Debian Etch VS Windows Vista?

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Debian Etch VS Windows Vista?

Postby khelben1979 » 2008-05-11 22:36

What about the security in Debian nowadays? Is it possible for instance to have a more secure Debian system than a Windows Vista system? What do you people think?

Salespersons for Microsoft is saying today that Windows Vista is superior to Windows XP when it comes to it's inbuilt security but they didn't mention one word about Linux (source from TechWorld: http://techworld.idg.se/) so I'm wondering about the present security in Debian and what one can look forward to when the new version of Debian is going to be released.

I have gotten the impression that the Debian Developers always have prioritized the stability and the good quality of the distribution and I personally think that Etch is a good system, but can it compete with Vista? Debian has hundreds of developers what I have understood and Microsoft has... well, a lot.

Greetings!
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Postby muskrat » 2008-05-12 02:44

I believe etch could compete and bet a direct apples for apples comparison. But the problem is the tables are always tilted in favor of M$, they hold the supposed neutral in any comparison.
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Postby jackass » 2008-05-12 11:24

If I ran a multi-billion dollar company, I would blow smoke up people's a$$ to keep the cash coming in, too.

There is no comparison in security between Linux and Windows. Linux wins hands down due to the structure of the filesystem. ( to begin with ).

In answer to your question, Etch is far superior.
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Postby edbarx » 2008-05-12 11:40

In my case, I do not use Windows Vista and I don't even plan to use it because my hardware can barely support it! I don't want to waste my limited amount of money to buy new hardware just to be able to run a resource hungry OS. I am more than content with the security offered by Debian Etch. In fact, that was the primary reason why I stopped using MS Windows.

Although, a humble noob, securing Debian Etch was not a problem for me and I am sure, that many Debian Etch users, share the same opinion. All I had to do was to open BASH and run this command and "voila' it was done and it is still rock solid!" :D :D :D.
Code: Select all
aptitude install arno-iptables-firewall

With MS Windows there are many subtle commercial interests that make it more difficult to secure MS Windows. I am sure, MS has all the expertise to make a secure OS, however, there are other latent pressures to which MS must always respond.
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Postby IsaacKuo » 2008-05-12 12:55

The answers so far imply that Debian Etch is perhaps not as secure as Windows Vista, but that's simply not true. Debian Etch is the most secure Debian variant, and the (slightly) less secure Ubuntu won a recent three way contest between Mac, Vista, and Ubuntu in a security contest (Mac and Vista were broken into, Ubuntu wasn't).

The real question isn't "can Debian compete with Vista?" The question is still, "Can Windows catch up?" And really, the answer is no. The way Windows works, the system is only as secure as the weakest installed application, and Microsoft has no control whatsoever on any third party applications--and a criminally poor record of security on their own applications.
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Postby muskrat » 2008-05-12 13:32

The answers so far imply that Debian Etch is perhaps not as secure as Windows Vista,


Excuse Me!!!

You are answer #4, and we have all stated without a doudt that Debian is by far more secure than Vista. In fact Linux generic is by far more secure than any windows version just due to the nature of the system!
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Postby edbarx » 2008-05-13 05:55

edbarx wrote:I am more than content with the security offered by Debian Etch. In fact, that was the primary reason why I stopped using MS Windows.

The last sentence of my quote is clear enough: I switched from MS Windows for security reasons. Refer to the thread Securing Debian to confirm that security was what made me switch from Windows to Linux.
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Re: Debian Etch VS Windows Vista?

Postby kabniel » 2008-05-13 09:40

khelben1979 wrote:Salespersons for Microsoft is saying today that Windows Vista is superior to Windows XP when it comes to it's inbuilt security but they didn't mention one word about Linux (source from TechWorld: http://techworld.idg.se/)


..and today they have a story where researchers say that Vista is less secure than windows 2000 and 2003.
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Postby dannybuntu » 2008-06-08 05:57

My opinion is garbage but here it is anyways. Google Says Security Debian Etch is > Security Windows Vista for no apparent reason.

Oops forgot the link...
http://www.google.com/trends?q=debian+e ... dows+vista
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Postby khelben1979 » 2008-06-08 21:52

When it comes to security.. Windows Vista could be less secure than Debian or more secure than Debian. In my opinion and from what I know any operating system can be very insecure if it's badly configured.

But... if one compare a standard Windows Vista system VS a standard Debian Etch system, who wins?

I mean, Debian has always prioritized the security in the distribution in different ways and one of the things I'm thinking of right now is the way the Debian developers tackles Debian packages. Debian Etch aims at only using what has been classified as stable Linux packages in the distribution, and this is positive!

Windows Vista sure don't look attractive to me, b.t.w. I will continue on using XP and Debian on my other machine. I never have any problems with Debian, nowadays.
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Postby kiyo » 2008-06-10 16:46

Take a look at this article I found the other day:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/security/security_report_windows_vs_linux/

I found it fairly informative (assuming of course that it is accurate).
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Postby khelben1979 » 2008-06-10 17:07

Yes, but as the topic describes: Debian Etch VS Windows Vista and not Linux VS Windows. Linux VS Windows is surely a debate which goes on for an eternity, I think..

My intention by creating this thread was to focus on Debian and only Debian. How Debian has evolved in security compared to Vista.
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Postby IronRage » 2008-06-26 10:09

From my little understanding of Linux, it would appear that Linux in general is more secure than any Windows OS. Because of how it is designed. Now, if we could give Debian a $1Billion facelift...
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Postby Eck » 2008-06-28 16:57

Well, Windows doesn't come with anti-virus protection. The premise seems to be a default Vista vs. a default Debian Etch installation.

Go to a website with Vista and click a link that downloads a happy virus onto the system. The default Windows Defender provided would be happy to allow a lot of those. Boom! Infected.

Default Debian doesn't exist. Besides installing the Kernel and some basic administrative tools to get you going, there isn't even a browser installed unless you decide to. Likely (but not required), you allowed Debian Installer to access the internet but since nearly all virus's are Windows virus's even that won't hurt the system even with no activation of the iptables firewall. Until you install some sort of browser or somehow go seeking out something bad infection is impossible.

Once GNU utils, vendor applications, desktops, etc are added to your Debian installation (usually the same stuff as in other distributions with the exception of some hooks into the Debian administration and package management tools and fixes to the software provided by Debian maintainers), you are then open to any vulnerabilities that are generally the same as using the software in any Linux distribution. Debian has security maintainers that are constantly providing updates to close any vulnerabilities discovered. Much faster than the once a month Microsoft Patch Tuesday updates. Some Microsoft Windows vulnerabilities take months, years, never to get patched.

There really is no direct comparison between Debian's GNU/Linux distribution and Microsoft Windows since Debian software varies between every single installation.

And, a facelift? For what? The default wallpaper seen if you install the desktop task? KDE and Gnome are as released by KDE and Gnome. You want to give it a facelift then choose different themes and decorations. Change the taskbar size, colors, etc, etc. Put it somewhere else if you like. Debian doesn't do decorations, the users do.
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Postby khelben1979 » 2008-06-28 17:20

Linux should be as unsecure as Windows when it comes to anti-spyware in the sense that the browser could be hi-jacked and infected but I guess that spyware with trojans can't infect the operating system, is that right?

What about macro viruses which often circulates regarding MS Excel? Can Open Office get infected with these? Do you know anything about this?
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