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Thread: Mir versus XMir Security differences?

  1. #1
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    Mir versus XMir Security differences?

    Ubuntu Snappy-core using the Mir display server with Unity8 and snap-apps should be a pretty nailed down system, that offers new, unprecedented security for users.

    What of the XMir part of the equation for X-Windowed systems. Those systems depend on the X display server running on XMir rather than using the Mir display server.

    It is well documented that Mir and Wayland display servers are needed in part, to over-come the security deficits of the X-Windowed display server.

    For maximum security of an Ubuntu OS, will it be that the Mir display server will offer more security than XMir with X-Windowed systems?

    Some Desktops are committed to porting from X to the Wayland Server as an example. (KDE, Gnome, Enlightenment) and more. What of the Ubuntu family of official derivative OS's? Is there the support to initiate the same for them porting to Mir?

    Xubuntu as an example, depends on what the Xfce project decides to do.
    Last edited by mikodo; July 17th, 2016 at 09:15 PM. Reason: bits on porting derivatives
    One Psychiatrist's Definition of Insanity: Knowing what one should do and doing differently.

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    Re: Mir versus XMir Security differences?

    I'm curious as to how the current ubuntu is 'insecure' & is there some list of known malware affecting ubuntu users?

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    Re: Mir versus XMir Security differences?

    Quote Originally Posted by mc4man View Post
    I'm curious as to how the current ubuntu is 'insecure' & is there some list of known malware affecting ubuntu users?
    One example is stated in this article discussing the potential malware aspects of X. See the part on Mathew Garrets demonstration:

    http://arstechnica.com/information-t...os-everywhere/
    One Psychiatrist's Definition of Insanity: Knowing what one should do and doing differently.

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    Re: Mir versus XMir Security differences?

    Quote Originally Posted by mikodo View Post
    One example is stated in this article discussing the potential malware aspects of X. See the part on Mathew Garrets demonstration:

    http://arstechnica.com/information-t...os-everywhere/
    That has nothing to do with the current ubuntu.

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    Re: Mir versus XMir Security differences?

    Quote Originally Posted by mc4man View Post
    That has nothing to do with the current ubuntu.
    I expect you are correct in pointing that out.

    What remains is my question wondering if there will be security benefits using Mir over XMir. I dunno.
    One Psychiatrist's Definition of Insanity: Knowing what one should do and doing differently.

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    Re: Mir versus XMir Security differences?

    Quote Originally Posted by mikodo View Post

    What remains is my question wondering if there will be security benefits using Mir over XMir. I dunno.
    That I expect will be true. Ultimately I see ubuntu app install more like lets say the google play store. In that case you're using non transparent, sometimes closed source, pre-compiled binaries with additional installed files into a read-only filesystem.
    So in that case this new security is a must.. According to that blog by Mathew Garrets then mir is more secure than xmir (X)

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    Re: Mir versus XMir Security differences?

    Thank you. I ponder these things.
    One Psychiatrist's Definition of Insanity: Knowing what one should do and doing differently.

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    Re: Mir versus XMir Security differences?

    This blog post by a Canonical engineer explains things.

    https://bregmatter.wordpress.com/

    Libertine consists of a container with a minimal Ubuntu system installed in it, and a Mir client application that proxies the confined application. In the case of an X11 application, that proxy is called XMir, and is actually an x.org server with a Mir-based DDX — which is to say, it’s a bog-standard X11 server that ends up drawing its output on a Mir surface. Libertine also provides alternative proxies, such as a terminal application for venerable terminal applications such as Midnight Commander or good old vi.
    As I understand it, and I am often wrong but rarely admit it,

    XMir allows the x.org,server to draw the application window on to Mir. Furthermore, as all this is running a Linux container the security benefit of Mir over X server is not compromised.

    DDX = Device Dependent X driver. See Video Drivers

    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/X/Architecture

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    Re: Mir versus XMir Security differences?

    ^^ There you go again Graham, quietening my fears for the flavours.

    Let's see what you posted and what's in the links.

    Addendum. Yikes. That is a lot to digest. So in the libertine container the magic will occur. Secure and making decisions as to what needs to be run. Be it xorg, drivers or whatever. (maybe the problems with 3D for nVidia is in the implementation of the drivers needed within the Libertine process or it is not equipped yet).

    So, some young, bright, enthusiastic, derivative programmers and maintainers should be able to push in the GTK and Qt libraries needed to run their flavour's Desktops to be drawn by Xorg with XMir for Mir to implement.(mind boggling). Then, security remains enhanced and the users get to play with the up and coming Snaps in their respective separate containers.

    So, I prolly have that all wrong but, what was not accounted for in that article by Mathew Garrett is the workings within Libertine to accommodate Xorg securely.
    Last edited by mikodo; July 18th, 2016 at 02:27 AM.
    One Psychiatrist's Definition of Insanity: Knowing what one should do and doing differently.

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    Re: Mir versus XMir Security differences?

    Quote Originally Posted by mikodo View Post

    So, I prolly have that all wrong but, what was not accounted for in that article by Mathew Garrett is the workings within Libertine to accommodate Xorg securely.
    I think apples & oranges - he was referring to snaps running in 16.04, not libertine

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