Linux

Is Linux secure?

Episode 1462

Ted from Louisiana
Linux Penguin

Ted put Linux on an old Vista Machine, but when he went to use the app Turbo Tax online, it said that it wouldn't support Linux. Leo says to try the Chromium browser in Linux. It's more open source. But being a standard web app, it should work regardless. Is it secure? Leo says it is, but it's not 100% flawless. It does have the benefit of being obscure, though. Hackers want to go after the most people, and open source is such a small segment that it's relatively off their radar. Certainly more secure than Windows Vista.

Can I still get Windows XP Updates?

Episode 1459

John from Bucks County, PA
Windows XP

John has an old PC that runs XP and he's going to install Debian Linux on it. He wants to keep XP on it to run dual boot, though. Can he still get Service Pack 3 to get it up to date? Leo says that Microsoft has killed XP development, so he can't really get ahold of it except through a third party archival service. He'll have to decide if that's legit. If he installs Linux first, it may prevent installing Windows XP in the process.

Processor Flaws Give Hackers Access to Your Data

Episode 1452

Processor

2018 brought about the news that every processor built in the last ten years have a flaw in them that could give hackers access to sensitive data. Initially believed to affect just Intel processors, the latest is that this affects every single processor made, regardless of platform.

The flaws utilizes a technique called "processor speculation," which enables the processor to speculate what the user will do next in order to accelerate performance. But the feature also gives hackers access to sensitive L2 cache data like passwords. It's especially true for networks.

How can I image my new computer before I get started?

Episode 1443

Charles from Colton, CA
Backup and Restore (Windows 7)

Charles bought a new computer and is trying to back up his operating system before he gets going. Leo says it's a good idea to make an image right at the beginning. He can even do it on a small 8GB USB thumb drive and keep it in his pocket. The laptop will likely have a rescue utility that will enable him to create a restore rescue disc, but he can also use the Windows 10 backup feature. Just press Windows Key and type "Backup" and then go to backup settings. Then click "Backup and Restore (Windows 7)." This is actually an image backup, and it will create a system image.

Is Ubuntu the best brand of Linux?

Episode 1391

Harold from North Carolina
Ubuntu

Harold installed Ubuntu onto his computer and he likes it. Leo prefers Debian because it's community supported, while Ubuntu is now a commercial product. The Arch Linux distro is the best. It has great Wiki and community support, but it's more for hardcore Linux users. Harold should use the Antergos installer, it does it all. But Ubuntu has great hardware support as well.

Can I install ChromeOS on an old computer?

Episode 1387

Eric from Hutchinson, KS
Neverware

Eric would like to put ChromeOS on an old PC. Can he do that? Leo says there are some ways to do it, but they really aren't that easy to do. He could install Chromium OS using NeverWare's CloudReady. It won't work on all computers, though, so he should read carefully what computers it supports. Another option is to put Linux on it. Xubuntu or Zubuntu could work.

What's a good Linux laptop with a large screen?

Episode 1386

Robert from University City, CA
Lenovo Yoga 710 15"

Robert wants to buy a personal computer that is well built and runs Linux with a 17" screen. Leo says that most laptops top out at 15", but there are a few 17" models still available. Lenovo is one of the few manufacturers that ship laptops with Linux. Lenovo's P51 has a 15.6" screen. Lenovo's X1 Yoga has a great 15" model with an excellent keyboard.

How can I safely partition my hard drive for Linux?

Episode 1382

Mike from Portland, ME
rEFInd

Mike finally installed Linux Mint into his old Dell laptop. When he was partitioning it, Windows wanted 2/3 of the drive for XP. He's not planning on using it that much, so he made it as small as he could, but it won't let him. Leo says he doesn't even need Windows if he's not planning on using it, so he can just delete the Windows partition altogether.

Can I still buy a copy of Windows XP?

Episode 1378

David from Chatsworth, CA
Lubuntu

David has an old PC and he needs to get Windows XP for it. Can he still buy it? Leo says not in regular stores. He could find it on eBay, but he would need to make sure it's an official copy of XP. He'll have to be sure it has a hologram on it, serial number, etc.

Leo recommends getting a copy of Linux instead. Lubuntu or Xubuntu would be better, free, and more secure.

What computer should I get for college?

Episode 1373

Tara from Menifee, CA
Dell XPS 13

Tara is going back to college to become an electrical engineer and is trying to find the right computer for the job. Should she get a tablet or a MacBook? She'll be doing coding as well. Leo says that if there's specific software, then she'll likely need to use the platform that supports it. She should talk to an advisor and ask them. Since she's doing electrical engineering and not computer science, then a Linux computer may actually work for her. She should get any laptop she likes and then she can put Linux on it. Most coders prefer it anyway.