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Mac OSX is the best operating system.

What is the best OS regardless of compatability issues?  

54 members have voted

  1. 1. What is the best OS regardless of compatability issues?

    • Windows XP
      13
    • Windows Vista
      15
    • Ubuntu
      3
    • Other Linux
      4
    • Mac OSX
      11
    • Other Unix
      3
    • Other OS (Amiga FTW)
      5


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Call me a troll but I think SS is the only person in this thread that is overreacting.

He's just fustrated at the ignorance of some people. I can't say I blame him.

 

I had a bad choice of words but I don't believe I was ignorant.

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Now there's news of a widespread botnet running on OSX. Well, we've discovered that one - as a security enthusiast I can tell you that OSX has the hardness of Swiss cheese. Melted Swiss cheese.

He has a point. He certainly could have phrased it better, but security is not a strongpoint of OS X.

Are you saying that a 'secure' os, will prevent the user from installing malicious software, when the user agrees with the OS that it wishes to install the software in question, and enters the administrator password?

 

Because I'm pretty sure that just about every OS will allow the administrator of a computer to fuck the computer up.

 

A secure os will not prevent a user choosing to install malware, but it will prevent damage to the system. That's an entirely different issue however.

 

Vista, OS X, XP, Linux etc. None of them can currently stop a user from doing a stupid thing.

 

I took cobwebs comment out of context, and had thought he was referring to the design of the OS, not the fact that a botnet had started as a result of users installing a trojan. My response to that comment was to affirm that OS X was far from secure, not because it allowed users to install malware, but because it can be exploited without user knowledge/consent.

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A secure os will not prevent a user choosing to install malware, but it will prevent damage to the system. That's an entirely different issue however.

 

Vista, OS X, XP, Linux etc. None of them can currently stop a user from doing a stupid thing.

 

I took cobwebs comment out of context, and had thought he was referring to the design of the OS, not the fact that a botnet had started as a result of users installing a trojan. My response to that comment was to affirm that OS X was far from secure, not because it allowed users to install malware, but because it can be exploited without user knowledge/consent.

Care to show any examples?

I assume of course that "without their conscent" doesn't cover them entering their admin password when a malicious app requests authorization to do anything.

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So please tell me why you use vista, is it because you think newer=better?

If it was because I thought "newer = better" then I'd be no more ignorant than you, sir.

 

There's WDDM, Asnychronous disk I/O, native IPv6... Not to mention it was the cheapest Windows OS I'd bought in years. It was under $200.

 

@jdee71 I was trying to be reasonable

Saying "LOL I won't install that virus" and stuff like that is hardly reasonable. Bullheaded, dismissive, technically inept and late to the party, perhaps, but in no way reasonable.

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A secure os will not prevent a user choosing to install malware, but it will prevent damage to the system. That's an entirely different issue however.

 

Vista, OS X, XP, Linux etc. None of them can currently stop a user from doing a stupid thing.

 

I took cobwebs comment out of context, and had thought he was referring to the design of the OS, not the fact that a botnet had started as a result of users installing a trojan. My response to that comment was to affirm that OS X was far from secure, not because it allowed users to install malware, but because it can be exploited without user knowledge/consent.

Care to show any examples?

I assume of course that "without their conscent" doesn't cover them entering their admin password when a malicious app requests authorization to do anything.

 

Sure.

 

OS X lacks a lot of the security functionality that has already been implemented in other operating systems. They're late to the party, and it's possibly going to hurt them at a later stage.

 

Here's a recent example of 6 attack vectors that did not require user consent.

 

At least two of those attacks would not work on XP SP2, Vista, W7, and any hardened Linux or OpenBSD.

 

There is even a book covering this

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the only reason OSX gets very few virii is that only 3% of the market actually use it, so no-one could be fucked writing nasties for something that virtually no-one uses........

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Sure.

 

OS X lacks a lot of the security functionality that has already been implemented in other operating systems. They're late to the party, and it's possibly going to hurt them at a later stage.

 

Here's a recent example of 6 attack vectors that did not require user consent.

 

At least two of those attacks would not work on XP SP2, Vista, W7, and any hardened Linux or OpenBSD.

 

There is even a book covering this

Bugs only disclosed near the time that article was written?

None of which has actually been shown to be more than proof of concept?

 

OBA: Sorry mate, many 'minority' OSes have historically had viruses on them despite small installer bases. Mac has an estimated close to 10% US market share. The old 'classic' versions of the mac OS, before it was UNIX-like, had many viruses on them, despite a much smaller install base.

