When I talked with friends about the pro and cons of Linux in the past, we always found that Linux was superior: strict user/root dividing over the whole system, much more software choices (no monopolism of one solution), not only one hardware architecture, faster updates (no fixed times), etc.
But there was always one field where Windows was much, much better, although they never leveraged it really: ACLs.

The native ACL support included in the Windows Explorer was like a gift for those who really had a need to balance the rights system in their computer system.

With the evolving of SELinux Linux got some new possibilities to work with lists and rights, but SELinux is not a real acl system – this was still missing, although SELinux can do a very nice job and can do things which are missing on a Windows system ;-).
Another solution was to use the andrew file system, afs, which has its own rights support as far as I got it, but that looked a little bit like a hack to me, especially since is not officially included in the kernel

But with ongoing development of the Linux kernel 2.6 we finally got acl support for a lot of filesystems. I wasn’t aware of that until my KDE 3.5 beta2 now turns up with native acl support in konqueror – and believe me, that rocks!

Ok, I do not really use them, but it is just nice to see that this has find it’s way into Linux and is fully supported – even with a graphical user interface, exactly where it should be!

So, to conclude: the perfect operating system for rights management now is a linux with acls and selinux and – obviously – konqueror managing it all 😀


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