Skip to main content

Topic: Windows Frustration Thread (Read 5652 times)

  • Frenzie
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Administrator
Windows Frustration Thread
Because of my uneventful minor upgrade I decided to reintroduce Windows 7 on one of my disks for gaming purposes. But during installation, Windows kept complaining about not being able to find or use a "system disk" (read: bootable partition), even though I explicitly cleared out an entire disk for it to do with as it pleased. I tried preparing partitions in GParted, but no luck.

In a last-ditch effort I physically unplugged each and every one of my drives except the one on which I wanted to install Windows. What do you know? It worked. The bottom line: this kind of stuff is why I purged Windows from my system in 2011.

  • krake
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: Windows Frustration Thread
Reply #100
The recommended recipe for success is as follows.
The above article is reasonable.
However, it hardly can apply to state sponsored attacks.

  • Frenzie
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Administrator
Re: Windows Frustration Thread
Reply #101
Because MS killed security only updates many IT people were reluctant to swallow MS all-in-one shady updates.
There's a reason Debian has been my primary OS since 2011 and it's not that it's gratis. (Heck, I still have Windows on both my desktop and my laptop. Only the old netbook is Xubuntu-only.)

The update process is so much more streamlined in most Linux distros. By and large only kernel upgrades require restarting. Most updates can just run in the background daily and e-mail you a report about it.

(Okay, that's not the reason, but the nicer update process is certainly a big boon.)

But yeah, I can very much see where people are coming from with the "update to Windows 10" debacle. And it wasn't just a one-time fluke, they kept sneaking the damned Windows 10 update nonsense.

On a related note, after my Windows installed the "Creator's Update" the other day it booted to Edge telling me to make it the default browser. Have they learned nothing?

  • krake
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: Windows Frustration Thread
Reply #102
Since Win2K I did only install security related updates on Windows.
Even those security updates were selective. As an example - among the first things I've done with a new computer was a tailored fresh install.
No .NET framework and as such no security updates for that risky environment.
Over 90% of Windows' security updates were/are addressed for Internet Explorer/Edge and the .NET framework.
On Win7 I've also disabled WindowsDefender which I had no use for and as such skipped the definition updates as well.
I didn't have to install many updates over the years and never had problems with the OS.
As of the "update to Windows 10" debacle, it didn't affected me and prooved me right for the way I did updates all over the years.

Speaking of Linux
Do all popular distros offer security updates?
Are you offered to review the security updates and select which one to install?

  • ersi
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: Windows Frustration Thread
Reply #103
Speaking of Linux
Do all popular distros offer security updates?
Are you offered to review the security updates and select which one to install?
Different Linuxes do it differently. Popular ones resemble Windows in that even if you can take a look at the code of every single patch (at Github or the like) it may be difficult to bypass it.

The most relevant patches we are talking about concern the kernel. If you are proficient enough to tailor the kernel, you can bypass all updates for it while still receiving all other updates. I'm a noob and I don't care for that. When I run into too many issues, I simply reinstall. But my experience on Linux has been generally solid and pleasant.

The worst problem I've had with Linux was buying a computer with AMD Phenom processor which seems to be specifically designed to seriously hickup with Linux. Reinstallation does not help there. Selling it off helps.

  • krake
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: Windows Frustration Thread
Reply #104
If I understand you correctly all security updates concerning the OS are kernel patches.
Security updates for third party software like Java, .NET, browser, ..., are separate update packages/patches.


  • ersi
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: Windows Frustration Thread
Reply #105
No. The main point is: It's kernel updates versus everything else. It's just that kernel updates for a single point version tend to be security updates and minor bugfixes only. If you want a kernel feature update, you generally upgrade to a different kernel version number (upgrade as distinguished from update). Linux makes it easy to keep several kernel versions on board and you can switch them by rebooting.

If I remember right, the last time I looked at a *Buntu, there were three levels of updates, one level for kernel (labelled Security, the way you like, but it was really more like for kernel only) and you could refuse that level.

Browsers and such also receive security updates, obviously, but they are not distinguished from ordinary app updates in any way. Generally you can click around and make selections in the thing called updates notifier, but there are a lot of interdependencies within Linux, so in reality you cannot tailor things too much there.

Linuxes fall roughly into two classes. In the more popular class it's generally assumed/recommended that you update everything. In those distros (including Ubuntoids) you don't go to the Firefox website to update your Firefox. You wait for the Firefox updates in the distro repository[1] and you can only update when the volunteers who work for the distro have completed administering all the packages in the repository so users can update their computers from there. You can refuse updates for some select packages/apps, but you must know what you are doing.

There's the thing called package manager (related to, but distinct from updates notifier) that is specific to each distro. You will need to learn to know the package manager for your distro. When things break and the package manager is a good one and you know it well enough, you can revert updates, change labels/tags on the packages etc. to fix things. When you end up not liking a distro and you choose another, you must learn to know the other package manager.

Generally it's the easiest and safest to refuse kernel updates. Other packages/apps tend to have more interdependencies that can break.

Then there's the following important catch. You may refuse an update, either for a select package or for the entire system. Then comes the next update cycle and you will receive the previous updates along with it anyway. It's just the way Linux generally works. It cannot work anyother way, because interdependencies are many and it takes a lot of work to keep a distro consistent. To completely bypass this, there's another class of Linuxes, the hypernerdy old-school tinkerer class.

In that other class of Linuxes, e.g. Slackware, perhaps even better - BSD, the distro repository (the server that hosts the updates for the distro) hosts just the bare essentials, because it's generally assumed that people update the apps/packages locally and individually. In this class, you see an update for Firefox on the internet, just like on Windows. Then you go download the Linux version for Firefox and compile it locally. Compile = build an installable package. It's a good skill because you can modify it to your heart's content. Then install it. If a dependency breaks, you hunt for an update for the dependent package too or you figure out the changed dependency requirements and recompile things from source, applying the changed requirements. In a similar way you can compile and recompile the kernel, applying or removing whatever parts you want/need.

