is debian 8 arm as secure as debian 8 x86?

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is debian 8 arm as secure as debian 8 x86?

Postby hthi » 2017-05-13 15:30

It is said the arm http://en.t-firefly.com/en/firenow/Firefly_RK3399/ performance is comparable to some duo core x86 mainboards.

Are there differences on security if it is debian 8 arm or debian 8 x86? Software programs and packages are the same on both systems?
By design arm is not less secure than x86?
Does debian 8 arm provide full hdd encryption? Does debian 8 arm provide home folder encryption?
Thank you.
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Re: is debian 8 arm as secure as debian 8 x86?

Postby pylkko » 2017-05-15 09:52

Your questions are too vague to be answered very concretely. However:

  • The packages are almost identical but there are some small differences.
  • Yes you can do encryption.
  • It is impossible to say whether or not ARM is more secure or not than x86.
ARM does not manufacture any chips but only allows numerous manufactures to use the design to make ARM-based systems. As a result the amount of different ARM-based chips out there is massive. Not only that, but there are many different versions of ARM. (hardfloat supporting/not/32bit/64bit/there families Coretex A, R and M and so on). They are often combined with other processors. Because of this, it is not possible to make a general level claim that one or the other architecture is more "secure" than the other. Besides, the vast majority of security issues do not relate to what processor architecture is running the software but rather stem from problems relating to how the software was designed or configured.

When you want to know whether or not a package is supported for the device on Debian, look at the packages web database. For example:
https://packages.debian.org/jessie/ecryptfs-utils

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the architecture you are using. I'm guess that machine would use arm64 and possibly be "backward compatible" with armhf. There you can see if the package exists in that arch and what version it is.

If you ever encouter a package that does not exist, you can still compile for it on a x86 machine using a cross-compiler

You can also install Debian arm64 on a virtual machine to check it out before making a decision. I have run Debian armf on qemu and it worked ok.
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Re: is debian 8 arm as secure as debian 8 x86?

Postby hthi » 2017-05-15 14:57

Thank you. It was a general inquiry.
If people can go from x86 desktops to arm desktops and security stays the same?
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Re: is debian 8 arm as secure as debian 8 x86?

Postby pylkko » 2017-05-15 17:13

I think for all-purpose everyday desktop usage there is no difference wrt to security if we compare an Intel dual2core and that board that you linked.
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