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Ubuntu security vs Linux Mint security?
Cyba.Cowboy commented on 9 May 2019 at 8:58 pm UTC

For various reasons, I am considering a change from Ubuntu to Linux Mint, however the one thing that is still making me "um" and "ah" is security - Ubuntu may not be the most secure Linux-based operating system out there, but when it comes to Linux-based operating systems targetting "everyday" users, it famously sits pretty high on the list with regards to security.

I already know that Linux Mint does not use App Armour - but what about the rest of the security in Linux Mint?

* Does Linux Mint run with low-level privileges by default, and is Polkit implemented at all?
* Ubuntu comes with a firewall pre-installed and configured (with the GUI part being optionally installed by the user) - does Linux Mint do the same?
* Are there any extra steps that Linux Mint take to "harden" its operating system or packages, like Canonical does (by using things such as buffer overflow protection when compiling packages)?
* How about encryption? Is there support for full-disk encryption within Linux Mint?

I found numerous articles that were critical of Linux Mint's security - but all of them were from several years ago, at which time Linux Mint were vowing to focus on enhancing security with the operating system... I was not able to find anything about Linux Mint's security which is recent-ish.

Yes I know that both Ubuntu and Linux Mint have their own forums, but I thought I'd ask over here and hopefully get some neutral answers, rather than those without bias...

Looking forward to hearing people's thoughts.

dvd commented on 10 May 2019 at 12:14 am UTC

Virtually all modern distros prefer the use of sudo over the root account, if that's what you're asking.
All modern distros support (kind of) full-disk encryption.
As for kernel hardening, i don't really know what they use, but Mint may have some documentation on that. It probably has everything enabled that works on ubuntu and debian, but that's just ma guess.

tuxintuxedo commented on 10 May 2019 at 2:25 pm UTC

Don't take it for granted, but as far as I know, Mint uses the stock Ubuntu kernel and the packages from the Ubuntu repositories. They mostly focus on cosmetics and features that their users like to see the most.
I don't believe they do anything that would make the OS more secure. Previously they also had update levels, where kernel updates (with fixes) weren't even recommended for users. That's security for them.

Cyba.Cowboy commented on 4 August 2019 at 9:26 pm UTC

dvdAs for kernel hardening, i don't really know what they use, but Mint may have some documentation on that.

Yes I know it's about three months since my original post... But I finally have some time off from work, so I decided to take the newly-released Linux Mint 19.2 ("Tina") for a spin on a "spare" computer - and much to my surprise, Linux Mint 19.2 ("Tina") has AppArmor support "out-of-the-box", enabled by default (so much for no AppArmor support in Linux Mint, as some people online claim...)!

Further to this, Linux Mint 19.2 ("Tina") is using the exact same kernel as Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS ("Bionic Beaver"), and even had UFW (Uncomplicated Firewall) installed by default... Might have to test it for another day or so, and see what I think of Linux Mint (before potentially installing it on my "Daily Driver") - I was a big fan of Unity and whilst I have adapted to GNOME, I am still not a big fan of it from a functionality / workflow perspective.


tuxintuxedoPreviously they also had update levels, where kernel updates (with fixes) weren't even recommended for users. That's security for them.

At the time of writing, Linux Mint 19.2 ("Tina") is using the exact same kernel "out-of-the-box" as Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS ("Bionic Beaver"), the latter of which is my "Daily Driver" now...

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