 

You have to give credit where credit is due. It appears to be much harder to produce a virus in the wild for macs, despite the number of people without anti-virus software.

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Well, i have 4 computers at home ( that i own ). Each running a different Operating System.

So altogether, i have

OSX Leopard

Ubuntu 9.04

XP

Vista

 

and out of all of these, i really like OSX.

I have a laptop that has 4gb RAM 2.4ghz Core 2 Duo & its running Vista Ultimate and it runs it like a dog. (Came with the laptop) Its really slow. Now retail, i have seen Ultimate for sale for like ~$750. Now for the performance, it is not worth it.

Whereas OSX is for sale for considerably less. And personally, i think its a far superior operating system.

 

Everyone knows what XP is like, so there is no point mentioning it here.

 

Ubuntu runs really well. I personally like Ubuntu as well as Centos, which are the 2 Operating Systems i use when im at tafe (as well as XP). If you want an OS for work and u don't want to play games etc, Linux is great cause its free.

 

Overall...i would say that i prefer OSX the best!!!!

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which translates into 3% worldwide.

why would ya bother?

so, why be sorry.

;)

 

Got a link for that?

By browser, it's around 9% isn't it?

 

In any event, as I said. Obscure OSes nearly always have at least one active virus in the wild.

Apple's own previous generation OSes had this too, they had their fair share, in comparable amounts to DOS and later windows.

 

This simply hasn't happened with OS X, presumably because even with such low install rates for AV software, it's hard to code a virus for it.

Hell, at one point, there was a $100,000 US reward for a working, 'live' virus for Mac OS X. The fact that reward was later removed, doesn't reduce for a moment the cudos a hacker would get for making a live os x virus. You can dress it up any way you want.

 

Vista has around a 3% install base on "PC's", which is smaller than a 3% total market share, even if I granted you the concession that your figure was at all accurate. Vista has had viruses in the wild since August '05, that ONLY target vista machines. Let's see, that was 18 months before it even launched. I wonder what it's penetration was at that point?

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Bugs only disclosed near the time that article was written?

None of which has actually been shown to be more than proof of concept?

 

OBA: Sorry mate, many 'minority' OSes have historically had viruses on them despite small installer bases. Mac has an estimated close to 10% US market share. The old 'classic' versions of the mac OS, before it was UNIX-like, had many viruses on them, despite a much smaller install base.

 

You have to give credit where credit is due. It appears to be much harder to produce a virus in the wild for macs, despite the number of people without anti-virus software.

First, i was not talking about producing a live virus, but exploiting the operating system, of which a virus is only one example of.

 

Those bugs vulnerabilities are from a security conference, where they were discussed and presented at length.

 

You really want to downplay it just because they are only proofs of concept? Pretty much every security vulnerability starts out as a proof of concept, which means the vulnerability can actually be exploited.

 

Quoted from the article:

The proof of concept code has the ability to create a new system volume, call to some OS functions, change the user ID, and so on, without administrative privileges.

That means it works. They have code to do this. Now. It's one thing to downplay a theoretical vulnerability without a proof of concept, but to downplay a proof of concept? Anyway. heres the code. The remote exploit is still not patched.

 

Here is currently unpatched vulnerability that can result in privilege escalation and a DOS from the local network.

 

It's not harder to create a virus on the Mac at all. Not by a longshot. OS X has a retarded ASLR implementation, it has no DEP, it has a heap of setuid programs. They just have not put a lot of thought into security. Apple are leaving out basic security technologies that are years old, and making similar mistakes that Microsoft and the OSS camps have made in the past. They don't even have the same protections XP SP2 had, which came out 5 years ago. Hell, they suffer from basic memory injection, so I can run code without even having to create a new process. This is the exact field of work that I do. Among people I have worked with, OS X is a joke. Don't take my word for it however, look at any security researchers opinion of OS X.

 

The lack of AV software or live viruses means nothing. It's just a far less attractive target, with the limited userbase when compared to the millions of windows machines that will remain unpatched. What's the point in having a tiny network of zombies when you could have a huge network of zombies?They have a 7.6% market share. that's not even a 10th of the market...why even bother with it? Besides, I personally tend to be concerned with targeted attacks far more than being part of a botnet, something that is far more likely and easier on OS X.

