Five *nix Myths Busted
Jan 27, 2010, 07:33 (9 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ken Hess)
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"You'd be surprised as to how often even the most
technical people spout these myths to each other and to the
unsuspecting and unknowledgeable bystander. I have to bite my
tongue when I hear them. And now that you know them, I hope it
ruins your day too when someone slips into mythland with one of
"They are in reverse order of how much they irritate me.
"5. Logging in as Root - The long-held myth that you should
never login as root is ridiculous. The logic goes something like
this: Login as a standard user, then su to root or use sudo to run
something as root. Yes, it's safer to do so but not by much. If you
su to root, then you are root. If you use sudo then you are
executing a program, editing a file or doing whatever it is you're
doing as root.
"Should you disable the ability to ssh as root? Yes.
"Should you never login as root to a system? No.
"Should you always use sudo to perform single commands as root?
If you're afraid of what you might do. But there's a caveat with
sudo too. If you're actively doing things with sudo, you only have
to enter your password once during a session, unless you walk away
or take a five minute break, then you'll be prompted again for
"If you're careless, you're going to make unrecoverable errors
regardless of using su or sudo. Be careful."
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