Virus free desktop

Timo Sirainen tss at
Tue Nov 18 18:34:50 GMT 2003

Friendly and Secure Operating System, and how to modify UNIX to do it:

For a while now I've been thinking about how to make computers actually
work the way people expect them to - mostly related to security.

Currently everyone keeps telling people to not click strange attachments
in emails, not to run random programs downloaded from web, not to use
any p2p software, etc. That's not working. People want to do that and
many don't really care that much if their computer gets infected with
viruses or other malware from time to time. If it gets too annoying,
they run some anti-virus software or get someone else to fix it.

So, how about changing the operating system to allow or even encourage
such behaviour? "Sure, just run anything, it's safe. If it's a virus,
operating system clearly warns about it."

Linux desktop isn't currently much better in security than Windows is.
Linux viruses are still possible, although they can mess "only" your
data rather than the whole system. But if it just deleted the document
you had been working on for weeks, it doesn't help much.

Wouldn't it be nice if you were actually able to truthfully say that
viruses aren't really possible with Linux? Not just that they don't
currently exist, which is the situation now. That there would actually
be a real reason for "normal people" to switch to Linux other than just
the cost?

It may not be a small job, but I think it's quite doable using existing
software. I do plan to implement it at least partially for myself one
day when I have enough time, but I hope others get interested enough to
implement it sooner and more throughout the desktop.

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