impossible to log as root after installation of mint 13

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impossible to log as root after installation of mint 13

Postby Asimov on Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:18 pm

Is it a bug or it's normal ?

I know the debian distro don't have a GUI for the administration but Lisa had one. What about Maya ?
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Re: impossible to log as root after installation of mint 13

Postby karlchen on Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:16 am

Hello, Asimov.

This is the normal behaviour of Ubuntu and of the Linux Mint editions which are based on Ubuntu: The root account is locked by default. I.e. except in the recovery console, root cannot log in directly. Instead you use the command sudo in order to run processes with root privileges.
Please, see this article for detailled information: RootSudo.

I am not sure what you have in mind when asking about a graphical administration interface. Of course Maya comes with a graphical desktop, e.g. Cinnamon, Mate, Xfce or KDE, depends on which edition yo have installed.

Kind regards,
Karl
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Re: impossible to log as root after installation of mint 13

Postby NormanDunbar on Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:11 am

I believe, from reading the "Introduction to Linux Mint" manual's installation instructions, that when you set up a user as part of the install, then the root user gets the same password. This appears to be true of my own KDE installation of Mint 13, because both my user and the root user had the same password.

Page 20 (of 51) says, right at the bottom:

Note: By default, your “root” password is the same as the password you chose during the installation. If
you do not know what this means, then don't worry about it.


However, I should imagine that even with this password you shouldn't be able to login as root, at least, not into the GUI. Most Unixes and Linuxes try to prevent you logging in as root (in the GUI) because it is "dangerous".

If you need to be root, login to a console session (press CTRL+ALT+F1 or F2-F6) to get a console session and login as root there, of, start a terminal in your own GUI session, and
Code: Select all
su - root
Type root's password when prompted. That should get you a root console session.

By the way, if you do use the CTRL+ALT+F1, when you exit, or any time you need to be back in the GUI, press CTRL+ALT+F7. You can switch between the sessions at will.


HTH

Cheers,
Norm.
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Re: impossible to log as root after installation of mint 13

Postby karlchen on Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:19 pm

Hello, Norman.

You are right. And I was wrong. :-(
Ubuntu by default does not assign root a password which makes the root account locked.
On Linux Mint 13 the root account will not be locked by default.
And right, the initial password will be identical to the password of the user account which one has created during the installation.
I found this to be true on Linux Mint 13 xfce desktop and Linux Mint 13 Cinnamon desktop. You found it to be true on KDE. So we may assume it will be true on all Linux Mint 13 editions.

I do wonder whether the decision to unlock the root account by default and to give the same password to the first user account and to root can be considered wise in any way? :roll:

Kind regards,
Karl
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Re: impossible to log as root after installation of mint 13

Postby Asimov on Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:47 pm

NormanDunbar wrote:I believe, from reading the "Introduction to Linux Mint" manual's installation instructions, that when you set up a user as part of the install, then the root user gets the same password. This appears to be true of my own KDE installation of Mint 13, because both my user and the root user had the same password.

Page 20 (of 51) says, right at the bottom:

Note: By default, your “root” password is the same as the password you chose during the installation. If
you do not know what this means, then don't worry about it.


However, I should imagine that even with this password you shouldn't be able to login as root, at least, not into the GUI. Most Unixes and Linuxes try to prevent you logging in as root (in the GUI) because it is "dangerous".

If you need to be root, login to a console session (press CTRL+ALT+F1 or F2-F6) to get a console session and login as root there, of, start a terminal in your own GUI session, and
Code: Select all
su - root
Type root's password when prompted. That should get you a root console session.

By the way, if you do use the CTRL+ALT+F1, when you exit, or any time you need to be back in the GUI, press CTRL+ALT+F7. You can switch between the sessions at will.


HTH

Cheers,
Norm.


I knew about su and sudo. i used it for launching nautilus in superadministrator mode. But some application are very poorly adapt to this stupid decision of removing the desktop for the root. I just had to install 20 debian packages. And i was asked for my password 20 times. Because the application only work for one package by request.

