Root User in OS X

Discussion in 'Mac Help/Tips' started by sparkleytone, May 2, 2002.

  1. sparkleytone macrumors 68020

    sparkleytone

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2001
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC
    #1
    this is really a plead for people here to listen to some really sound advice.

    If you are not a UNIX guru, please please PLEASE do NOT login as root user on a regular basis. In fact there is really no reason to EVER log in to the GUI of OS-X as the root user. any functions necessitating the use of root should really be done via the Terminal.app. This is not a personal preference or attack, this is the truth. I think alot of people coming either from Windows or OS9 with little or no UNIX experience are underestimating the power of the root account. Not only can you do just about anything you want, but if you are hacked you are quadruple screwed. Its not even funny what can happen if you are hacked as root. please please please heed my warnings.




    chmod -R 555 | whoops
     
  2. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #2
    Sound advice, I am no UNIX expert but I am well aware of the damage you can do when logged in as "root".
    Stay out of the root account ;)
     
  3. menoinjun macrumors 6502a

    menoinjun

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2001
    #3
    Thanks for the public service announcement, but how many people actually log in as the root? I had to once just to change my swap partition, but other than that I'm logged in a my username.

    Does anyone actually log in a root?

    -pete
     
  4. Solidus macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2002
    Location:
    The really small capital of Sweden - Stockholm
    #4
    Have to

    I useit pretty often to edit files whithin the system.
    I even use the little Skeletton key trick.

    And as a matter of fact I ended up calling that expert support ^_^"
    (They, though, told me the only way to restore the system was to reformat the HD, so I agree with the other guys, unless you know what you're doing, be really carefull with the root account)
     
  5. newmanium macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    #5
    yeah, i agree. using the root user is pretty lame just to show off or have fun deleting files that sound funny. i'd stick with terminal and my sudo command if it were up to me.
     
  6. Macmaniac macrumors 68040

    Macmaniac

    #6
    If you read MacAddict Magazine you may be using the root user quite often. There were some OS X hacks in mag a few months ago. I looked them over but I decided not to mess with things, I am no expert. They do have some good ideas though.
     
  7. sparkleytone thread starter macrumors 68020

    sparkleytone

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2001
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC
    #7
    im not really saying that no one should ever USE the root account, im just saying that it is VERY dangerous to log into a window session (aqua) as root. you can do whatever you need to do either by sudo or logging into one Terminal session as root.
     
  8. Solidus macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2002
    Location:
    The really small capital of Sweden - Stockholm
    #8
    Terminal thing?

    How do you do that terminal thing?
    Do anyone know any good site with information about the terminal? (For newbees :rolleyes: )
     
  9. Beej macrumors 68020

    Beej

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Buffy's bedroom
    #9
    Re: Terminal thing?

    Uh... which terminal "thing" are you referring to? :)

    After a question like that, I strongly suggest you don't log in as root! :D

    Check out www.macosx.org they have some good newbie terminal stuff.
     
  10. mac15 macrumors 68040

    mac15

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2001
    Location:
    Sydney
    #10
    I don't bother with it
    I don't need it so I don't use it
     
  11. mmmdreg macrumors 65816

    mmmdreg

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2002
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #11
    I use the root su/sudo in the terminal every now and then for tasks that need it but GUI root is really a waste of time and is more of a hindrance than a help...
     
  12. Solidus macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2002
    Location:
    The really small capital of Sweden - Stockholm
    #12
    Re: Re: Terminal thing?



    Heh, I have to, it's the only way to edit system files (like the dock resources =)

    It's true I don't know any unix commands (well...not much anyways) but you can still avoid messing things up....*I hope* :D

    Well anyways, thanks for the link =)
     
  13. Durandal7 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2001
    #13
    I've logged in as root a couple times. All I did was change file permissions. And the best part is that I didn't delete "System" ;) . Although I did end up with annoying icon alignment issues as a result of enabling root.
     
  14. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #14
    new to X here... are you logged in to root by default? And is root the same thing as "admin"?


    Lethal
     
  15. chmorley macrumors 6502a

    chmorley

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2002
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #15
    No.

    And no.

    Root give you access to all sorts of things you can't modify as an administrator. You can delete things you really need (e.g., essential parts of the system), which you can't easily do with an administrator login.

    Chris
     
  16. sparkleytone thread starter macrumors 68020

    sparkleytone

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2001
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC
    #16
    for those who say they dont know enough terminal to change file permissions. chmod is an easy command

    4 = read
    2 = write
    1 = execute

    add them together (e.g rw- = 6 , r-x = 5 , etc)

    the file permission format is rwxrwxrwx (owner/group/world)

    execute is also applicable to directories that need to be accessed.

    example : sudo chmod -R 666 /

    this is the dumbest thing you can do ;)

    -R is a "Recursive" option, so it went and changed EVERY FILE to rw-rw-rw- which basically means you cant run anything.
     

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