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Old 30 March 2015, 21:47   #64
Mrs Beanbag
Glastonbridge Software
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Edinburgh/Scotland
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Originally Posted by idrougge View Post
Exactly. Strict security in operating systems appeared as a consequence of timesharing, but that doesn't mean that multiuser support is a prerequisite for strict security. You can make a multiuser system with no security at all, it just won't work for very long.
Quite. At my school, we had a network and we all got user accounts, but there were no passwords except on staff accounts, and even then you could just CD into anyone's account! That was an MS-DOS network on RM Nimbuses.

I think I'm not alone in my preference for the strictly single user philosophy of AmigaOS, yet I think it's quite possible to preserve that while introducing a higher level of security.
I don't know if i'd say that single-user is part of the "Amiga philosophy", so much as that it just wasn't much of a thing at the time. Obviously Unix was developed as a multi-user system for a very good reason but AmigaDOS, even though it was inspired by Unix in many ways, was intended for a home computer and i don't imagine anyone even thought about multi-user. Contemporary MS-DOS and Windows weren't multi-user at that time, either.

I'd say the Amiga philosophy is more about simplicity than about a lack of any particular functionality. It might be possible to do multi-user in an "Amiga-like way". Although to be honest there probably wouldn't be much demand! But i think it would be nice to have.

Maybe security could work in such a way that a program can only write to the (protected) directory (and its subdirectories) it was launched from (that is, its current working directory at startup, not the path of the executable itself), unless some other process passes it a lock to something else. Then "user accounts" would just be normal directories that a login application could manage. So it could run a workbench session from whatever you decided was your home directory and then you wouldn't be able to write outside of it, and if you don't want multi-user, just don't bother running a login manager.
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