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Postby baba on Tue Sep 04, 2007 6:50 pm

Just installed Mint. Login screen only has user login choice. Other linux distros have choice for root also. How do I set that up?

I don't recall the install even asking me for a root password. Where do I set that?
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Postby Boo on Tue Sep 04, 2007 7:39 pm

In general logging in as root is BAD and logging into a DE as root is even worse. :evil:

there are many posts in the forum about logging in as root and the dangers of doing it.

mint and other Ubuntu derivatives use the sudo command to run commands or start GUIs as root. this is to try and stop people destroying their new system easily because they do not know what they are doing.

you can temporarily become root in a terminal with this comand:

sudo su -

this is much safer.

If you still really want to login as root you have to give the root user a password. open a terminal and type:

sudo passwd root

:D
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Postby alexander on Tue Sep 04, 2007 8:41 pm

Here is a topic that has links to other topics that talk about this topic :P

http://www.linuxmint.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2355
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Postby Lolo Uila on Tue Sep 04, 2007 9:55 pm

The root account is not enabled by default in Mint and most other Ubuntu based ditros because there is no need for it. To execute a command in the shell or terminal as root just preface it with sudo, and use your login password when asked. Example:

Code: Select all
sudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf


You can set a root password, and even enable root login to the GUI, but it is not recommended. As for how that is done... well, if you have to ask you probably shouldn't do it. I'm sorry if that sounds insulting. I don't know of a polite way to say it. We frequently have people asking this question, claiming they are experienced users, and yet they can't figure out how to do this. I was a total Linux noob (although quite experienced with computers in general) and it took me all of 5 minutes to figure out how to enable the root account and GUI login when I looked into it. The solution is actually pretty simple and if you can't figure it out on your own then you probably shouldn't be messing around as root.

Anyway... as I said before, there is no need for the root account, and it's more secure without one. Just use sudo and you can accomplish what you need.

Aloha, Tim
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Postby red-e-made on Wed Sep 05, 2007 6:42 am

I'd underline what Lolo Uila said. It's not that anyone is trying to be deliberately condescending about it; it's just not a good idea. Additionally, the need to log in as root occurs so seldom that it's unnecessary to go to any extra lengths. Use "sudo su" when needed, and always remember to "exit". That's it, really.
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Postby baba on Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:54 am

Wow. Didn't expect to get all this response. I was just used to the root login from several other distros. Now that i understand this is a "hot" topic, here is my 2 cents.

I like to use the root login when I am setting up or making major mods to a system. I like to do it through GUI, easier, faster, less prone to errors. I get tired of continually entering my password. But, that is not the main reason. The reason I am migrating to Linux from M$ is I am fed up with being constrained as to how I want to use my system.

I am an "expert" user, not in linux yet, but getting there. As an expert, I can tell you the best defense for protecting yourself from screwups is BACKUPS, not lockouts. It is my hobby to screw things up. I already had to do this just installing Mint because I missed the screen to install Grub to the Linux partition, not the MBR. No problem, took about 2 minutes to restore my MBR (I use Acronis True Image).

BTW, I figured out how to add the root login.

So I understand and appreciate the advice. I hope the experts here will continue to answer my technical questions in this forum. I am trying Mint after playing with PCLOS, which is outstanding. But i find their forum support to be lacking, probably not enough users. I am hoping this will be better and perhaps I can also post in Ubuntu.
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Postby linuxviolin on Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:30 pm

baba wrote:I like to use the root login when I am setting up or making major mods to a system. I like to do it through GUI, easier, faster, less prone to errors. I get tired of continually entering my password.


Avoid using root login... :wink: "Less prone to errors"? Hum... :roll: If you know what you do then even without GUI no problem, and if not then don't do it (or ask for help). Easier? Faster? All that is debatable. And sometimes GUI=bugs :?

baba wrote:The reason I am migrating to Linux from M$ is I am fed up with being constrained as to how I want to use my system.


Even Microsoft tried to improve the security in Vista and to educate the home user not to use an administrative account. :)


baba wrote:As an expert, I can tell you the best defense for protecting yourself from screwups is BACKUPS, not lockouts.


Maybe but I prefer lockouts and keep my system clean. :wink: As an "expert", avoid using root login.
Of course it's your system and you do what you want but you will find everywhere on the Web advices saying to you to avoid doing it, so maybe... :wink:
K.I.S.S. ===> "Keep It Simple, Stupid"
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." (Leonardo da Vinci)
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." (Albert Einstein)
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Postby Boo on Thu Sep 06, 2007 11:22 pm

you can start GUI tools via the command line as root with:

sudo toolname
or
gksu toolname (graphical sudo, better for some gui's)

this is much safer than logging in as root.

