Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Best Buy is an American chain of electronics and media shops. As many such shops, they only sell boxed software and boxed hardware - where the computers are either Macs or PCs pre-installed with Mac OS or Windows.
This salesman is trying to sell antivirus software, but Cueball claims he doesn't need it: he runs Linux, an open source operating system. While some viruses also exist for Linux the vast majority is only able to infect Windows systems, so Cueball is positive about that he is safe without that software. Back in 2007, many Linux users believed that Linux would wipe out Windows as the operating system of choice for PCs. Six years later, at least that hasn't happened. (Note nearly all modern television sets, (wifi-)routers and all Android devices are running the Linux kernel, so in a way it has happened). Nevertheless there are many antivirus versions for Linux including open source software.
The rest of the comic is essentially proving how much cooler Linux users are: the user performs a few amazing tricks, like flipping over on a motorbike, doing a wheely and throwing dirt in the face of the salesman. It's one reason why Linux users claim that Linux is faster because of the actual absence of the antivirus software: no need to scan all files - which allows faster operation.
The title text confirms the above. Mostly like Linux, the software design of Macs also lessens the need for antivirus software. Apparently, Mac and Linux users flock together just waiting for the Best Buy salesmen to ask if anyone needs it - so they can laugh them in the face.
- Salesman: Interested in updating your antivirus software?
- Cueball: Oh, I wouldn't need any of that.
- [In a spiky speech bubble.]
- Cueball: I RUN LINUX.
- [Cueball does a backflip onto a motorcycle.]
- [Cueball performs a wheelie on the motorcycle.]
- [Cueball does a hard, donut turn on the motorcycle, kicking up dirt into the salesman's face.]
- [Cueball speeds off on the motorcycle, leaving the salesman in a cloud of black exhaust.]
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Not that Macs or Linux are invulnerable to malware. (Anyone else remember the Internet Worm, which would surely have ripped through Linux machines if not encountered on Unix, already, in pre-Linux days. Other exploits have been discovered, and had to be fixed.) Having said that, both types of machine tend to be safer from an OS security model point of view, from being a minority target that is largely overlooked and from the end-users being generally more savvy against liveware component attacks. However with the targetted growing flood of new users, that may well be changing. The latter two points, at least, although I'm sure some of the distros "boot as root" as well.
The speed of Linux also tends to be more from being more finely-honed by the last generation or two of geeks. Less clutter (at least with the distros I like, YMMV with some of the more "user friendly" ones) and the somewhat intimate knowledge of the system that the user tends to get and is able to act upon if anything displeases them (although, again, that may be changing). These days (and those days, I'm pretty sure) you can get mainstream AV programs for Linux (and Mac) and while I'm not going to say they're necessary for Linux, they're available and primed to help you out of various messes you could encounter. 220.127.116.11 08:07, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
- Approximately 15 ago I did deactivate the firewall at my main (Linux) internet gateway for some tests only for a few minutes. I WILL NEVER DO THAT AGAIN! I only remember the root access was done by a user name r00t and my log files at "/var/log" had been deleted. When I did figure out that attack I immediately disconnected it from the internet, but I also had to do a complete new install to that system. Linux is only secure when you know how to secure it.--Dgbrt (talk) 22:01, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
Most linux virus scanners are to scan e-mails for windoze viruses. 18.104.22.168 04:09, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
Is the motorbike backflip and speedaway a reference to something? 22.214.171.124 14:03, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
What Linux distros do you guys use (if you do use one)? #ubuntuforlife #makingalinuxOSmyself :D --JayRulesXKCD (talk) 16:36, 14 September 2016 (UTC)
I’d like to point out the oft overlooked fact that the majority of malware targets Windows based PCs not exclusively because *NIX systems are so Uber secure, but rather simply because historically Windows is the dominant OS for consumer grade computers. Malware and Adware have a financial motive and so it makes the most sense to write for an OS that holds more than 85% market share. This isn’t an excuse for Windows systems historically being underwhelming secure to put it mildly, but it is something of note.
Arch Linux. Although I'm new to Linux, I already love it!--126.96.36.199 19:07, 5 December 2016 (UTC)
Whooooo! good job, Randall!188.8.131.52 21:12, 18 October 2016 (UTC)
Haha i use linux... on a VM---- 184.108.40.206 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)