Ubuntu developer Oliver Grawert does not prefer to do online banking with Linux Mint. The reason being its unsecure handling of packaging upgrades that could leave the system vulnerable to attacks.
In the official mailing list of the distribution, Ubuntu developers stated that the popular Ubuntu derivative is a vulnerable system and people shouldn’t go for online banking on it.
“A third-party developer had asked for help to build an Ubuntu MATE Remix based on Ubuntu 14.04, and people wondered what the point was when Linux Mint already featured such a desktop environment,” Softpedia reports.
One of the Ubuntu developers, Oliver Grawert, originally pointed out that it is not necessary that security updates from Ubuntu get down to Linux Mint users since changes from X.Org, the kernel, Firefox, the boot-loader, and other core components are blocked from being automatically upgraded.
Grawert explained, “this is the list of packages it will never update, instead of just integrating changes properly with the packagaes in the ubuntu archive they instead suppress doing (security) updates at all for them. i would say forcefully keeping a vulnerable kernel browser or xorg in place instead of allowing the provided security updates to be installer makes it a vulnerable system, yes. i personally wouldn’t do online banking with it ;)”
Other Ubuntu developers also agreed with Grawert’s opinion.
Benjamin Kerensa, for example, added, “It is unclear why Linux Mint disables all of their security updates although to some degree they have tried to justify their disabling of kernel updates by suggesting that such updates could make a system unstable and that normal users shouldn’t get these kinds of updates. Anyways it is something that might be better researched on their forums since people have asked a few times over the past couple years, and they probably have a better idea than us.”
“I can say that it took them many months to get a fixed version of Firefox packaged while Ubuntu and Debian had already had security fixes in their package. This puts Linux Mint users at risk and is one of the key reasons I never suggest Linux Mint to anyone as an alternative to Ubuntu,” Kerensa said.
We have reached out to Clement Lefebvre of Linux Mint for his comments and will update the story as soon as we hear from him.
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