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Old 03-26-2003, 09:03 PM   #16
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Personally I think that if you really want to run as root you can, it's your system.
It is a terrible idea to suggest others generally do it though.
You lose the parachute of a regular user not being able to run everything as regards trojans as well as unintended errors.
If you put a little into learning that you do not need to run as root to be able to do everything you want VIA su, and still keep the protection of the filesystem permissions on your side you will be happier.
Old 03-26-2003, 09:07 PM   #17
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I can't think of any particular instances, but there have been plenty of times when I've made a typo at the command prompt or some such, and got a bunch of permission errors: "Whew, it's a good thing I wasn't root when I did that."

Running as root all the time seems to me to remove a lot of the security advantages of using Linux. Viruses and the like become a serious threat again, and the possibility of making a catastrophic mistake is back on par with Windows... do it if you like though, it's your box
Old 03-26-2003, 10:20 PM   #18
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(but this is biased because I have used ms for a long time)
Well, a lot of times in linux you have to think simple. just like you create iptable rules to drop all, but allow are not planning for the expected event. By not running as root, you are limiting yourself to the probability of the unexpected happening. A really simple example, is that if you're connected to any network, the chance of getting permanently knocked off is running as root. and stuff (even automated stuff) can go berzerks - so the question is why? Again, its only a matter of give yourself all the permissions you need but no more. Is it so hard to type 'su -' once in a while?
Old 03-26-2003, 11:00 PM   #19
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Re: Suggestions on how to learn Linux?

Originally posted by frontier1
Other than this forum and me trying to learn on my own, is there a good way to learn Linux maybe a good course or online tutorial?
I always found that the best way to learn a new OS is to force yourself to use for some project. It can't be time critical because you're going to be slow in getting things done at first. I probably learned UNIX faster once I decided that, although my PC could dual boot (at the time is was a 16MHz 386, a whopping 2MB of memory, a 42MB disk, and running Win3.11 and the UNIX-alike Coherent), I made it a rule to not use Windows. (Just like now but for different reasons!) I was working on translating a lot of FORTRAN code into C at work (on VMS) and decided that I could be doing the same thing for a UNIX environment as well. That made me learn the editor inside and out, the compiler, make, debugger, etc. It was a great experience.

If you're looking for a book (or two), I had found Matt Welsh's ``Running Linux'' (he's got two collaborators in the latest edition) was pretty friendly and readable when I first started running Linux. For the sheer volume of information, the ``Unleashed'' books weren't too bad.

Have fun!

Old 03-26-2003, 11:36 PM   #20
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The internet
join some LUG
play around with linux
Old 04-01-2003, 06:00 PM   #21
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I just installed Gentoo linux, then I configured X properly, learned how to compile a kernel, now that was a learning experience!
Old 04-01-2003, 06:51 PM   #22
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Personal recommendations: 'Running Linux' by Matt Welsh et al (O'Reilly): fabulous for users of all levels. LIkewise 'Linux in a nutshell' from the same publisher: ALL the commands you'll ever need, and more! but it's a large-ish nutshell...

Also 'The LInux cookbook' by Michael Stutz: Debian based but anyone nervous of the CLI *has to* read this - you'll relax a little, it isn't so scary; and if a pointy-clicky type like me can say that, you know it's good!

regarding running as root...well I know a lot of 'ordinary joes and jills' who are afraid they'll break their computer if they make a typo.

They can't of course. They're all using windoze (the ones who aren't using electric typewriters ) But yeah, in linux if you habitually run as root you can do exactly that:

# rm -rf / (filename) it's the space after the / that does it...

But whatever floats your boat, it's your box.
Old 04-01-2003, 07:55 PM   #23
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Running Linux by O'Reilly
Linux In A Nutshell by O'Reilly
Understanding The Linux Kernel by O'Reilly

Shell Programming In 24 Hrs (yeah right) SAMS teach yourself book

If you're into learning another *NIX that is WAY simple, check out the book below. Concepts from here can be taken to Linux and other OS's. BTW it explains MINIX inside and out.

Operating Systems Design and Implementation by Tannenbaum

My story on why I never run as root.

I was logged in as root and wanted to delete my user's $HOME/bin directory. I was in $HOME and typed from the command line rm -rf /bin instead of rm -rf bin/ BIG DIFFERENCE!!! HUGE!!!

I cried


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