root in FC 10

Tim ignored_mailbox at yahoo.com.au
Sat Dec 6 05:40:36 UTC 2008


On Fri, 2008-12-05 at 11:56 -0500, homburg at tips-Q.com wrote:
> Again, I am unable to appreciate a great deal of difference between
> logging in as root and using su providing that you are only logging in
> as root to do system configuration and maintenance. 

The significant difference between them is that when you su from a
normal user, system disasters tend to be the fault of that user doing
something stupid.  Compared to logging in graphically as root leaves you
much more open to security flaws in the graphical systems doing much
more than you were doing.  Particularly as all of them now have root
power, rather than just the ones you'd fired off through the root
terminal you'd su'd in.

Newbies tend to paint themselves into a corner when they log in
(graphically) as root, as they create files and settings that only root
can use.  If they, later, try logging in as themselves, they find that
their files are badly accessible, and anything they configured was only
configured in the root account, and they have to go through that all
again in their own account, or they just keep on logging in as the root
user because it's too difficult for them.

If they hadn't done that, they wouldn't have kept on banging their head
against the wall.  Unlike Windows, it really is NOT necessary to be root
to get ordinary things done, nor is it necessary for system
administration.  Using su - or sudo in the terminal does completely make
you the root user to administer things.  GUI configuration tools ask you
to authenticate as root and then actually do run properly.  And, in
general, the software is *properly* written to be used by the right
users.  Anything that wrongly needs you to be root, instead of an
ordinary user, is faulty, and does get seen to.

-- 
[tim at localhost ~]$ uname -r
2.6.27.5-41.fc9.i686

Don't send private replies to my address, the mailbox is ignored.  I
read messages from the public lists.






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