27 May, 2010

Looking for writer!

Security researcher Joanna Rutkowska and her company have lauched qubes-OS, an FOSS based OS focussing on security by virtualizing all dangerous processes in the system. For example, you'd have a 'work browser' container, a 'shopping browser' container, a 'game' container etc.

They all work together and integrate smoothly, although there are of course a few limitations and extra steps the user has to go through for now.

Why is this interesting, besides from the security point of view? Because Joanna and her team have used KDE desktop technology to run the qubes-OS desktop (screenshots here).

They have made a couple of modifications, and integrated the technology pretty deep. Sounds like an excellent reason to interview them and ask about the why and how of this choice.

Another thing which came up yesterday is this email thread. Joanna here presents a proposal to from now on securely sign released KDE software packages. It's very cool Joanna is actively working on improving security within the FOSS world and within the KDE community.

So who is up for contacting dear Joanna and getting an interview or article out of this?

I already have some introductionairy text (see above...) and a bunch of interview questions laying around - all you'd need to do is expand a bit upon it, send it to her, edit the results, maybe ask follow-up questions and post it to the dot editors team.

As usual: Your english is bad? No problem. You don't have much writing skills? No problem. You just need a little time and willingness to help out...

Who's up for this? Tell me - just send me an email (jospoortvliet on the gmail servers), or mail kde-promo at our kde site.


  1. It looks like it is not a new OS at all but new distribution. They use Linux OS*. No one has on these days time to start developing a new OS and get it working well. We all should be aware what problems even GNU project has to get their own OS called HURD working. Linux is very great because it is a monolithic and you can so easily start playing
    around it. It has very great hardware support and good documentation and very very active development.

    Otherwise very interesting distribution what they have started. Even that Xen is not best virtualisation (the PDF of the architecture is littlebit mess and clashes with own logic, but interesting reading). I would take KVM what is part of Linux already and more stable and easier to use. Fedora 13 is getting Xen back but RedHat never takes the Xen to their enterprise version because it problems.

    * The Linux kernel is monolithic and not microkernel. The monolithic kernel is the complete operating system without any other softwares. That is information what most users do not know at all. They just believe that OS need to have UI or compiler etc. Those are just programs what needs OS under them.

  2. Very interesting distribution. I wonder if the VM runs using the native kernel and hardware, or whether it simulates its own hardware. I can't remember whether KVM does on supported hardware, but I know it virtualises its own hardware on unsupported processors.

  3. @Fri13 Yes, it's linux based. However I don't see why linux distributions would not be different OS'ses. Between Puppy Linux, Android and Kubuntu is a fairly big difference, enough to call them each a different OS for sure ;-)

    I can't comment on their choice for Xen vs KVM - in terms of end user features & performance they're almost the same...

  4. @ Jospoortvliet, in that logic then KDE SC would not be KDE SC in Kubuntu as it would be different what is packaged for Debian. :D

    Not even SELinux is different OS than Linux itself. It is just a security enhanced version of Linux. Same OS, different version but still not a fork. Linux is very rare OS among FOSS OS's that it has not been forked like BSD. Even that there are SELinux and Linux itself, they are under same OS project. MkLinux is different and is based to Linux. It does not use Linux core kernel functios (the kernel function in Linux are very very small, most OS code in Linux are drivers and other OS functions than kernel itself) but Mach microkernel.

    Linux distributors do not even tweak Linux as much as it could be called different OS. They use same branch all the time. Just different set of drivers, different configurations and own packaging. Exacly same thing what distributors do for KDE SC as well. They configure it different way, apply different functios if wanted and packages it for themselfs.

    Aren't the Linux OS version in Kubuntu and Android a 2.6.32? Puppy Linux use 2.6.30 version. All using exactly the same OS. Distributors can even use KVM or XEN and use the options what they want. They can even touch code if wanted to get it little different way.

    There is now very popular idea to call everything "-based" about anything. What is so different in Linux OS in Puppy, Android and Kubuntu distributions to call them different? And not even many researches know that Linux kernel is the operating system. Now it is just much easier to say "Linux-based" because you do not need to think what the technology actually is and how it works.

    We can all ask questions from our selfs, if we compile Linux OS from source what we download from kernel.org site. Do we have different OS than what we had when we used a precompiled package by our used distribution? Do we change OS when we select different version of Linux in bootloader? Is it today so easy that even 10 years old kid can make own OS in 3 days just by compiling Linux itself? For normal person who do not know technology at all. KDE SC and GNOME are two different OS. Such persons can be fooled so easily with even changing theme in KDE SC and they would believe when for them are said it is different OS. So in the end, 15 years old kids believe they make own new OS when they make new custom theme set, own wallpaper, own set of preinstalled applications and then use remastering tools to make a own LiveCD what they then burn.


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