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My friend who has been using Linux for a bit (doesn't really know how to use it and relies on Windows and reinstalls Linux every time a problem arises) tells ...
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  1. #1
    Linux User George Harrison's Avatar
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    OK, my friend is an idiot...


    My friend who has been using Linux for a bit (doesn't really know how to use it and relies on Windows and reinstalls Linux every time a problem arises) tells me today that he runs root on an everyday basis, mainly under Slackware and a few other distros like Red Hat. I immediately told him this was bad and to never run remotely run root when logging in and stuff. He told me that only idiots that run root ruin their systems because they don't know what they are doing and such... I told him that even if you known not to do something stupid like remove all your trees to your system you, it is still very bad to run root all the time like that. He then asked me why exactly it was bad exluding the fact that you can ruin your system (like rm -rf or something) and I said you could get cracked while running under root. He then tells me that he is not going to get cracked because he is under a firewall... what else should I say to him? Any examples that would scare him in to creating a root account? It's not my system so I don't really care but he's a good buddy of mine and I'd like to list out everything that can go horribly wrong if you use root like a user account. Thanks for the advice.
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  2. #2
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    ummm... wow

    thats never really anything I've had to think of a reason for. It was just a univerally accepted truth that you never login as root

  3. #3
    Linux Enthusiast carlosponti's Avatar
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    i say dont do anything and when his system gets hosed sit back with a big "i told you so" grin on your face.
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  4. #4
    Linux Engineer LondoJowo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carlosponti
    i say dont do anything and when his system gets hosed sit back with a big "i told you so" grin on your face.
    Good answer
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  5. #5
    Linux Enthusiast aysiu's Avatar
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    Firewalls can't protect you from everything.
    Honestly, though, if your friend wants to be stupid, let him be stupid. And then when he does get cracked or accidentally deletes important system files, then you can say, "Hey, I told you so," and he'll have learned a lesson.

    Some people have to learn the hard ware.

  6. #6
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    I'd tell him to uninstall linux untill he learns proper security precautions
    All i want for christmas is a new liver....a second chance to get afflicted with Cirrhosis

  7. #7
    Linux Engineer LondoJowo's Avatar
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    You also need to send your friend to the following link.

    http://thethin.net/thanks.swf
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  8. #8
    Linux User IsaacKuo's Avatar
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    Explain to him that most GUI applications are programmed with the implicit assumption that you're not going to run it as root. The applications are well tested by running them as normal users, but not as root.

    With command line programs, there are a small number of files accessed, mostly just the ones you explicitely specify by typing them in. With GUI applications, there are a myriad of file accesses going on behind the scenes which you may or may not be aware of. Does he know exactly where konqueror stores meta-information for directories vs symlinks vs desktop icons? What about thumbnails? It's pretty easy to accidentally do something which makes a file somewhere inconveniently owned by root, making things mysteriously inaccessable to normal users.

    Once, I experimented with running Firefox as root in a desperate attempt to install the "magpie" extension (a seemingly safe extension written by a core Firefox developer). It broke Firefox for ALL users.

    Basically, even if you "know what you're doing", you don't know what a complex GUI application is doing. If you THINK you know, then you're wrong and GUI applications are more complex than you think.
    Isaac Kuo, ICQ 29055726 or Yahoo mechdan

  9. #9
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    The title says it all. Your friend obviously doesn't have much interest in Linux if he doesn't see anything wrong with re-installing everytime he gets a problem. IMHO: save your breath.
    /IMHO
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  10. #10
    Linux Guru budman7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LondoJowo
    You also need to send your friend to the following link.

    http://thethin.net/thanks.swf
    LMAO

    Seriously, tell your friend he may not have to reinstall so often.
    How to know if you are a geek.
    when you respond to "get a life!" with "what's the URL?"
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