[clug] Old linux distros and support - why I like debian

Martin Pool mbp at samba.org
Tue May 4 01:49:13 GMT 2004

On  4 May 2004, Kim Holburn <kim.holburn at anu.edu.au> wrote:
> Subtitle: Why I like debian
> Someone said something to me the other day which made me go "Huh?"
> It was this:  "They had a problem with old linnux systems getting 
> hacked".  I thought about this for a while and it's true.  Especially 
> for commercial distros - like Red Hat, SuSE etc.  I wonder if RedHat 
> enterprise or fedora fixes this?
> I guess the problem doesn't happen for windows boxes for a number of 
> reasons.  First, windows is not stable enough to go without user 
> intervention and without crashing for any length of time.  Most windows 
> boxes are desktops so someone uses them or turns them off.  Windows 
> servers seem to need a lot of hand-holding to stay up and running.
> An old un-updated linux system can sit around for years - still running 
> and less and less secure.  Then it gets 0wned.
> I've seen this on my network a number of times.  It is made worse by 
> commercial distros that time out maintaining security patches and 
> distros where patching is not automatic or requires some manual 
> configuration changes.  I know SuSE updates used to mess with /etc/ 
> files on occasion and break important things.

Interesting point.  On the other hand, I hate that Debian packages ask
configuration questions during installation.  It means that you cannot
count on doing unattended upgrades.

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