Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (714 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] small installation help
Linux Tyro said the following on 10/30/2011 10:28 PM:
On Mon, Oct 31, 2011 at 6:39 AM, James Knott <james.knott@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

If you want to learn, the best thing to do is get another computer that you
can experiment with, without worrying about breaking something. If
something doesn't work out, chalk it up as a "learning experience" and try

Sorry but I cannot do that, I have only one PC - dual booted with
Windows XP and Linux. My sis uses Windows XP and I try to use Linux
--> in my free time, where I work, I have no relation with Linux or
computers, in fact, I liked Linux and that's why try to see it, sit in
front of a Linux machine (even for as low as 2 mins!), just because I
am excited to see such a secured environment and the development. I
wonder why Windows people used and Linux was so uncommon that majority
of the world population followed Windows during the past eras,

I'm glad you're excited; you're following a great tradition.
Some of here pre-date Windows and can only attribute its popularity to
(a) massive marketing and (b) pandering to the lowest common
denominator, those unwilling to learn or experiment.

Linux can be secured, in fact the threshold for securing it is much
lower than for Windows and much easier than, for the results, than many
BigSystems - but that's way off topic for this list.

The operative word there is "CAN".

In an earlier posting I gave the example of how I secure /tmp by
mounting it so that various malware won't work. I mount /tmp with the
"noexec" and "nosetuid" flags. So if I get sent a PDF which, when I
open it, tries creating an executable, it won't be able to execute.
Its a simple setting but the benefit is great.

Of course no-one claims any single security feature is an absolute, and
there may be cases where a specific security feature impedes a specific
business need, just as there are fringe cases where a car seat belt is a
hindrance rather than a safety feature; but these are fringe situations,
not the common-place.

But for "learning experience", I would be happy to do experiments with
my current system only -->> after taking back-up and on holiday.

I look at it from the POV of economics.

A 'scratch' system from the Salvation Army thrift store, Goodwill or
whatever your local thrift store label is (?Oxfam?) may be $10-$25.
OK, so its not going to be a bleeding edge system. On the way to work
last month I saw my neighbour throwing out a 64-bit system because he
was upgrading to a quad-core system. Lots of people do that!

Keep your eyes open. This isn't a production system we're talking
about, just a scratch system to experiment with.

My local computer stores are selling 500GB drives for about $30, 4G of
DDR3 for about $20. (You can find DDR2 for about the same price on eBay).

What this boils down to is that for less than the price of tank of gas
for your car you can have a reasonable "scratch" system to experiment
with. If you don't drive, translate that cost into something else such
as evening out at the movies with pop and popcorn.

Economics is about cost and benefit. I keep harping back to this.
What return - benefit - are you getting for the expenditure of effort?

I continue to point out that the effort required to experiment with
adding partitions, not least under a LVM, is very low, and the benefit
of having the additional partitions, both tangible and as a learning
experience (such as the opportunity to experiment with, for example,
growing and shrinking file systems, creating different file systems in
the LVM and seeing how the same sets of files consume space and respond,
is now quite easy to do.

You may be a "Tyro", but I was one once and continue to be with the new
technologies that come out. Right now I'm learning about SystemD and
execdomains and Csets and Cgroups.

Don't let the people here who say "he's only a beginner" discourage you
from learning and experimenting. If you never venture out you will
never experience they joy and wonderment of learning.
People who are willing to rely on the government to keep them safe are
pretty much standing on Darwin's mat, pounding on the door, screaming,
"Take me, take me!"
-- Carl Jacobs
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