Linux Lite 4.0 Final, also known by the code name Diamond, has promised some very big changes that should catch the eye of those following recent Linux security headlines. This version of the simple and speedy GNU/Linux implementation has received an official release from its sponsoring organization. As with all major complaint distros, the new version is free to download and therefore anyone concerned about receiving security updates present in it can upgrade at their leisure.
Since the distribution shares a common heritage with Debian and Ubuntu, several of the new features are the result of changes in those parent distros. Full disk encryption has replaced home directory encryption as an option in the installer, which was inherited from Canonical.
This feature means that users won’t just protect whatever files are present in their home directory if they opt for install-time encryption. The entire file system will be hidden under a cipher, which should help to disguise what packages a user has installed. It should also make configuration files impervious to snooping, which could prevent attacks that are dependent on knowing how a particular piece of software got setup.
Changes like this also mean that temporary and crash files stored throughout a hard disk will be encrypted, which should protect sensitive information that finds its way into these transient documents. As with Ubuntu, the installer is opting for a swap file instead of a partition by default. This may additionally render swapped data with a greater level of privacy when combined with other options, though many experts have shared the opinion that modern machines don’t swap very often thus assuaging some of the privacy and performance issues related to it.
A newly developed boot splash should display a password field for encrypted file structures as part of the GUI, which should drive home the renewed emphasis on security. While Linux Lite’s new Diamond release doesn’t provide support for 32-bit processors, those who use Series 3.x to run Linux Lite on older hardware should continue to receive security updates until April 2021.
Users who want their systems to remain secure after that date will need to either upgrade their hardware or transition to a different distro.