Quite frankly, it is a real nuisance when you are working to create on an icon set because you have to worry about the privilege on every test. OpenSuse did come up with a solution: you can launch a filemanager in the superuser mode and every tasks are in superadministrator mode. For example with this filemanager, if i check a text with gedit, i don't have to give the password again.
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Re: impossible to log as root after installation of mint 13

Postby NormanDunbar on Wed Oct 31, 2012 3:00 am

Morning Karl,

karlchen wrote:I do wonder whether the decision to unlock the root account by default and to give the same password to the first user account and to root can be considered wise in any way? :roll:


I've only just converted to KDE Mint from OpenSuse 12.2 - I've been with Suse since about version 9 - but I do use Mint on my business desktop machine. When installing Suse, you set up a single user, as with Mint, but there's an option with Suse to "use the same password for root" which you can tick or untick as appropriate. I don't remember seeing the same option on the Mint installer and the manual gives the impression that you don't have the choice.

I much prefer the Suse way of doing that particular feature.


Cheers,
Norm.
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Re: impossible to log as root after installation of mint 13

Postby NormanDunbar on Wed Oct 31, 2012 3:18 am

Morning Asimov,

Asimov wrote:But some application are very poorly adapt to this stupid decision of removing the desktop for the root. I just had to install 20 debian packages. And i was asked for my password 20 times. Because the application only work for one package by request.


What did yo use to install all 20 packages? In Mint there's a utility called "Software Manager" which asks once. I don't use it as such myself, I use the command line and
Code: Select all
sudo apt-get install x y z
and your sudo password is asked for once. However, your sudo password lasts for a while (15 mins I think) so if I was to run another sudo command, I will not be prompted for my password again - unless the time has expired.

Other Linux distributions do exactly the same things. Root is either forbidden from using the GUI or you get a warning before you are allowed to login as root, so Mint isn't really any different. It's a security thing after all.

Asimov wrote:Quite frankly, it is a real nuisance when you are working to create on an icon set because you have to worry about the privilege on every test. OpenSuse did come up with a solution: you can launch a filemanager in the superuser mode and every tasks are in superadministrator mode. For example with this filemanager, if i check a text with gedit, i don't have to give the password again.


To use your gedit example,
Code: Select all
sudo gedit filename
works for me, again my password lasts for a while so if I have to do it again, I don't get propmted until the time is up. However, why not just
Code: Select all
su -
and run gedit from within root? That way you only get prompted once.

This might help, but will most likely open your computer up to all sorts of abuse if connected to the internet - see https://www.linuxquestions.org/question ... 175419122/ for deatils - but I assume you are aware of the risks not just to yourself, but to everyone....

In my Mint setup I'm running KDE, so if you are using Gnome, it might be different. Anyway, under System Settings I have a list of things I can change/configure about the system. One is called "Login". In that utility I can untick the option that prevents root from loggining in under the GUI and also, if I wish, tick the option to prevent other accounts logging in.

You will need to have set up a password for root first of course.

Have fun.

Cheers,
Norm.
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Re: impossible to log as root after installation of mint 13

Postby Asimov on Wed Oct 31, 2012 6:51 am

@NormanDunbar

Removing the desktop is a very bad call. And it's very easy to prove. How many command in console mode have the "undo" option? Zero! Once you screw up in the console, there's not way back. You're are []! And it's impossible to create a safer environment. So in term of security, the console mode is a bigger risk. Not a smaller one. The biggest treat for the OS is the user itself and memory leaks. Not Internet' virus!

Reasons agains the command line approach:

1 - No Undo
2- Minimalist message of errors
3- Laziness of the users will always prevail over security. For example, I'm sure there is a way to simulate an installation of packages with apt-get, but people don't used it's because it take more efforts.
4- Not everybody are good typist.

Can you create a "wizard" in console mode? Possibly, but there is no "Glade" for NCurse. But what is the interest to create in interface in text mode when it is easier to do is with a graphical interface?

It's not every distro that are without desktop for the root. It's only Debian's based distro. The Debian's team did this stupid call. My other computer with Opensuse still have a desktop for the administration mode.


