back to article Oh Snapd! Gimme-root-now security bug lets miscreants sock it to your Ubuntu boxes

Canonical has issued an update for Ubuntu to address a security vulnerability that can be exploited by malware and rogue users to gain root access. As this bug affects desktop and server editions of the Linux distro, this is an irritating flaw for folks using shared systems, such as labs or offices of workstations. Chris …

  1. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Linux

    snapd and systemd

    From article: "The vulnerability is found in Snapd, Canonical's open-source toolkit for packaging and running applications via systemd"

    And THAT pretty much says it all!!!

    That's blowin' it, Ubu. bad doggy. no buscuit.

    /me glad I mostly use Devuan these days

    1. paulll Bronze badge

      Re: snapd and systemd

      If there was only going to be one post on this article, that'd be it,

      Wait, oops.

    2. Nattrash
      Childcatcher

      Re: snapd and systemd

      Aaaaah Bob, you beat me to it!

      Had the same: The vulnerability is found in Snapd, Canonical's open-source toolkit for packaging and running applications via systemd.

      Thought while reading this: "Nope, don't have that. Nothing to see here. Carry on."

      But, suppose it proves again what a brilliant idea it is to leave the *nix philosophy of small, speedy, "doing one thing well", and ignorantly chain/ pile them all together...

      1. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: snapd and systemd

        Much as I dislike systemD...

        This talk, on youtube, is worth a watch.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: snapd and systemd

          Earlier this week I got twenty-odd minutes into that talk and gave up. I wasn't planning to go back.

          Did I miss anything in its last half hour

          ("Anything can happen in the next half hour")

          Yes there may well be arguments in favour of something like systemd, done properly, in certain circumstances.

          The current systemd vision and implementation is something I'd prefer people had the choice of using or not using, without massive borkage.

          RedIBM and friends would presumably prefer otherwise.

          1. Mike Pellatt

            Re: snapd and systemd

            Yeah, I've been pointed to that video too, by someone who (rightly) points out that sys V init has had its day.

            But, FFS, systemd isn't the answer to sys V init's problems.

            Yet to watch the vid. Seems like I might lose the will to live

          2. AdamWill

            Re: snapd and systemd

            "The current systemd vision and implementation is something I'd prefer people had the choice of using or not using, without massive borkage.

            RedIBM and friends would presumably prefer otherwise."

            This is a common meme, but - as a Red Hat employee - it's a really weird one.

            systemd doesn't make us any money. Zero money. No-one is buying systemd support contracts from us. We can't somehow lock people into the systemd ecosystem. None of that. Red Hat does not actually care at all whether you, Joe Random Linux User, use systemd. We need something like it to exist in order to build some things on top of it that *do* make us money. But if it was replaced by something better that someone else maintained, RH would not, strategically speaking, bat an eye. We'd be entirely fine with that. After all, before Lennart decided to write systemd, we were using upstart...

            If any of the people loudly proclaiming that they think we need a better init system than sysv but systemd ain't it would like to *go and write something better*, that'd be just peachy. Please do! By all means! We'd like that!

        2. tekHedd

          Re: This talk, on youtube, is worth a watch.

          Seen it. SystemD propaganda with the same old message: you don't like it because it's new.

          We need a lot of the things SystemD provides. We don't need them executed poorly.

          1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

            Re: This talk, on youtube, is worth a watch.

            Seen it. SystemD propaganda with the same old message: you don't like it because it's new.

            We need a lot of the things SystemD provides. We don't need them executed poorly.

            Yeah, well "Star Trek Discovery" is a new Star Trek series, doesn't mean that one is well implemented either.

          2. John Robson Silver badge

            Re: This talk, on youtube, is worth a watch.

            “We need a lot of the things SystemD provides. We don't need them executed poorly.”

            We probably don’t *need* most of them, but we certainly don’t need them to be poorly implemented...

            But most of the objections I have and see are not to do with the implementation but are either ‘it’s change’ or ‘Poettering is an arse’

            1. JohnFen Silver badge

              Re: This talk, on youtube, is worth a watch.

              My objection to SystemD is neither the quality of its implementation, nor that Poettering is an ass -- both of those are just aggravating factors. My objection is the fundamental design concept of the thing.It inherently destroys much of what makes Unix great, and brings in much of what makes Windows not great.

              Even worse, it doesn't even bring much in terms of benefits unless you are a distro manufacturer or are deploying in container form.

              So, for literally every use case I have, SystemD is a net negative.

