/! Note to English readers : I won’t take time to translate French for English readers and English to French readers. Under the present text you can find a few places where you can get an instant and approximate translation.

/! Je ne prendrai pas le temps de traduire l’anglais pour les francophones, ou le français pour les anglophones. Voici quelques adresses pour une traduction instantanée et approximative du contenu de ces pages:

http://translate.google.fr/

http://fr.babelfish.yahoo.com/

http://www.wordreference.com/

De quoi s’agit-il ?

Tout récemment, il y a à peine quelques mois Texstar a décidé de se mettre en retrait par rapport au développement de sa distribution, PCLinuxOS. Depuis, l’équipe qui a repris a pris des positions rigides concernant ce qu’ils nomment les standards de publication.
En gros, si vous faites des remasters destinés au public, suivez leurs standards à la lettre, ou alors ne comptez plus sur leur soutien, ni pour vous-même ni pour les utilisateurs de vos saveurs.

Voici le lien vers le post:
*** Notice to all would be remaster creators ***

Ce qui me gêne dans le cas de la versions Éducation est relatif à la sécurité. Comme nous allons le voir, sécurité sous GNU/Linux rime avec privilèges d’administration, or, l’installeur de la distribution PCLinuxOS n’exige aucun mot de passe.

C’est d’ailleurs probablement le cas pour nombre d’autres versions GNU/Linux, seulement dans le cas d’une distribution destinée aux enfants et aux écoles, il apparaît que c’est plus sensible, car les utilisateurs novices ne pensent pas toujours, loin de là, qu’un OS destiné aux enfants puisse être accompagné de risques majeurs comme écraser un OS déjà présent sur le disque dur, lors d’une installation intempestive, ou faire joujou avec les fichiers et dossiers du disque dur lors d’une session en live au cours de laquelle les partitions d’un système utilisant NTFS sont accessibles en lecture et écriture.

Aussi, me voici partie à requérir un amendement au nouveau règlement, et surprise après mon réveil ce jourd’hui : non seulement j’ai reçu deux NON catégoriques, et supposés humiliants (je ne me sens vraiment pas concernée… ) mais en plus le sujet est verrouillé !

Voici l’histoire au complet, car je ne vais pas attendre que tout ceci disparaisse pour le présenter. (Les administrateurs du forum sont aussi très rapides pour appuyer sur le bouton « supprimer » lorsqu’un sujet les dérange un tant soit peu, et ils maîtrisent à merveille les outils pour couper les posts à qui mieumieux à travers un fil).

Enfin, au final la décision sur ce que deviendra PCLinuxOS Éducation ne doit pas m’appartenir, mais être discutée et décidée en commun avec tous les utilisateurs et testeurs qui ont contribué à sa création. C’est la moindre des choses.

Voici le fil de la discussion sur le forum PCLinuxOS, dans la section utilisateurs avancés:

PCLinuxOS Education 2012 and security concerns

Si je sujet disparaît, vous en trouverez une copie ici:

PCLinuxOS Education 2012 and security concerns

et puisque le sujet est verrouillé, voici le contenu du message privé que j’adresse à Old-Polack, pour continuer la discussion, message dont j’espère qu’il le transmettra aux autres membres décideurs de l’équipe:

Hi O-P,I am sorry to see you have locked the topic, and that the pclos team treats the users and contributors like children (or dummies). You can talk as long as you want about the standards in linux distributions, the details I started talking about are not relevant to standards in linux distributions but about details on the methods used and the shape under which the distribution is delivered.

About humiliation : I was not feeling humiliated until you or Jase LOCKED the topic, which clearly means «shut your mouth we heard you enough». On the opposite, I was ready to have a frank discussion on what seems to me a key matter in the details of the pclinuxos versions : SECURITY.

Let me demonstrate how I view security through the Linux (GNU/Linux !) standards. One key item of the security under Linux : the root password, and the repeated claim in ALL distributions : don’t login to X as root !!!

What was PCLinuxOS do during decades ? Write the root credentials at login screen and on the forum tell newbies how to login as root to X to solve some of their problems (you may remember a talk we had at the forum some time ago, maybe one year or two when a guy had done all his home in the home of root… )

The one main standard in GNU/Linux distributions about security is the priviledges related to administrating a system : never without a ROOT permission.

So is installing a distribution a current task that a user would do usually in his daily use of an operating system ? I am sure you will answer NO. This is an administrative task. So I repeat, installing SHOULD if not just in Edu, but in ALL cases, require the ROOT password.

After I had written publicly about this particular point of my request I was expecting the PCLinuxOS team to be a little more thoughtful and even demonstrate more clever thinking : I am expecting the PCLinuxOS team to re-think the way ALL versions are distributed and put some barriers on the install process, to guarantee that the install process will always be performed at least with a root password, be it from the Live, or from the boot stanza.

Let me end with one word about standards in GNU/Linux distributions : the shape of a Live installable is not a standard and offers particular possibilities that most other GNU/Linux do not offer, such as installing from a demo version or accessing to the internal partitions. If this shape is not fit for a particular purpose, it has to be amended, which does not remove all the other qualities the distribution has. If this shape is especially a risk for the people’s data, then the shape is not good and has to be changed, without removing the other qualities that the distribution offers.

With the humdrum of the use and the development tasks, I believe the present team has forgotten theses important details about security and about delivering versions to a public constituded by a growing number of zero day newbies.

Now for the qualities that PCLinuxOS brings which are most important, here is a comparision between PCLinuxOS Education and other Education versions. Here is a list:
http://www.framasoft.net/rubrique213.html

I have tried one derived from Debian which is Doudoulinux : hardly installable (uses dd in console or nothing), and can’t be updated, upgraded or added programs.

Others I have read of : not possible to add programs or to update.

I could study them all and do a list, none has what our’s have : only very recent versions of all edu games and programs on a distribution which can not only be installed in single and multiboot, but also is working as a rolling release and can be changed throught the install of packages and all changes people can fancy as in another of the flavors.

This is why I don’t feel humiliated to discuss the matter publicly : because it is worth it !!! Who will feel humiliated ? Me or the people who show clearly on the forum, that they refuse to use their brain ?

Let me also acknowledge you that since yesterday evening I have already received several private messages of sympathy from some of  our members also contributing, telling me I did a good job with this Edu, and to hold on. I don’t feel humiliated : I hope the main team will now take the time to think about it quietly and not think they have the right to decide all without a thought for the final users among which I count myself.

I was about to forget : I prefer the light of public talks, than the obscurity of private messages, when the subject is not strictly personal.

Obcurity/Light : does that remind you something ?

You can forward my present message to the other members of the development team. If I knew of a group name to Bcc I would have used it.

Please take note : all this does not remove on bit from the consideration I have towards you.

Have a nice day, with my best regards,
Mélodie

À suivre…