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okay obviously i'm a serious noob sucker, but i'd just like to know specifically why it's so dangerous to run as root...i understand that some network services you run as root have security issues while they run, but as far as normal research/coding usage goes, how exactly could you be compromised as opposed to doing those things as "user"?
thanks for replies...sadly, most all will be enlightening
mistakes can happen, and in the above line of code, nothing will prompt you saying 'do you really want to delete your entire system?'
but let's take it in another direction: mailcious code -- what if you download something that's poorly written, or something that intentionally tries to damage your system?
by not commonly running as root, you have another level of protection to your system... i've heard people say things along the lines of: 'linux viruses -- if you manage permissions correctly, there's no such thing'
I'm always slightly mystified by this question because except for the occasional bit of software installation and system maintenance, I really never need to be root. I mean, is it really so very much more convenient to be root as opposed to a regular user? If you find you need to use a few root commands a lot, just set 'em up for yourself in sudo or if you REALLY need to be root, just su to root for the task and then jump back out.