            2. Pirate Dave
              Pirate

              Re: This talk, on youtube, is worth a watch.

              "but are either ‘it’s change’ or ‘Poettering is an arse’"

              You act as if those two are mutually exclusive...

        3. Rockets

          Re: snapd and systemd

          I watched that video "The tragedy of systemD" just yesterday. He did make some interesting and good points. That talk was given by a FreeBSD dev though.

        4. John Carter
          Mushroom

          Re: snapd and systemd

          Couldn't watch the whole video - it's more an apology for systemd.

    3. Joe W

      Re: snapd and systemd

      Dang, ninja'd. I actually have the same sentence in my copy clipboard...

      OTOH: this is not really the init replacement that should not be named fault. Not directly, anyway. Granted, it is possible because TIRTSNBN wants too much and tries to take over all tasks and is a pig's breakfast.

    4. David 132 Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: snapd and systemd

      I run Mint Linux on a few boxes, and realized the other day that their software repository only has version 2.2.1 of VLC, which is ancient. To get the latest 3.0.4, I had to download it as a Snap... I’d never heard of those so had to do some hasty research. When I read that Snaps come from the ever-prolific Lennart Poettering (the B.S. Johnson of the Linux world) my heart sank, but I downloaded the Snap anyway because I needed VLC and had no apparent choice.

      Imagine my delight when it also downloaded ~2GB of support files - basically, a complete OS - just to run a f*cking media player.

      That man is a menace.

      (Copious upvotes and my eternal gratitude to anyone who can point me towards a way to get VLC 3.x on Mint without snaps...)

      1. Nattrash

        Re: snapd and systemd

        Does the "Install" button option of Mint also do the snap version?

        And otherwise, you can always go to git and compile from source...

      2. Outer mongolian custard monster from outer space (honest)

        Re: snapd and systemd

        This is linux, and its open source. Learn how to compile it from source.

        https://wiki.videolan.org/UnixCompile/

        Props if you then do more learning and make a package, even maybe submit it upstream or take over being the vlc maintainer, I'm sure the repo people would be thrilled to accept the later version as you won't be the only person in that same boat. All those packages on your device were already put together by people doing this very process...

      3. Gerhard den Hollander

        Re: snapd and systemd

        Have an upvote for referencing Bergholt Stuttley ....

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: snapd and systemd

        I guess their ppa would work with Mint too.

        https://launchpad.net/~videolan/+archive/ubuntu/master-daily

        https://launchpad.net/~videolan/+archive/ubuntu/stable-daily

      5. TJ1

        Snaps from L. Poettering ?

        Snaps (snappy) is developed at Canonical, and originated for the now-defunct Ubuntu Phone.

        Unless I missed something L. Poettering works for Red Hat and has never been a developer of Snappy/snapcraft.io/snapd et al.

        The *idea* is a reasonable one - for an OS that uses system libraries that are not compatible with some application, make it possible for the application developer to publish, at will, a blob that contains all the required dependencies, and isolate it from the host OS to limit opportunities for compromise.

        The bigger the delta between the host OS and the application though, the more needs to be included in the blob.

        In your particular case "just a media player" is a vast under-appreciation of VLC. It needs all the plugin libraries, and the libraries they depend on, possibly down to libc itself.

        I would assume the snap has to ship almost all plugins rather than them being able to install on demand as the Host OS can do, so you'll end up with that is effectively another OS image.

        The typical dependency tree for 'vlc' on a Debian/Ubuntu/Mint system (even ignoring Recommends: and Suggests:) is 5,700 packages! Here's the rough calculation:

        $ apt-cache depends --no-suggests --no-recommends --recurse vlc | egrep 'Depends:' | cut -d: -f 2 | sort | uniq | wc -l

        1. DuncanLarge Bronze badge

          Re: Snaps from L. Poettering ?

          It sounds like his install of Mint must be pretty out of date seeing as the snap tries to pull in so much.

          I'm using Debian Stretch and they have VLC 3.0.3 in the stable repo so I would have expected Mint to have a newer version.

          If he is running an older Mint then the options are:

          - Upgrade to latest Mint, use the Mint pacakged version

          - Use the snap pacakge to let you run the newer VLC on the older Mint. Note that using the snap system also gives you a nice sandbox environment to run VLC in.

          - Try building from source. However you may find you might need to update certain libraries as required by the VLC source. Then again, maybe not and it may be happy with what you have.

          The Snap format seems to have nothing to do with L. Poettering and although it is competing against a couple of other similar formats its general ideas sound great. Packages bundle all required libraries with the application and the application executes within a sandbox managed by the host system.

