View Full Version : What I want from my OS

June 28th, 2014, 05:47 PM
What I want in an OS is no less and no more than functionality, security and reliability. I am not only willing but eager to pay for the privilege of owning a smart phone/tablet/PC that not only works well but does not make every effort to monetize my personal information on a global basis. This includes the applications that are available to supplement the OS; I would like the OS to offer a selection of applications that have been vetted for privacy concerns and is transparent about what information is accessed, used and what it is used for.

This is an opportunity for Ubuntu to differentiate itself in a meaningful way from Apple, Google, Microsoft, Blackberry and others who collect, process and redistribute my personal information to others in varying ways and degrees.

I and my check book are waiting...

June 28th, 2014, 06:59 PM
I thought Ubuntu was already part of that list.

June 28th, 2014, 07:07 PM
Ubuntu seems to be moving in that direction, but it is not yet widely available on phones and tablets. If the 'me too' information-collection business model doesn't prove viable for Canonical, I hope they will pursue something more original; say not collecting personal information.

I guess this was more a wish then anything else.

June 28th, 2014, 08:54 PM
I imagine you are most concerned about the various search lenses, eg Amazon, that are enabled in ubuntu when it's installed, but if that is all you are worried about you can easily disable that after installing; at the moment it does not actually send any info about you to any outside organisation, though I accept it is difficult to predict the future, and who knows waht might be in years to come.

I may be paranoid, but for example, even when using google as my search engine, I am never logged in under my gmail account name, and I do not stay logged in to gmail by default, as seems to be a requirement of using android on a tablet. I am aware that my IP gives away quite a lot about my location, but that is so whatever OS you are using.

June 29th, 2014, 12:11 AM
Since I am using Lubuntu I am not really worried about privacy from the OS level.

The problem is I am stuck with Google. I have tried some other search engines like Duckduckgo (https://duckduckgo.com/) and ixquick (https://www.ixquick.com/) but honestly none are as good as Google.

Same thing with Gmail. Despite the fact that we all know that none of our mails are private we still use Gmail simply coz there are no good alternatives.

Need to stay in touch with friends so its difficult to stay away from Facebook.

June 29th, 2014, 12:58 AM
The only way to protect your privacy is to use any OS (of your choosing) on your computer,,, BUT,,, Never ever connect it to the World Wide Web.. Do this and you need never worry about viruses, malware, Amazon , Google, the NSA , GCHQ, Interpol etc. Would be a nice toy or word processor/calculator (and not much else) ;););)

June 29th, 2014, 01:55 AM
If Canonical had the yearly profits of Apple, Microsoft or Google, It might have the money to bring out such mobile devices as you desire. But not many people will want to pay over the odds for such a device. Do you?

So, Canonical needs OEM partners and they need high volume sales to get their money back and make profits. And all that means producing devices that will sell to all those millions of people who are already buying mobile devices and do not want the restrictions that you desire. They want the kind of devices that they are already buying and they want new devices to let them do what they already can do on their present mobile devices.

As regards Canonical and privacy, here is the policy statement:


Have you been following the development of the apps for Ubuntu phones/tablets? All Ubuntu phone/tablet apps will run in a sandbox so that they are strictly limited in their access to other parts of the system. Developers have to list all the permissions that their app will need. This list is called a Manifest. This manifest is checked to see if the app is going to do anything nasty. And if it is the app is rejected. For those apps that are accepted an AppArmor profile is written out and now the app is prevented from going outside its declared operating limits.

Ubuntu (for Phone and Tablets) has a new app security model. Apps are confined. That is, they cannot read or use the file system outside of their own limited area. But apps naturally do need to access common content like Pictures and Music that originates from other apps, so how do they get this common content? And how does an app make its content available to any other app that might be interested?

Yes, apps are confined by AppArmor. This means they can only access a specified set of file system locations. Content Hub file system locations can only be accessed by an app that runs with specific AppArmor profiles.



June 29th, 2014, 02:28 AM
I wish to buy a mobile phone with no OS installed by default and which is fully compatible with Linux (Not specifically Ubuntu).

I want to bring the phone home and install Ubuntu myself like I did after installing my PC.

But I also want to see other Linux (distros ?? ;)) for phones coz choice is good.

I have no idea if this kind of a scenario will ever become reality but if it does and those kinds of phones reach my country I will surely buy one.

June 29th, 2014, 02:33 AM
@grahammechanical (http://ubuntuforums.org/member.php?u=1087323)

If there is a backdoor in the phone's hardware I dont know how effective a secure OS will be. We really need open hardware.

June 29th, 2014, 02:38 AM
@grahammechanical - no, I haven't been following the phone/tablet developments; I don't possess the skills to contribute. As far as device costs, wouldn't corporations want secure devices rather than what they attempt to support now? Before the smart phone craze, that was Blackberry's forte - a secure device integrated with the IT department. Governments were some of the biggest customers, too.

Attempting to manage Android's applications' permissions that are increasingly intrusive and obscure made me wonder if Ubuntu's attempt at device convergence would wind up in the same place.

June 30th, 2014, 06:12 PM
@grahammechanical - Thank you for bringing the sandbox for apps on Ubuntu for phones & tablets to my attention; I feel better about getting an Ubuntu phone and/or tablet when they come out. Marking as "Solved".