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View Poll Results: Do you run your Linux box(es) as root user, or normal user?

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  • root user

    1 4.55%
  • normal user

    21 95.45%
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After noticing a number of forum members recently inquiring about how to login to their Linux boxes as root user , I figured a new poll for seeing how common ...
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  1. #1
    oz
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    Root User vs Normal User Logins


    After noticing a number of forum members recently inquiring about how to login to their Linux boxes as root user, I figured a new poll for seeing how common this practice actually is might be in order.

    I'm personally of the opinion that logging in as root user is a horrible habit to ever get started, but of course some users think of it as, "it's my computer, so I should be able to login however I want".

    Hopefully, this poll and any included comments will help users make a better informed decision about their own user logins.
    oz

  2. #2
    Administrator MikeTbob's Avatar
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    I agree ozar, root logins are never a good idea and it will cost you in the long run. I have taken the stance that I simply refuse to assist anyone in doing so. It may be their system but in my mind, I am not going to help you undo years of hard work by the Open Source community to make Linux more secure. Logging in as root also goes against the very grain that Linux was founded upon....file system permissions.
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  3. #3
    Penguin of trust elija's Avatar
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    Normal user all the way and sudo for tasks that need root access. You can't even log on to my boxes as root. If someone routinely logs in as root and then their system gets borked or infected as far as I'm concerned they are on their own.

    Horrible, horrible habit and why I have never liked puppy; the last time I tried it, if you installed it you were always root. Hopefully that's changed.
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  4. #4
    Administrator jayd512's Avatar
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    Root logins... no thanks.
    The closest I get to that is using su - instead of sudo if I don't feel like setting up a sudoers file.
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  5. #5
    Trusted Penguin Irithori's Avatar
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    User logins.
    Of course.
    a) The only way to identify logins in a multiuser environment
    b) It supports you in writing better scripts in respect to permissions/users.
    c) Every user can have his/her own environment.


    There is one exception, though:
    Automated scripts used in system/config management tools have tasks, that definitely need root.
    Network, accounts, daemon management, etc.
    It doesnt make too much sense to forcefully introduce a user here, just to escalate to root again.
    But even here itīs a case by case decision and running scripts as a regular user is a goal here.
    You must always face the curtain with a bow.

  6. #6
    Blackfooted Penguin daark.child's Avatar
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    Normal user all the way. I barely use the root account because "su -c" works pretty fine for me as well as the sysadmin tools included with my distro.

  7. #7
    oz
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    Right... I do su to gain root permissions when needed several times per day, but don't even remember the last time that I fully logged into a root user's account (other than initial system installation). I'll admit that it was tempting when first starting out with Linux (spoiled by Windows), but it didn't take long to learn the proper way to work under Linux. For the last 10 years or so, I've not missed logging in as root user one little bit.
    oz

  8. #8
    Linux Guru rokytnji's Avatar
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    Can't reply Ozar as I do both since I run versions of Puppy Linux also.

    AntiX will log you in as root via init3 boot. But is pretty much useless for me as it uses /usr/share defaults Desktop setup vs /home. sux (su for you other people) is all I need in terminal in AntiX or smxi script to tweak whatever in /. sudo is not enabled by default in antiX but can be for a user if he edits, /etc/sudoers file. One does not run as root in AntiX.


    Puppy loads to ram on my installs (via frugal) and the personal save file is all that can be messed with by crackers. I have a original personal save file (after a virgin install and setup) that is backup for just this scenario plus other personal save files that I know are good. So no big deal to boot puppy pfix=ram at grub and delete corrupted save file and reinsert good backup. Kinda like a snapshot image in other distros.
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  9. #9
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    Doing everything as root is, of course, a bad idea, but to think that logging in as root is different from using su is pure superstition, nothing else.

    Using sudo the way it is configured in Ubuntu, is really bad from a security perspective. People who want help logging in as root often use Ubuntu and want to fix the locked root account. Refusing to tell them how to do it is very unhelpful and also irrational.

  10. #10
    Administrator MikeTbob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kohog View Post
    Doing everything as root is, of course, a bad idea, but to think that logging in as root is different from using su is pure superstition, nothing else.
    Really? How so? Using Su - or sudo does not start X and all other programs with root privileges. Why would most distros disable root login if it weren't such a bad idea?

    Refusing to tell them how to do it is very unhelpful and also irrational
    It may be unhelpful, that is my intention but I don't think it's irrational at all. There is a ton of websites dedicated to doing this procedure, I feel that anyone who doesn't know how to accomplish this probably doesn't understand Linux in the first place.
    jayd512, elija and Charles4809 like this.
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