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Old 07-15-2010, 10:56 PM   #46
diamondsandrain
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny_Strawn View Post
Tink, it's about sudo being like WinUAC.
If you were looking for Linux to be a solution to the prompts of UAC then you were looking in the wrong direction. UAC, as much as it was a tacked on solution, is an answer to the security issues that were present in Windows XP. Really, windows should be generally run as a limited user but the way software developers have developed their software this is generally quite inhibiting. I think if you actually run Windows Vista as a limited user those UAC prompts will actually be password prompts, IIRC.

There is a reason that security is such a big issue. You don't have to look far on the net to find that out.

Also, if the UAC prompts were such a big issue, you could have disabled them.
 
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Old 07-16-2010, 12:54 AM   #47
Sumguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinkster View Post
How's pointing him at your question to me an answer
to diamondsandrain's question to sumguy?

What people tend to chose to ignore is that as soon
as you take your vehicle onto a public road (your
computer on the net) it's not only yourself anymore
that you're putting at risk or are a potential nuisance
to. And that's the bottom line as far as I'm concerned.



Cheers,
Tink
I really don't "get" that analogy. A car on a public road can kill someone if the operator screws up. Correct me if I am wrong, but the worst that could happen if I logged on as root would be making my OS inoperable (i.e. the car blowing it's engine...not crashing into the mini-van filled with kids and grandma).

I've noticed over the past several days of surfing LINUX forums, that your attitude seems to be shared by quite a few others- and since, in most cases, the person being warned usually acknowledges and accepts the potential risks, I can't but help wondering if perhaps those who hold such an attitude aren't rather trying to discourage newbies from unlocking the true power and potential of LINUX? (Not accusing you of this...just an observation and a candid thought)

It's kind of like trying to discourage someone from riding a motorcycle. You can tell them of the potential dangers, but if they choose to accept the risk, you're better off teaching them how to ride safely, and to watch for cars making left turns in front of them, than to just keep saying "motorcycles are dangerous". (Persoanlly, that is one risk I choose NOT to take!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by damgar View Post
I found that as a new linux user, it was easier for me to run as root while I was learning my way. I ruined my system 3 times the first month , but that was OK with me........kinda. I learned long before that anything important is to be backed up. I later learned that my systems hadn't been as ruined as I'd thought, but it was too late since I'd probably not just reinstalled, but changed distros twice by then. I don't feel that telling someone how to run as root, even in a GUI is wrong. Telling someone to do it is. I mean,is it wrong for Slackware, Arch, etc. to have the first/only user created during installation be the root account? No. There are perfectly good reasons to log in as root, and for a newbie it's probably easier, even if it is dangerous. From this thread, it seems likely that the OP is probably going to wind up on one of the less hand-holding distros anyway if he sticks to linux. He might as well learn to work as root now, if his experiences work like mine, he'll later learn WHEN to work as root.
Exactly. That is how I learned to be proficient with Windows 11 years ago, having never used a computer before in my life. I just like to dive in and to get a good feel for what makes it work. One thing is true of me in regards to many fields: I may not be an expert or even an intermediate, but I usually have enough sense to know what NOT to do, and to know when proceeding will get me in trouble.

I've seen no reason to operate as root yet....and likely won't for quite some time.....but just to know it's there and how to use it is a good thing....and if that is the way I can get around the inconvenience of being prompted for a UAC-like password prompt when such becomes annoying...so be it.
 
Old 07-16-2010, 01:08 AM   #48
Sumguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diamondsandrain View Post
.

There is a reason that security is such a big issue. You don't have to look far on the net to find that out.

.
Security has never really been that big of an issue with me. Over the past 11 years, I have never used an antivirus program (Only the rare AVG scan once in a while, just to reassure myself) and I ran SuperAntiSpyware once a week or so.

Never had a virus. Had maybe 2 trojans in 11 years. Never had anyone successfully phish me. I guess you might say I use "manual" security...or just call it the old noggan.

I don't visit porn or social networking sites...I DO P2P.

You can thus understand my frustration with all this "security"- as the various security schemes I've encountered affected my computing, while the things that security was supposedly trying to protect me from never did. (Just like the spell-checker on this Chromium doesn't recognize "phish", trojan" or "noggan"!)

And now with LINUX, security should be of even less concern to me.

I'd rather rely on myself to simply be alert and make good choices, than to delegate my responsibility to a machine.
 
