Why is the root user faster?

FattyMembrane

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 14, 2002
966
129
bat country
i've noticed recently that whenever i log into my computer as root to tidy things up or run modifications, the system seems more responsive, i.e. apps launch a bit faster, web-pages load more quickly and scroll more smoothly, menus seem to fade more smoothly. does anyone know why this is? i'm tempted to just remain loged on as root. whenever i repair my permissions from the installer disk, it always finds problems and fixes them (even when i ran it every day) but my admin user never seemed to be any quicker after having done so and there are always problems to be fixed the next day. what is the cause of this slight performance boost? and why do my permissions corrupt so easily (although i don't think this is the problem)?

imac G3 500mhz 384 megs Rage128 10.2.1
...and 9.2.2 if i want to run UT at full speed
 

cb911

macrumors 601
Mar 12, 2002
4,119
3
BrisVegas, Australia
well i don't know why root user would be faster, but the permissions could get messed up by just stuffing around with heaps of 'mod' programs, like shareware stuff that lets you change the system.

oh well, if you're comfortable using root user, then you might as well stay logged on as root. :)
 

edesignuk

Moderator emeritus
Mar 25, 2002
19,077
1
London, England
DON'T stay logged in as root! It's a VERY bad idea, you can easily cause SERIOUS damage to your system without even thinking about it, only use root when you realy have to.
 

edesignuk

Moderator emeritus
Mar 25, 2002
19,077
1
London, England
Re: root

Originally posted by richierich
this may be a stupid question but how do you log in as 'root'???

cheers guys!
To enable root do this:
  • Open Terminal
  • Type 'sudo passwd root'
  • Enter your password
  • Enter a new root password
  • Re-enter the new root password
Then just logout and log back in again as 'root'.

BUT be careful!
 

Nipsy

macrumors 65816
Jan 19, 2002
1,009
0
Re: root

Originally posted by richierich
this may be a stupid question but how do you log in as 'root'???

cheers guys!
If you have to ask, you really shouldn't do it!

There are some good web tutorials about enabling root, which are chock full of the very IMPORTANT caveats one needs to UNDERSTAND before mucking about as root.

In UNIX, root is God. If you type 'rm -R /' as root, your computer will happily self destruct. You can delete anything, regardless of how important it is.

If you feel comfortable with this, google 'macosx enable root user netinfo', and all shall be revealed, but heed the warnings, because this is not the sort of power an average end user should have!
 

Taft

macrumors 65816
Jan 31, 2002
1,319
0
Chicago
Actually, I think that the majority of Mac users would be safe using root all of the time. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the finder keep you from doing something really stupid (like wiping your whole System folder or something). The only way you'd get into really bad trouble would be by using the terminal. And I would say that most Mac users don't do that.

I still recommend against using root all of the time. But after thinking about it, I don't think an uninformed user could do serious damage without the terminal.

Taft
 

mcrain

macrumors 68000
Feb 8, 2002
1,768
11
Illinois
Originally posted by Taft
I still recommend against using root all of the time. But after thinking about it, I don't think an uninformed user could do serious damage without the terminal.

Taft
Believe me, if there is a way to damage something unintentionally, I'll find it.
 

FattyMembrane

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 14, 2002
966
129
bat country
Originally posted by cb911
well...the permissions could get messed up by just stuffing around with heaps of 'mod' programs, like shareware stuff that lets you change the system.
i wiped out the hard drive before i installed 10.2 and don't have any mods/haxies/themes or other misc garbage running. has anyone else noticed this phenomenon? has anyone else experienced permissions that are constantly corrupted? i've watched my internet connection slow to a crawl and then die completely in about a half an hour due to permissions problems (it has not happened again, thankfully). i bleed six colors (just one now i guess) and am not a guy who goes messing with system files willy nilly for the hell of it (i saw enough blinking questionmarks on my 6100 to know what to touch and what not to touch) so staying logged in as root is no big deal, but i'd really like to know what causes the speed increase over my admin user.
 

Rags

macrumors member
Aug 27, 2002
55
0
Why does it matter? If you're a novice better run as a regular user, if not you should know what the commands do and if not have the smarts to research before hand. If you're unsure about what a command does, don't use it :) It's annoying switching into root everytime you need to make a change.

On the other hand... It could be possible you might delete the wrong directory without meaning to. Say you want to delete a few directores and use wildcards, if you mess up or go too far back you might take out too many directories! I run as a privileged user, try that instead. I have users for various projects and "run modes." Good way to hide "stuff" too ;)
 

Taft

macrumors 65816
Jan 31, 2002
1,319
0
Chicago
As a service to all Mac users, the next time I'm about to wipe my system and reinstall (soon, very soon), I'll try to see what kind of damage can be done to the system when logged in as root.

My experiment will focus on what I can do from the GUI, not the command line. I think we all know what can be done with root from the command line.

My guess is that the extent of damage you can do will be roughly the same as under OS 9. After all, with no multiuser system installed under OS 9 you were pretty much root (or as root as it got).

This should be fun.

Taft
 

cb911

macrumors 601
Mar 12, 2002
4,119
3
BrisVegas, Australia
ok, i take back what i said about staying logged in as root. but no one has answered why root user runs faster... or is this just how it seems, from all the adrenaline from being logged on as root?:D :eek: :D


mcrain: love your new avatar!:D