable and secure with open source code?

First of all, they'd HAVE to start boxing and selling retail versions as you wouldn't be able to trust downloads anymore; it would be far too easy to corrupt an install from a downloaded file, redirected website or sppofed link.

Secondly, the price would soar, packaging, delivery and marketing costs. That means they have to offer a value added service to such retail clients such as user support, warranty and exchange etc. Once again pushing up costs of boxed, safe product.

Of course to stop any black market resellers that would sell hacked copies, now they have to licence it, and again the cost goes up.

So now you have Linux sold just as Windows is, no cost benefit there anymore.

You have a system that is the market forefront and the target of hackers worldwide, security is reduced, thus requiring patches written by Joe's 16 year old son, David. (it is open source afterall, isn't that a key benefit?).
David's new patch opens up another area of exploit, reduces system stability and causes crashes (just to be fair we'll call that the Linux Screen Of Death (LSOD)).

People will then expect to be able to play games on it too, so yet ANOTHER third party extension is added for free download. That free download is not trustworthy unless from a secure server. So the company providing that download has to start charging for the LX12 gaming interface for Linux. LX12 costs $99.00.

I've already paid for a "safe" version, now I have to pay for a "safe" gaming interface too? Man, this Linux license stuff is a rip off!!!

By now, Windows has all but disappeared, owns less than 15% of the marketshare. People stop writing viruses for it and the few remaining developers just offer the code online to fellow Windows fans to work on and stabilize. Windows now becomes less bloated as there's simply no need for all the patches, add-ons, security updates, licencing etc., they decide to offer it for free.

TR is then filled with posts stating, "10 reasons why Windows is better than Linux", with such reasons as 1) It's free you don't have to pay for licences. 2) It is more stable 3) it has a smaller footprint 4)it is more intuitive and easier to use ....

So what would happen if Linux won the war?

Free, stable and untargeted OS for the world to use? Sure.

Linux fans are far better off just keeping their heads down, enjoying their private club and forgetting about LWD - Linux World Domination (Muwahahahahahaha ]:) ), it aint going to happen and if it did, you wouldn't like it anyway.

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I personally think it would fall appart

by Slayer_ In reply to So, what if Linux won the ...

If they tried to keep their current values in such a global OS. I don't think it would work too well. It would be too fragmented. With the small market share they have now, they have so so many distros that all do almost the same thing. Imagine if 6 billion people were using and building for it.


So I must completely agree with your theory on how it would turn out.

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Linux is not Windows

by j-mart In reply to So, what if Linux won the ...

Linux - the kernel is licensed under GPL completely different to the way Microsoft is licensed so your view of the implication of pirating does not apply its all a fantasy.

Increased % of Linux desktops would not be all at once and any commercialization would just be increased growth for those in the business at present, Red Hat Novel etc.

Unix and Linux, BSD, the Unix clones get their security through architecture and design, eg complete separation of user accounts from admin accounts, you need to crack root account to install viruses. Microsoft does not have have this feature and thus required a lot of bolt on extras to give it any level of security, any half decent IT pro should be able to get their head around this.

Long time Linux users choose Linux because it does a much better job of their computing requirements than the alternatives, so they use it, it's not a fashion statement, or a popularity contest, anyone can use whatever suits their purpose, the closed source, Microsoft world has made a living for, large numbers of IT, pro's ranging from the highly skilled to the hardly adequate, so any decline will not be sudden.

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"you need to crack root account to install viruses." Why?

by Slayer_ In reply to Linux is not Windows

Viruses are about stealing information, or damaging it. You don't need to be logged into root to delete all the files in your home folder, or to attach an addon to firefox to spy on you. Root permissions mean very little at all in a well constructed virus. Granted many viruses would be run once viruses, as without root you would not be able to specify start up items in any hidden places. But it only needs to run once.

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To run a virus or other malware

by j-mart In reply to "you need to crack root a ...

Has to have access to the hardware via the OS to do anything. No access to the machine it is just lines of code doing nothing. It has to have permission to run to do anything, no root permission no access.

Here's a challenge, you are in the programming business, write something that will run on a standard Linux system without root permission

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Why would it be so hard?

by Slayer_ In reply to To run a virus or other m ...

You don't need root to run programs, otherwise Linux would be the most worthless OS ever. Limited users can run programs installed by the admins. Limited users can also run anything they download. Maybe not install, but they can run it. There is nothing saying that you can't get one of those drive by viruses that use a vulnerability to run itself under the logged in users permissions. Under this users permissions, all the files you have, all your work, is exposed. Just because it cannot hurt the core OS is irrelevant. A virus could theoretically destroy everything that is important. AKA, your home folder.


I also haven't managed to keep a Linux system around/running long enough to bother to learn how to develop for it.

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To run

by j-mart In reply to Why would it be so hard?

A program needs to have executable permission and I'm certain if it was easy to do this someone would have done this, the Linux code is not full of security holes so more users does not make it less secure as the security is there because it has been designed to be secure with its basic architecture file system permissions and other designed in features.

there are 2 great myths that regularly appear in these forums, 1 security through obscurity of Linux, Nix OS's get their better security through design (if you think this is BS come up with an exploit) 2. the year of Linux, any increases Linux use will come gradually as it spreads out from niche's in the market where Linux is a better choice of OS

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Why would a program you download

by Slayer_ In reply to To run

not have you as owner and not with execute permissions?

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It's called faith

by Oz_Media In reply to Why would a program you d ...

It's a matter of faith, Linux users don't have a clue how quickly linux would be hit and hammered if it was more widely accepted.

They like to think that it would remain as it is today, yet on a grander scale, and that MS is just really stupid, hired the worst, stupidest technicians and engineers, when much better can be had form an online community. It's easy for them to capitalize on issues that are brought to light regarding MS's weaknesses, if teh same spotlight was on Linux it would be the same thing though, regardless of permissions, root access, footprint etc. They just assume that Linux wouldn't change as it grew into a multibillion dollar industry.

Good luck with that.

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It's a matter of design

by j-mart In reply to Why would a program you d ...

"Nix" type OS's right from the start have an architecture and design for operating in a multi-connected, multi-user environment, it is designed to be secure. If it is as simple as you say to infect it with destructive malware I'm certain somebody would be doing it. For a program to execute the system even if only a user on the system still need to be given permission from that particular system to run.

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I don't see how design can prevent it from deleting your home folder

by Slayer_ In reply to Why would a program you d ...

I don't see why a drive by website program couldn't just delete your home folder. Which would cause the most damage possible to anyone's computer... the loss of all your data.

And before you say it requires your permission, look up on TR about how addons can be used for malicious code from Firefox. It can be as simple as a Flash exploit that gains control of the file system at the user level and deletes your files. The core OS is still fine, but everything important to you, everything that makes your computer have a purpose, is gone. Poof.

And there is viruses for Linux based systems (Usually distro specific I've noticed), lots and lots of viruses, many have been unpatched for years. Just google them.

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