:D
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Postby scorp123 on Fri Sep 07, 2007 5:07 am

baba wrote: I like to use the root login when I am setting up or making major mods to a system. I like to do it through GUI, easier, faster, less prone to errors.
And what happens if you do an accidental drag & drop operation??? :twisted: Do you think the system will ask you "Are you sure?". Hint: It won't. It will do as you said. Being logged in as 'root' into a GUI simply gives you too much power. And I am saying this as UNIX admin :D

baba wrote: I get tired of continually entering my password.
And you think reinstalling your system because you just managed to hose it is less tiring? :lol: I am talking out of my own experience here. When I started with Linux in 1996 did people warn me not to login into GUI as 'root'? Yes they did. Did I listen? No, I didn't. I was one of those noobs who learned the hard way. :lol: You are of course more than welcome to repeat my stupid mistakes. So please, continue to login into your GUI as 'root'. Why not open a file manager or two? Sure, go ahead. Click around. You are 'root', you are *GOD*. Nothing will stop you. *NOTHING*. And then when something silly happens (e.g. accidental drag & drop over all the wrong places ... or accidental change of all the file permissions in a really critical location? :lol: ) you will remember this thread ... just as I remember those postings people sent me back in 1996 where they warned me not to go into GUI as 'root'.

As I said ... some people prefer to learn the hard way. I must know, I was one of those :D

baba wrote: The reason I am migrating to Linux from M$ is I am fed up with being constrained as to how I want to use my system.
Nothing is constraining you here. As 'root' you enjoy infinite powers and you may hose your system whatever way you wish :lol:

baba wrote: I am an "expert" user
Not on Linux yet :twisted:

baba wrote: but getting there.
Maybe in 2-3 years. I started with Linux in 1996 but until 1998 I considered myself a "noob". Now it's 2007, I got like 10 years of UNIX work experience, and even now I learn a few new things. For there are always greater people than oneself.

baba wrote: As an expert, I can tell you the best defense for protecting yourself from screwups is BACKUPS, not lockouts.
See above. root's powers are infinite. Nothing will stop you from doing seriously bad things if you wish to. So sometimes it's a good idea to have some minimum constraints that will force you to think "Hmmm, what do I need to achieve here and do I really really need to be 'root' for this?" ... Because once you're 'root' there is nothing that will stop you from doing anything.
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Postby jimboogly on Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:53 am

I can understand both sides of the argument, I am neither complete noob, nor will I ever be a linux black belt, for the system is always in flux and always moving forward and for every command that you think you know the complete usage for... a new one soon is created.

I dabble with Angstrom-distribution on my Ipaq as I hate all things M$, I have run into stumbling blocks not being allowed to login as root. The main problem is that even if you login with su privileges with QtParted a root created partition is loaded read-only, yes unmounted first of course... using the sudo parted command yields the same thing... the only simple solution for a lay-person is to login as root do the partition deletion, creation or resizing commit, and then logout back to user level.

The whole idea of write protection should be similar to the interface for enabling NTFS r/w. Most of us started off years ago formatting dads windows computer... or at least accepting blame for the BSOD that inevitably shows its ugly head... until some point we move to a stable platform... BSD / *nix and so forth. I find that most people in this thread are speaking along the same lines as Torvalds when he speaks about Gnome and KDE. Some people like the safeguards and simplifications in place with Gnome, while others prefer the endless customizing in the KDE camp... which brings us back to one fundamental truth we are all here for one reason.... CHOICE. My only regret is that I never moved completely to Linux sooner so that I could be a more advanced Kernel Hacker, or a Hardware Driver author to better the community.

I spend my days dispelling the FUD at work, about our community, perhaps when dealing with people's request for Root should be given with a cautionary reminder... that you can "pooch" your system faster than the government screw our image to our global neighbours (notice the U.in neighbour... yes Canadian here)

Just remember that our comments could be reaching noobs, that may be dabbling in *nix, and may be a major supporter or advocate against us, depending on the responses. Too many times on various distros I see people flamed off the board for asking a silly question that could be answered in the MAN pages... perhaps they didn't understand the argument or sequence involved.

Anyway sorry to rant. I just want to see Nix continue to grow to a level that is somewhere between PC - Mac with our own catchy adds... lol but to do this we need support.

J
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Postby phalkun on Thu Sep 20, 2007 4:21 am

Version Cassandra 3.0

In the main menu, go to settings, then Login Window, next security tab and finally check - allow local system administrator login. From then on you can login directly to root and will no longer need to su or sudo anything. Have fun !!!
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