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Re: debian and ubuntu - answer from user not pretending to be guru

On Sat, May 2, 2009 at 4:51 AM, Bret Busby <bret@busby.net> wrote:

On this computer, a desktop, I usually run Debian 4.0. I find it more convenient, for most things, and I do not like the sudo that Ubuntu uses; I prefer su - root. Before people start criticising that preference, it it my preference, and, it is up to each individual, to choose the person's preference, for whatever reasons that person makes the choice. That is one reason for preferring Debian for the servers; the requirement of a root password, for sysadmin, rather than being able to do sysadmin using a user password is preferable, for me.

I'm not looking to criticize your choice, but the setting on Ubuntu to lock root and use sudo is configurable (and you can, in fact, duplicate it on Debian if you want).  If you want to use a root password on Ubuntu, simply set one and then delete the configuration from /etc/sudoers that allows your username to use sudo.

$ sudo passwd root
$ su - root
# visudo

And so on.  I'm sure you can find the line in there, it will be of the format:

username ALL=(ALL) ALL

Then save the file and sudo is no longer possible for your user account.  

To duplicate the behavior on Debian, you do something similar:

$ su - root
# visudo
# passwd -l root

Adding the above line to sudoers (which opens automatically when you invoke visudo).  This will give your account sudo access and lock the root account (as Ubuntu does).

There's nothing special about how Ubuntu does it.  In fact, when you install Etch you can have the Ubuntu behavior at installation time (when it prompts for a root password, select Cancel, then in the installer menu, select the option for configuring user accounts and select "No" when it asks if you want to allow root to have a password).  It's all pretty self-explanatory in the installer. This option was removed in Lenny's installer.

Anyway, again, not criticizing your desire to have a root password, I'm simply pointing out that there's nothing special about what Ubuntu is doing and if you want to have a root password on Ubuntu and use Ubuntu, you can.


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