Desktop Linux Security Review – Manjaro
This post documents my testing results for the Desktop Linux distro Manjaro. I performed the same testing on the following distros:
- [13 points] Elementary OS (results)
- [13 points] Linux Mint (results)
- [12 points] Ubuntu (results)
- [10 points] MX Linux (results)
- [10 points] Garuda Linux (results)
- [9 points] Endeavour OS (results)
- [9 points] Pop!_OS (results)
The results are based on the methodology described here:
Manjaro collected 12 out of 18 possible points – A pretty good result for a distro that is focused on user experience.
Distro Name: Manjaro (https://manjaro.org)
Tested Version: 21.2.1 (XFCE), downloaded on 2022-01-12
ISO MD5: e9c5a96be65a618489d70ec9d23abecb
Total Score: 12 / 18
Summary of Installer – Security Features:
- [Y] Does the Installer offer to fully encrypt the main disk?
- [N] Does the installer indicate the strength of chosen passwords?
Manjaro’s graphical installer makes it easy to fully encrypt the disk. The installer also has no password strength indicator – Neither for the disk encryption password nor for the main user’s password.
Score: 1 / 2
Summary of Firewall:
- [Y] Is a host firewall installed by default?
- [N] Is the host firewall enabled by default?
- [N] Does the host firewall block all incoming/ingress traffic by default?
- [N] Does the host firewall filter outgoing/egress traffic by default?
Manjaro installs UFW per default. However, UFW is not enabled by default.
Score: 1 / 4
Summary of Automatic Updates:
- [N] Are updates automatically downloaded during installation?
- [Y] Is the package manager configured to automatically download updates and notify the user about new updates being available?
- [Y] Are the package sources properly authenticated by default?
Manjaro does not download updates during installation. The package manager is configured to notify the user about available updates by default. Signature checking for packages is enabled by default as well.
Score: 2 / 3
Vulnerability Scanning Results:
-  How many critical vulnerabilities are present right after installation?
-  How many high vulnerabilities are present right after installation?
-  How many critical vulnerabilities are present after a full software update run?
-  How many high vulnerabilities are present after a full software update run?
Arch-Audit scans identified 0 critical and 0 high vulnerabilities right after installation. Manjaro clearly benefits from being an Arch based distro here.
Score: 4 / 4
Summary of User Privileges:
- [Y] Is sudo required to use root privileges?
- [Y] Does sudo require a password?
Manjaro is using sudo for admin task elevation and protects the use of sudo with a password.
Score: 2 / 2
Summary of Default Browser:
- [Y] Is the default browser updated regularly?
- [N] Does the default browser warn about the execution of downloaded files?
Manjaro is installing Firefox as the default browser. It is regularly updated. However, it does not warn about the execution of downloaded files.
Score: 1 / 2
Summary of Application Sand-boxing:
Manjaro installs AppArmor by default and enables it. However, only a few AppArmor profiles are installed – Based on the choice of AppArmor profiles, I would say it is more a by-product of the ISO production than a fully planned AppArmor environment. (On the Gnome version of Manjaro there are no AppArmor profiles installed…)
Score: 1 / 1
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