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Thread: Administrator as Root

  1. #1
    offgridguy's Avatar
    offgridguy is offline Grande Half-n-Half Cinnamon Ubuntu
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    Question Administrator as Root

    Recent events have me wondering, besides Fedora, are there other linux distro's
    that allow administrator privileges as Root?
    Last edited by offgridguy; February 27th, 2013 at 12:12 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Administrator as Root

    ?
    There is a root account on every Linux system- it's part of the system. Ubuntu has it disabled by default, but you can enable it just by editing /etc/passwd. This holds true for any distro.

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    Re: Administrator as Root

    In case someone is wondering why it is disabled:
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RootSudo
    About problems due to upgrading
    Bringing old hardware back to life.
    Please visit Quick Links -> Unanswered Posts

  4. #4
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    Re: Administrator as Root

    Thank you for the replies, I have read the links provided and realize that ubuntu
    regards this as a security feature, I also know how to set the root password and
    log in as root using the methods we are not allowed to post in this forum, but I was thinking of distro's that don't come with these restrictive measures.

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    Re: Administrator as Root

    I have only used Ubuntu, but most other distributions make you log into root to perform administrative activities and then log back in as your user. And only certain authorized users can login as root.

    The disadvantage is then somewhat like Windows in that once you log in as root you do not want to change back to a user. But that creates all sort of issues.
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    Re: Administrator as Root

    The notion of an "Adminstrator" is, more or less, a Windows-ism. Administrator privileges in Windows are directly comparable to root privileges in Unix/Linux. Broadly speaking, you can either log in as root, become root temporarily, or use the sudo command to escalate your privileges to that of root on a command-by-command basis.

    By default, Ubuntu limits the ways you can acquire root privileges. This is to keep users from doing something like becoming the root user, forgetting they did this, and unintentionally deleting system files they would not be able to delete as a normal user.

    Hence, the recommendation to just use sudo.

    However, you can use "sudo -i" in a terminal to acquire root privileges, keeping them until you enter "exit".

    There's nothing in Unix/Linux that requires users to constantly run as root, unlike Windows where many users always needed to run as the Administrator. If someone is constantly staying logged in as root in Unix/Linux. they do not understand the system they are using.

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    Re: Administrator as Root

    Debian and most variants enable the root account by default. Straight Debian doesn't come with sudo configured.

  8. #8
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    Re: Administrator as Root

    Quote Originally Posted by oldfred View Post
    I have only used Ubuntu, but most other distributions make you log into root to perform administrative activities and then log back in as your user. And only certain authorized users can login as root.

    The disadvantage is then somewhat like Windows in that once you log in as root you do not want to change back to a user. But that creates all sort of issues.
    Thank you for the reply oldfred, your synopsis as always is correct.
    I have found some other distributions make it much easier to do, than ubuntu.

    The potential for problems is certainly there, as you suggest in your comparison
    to windows as administrator in windows has power to trash the entire system,if
    they are foolish enough to do it.

    My thoughts though are that most if not all newcomers to ubuntu are windows
    users, and in spite of the unfettered control allowed by windows, probably
    never had any serious problems because of it. Myself included. So I find the
    ubuntu restrictions puzzling.

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    Re: Administrator as Root

    Quote Originally Posted by offgridguy View Post
    I am thinking of Administrator in the
    sense of admin. in windows which allows complete control of the Operating System.
    Windows in-built Administrator doesn't have full control. It's an elevated account but, for example, it can't even take ownership of an arbitrary registry key.

    And root isn't really disabled in Ubuntu, only locked so that you can't directly log on to it. sudo -i still gives you interactive root shell, so in practice there's little difference.
    Last edited by prodigy_; February 26th, 2013 at 04:48 PM.

  10. #10
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    Re: Administrator as Root

    Quote Originally Posted by buzzingrobot View Post
    The notion of an "Adminstrator" is, more or less, a Windows-ism. Administrator privileges in Windows are directly comparable to root privileges in Unix/Linux. Broadly speaking, you can either log in as root, become root temporarily, or use the sudo command to escalate your privileges to that of root on a command-by-command basis.

    By default, Ubuntu limits the ways you can acquire root privileges. This is to keep users from doing something like becoming the root user, forgetting they did this, and unintentionally deleting system files they would not be able to delete as a normal user.

    Hence, the recommendation to just use sudo.

    However, you can use "sudo -i" in a terminal to acquire root privileges, keeping them until you enter "exit".

    There's nothing in Unix/Linux that requires users to constantly run as root, unlike Windows where many users always needed to run as the Administrator. If someone is constantly staying logged in as root in Unix/Linux. they do not understand the system they are using.
    Thank you for the reply, you have touched on the very core of the issue,
    ie;you can escalate your privileges to root on a command by command basis.

    How true, but this requires a proficient working knowledge of the CLI, as
    administrator settings using the GUI in ubuntu are almost non-existent.
    making the CLI an absolute must to utilize ubuntu to the fullest potential.

    Realizing the importance of this, I am attempting to increase my knowledge
    in this area, as you and many others are no doubt aware, it is a huge
    learning curve.

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