          This reminds me of what I love about RISC OS applications which are basically self contained archives containing the libraries they need. Copying an application in RISC OS to an external drive copies it in its entirety as one icon.

          The Snap package was originally developed for package management on Ubuntu phones.

          1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

            Re: Snaps from L. Poettering ?

            It sounds like his install of Mint must be pretty out of date seeing as the snap tries to pull in so much.

            With all that extra cruft, might as well have been running VLC inside a container.

            Snap seems to encompass all the BAD bits of container with none of the good bits.

        2. tekHedd

          The Snap Idea

          "The *idea* is a reasonable one - for an OS that uses system libraries that are not compatible with some application, make it possible for the application developer to publish, at will, a blob that contains all the required dependencies, and isolate it from the host OS to limit opportunities for compromise."

          Too bad we don't have any other technology like that. *cough*AppImage*cough*

          1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

            Re: The Snap Idea

            Backwards..

            You all seem to be saying "instead of using shared libraries on the system, you can package the required libraries with the application", as if it's some new feature.

            Sure, there are times it's useful to do -- no argument there, but not using a feature of an OS is not a feature in itself!

      6. DuncanLarge Bronze badge

        Re: snapd and systemd

        Hmm debian provides VLC 3.0.3 in its standard repos, are you sure Mint does not have a newer .deb.in its repos?

        1. druck Silver badge

          Re: snapd and systemd

          Mint 19.1 has 3.0.4. No snaps required.

      7. Jim 59

        Re: snapd and systemd

        @David132 Yes. Both apt-get and yum provide almost perfect solutions to the software update/install problem. On the other hand, snapd provides a doubtful answer to a question nobody asked.

        Regards updating beyond your distro, as a Linux systems admin I would say either (a) don't do it, stability is better, (b) Consider moving to Mint 19, (c) Do it in a virtual machine. The free vmplayer is fine these days, hardware acceleration and everything.

      8. AdamWill

        Re: snapd and systemd

        "When I read that Snaps come from the ever-prolific Lennart Poettering (the B.S. Johnson of the Linux world) my heart sank"

        But...er...they don't. Not even remotely. Neither Lennart nor systemd as a project have anything at all to do with snappy/snapd. snap* is a Canonical project written by a bunch of Canonical employees, none of whom (AFAIK) have any involvement in making systemd.

        snapd uses systemd for some things, sure. But this bug has nothing in particular to do with systemd, and certainly isn't a bug in systemd in any way. It's a bug in snapd.

    5. cat_mara

      Re: snapd and systemd

      In fairness to systemd (and that's not something you'll hear from me very often), AFAICT this bug is solely in snapd's code and would have been exploitable even if using an old-school System V style init script to start it. The root cause of the bug was in the way snapd determined the privileges of the process calling the service it exposed on the socket which it did by parsing various bits of information passed to it. As Daniel J. Bernstein (§3.3) has pointed out, one needs to be very careful when parsing anything.

    6. bigtreeman

      Re: snapd and systemd

      I feel my hatred of systemd is again vindicated.

      Debian, What are you doing with this virus at the centre of our systems.

      I just had the displeasure of making a .service and .timer instead of a nice cron script to run a little python thingy, what a f_ckup the insidious systemd is.

      1. Gerhard Mack

        Re: snapd and systemd

        "I just had the displeasure of making a .service and .timer instead of a nice cron script to run a little python thingy, what a f_ckup the insidious systemd is."

        What could you have possibly been doing where the cron script wasn't an option? I still create them all of the time regardless of whether the OS install has systemd or not.

  2. DuncanLarge Bronze badge

    Am I Sam Beckett?

    Who the bloody hell installs flash player on Linux these days?

    As a Debian user installing flash player was a very conscious act as you had to download and manually install the tarball. Maybe Ubuntu provides it as a package but seriously who installs flash player apart from poor sysadmins (like me) who have to put up with old vmware management consoles that still need it.

    Name and shame one site that still needs it (exclude ancient management interfaces).

    1. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: Am I Sam Beckett?

      "Who the bloody hell installs flash player ... these days?"

      FTFY.

    2. randon8154

      Re: Am I Sam Beckett?

      Having flash on Debian nowadays would be the least of my worried in matter of security...

      :D

    3. Mark #255
      FAIL

      Re: Am I Sam Beckett?

      The BBC iplayer site, on Linux, requires flash, as I re-found out when doing a fresh install a couple of months ago.

