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Re: [Desktop] What accounts on a machine?

On Sat, Oct 26, 2002 at 02:36:55PM +0100, Alan Chandler wrote:
> On Saturday 26 October 2002 3:55 am, Steve Langasek wrote:
> > What's to be understood?  It's the proper name for the thing.  Calling
> > it 'admin' glosses over the details that someone administering their own
> > machine, newbie or not, NEEDS to be educated about in order to use their
> > computer safely.
> From a technicians point of view you are exactly correct - but the question I 
> am asking (and if we want to create desktops for the masses we must at least 
> ask the question) does it have to be.  Isn't something like administrator a 
> much more logical name for someone not in the know.

Except you don't need to know. In MacOS X it's still called root. It
doesn't matter, since they have admin tools to do root-type stuff for you.
They have sudo which defaults to root anyway.

> Formally root is uid=0 gid=0 - but does the name "root" stem from anything 
> more than the entry in /etc/passwd? Could it be changed. Would things still 
> work of it was?

Well, every place that uses the word root would need to be changed. Crontabs
and /etc/aliases come to mind. Also, servers which disallow remote root
logins may get confused and let you login remotely as that user. Not to
mention you'll be incompatable with every other unix system.

Would we have to rename fakeroot to fakeadministrator? Actually, debs
probably wouldn't unpack anymore since the tarballs have the word root all
through them.

> Ultimately - after some discussion - a concensus might be that you are correct 
> and it should not be changed - but I think we at least have to ask ourselves 
> are these sacred cows really that sacred.

I think there is an inertia problem. So many things depend on it in various
ways that changing it is probably out of the question. You don't want to
play with root :)
Martijn van Oosterhout   <kleptog@svana.org>   http://svana.org/kleptog/
> There are 10 kinds of people in the world, those that can do binary
> arithmetic and those that can't.

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