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Date: Thu, 06 May 2004 11:28:53 +0200
From: Andreas Ericsson <>
Subject: Re: How Owl is better from "other leading linux distributions"?

Marek Bajon wrote:
> Hallo Owl users, 

> I am quite new to Owl and before I invest more time in getting to know this 
> distro I would like to make sure it is right for my needs. Is there a summary 
> showing differences (improvements) between Owl and Redhat or SuSE? I would 
> like to use Owl as firewall and I feel it is a good choice but can someone 
> help me to justify this feeling? 
I don't know about SuSE, but RedHat holds convenience over security in 
its priorities. Owl does not.
Most packages in a RedHat distribution have just been compiled with a 
specific set of options, after being fetched from the net. While this 
allows for faster development and a larger package repository, Owl 
developers proactively audit the code of the packages (focusing on 
kernel, networking daemons and suid programs, ofcourse). This makes Owl 
a bit 'slower' to incorporate programs that are nice to have in a 
distro, but on the other hand you at least know some competent coder 
somewhere has taken pride in going over the source, finding and fixing 
bugs while at it.
Owl has a variety of 'quirks' that makes programs work in a 
securityenhanced way. For instance, every user has its own tmpdir, and 
with the tcb password scheme alot of suid root binaries has been 
'demoted' to sgid shadow instead, which ofcourse is far preferrable.
The RPM package format makes for great portability, and many packages 
from RedHat can be installed without modifications on an Owl-system.

> Best regards 
> Marek Bajon 

Mvh / Best Regards
Sourcerer / Andreas Ericsson
+46 (0)733 709032

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