Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Why the DCC Alliance needs to love Synaptic

Filed under

Debian users have always boasted that their Advanced Package Tool (APT) was the best and fastest way there has ever been to install and delete software. They were right, except for two details: First, many computer users are scared of the command line -- and APT is a command line utility. Second, even for users not afraid of the command line, setting download repositories and other parameters was not easy unless you spent enough of your time administering computers to remember all the text commands it took to make APT do what you wanted. Then came Synaptic, which promised to make Debian software installs GUI-friendly. Not long after that came a version of Synaptic that didn't crash every time I tried to use it. And finally, in late 2004, Synaptic became so lovable that I would no longer want to have a desktop computer without it.

We can go on and on about how the GUI (Graphical User Interface) administration tools are only for lame users, but the reality is that most people use their computers as office machines, Internet terminals, and entertainment devices, and have no more interest in learning their inner workings than most car owners have in learning how to balance tires.

As long as it took command line skills to administer Debian, it was not a good distro choice for most computer users. If they wanted to have Debian's benefits they were better off using commercial Debian derivatives such as Xandros or Linspire, which worked to hide Debian's complexities behind a friendly face. Otherwise, they were probably better off sticking with SUSE, Mandrake (now Mandriva), and other RPM-based distros that made administration as easy as they could for the technically unhip.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Security Leftovers

  • Friday's security updates
  • Researchers poke hole in custom crypto built for Amazon Web Services
    Underscoring just how hard it is to design secure cryptographic software, academic researchers recently uncovered a potentially serious weakness in an early version of the code library protecting Amazon Web Services. Ironically, s2n, as Amazon's transport layer security implementation is called, was intended to be a simpler, more secure way to encrypt and authenticate Web sessions. Where the OpenSSL library requires more than 70,000 lines of code to execute the highly complex TLS standard, s2n—short for signal to noise—has just 6,000 lines. Amazon hailed the brevity as a key security feature when unveiling s2n in June. What's more, Amazon said the new code had already passed three external security evaluations and penetration tests.
  • Social engineering: hacker tricks that make recipients click
    Social engineering is one of the most powerful tools in the hacker's arsenal and it generally plays a part in most of the major security breaches we hear about today. However, there is a common misconception around the role social engineering plays in attacks.
  • Judge Gives Preliminary Approval to $8 Million Settlement Over Sony Hack
    Sony agreed to reimburse employees up to $10,000 apiece for identity-theft losses
  • Cyber Monday: it's the most wonderful time of year for cyber-attackers
    Malicious attacks on shoppers increased 40% on Cyber Monday in 2013 and 2014, according to, an anti-malware and spyware company, compared to the average number of attacks on days during the month prior. Other cybersecurity software providers have identified the December holiday shopping season as the most dangerous time of year to make online purchases. “The attackers know that there are more people online, so there will be more attacks,” said Christopher Budd, Trend Micro’s global threat communications manager. “Cyber Monday is not a one-day thing, it’s the beginning of a sustained focus on attacks that go after people in the holiday shopping season.”

Openwashing (Fake FOSS)

Android Leftovers

Slackware Live Edition – Beta 2

  • Slackware Live Edition – Beta 2
    Thanks for all the valuable feedback on the first public beta of my Slackware Live Edition. It allowed me to fix quite a few bugs in the Live scripts (thanks again!), add new functionality (requested by you or from my own TODO) and I took the opportunity to fix the packages in my Plasma 5 repository so that its Live Edition should actually work now.
  • Updated multilib packages for -current
  • (Hopefully) final recompilations for KDE 5_15.11
    There was still some work to do about my Plasma 5 package repository. The recent updates in slackware-current broke several packages that were still linking to older (and no longer present) libraries which were part of the icu4c and udev packages.