Feeds

'Kill yourself now' - Torvalds throws openSUSE security tantrum

Root password protocol 'mentally diseased'

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Linux creator Linus Torvalds has issued a rare public spanking for openSUSE after falling foul of its security procedures.

Torvalds has posted a rant on Google+ about his experience installing openSUSE on a MacBook Air. The installation requires the root password for many functions and he went to the Bugzilla thread to argue that this was a stupid policy, which got changes in some areas of the code, like adding wireless networks.

But the straw that broke the penguin's back was when his daughter Daniela called him from school to complain that she couldn’t add a printer to her computer without the root password. Linus lost it, and went public with his complaints.

"If you have anything to do with security in a distro, and think that my kids (replace "my kids" with "sales people on the road" if you think your main customers are businesses) need to have the root password to access some wireless network, or to be able to print out a paper, or to change the date-and-time settings, please just kill yourself now. The world will be a better place," he said.

Torvalds has come in for criticism for not using bypass code in openSUSE to eliminate some of the need for root password access, and has been slammed for taking the rant public.

"I wouldn't call him 'moronic' - he's proven his level of genius. But, it's incredibly juvenile and short-sighted not to see that others may have real-world business related concerns for heightened security on their laptops, and not everyone just tosses their laptop at their daughter to jump on the insecure junior high school networks," posted Texan certified fraud examiner Andy Prough.

In an email conversation with El Reg openSUSE acknowledged there may be bugs (as with any software.) But Andreas Jaeger, director of openSUSE, said that there were issues with NetworkManager in version 12.1 and this is now fixed. The situation with printing and time zone changes that Torvalds raised are also more nuanced he said.

"I agree with Linus saying that there are bugs but it's not as simple as he states," he explained.®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.