In small ways, we can/must practise all this on the more popular Linuxes also, whenever we want to install something that is not hosted in the repository or when we want (and know how) to modify the kernel.
Repository is the server that hosts updates for the distro. It's just like Microsoft hosts Windows updates, but the difference is that Microsoft does not host updates for desktop apps like Firefox or Libreoffice, whereas Linux hosts updates for everything from kernel through system libraries up to desktop apps and it's recommended to update everything all at once, as much as is hosted and administered in the repository.

  • Frenzie
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Administrator
Re: Windows Frustration Thread
Reply #106
If I understand you correctly all security updates concerning the OS are kernel patches.
Security updates for third party software like Java, .NET, browser, ..., are separate update packages/patches.
No, but the kernel is close to the only thing that necessitates a system restart. The other stuff is more like do you use Debian stable or Ubuntu LTS (only security updates for several years) or do you use a rolling distro where these things are hard to separate.

  • krake
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: Windows Frustration Thread
Reply #107
Hmm, stable and rolling releases. It gets complicated for a noob. :)
Let's take a stable release with only security updates and no new features for several years.
I assume that those security updates apply to both, the OS and third party software bundled with it. Correct?
But I'm afraid that things can get even more complicated for a noob.
What happens if (I assume it's possible) you uninstall some third party software of the bundle or replace it with other ones?
Does the OS detect if the security updates don't match the modified bundle?

BTW, as far as I can see Debian has a vast number of software packages as options to choose from.
Besides, there is also Wine.

Edit:
Sorry Ersi, I've overlooked your post which already answers some of my questions. Thanks!

As far as I can see it, there is no silver bullet.
However one thing is for sure. Win7 is the last OS from MS I'm using on my home computer.
  • Last Edit: 2017-05-16, 16:58:12 by krake

  • Frenzie
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Administrator
Re: Windows Frustration Thread
Reply #108
I assume that those security updates apply to both, the OS and third party software bundled with it. Correct?
Yes. Although in a system like Debian almost everything but the package management system is "third-party" in the way you seem to be using it, the OS itself (i.e., GNU+Linux) included. From a distro-perspective it would generally make more sense to use third-party to refer to software not found in the official repositories.

What happens if (I assume it's possible) you uninstall some third party software of the bundle or replace it with other ones?
Does the OS detect if the security updates don't match the modified bundle?
You can pin packages, but generally the only reason to install a different version of a package is to have it at a higher version than what's currently available in the repo. So the official repo version overwriting it if and when it's updated is normally exactly what you'd want to happen.

Third-party software in general (such as Opera or Vivaldi) often maintains its own repos that integrate with the system.

Besides, there is also Wine.
In Wine you'd have to update manually or use whichever auto-updater is included in a Windows application. Expecting the system to take care of that would be highly irrational. :P (Of course the system does update Wine itself.)

  • krake
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: Windows Frustration Thread
Reply #109
In Wine you'd have to update manually or use whichever auto-updater is included in a Windows application. Expecting the system to take care of that would be highly irrational. :P
As noob as I am I didn't expect that. :)
I only mentioned Wine in regard of some Windows software one might be used to and there is no linux port for it. :)

  • Barulheira
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
BSD is not Linux exactly
Reply #110
Just to keep it clear, "BSD" is not a Linux distro. It is another operating system - or better, another class of operating systems descendant from the old Unix - or something like that. :)

  • ersi
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: BSD is not Linux exactly
Reply #111
You can pin packages...
This is a gross technical term. You "pin" only in the graphical package manager. It means "to exclude from the common update cycle".

On my distro, the graphical package manager (even though pretty and popular and eagerly developed) is not quite safe. It happens often enough when the update notification explicitly recommends command-line.

Third-party software in general (such as Opera or Vivaldi) often maintains its own repos that integrate with the system.
True mostly for Debian and Ubuntoids. There are Linux-friendly software producers, such as Vivaldi etc. that normally produce a Debian and Fedora package, sometimes also OpenSUSE and more. But if you have a different distro, you can't expect the Debian/buntu package to work just so. (Yup, a "Linux" package is guaranteed to work only on a single select distro. This is an unintended consequence of separate package management systems for every distro. A distro normally has its own separate repositories which in turn implies a separate package management system which in turn has brought about incompatibility of package formats across Linux distros.)

If the thing is not in the repository, you must grab the source or tarball and compile locally. Which is why I use Manjaro/Arch whose nicety is, on top of the official repository, an extraordinarily large bunch of user-built software packages and compiler scripts that are conveniently shared.

Just to keep it clear, "BSD" is not a Linux distro. It is another operating system - or better, another class of operating systems descendant from the old Unix - or something like that. :)
This is another gross technicality. Nothing gets clearer this way.

  • Frenzie
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Administrator
Re: Windows Frustration Thread
Reply #112
This is a gross technical term. You "pin" only in the graphical package manager. It means "to exclude from the common update cycle".
Exclude is a much "grosser" word than pin. If you pin something it stays put until you unpin it. Same as pinned tabs. Exclude is an ugly, difficult Latinate word. :p

  • krake
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: Windows Frustration Thread
Reply #113
Something I forgot to mention and might be of interest for someone.
Less known is the MUC (MicrosoftUpdateCatalog) wherefrom there is still possible to downlad security-only updates. It's not nearly as convenient as MS updates used to be in the past but it's still a poor option of last resort.

  • Belfrager
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: Windows Frustration Thread
Reply #114
as convenient as MS updates
MS updates are everything but convenient.
A matter of attitude.