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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Comment by Anonymous Penguin
by Anonymous Penguin on Wed 29th Feb 2012 16:15 UTC
Anonymous Penguin
Member since:
2005-07-06

I agree. Somebody went as far, years ago, as saying that there is no reason why you shouldn't login as root: http://imperial-command.net/myths-about-root.html

There is a security paranoia among *nix users and developers, and that includes OS X as well. You are asked for your password far too often. I agree with user Gullible Jones: "Windows prompts you about admin actions every time, without requesting a password."
And yet *nix operating systems are much safer by design.

Reply Score: 2

Gullible Jones Member since:
2006-05-23

Running as root != not requiring a password for privilege elevation. Distros like Puppy that run as root all the time won't prompt you at all if something tries to install a rootkit. Windows 7 will, at least in theory.

(In practice it may not, due to holes in UAC. But it's better than nothing.)

Of course neither will protect you from a userspace keylogger that steals your passwords, and only stays hidden by virtue of not having a GUI. Sure, you could find it in top/TaskMgr, but by then it might have your PIN!

Reply Parent Score: 2