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Re: Log on as root. warning

On Sun, Apr 27, 2003 at 08:26:08PM -0400, alex wrote:
> I don't understand the warnings about logging in as root
> if all you intend to do is make some changes that only root
> can make.  What difference does it make if you do su
> or log on as root?  Doesn't a root mistake have the same effect
> either way?
> Doesn't root=root regardless of how you become root?
> Ditto for user?
> Can someone justify the warning?

okay, i think this will explain it for you:

- when you su to root in a terminal, you have one process running as
  root (bash, or tcsh, or whatever your shell is), plus the commands
  you type in.

- when you log in as root on a desktop, you have your window manager,
  desktop environment, and every other child process running as root.
  this isn't as bad if you're a fan of small, simple window managers
  like twm, but if you have a gnome or kde desktop setup, that's a
  couple dozen processes at least, all running as root, able to do all
  kinds of harm to your system when you're the first to discover the
  next bug in a debian software package.  


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