Yenya's World

Thu, 06 May 2010

Why I don't Like Ubuntu

I am not very fond of Ubuntu because of their leecher's attitude when giving back to upstream. That said, I have considered Greg Kroah-Hartmann's LPC 2008 keynote being a bit rude. Two years later, I have to admit Greg K-H was right:

In this bug report they discuss a kernel performance problem in their enterprise version (LTS). Ted Ts'o has recommended a temporary fix while suggesting to focus on building their own kernel dev team in order to be able to solve such a problem faster.

In response, they have opened a Fedora bug.

Source: Dave Airlie's blog.

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Wed, 05 May 2010

Uncovering the Hidden (this time in elinks)

The problem with userland apps (like is that the code is rarely reviewed by anybody outside the development team. From time to time it is possible to read frustrated reports written by people who try to make the system boot as fast as possible, or to preserve as much battery capacity as possible. Those people actually look at what the applications are doing, and are often very surprised. Confining apps under SELinux is a similar kind of frustrating job. I have almost finished confining, and I have tried to confine elinks for HTML-to-text conversion. The gems found so far are:

I did not have time to look at the source code, so I refrain from filling a bug report or sending a patch for now.

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Tue, 04 May 2010


I don't use except for occasionally reading a .doc file people send to me instead of writing in plain text. I don't know anything about its internals, and I only have a general feeling that is a huge bloated mess[1]. Today I have attempted to confine under SELinux in order to be able to convert untrusted documents to PDF or HTML. I am still not done, but my experience so far has brought the term "huge bloated mess" to a completely new level.

Here are few examples:

On a positive side, with the -headless option now finally can run without actually requiring a connection to the X server (I have discovered it only after spending several hours writing a policy for confining Xvfb. Oh well).

I wonder how many security holes in are waiting to be discovered, because I can't imagine at all how such a code base can be audited for security problems.

[1] Things like mixing Java, C, and their own scripting language for extensions, dialog windows which keep popping up no matter how many times I attempt to close them, their document recovery dialog, and other minor and major surprises.

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