1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

Canonical Developer Criticizes Linux Mint's Security

Operating Systems

Published on 17 November 2013 10:04 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems
97 Comments

While Linux Mint is derived from Ubuntu's package-set, a Canonical developer has criticized the popular Ubuntu derivative for its handling of packaging upgrades that could leave the system in a vulnerable state.

Phoronix reader Brendan tipped us off today to an interesting mailing list post earlier this month when discussing the potential of an Ubuntu MATE Remix, a version of Ubuntu Linux that would incorporate the GNOME-forked MATE desktop by default.

Ubuntu Linux developer Oliver Grawert had originally pointed out that security updates from Ubuntu don't necessarily get down to Linux Mint users since changes from X.Org, the kernel, Firefox, the boot-loader, and other core components are blocked from being automatically upgraded. Linux Mint doesn't send down updates for some Ubuntu packages automatically due to having their own customizations, etc.

The list of update rules can be found via GitHub as pointed out by Oliver in a follow-up post. Grawert explained, "this is the list of packages it will never update, instead of just integrating changes properly with the packagaes in the ubuntu archive they instead suppress doing (security) updates at all for them. i would say forcefully keeping a vulnerable kernel browser or xorg in place instead of allowing the provided security updates to be installer makes it a vulnerable system, yes. i personally wouldn't do online banking with it ;)"

Another Ubuntu developer, Benjamin Kerensa, added, "It is unclear why Linux Mint disables all of their security updates although to some degree they have tried to justify their disabling of kernel updates by suggesting that such updates could make a system unstable and that normal users shouldn't get these kinds of updates. Anyways it is something that might be better researched on their forums since people have asked a few times over the past couple years, and they probably have a better idea than us. I can say that it took them many months to get a fixed version of Firefox packaged while Ubuntu and Debian had already had security fixes in their package. This puts Linux Mint users at risk and is one of the key reasons I never suggest Linux Mint to anyone as an alternative to Ubuntu."

Update: There's a comment on the matter from the Linux Mint perspective over on their blog with their reasoning.

Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. Mini-Box M350: A Simple, Affordable Mini-ITX Case
  2. Overclocking The AMD AM1 Athlon & Sempron APUs
  3. AMD Athlon 5350 / 5150 & Sempron 3850 / 2650
  4. Upgraded Kernel & Mesa Yield A Big Boost For Athlon R3 Graphics
Latest Linux Articles
  1. Ubuntu 12.04.4 vs. 13.10 vs. 14.04 LTS Desktop Benchmarks
  2. AMD OpenCL Performance With AM1 Kabini APUs
  3. A Quick Look At GCC 4.9 vs. LLVM Clang 3.5
  4. Are AMD Athlon/Sempron APUs Fast Enough For Steam On Linux?
Latest Linux News
  1. Ubuntu 14.04 LTS "Trusty Tahr" Officially Released
  2. Ubuntu 12.04 LTS vs. 14.04 LTS Server Benchmarks
  3. QEMU 2.0 Released With ARM, x86 Enhancements
  4. Running The Unity 8 Preview Session On Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
  5. R600 Gallium3D Disables LLVM Back-End By Default
  6. Fedora 21 Gets GNOME 3.12, PHP 5.6, Mono 3.4
  7. Fedora Workstation Is Making Me Quite Excited
  8. Maynard: A Lightweight Wayland Desktop
  9. Chromium Browser Going Through Growing Pains In Ubuntu 14.04
  10. KDE 4.13 Is Being Released Today With New Features
  11. Trying Out Radeon R9 290 Graphics On Open-Source
  12. Intel Broadwell GT3 Graphics Have Dual BSD Rings
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  2. The GNOME Foundation Is Running Short On Money
  3. After Jack Keane, RuseSoft will briing Ankh 3 to Linux through Desura
  4. Suspected PHP Proxy Issue
  5. Linux Kernel Developers Fed Up With Ridiculous Bugs In Systemd
  6. Change installation destination from home directory
  7. Bye bye BSD, Hello Linux: A Sys Admin's Story
  8. New tool for undervolt/overclock AMD K8L and K10 processors