How to Perform a Clean Install of Ubuntu Studio 16.04 LTS

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In this video, I’m going to show you how to perform a clean install of Ubuntu Studio 16.04 LTS (Long Term Support) which is built on the Gnome DTE (Desktop Environment. This is a great spin of Ubuntu that gives you a preload of all the major tools needed for the projects you prefer or like to work on… Be this for video, audio, pictures, 3d or 2d image design, graphic design, software design… I highly recommend this Linux spin for your primary install. I think you will like it. Yes Ubuntu…

1 Comment

  1. There is a very good argument for using "Log in automatically" if passwords are a problem for you.

    Q. Why would passwords be a problem?
    A1. Let's say you have an impairment, physical or mental, which may make interacting with a keyboard or mouse difficult. (Parkinsons, or Thalidomide, not to mention amputees) Maybe you want the machine to be useful for severe autistic or dyslexic users, or the computer is holding reminder notes for you as you move into dementia (if you can't remember what your spouses name is, then a password on the notes that would remind you is not helpful) and any password they could cope with would not be meaningfully secure.
    A2. Let's say the computer is intended to be used by the general public. People you don't want to give a password to your machine, and who may be less likely to take up your offer of free access to a computer, and the internet if they have to find a member of staff and ask what the password is before they can do so. Such machines are typically very limited in their access to the network, and offer little more than a gateway to a curated version of the internet. They may be a digital version of the stores catalogue, so customers can check availability for themselves before asking for a product in the warehouse, they may have an ordering system for a restaurant or hotel, freeing up weighting / serving staff and allowing customers to peruse the menu offers without the pressure of someone standing over them keen to get to the next table / customer.

    Q. How does automatically logging on achieve anything that a blank password does not?
    A. Because, even in an "admin" (sudoer) account, you are still required to re-authenticate that password before performing system-wide administration. The ability impaired, regular user may need help with this, but at least they can offer their admin a teamview session to authenticate for them. Or the main account may not be an administrative one, the password would still be required for remote sessions via ssh / telnet, so it's less likely that a remote hacker will be able to compromise such impaired (or just lazy) users account / data / access.

    Q. But what about someone who gains unauthorised access to the physical machine?
    A. Again, they'd still need to know the password to make system-wide changes. However, if they have local access to the machine, it's widely known that there isn't any protection which will completely secure that system. If they can get to the machine, they can insert a physical keylogger between the USB port of the keyboard and the machine, they could open the case, reset the firmware, change the boot configuration (if necessary) to boot from remote media and and alter the shadow password file to reset the system administrators password and break in that way. If the boot drive is encrypted, this is more difficult, but unless it's encrypted against a physical TPM, they can always take a DD copy of the entire drive and work on it at their leisure.

    Q. Why not replace the password authentication with a token, (swipe card / RFID pog etc.) or bio-metric scanner?
    A. Do you see options for that in the install? Such hardware would have to be tailored to a specific individual with minority needs. Additionally, these systems are often expensive, and even in 1st world countries many users of limited ability tend to have limited income. Ubuntu, in particular, is often used to bring the benefits of technology to impoverished regions of the world, where debilitating disease, or delays in treatment to simple illness / injury result in debilitation are more common, and funding for custom hardware is extremely low. That doesn't make those machines a significantly less attractive targets as Zombies on a DDoS bot-net.

    Conclusion: You are improving security over having no password, or a blank password. The reduction in security is not as great as the reduction in functionality in situations where password authentication is a significant problem. Therefore, "Automatically log-in" is an essential accessibility option, and valuable feature for Linux distributions to offer users. However, it isn't something you'd recommend people do without having a good reason to do so.

    I'm not willing to argue that everyone should use it as a matter of course, and suspect that most users selecting Ubuntu Studio (specifically) should not need it, but if it's for music / art therapy, it may be worthwhile to log in to the default, create a new admin and remove the admin rights from the default… I still think it's better there, and almost never used than stripped.

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