 

Here's an interview from the security researcher who found the safari code execution bug. A relevant quote:

 

Hacking into Macs is so much easier. You don’t have to jump through hoops and deal with all the anti-exploit mitigations you’d find in Windows.

A second quote, showing the lack of proper ALSR and DEP

 

With my Safari exploit, I put the code into a process and I know exactly where it’s going to be. There’s no randomization. I know when I jump there, the code is there and I can execute it there. On Windows, the code might show up but I don’t know where it is. Even if I get to the code, it’s not executable. Those are two hurdles that Macs don’t have.

Their update policy is complete crap.

 

OS X really does not have security as a strongpoint. I don't see how you could argue that it does, unless you resort to the "but windows has more viruses!" argument.

 

Given that most mac users believe they are immune, when something does hit, most people won't realise what's happening. With the lack of user education, vulnerabilities, and being slow to update, it's only a matter of time before there are enough live viruses for the mac. Hint: the trend shows exploits increase, not security getting better.

 

 

This simply hasn't happened with OS X, presumably because even with such low install rates for AV software, it's hard to code a virus for it.

You want to double check that?

Edited by TheSecret

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Good for you that you know a lot about software and OS, however I'm sure you know deep down that Vista is a terrible OS just as Linux and Mac uses know that their OSes and very incompatible.

So be "different" all you want but if you look at the facts eg. the Steam Survey show that Vista utterly failed and nothing anyone says can change that.

 

Give me 10 valid well thought out reasons (5 maybe copypasta from google) and ill donate 10 billion to the church of steve jobs

 

 

how does the steam survery say that vista utterly failed? It just says that a majority of steam users use windows XP. by your logic the steam survey says that 500gb+ drives have been an utter failure...

 

 

Vista isnt terrible. im not saying its perfect, but i prefer it much over windows xp or apple osx. Windows 7 > all tho. And yes vista in its early stages was a bit funny, ill pay that.

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Give me 10 valid well thought out reasons (5 maybe copypasta from google) and ill donate 10 billion to the church of steve jobs

 

 

how does the steam survery say that vista utterly failed? It just says that a majority of steam users use windows XP. by your logic the steam survey says that 500gb+ drives have been an utter failure...

 

 

Vista isnt terrible. im not saying its perfect, but i prefer it much over windows xp or apple osx. Windows 7 > all tho. And yes vista in its early stages was a bit funny, ill pay that.

Do you want 10 valid reasons Vista failed?

I was just using the steam survey as an example.

What entices you to vista over XP though?

 

OP could you please add windows 7 to the list

How do you edit polls?

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POST

Mate, it's proof of concept.

They've examined the feasibility, and decided it's a vulnerability. But that doesn't mean it's something that can be readily or easily exploited.

 

As for memory injection onto OS X, what, this year they've caught up with techniques that have been used on linux and windows for more than two? Once again, it's not in the wild, although it has the potential to be.

 

From reading your links, they key component to nearly every story, is that Apple hasn't been faced with these vulnerabilities yet. Sure, I know, they've taken a while to address some, particularly the early safari 2 issues. Sure, in theory, these exploits shouldn't exist.

 

But once again, address my point.

Vista has a lower install base, but there are vista ONLY viruses. In fact, there were 18 months before launch. IN THE WILD.

Now explain to me, how those issues, which are a matter of public opinions support your argument that the ONLY reason mac os x doesn't have viruses, is because nobody can get of their fat arses and write them?

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I have a laptop that has 4gb RAM 2.4ghz Core 2 Duo & its running Vista Ultimate and it runs it like a dog. (Came with the laptop) Its really slow. Now retail, i have seen Ultimate for sale for like ~$750. Now for the performance, it is not worth it.

Whereas OSX is for sale for considerably less. And personally, i think its a far superior operating system.

Um, Vista running like a dog on your laptop is due to two factors. One: Laptops come preloaded with shiteloads of useless crap, trial versions and whatnot, which slow down the system. Two: Vista doesn't really run well on most laptops. It's not friendly with them. Also, in Vista Ultimate, you pay for more features, not better performance.

 

Now, only idiots pay the $750 retail for Vista Ultimate. OEM costs $200, tops. Then there's the fact Vista Ultimate will run (to a degree) on, at a guess, 90% of computers (Just a guess, correct me if i'm wrong) built in the last 3 or 4 years. How many will OSX run on? Only Macs! That's 3% market share! The whole reason OSX is so cheap is that most Mac users just buy new computers. Plus there's the fact that the OSX has been around for years, and hence most Macs that people currently have already have it installed.

