Secure Distros and Top Desktops

by Ostatic Staff - Nov. 13, 2014

Today in Linux news posted a comparison of security distributions Tails, Kali, and Qubes. Elsewhere, Government Computer News has some tips for migrating to Open Source. Rob Zwetsloot looks at popular desktops and Michael Larabel reports that Ubuntu is phasing out 32-bit support.

Thorin Klosowski has published "the strengths and weaknesses of Tails, Kali, and Qubes." He says Tails keeps your data secure by using Tor but it's slow and really slow. Kali is more for penetration testing and Klosowski says it's easy to use but is missing crypto tools. "Qubes assumes that there can't be a truly secure operating system, so instead it runs everything inside of virtual machines." Klosowski says while it is still susceptible your underlying system is safer. See the full article for lots more.

Rob Zwetsloot at Linux User & Developer tested four popular desktops today, on their way to the top 10. Today they looked at KDE, GNOME, Unity, and Cinnamon. Zwetsloot wrote that KDE is best for "home leisure" users and, while very pretty, Plasma 5 is still a bit buggy. He said GNOME is best for developers or those with touchscreens and seems to be aiming for "simplicity." He said the "design goes against the traditional 'desktop metaphor' seen in most desktop environments" but "with a bit of practice" it can be "an excellent desktop with advanced search capabilities." Zwetsloot thinks Cinnamon is great for the office or everyday computing and is "minimalist in size but not function." Part two is promised tomorrow. today published six "tips for adopting open source." From a government agency perspective, writer David Egts suggests:

1. Standardize on a common platform.
2. Use systems management tools to automate your success.
3. Use SCAP for continuous monitoring of your datacenter's security posture.
4. Master navigation of vendor vulnerability databases and tools to minimize vulnerability windows.
5. Use government-certified software.
6. Have a vendor at your side.

Relatedly, Jack Germain said yesterday, "The amount of open source software used by the U.S. government might well be one of the biggest secrets in Washington. Not even purveyors of FOSS, as in free and open source software, know the extent of federal agency adoption of nonproprietary software."

In other news:

* Ubuntu Linux Will Work To Slowly Demphasize 32-bit

* Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 to 6.6 risk report

* What's Wrong at Debian?