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Old 10-15-2016, 02:18 AM   #1
Summer Deep
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Distribution: Mint 17.3, AntiX 16, 4MLinux
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Why does Antix need a root password?

Firstly a couple of acknowledgements/apologies:

1) This is a MEPIS sub-forum, but there doesn't seem to be one for Antix, and the two distros appear to be very closely related, so hopefully this is an appropriate place to post.....

2) My question is pretty basic, and I would have expected to find the answer somewhere in this sub-forum, but have looked and have had no success, so here goes....

I've just installed Antix 16 onto one of my spare laptops, having been quite impressed while using it as a live distro on a usb stick. During the installation process, I was asked to create both a user password and a root password. So far, in using the system, I have only been asked for the user password, including when carrying out administrative tasks, using 'sudo' commands, and even when accessing the 'Root Terminal'. In fact, the system seems to work like Ubuntu and Mint, which only require user passwords for such things. I've also used distros like Mageia, where the root password is needed for accessing the Control Panel, but no such procedure seems to be evident in Antix. Can anyone shed any light?

Last edited by Summer Deep; 10-15-2016 at 02:21 AM.
Old 10-15-2016, 03:07 AM   #2
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It's useful to have an alternative way of getting root access. For example, supposing you edited your sudoers file with something other than visudo. People are often warned about doing that but it still happens. They then miss out on the visudo check for syntax errors. Or they might use visudo and not realise the importance of the syntax warnings and file anyway. In either case, the errors in sudoers make it impossible to use sudo from that point on. In a distro like Ubuntu, that puts you into a loop. You can't correct the error by using sudo visudo because sudo doesn't work, and you can't become root to get around that.

I read a post once by someone who had, as an experiment, activated an option in sudoers to get additional info from /etc/sudoers.d. He didn't realise that this constitutes a syntax error if there are no files in that directory, and he couldn't use sudo to get himself out of that hole. And of course he couldn't just create the files because that requires root access!

In AntiX, the solution is simple: log in as root or use su. If you don't have a root login, you'd have to boot from something like SystemRescue to clear up the mess.

Last edited by hazel; 10-15-2016 at 03:08 AM.
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Old 10-15-2016, 09:43 AM   #3
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KISS tries to rule in AntiX land. Certain functions in control panel require a password as far as I know. System>Manage Packages and stuff.

I sudo -i once in all to get into root instead of su. But If I want to drop down into smxi and install liqourix kernels. Another AntiX feature. Or use sgfxi script to install a proprietary graphics driver while I am dropped down into a command line line smxi screen.

Point is. I need to be root to get the ball rolling for the above as far as I know. Sudo won't cut it for that scenario.

$ inxi -S
System:    Host: biker Kernel: 4.8.1-antix.1-686-smp-pae i686 (32 bit) Desktop: IceWM 1.3.8
           Distro: antiX-15-V_386-full Killah P 30 June 2015
Just another example on a function, while I tried cleaning out cruft on my laptop while using sudo

dpkg: error: requested operation requires superuser privilege

Last edited by rokytnji; 10-15-2016 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 10-15-2016, 01:35 PM   #4
Summer Deep
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Distribution: Mint 17.3, AntiX 16, 4MLinux
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Thanks for the replies, folks. Some of this stuff is a bit over my head as a relative newcomer to Linux, but every little helps of course. I rather suspected that there might be a log-in aspect to this root password business, but the only occasions on which I've ever logged in as root are in 4M Linux, where the user is 'Root' by default (don't ask me why...).

Last edited by Summer Deep; 10-15-2016 at 02:00 PM.
Old 10-15-2016, 04:04 PM   #5
Registered: May 2005
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History lesson 1: antiX

For a long time antiX did NOT have sudo set up by default (except for a few apps) and every time user was prompted for a password, user had to give the ROOT one. This changed in antiX-15 (and 16) as a result of feedback from users and devs because for some reason the root password could not be saved for the session. (Basically this meant that each time you opened an app that needed root/superuser privileges, you were prompted with entering the root password).
In antiX-16, in the control centre, user can set whether to use sudo or root for non-user privileges.
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