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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

OS 10.4 - Kid Account and System Integrity


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mathogre

 
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Member Since: Jan 20, 2007
Location: Oakton, VA USA
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I've used, administered, and hacked Linux for about 10 years. I'm considering giving my 8.5 y.o. increased access to computers while at the same time simplifying my life. I want to reduce the number of computers and OSs in our home (5 machines, 9 OS instances, 3 families of OSs). I want to use my machines, not spend my life administering them. One consideration is to let her use my MacBook under her own account (assuming of course she can pry my machine out of my hands).

How good is OS X system security and integrity? I know how it is under many variations of Linux, having pushed it in ways that people are wont to do. I know how well it stands up to people (business and home environmennts) and I know how to circumvent protections. Personally I'd have no problem with her running under her own account on a Linux box; it's unlikely she'd do any harm to the system. The issue is that soon there won't be a Linux system for her to access at home anymore, and I've no interest in configuring a machine for her to run Windows.

I know the base on which OS X is built - FreeBSD. Still, OS X != FreeBSD. How well does it stand up? Does anyone have any horror stories to tell? I break s/w and systems. Linux never crashes, except when I cause kernel panics. (it was years ago, but it happened.) Macs just work, except when certain applications improperly grab resources. (PhotoBooth seems a bit wanting on the stability side.) I know how my Mac is with me, and so far I'm impressed. It isn't perfect, but it is good, good enough for me to consider letting her access it with little fear that she'll corrupt the system. Is that view justified?

Thanks in advance!

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technologist

 
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Permissions are permissions, whether they're on Linux or *BSD or Solaris or Mac OS X. In this way, OS X behaves exactly like every other *nix.

If you set up a non-Administrator account, there's not much that your kid could do, short of filling up the hard drive, that would impact anyone else on the system. (That is, unless she got ahold of the install disks and forcibly reset the Administrator password. If you've go a junior h4xor on your hands, you might as well give up now.)
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