Old 07-16-2010, 01:44 AM   #49
diamondsandrain
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumguy View Post
And now with LINUX, security should be of even less concern to me.
I'd rather rely on myself to simply be alert and make good choices, than to delegate my responsibility to a machine.
Making good choices is a good idea. My suggestion as a "good choice" is to not run your X environment as root. Should you choose to ignore this suggestion it is up to you. There is a reason that Ubuntu obscures the use of the root account. It is to protect the inexperienced user.

Even the best user makes a bad decision at times. The purpose of not using the root account is to protect you from those times. The machine works for you. If you chose to ignore it, you are on your own.

I just thought it funny that someone actually suggested that you run your system as the root user to prevent seeing password prompts. Those prompts are there for a reason.
 
Old 07-16-2010, 06:51 AM   #50
Wim Sturkenboom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumguy View Post
I really don't "get" that analogy. A car on a public road can kill someone if the operator screws up. Correct me if I am wrong, but the worst that could happen if I logged on as root would be making my OS inoperable (i.e. the car blowing it's engine...not crashing into the mini-van filled with kids and grandma).
No, the worst thing that can happen (to the rest of the world) is e.g. that your system starts functioning as a spam bot or something like that. Or some trojan steals your identity (not our problem), empties your bank account (not our problem) and some other nice things (can be our problem).
 
Old 07-16-2010, 07:57 AM   #51
rsciw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumguy View Post
But I thought one of the basic ideas behind LINUX was that it allowed the user to make it into what he wants it to be? If I were not able to log on as root, Ubuntu would be less functional than Windows, because in Windows, I can get into the registry; the system folders, etc.- in fact, I'd say it is far easier to botch-up Windows than it would be to do so to LINUX. (Just try removing a few DLL or cab files in Windows...)
When you log in as win admin all the time and, maybe accidentally, maybe not, do crap like that, what do you expect?
What do you expect if you log in as root only and, maybe accidentally, maybe not, do 'rm -rf /'? Botched up as well...

IMO if you want to run as root only, your problem, with the possibility to affect others too though. And once the proverbial hits the fan, don't come searching for help, it was your own choice and own fault after all and you were told from the beginning how to prevent it.
 
Old 07-16-2010, 08:09 AM   #52
MTK358
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Seriously, where do you see all those passwords?

You said you never broke Windows, but there are two problems with that statement:
  • Linux isn't like Windows. It doesn't try to protect you from your actions the slightest bit, even if you want to delete the kernel or wipe the hard drive you're running on now.
  • If you use the command line, you can accidentally type a command that will DESTROY your system. If you're not root, the worst that can possibly happen is you delete all your stuff, but the system and your programs will be untouched.

And I don't understand where you see so many password prompts. OK, maybe you're configuring stuff, and you need a password for that. But isn't that you do once and forget?

For me, the only things I often need to enter a password for are when I log in and when I install/remove software. And maybe it's because I use the command line. There you enter your password once (after su or sudo), and you can work without entering it again. No such luck with GUI apps.

Last edited by MTK358; 07-16-2010 at 08:12 AM.
 
Old 07-16-2010, 08:14 AM   #53
onebuck
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Hi,

There's more that could happen then a spambot or relay. The user should treat 'root' as 'Golden'. You use it in a controlled manner or it will bite you at some point. That bite could affect others on the machine or potential web neighbors. Look at the M$ world for everyday examples.

As for viruses, with GNU/Linux the biggest worry is not a virus. 'rootkits', trojans could/would be one arena that should be avoided. Some new users may introduce unknowingly a potential risk to their-self and others via poor maintenance or running installs on a system while root. Security is very important on any system be it a GNU/Linux or M$. Running as 'root' in a controlled environment for experimentation, debugging or just plain coding is done all the time. But to run as 'root' generally is irresponsible and asking for problems with that don't care free for all attitude.

I like 'Tink's' car analogy. You have responsibilites whenever the vehicle is moved onto the public roadways. Insurance, mechanically stable vehicle and driver abilities(licensed) are just a few things that one must have in order to operate the vehicle on the public way. If you pass the responsibility to a unlicensed, inexperienced driver and something occurs then you(root) are the one responsible. Sure, the GNU/Linux system may or will not create problems for other knowledgeable user(s) who protects their machine from the irresponsible (root) user who thinks it's OK to run openly thus causing the potential risks to others (web neighbors). How do you think relays or DOS occur?

So yes you do have the right to run as 'root' but remember if anyone proves that the result of your actions have caused harm then the responsibilities do fall on you.
 
Old 07-16-2010, 08:54 AM   #54
damgar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTK358 View Post
Seriously, where do you see all those passwords?

