Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 28th Feb 2012 23:11 UTC
Linux Linus Torvalds on requiring the root password for mundane tasks. "So here's a plea: if you have anything to do with security in a distro, and think that my kids (replace 'my kids' with 'sales people on the road' if you think your main customers are businesses) need to have the root password to access some wireless network, or to be able to print out a paper, or to change the date-and-time settings, please just kill yourself now. The world will be a better place." Yes, it's harsh (deal with it, Finns don't beat around the bush), but he's completely and utterly right. While there's cases where it makes sense to disable certain settings (public terminals, for instance), it is utterly idiotic that regular home users have to type in their root password for such mundane tasks.
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Run as root!
by lucm on Wed 29th Feb 2012 11:33 UTC
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I have absolutely none of those problems. I just run as root all the time. Heck, root IS my user account.

I started with Windows 95, where I was root all the time. Never had any problem whatsoever, not even a virus infection and - wait for this - I didn't use any anti-virus permanently on, just occasional full disk scans. Then I migrated to Linux, soon got tired of that travesty and decided to be root forever. Suddenly my computer experience was good again. Problems? Nope. Sure, I have deleted one or two things by mistake during all these years, but 'sudo' wouldn't have avoided it. Just run 'sudo wrecksystem' and the command will just happily wreck your system.

I think Linus' rough attitude is quite warranted in light of how preachy, sanctimonious and plain stupid Linux users get around other Linux users who run as root. All of their arguments are something like this:

1) You are stupid for running as root. Because. What could happen? Well, many things. More specifically? Well, it's insecure. How exactly? Look, it's wrong, OK? Don't ask why. Just look down, accept that it's wrong and make sure to repeat that to everyone you know. Oh, look, that monkey is climbing the ladder! We're gonna get wet! Let's beat the hell out of him!

2) Aaaargh!!! Aaaargh!!! Aaaargh!!! You're running as root!!! We are all doomed!!!! Take cover!!! The Mayans were right! The end is nigh!!! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!!!

3) Running as root is very dangerous. If you do, the sky will come tumbling down on your head, your crops will be destroyed by BOTH flood and drought, and your mother-in-law will move in with you. You've been warned.

4) You run as root? Wow, you're dumb. Who ties your shoes in the morning? I am not dumb. No, siree! I am one very smart fellow, I do exactly what I'm told. One of these days I will get my medal. You will see. You don't get any medals. Damn, no. You run as root! You are dumb. Yes, dumb. Heehee. Heehee. Heehee. Ma, come look at the dumb guy! He is funny! Heehee. Heehee.

So Linus tells some of those dumbasses to take a hike and people get upset? Please. If you let that kind of people have their way, soon they will be trying to force you to believe that Adam and Eve really existed and the Earth is just 6,000 years old.

Many unix-like systems install and boot as root by default: Slackware, Arch, BSD unix... It's no big deal. In fact, you should do that to your entire life.


Oh, and the VLC developers may kiss my rooty ass. Mplayer is a much better media player.

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