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mlhammer 11-10-2003 08:14 PM

Linux multiuser capabilities for one user?
I understand the fundamentals of a multiuser OS, with permissions and access rights and so forth to certain files, as I have been a user on large UNIX servers.

Now, however, I run my own Linux server and basically act as administrator to my personal machine.

When I installed Linux on the machine I was told to create a user account for myself, however, when I go into Linux to do my daily functions, I find that I have to su to root to accomplish many tasks.

For a one user scenario, what are the advantages/uses of a multiuser environment? Should I be granting my personal account more priveleges and doing more work from that account?

Tinkster 11-10-2003 08:20 PM

Lets just say that as user you're less likely
to be the victim of an exploit than when you
are a "normal" user ... and the extra effort
of "having to su to do things" should become
less over time, or you haven't set your things
up properly ;)

Also the accidental damage that you can
cause is less as a normal user :}


Eqwatz 11-10-2003 08:33 PM

When I am root, one moment of inattention results in a restoration from backup.

When I am "user", I have to go through the process of becoming su to hose everything up.

I honestly didn't know it made it easier for a loser to use a "root-kit" when I'm running as root. Say it isn't so. Really?

If security is busted on an application exposed to the internet, aren't I pretty much hosed whether I surfed as root or not? I noticed that the way that many applications install has changed pretty dramatically in the last year or so, I don't have to make many changes from the defaults any more. But I have to admit, I've been lazy and surfed as root--well, if tech sites count as surfing. (I been told that as root, any application I use is possibly going to have root privileges because user privileges can be inherited. It is something I've taken as true, but don't understand.)

Tinkster 11-10-2003 08:48 PM

Not necessarily a root-kit ... but imagine you're
using mozilla, with some plugin. Now imagine that
has a possible vulnerability.

If you were root, and a cracker had the
knowledge before you, what difference
would it have made if you haven't been
surfing as root? :)


2damncommon 11-10-2003 09:41 PM


Should I be granting my personal account more priveleges and doing more work from that account?
The beauty of it is that you may do as you wish.
If you are wise it is a mix of what you feel is necessary and useful. If you are a little silly is is based on what you find to much bother.
Personally I find that using "su" is no trouble.

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