Q as to Root v other login

Ed Wilts ewilts at ewilts.org
Mon Nov 29 01:31:02 UTC 2004

On Sun, Nov 28, 2004 at 07:12:31PM -0400, Terry R. Grier wrote:
> I have FC3 on my laptop. I will be the only one using it in a personal/home
> setting.
> I made a log in for myself.
> SHould I just log in as ROOT is it better procedure to login as my user name?

Other people are saying to not log in as root, but nobody is saying why,
so I'll try and address that.

The main reason that Windows is so vulnerable to viruses is that the
average user can write to the system file areas.  They have the ability
to write over files that can impact other users.  With a Linux system,
the average user does not have write access to places like /usr/bin,
/sbin, etc.  If there is ever a Linux virus that attempts to attack your
system, the damage will be limited to areas that you have write access
to, and by default, that's not much.

Save yourself a lot of potential headache and log on *ONLY* as yourself
- not as root.  If you need root access to do something like update a
package, simply do the following:
$ su -
and enter the root password.  Log out of root as soon as you're done.

You can also set yourself up with sudo, but if you do that, you should
refrain from using the nopasswd option (since it would be trivial for a
virus writer to add a sudo command in front of the damaging code).


Ed Wilts, RHCE
Mounds View, MN, USA
mailto:ewilts at ewilts.org
Member #1, Red Hat Community Ambassador Program

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