Which OS gives you the most security and privacy?

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USAFRet

Splendid
Moderator


A VM is its own OS and PC. Linux, in this case.
Being Linux, won't get affected by normal Windows issues.
And being in a VM, won't (mostly) affect the host OS. Win 10 Pro, in this case.

If, for whatever reason, that VM were to become completely corrupted...a recovery from an earlier snapshot is minutes away.


That site seemed to be "OK'. Not that it really does a lot of useful stuff for the normal person.
 

donline

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Sounds great with VM!
There was quite a lot of info on the VirtualBox page, but from what I understand I would need to select the 'VirtualBox 5.2.6 platform packages > Windows hosts' download/link, is that correct? (I'm running Win10).

Once that's installed, can I just go to ubuntu.com and install and run it within the VM? There were options for 'Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS' and 'Ubuntu 17.10.1' - which might you recommend?

By the way, the 'youronlinechoices.com' link was from gooogle's ads settings page ('Opt out of more ads' link near the bottom of the page) (https://adssettings.google.com/authenticated), so I guess it should be ok :)

This is fun stuff, thanks for helping out! :)
 

USAFRet

Splendid
Moderator


You can use either Windows or Linux as the host. And run either or both as guests.

For instance, this is my normal Win 10 PC, with 4 x VM's running. Spread across 2 screens.

From L to R
LinuxMint
Win 10 Pro (long running test to see how an Unactivated Win 10 works. 13 months, no change)
Win 10 (verifying the install routine)
Server2012

I could squeeze in a couple more Linux instances if I wanted to. All running and accessible at the same time.


And the "youronlinechoices" being there just means that they paid google for the space. Doesn't mean it is good.
 

Ubuntu is better "supported" simply in that it has the most number of users.

https://www.linuxcounter.net/statistics/distributions

But as I said, Mint is just Ubuntu with some of the packages replaced with different packages (a package contains a specific feature, like a program or driver). And both are based on the Debian packaging system. It's a command line packaging system (there are GUIs for it on both Ubuntu and Mint, but those are basically translation layers for the command line commands). So theoretically you could install Ubuntu, and mess with the packages installed to create Mint. Or you could do a raw Debian install and recreate Ubuntu by picking the same packages to install. Ubuntu and Mint have just done the picking for you (Ubuntu also creates some of their own unique packages, but you can theoretically install those separately onto a non-Ubuntu system too if you wish).

Each package has its own development team (open source project) and puts out updates on their own schedule. So "support" is a bit of a misnomer. The support basically amounts to avoiding package conflicts in the default distro, making sure the installer can handle all the different hardware out there, and notifying you if a package has stopped development (no more security updates) or replacing it with a different package that does pretty much the same thing but is still under development.

Start with Ubuntu. And if the GUI drives you nuts, give Mint a shot (they aim for a more Windows-like GUI).
 

donline

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Thanks USAFRet... I enjoyed seeing the screenshots :) Nice setup you have going on there!

Good point about the website link on the gooogle page.

By the way, why does Windows 10 have different versions (e.g. 1511, 1607, 1709) (and builds within those)? Should folks install the latest (1709) version for the best security or would version 1607, for example, still be fine?

 

donline

Commendable
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Thanks Solandri.

So Linux Ubuntu and Mint are both great options to start with by the sounds of it...
Any thoughts on Fedora(27)? :)
 

USAFRet

Splendid
Moderator


1511, 1607, 1709 are just different iterations of "Windows 10".
There are large semi-annual updates. The latest, back in October, was 1709.
Install Win 10 today, and that's what you get.
And it will be updated to something else in a couple of months. March/April timeframe.
https://www.windowscentral.com/windows-10-redstone-4

And you (mostly) can't opt out.
We can go into the "why that is" if you want.
 

I was trying to find you a Linux distro relationship map, but this looks like it'll be more useful for you.

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/53/d5/51/53d551416146e875725a7b4918262683.jpg

I haven't used RedHat/Fedora in over a decade. They use their own package manager. The thing about package managers is that the bigger the userbase, the more likely a specific piece of software you want will have already been turned into an easy-to-install package. If there's no package, you'll have to download source code and compile it yourself, which is never fun. RedHat used to be the biggest distro about 15-20 years ago, but that's no longer the case. Ubuntu is the biggest distro currently, and it's based on Debian's package manager.

So Ubuntu/Debian is the safest choice in this regard. The large number of users and posts in the Ubuntu forums should also help you with troubleshooting problems.
 

donline

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Thanks USAFRet for the privacy articles and advice about Windows 10...

I managed to 'opt-out' and 'roll back' to a previous version of Windows 10 after it automatically (without asking, argh) upgraded/updated to a newer version during a regular update recently...

But yes, why all the different versions for folks to pick from? Would it be wisest to have the latest version (1709)?
 

donline

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Thanks Solandri. Sounds good with Ubuntu. I enjoyed the distro map... excellent presentation of the various options!
 

USAFRet

Splendid
Moderator


Yes, you want the latest version.
And even if you were to install a previous iteration of Win 10, you would soon get updated to the latest anyway.

Why does it automatically impart updates to your system?
Well....history.

Previous to Win 10, you had the option to turn scheduled updates OFF.
Many people did. Either by accident, on purpose, or a misguided attempt to hide from The Man.
Result? Many, many unpatched systems. Millions of them.
Resulting in many hacked, trojaned systems, that are part of a botnet, or distributing viruses on their own.

Microsoft was loudly reviled for this.
The vast majority of the systems affected by the WannaCry ransomware were unpatched systems. Even though Microsoft published a patch for it 2 full months before the outbreak.

So...enter Win 10
Microsoft said "Screw it, we'll push this whether you like it or not"
You (mostly) no longer have the option of turning updates OFF. You get what they serve, and you'll like it.
Both security updates and feature changes.

Microsoft is again loudly reviled for this.


There is no middle ground. Either these patches are forced on people, hopefully resulting in a safer ecosystem.
Or they give the functionality to opt out, which many would. Resulting in an infected ecosystem.
 

donline

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Interesting with the history on how updates have been handled, thanks :)

What I did find that was after rolling back to the previous version of Win10 (after the newer version was installed), I could no longer jump back again to the latest version... why is this? And how can I get back to the latest version? If I go into Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Check for updates there is no option saying about upgrading again to the latest version (1709). What would you suggest? Thanks :)
 

USAFRet

Splendid
Moderator
If you rolled back to an earlier version, you just have to wait until the system catches up.
It WILL bring the latest version eventually.

MS has some algorithm about what systems get the updates, and in what order.They can't serve everyone at once.
Your rolled back system is probably seen as a 'new" install, and may have to wait a bit. But it will come.

Or it may even skip the Fall update (1709), and give you the Spring update in a couple of months.
 

donline

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Thanks USAFRet. Yes, I think the Spring update will be the one for me ;)

By the way, do you have any personal preference between Linux Mint and Ubuntu?
 

USAFRet

Splendid
Moderator


Flip a coin.
I prefer Mint, but that's just me. I like the default interface better.

I have both installed as VM's though.
 

donline

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Thanks USAFRet :)
I haven't used Ubuntu or Mint yet, but from what I see, Mint looks quite nice (in terms of the interface).
 
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