7 Good Tips For New Linux UserApril 24, 2008 at 2:50 pm | Posted in Linux | 1 Comment
Tags: Linux, tips
1-Never Login Using ‘root’ GUI
If there was one habit that one should strictly abide by, it’s probably this one. Most of us come from a Windows background, and we have the notion that more power is better, so we login using our administrator accounts. Well let me tell you my friend, that this is a major reason that Windows is plagued with viruses and insecurities, half the world is currently running ‘root’ accounts!
Suse on RootWith great power comes great responsibility, and with ‘root’ powers you should be aware of the consequences of EVERYTHING you’re doing, and even then, mistakes happen. I remember my beginnings with SUSE Linux, there were lot of administrative tasks I needed to do but had no idea how to go about them without the GUI, so I so innocently log out and login onto the ‘root‘ GUI. The default wallpaper of the ‘root‘ GUI on SUSE were lit fuse bombs tiled beside each other. Back then, the symbolism totally flew over my head, coming from a Windows background, I wasn’t really doing anything wrong.
But what are the dangers of logging in as root?
1. Well imagine you’re on the trapeze without a safety net, frightening isn’t it? Well that’s effectively what you are doing when you login as root, you can inadvertently hose your whole system
2. You are at the risk of running malware. Any program that is started under root mode will automatically be given root privileges
3. If there is a common security hole that hasn’t been patched yet, you could be totally “pwned”
4. It’s common Unix convention, never run anything in root mode unless absolutely necessary. If a non-admin program asks for root access, you should be suspicious
Generally, instead of logging onto your root GUI, use any of the following techniques:
* Use “sudo” or “su” , and kill the session when your done
* If you don’t know how to do it in the command line, use “gksu” or “kdesu”. For example, press alt+f2 and type “gksu nautilus“. Close the app as soon as you finish