You said you never broke Windows, but there are two problems with that statement:
  • Linux isn't like Windows. It doesn't try to protect you from your actions the slightest bit, even if you want to delete the kernel or wipe the hard drive you're running on now.
  • If you use the command line, you can accidentally type a command that will DESTROY your system. If you're not root, the worst that can possibly happen is you delete all your stuff, but the system and your programs will be untouched.

And I don't understand where you see so many password prompts. OK, maybe you're configuring stuff, and you need a password for that. But isn't that you do once and forget?

For me, the only things I often need to enter a password for are when I log in and when I install/remove software. And maybe it's because I use the command line. There you enter your password once (after su or sudo), and you can work without entering it again. No such luck with GUI apps.
If he's using Ubuntu and trying to configure his computer or just poke around to see what's there he will be getting a LOT of prompts, not to mention things like automatic updates. Ubuntu's defaults are very mother-henish for better or worse.
 
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Old 07-16-2010, 09:00 AM   #55
teebones
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinkster View Post
It never ceases to amaze me how many of our members here at
LQ are happy to give poor advice. :/

I'll give them the benefit of the doubt, and blame it on ignorance
rather than malice.



Cheers,
Tink
i second this totally
 
Old 07-16-2010, 09:09 AM   #56
GlennsPref
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Quote:
It's kind of like trying to discourage someone from riding a motorcycle. You can tell them of the potential dangers, but if they choose to accept the risk, you're better off teaching them how to ride safely, and to watch for cars making left turns in front of them, than to just keep saying "motorcycles are dangerous". (Persoanlly, that is one risk I choose NOT to take!)
Accidents aren't meant to happen either!

working as root, is like riding you're bike without a helmet.
 
Old 07-16-2010, 09:16 AM   #57
damgar
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Reading over this thread makes me laugh. If anything the OP has learned just how passionate linux users can be about certain subjects. I'm waiting for a little name calling and it will be text book flame bait.

Last edited by damgar; 07-16-2010 at 09:17 AM.
 
Old 07-16-2010, 09:23 AM   #58
igadoter
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Yeah, I agree that ubuntu is a bit paranoid of the security if you think that ubuntu
is supposed to be "easy to use and friendly".
I am also ubuntu user. The first thing you should do is to set the password for the "root" account so you will be able to login as a root. Sooner or later you will find that "sudo" is not enough for administrative tasks. For this issue

sudo passwd

This will allow to you to set password for the root account. Of course as a root you may easily damage seriously a system but feel free making any experiments you want. If something will go wrong simply reinstall a system. But of course take care of your important files.
I am sure you will find Linux amusing.
 
Old 07-16-2010, 09:28 AM   #59
teebones
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to Sumguy i would give this advice:

You should learn GNU/Linux in a controlled environment (which is on by default, in this case the sudo environment), because GNU/Linux (in this case Ubuntu distribution), has more powers compared to Windows (TM) versions (and thus more responsibilities). And because of these huge powers, you can do more harm to yourself or others, without knowing it (if not using properly).

See it as this:
You want to learn how to drive a speedboat (for races), how would you go on with this? Or want to learn how to operate a controlpanel of a nuclear facility for that matter...
Would you simply start of, without guidence, a tutor near you, or would you start of WITH guidence, a tutorial, or at least a TESTING setup, where it doesn't impact the real work environment if you screw up?
Then you can safely learn how to master the wealth and powers of the thing you want to learn/master. It forces you to think in a certain pattern that has been proven to be the right way, or the safe way, or at the least a good habbit to learn. There is a good funded/proven reasons for the implemented DO's and DON'Ts. Stick to them if you are on your first steps inside the new discovery. Learn what experienced people tell you, instruct you, and don't argue with it, as if YOU are an equally experienced one. I know the exitement, i've been there too! i know that somethimes it conflicts with the previous experiences learned on the other things.
However, your time will come in the near future, to be the "elder", once you overgrow the apprentice "youngster" role. Some pick up more quickly then others, but never overestimate yourself. Enjoy the "eureka" moments, treasure them!. But it's just a dot in the ocean of things to learn. The more experience you gain, the more you know what to expect, and how to anticipate/coop with such forsights of potentials. The more secure you feel too, doing so. That's the progression in learning.
Also, you're right about the freedom to tinker with it as you please (change things etc), if you talk about gnu/linux. But you need to know how to use the saw, before you can saw. (a lumber would say)
get my drift?

Also with more experience, you will also see why some fundamentals are there. (the theory behind it)

Good luck learning, and welcome to our family.

Last edited by teebones; 07-16-2010 at 09:38 AM.
 
Old 07-16-2010, 09:35 AM   #60
snowpine
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Great post, teebones!
 
  


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