Posted Feb 23, 2013 15:19 UTC (Sat) by khim
In reply to: DRI3000
Parent article: LCA: The X-men speak
Think about it, what do you actually need this feature for?
Imagine a public machine that different users can log in to.
I don't need to imagine that. This is exactly where we use Ctrl-Alt-Del on Windows the most.
It does not matter, is it windows, linux, graphical or text terminal.
Yes, it does matter. Very much so.
User just comes, logs in, does the job and logs out, another user comes, etc.
Sorry, but this is where you conveniently change your usecase to make sure you'll win the argument. Why would I log out? In our case it's pretty beefy test Windows system (actually few Windows systems: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, etc) which is shared with many other developers. It's pretty beefy system so we don't log out out of it, but use Ctrl-Alt-Del to lock it instead. When machine is locked (and it's usually locked) I can press Ctrl-Alt-Del to guarantee that I'm at the login screen, log into the system as me (all my programs and windows are where I left them), then, when I'm done with testing, lock the screen again. It's safe because all the places where I enter password are under control of the administrator or me, other people's sessions never see my password.
If you're going to log in to a public Windows machine, you first hit Ctrl+Alt+Del, just in case, and then enter login/password. Same when you come to a public Linux machine, whatever you see on a screen, you first hit "Secure Access Key" (if there's something running, it gets killed, getty will respawn), then enter login/password. That's just another (better) solution to the same problem.
Is this a joke? Let's compare.
Windows "awful solution":
1. Press Alt-Ctrl-Del.
2. Pick your session.
3. Enter password and start workding.
Linux's "better" solution:
1. Try to find some free text login screen on some console.
2. Press Alt+SysRq+K to restart everything.
3. Login and use some tools (which ones?) to see if your session is hijaked or not.
4. Do a logout on text console.
5. Switch to a graphical one where your session is still [hopefully] resides and finally
6. Unlock the screen.
Do you really believe this convoluted dance which you need to perform again if you left the system for the 3 minutes to go to WC is somehow better then Windows approach?
You can Ctrl+Alt+F1...F6, SAK, log in as root and "only guaranteed secure set of programs" will work there for you. Windows just don't have such a simple thing. :)
It looks like your information is out of date (as usual for Linux pundit). Windows received this ability in Windows Vista which is six year old by now! Before that it was impossible to combine secure Ctrl-Alt-Del with domains which made this approach not all that practically usable. Microsoft fixed it's usability problem and now it's pleasure to use (and quite safe to boot) while Linux pundits continue to preach that their beloved Linux has perfect solution while in fact it's approach is clearly inferior (it may be theoretically slightly more safe, but in practice it's very easy to use it in unsafe way and quite hard to use it in safe way which means that in practice it's worse).
Both Linux and Windows continue to evolve and while some places where Linux is better still remain Windows is better in many, many aspects. Ctrl-Alt-Del vs Alt+SysRq+K/Ctrl+Alt+Backspace is one of them. Think about it: why Ctrl+Alt+Backspace is disabled on many [most?] Linux distributions? It's for a reason! This approach is dangerous: it's very easy to accidentally lose your data. Windows's approach, on the other hand, is not just safe - it's pleasure to use!
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