      1. LateAgain

        Re: Am I Sam Beckett?

        Try setting the browser to say it's running on an apple device (iPad?) or tablet they never have flash.

    4. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Am I Sam Beckett?

      "Name and shame one site that still needs it"

      I don't know that commenter's situation, but you seem to be assuming that he needs it for web browsing. There are lots of reasons why you might need it that aren't related to the web at all.

  3. jms222

    Who the hell uses Linux

    My advice is

    For desktops and laptops use Windows unless you're a Mac fan in which case go ahead. Because you want proper device drivers, power management with working suspend and hibernate etc.

    For servers use FreeBSD or a Solaris or similar as you need an operating system rather than a gaffer tape bundle of kernel and userland from different developers. Also a robust filesystem for your data and there is ZFS. You don't need things like snapd . For some applications maybe even go IBM.

    The problem with Linux is that it does neither job well though does a reasonable job pretending.

    1. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Who the hell uses Linux

      Linux is the worlds most used operating system - it way outnumbers all versions of windows and IOS put together. All Android phones have Linux as the underlying OS. Many small gadgets (media players etc) use Linux. Add in the server and desktop use of Linux and you have quite a large user base.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Who the hell uses Linux

        Still, Android and other devices that uses the Linux kernel are not the same of devices running GNU/Linux.

        Google had to replace the whole user space with a copy of Java to make it usable. And really, almost nobody who chooses Android does because "it's Linux" - mostly, they can't afford the iOS hardware...

        Moreover, every attempt to make a true "Linux phone" utterly failed.

        Other systems may not have a UI at all, but maybe some management web pages.

        Linux keeps on showing it is very inept to run desktop software - showing that being low-cost but with almost no useful software doesn't bring you far.

        1. randon8154

          Re: Who the hell uses Linux

          "Google had to replace the whole user space with a copy of Java to make it usable"

          Omg... make it usable by replacing the whole with Java ? Java is buggy as hell, it's slow and heavy, it's a language that should not even exist ! I have hard masked it to make sure never a single piece of java will get into my system

          It's since Google, Oracle and other corporation mass pull their code on Linux the thing go wrong ! Take a look of debian, ubuntu, fedora with their gnome-shell, systemd, dbus (the worth of all), it's full of bugs, unmaintainable, exacly like windows and other commercial os based

          You like Google ? The company that rape your privacy in exchange of a free closed source browser, with the only goal to better target their ads, owned by this guy https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/12/google-ceo-eric-schmidt-dismisses-privacy, are just a Google worker or a moron ?

        2. Ole Juul Silver badge

          Re: Who the hell uses Linux

          "Linux keeps on showing it is very inept to run desktop software - showing that being low-cost but with almost no useful software doesn't bring you far."

          I'm not surprised you post as AC. I have no comment on MS Windows, but would like to point out that millions of amateurs (and professionals) have absolutely no problem installing and using Linux as a desktop. Perhaps you should ask one of them for help.

    2. Mike Pellatt

      Re: Who the hell uses Linux

      And FreeBSD isn't a bundle of userland from different developers ???

    3. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Who the hell uses Linux

      Really?

      "For desktops and laptops use Windows unless you're a Mac fan in which case go ahead. Because you want proper device drivers, power management with working suspend and hibernate etc."

      You know that Linux runs on a lot of machines, right? With all of those things working? That when it's not working, it's because some manufacturer didn't release proper drivers for the thing so they could be used? Your counter suggestion is to run the single monoculture desktop OS that doesn't have a perfect track record dealing with device drivers either? Well, I guess there's no arguing with that.

      "For servers use FreeBSD or a Solaris or similar as you need an operating system rather than a gaffer tape bundle of kernel and userland from different developers. Also a robust filesystem for your data and there is ZFS. You don't need things like snapd . For some applications maybe even go IBM."

      Well, that was a weird statement. Er...let me parse that a bit.

      "For servers use FreeBSD"

      Fine, but you know that a lot of the stuff above the BSD is the same stuff that is above the Linux. So there is not much difference in all the stuff running on top of the kernel and base.

      "or a Solaris or similar"

      Why? I know it still exists, but there are some reasons it doesn't have a bunch of market share anymore.

      "as you need an operating system rather than a gaffer tape bundle of kernel and userland from different developers."

      Oh, that's why. Again, Linux, BSDs, and Solaris all use pieces in common; the desktop environments are interchangeable. The major difference is the kernel, which in all cases is monolithic. It's just a different one for each case, but all were built from contributions of more than one team. None are particularly taped together, especially after the massive amounts of testing each has received while running a bunch of servers.

