This Whole 'root' Thing Is Getting On My Last Nerve...

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This Whole 'root' Thing Is Getting On My Last Nerve...

Postby oMobius on Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:59 am

Hey, Y'all...

I'm on a very recent install of Mint 10 GNOME (it's my first real-deal Linux installation. ever.), and would like to abolish a certain annoyance from my otherwise ducky experience thus far. It goes like this:

How do I convince the Synaptic Package Manager that it does not need to be fed my password every time I tell it to start? It brings the sparkly new zen I'm immersed in to a jarring halt. I don't have a command line fetish, but I am willing (after lotsa time in DOS way back when) to type a few commands, even complicated ones.

Now, I've read the treatises on the importance of controlling access to sensitive bits of the OS (and that seems to be what this 'root' business is about, enabling the license to kill). I've read them and they have sunk in. I don't care, though. I've ruined so many perfectly innocent Windows installations it ain't even funny. What's a fried Linux here or there in the grand scheme of things?

Anyway, thanks for reading and I hope to see your informative responses.



BRIEFLY FOLLOWING UP:

Thank you, lmintweb, for your timely response. I did conduct my own search, but since I don't know enough of the official lingo yet I guess I can't be specific enough in my search terms. Incidentally, am I correct in figuring that I can turn to the Ubunutu forums as reliably as I might these? Most of my searches, even when I explicity use the term "linux mint 10", turn up links to Ubuntu nuggets.

And the thing you pointed me to either just plain didn't work or I'm just plain not clever enough to understand it. i followed the instructions and didn't get the result i wanted. My Synaptic thing still wanted my password. So i'll dig some more now that i have a little more legitimate jargon under my belt.

Thanks again.
Last edited by oMobius on Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: This Whole 'root' Thing Is Getting On My Last Nerve...

Postby lmintnewb on Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:24 am

You asked ... I googled, this looks about right.

http://sathyasays.com/2008/05/27/enabli ... ianubuntu/

Though, notice the mutiple warnings against doing this throughout the circles linux users go. Imagine such warnings are there for a reason. Agree with you that the PW thing can get annoying. Though also tend to think the folks who designed and have built up linux ... are smarter than I am. Definitely worlds beyond me in terms of how computers work, lol. So if they restricted certain things ... they had reasons.

ESP if you're new to linux. Those PW checks letcha know you might be messing with something important and/or poss irreversible. Just a thought ... Have no doubt you've seen the warnings etc so forth.

Also like your attitude though ... and agree. Not like a botched comp is the end of the world, shrugs. Live long and prosper ... should the gods deem ye worthy. :D
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Re: This Whole 'root' Thing Is Getting On My Last Nerve...

Postby RedLeg on Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:42 am

I guess you don't have kids :) I don't mind it. I used to, but now I guess it doesn't take me by surprise anymore so now it doesn't bother me. I understand that it can be irksome at first and it is hard to understand why you have to punch in the password so often, but you may come to appreciate the security.

Sorry I can't help more than that.
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Re: This Whole 'root' Thing Is Getting On My Last Nerve...

Postby mastablasta on Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:34 am

that's what the password is there for as well. so you don't destroy the OS, or that a malware doens't install by itself (it needs your password to install)

anyway KDE has a nice solution to htis. You can remember password via GUI for the whole session. It also has nicely via GUI that you dont' need to type in user name to log into computer. useful thing when you have only one user anyway...
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Re: This Whole 'root' Thing Is Getting On My Last Nerve...

Postby lmintnewb on Thu Apr 14, 2011 4:09 am

I canna help it ... I tried, but it's late, I'm tired and it's funny ( and true ) so.

You think Mint is annoying with passwords try ubuntu 10.10. I did for all of a couple hours and came screaming back into the minty goodness of linux mint. :D

I blinked my eyes, 10.10 asked for my password. Took a sip of coffee ... password. Answered the phone, password. Farted ... had to enter my password twice, lol. Was waiting for the thing to tell me I had to give it a urine and DNA sample next.

That on top of being a butt ugly ( and confusing ) default desktop layout in my opinion in buntu 10.10.


You have found a keeper among the ocean of linux. Mint is lovely. The people behind linux are lovely too. They thought of everything. Including protecting linux users from themselves ... esp us newbs, lol.
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Re: This Whole 'root' Thing Is Getting On My Last Nerve...

Postby maxmir on Thu Apr 14, 2011 4:37 am

If you run 'visudo' (safely edits the /etc/sudoers file) you can add 'timestamp_timeout=-1' to the 'Defaults' line.

You'll still have to enter the password once, but it should not expire after that.
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Re: This Whole 'root' Thing Is Getting On My Last Nerve...

Postby lmintnewb on Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:16 am

^That's kinda neat, thanks for offering it to the community. Ya gotta luv linux !

One more cause this topic has actually been on my mind lately too. Might amuse some folks, though also has a point, lol. Thought the penchant for passwords in linux was really odd too. Considering the whole ideology that created linux in the 1st place.

A great man decides one day he wanted to empower the world with user friendly software. Software that was free and open to all. He'd been frustrated with corporations trying to block off and control computer code. Making it hard for developers to work together and make great software.

One of the things that set him off apparently was sysadmins starting to try to restrict users from doing what they wanted with computers by imposing passwords. So he plops down and starts coming up with software packages ... introducing gnu. Becoming more or less the grandfather of opensource software. But it's missing something ... a kernel. A young dude named linus torvald comes up with one ... and BAM linux is born.

