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Re: F10 and no root login - impossible to maintain systems!

Jud Craft wrote:
On Wed, Jan 21, 2009 at 4:19 AM, Rahul Sundaram
<sundaram fedoraproject org> wrote:
What are the specific use cases, where non technical users are being
compelled to login as root (and other alternatives won't work)?

The chief compelling one he mentions seems to be when NFS goes down
and Linux can't find the /home partition.

Or, to put it bluntly, when the Linux distribution isn't smart enough
to protect "non-technical users" (an admittedly subjective term) from
technical problems.  Which is often.

But your critique, Mr. Sundaram, doesn't seem to imply that people
shouldn't login as root -- merely that you disagree with allowing them
to open a root session in X.  To be rhetorical, we must ask, why?
After all, there's no such thing as "partial root power" -- you either
have full root privileges in a terminal in a normal user X session, or
full root privileges in a root X session.

Here's the why:  you feel that a root X session is too insecure --
which it may indeed be.  So we believe that the "ideal" method is to
not allow X root logins.  But keep in mind, this is not actually an
ideal.  It's a kludge to go around the fact that X is designed rather
horribly from a security standpoint.  The "user session only" method
allows you to work around that.
If I gave you a gun that had an excellent safety mechanism that was presently activated, would you be willing to play Russian roulette?

The point of having a separate root user is not to trust things. It doesn't matter how much effort we put into securing them, if they don't need to run as root, they never should. Gnome-panel doesn't need to ever run as root.


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