 

OSX running well is because Macs are closed systems. There's only a few dozen different hardware configurations around for them, rather than the veritable plethora of configs on the PC. So OSX is far easier to tweak to run on lots of different systems, since you know what those systems will be.

 

If anyone wants to know what I voted for, my favorite OS is OS/2, though I wouldn't call it the best.

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Mate, it's proof of concept.

They've examined the feasibility, and decided it's a vulnerability. But that doesn't mean it's something that can be readily or easily exploited.

I really expected more of you than this.

 

Proof of concept means that they have examining the feasibility and decided the vulnerability is serious enough to produce working code to try and pressure apple into patching the vulnerability. That's the general process. Researchers tell the company, if the company does nothing for too long a period, working code gets released as motivation on bugtraq, FD or at a conference.

 

What's more, I linked to working code. Proof of concept code exploits the vulnerability without doing any damage. Do you think they are incomplete or something? I can readily and easily exploit those vulnerabilities right now, so it really doesn't make sense for you to continue denying the fact.

 

As for memory injection onto OS X, what, this year they've caught up with techniques that have been used on linux and windows for more than two? Once again, it's not in the wild, although it has the potential to be.

Its "in the wild" just as much as I can use it now...., it's not in any viruses, but that does not matter. What more do you want?

 

You seem to be confusing my argument with one that states OS X is not secure(it's not) because these vulnerabilities don't matter or are not a threat(they do and they are), when this is not the case. I stated OS X is not secure, because of the design and lack of protective measures that every other OS now has. It is certainly safer, due to the lack of viruses on the platform, but this is not the same as being secure.

 

How about this: provide me even one credible link explaining why OS X is secure as opposed to safer. I can link you to several more than I already have showing why OS X is not considered to be secure.

 

From reading your links, they key component to nearly every story, is that Apple hasn't been faced with these vulnerabilities yet. Sure, I know, they've taken a while to address some, particularly the early safari 2 issues. Sure, in theory, these exploits shouldn't exist.

 

But once again, address my point.

Vista has a lower install base, but there are vista ONLY viruses. In fact, there were 18 months before launch. IN THE WILD.

Now explain to me, how those issues, which are a matter of public opinions support your argument that the ONLY reason mac os x doesn't have viruses, is because nobody can get of their fat arses and write them?

My point was that Apple is not more secure, they are safer. You certainly have not addressed the key points of my post pointing this out, and seem to misunderstand what proof of concept means. You also seem to be putting a false emphasis on viruses or worms, and discounting the risk and seriousness of a targeted attack. Vista does not have a lower install base.., where did you get that from? It is more than double that of Apple. The lack of viruses for for OS X is explained by the fact that the Windows install base is a more attractive target, and that Windows vulnerabilities tend to be more prevalent. We are starting to see a rise, and it is only a matter to time. Anyway, I'm not going to bother arguing that with you until after you explain why still think OS X is secure. It can not be definitively proven, only logically, which may not be satisfying enough for you.

 

To reiterate my point: OS X is not more secure, it is safer.

Edited by TheSecret

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To reiterate my point: OS X is not more secure, it is safer.

I think you and TinBane have actually made this a really interesting and cool thread to read, TheSecret.

 

I'm on vacation currently, in Indonesia (hi from Yogyakarta!). Just thought I'd pop in and check the green.

 

My personal take on it, and, in no way detracting on some of the interesting points you have both raised:

 

I really do feel TheSecret summed it up nicely. OS X isn't more secure by design, simply because of POSIX standards, or a UNIX type authentication layer. No. It is however, safer because of factors both intrinsic and extrinsic to the OS itself. Personal opinion here, and maybe I am out of touch, but a part of me feels, that, even with wide-spread adoption as an OS of choice by a mainstream market, that might not change. Feel free to shoot me down there. I guess you can read into exactly what I consider "safer" as a definition, for yourselves. You both understand how the term "safer" has implications both on an "adoption/footprint + ratio of people creating exploits == viral activity" and the actual "arbitrary code injection/buffer overflow/timing attack risk minimisation as a result of different methodologies of memory management entirely" style concepts.

 

Again, interesting comments. First time in a long time I've seen a thread that was on the brink of destruction, come back from the dead, not totally wrecked, and raised comments/words that I could raise my eyebrows at and ponder happily without getting pissed off, and just not post.