Thought when I tried 10.10 buntu ... This is freedom of software ? I have to show it 2 photo ID's and a passport before it'll let me do anything, lol. But then realized summin. By the time you actually know enough about a linux OS, not to need them so much. The passwords won't bother you anymore. Cause you'll know what you're doing.

So they put that in, for real to protect people from themselves and/or others. I've been using Mint for all of 2wks and am on my 3rd, errrr or maybe 4th fresh install so far. But I've tweaked and retweaked and over tweaked to see what I can do to get the OS right for me. So would really think for most of us. Would just go ahead and deal with the password blues. Until ya get up to speed and then it won't bug ya regardless.

Which btw ... it is complete freedom of software. A person can turn the password protections off at will afterall.

lol ... sorry late night babbling. I'm supposed to be finishing a service agreement. Here I am at 4am doinking around on an internet forum.
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Re: This Whole 'root' Thing Is Getting On My Last Nerve...

Postby gn2 on Thu Apr 14, 2011 6:32 am

There seem to be more and more threads from more and more people wanting to remove password protection.
As more and more people start to adopt this imbecilic practice, guess what will start to appear...?
That's right boys and girls, viruses and malware.
So I suppose what I'm getting at is summed up in one simple statement:

JUST USE A PASSWORD YOU LAZY @&%#S :lol:
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Re: This Whole 'root' Thing Is Getting On My Last Nerve...

Postby odo5435 on Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:02 am

gn2 wrote:As more and more people start to adopt this imbecilic practice, guess what will start to appear...?


I agree. One of the contributing factors to the virus, malware and spyware pandemic that afflicts MS is that Windows allows, or encourages even, access to system files without password protection. Having password protection is one of the reasons that viruses find it difficult to achieve widespread penetration in Linux. I'm very happy to type a few characters in view of the possible consequences of not doing so.

Also, as you get your system more and more the way you like it, the less and less you'll need to use the password.
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Re: This Whole 'root' Thing Is Getting On My Last Nerve...

Postby Reorx on Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:02 am

One of the things I hate most about Windoze is the fact that you NEED internet security/anti-virus software which has a significant memory and CPU overhead... I run NIS on my Win systems and it absolutely cripples performance - everything runs a lot slower all the time... Having that PW requirement that you hate so much is a large part of why Linux desktops don't really need this performance crippling software... when I first started using Linux (Mint), I actually tried to get my computer infected to see how secure the system really was... I surfed to some of the slimiest websites I could find... until I found one that would try to infect my system... and when it did, the OS notified me that the distant server (website) was trying to install some POS malware and asked for the ROOT PW... I clicked "cancel" and went on uninfected... happy times!!!

So I have developed a fond liking for the PW dialog box... it tells me (sometimes) that something is going on that was previously transparent/invisible... other times, it serves as a warning to exercise care when a bit of extra care is warranted... at this point in my life I definitely live by - "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"... I hate the idea of spending time (sometimes hours or days) trying to troubleshoot a problem that was created by a second or 2 of lack of attention to detail... and as another poster has said, once your system is tweaked to your liking, you won't need to type the PW very often... these days the only time I find myself typing the PW is to do routine updates...

YMMV - safe computing... :D
Last edited by Reorx on Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: This Whole 'root' Thing Is Getting On My Last Nerve...

Postby spaceboy on Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:18 am

Some good tips and reminders in this thread, and good perspectives.

I'm kind of in the middle, like most probably are. I like the overall added security that Linux has, but much of the time, the default is overkill. I've used 8 different distros so I've seen a little variety.

For example, for recommended system updates, how many of you actually read through the list every time to make sure it's not trying to dupe you with malware? Personally, I may glance at it just for curiosity's sake, but not being a mega techy that's familiar with 5 billion different libraries and their potential downsides, I just click 'install', and roll with it.

My preference for system updates would be to just have them handled automatically without a password.

For new software, it makes the most sense to me to have a password request for any install outside of a directly opened software/package manager. IOW, if I go through the menu and open up the manager directly, I don't need a password. For anything else, such as downloads via the web or scripts, I would definitely want a password.

Here's one that's been annoying for me, and maybe someone can help me out with this one: ATI's administrative control panel. Honestly, the absolute last thing in this life that I am worried about is someone breaking into my house, sitting down at my passworded Linux box, cracking in, and then proceeding to fiddle with my dual monitor settings! OMG, Noooo, look what they've done! They set monitor 1 to 800x600x16x72Hz, and fouled my gamma on monitor 2, shredded my saturation and everything is soooo green! :( Why couldn't they have just stolen it instead? :cry:

I guess it's a good idea for a multi-user system, but in my case, it's just a hindrance.
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Re: This Whole 'root' Thing Is Getting On My Last Nerve...

Postby mastablasta on Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:23 am

Basically password means: "Your system files are going to be accessed by programme and modified. Type in the password if you THE USER are the one that triggered this change." It's basically a safeguard to let the system know that it's you chaning it not malware. It gives you power. it's not a hindrance. As you have to allow something to run. It will not run unless you approve it.

And like others said once you set it all up you rarely use it anyway...Maybe for some system updates.

@spaceboy - you TRUST that updates come from secure location. the locaiton is at the same time with open code so anyone can see if there is some malware inside. if you don't want to have them you don't put in the password.

that is not to say that they can't break your system...
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