Re: log in through root

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On 03/28/2010 03:29 AM, Rajanish Kumar wrote:
> Hi!
>  I have already installed Fedora 12 .I have given root password...and
> finally added a user name "rajanish"
> .I am log in through "rajanish"but i have not accessing throgh root...I
> want to log in through root because i want to learn administrative property.
>  please help me to guide log in through root..
> Rajanish Kumar
> Fedora User

Others will answer how to log in through root.

I would express a different concern.

Please forgive me if this sounds like a rant.
I don't wish it to be such.  The following is what I believe.

Linux has a different mindset from Windows.

I think of Windows as being single-user focused.
One user, at a time, does things on Windows.
That user, is, for all intents and purposes, "god" on the PC.
That user, invariably, runs with administrator privileges.

I realize I am being unfair to Windows.
One can have multiple Windows users "active" at the same time.
One can leave one user active and log in as another user.

Windows users can be restricted from administrator privileges.

Windows users are coerced into running with administrator privileges.
Windows users run programs that try to do upgrades automatically.
Windows users visit websites that try to do installs immediately.

Linux is multi-user.  People are expected to run as normal users.
People should be root only long enough to do system things.

Program developers create downloads with this in mind.
People can download and compile and build programs as normal users.
Only when people need to install, do people need to become root.

For most things, people should run as a "normal" user.
When I see a person running normal programs, as root, I shudder.

People have arguments, which is more secure, Windows or Linux.
I believe it is not the operating system that is secure or insecure.
I believe it is the way people use the operating system.

I believe one can take an insecure Windows operating system and make it
secure.  One can argue, it will also be annoying to use, or unusable,
but that is another discussion.

I believe one can take a secure Linux operating system and make it insecure.

What am I trying to say?

Please be very, very careful what you do as root.
You can make a terrible mess if you don't know what you are doing.

This is the end of my rant...wishing it didn't sound like a rant.

To help this person and me and others, can someone suggest some
reasonable websites that explain how to keep Linux secure and how to be
a Linux administrator for beginners?

What I found, when searching the Internet, was rather dated.

I'm not looking for information on selinux or the intricacies of iptables.

I'd rather find a tutorial saying things like...
only run services (chkconfig service ...) you need,
only open firewall ports (iptables ...) you really want opened,
only install software from sources you trust,
don't run user programs or games as root,
get a USB drive for backups and how to do backups,

I have a personal reason for asking for this information.

My sister keeps bringing her Windows XP PC to me for fixing.
It takes her less than a week to get viruses on her PC.
I've reloaded from the factory partition twice already.

The second time, she got viruses, really frustrated me.
Before giving her back her PC, I made sure all the patches were in.
I had Norton Utilities running with all updates.
I made sure her firewall was enabled.
Did me little good.

Her PC currently has some viruses on it (this is the third time).
Again, I made sure all patches were in and all updates were in.

Norton Utilities can detect the viruses, but not remove them.

I told her I wanted to install Linux on her PC.
She is bucking.  She knows how to find notepad.
She wants to be able to run a "Creative Memories" program.
She has both Internet Explorer and firefox (I tried to get her to use
firefox) set to go to her favorite website, as her home page.

I only find out she has a problem when she can't do her usual routine.
The first two times, I found out, because the malware was demanding
money and wouldn't let her do anything with her PC.

This last time, I found out, because, when she clicked the web browser
icon, it went to the wrong web page, not her home page.

Even if I force her to switch to Linux, I will have problems.
She will fuss and fuss until I give her the root password.
I won't want to give her the root password...for obvious reasons.
She will take a "secure" Linux system and make it vulnerable.
She won't know what she is doing.

You may think I'm being unfair to her...and I am.
She is not computer literate.  She is literate in other things.
She calls her PC her brain because someone explained the PC was the
brain.  She doesn't know what a hard disk is...she doesn't know the
difference between program and data...she doesn't know how to find
things unless those things are icons on the desktop...she needs help
configuring her printer and ethernet.  Once configured, she is happy.

As I say, I am being unfair to her...there are many things she knows
that I don't know and don't wish to know...but she is not computer
literate.  For this discussion, that is what matters.

I was looking for the history of Linux and found an interesting URL from
This is the first time I saw an image of Linus Torvalds.

If people could find tutorials on how to be an administrator for Linux,
written for people who are not very computer literate, I would be

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