What did yo use to install all 20 packages? In Mint there's a utility called "Software Manager" which asks once. I don't use it as such myself, I use the command line and


I know that you can always find a command-line to do the job in a nix environment. But the main reason to have a desktop is ...comfort and economy of time. I hate loosing my time writing longs pathnames and spending time in login. I'm too old for this unicorns. I do not regret the Commodore 64 environment. No matter how you look at it, it's simply a regression. As a designer of interface, if you do not want users regularly on the administration mode, you simply create a desktop without access to word-processing , spreadsheet and games. That how Steve Job would have deal with to problem. Not by returning to the Apple II interface ...

The real solution is not no desktop for the administrator mode. But a special desktop dedicate to administration!

The security's arguments are very poor, because if security is my main concern, BSD is the solution, not Linux. I like a lot the Mint philosophy, but my next computer won't use on a Debian base distro. The desktop for the administration, it's a deal breaker to me. No return to the seventy for me!
Last edited by zerozero on Wed Oct 31, 2012 6:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: edited for language
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Re: impossible to log as root after installation of mint 13

Postby NormanDunbar on Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:49 am

Asimov,

I wasn't suggesting that you remove the desktop, merely that one way around your problem would possibly be in console mode. However, maybe you misunderstood. Lets say that you need to be root to edit a particular file. You want to use the GUI and use gedit. So, here's one way of doing it:

login to the GUi as youself.
Start a terminal session, within the GUI.
su - root (or sudo sh)
You now have a root session. Anything you start from here will run with root privs.
gedit your_filename &

At this point, gedit starts and allows you to edit the file, as root, within the GUI. You will be aware that leaving off the '&' will cause that terminal session to hang until you exit gedit and press return. If you leave it on, pressing return in the terminal allolws yo to start another edit, for example.

However, the whole thing of running stuff in root puzzles me. Exactly what is it that you are doing that requires so much root access? I run a business on Linux, and in my day job, I access numerous Linux servers to maintain Oracle Databases - I only ever need root when I'm installing Oracle software and even then, only right at the end. I very rarely have to use root at all.

I'm not saying that you don;t need it, you are obvioulsy doing something different to what I do.

Cheers,
Norm.
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Re: impossible to log as root after installation of mint 13

Postby Asimov on Thu Nov 01, 2012 5:46 pm

@NormanDunbar

I'm extending this icon set : http://gnome-look.org/content/show.php/ ... ent=102435

Possibly one of the more useful icons set because of the small size of the set. My problem is the icons do not show in 2 situation on user mode:
- The icons do not have the right names (witch is an information something hard to find)
- I forgot to properly set the privilege of the icon

In other hand, in root mode the wrong name is the only possibility. That why i prefer to do the job in root mode. No second guess in the mode.

Compiling is something preferable in root mode when you have a lot a dependency. If you hit a snag, you do not to be worry about a privilege problem. The problem is always somewhere else. And when i have to compiled something, it's involved usually 3-4 libraries and the application because the support for the programming language Ruby is generally very bad.

The worst part of the story is the desktop for the root still exist. And the damn thing load itself in the background when i'm using the sudo trick in enlightenment. I believe that a problem exist with every desktop but it is only visible on enlightenment. The weird part is when i'm logging out is that i can see all my previous wallpaper on root mode appear one after the other before the end of the session.
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Re: impossible to log as root after installation of mint 13

Postby breaker on Fri Nov 02, 2012 2:52 am

about running as the super user (su) for a bit, in Mint I just use
Code: Select all
sudo su
rtfm - read the fine manual...
Boot info script: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1291280
grub2 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2
PC-BIOS based booting, mbr, boot records; http://thestarman.pcministry.com/
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Re: impossible to log as root after installation of mint 13

Postby Asimov on Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:07 pm

breaker wrote:about running as the super user (su) for a bit, in Mint I just use
Code: Select all
sudo su


That's a new one for me. But it's show exactly what my problem is with this decision: it will force the casual user to become a nix genius. And when you have a system broke, the last thing needed is something that can create a worse situation. And a know be experience that you can do a lot a thing in console mode to kill an installation.
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