 

z

Edited by zebra

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Hey Zebra,

 

I hope you're enjoying your holiday, and I'm glad I could contribute a bit to making the forum interesting.

 

Regarding the 'safety level' of OS X, personally I do see this changing, just as the computing climate has been in general. Microsoft has been paying a lot of attention to security for at least the last 5 years. Windows 7 will show this, with discouraging running as administrator, and a more user friendly implementation of UAC. Making it harder to execute exploits, and to get users to install crap as they start to ask"why does this program want permission??" will make it a less attractive target.

 

Given that OS X has less protection, and the users are less educated, simply because they have not had to worry about security as much, I really do see more viruses/malware appearing for the mac. Another thing to consider, is that viruses no longer are out for fame, but rather to silently control computers. The next virus outbreak, even it is for a mac, is not going to be as widely reported or as dangerous as slammer or iloveyou. Unfortunately, this means the risk will probably go ignored for a lot longer than it should.

 

As for targetted attacks.., that possibility will always exist, and apart from staying updated, there is not that much you can do. We are not yet at the level where everything that can/should be sandboxed is, or that RBAC/MAC is a standard. One of the best ways to help protect users it to add 'hurdles' such as ASLR, DEP and so on, and I think Apple should be shamed for failing to add this, just as much as Microsoft has in the past.

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As for targetted attacks.., that possibility will always exist, and apart from staying updated, there is not that much you can do. We are not yet at the level where everything that can/should be sandboxed is, or that RBAC/MAC is a standard.

You've touched upon something there that needs to be highlighted, in the form of MAC.

 

If only the SEDarwin project were taken more seriously, I think it might end up as an intentional "putback" into the real Darwin + XNU kernel for MacOS as it comes canned, rather than the "roll your own lol fun"

 

http://sedarwin.org/

 

I played with this back on some PPC hardware (a PPC PowerBook 12"), and it had it's moments. These guys were heading in the right direction, I believe. It is a tremendous loss that the project seems to have lost momentum :(.

 

z

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As for targetted attacks.., that possibility will always exist, and apart from staying updated, there is not that much you can do. We are not yet at the level where everything that can/should be sandboxed is, or that RBAC/MAC is a standard.

You've touched upon something there that needs to be highlighted, in the form of MAC.

 

If only the SEDarwin project were taken more seriously, I think it might end up as an intentional "putback" into the real Darwin + XNU kernel for MacOS as it comes canned, rather than the "roll your own lol fun"

 

http://sedarwin.org/

 

I played with this back on some PPC hardware (a PPC PowerBook 12"), and it had it's moments. These guys were heading in the right direction, I believe. It is a tremendous loss that the project seems to have lost momentum :(.

 

z

 

Indeed. The project is essentially SELinux for OS X, being essential closer to a port rather than a new implementation of FLASK. I don't understand why Apple don't embrace this, and implement it transparently into OS X. They really could be light years ahead. Considering that the OS only runs on specific hardware, and there are far less applications(not counting general unix software), it wouldn't be too hard to author policies for everything and have it ship out of the box. Considering the last update was in 2007, the project does not seem to have much of a future.

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... wow. I came to this thread expecting a whole heap of fanboy crap (which there was a lot of, admittedly) and instead found a really interesting debate. Or rather, a somewhat one-sided argument.

 

I personally dislike Mac OSX rather a lot, and I agree that the interface is very clunky (what's with things not actually quitting when you click the x button and you've returned to the desktop?! And why can you never truly maximise programs properly?).

 

I use XP Home at, well, home, and I'll be getting Vista 64-bit when I get my new rig later this year. Unless Windows 7 is out. And I'll probably get Release Candidate 1.

 

I like the idea of Linux, specifically Ubuntu, but haven't actually tried any distributions. I'll probably dual boot the latest Ubuntu with Vista on my new PC.

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I personally dislike Mac OSX rather a lot, and I agree that the interface is very clunky (what's with things not actually quitting when you click the x button and you've returned to the desktop?! And why can you never truly maximise programs properly?).

Waa waa waa i used one os once and i can't deal with another possibly being different to what i expect oh god oh god what do i do now

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I dont like turtle necks... I just like vista because its fun to tool around and explore in. Imho there is nothing wrong with osx other then its GUI, i find it cumbersome and promotes poor work flow, also i resent the fact that you need to buy the proprietary hardware in order to use it.

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