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henrnorl 10-05-2006 01:28 PM

Cannot login as root on Debian
When I start Debian, the login window does not let me login as root. How can I do it?

Nylex 10-05-2006 01:59 PM

You don't. There's probably a way to enable it, but it's really not a good idea to run as root in a graphical environment. What's wrong with using your user account and then "becoming" root (e.g. with the su command) for things you need to run with root privileges?

rickh 10-05-2006 02:12 PM

Assuming you're using Gnome, in GDM look for the Actions Menu, select Configure|Security and authorize "root" to log on there.

Nylex is right, tho. This is not a very good idea. The only time I use it is when I want to do housekeeping on directories in /usr that contain pictures I need to see before I delete them, or to check programs I'm having trouble executing as a regular user to make sure it's not a permissions issue, etc. Then as soon as I'm done I log out of root.

In some ways, it's even easier to make a major mess using root from graphical mode than from the command line.

pixellany 10-05-2006 04:20 PM

"root" in Linux is like owning a big power saw.
It's good to have it.
It's good to be able to use it.
It's NOT good to use it for every task.

I use GUI as root quite regularly---I also use power saws. The latter will do infinitely more damage if used carelessly. With caution, both can be used safely.

rickh 10-05-2006 07:58 PM

Slightly off-topic, but I get a kick out of newbies who use root indiscriminately. Sooner or later, they are going to wind up blowing out their system, probably losing a few things they really wanted in the process. Talk about a real learning experience, that is one.

People who switch to Ubuntu generally dislike the sudo business a lot. Ubuntu is trying to protect me from a lesson I've already learned.

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