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ive heard yae and nay to running linux regularly as root, and had a reasonable set of experiences to justify both... now i pose the question to you folk: is ...
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  1. #1
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    being root...


    ive heard yae and nay to running linux regularly as root, and had a reasonable set of experiences to justify both... now i pose the question to you folk: is running linux as root all the time good or bad? and, as always, why?

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    The only time you should be running as root, if ever, is when your machine is brand new and hasn't been connected to the net before, and even then.

    The root account isn't meant to be used as an account in any way. You should always use "sudo <command>" when you want to run a command as root, and think twice before you type. First of all, because this way you HAVE to type a prefix before doing anything potentially damaging. For example, you can't erase a copy-protected file by mistake.
    Second of all, because that's one of the things that makes linux so much more secure. I don't have enough knowledge concerning viruses to explain in detail, but here's a real basic example. Imagine some guy makes a shell script with the command "rm -rd /" (erases everything) and labels it minegame or something, and sends it to you. You think its a game, make it exec, and run it. Now if you're a smart admin running a user account and using sudo (which you would NOT have to use in this case) the scripts can't do jack. If you're running as root, you're screwed.

    That simple. Now I'm sure there are a few other valid reasons to stay away from the root account, but I think the above is sufficient.

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    Linux Guru budman7's Avatar
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    I've noticed that most of the people that run as root regularly are experienced users. Noobs should not run as root, normally they wouldn't know enough about what they are doing and could unintentionally hose their system.

    And why would you want to run as root all the time? When if you need to do something as root, all you have to do is type "su" in a terminal. Or do what I've been able to do, when I need to to something that requires root priveleges, I get a dialogue box asking me for my password.
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    Linux Newbie jeickal's Avatar
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    I've noticed that most of the people that run as root regularly are experienced users
    Really? Are you sure that they were that experienced? Someone who logs in its desktop as root has probably still alot of experience to acquire... specially about not taking "bad habits".
    Like plato said, su & sudo are here for the admin tasks. There is no purpose logging in the desktop as root, you're only risking that a mistake you might make will mess up your system...

  5. #5
    Linux User Muser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeickal
    you're only risking that a mistake you might make will mess up your system...
    EXACTLY!!

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    thanks guys.

    i figured that little to no root was the way to go... but i needed some more opinions. :P

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    Not to mention many apps (like gdesklets) won't even run when you're root for security reasons.
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    I'm probably unique, but I don't even have a secondary user account... then again, I am a relatively experienced user, and have a 45-character root password...

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    I regularly run root in my tty consoles simply because I'm still in the process of getting my system to work. Currently I face driver demons that require me to keep editing my xorg.conf, so it's just easier if I don't sudo all the time. I figure the added risk of staying logged in under a console as opposed to using sudo over and over is minimal, considering that I have about as good a chance of trashing my system through other means.

    Of course, once my system works flawlessly, I have no intention of running its regular applications from anything other than my user account,
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    Linux User zeeone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smindinvern
    I'm probably unique, but I don't even have a secondary user account... then again, I am a relatively experienced user, and have a 45-character root password...
    But even an experienced user knows better and why, but that is your choice, 45-character root password or not.

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