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Re: [school-discuss] Open Source CD distribution

Daniel Villarreal wrote:
>On one hand, it would be very convenient to have a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM
>of software to install. On the other hand, that collection will
>quickly become outdated. Look at how fast Mozilla/Firefox software is
>updated. For GNU/Linux platform, as long as the updates are pushed out
>to the respective repositories for the disribution in question,
>updating is trivial. Sometimes it's necessary to update software as
>quickly as possible for security reasons. Maybe a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM of
>software to install with links to the respective software website and
>instructions to check for updates would be in order?

As I mentioned, people with no Internet (or very slow access) often
get left out when it comes to Linux.  Links to websites would be about
as useful as trying to use a distribution's package manager via the
Internet.  If there's no Internet connection, there's no way to
download.  It also won't matter as much if the software is "outdated"
as long as it performs the needed functions.  Most security issues
these days are via a network or Internet connection.  A user with no
Internet access won't have to deal with as many security related
threats.  I've been reading up on security at sites like Wilders
Security Forums.  The consensus I've been finding is that the best
security measures for network/Internet are a good firewall and
sandboxing techniques when running applications.  (Interestingly
enough, Microsoft is moving towards incorporating sandboxing
techniques in Windows 7 and future versions of Windows with their
App-V technologies).  Please don't get me started on Open Source
antivirus protection.  So far, I've found it ineffective.  I find it
interesting that some Linux enthusiasts emphasize updating often to
deal with security threats.  Many BSD users I read about have servers
they've put up and don't update for years.  BSD is considered one of
the better operating systems for security and OpenBSD is well known
for its security.  If you sandbox programs that could potentially be
security risks or could be exploited by other software and make sure
any network/Internet connections are handled by secure software and
proper firewall setup, it should make a significant difference in
security.  Also, typically threats are designed to attack known
vulnerabilities.  If you run uncommon software, there's far less
chance that it'll have the exact same vulnerabilities and it can often
be be less prone to those types of attacks.
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