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Old 03-24-2006, 02:53 AM   #1
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Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Vancouver BC Canada
Distribution: ubuntu 8.10
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What is the general rule(if any?) about downloading/installing as User or Root?

I sometimes have problems around downloading and getting some application working properly, and I suspect it is related to my ignorance of the proper use of "normal user" and "root". I stay away from having access to stuff away from my meagre level of competency.

Even reading the readmes and howtos sometimes offers choices which seem to come out of left field or seem to require a previous action or choice. (like being told to get into a restricted file. Maybe I should have been root all along?

I've read a fair bit but I'm still unclear about any general rules.

thanks- (LQ almost always provides great responses and info.)
Old 03-24-2006, 03:00 AM   #2
Registered: Apr 2002
Location: in a fallen world
Distribution: slackware by choice, others too :} ... android.
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"Being root all along" is always a bad move. If you're installing
software (either source-tarballs or your distros package format) you
HAVE to be root (unless your system setup is completely insane and
allows all users to write to /usr, /var, /lib and the likes).
For compilations you don't need to be root - but for the install
of a source-tarballs results it does make sense to do a
su -c "make install"
rather than running the whole process as root.



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