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Old 08-22-2004, 03:23 PM   #1
linda
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Groups for an everyday user account


I did a search on this and was swamped with information. One of the things I learned was, never use root for everyday things. So I want to hurry up and stop using root so much!

I created a user for my everyday use. What groups should I assign for myself, so I don't have the ability to break my install, but the computer will still be usable? I want to be able to read/write Office documents, access the internet with Firefox, read/write email with Thunderbird.

Thanks for any help or advice you may care to offer!
 
Old 08-22-2004, 03:46 PM   #2
Tinkster
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We're still talking Slack? :)

My user is (users aside) only in the following
groups...
slocate
audio
cdrom

Group cdrom is owner of my CD / DVD devices,
audio is quite self-explanatory.


Cheers,
Tink
 
Old 08-22-2004, 03:57 PM   #3
Charalambos
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It depends very much on your distro and configuration and available applications which groups your user should join.
For most everyday tasks (those you mentioned) it should work without being member of a group.
For certain tasks you must make your user member of a specific group.
I.e.:
To be able to change to root by typing "su" you have to be member of the wheel group.
To be able to play or listen to sounds, you have to be member of the audio group.
To be able to play video, you have to be member of the video group.
To be able to enable a ppp connection, you have to be member of the dialout group.
uucp group is necessary for somehow connect remotely (not sure about this).

I certainly missed some, those are just the ones that just came into my mind .
Keep in mind that these groups can vary, depending on your distro / conf / apps.

Look up your distros documentation to get the distro specific groups.
 
Old 08-22-2004, 07:33 PM   #4
linda
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Yes, Tink I am still using Slack. I think this is the longest I have ever used a distro. I really like it a lot...
Charalambos, I didn't know that about su. No wonder I have been having trouble. Will being a member of wheel allow me to mess up my system? I honestly don't understand why there is such a big deal about root. I mean, if I can just su, then I'm sure I'll be able to get into just as much trouble as if I were just root.
 
Old 08-22-2004, 09:11 PM   #5
Tinkster
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Quote:
Originally posted by linda
Yes, Tink I am still using Slack. I think this is the longest I have ever used a distro. I really like it a lot...
Glad to hear! :)

Quote:
Charalambos, I didn't know that about su.
That's not true in slack. In slack su is owned by
root:bin, and is world executable.

Quote:
No wonder I have been having trouble. Will being a member of wheel allow me to mess up my system?
What troubles are you having?
As for the messing up bit - it depends on what permissions
which file holds. Most of the files will only be r-x to the group,
so deleting them may be not possible.

Quote:
I honestly don't understand why there is such a big deal about root. I mean, if I can just su, then I'm sure I'll be able to get into just as much trouble as if I were just root.
The thing is if you
cd /
rm -rf *
as a normal user the worst thing that can happen is
that you delete your own home and get a million "permission
denied" messages. If you do that as root, there's no
message, just a re-install. There's other silly things that
done as root can render your system unusable.Also, if
you happened to run compromised/malicious code you'd
hand the system over to the attacker on a golden plate.
Hence running the day to day work as a normal
user and "sudo/su -c"ing is very sensible.


Cheers,
Tink
 
Old 08-23-2004, 09:56 AM   #6
linda
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I just set myself up with the following groups: audio, cdrom, ftp, games, slocate, video.
Anyone see any problems with that?

I also looked at the groups root is a member of, and I was surprised to see everything was not listed. Is that because some of the groups ovelap? For instance, if you are a member of adm, then you are already included in bin and console and such?
 
Old 08-23-2004, 10:36 AM   #7
btmiller
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Unix groups don't really overlap. Root doesn't really need to be in any groups since it is a special user account that automatically gets all permissions on everything. I think root is explicitly put into a few groups for historical reasons.
 
Old 08-23-2004, 06:21 PM   #8
Tinkster
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Quote:
Quoted from this post
How is this different from making my everyday user a member of the "disk" and "floppy" groups? I ask because of my thread http://www.linuxquestions.org/quest...threadid=220972 about Groups, and because making myself a part of those groups did not let me access any files on my hard drives.
Adding yourself to group disk is something you DON'T
want to do, it would give you the power to write to any
RAW device that you want to acess ... you could do
something as stupid as
Code:
cat /dev/urandom > /dev/hda
which would render your hdd due for a re-install of the
OS(es) within a few seconds ...

Giving you the right to mount is clearly distinct from the
access to a raw device, mount operates on a file-system.

And please, don't hi-jack threads, that's bad netiquette.


Cheers,
Tink

Last edited by Tinkster; 08-23-2004 at 09:14 PM.
 
Old 08-23-2004, 08:14 PM   #9
linda
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OK, I can see the difference between the group 'disk" and mounting a filesystem. That makes sense...

As for hi-jacking a thread, I don't really understand that. I thought it was a good thing to link to another thread with similar content, so everyone would have an easier time of finding relevant ideas. Honestly I meant no harm in my posting in that other thread... Was what I did sort of like "butting into" a conversation? I look at forum threads as conversations, available for anyone to jump in and offer a thought or two.

Edit: Nevermind, i do see your point about hi-jacking... I re-read the original thread. His problem wasn't solved, and yet i jumped in with something else. Sorry!

Last edited by linda; 08-23-2004 at 08:18 PM.
 
  


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