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Does Linux support multi-user?

Does Linux support multi-user?

Posted Jul 19, 2011 14:21 UTC (Tue) by geuder (subscriber, #62854)
In reply to: Does Linux support multi-user? by raven667
Parent article: Reactive vs. pro-active kernel security

> My guess, based on your comment about 64GB servers, is that you haven't much exposure to "Enterprise" VM systems like ESX, Xen or KVM.

True. Well, I got access to the 64GB for free already 2 years ago because it was kind of surplus for the owner organization. So I could have thought that it was no longer a high end machine.

Just checked the first Dell offer I could find and 96GB were 4000 EUR. Indeed cheaper than I thought, but still some 50 EUR per user just for RAM in such a VM installation.

But if I get your point right, you say it's getting that cheap that we can stop worrying about a single Linux being suitable for multiple users with privacy/security requirements. Just use VMs in that case.


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Does Linux support multi-user?

Posted Jul 19, 2011 16:38 UTC (Tue) by raven667 (subscriber, #5198) [Link]

Yes, right now that might be the simplest way to achieve the kind of separation you are looking for for multiple users. It's totally do-able, the infrastructure is there, it's even fashionable.

Now I will point out that running multiple OS kernels in a VM environment isn't the goal, hardware memory managers support strong separation but it's just currently easier to separate jobs into different OS kernels than build and configure the same level of separation within one OS kernel. Sooner or later we will get per-process checkpointing and live migration as well as containers and namespaces such that you will have a single system image across a cluster of machines which will have better scheduling and visibility of resources.


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