      "Also a robust filesystem for your data and there is ZFS."

      If you really want it, that runs on Linux too.

      "You don't need things like snapd ."

      That's a bit abrupt to switch back to the point, but I'll point out that you don't have to use snapd, and it's more likely to be used on desktops than servers. It was originally built to run on phones, and it helps with applications that need custom library versions so you don't mess up your environment. Complain about it if you have a problem, but know what it is and more importantly what it isn't.

      "For some applications maybe even go IBM."

      And again I must ask why. You may have had a reason, but without telling us what it is, you seem to be making suggestions at random with the only point being "don't run Linux". Your basis for this as stated here is full of holes. Try something else.

    4. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Who the hell uses Linux

      "For desktops and laptops use Windows unless you're a Mac fan"

      Why in the world would I want to use operating systems that spy on me, get in my way, and/or make me mad? I'd rather use one that just works right.

    5. Pirate Dave
      Pirate

      Re: Who the hell uses Linux

      "For desktops and laptops use Windows unless you're a Mac fan in which case go ahead. "

      "For servers use FreeBSD or a Solaris or similar as you need an operating system <snip>"

      You, sir, are the worst systemd apologist I have seen yet. Please, begone! Back to your mother's basement, and your life of HotPockets and Facebook "likes". Trouble us no further.

  4. Claverhouse Bronze badge

    God, the anti-linux freaks are out of their box...

    1. Snake

      NO

      The anti-Linux freaks aren't having a field day here. The Linux on the Desktop is Just A Fantasy freaks are having a field day, and although I'm sick of getting downvotes from Linux fans who can't admit an UNDENIABLE truth, I'll post anyway.

      After 20 YEARS of "Year of the Linux Desktop!" had begun, Linux only makes up an utterly irrelevant 1.6% of the DESKTOP market. It OWNS serverland yet can't break into the desktop even if its very life depended upon it.

      Why? Can't the fans here admit WHY??

      BECAUSE IT'S THE APPS, STUPID, NOT THE OS.

      This Mint VLC issue quite perfectly shows the point. 'Update to a newer distro, VLC works quite well now". What about the prior 17 or so years of Linux on the desktop? Package dependencies, massive blob installs, unknown kernel driver support...it goes on and on.

      Stop with the OS fanaticism. We know Linux has a great foundation. The problem is *user experience*, and the hard-core developers of the Linux world are too busy being proud of remembering sudo commands instead of making a system so damn stupid-level that the computer illiterate - the computer stupid - will be willing to use it.

      That, and somehow get real, name brand apps on the OS. I'm sorry, but "Just use GIMP!" and "You should be able to run it under WINE" is NOT an acceptable answer to Joe Average's question of "I need Photoshop and Lightroom to run on my new Linux machine". I'm sorry, but it just ISN'T. When Joe Average asks for a *name brand* application solution, an answer of "This is good enough for you!" is NOT the right answer. Both the developers and fans don't want to hear this, but the market has voted with their wallets - even though you try to tell them better.

      As usual, I'll get downvoted. Even though these are provable FACTS but they'll deny what they don't want to hear, deny a paltry 1.6% desktop market penetration, because their belief is stronger than any fact presented to them. They can't deflect the facts so they just deny them, rather than address and fix the problem. Just like the headline story on The Reg about blockchain: "Stop with the sexy noises and get real!" Linux will continue to struggle on the desktop, while it has taken over the rest of the world.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: NO

        "I'm sick of getting downvotes from Linux fans who can't admit an UNDENIABLE truth"

        I haven't downvoted you, but could it be you're not getting downvotes because people can't admit that Linux isn't the most popular desktop OS (that's not exactly a controversial assertion, after all), but because that's not an important point?

        1. Snake

          Re: Popularity an important point?

          It's not that the popularity of desktop Linux is important per se, it is that this is both a symptom and a cause of Linux's problems. Because Linux is not popular, common mainstream name brand apps don't get ported / developed for it. Because Linux doesn't have mainstream name brand apps, it doesn't get popular.

          One of the biggest Catch-22's in current computer history.

          But, still, it is quoted as a symptom: stop worrying about the constant, bleeding-edge development of the kernel / OS and start working on fixing the application choices. The developers love the kernel work because it is both stimulating and gains acceptance / kudos from the coding community, but frankly those don't bring in general users. The grunt work is in developing end-user applications, and this is where Linux needs much, much more development hours in order to gain traction as a general use/desktop OS.

