Linux, Where Crapware Goes to Die
Remember this cute little purple ape? If you’re a Linux user, you might not, so let me enlighten you a bit. This little guy is the "Bonzi Buddy" ape. He was one of the earliest malware/spyware/crapware programs for the Microsoft Windows platform. Arguably the cutest of his breed, BonziBuddy became a widespread problem for Windows users for years.
One of the biggest problems for end users is that BonziBuddy almost did something useful. It sorta supplied some value to users (heck, just seeing his little ad dance around was entertaining), but it also did nefarious things in the background. His evil backdoor santa activities, however, were not what made people hate the "product." The dumb monkey was insidious about popping up when you didn’t want to see him, and was impossible to delete! He was sorta like "Clippy Extreme" when it came to annoyance.
So why were Linux users left out in the cold during the heyday of BonziBuddy? Well, there’s a few reasons. Some are obvious, some aren’t.
Yes, Linux is Hard to Infect
BonziBuddy was easy to accidentally install in Windows. At some points in its history, it was hard not to install. With Linux, programs have a much more difficult time forcing their way in. While an inadvertent click in Windows can give you a virus that is difficult to eradicate, with Linux it’s generally more difficult to do so. Which brings us to the next point:
Linux is Easy to Disinfect
Sure, there are dumb programs that can be installed in Linux. Generally, they are pretty straightforward to uninstall though. Sure, you could mess up your Linux system if you tried hard enough, but in general programs are fairly easy to sanitize or destroy. Certainly there are complexities at play with things like gconf, but they’re nothing compared to the Windows’ system registry. It usually doesn’t get that far though, and that’s where I was going with this article to begin with:
Linux Apps Come Pre-vetted!
Go ahead, try to run ‘apt-get install BonziBuddy’ -- it won’t work! Linux distributions come with thousands of programs, of varying usefulness, that you can install all day long. Those packages have all been vetted by communities of people before they ever get to your package manager. In fact, while one of the rally cries of Windows supporters is that the selection of software is so much greater for Windows -- it begs the question of whether or not that’s a good thing.
Yes, there are 100 applications you can buy, or try, or demo, or evaluate, or install for free on Windows for any given task. One of the big problems, however, is that no one determines if they are any good. Google may be a great search engine to find Windows apps, but it certainly isn’t a good quality assurance method for picking Windows software. As Linux users, we not only have a community of developers making free and open source applications for us to use, we also have a community of users that make sure spyware and malware don’t make it into our software repositories. So the next time someone asks why the Linux community is so important and we make such a big deal out of "community", tell them it’s because we all help keep out purple apes. :)
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide