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Old 04-25-2007, 02:24 PM   #1
StefanP
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Why cannot login as root on the regular login screen


Is it possible to login as root and use the graphical interfance (not command lines)?
 
Old 04-25-2007, 02:29 PM   #2
cgjones
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Yes, but it's not the recommended way of doing things.
 
Old 04-25-2007, 02:29 PM   #3
acid_kewpie
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yes, but it's normally deliberately disabled as it's a dumb thing to do. don't fight it... go with it and use the mechanisms put in place to help you do things as root, like su and the sudo framework, don't try to rip it out for no good reason.
 
Old 04-25-2007, 08:20 PM   #4
StefanP
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Here's a good reason... How about user friendly? If you ask someone not to use Adobe Photoshop to edit images but a program using command lines how many people do you think will chose command lines program over Adobe Photoshop (no offence to linux or whatever)...
 
Old 04-25-2007, 08:34 PM   #5
jschiwal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StefanP
Here's a good reason... How about user friendly? If you ask someone not to use Adobe Photoshop to edit images but a program using command lines how many people do you think will chose command lines program over Adobe Photoshop (no offence to linux or whatever)...
Using Adobe Photoshop doesn't run the risk of deleting your entire filesystem, or giving a hacker total access to your system because a compromised program is now running as the root user. You shouldn't run such a program as root. You don't need to run such a program as root.

It is possible to log in to the desktop environment as root, but might be currently configured not to allow it. On Ubuntu root logins are disabled even for console logins. Running your distro's configuration utility such as YaST2 in SuSE and entering the root password is not inconvenient. You don't have to do all configuration in the console. You do need to learn how your system's configuration utilities work, whether you are using Linux or Windows or OS X.

The primary reason that there are so many compromised Windows machines is because it is hard to run many programs as a restricted user; so when a program has an exploit, it is possible to alter the system. Windows XP could be run with users having limited write access by default but legacy programs would break. With Vista, this is changing, finally, so the windows world is moving toward the way it is done in Unix.

Once upon a time there were motor vehicles that you could start without a key. Maybe they where called horseless carriages then. What you want to do is analogous to owning a car that didn't need a key.

Last edited by jschiwal; 04-25-2007 at 08:49 PM.
 
Old 04-25-2007, 09:27 PM   #6
StefanP
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i would not argue too much on technicalities... but do not forget the main thing... to be forced to run command lines just because the programmers are to lazy to find a way to create better programs that can have graphical user friendly interface will not cut in year 2007 or the ones ahead ... living in the past won't cut it either (30 years ago command lines probably were cool and the only way to do things)... and the machine on which i installed linux is not connected to the internet (no machine that should have major security concerns should be connected to the internet anyway)... despite all these I will still give Linux a try (and that's only because I am computer literate ...haha... i do actually write programs but that doesn't mean i must prefer code to mouse clicks...
 
Old 04-25-2007, 09:40 PM   #7
jschiwal
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Some distro's allow you to configure your computer graphically. This has nothing to do with your complaint about presently not being able to log in as root. Those are two separate issues.

I would rather edit a config file in the console, than have to use regedit because a particular change can't be done in a gui config program.

Some tasks, especially repetitive tasks across several subdirectories are much easier to do in a console than graphically. Producing a pdf catalog of backup files can be done in a very short script using common utilities such as ls, cut, sort, enscript, and ps2pdf. I do this at work (cygwin) on a machine I wouldn't dare install software on using a installer program that may make changes to the registry or add dll libraries to system32/.

Last edited by jschiwal; 04-25-2007 at 09:47 PM.
 
Old 04-25-2007, 10:06 PM   #8
Netizen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StefanP
i would not argue too much on technicalities... but do not forget the main thing... to be forced to run command lines just because the programmers are to lazy to find a way to create better programs that can have graphical user friendly interface will not cut in year 2007 or the ones ahead ... living in the past won't cut it either (30 years ago command lines probably were cool and the only way to do things)... and the machine on which i installed linux is not connected to the internet (no machine that should have major security concerns should be connected to the internet anyway)... despite all these I will still give Linux a try (and that's only because I am computer literate ...haha... i do actually write programs but that doesn't mean i must prefer code to mouse clicks...
Its really a matter of preference. To me I would rather use the console for admin tasks. Why? Because I can edit the config file quickly. With a gui, I would have to navigate to the right window, which could be buried in several "preference windows"

But to your main question, like it has been mentioned before. Root is all powerful. Just like you would not want to surf the web, open email, or to do other daily tasks under the admin account in windows, you don't want to in Linux. Root has the ability to change the entire system and delete everything, and in most cases with no questions asked. All you need to do is run a comprimised program or open an email that executes a script as Root and you have just handed complete control of your system to someone else. Its simply a security risk. Thats not to say that once you login into to the WM or DE in Linux under your normal account, that you can not start certain applets as root. But the idea is to envoke the powers of Root only when you need to make a change to the system, and then return to your normal account. The beauty of linux is you are able to do all of your normal day to day tasks without admin rights.
 
Old 04-25-2007, 10:17 PM   #9
Quakeboy02
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Quote:
i would not argue too much on technicalities... but do not forget the main thing... to be forced to run command lines just because the programmers are to lazy to find a way to create better programs that can have graphical user friendly interface will not cut in year 2007 or the ones ahead
So speaks the voice of, well, clearly neither Linux experience nor security experience. It's not a matter of being lazy. It's a matter of Linux being freeware and the technology is changing faster than the Volunteer labor has been able to keep up. There are GUI aids for most of what really needs to be done in Linux. We are even seeing the beginnings of GUIS for wireless control. But, with wireless, the blame lies with the companies that make the adapters being unwilling to provide either decent specs or open source for their cards.

A lot of people are wasting a lot of their time trying to convince you that Linux is what you need. Personally, I think you've just got a grudge and some free time that might be better used somewhere else. But, it's your time and your computer. Knock yourself out. So far, you're doing a hell of a job of making friends and influencing people.
 
Old 04-26-2007, 04:51 AM   #10
dasy2k1
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it is not neccacary to do many config tasks form teh command lien if you dont want to.

take the suse distrobution for example,

the graphical configuaration utilaty (YAST)
is really user freindly,
when you open it form a normal user account, it askes you for the root password.
the advantage in this is that you are runningf yast as root, but if you then need firefox open to lookup somthing or even ask a question here, then its running as a normal user not root.

if you log in as root graphicly , then you can run yast fine, but if you then open a browser like firefox it will run as root, meaning that any exploit in it can be used to wipe out your entire system.
 
Old 04-26-2007, 06:01 AM   #11
stealth_banana
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Many things that rely on root access do have a GUI front end already, its a matter of chasing them down. If you used windoze for the first time, after say OSX, would you know how to enable a partition?

As said, many Distros come with GUI configuration, even kcontrol on KDE does a passable job of admnin on many system tasks. Want more GUI ness, try 'webmin' it has modules for almost everything. And then there is always the option of writing a wee GUI wrapper yourself.

On Vista, I found the popup about admin rights annoying, and with just a yes/no option, I found I was just clicking yes and not reading, I can see this being a huge problem. Making a planned choice to do things as root means that you have to think about what you are doing.

Using the CLI is a lot more powerful and directly editing the config files gives a lot more freedom and power anyway, do the windows GUI tools give you access to ALL the options available?

Last edited by stealth_banana; 04-26-2007 at 06:03 AM.
 
  


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