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Old 03-03-2012, 12:26 PM   #1
jdr97
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Unhappy Why so many users and groups, and other questions


Hi, I'm new to Fedora, just installed last version (from DVD, desktop, 64x, HD is not shared with any other OS).
Works as a clock, the only full sized Linux that agreed to run well on my PC (beyond SalineOS and Puppy).

However, Fedora is way beyond my level of knowledge. Can you clarify for newbie these:

1. This is desktop computer with single user, connected to Internet through the home LAN. As usually, Linux requires create limited account and a root access. But in Users and Groups there are a lot of groups and users. What does it mean: somebody will have access to my system, or these are system functions? Why users then, together with actual users?

2. Default firewall is way too complex for me. Leave it as is to run? Or can I install through Add/Remove Programs simpler firewall, with on-off, allow out, block in, or stealth mode?

3. Why Add/Remove software and others applications that in other Linuxes require root password, in Fedora requires only limited account password? Confused, at the best.

Thanks.
 
Old 03-03-2012, 12:31 PM   #2
acid_kewpie
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1. because accounts are used to improve security, and ensure that a running service runs as an identifiable service account which can only perform a limited subset of things.

2. Default settings are painfuly simple really. There's very little going on, just basically stops people getting into your box from outside, that's about it. it won't stop you doing ANYTHING if it is FROM your box.

3. because that's the security model. Whilst you can build software at a single user level, prebuilt software packages are installed system wide. So you need the authority of an account which can do things at a system wide level. That's root. What's confusing about it? There is also the sudo framework which lets you be much more like ah "Administrator" level account, where you define what YOU can do and as long you can prove you ARE you (i.e. with YOUR password) then on you go.
 
Old 03-03-2012, 01:10 PM   #3
jdr97
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Quote:
1. because accounts are used to improve security, and ensure that a running service runs as an identifiable service account which can only perform a limited subset of things.
If I understand right, these =not created by me groups and accounts= are system services and not strangers-users invading my system?

Quote:
2. Default settings are painfuly simple really. There's very little going on, just basically stops people getting into your box from outside, that's about it. it won't stop you doing ANYTHING if it is FROM your box.
What should I do, leave setting by defaults and it will work, until I learn more?

Quote:
3. because that's the security model. Whilst you can build software at a single user level, prebuilt software packages are installed system wide. So you need the authority of an account which can do things at a system wide level. That's root. What's confusing about it?
That system created two levels of users with different passwords, but doesn't ask for root password, only for limited user password. This is unusual, at least for other Linux distros.

Thank you for your help! A little more information will be helpful.
 
Old 03-03-2012, 09:13 PM   #4
wpeckham
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Quote:
If I understand right, these =not created by me groups and accounts= are system services and not strangers-users invading my system?
if in doubt, look at the UID for the user. IF it is below the system account threshold (usually 500, but 1024 on some systems) then it is a system generated account for security. User accounts start at that threshold and additional accounts use higher numbers, not lower.

Quote:
What should I do, leave setting by defaults and it will work, until I learn more?
Exactly.

Quote:
That system created two levels of users with different passwords, but doesn't ask for root password, only for limited user password. This is unusual, at least for other Linux distros.
Actually the system is not asking for the root password because it is using 'sudo' for escalation instead of su. Sudo only requires your user password, thus the observed behavior. Several distributions now use the technique.
 
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Old 03-04-2012, 07:15 AM   #5
jdr97
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I didn't know that. Thank you so much!

Looks like these users are indeed system processes, and root password was already asked once.
 
  


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