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Linus Torvalds Is Very Angry With openSUSE

Linux Torvalds, the father of Linux, has vented against openSUSE, the distribution he started to use after Fedora. “I gave OpenSUSE a try, because it worked so well at install-time on the Macbook Air, but I have to say, I’ve had enough. There is no way in hell I can honestly suggest that to anybody else any more,” says Linus on his Google + page.

Linus’ issue with openSUSE is its security policies. openSUSE does require you to enter root passwords for certain actions which Linus thinks is wrong. Linus thinks that requiring root passwords for things like adding a new wireless network or changing timezone is moronic.

He says that he wouldn’t blame it on SElinux. His daughter Daniela “didn’t have these problems with Fedora 14 or whatever her previous machine had. That had SElinux on too, afaik.” He points out that the problem could be with Gnome. “It might be about Gnome, though. In the bugzilla, the wireless problems were blamed on network manager and gnome having changed things.”

Linus had spent “weeks arguing on a bugzilla that the security policy of requiring the root password for changing the timezone and adding a new wireless network was moronic and wrong.”

He adds that after weeks of argument “the wireless network thing finally did get fixed, but the timezone never did – it still asks for the admin password.”

The final straw on the camel’s back was when Daniela called him from school, “…because she can’t add the school printer without the admin password.”

He was enraged, “Whoever moron thought that it’s “good security” to require the root password for everyday things like this is mentally diseased.”

He further suggests to the developers who are security conscious, “So here’s a plea: 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.”

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Linus is now looking for a new Linux distribution. ” I need to find a new distro that actually works on the Macbook Air.” I think Linus has not tried Debian yet, so may be its time for Linus to give Debian a try. Which distro do you recommend to the father of Linux?

Swapnil Bhartiya

A free software fund-a-mental-ist and Charles Bukowski fan, Swapnil also writes fiction and tries to find cracks in the paper armours of proprietary companies. Swapnil has been covering Linux and Free Software/Open Source since 2005.

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