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I am a Linux newbie, I have been using it for about a week now. I am using Slackware 8.0 and KDE. My question is about regular users versus root. I have read in MANY places that you should not use the root account for your regular everyday use. I should explain that I am using Linux at home on my PC, nobody else uses it so I'm not really concerned about file security or anything like that but I did want to "do the right thing". So when I did my install I set up a user account for myself and I logged on with that account. Now I start KDE and I want to get my sound card working. I do some research and figure out how to get it working, I have to log in as root to make the changes so I use the 'su' command and make the changes. I then log in as my user account and no sound. More research and I find out that I have to change permissions on a file that my sound card uses (sorry I'm not sure what file but it's not important). Now I want to change the background color in KDE...again only root can do that so I 'su' and make the change. I log in as my user account and the changes are gone...I log in as root and the changes are there. So, I am now using root as my regular login but I would really like to know if there is a way that regular users can make changes to things like desktop color and not have to be logged in as root? Sorry for the long post but I wanted to explain myself, and vent a little.
there really isn't no problem with using root if your just learning, don't really have anything important on your system... etc etc..
one reason i would suggest not to use root on a system like that is you can accidently mess up your entire system with root.. one mistake, and its all gone..
root on a major system, corporate.. etc, yeah.. security reasons follow this too, as root can do everything and its not a good habit to use root for everyday use.. there are ways around it.. like su for example or sudo..
just read up on file permissions, users, and groups. that's the best way to explain it.
and i wouldn't worry about using the root account for your everyday stuff. they say the same thing about windows NT/2k/xp and administrator, and i never had a user account in 2k for the 2 years i used it, never had a problem.
i log in as root for every box on my network except one (which i need to log in as a regular user, because of some daemons i have running... long story). but i've never messed anything up, and if i did... i'd fix it. ::shrugs:: but i'm the only one using my pcs, so it's not a big deal.
Thanks for the quick responses. I am using root right now and I'm not too concerned about it, like Syncrm said if I screw something up I'll fix it. I was just wondering about how this would be worked around in a "real world" setting. Let's say I am in a corporate environment, would I have to create a group of users and set permissions on all of the configuration files so that they could use them? Is there already a group that has permission (other than root) to use these files but not permission to destroy the entire system, something like an advanced user group?