          If Linux is completely satisfied with being the world's choice as embedded / server OS that is 100% acceptable, but then stop trying to push it towards that desktop usage in order to only see it fail due to its under-addressed desktop deficiencies. If the community constantly wants to push Linux on the desktop, then push, and make it count, rather than the incomplete attempts of the past 2 decades.

          At least, this is what I personally believe. Do or Do Not, there is no Try. Not after 20 years, anyway.

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: Popularity an important point?

            "it is that this is both a symptom and a cause of Linux's problems"

            What problems are you talking about, though?

            "Because Linux is not popular, common mainstream name brand apps don't get ported / developed for it. "

            I don't see that as a problem. You do, and that's fair, but not everyone agrees with you.

            "stop trying to push it towards that desktop usage in order to only see it fail due to its under-addressed desktop deficiencies."

            This is where I get confused -- Linux is perfectly fine for the desktop right now, for a huge number of people. I don't see any serious deficiency there at all.

            "Do or Do Not, there is no Try."

            And it already does, quite successfully.

            Perhaps what you're talking about is trying to make Linux the most popular desktop OS? Personally, I'm not on board with that, because the way to do that is to make it a clone of what most people already know well: Windows. And if we're going there, then we may as well just use Windows.

            Linux already has (and has had for years) what it needs in order to be a successful and useful desktop OS -- enough users to make serious development worthwhile. It doesn't need the majority of computer users.

            1. Snake

              Re: Popularity an important point?

              "What problems are you talking about, though?"

              A lack of industry standard-level creative apps. The Adobe suite doesn't run on it, which completely kills of the vast number of creative types: digital artists; graphic designers; graphic artist; photographers, from wedding to portrait to fashion; pretty much the entire publishing industry, from micro-self to global level; a good number of web content creators; videographers; industrial designers...the list of lost users is huge right there.

              And NO, the alternatives that you give are NOT the same. Not by a long shot! When you tell me that your Linux app will open a multi-layer PSD, embedded it as an active object into the page layout app, allow exporting the page layout to a IDD file *that other people, like my publishing company, can open and modify if needed*...THEN you can talk to me about the power of Linux Desktop.

              And that's just one app range.

              Now add in the weak desktop UI, one that almost (still!) requires a user to go into sudoland. Many distros have been addressing this problem yet it has not completely disappeared. The UI needs to be Mac-level elegant or reasonably close to it; in other words, the need to completely hide the command line is still a work in progress. The current power users don't want to hear this, but the command line is a NEGATIVE from the perspective of the common user, not a positive; command line use needs to be optional, not a requirement, before everyman will consider the OS.

              "I don't see that as a problem. You do, and that's fair, but not everyone agrees with you."

              Because you are probably an administrator or a programmer, both Linux fortes. Writers et al, that is including general office work, can get great results from Linux apps, word processing isn't hard compared to, say, video editing.

              "This is where I get confused -- Linux is perfectly fine for the desktop right now, for a huge number of people. I don't see any serious deficiency there at all."

              Linux can't do any specialized desktop work at all. By that i mean no special industry-specific apps that work with other things like CAD, inventory sales...it can't even run Quickbooks! The industry standard accounting system!

              "And it already does, quite successfully."

              As I've shown by not trying to hard: no, no it doesn't. Linux desktop only manages to work for a select number to usage types, not general purpose. I could never use it because it doesn't have the apps i need; my coworker couldn't use it because it can handle the (very different) apps she needs. Not even close.

              "Perhaps what you're talking about is trying to make Linux the most popular desktop OS? Personally, I'm not on board with that, because the way to do that is to make it a clone of what most people already know well: Windows. And if we're going there, then we may as well just use Windows.

              Linux already has (and has had for years) what it needs in order to be a successful and useful desktop OS -- enough users to make serious development worthwhile. It doesn't need the majority of computer users."

              Possibly, but an unusual decision, as most every system wants growth.

              1. JohnFen Silver badge

                Re: Popularity an important point?

                It sounds to me like you aren't actually familiar with Linux. That's fine, there's no need for you to be. Use the desktop OS that works best for you, and I'll do the same.

  5. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    FTFY

    ...Ubuntu users who do install the update should also take a moment to make sure they have updated removed their versions of Flash Player...

    When making changes, it is genereally a good idea to take a moment to review the scope of what should be done and act accordingly, especially when it comes to making machines more secure.

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