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

On Saturday 02 May 2009 19:02:42 Christofer C. Bell wrote:

> 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.
Actually, it's still in the installer.  The debconf priority was lowered, but 
you can still set the option in a preseed file, or by telling the installer 
to lower the priority of debconf, or by passing priority=low to the 

> 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.
I had to figure that out on my own, long ago.  What they did do, that wasn't 
always trivial is modify many of the graphical "su" programs to use sudo 
instead of "su", which helps bypass the need for a root password.  Also, the 
default for Aptitude::Get-Root-Command on debian is "su", while it's "sudo" 
on ubuntu.

Also, the sudo on ubuntu seems to have its authentication timestamps tied to 
the terminal/shell (I don't know which) that originally authenticated.  So, 
if you are using sudo in one terminal, then quickly start another terminal 
and use sudo in that terminal, you will have to authenticate again.

Joseph Rawson

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